Solognac Binoculars for Birding: Is It Worth To Buy?

Birdwatching enthusiasts seek quality optics to enhance their birding experience. Solognac offers a compelling option with its binoculars tailored specifically for birding. In this review, I’ll delve into the details, comparing them with other budget-friendly models on the market.

Solognac Binoculars
Image: Decathlon Canada)

During one of my photography and birdwatching trips, I had the opportunity to field test the Solognac binoculars. My first-hand impression was overwhelmingly positive. I found the binoculars easy to handle with a lot of ease and comfort, praising their design, usability, durability, and exceptional quality – all at a highly affordable price point.

What sets the Solognac binoculars apart?

Feel in Hands

When I first got my hands on the Solognac binoculars, I was immediately impressed by their sleek, ergonomic design that fits comfortably in my hands. The rubberized armor provides a secure grip, ensuring stability during prolonged use. Their durable build promises resilience in rugged outdoor conditions, making them ideal for birding and other outdoor adventures across various terrains.

Solognac Binoculars
Image: Decathlon Canada

These binoculars exude a sense of robustness and reliability. The balanced weight distribution makes them easy to hold for extended periods without causing fatigue. The smooth focusing mechanism allows for quick adjustments, ensuring crisp, clear views of distant birds with minimal effort.

Brightness

A lot of birding and using binoculars in general involves looking out or up at something much brighter, like the sky, or darker, such as into a dense thicket. Just as your autofocus camera can’t figure out how to illuminate something against a bright or overcast sky, binoculars may have difficulty mustering the light needed to brighten the distant object you’re trying to identify. Also tough is the inverse of this situation, looking into dark, dense vegetation, a situation in which you need all the light-gathering ability the binoculars can give you. it was almost as if the glaring, whitish background of the sky wasn’t there, and the colors just popped to life.

Focus Adjustment

Another great feature of the Solognac was the ease and precision of adjusting the focus. It smoothly and accurately adjusts across a wide range of focal depths, with just a quick twist to the adjustment rings. With binoculars, you want a happy medium that focuses fast but allows for granular accuracy. And that is what you exactly get with these binoculars. The ease and precision of adjusting the focus impressed me during testing. With smooth adjustments across various focal depths achieved through quick twists of the adjustment rings, you can swiftly attain precise focus without compromising speed or accuracy.

Image Quality

Image Quality is excellent and sighting far away objects and animals is crystal clear even at dusk, by far won my heart, and fell in love with these binoculars. Binoculars are extremely lightweight and compact as described and hence can be taken anywhere at any time. It also comes with a small compact waterproof foam-lined protective carrying case and a neck strap that looks great, feels reliable, and is of high quality.

Portability

Weighing lightly and compactly designed as described by users’ experiences allows for easy transport anywhere at any time. The inclusion of a small waterproof foam-lined protective carrying case adds convenience while ensuring protection during travels. Plus, the neck strap provided enhances portability while exuding reliability and high-quality craftsmanship.

Solognac Binocular Models

While specific models may vary over time due to product updates and releases, here are a few examples of Solognac binocular models that were available on the market:

  1. Solognac 10×50 Binoculars – Porro 100
  2. Solognac 10×42 Binoculars – 500
  3. Solognac 10×32 Binoculars – 500
  4. Solognac 10×42 Binoculars – 100

Comparison of Solognac Binocular Models

Below is a detailed comparison of four Solognac binocular models, highlighting their specifications, features, and suitability for various birdwatching activities.

Model10×50 – Porro 10010×42 – 50010×32 – 50010×42 – 100
Dimensions200x170x65 mm150x130x50 mm122x116x43 mm149x130x50 mm
Exit Pupil5 mm4.2 mm3.2 mm3.4 mm
Relative Brightness2517.610.217.6
Twilight Factor22.3620.517.920.5
Field of View107 m at 1,000 m100 m at 1,000 m102 m at 1,000 m100 m at 1,000 m
Close Focus Distance5 m5 m4 m5 m
Waterproof/FogproofNot watertightNitrogen-filledNitrogen-filledNitrogen-filled
Lens CoatingMulti-coated (MC)Fully multi-coated (FMC)Fully multi-coated (FMC)Multi-coated (MC)
Prism TypeBK7 PrismSilver-coated BaK4Silver-coated BaK4Aluminum-coated BaK4
ChassisReinforced ABS with fiberglassFiberglass-reinforced plasticFiberglass-reinforced plasticFiberglass-reinforced ABS plastic

Which Model Is Best For Birdwatching?

