Athlon may not be as big of a name in the sporting optics world as Bushnell or Nikon, but that certainly doesn’t mean their products aren’t worth considering for sportsmen. This particular model, the Talos 10x50mm binocular, is a great pair of binoculars for a variety of purposes.
Binos with a 50mm objective lens are designed to gather maximum amounts of light, and are ideal for use in low light conditions. While they are heavier to carry than the more common 42mm lenses, for many the trade off is very well worth it.
The packaging is fairly standard for binoculars in this range. The soft case isn’t the best I’ve seen, but also is far from the worst. The included neck strap does have some very nice padding, better than most similar binoculars, which will definitely be needed for carrying a pair with heavy 50mm lenses. As far as the lens caps, the objective side cap attaches to the binoculars themselves and the eye piece side can attach to the neck strap. They are of a similar design and quality to virtually every pair of binos in any price range. However, the occular side caps seemed to be poorly fit. Even the lightest touch immediately pulls them off of the lenses, making them pretty worthless for field use. Even pulling the binoculars out of their case immediately ripped the caps right off, offering little protection.
I field tested these binoculars at the same time that I tested Athlon’s higher end Cronus, comparing both pairs to mid range pairs from Nikon and Bushnell. Of the various binos I compared, the Talos was the most affordable.
I was impressed with the general build quality of the Talos. While most pairs in the sub $200 pricing level tend to be of mixed quality workmanship, the Talos seemed very solidly built. As a back country hunter, I’ve seen binoculars take some pretty significant falls before, and I got the sense that the Talos could the handle the punishment as well as anything I’ve seen.
While I was impressed with the build quality, I wasn’t blown away by the optics. I wouldn’t call them bad, but the image quality definitely left something to be desired. It probably didn’t help that I was comparing them to pairs that are more expensive, but if optical clarity and sharpness are your primary concerns these probably aren’t for you. The field of view is also not particularly great for a 10 power pair of binoculars, though not the worst I’ve seen.
Here’s a quick run down of the pros and cons of these binoculars:
- Large 50mm objective lenses gather a ton of light.
- Grip on the side of the casing of the binoculars makes them easy to hold onto, prevents any slipping.
- Build quality appears to be much higher than normal for this price range.
- Glass leaves much to be desired.
- Objective side lens caps are essentially worthless.
In the end, I would recommend these binoculars to someone who specifically wants 50mm objective lenses and is on a strict sub $200 budget. In that price range, I can’t think of any 10x50s that will serve you better. With that said, I think you can find much better glass if you are willing to spend a little bit more money.