Earlier this year I had a high speed come apart, hissy fit and flung yet another set of binoculars into a strip pit. I have never been able to see out of binoculars. Never, ever. It’s always been a trial – glasses on – can’t see a thing… glasses off – nothing is right or sharp. I’ve tried virtually every brand and style out there, and nothing ever worked with my seriously disturbed vision. Thanks to poor genetics, heavy steroid use, multiple surgeries and damage from the Multiple Sclerosis, I have an eyeglass prescription that makes most optometrists look twice and ask “Are you sure this is correct? This is a very odd prescription.”
Yes – it’s correct. And yes it’s trial, and yes, I am a four eyed monster, with coke bottle lenses and no hope of ever wearing contacts.
No hope of ever having a set of binoculars that I could ever use either. Or so I thought until I reached out to Alpen Optics.
When my frustration came to head earlier this year during a shed hunting excursion, I contacted Vickie Gardner, VP of Stuff at Alpen Optics and fellow Prois Hunting and Field Apparel staffer. (Don’t you just love that title – “VP of Stuff” – sounds like my kind of executive)
I explained to Vickie what a terrible time I was having. I asked her if there was any hope of ever finding a set of binos that would work with my visual issues. Vickie was more than helpful. Not only did she explain why so many people who wear eyeglasses have issues with binoculars, she had a fix for me.
Vickie explained all about eye relief; which in her expert opinion was a large part of the issue.
Eye relief is how far back from the eyepiece your eye can be and still see the whole field of view. It is the most important consideration for eyeglass wearers, because well, simply put, eyeglasses keep your eyes back from the eyepieces. If the distance to your eyes is greater than the binoculars’ eye relief, you will see only the center part of the image. It didn’t matter how well made, how expensive, the binos I used before were – if the eye relief was too short (which indeed it always had been) It would be like looking through a hole in a fence, (which again, indeed it always had been).
Vickie also explained that normally eye relief for binoculars ranges from 9 to 13 mm. And while many binos offer eyecups that fold down to let glasses wearers get closer, in most cases, it’s not close enough.
Vickie suggested that I try Alpen’s Apex XP 693 – as it had a whopping eye relief of 20mm. Next thing I knew, thanks to Vickie and Alpen’s generosity a brand new pair of the Apex XP 693’s was on my doorstep.
Alpen Apex XP 693
Having heard the rumors about some of my messier outdoor adventures and propensity for not having enough sense to come in from the rain and other harsh outdoor elements, Vickie’s recommendation of the Apex XP “Xtreme Performance” series that provides extreme durability and performance in all weather and outdoor conditions couldn’t have been a better choice.
I hurriedly tore open the box unable to wait to give them a try. The Apex XP 693’s came packed with a sturdy and protective carrying case, a very comfortable, wide padded neck strap, twist lock eye cups, rubber rain guards, Alpen’s No Fault Lifetime Warranty, and a thoughtfully included CD with detailed instructions for setting the binoculars focus.
Alpen’s Apex XP “XTREME PERFORMANCE” binoculars feature an improved and redesigned twist up eye piece system and prism housing for superior durability and performance in all weather and outdoor conditions, no matter how severe. Replacing Alpen’s popular Apex binocular series, XP binoculars define the best in optical quality with fully multi-coated BAK4 optical design, PXA phase coating and HR metallic coating to deliver a crisp bright image even in dim light and ergonomic no slip rubber design for better handling.
After following the instructions provided for setting the focus I was instantly amazed. I could see! I could see clearly, brightly, and oh my gosh would you look at the robin in the tree busily working away at her nest!
The Alpen Apex XP 693 also offers super close focusing (5ft) enabling me to get a very up close and personal view of butterfly that was resting on the porch rail.
I was in optical heaven. Finally I had in my hands a set of binos that worked for me. To say that they were all but surgically attached the first week that I had them is an understatement. I found that true to its word, Alpen’s PXA phase coating and HR metallic coating delivered an incredibly crisp and bright image even in the dim lighting at dawn and dusk.
The ergonomic design and no slip rubber coating helped to insure that fumble fingers didn’t drop them; even with hands that were wet from handling training bumpers during a water retrieve training session with the dogs.
With a feature list like this – I cannot recommend these binoculars enough; especially for anyone who wears eyeglasses and has struggled with finding binoculars that offer exceptional viewing despite wearing glasses.
Alpen Apex XPTM Binocular Features:
• Apex Zoom’s individual zoom eye piece design provides 8x to 16x magnification options
• BAK4 glass for clear, bright, high resolution images
• Fully multi-coated for maximum brightness
• PXA™ phase coating for superior resolution and color fidelity
• HR™ metallic prism coating for enhanced light transmission and brightness
• Waterproof, sealed and nitrogen filled
• Super close focus on selected models
• Twist lock eye cups
• Lightweight, ergonomic styling, roof prism design
• Rubber armoring for comfort, protection and durability
• Soft rubber rain guard
• Deluxe travel case and wide comfortable neck strap
• ALPEN’s No-Fault Lifetime Warranty
My Alpen Apex XP 693’s are now my constant companion and part of my “go everywhere I go backpack” of outdoor gear. I can’t thank Alpen and Vickie Gardner, enough for making a binocular that opens a whole new world of outdoor enjoyment to those of us with visual issues.
Five stars plus for Alpen!
Just a little about Alpen and their fine company;
Alpen Optics has won 6 Great Buy Awards as seen in Outdoor Life magazine—more than any other optics company - EVER.
Alpen’s objective is to provide superior quality optical products at affordable prices while providing features and benefits normally found only on products priced much higher. Alpen offers more than 70 products and accessories, and all are backed up by a no-fault lifetime factory warranty.
Alpen Optics is a proud supporter of the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) and the National Rifle Association (NRA) Women’s Wilderness Escape (WWE). Alpen Optics is a six time winner of Outdoor Life Magazine’s Great Buy Award for their spotting scopes and binoculars and winner of the Field and Stream Magazine’s Best of the Test Award for the Model 711, 20x50 Compact Spotting Scope.
For more information about Alpen Optics, visit www.alpenoptics.com or call 877-987-8370.