I stood in a QUEUE outside Lidl this morning at 8am to get my grubby hands on a pair of the 10×50’s that they are selling for £9.99. I missed out last time they were selling these so made sure that I got a pair this time round! They are also selling a 90mm Spotting ‘scope for £99 but whilst I did consider that too, decided against it as it’s not ideal for astro work. Although i am in the market for a little grab and go ‘scope.
Anyway, on to the bins! They come in a nice salmon pink box (which is odd) and took me a while to locate them in the “bargain bin” that my Lidl seems to use for precision optical instruments!
The box on a few seemed damaged so I made sure to get a good one by having a good rummage!
The back of the box shows all the features off, which is actually impressive in such a cheap pair of bins:
Fully coated lenses (god knows what with though)
Long Eyerelief eyepieces with twist up eyecups
Diptre adjustment on the right eyepiece
threaded support for tripod use
mine came with 2 lens clothes, not sure if i should have only got one
they also come with a 5 year guarantee!! which to me sounds pretty damn good, although im not sure if it’s worth the box that it’s written on!
It seems a little bit of engrish has crept into the packaging as well as this part made me smile: “Particularly high resolution and clear image”.
Anyway, on to the goods
The bins came wrapped in a plastic bag, along with silica gel and placed inside the provided carry bag for protection. A good idea, someone was thinking when they designed the packaging process! I half expected the carry bag to be stuffed ontop of the bins but no.
The bag is fairly low quality but it does the job, my zip on the front pocket needed a little persuasion to work but got there in the end. The pocket however is tiny and I could just about fit the lens cloth into it!
The body of the bins is rubberized and actually feels quite nice to the hand. It’s the right shape and the weight is just about right. It sounds odd but I think if they were much lighter they wouldn’t have felt “right”.
The eyepiece caps in my opinion are a bad idea however, they are not captive and i think will easily get lost. There seems to be some provision to attach them to the neck strap but on mine the rubber hoops were broken so I didn’t bother to work it out. I think the caps will just go in the bin.
The objective caps however will have to stay, although again they are not captive and are just push fit. They are the winning contender for “first piece of equipment lost in the field on a dark night”!
The objective lenses seem quite nice actually, and the blurb says they are fully coated (note not fully multi coated) which I assume means that only one surface has a coating. At least they are not ruby coated! They do seem to vanish though so whatever the coating is it does work, but theres no green or purple tinge to the lenses.
The eyepieces are the fixed eyecup twist up kind, which isn’t a personal favorite but is good for eyeglass wearers (I do wear glasses but not for viewing as i can focus out my short sightedness). Personally I prefer the fold down design, but for a tenner I’m not going to complain too loudly.
On the moon this morning they worked well and gave a very crisp clear image that seemed well collimated. I have yet to star test them though but so far they are doing well. There are no internal reflections that I can see but time will tell once they’ve been used more.
As always I’ll add to this as and when I have more to say!
Originally posted 7th December 2006