West Marine Antigua 7×50 Waterproof Binoculars Review
"A high quality pair of binoculars at a reasonable price…" This is a product review for the new Antigua binoculars from West Marine. The Antigua 7×50 binocular is a new addition to the West Marine selection of waterproof binoculars and is at the higher and of their line designed specifically for boaters.
The Antigua 7×50 binoculars offers very high quality optics, easy to use center focus, is fully waterproof and includes a built in bearing compass. The Antigua also features twist-up eye cups for use with or without eye glasses and have a very compact design. The Antigua 7×50 binocular is similar to the West Marine Aruba 7×50 binocular but with the addition of the bearing compass. As with other West Marine binoculars, the Antigua 7×50 offers a great value (they are listed at West Marine for ~$350) for the quality and feature set relative to other similar quality 7×50 marine binoculars.
A 7×50 binocular is great for use on the water because it offers an excellent balance of magnification and brightness in low light. The 7×50 marine binocular also accommodates a boat use with movement caused by waves and weather. The 7 in the 7×50, refers to the magnification. With the Antigua binoculars, the image is magnified 7x which is the practical magnification limit for small boat with pitching and rocking. Greater magnification reduces brightness and makes it difficult to view the object from the moving surface of a boat.
The larger the binocular objective lens size is the more light is gathered and the brighter images are. The 50 (in the 7×50) refers to the diameter of the objective lens (the larger lens). A 50mm objective lens is particularly useful on a boat in low light conditions such at night, dawn, dusk or in the fog.
The optical quality of the Antigua 7×50 binoculars are outstanding. Images are clear, sharp and bright. The lenses are fully coated and the Antigua has BAK-4 Porro prisms. BAK-4 use a denser, finer barium crown glass, which more effectively prevents internal light from scattering and produces sharper images than BK-7. With fully coated lenses all air-to-glass surfaces are single-layer coated. This helps to ensure that internal reflection is reduced to create a clearer and brighter image.
Waterproof & Rugged:
The Antigua 7×50 binocular from West Marine is Nitrogen gas filled to prevent fogging as a result of rain, spray or high humidity. The Antigua binocular is also very rugged, with a rubber-coated and shock-resistant body to stand up to the demands of use on a boat.
Rangefinder & Bearing Compass:
The West Marine Antigua’s internal rangefinder scale and LED illuminated compass let you easily determine the distance or size of objects, as well as their magnetic bearing.
The Antigua 7×50 marine binocular has a center focus which makes this binocular easy to focus and adjust with one hand. All of the focusing happens internally which makes for a more compact binocular. The center focus is convenient in a marine binocular where you often need one for the boat or wheel. Marine Product Reviews likes the convenience of center focus binoculars as a significant benefit. The twist up eye pieces also move independently to adjust for use with or without eye glasses.
It was tough to find any weaknesses with these binoculars given their quality and price point. The only thing that we could find was the objective lens covers are attached and may flop around a bit while you are using them. Minor, but worth pointing out so you get the full story before buying.
Antigua 7×50 waterproof binocular review summary:
We feel that the Antigua provides the quality and features of marine binoculars that are a few hundred dollars more expensive. The most notable considerations of the Antigua 7×50 are:
- Quality optics: Fully coated lenses with BAK-4 Porro prisms
- Waterproof/nitrogen filled
- Compact design
- Twist in eye cups
- Bearing compass (LED lit) and range finder
West Marine Antigua Features Summary:
Below is the summary of the Antigua 7×50 marine binoculars from the West Marine website: Antigua’s internal rangefinder scale and illuminated compass let you easily determine the distance or size of objects, as well as their direction. Their compact, all-weather design is great for boating and outdoor activities. High-index BaK-4 prisms produce a sharp images for detailed viewing. Nitrogen gas filled to prevent fogging in rainstorms or high humidity. Rugged, rubber-coated and shock-resistant body.
- Focus: Internal Center
- Waterproof: Yes
- Prism Type: BAK-4 Porro
- Field of View: 342' @ 1000yds
- Eye Relief: 27.4mm
- Compass: Yes
- Rangefinder Reticle: Yes
- Weight: 30oz.
- Warranty: Limited lifetime
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