The Viking Merlin are a recent addition to the range of Viking Binoculars. These binoculars strike a fine balance between optic quality and a compact build design. The level of quality certainly makes these a favourite amongst birdwatchers out there. Furthermore, the compact and lightweight design makes these binoculars perfect for carrying around.
The Viking Merlin binoculars come available in a variety of focal ranges (8x32, 8x42, 10x42). The magnification power and objective lens size makes these binocular perfect for all outdoor activities. Whether this is for birdwatching or for accompanying you on your next hike. The best magnification and objective size will vary depending on the person. However, if you require any assistance with this, we have a full guide on which magnification is best.
The Viking brand has grown a reputation for delivering high quality products at an affordable price. This review aims to detail the overall design and performance of the Viking Merlin binoculars. Through extensive time spent with the binoculars, we have been able to put them to the test.
Design and Build
The Viking Merlin binoculars offer a build design which is compact and lightweight. This design choice is common across all of the binoculars within the Viking range. Despite the compact size, these binoculars offer great durability thanks to the use of the rubber-armour finish. This design allows for the binoculars to be completely resistant to any water damage. Perfect for facing the Great British weather.
The binoculars have a great weight distribution to them and feel great to hold. For example, the Viking Merlin 8x32 Binoculars only weighs in at 516 grams. This makes them perfect for carrying around - especially during long-term use. If you are looking for your next travel companion, then look no further than the Viking Merlin.
As previously mentioned, the Viking Merlin binoculars offer fantastic protection and durability. The rubber-armour finish allows for the binoculars to be completely waterproof. Furthermore, this rubber-armour design makes holding the binoculars even easier. Even in wet conditions, the rubber-finish design offers a solid grip for your hands. The Viking Merlin binoculars are perfect for use in all conditions or environment.
In addition to this, the Viking Merlin contains nitrogen in the lenses. The nitrogen helps to reduce any potential fogging within the lenses. This ensures that you are able to achieve the highest possible results regardless of the weather. The nitrogen also helps to eliminate any dust or dirt from building up within the lenses. This keeps the binoculars clean and helps to maintain the overall condition of the lenses.
There are many design features which help the binoculars feel more accessible. The inclusion of twist-down eyecups is a great example of this. This allows the user to find the optimal positioning for their eyes. These adjustments are quick and easy to make. The full operation feels smooth and without any hassle. This feature is particularly helpful for those that wear glasses. The twist-down eyecups provide extra eye-relief and allow for a complete view of the FOV.
The overall design and build of the Viking Merlin binoculars is fantastic. Viking continue their tradition of delivering high quality designs at an affordable price. The features available with binoculars perform smooth and efficiently. Features such as the focusing wheel are easy to use and quick to adjust. Whether you are a beginner or intermediate user, you will find these binoculars to be an excellent addition.
Quality of Optics
The level of quality available through the optics is perhaps the most important point to consider. Viking have a history of providing the highest possible visual quality through their binoculars. Thankfully, the Viking Merlin binoculars continues this trend. These optics excel in every way and deliver incredible results.
The inclusion of Extra-Low Dispersion glass really helps make a difference. This special glass helps to boost the transmission of light within the lenses. Therefore, this helps to maximise the overall quality by making the image as bright as possible. The use of ED glass also helps to eliminate any colour fringing. You can expect to get excellent results whenever you use the Viking Merlin binoculars.
Pairing this with the multi-coated lenses and phase-coated prisms helps perfect the overall image. These features help to ensure that the Viking Merlin binoculars can perform in any condition. Even in low-light conditions you can expect these binoculars to deliver high quality results. This helps the Viking Merlin feel extremely versatile and ready for use in all environments.
The level of quality available through the optics of the Viking Merlin is fantastic. The inclusion of the ED glass really shines through here. Throughout the testing process, the image quality was impressive and consistent. These binoculars are certainly the perfect companion for any avid birdwatchers out there.
The next point to consider with these binoculars is the field of view (FOV). This will vary depending on the size of binoculars that you opt for. For example, the FOV will be much wider with binoculars that offer an 8x magnification power. The Viking Merlin 8x42 Binoculars offers the widest FOV at 8.1°. This offers a nice wide view through the lenses. In comparison, the Viking Merlin 10x42 Binoculars only offers a FOV of 6.5°.
