HomeWildlifeGerman Precision Optics (GPO) Ardour HD 10×42 Binocular Evaluation

German Precision Optics (GPO) Ardour HD 10×42 Binocular Evaluation

Execs: Premium high quality construct and high-end options mixed with excellent optics at a lower cost level than most high binocular manufacturers. Picture is pin sharp and contrasty throughout the vast subject of view, and colors pop, but nonetheless seem pure and impartial, with no apparent color solid.

Cons: Feels just a little on the big/lengthy facet for a x42 binocular. When set for my eyes, the width of the barrels meant there merely wasn’t house between them for my fingers to get a real wrap-around grip (this received’t be a difficulty in case you have a wider IPD (inter-pupillary distance) setting). In some conditions the picture appeared just a little too contrasty to my eyes, feeling just a little unnatural.

Worth: €1,084.00

Score: Extremely Advisable

Try the Ardour HD 10×42 on the German Precision Optics web site.

GPO was established in 2015 with one objective: to create a variety of premium, German designed optics that might rival one of the best available on the market, however at a considerably lower cost level. With their flagship Ardour HD they arrive terribly near attaining that. If the present posse of top-tier devices from Swarovski, Leica and Zeiss has an edge, it truly is a really slender one. When you think about you will get your fingers on a pair of Ardour HD for a couple of third of the worth of a kind of Alpha flagships, that’s a really compelling proposition.

Try the Ardour HD on the GPO Web site

Purchase the GPO Ardour HD on Amazon:

GPO Ardour HD 10×42 Full Evaluation

GPO Passion HD 10x42 binocular review by Ireland's Wildlife

I first heard of German Precision Optics (GPO) some 5 – 6 years in the past, when a former contact at Meopta went to work with them. Arrange by the previous CEO of Zeiss, who recruited a workforce of executives from different main European optics producers, the objective was easy: to develop a variety {of professional} stage optics that will match the capabilities of the market leaders, however at a extra reasonably priced worth level, basically providing shoppers worth, with out compromise.

The Ardour HD is the end result of that mission. Designed in Germany, and manufactured to exacting requirements in Japan, each pair of Ardour HD binoculars return to Germany for stringent high quality checks earlier than transport to retailers and/or clients. They promise so much, so I used to be delighted to place a pair by its paces right here on Eire’s South Coast.

First Impressions

The GPO Ardour HD is available in a really glossy matt black field with gold brand and lettering, echoing the branding on the binocular it accommodates. The packaging is elegant, understated, and hints on the premium nature of what’s inside.

If you first decide up the GPO Ardour HD there’s no getting round the truth that it is a substantial binocular. It feels massive within the hand, and whereas not overly heavy for a ten×42 premium binocular, it has the heft of a top quality instrument to it. Like cellphones, excessive finish optics right this moment appear to be getting longer with every iteration. The Ardour HD, just like the Leica Noctivid, Zeiss Victory and Swarovski NL, follows that design development.

That’s not essentially a foul factor, and the Ardour HD feels snug and nicely balanced, however as somebody who tends to desire extra compact binoculars, I couldn’t shake the sensation that it appears a bit on the large facet.

Steadiness, Dealing with and Construct High quality

GPO Passion HD 10x42 Binocular Review balance, handling and build quality.

Though undoubtedly a big binocular, the Ardour HD 10×42 feels snug within the hand, and under no circumstances cumbersome to hold or, crucially, to look by for prolonged intervals within the subject. That’s largely right down to glorious steadiness and weight distribution, and the very good padded neoprene neck-strap included within the field helps.

A neat, slender hinge set excessive on the binocular leaves a wholesome portion of the elongated barrels uncovered so that you can maintain on to. One factor value noting right here although: relying in your interpupillary distance (the hole between your eyes) and the scale of your fingers, there is probably not room between the barrels to afford the complete wrap-around grip you may anticipate.

For me, with the barrels set the right distance aside for my eyes, my fingers couldn’t wrap across the barrels comfortably. I ended up with both a semi-wrap grip, or, extra typically, with my fingers spanning the hole between the barrels slightly than wrapping round them. It’s probably not a difficulty, and doesn’t have an effect on use of the binocular, however is one thing it’s your decision to concentrate on.

Construct high quality on the Ardour HD is high drawer. The magnesium alloy housing is roofed in a tough rubber armour that manages to be each easy but grippy on the identical time (a intelligent trick). Nicely positioned thumb indents on the underside assist information your fingers to the correct place, and refined texturing on outer edges of the armour helps additional with the grip, making it unlikely you’ll unintentionally drop the binocular. And even in case you did, the Ardour HD feels so stable and reassuringly sturdy that it could doubtless come by the ordeal unscathed.

