The Carson 3D series high definition waterproof binoculars with ED glass are a top of line binocular series from Carson Optical. There are a couple of different sizes of Carson 3D Binoculars that you can buy; they range from 8x32mm all the way up to 10x50mm.
For this review I am looking specifically at the Carson 3D 10x42mm model, but all the different sizes of Carson 3D ED binoculars are pretty similar, and most of the points brought up in this review will apply to all the different sizes.
Features and Specifications
Before getting into the review, here are some of the features and specifications of the Carson 3D ED 10×42 binoculars:
- Binoculars have a weight of 23.2 ounces
- Fully multi-coated lenses
- 314 foot field of view
- Eye relief at 16mm
- Completely water proof and fog proof
- The binoculars can be easily mounted on a tripod
- ED glass lenses massively reduce chromatic aberration and color fringing
- Precisely placed thumb grooves and a comfortable neck strap make the Binoculars comfortable to use and carry.
What’s to like
There are a lot of things to like about the Carson 3D series of binoculars, Carson has truly produced a very high quality line of binoculars.
First let us go over the optics, obviously the most important thing anyone looks for when buying a pair of binoculars is the optical quality and how well the binoculars you see things at a distance. The lenses of the Carson 3D ED binoculars are made of ED glass; ED stands for “extra low dispersion.”
The main benefit of ED glass is that it drastically reduces chromatic aberration; for those not aware chromatic aberration is when a lens (in either a camera, microscope or binocular) fails to properly focus all colors on the same convergence point. Chromatic aberration results in a blurry image, with a colorful fringe around the image.
If you are using binoculars to do something like bird watching, then you want binoculars that can give you a clear, detailed image quickly, without any blur.
The prisms used by the Carson 3D ED 10×42 binoculars are made of high quality BaK-4 glass (as opposed to the more common BK-7 glass), the prisms are phase corrected and dielectric coated. Your average Carson 3D ED 10×42 review may not explain what these terms mean, so you may be asking “so what?” Well when light goes through a lens, a process known as a “phase shift” occurs, this reduces the sharpness and clarity of the image. The quality prisms used in the Carson 3D binoculars series reduce the “phase shift” effect, which results in a clearer, brighter, and better image.
The body of the binoculars is very well made. Carson has chosen to go for a single bridge design for the binoculars, instead of a hinged design.
The binoculars are very light, but they do not feel cheap at all; often you will find that light binoculars are made from cheap materials and are very breakable, but not these Carson binoculars. All the binoculars in the Carson 3D series high definition waterproof binoculars with ED glass series are very light; the heaviest one being 1.6 pounds and this particular model is only 1.4 pounds.
The frame of the binoculars is covered in a sort of hard rubber armor, which helps make these binoculars very resistant against scratching.
There are also two thumb groves on the rubber armor; these thumb grooves are precisely placed to make it easy for you to hold the binoculars comfortably for long periods of time.
This makes the binoculars perfect for outdoor events like baseball games, bird watching, etc., where you need to hold the binoculars for a long time and there is a risk of them being damaged. Combined with the waterproof body and fog proof lenses, these binoculars are durable and great for outdoor use.
Moving on, Carson’s binoculars come with great protection and carrying equipment. First up is the BinoArmor, this carrying case is lightweight, is closed with magnetic flaps, and provides great protection for the binoculars. And when you want to retrieve the binoculars, you can do it in seconds by simply popping open the flaps.
The case is also silent, with no loud zippers or Velcro straps, which nature watchers will love because it means that you can quickly grab your binoculars without making any loud noises.
There is also the binocular carrying harness that you wear over both shoulders. The binoculars are attached in the harness with plastic clips. The harness is comfortable to wear, and can be easily adjusted by using the 1 inch elastic straps.
Finally, you get a comfortable, synthetic rubber neck strap to attach the binoculars to. The neck strap lets the binoculars hang freely at around waist level.
All in all, the Carson 3D ED 10×42 binoculars are comfortable and easy to use. The quality optics make images sharper and clearer.
What is not to like
There are no real negatives to these Carson binoculars, but there are a few things I found annoying.
First off, there are no Carson made lens covers for these binoculars. This means you have to buy a pair of lens covers separately and make sure they fit the lenses.
The case is far too bulky to keep around your neck for long periods of time, so some lens covers would have been nice. An easy solution is just to buy a pack of Carson’s disposable lens cleaners, but you should not have to buy those, plenty of binoculars come with lens covers; the fact that these binoculars do not, is a major oversight.
The other major annoyance is that there is that the eye relief cups are pretty short and cannot be adjusted. They are good enough for people with glasses, but there are other binoculars that have better eye relief for eyeglass wearers.
But do not take this Carson binoculars review at its word, go out and buy a pair of Carson binoculars for yourself, and see if they work for you.