Kahles 10x42 Binoculars Review - 2

Green doesn’t quite describe the color of the rubber armor. Kahles calls it Loden, which is a traditional Austrian green similar to a military olive drab and provides an extremely nice contrast to the numerous black binoculars flooding the market. The texture over most of the binocular is that of fine grained leather with the palm swells being given a slightly rougher texture for a better grip. Three raised ridges are situated on the top and each side of the binocular hinge, providing additional gripping surfaces. The touch and feel of the rubber armor applied to a binocular can be a quality that is difficult to explain, but one that speaks through the hand-binocular interface when handled. The Kahles binocular exudes a high quality feel to the armor which is something immediately known to even the most persnickety binocular enthusiasts.


Non-eyeglass wearers will immediately notice the buttery smooth operation of the twist up eye cups. These eye cups glide outward into position and secure with a simple click which is both positive but subtle. While many binocular manufacturers utilize certain cost saving materials to construct their products, the Kahles eye cups have an all metal construction with a rubber covering for comfort. The metal construction ensures the eye cups will provide a lifetime of service even for future generations. Alternate eye cup coverings with little side wings are included with the binoculars to help block out glare from the side. When in place, the alternate coverings keep the eye cups in their outermost position for non-eyeglass wearers and help keep dirt and debris out of the mechanism. I felt these were a very nice addition and I would immediately have these in place if this was my personal binocular.

Correct diopter setting is accomplished by turning the adjustment which is located just forward of the right eyepiece and has the same knurled style molding as the focus wheel. Total diopter range is +2.0 to -3.5 which should be suitable for nearly anybody to achieve a perfectly focused view through both eyes. The focus wheel is also covered with rubber armor and has a coarsely knurled type molding. The covering provides adequate friction for making focusing adjustments whether the binocular or fingertips are cold, wet, or bundled up in warm gloves. The focusing wheel is a bit on the stiff side however, but does seem to lighten up with repeated use. It is very smooth throughout the entire range of adjustment, which takes approximately 1.25 turns to focus from 8.2 feet to infinity.


Ready for a weekend backpack hunt.

Optically, this binocular is the best I have used to date. Previous binoculars I have used throughout my lifetime include nearly every big name brand, although not every offering from them. While scrutinizing the Kahles offering, I compared them to several other 10X42 binoculars I had on hand as well as 10X45 and 10X50 binoculars of European manufacture, with prices of all ranging from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand. The Kahles binocular went toe to toe with other more expensive European optics and was easily optically superior to the less expensive models, as should be expected. The clarity and resolution of the Kahles 10X42 was nearly indistinguishable from a coworker’s Swarovski SLC 10X42. Being the fortunate individuals we are, living in Montana, we were blessed with a bright day and views to the mountains several miles distant. We had to spend significant time swapping back and forth between these two to discern a difference. This is a huge accomplishment given that the Swarovski brand is one of the most highly regarded binoculars on the planet. My friend was absolutely blown away by the performance differential between the Kahles and Swarovski given the significant price difference. There is a distinct “bang for the buck” if you will with the Kahles 10X42 binocular.


Most of the comparison binoculars with the Kahles out front.

Of most significant concern to those spending their living glassing for game or birds is eye strain, which I didn’t experience any of after an entire day of utilizing the Kahles binocular. I can’t say the same for other brands I have used, however, which have cost the same or even more. The view through the Kahles is very comfortable for extended use.

If you are a typical hunter or just spend significant time looking through your binocular, you should take a serious look at the offerings from Kahles. You will be purchasing a binocular that is designed and built by a well-established and mature optics manufacturer. Kahles binoculars have the features, handling characteristics, and optical properties of the finest binoculars. Thank me later when you realize you can spend more time in the glass, locate animals easier, and enjoy your hobby to a greater level because of the high quality binoculars manufactured by Kahles.
For further information on the Kahles brand, visit http://www.kahles.at/usa/ or you may contact HPS LLC at 208-476-0600 or [email protected].

Nicholas Gebhardt has been an active hunter primarily pursuing mule deer, antelope, coyotes and prairie dogs since he was old enough to legally hunt. Nicholas is a precision rifle competitor and uses the knowledge he gains from competition shooting to aid in his ethical taking of game in the field under most any condition. He enjoys custom rifles and is usually in some form or another of either planning or building the next one. Nicholas earned his B.S. in Wildlife Biology from the University of Montana and is a Captain in the Montana National Guard.