Viking Vistron ED Binoculars Review

Viking Vistron ED Binoculars Review

The Viking Vistron ED binoculars are a new set of binoculars from one of our favourite outdoor brands here at liGo. Offering excellent performance at a cost-effective price, they are so good that they've already become a liGo Best Buy. Why? Read on to find out what our experts thought of them!

Related: Top 10 Best Binoculars for Bird Watching

Design & build

Most of Viking's range of binoculars have a similar silhouette, and the Vistron is no exception. They boast a single-hinge design that's easy to adjust, but stays in place nice and firmly when using the binoculars. As with the majority of binoculars at this price point, they have a polycarbonate body. The focus wheel and dioptre ring, though, are both metal.

The Vistron is rubber-armoured, which gives a bit of added protection. More importantly, though, it makes holding the binoculars easy even in wet conditions. There are also two little indents on the back, where your thumbs will sit while holding the binoculars. Surprisingly, not all binoculars have these, and it makes the Vistrons markedly more comfortable to use.

On the top, you've got twist-down eyecups. These only come out two clicks, whereas some other models we've tested come out three. However, when fully extended, we found that they were still remarkably comfortable to use, and allow for a complete view of the FOV.

Lastly, as with all good-quality binoculars, the Vistron is fully waterproof and nitrogen-filled. This ensures that the insides of the lenses don't fog up when exposed to temperature changes or when used in wet conditions- ideal for the fickle British weather!

We should also mention that you get a few included accessories with the Vistrons. They come in a soft padded case, along with a padded neck strap (which is genuinely very comfortable to use) and a rainguard. The objective lens covers are integrated into the body of the binoculars, so you won't find yourself losing them on a day out.

Quality of optics

When choosing a new pair of binoculars, quality of optics is crucial. After all, what use are binoculars which don't give you a clear, true-to-life image when looking through them. It's especially important at this price point. With cheaper binoculars you might expect some sacrifices on optical quality to keep the price down. Once you get above the £200 mark, though, optical quality is an essential factor to consider.

ED stands for "extra-low dispersion" glass. There's a technical specification that glass needs to meet to be called ED. However, there can be quite a lot of difference between actual performance when comparing one ED model to another. Thankfully, the Viking Vistron is towards the higher end of this spectrum. Our experts were seriously impressed with the quality of ED glass in the Vistrons.

The lenses are fully multi-coated, which improves light transmission so you get good clear colours even in low-light conditions. Inside the barrels are dielectrically-coated prisms. Again, this helps to boost light transmission significantly compared to models without such prisms.


While everything we've said above is all well and good, what you really want to know is: what are the Viking Vistron binoculars like to use in practise? To find out, we took them for a spin.

We're delighted to report that the Vistrons are a fantastic pair of binoculars, with performance on a par with models that come in at upwards of £350. The quality of optics really becomes apparent when using them in lower-light conditions. Even budget binoculars will give a halfway decent image on a bright, sunny day, but the Vistrons are something that you can consistently rely on- which is crucial, since you can't always predict the weather!

The Vistrons come in three different models: an 8x32, an 8x42, and a 10x42. Ultimately, your choice really comes down to personal preference. Generally, though, we'd recommend the 8x42 model for general use. The 42mm objective lens lets in a good amount of light to get nice sharp colours, while the 8x magnification makes it easier to track moving objects, such as a bird in flight.

As we mentioned earlier, the ergonomic design of the Vistron makes it extra-comfortable to hold. That's essential if you're going to be using them for extended periods of time. The fact that they are polycarbonate also helps to keep them lightweight, which aids in this as well.

Viking Vistron: The Verdict

In short, the Viking Vistron binoculars are superb pair of binoculars. At this price, they are outstanding value for money, with build and optical quality that easily outperforms more expensive models from better-known brands. It's no wonder that they have hit the top spot on our Best Binoculars for Birdwatching buying guide!