In my opinion, the Solognac 10×42 – 500 binoculars are the best choice for birdwatching among the available Solognac models. They strike an excellent balance between magnification, light transmission, field of view, and portability, making them ideal for birdwatching enthusiasts.

Why I Prefer the Solognac 10×42 – 500 for Birdwatching

Magnification and Objective Lens: The 10x magnification of the Solognac 10×42 – 500 binoculars offers a perfect balance between zoom and field of view, allowing me to spot and track birds with ease. The 42mm objective lens is large enough to let in plenty of light, providing clear and bright images even in varying light conditions.

Solognac Binoculars
Solognac 10×42 – 500 (Image: Decathlon Canada)

Field of View: With a field of view of 100 meters at 1,000 meters, these binoculars offer a broad perspective that makes it easier to locate and follow birds in flight. This wide field of view is particularly beneficial when observing fast-moving or distant birds.

Lens Coating and Prism: The fully multi-coated (FMC) lenses and silver-coated BaK4 prisms ensure high light transmission (78%), excellent contrast, and color fidelity. This level of optical quality is crucial for distinguishing the fine details and vibrant colors of different bird species.

Waterproofing: The nitrogen-filled construction of these binoculars makes them waterproof and fog-proof, which means I can use them in various weather conditions without worrying about performance issues. This durability is essential for birdwatching, where conditions can change quickly.

Portability and Durability: Despite their robust construction, the Solognac 10×42 – 500 binoculars are lightweight and easy to carry. The fiberglass-reinforced plastic chassis provides durability while keeping the weight manageable, making these binoculars perfect for long birdwatching sessions.

Comparison with Other Solognac Models

Solognac 10×50 Porro 100: While the larger exit pupil (5mm) and higher relative brightness (25) make the 10×50 Porro 100 slightly better in low light conditions, its bulkier size and lack of watertight features make it less practical for diverse weather conditions and prolonged use.

Solognac Binoculars
Solognac 10×50 Porro 100 (Image: Decathlon Canada)

Solognac 10×32 – 500: The compact and lightweight design of the 10×32 – 500 makes it highly portable. However, the smaller exit pupil (3.2mm) and lower relative brightness (10.2) limit its performance in low light conditions, such as early morning or late evening, when bird activity is often at its peak.

Solognac Binoculars 10x32
Solognac 10×32 – 500 (Image: Decathlon Canada)

Solognac 10×42 – 100: The 10×42 – 100 model is affordable and versatile for occasional use. However, its lower light transmission (70%) compared to the 10×42 – 500 makes it less effective in dim light conditions, which can be a drawback for serious birdwatchers.

Solognac Binoculars 10x42 100
Solognac 10×42 – 100 (Image: Decathlon Canada)

Pros and Cons of Solognac Binoculars and Comparison With Other Entry-level Binoculars

Solognac 10×50 Porro 100

Pros:

  • Wide Field of View: 107 meters at 1,000 meters, which is excellent for scanning large areas.
  • Good Brightness: High relative brightness (25) and a large exit pupil (5 mm), making it suitable for low light conditions.
  • Affordable: Generally offers good performance for a lower price compared to high-end models.
Solognac Binoculars 10x50

Cons:

  • Not Waterproof: Lack of waterproofing limits usage in wet conditions.
  • Bulkier and Heavier: Larger size makes it less portable for long birdwatching sessions.

Competitor Comparison:

  • Nikon Aculon A211 10×50: Similar in optical performance but often more expensive. However, the Nikon model has better build quality and ergonomic design.
  • Celestron UpClose G2 10×50: Comparable price but better waterproofing and fog-proofing, making it more versatile for outdoor use.

Solognac 10×42 – 500

Pros:

  • Excellent Optical Quality: Fully multi-coated lenses and silver-coated BaK4 prisms provide high light transmission and sharp images.
  • Waterproof and Fog-proof: Nitrogen-filled construction ensures durability in various weather conditions.
  • Good Field of View: 100 meters at 1,000 meters, which is suitable for birdwatching.
Solognac Binoculars 10x42 500

Cons:

  • Moderate Weight: While not overly heavy, there are lighter models available that offer similar performance.