This ultimately makes the binoculars with an 8x magnification power the best option for birdwatching. The reduction in zoom allows for a much wider view through the lenses. Therefore, tracking objects such as birds becomes much easier with an 8x zoom. However, if you do prefer getting a much closer zoom then opting for a 10x zoom is perfectly fine.
The FOV available on the Viking Merlin binoculars make them suitable for all activities and occasions. All models within the range operate smoothly and without any issue. The 8.1° FOV on the Viking Merlin 8x42 is certainly the most optimal choice for tracking objects. However, more experienced users may feel comfortable operating the 10x magnification zoom.
Finally, the last point worth mentioning is how efficient the twist-down eyecups are. As previously mentioned, adjusting these eyecups provides more comfort during long-term use. They also allow for those that wear glasses to take the full view of the binoculars in. The level of eye-relief that each model offers is the important value here.
The Viking Merlin 8x42 Binoculars offer the most eye-relief at a total of 17.2mm. This is a great deal of relief and provides excellent comfort. In comparison, the Viking Merlin 10x42 Binoculars only offer 15.2mm. However, it is important to note that this still offers a great level of protection and comfort for the user.
The eye-relief available on all binoculars within the Viking Merlin range is more than enough to ensure comfort. This helps make the binoculars the perfect choice for all outdoor activities. The eye-cups are easy to use and the overall operation is smooth. In addition to this, these eye-cups will stay firmly in place throughout use.
It is clear that the Viking Merlin range certainly provides a high-quality design and features. However, it is important to consider the overall performance of the binoculars. These binoculars maintain the high standard set by Viking's previous releases. The powerful optics pair extremely well with the compact build design. Considering the price of the Viking Merlin range, the value for money here is excellent.
The high-quality available with the optic lenses makes these binoculars suitable for all occasions. The image quality is crystal-clear thanks to the combination of ED glass and fully coated lenses. These binoculars just feel great to use and consistently deliver high quality results. Furthermore, these are suitable for use in all weather conditions and environments. The inclusion of features such as the nitrogen in the lenses prevents any fogging. Perfect for facing those cold Winter mornings.
The features available with the Viking Merlin binoculars perform smoothly and without any hassle. The focusing wheel is quickly adjustable and provides excellent quality at all ranges. The twist-down eyecups provide convenience and comfort to the user throughout use. Viking manage to provide a perfect blend of luxury design with accessible features.
Finally, the compact build design feels great to hold. These size of the binoculars makes them extremely portable which is perfect for long days out. The additional accessories that arrive with the binoculars only add to this further. Despite the compact size, the Viking Merlin binoculars are incredibly durable and this holds up throughout testing. The rubber-armour finish protects these binoculars from the elements. This allows the Viking Merlin binoculars to become fully waterproof and ready to face any weather conditions. In addition to this, the rubber design allows for an easy grip on the binoculars even when wet.
Overall, the Viking Merlin binoculars perform extremely well in all aspects. The com bination of ED glass with fully coated lenses and prisms ensures perfect image quality. The build quality is fantastic and will ensure that these binoculars remain in a great condition throughout use. The value for money available here is excellent. Consider this the entry-level pair of binoculars for obtaining ED glass. The Viking Merlin certainly comes a strong recommendation.
The high level of quality available with the Viking Merlin binoculars is incredible. From the superb image quality to the compact build design, it offers you everything that you need. These binoculars are perfect for all occasions and certainly provide excellent value for money.
The Viking Merlin binoculars offer the highest possible image quality. This is largely due to the inclusion of the ED glass. The glass helps to ensure the image is consistently crystal-clear and without any flaws. Regardless of your environment, you can be sure that the image will be clear and defined. Viking maintain their tradition of developing incredible optics which are available at a cost-effective price.
Taking everything in to consideration, I can not recommend the Viking Merlin binoculars enough. These are effectively an entry-level approach to higher spec binoculars thanks to the ED glass. If you are looking for the best possible results, then you can not go wrong with these binoculars.