The Forge binoculars were soooo much sharper, more contrasty and clear. Phil and his partner Marg do a lot of birdwatching and the binos are actually Marg's but they find their way to my place when Phil comes for a visit. Comparing those to the Hoffers showed just how old the acromatic optical design was. Thanks Phil
I considered buying a pair of Forge's or even the next model down, the Bushnell Edge. I also looked at some bigger, Pentax and GPO binoculars. But given my much lower level of use, I didn't want to outlay around $800 for a pair of the Forge binos or $1400 for the Pentax or GPO's.
I recently settled on and bought a pair of S.V. Bony 202 10x42 ED binoculars 2nd hand for AUD95 (USD60). Here's a link to the new model on Amazon:-
https://www.amazon.com.au/SVBONY-Waterp ... B07XSH4ZJN
The lens and eyepiece covers stay with the binoculars making them easy to keep and use. Using the covers, stops the lenses fogging up during the evening. The clever retainer straps prevent them being lost or dropped on the ground.
My purchase was influenced by this review which rates the binoculars very highly:
https://neilenglish.net/product-review- ... 02-8-x-42/
The pair I received are possibly sub-par to those in the review although with my eyesight having some astigmatism, I can't be sure. Like the author I find the views sharp and contrasty in the centre 70% of the 7.5 degree field with the image gradually falling out of focus in the outer 30%. Nonetheless, that's a perfectly acceptable 5 degree wide sharp
Jupiter appears as a clear disk with Galilean satellites visible. The Moon is clear, sharp and crater detail clear. A tiny bit of blue(left) yellow(right) fringing is visible but minor and not objectionable. Deep sky objects show up against dark sky and stars are sharp.
They are solidly made, waterproof and very good value for money. I suspect you could spend a lot more for not much improvement in image quality.
Since receiving the binoculars, I have not had an opportunity to compare them with @scribbly's Forge binoculars. I don't think they compete with the Forge but at 1/4 the price they may make an excellent all purpose pair to suit the budget conscious buyer. They also make a 50mm binocular in the same series which I have not looked through but if the 42mm's are any guide should also be a very good buy. The GPO 10x56mm binoculars I looked at (during daytime) in the shop gave a superb image of a point specular reflection of the sun but cost 7x more.