Competitor Comparison:

  • Vortex Diamondback 10×42: Slightly higher price but offers superior build quality, a wider field of view, and a lifetime warranty.
  • Bushnell Legend Ultra HD 10×42: Comparable optical quality and waterproofing but more expensive, with better ergonomics and additional features like ED Prime glass.

Read more about Bushnell Legend Ultra HD 10×42 binoculars in my in-depth review.

Solognac 10×32 – 500

Pros:

  • Compact and Lightweight: Easy to carry and store, ideal for quick birdwatching trips.
  • Good Daytime Performance: Fully multi-coated lenses and BaK4 prisms provide clear and bright images during the day.
  • Waterproof and Fog-proof: Nitrogen-filled for durability in wet conditions.

Cons:

  • Limited Low Light Performance: Smaller exit pupil (3.2 mm) reduces effectiveness in dawn or dusk conditions.
  • Narrower Field of View: 102 meters at 1,000 meters is adequate but not outstanding.

Competitor Comparison:

  • Zeiss Terra ED 10×32: Higher price but offers superior optical performance, better low light capability, and a wider field of view.
  • Leica Ultravid 10×42: Premium build and optical quality with exceptional brightness and clarity, but at a significantly higher cost.

Solognac 10×42 – 100

Pros:

  • Versatile Use: Suitable for various activities beyond birdwatching, such as hiking and safaris.
  • Affordable: Good performance for the price, making it accessible for beginners.
  • Waterproof and Fog-proof: Nitrogen-filled to prevent moisture damage.

Cons:

  • Lower Light Transmission: 70% light transmission is decent but not as high as more premium models.
  • Basic Features: Lacks some of the advanced coatings and prism quality of higher-end models.

Competitor Comparison:

  • Celestron Nature DX 10×42: Similar price range but offers better optical coatings and a wider field of view.
  • Hawke Endurance ED 10×42: Slightly higher cost with enhanced optical quality, better low light performance, and additional ergonomic features.

Read my post about other Entry-level binoculars: Top 10 Affordable Entry-Level Binoculars for Birdwatching: Is it Worth to Buy?

Summary

  • Solognac 10×50 Porro 500: Good brightness and field of view but bulkier and not waterproof. Competes well with Nikon Aculon A211 and Celestron UpClose G2.
  • Solognac 10×42 – 500: Excellent optical quality, waterproof, and versatile. Competes with Vortex Diamondback and Bushnell Legend Ultra HD.
  • Solognac 10×32 – 500: Compact and suitable for daytime use but limited in low light. Competes with Zeiss Terra ED and Leica Ultravid.
  • Solognac 10×42 – 100: Versatile and affordable but lower light transmission. Competes with Celestron Nature DX and Hawke Endurance ED.

Each Solognac model offers unique advantages at competitive prices, making them strong contenders in the birdwatching binocular market.

Price and Quality

Solognac binoculars offer a balance of affordability and quality. With a price range typically between $80 to $180, they provide excellent value for money compared to higher-priced competitors like Vanguard and Nikon. While they may not have all the advanced features of premium brands, their solid construction and reliable performance make them a worthy investment for birdwatchers of all levels.

Where to Buy

You can purchase Solognac binoculars from various retailers, including outdoor specialty stores, sporting goods stores, and online marketplaces such as Decathlon, or directly from the Solognac website.

Overall Opinion

The Solognac binoculars offer a range of options that cater to different preferences and use cases. The Solognac 10×42 – 500 is the most well-rounded choice for birdwatching due to its optimal combination of magnification, light transmission, field of view, and durability. Its fully multi-coated lenses and silver-coated BaK4 prisms ensure excellent image quality with high contrast and color fidelity. The waterproof and fog-proof features make it reliable in various weather conditions, while its manageable weight and size add to its convenience for extended use.

Solognac binoculars

Comparing it to other Solognac models:

  • The 10×50 Porro 500 offers great brightness but is bulkier and not waterproof.
  • The 10×32 – 500 is highly portable but less effective in low light.
  • The 10×42 – 100 is versatile and affordable but has lower light transmission.

For birdwatching enthusiasts looking for a reliable, high-quality, and versatile pair of binoculars, the Solognac 10×42 – 500 is an excellent choice.

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