Opticron produce some great binoculars and telescopes, but as yet haven't ventured into the world of Image Stabilisation, or IS, for short. Photographers will be familiar with IS lenses, allowing you to get sharper images at low shutter speeds, but until recently I was only aware of the rather large and bulky Canon IS binoculars. Opticron have now entered this market with two models, the Imagic IS 10x30 and the Imagic IS 12x30.
I was able to give the 12x30 model a try out in the field today, thanks to Focalpoint. I was immediately struck by the compact size of the binoculars - just over 150mm long and a little under 120mm wide. They were also a very reasonable weight just 537g.
Initially I used the binoculars without turning the IS on. As it was only just above freezing, the image was inevitably rather wobbly, especially with the 12x magnification. Flicking the IS on, the image settled down and I could make out detail on the bushes and trees I was looking at. Although the binoculars only have a 30mm objective, the details were still apparent in the darker areas of the woodland. The image was nice and sharp with no noticeable colour fringing. There was some "barrelling" towards the edge image, but no discernible loss of sharpness. As it was a cold morning, cobwebs were noticeable and with the IS turned on, I had no trouble looking at them and seeing them clearly. Mt next stop was at a small lake near the house which has a few ducks and gulls present. Tufted ducks were nice and black and white, very crisp through the binoculars. Several black-headed gulls were seen, looking at pale birds over water can be a test for binoculars and the IS 12x30 passed with flying colours.
As a spectacle wearer I was concerned about the field of view with these binoculars, but due to the small objective lens and short length of the binoculars a respectable 5 degrees field of view is achievable.
All in all I was very impressed with the binoculars, a usable pair of binoculars with a 12x magnification, is a very rare find. Opticron have certainly achieved that with these new binoculars.