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When you’re looking for a pair of binoculars to use out on the water, you need them to be able to do a couple of things, and you’ll need those couple of things done well. When you’re looking at things over water, that’s actually a challenge, and you need binoculars made for that specifically. Since this isn’t an article on choosing marine binoculars, we’ll only touch on a few of those things. Then, we’ll get on to the real topic of the day – BARSKA’s Deep Sea 7×50, and we’ll see how it handles those things and whether it’s the right choice for a marine binocular. If, however, you decide that the BARSKA isn’t the right pick for you, you’ll find some very good alternatives.
For example, the obvious, you want a pair of binoculars that are waterproof. Now, you might think that any binoculars that say are waterproof, actually are, but that’s a mistake. They may only be water resistant, which is a lesser degree of protection, and might cause problems out on the water. What you’ll need are O-ring seals, and a pair of binoculars that’s nitrogen purged.
Next, you want the right amount of magnification. The common, and best number here, is 7x. 10x will get the things you’re looking at even closer. However, the higher the magnification factor, the more difficult stabilizing the image will be. This is even trickier when you’re on a moving boat with a deck that isn’t really stable.
Last but not least, you want the right objective lens size and field of view. A larger objective size will take in more light, which is always welcome in darker conditions. A 50mm lens is usually the ideal number here. And a field of view that is too wide will often result in some sort of distortion along the borders, so the magnification should not be too big. Therefore, 7x magnification is just right.
How does the BARSKA Deep Sea 7×50 fare?
Let’s take a look at what this pair of rangefinder binoculars comes with. As the name implies, you have a 7x magnification, and a 50mm lens, which are the ideal numbers when you need a pair of binoculars for the water. The field of view is 395 feet at 1,000 yards, which is wide enough, but not too wide. So, that’s two of the three necessities for a good pair of binoculars which are spot on with the BARSKA.
There is a porro prism, which is BAK4, and the optics are fully multi-coated. When you combine all of these things, you get a clear, sharp and vivid image, with just the right amount of contrast. This is important when you’re out on the water, and the BARSKA absolutely delivers here. You won’t find yourself lacking any image quality, which is an excellent thing – even more so when you factor in the price.
Touching on the last (first) necessity, let’s talk build quality. These are a really well built pair of binoculars. On the outside, you get a rugged rubber coating. This is specifically made for nautical use, and you’ll find that you have a fairly good grip even when your hands aren’t completely dry. And, in case you manage to drop them, that rubber coating will also provide a bit of shock absorption as well.
The binoculars are waterproof, and yes, they’re waterproof the right way. You have O-rings to completely seal the binoculars, and they float on water as well. So, if you happen to drop them, you don’t have to worry about them sinking, or getting damaged by the water. They’re also nitrogen purged, which means that the lens won’t fog up even when you have high humidity conditions. All in all, you have all of the three necessities for a good marine rangefinder binocular sorted out pretty well. But that isn’t all.
Since we’re talking about rangefinder binoculars, we should also discuss this a bit. The rangefinder in the BARSKA is actually very accurate, which is something you’ll come to appreciate. The focus also works very well, and you get a fairly impressive minimal focus distance of 22.3 feet, or 6.8 meters. Just like a few other binoculars that are made for the same usage type, this one also includes a backlit compass. And, to answer a potential question, yes, the battery is only used for the backlighting on the compass. Be aware, though, that if your ship has a lot of steel (and which one doesn’t?), calibrating that compass might be a bit tricky.
Wrapping things up: Is it a good choice, and for who?
If you’d like to skip to a straight answer, yes, it is a great choice. But not for everyone. If your only need is a waterproof, floating pair of binoculars that have a clear and sharp image, and tick all the boxes for nautical use, they’re great. However, if you also intend to use them in other scenarios, such as wildlife observation or hiking, they aren’t that great. For example, a major downside for wildlife observation is the fact that you can’t mount them on a tripod, at least not in an easy way. The 7x magnification also might not be satisfactory.
All things considered, the BARSKA Deep Sea 7×50 is amazing. It comes at a very attractive price, especially for a budget-oriented customer, it’s built very well, it performs admirably, and you can absolutely compare its performance to that of a pair that easily costs twice as much.
As our final conclusion, if you’re in need of a pair of binoculars for nautical use, and you’re working with a fairly limited budget, by all means go for it. The BARSKA Deep Sea will more than satisfy your needs.