Model reviewed: Cambridge Optics Co Pro 8x34
Price as reviewed: £99
Cambridge Optics are one of Europe's biggest magnifier companies. They have taken this expertise and branched out into binoculars and their first effort is the Co Pro 8x34. Cambridge Optics are a UK based, family run company and every item they produce is of the highest quality.
The Co Pro 8x34 is strikingly light and comfortable in the hand. Its open bridge design is perfect for holding the binocular comfortably with one hand, ideal for dog walkers and hikers. The rubber armouring is grippy and the rubber eyecups are comfortable to use with a long eye relief meaning that most people will find these binoculars very easy to use. We have found that users that have struggled in the past with using binoculars were able to easily use this binocular when invited to test it.
Focusing is smooth and consistent and an accurate focus is easily obtained. You won't find the highly dampened focus mechanism of a Zeiss or Leica but this is a £99 binocular.
The design is minimalist with a matt grey design and just the Co Pro logo standing out on an otherwise neutral binocular, as is typical at this price point.
It is reasonble to expect a £99 binocular to be useable but not spectacular. The Co Pro 8x34 is certainly at the top of the tree when compared to other binoculars at this price point. The image on first viewing is sharp right across the field of view and as mentioned before obtaining a sharp image is very easy. Contrast is also spot on and they are also very colour neutral. Despite the low price the image is also bright and crisp and makes this binocular a very pleasing binocular to use. Obviously you won't expect to be blown away at this price but overall the Co Pro is a very pleasing and comfortable binocular to use.
The only real negative is that perhaps the close focusing could be a bit better compared to rivals.
For a first attempt the Co Pro 8x34 is a solid effort from Cambridge Optics. The open bridge design is a very nice touch and has clearly been thought about with user comfort in mind. Likewise the excellent eye relief means that the majortiy of users will find this a very comfortable and easy to use binocular.
The Co Pro 8x34 ticks almost every box for a £99 binocular and represents excellent value for money. It rivals best in class in every area except for the close focusing which could have been better.
Overal though this is a highly recommened binocular.