Mechanically all the things from the graceful resistance of the central hinge, to the precision motion of the focusing wheel and built-in dioptre adjustment, to the satisfying clunk of the twist up eyecups is testomony to the standard and a spotlight to element that’s gone into the manufacturing course of.

The Ardour HD is as nicely made as any binocular I’ve ever picked up.

Focus & Dioptre Adjustment

GPO Passion HD 10x42 Review Focussing and Dioptre Adjustment

The metallic central focusing wheel on the GPO Ardour HD is positioned within the normal spot simply above the slender central hinge. It’s massive and nicely positioned, so your index finger naturally rests on it if you maintain the binocular. Additionally it is lined with a knurled rubber coating — giving loads of grip. The scale and grip of the focusing wheel means it could be straightforward to make use of even when sporting thick gloves, which is all the time a plus. The motion is comparatively stiff, however very easy, with no play, taking you from a detailed focus of simply over 2m to infininity in round one-and-a-half anticlockwise turns. Within the subject discovering focus is fast and simple, and the picture snaps satisfyingly into pin-sharp focus with out the necessity to dial the main target knob forwards and backwards to fantastic tune issues.

Like some top-tier binocular manufacturers, the locking dioptre adjustment on the Ardour HD is built-in into the central focusing wheel. You merely pull out the wheel to disclose the diopter scale, and switch to regulate through particular person click on stops. When it’s set, you pop the main target wheel again once more and your setting is locked in.

Eye Cups and Eye Aid

The twist up eyecups on the Ardour HD are metallic, and provide three positions — absolutely down, absolutely up and one intermediate place. The highest of the eyecups is coated in an identical rubber to the armour, which, whereas it’s fairly laborious, proves fairly snug if you maintain the binocular as much as your eyes.

So far as I might inform (and I wasn’t about to pressure the pattern I had on mortgage) the eyecups don’t appear to screw off, which has turn out to be one thing of a typical with excessive finish modern binoculars. That’s a disgrace, because the overwhelming majority of guarantee claims and repair requests for binoculars relate to damaged eyecups. With the ability to unscrew and change one your self, slightly than having to ship the entire instrument again to the restore centre, is an actual boon. Nonetheless, the eyecups on the GPO Ardour HD are extraordinarily nicely made, and twist up and down into every place with a satisfying clunk. They don’t really feel like they’d be susceptible to failure.

Specified eye aid is 17mm which is nice for a 10x binocular, and will afford most spectacle-wearers the complete subject of view when utilizing the binocular with their glasses on.


It nearly goes with out saying that any binocular at this stage goes to be absolutely sealed and weatherproof, and purged with inert fuel to stop inside fogging and condensation. In fact, the Ardour HD isn’t any exception, and can show impervious to the worst the Irish climate can throw at it, in addition to stopping the ingress of mud or some other small particles into the optical system.

Optical Efficiency

GPO Passion HD 10x42 Binocular Review by Ireland's Wildlife: Optical Performance

Now down to the actual crux of this evaluation. With a acknowledged goal of taking over the acknowledged Alpha manufacturers, might the GPO Ardour HD ship the place it actually mattered: the view by them.

Picture High quality and Subject of View

I used to be absolutely anticipating the view by the Ardour HD to be good. I wasn’t fairly anticipating it to be up there with a number of the finest binoculars I’ve ever appeared by. And but, that’s the place I discovered myself after I first raised the binocular to my eyes. Every part simply pops with element, and there’s a depth to the picture that offers it a 3D really feel paying homage to high-quality porro-prisms.

The picture is brilliant, vivid and contrasty with pure, impartial colors. It’s tack sharp from the centre, and I struggled to see any softening all the best way out to the sting of the respectable 112m/1000m subject of view. Maybe a smidgin, proper out on the edge. That subject of view isn’t fairly class-leading: it’s eclipsed by the likes of Swarovski’s 10×42 NL Pure, or the ten×42 Zeiss Victory SF‘s 120m/1000m — however remains to be lots vast for a ten×42 binocular.

Often i discovered myself questioning if GPO had over-egged the distinction. Every so often, it simply felt like there was an excessive amount of distinction within the picture, making it really feel just a little unnatural. It wasn’t all the time obvious, and I couldn’t even say I all the time observed it in sure lighting or specific environmental circumstances. Simply that typically it’s there.

All in all, although, the GPO Ardour HD delivers a picture that may rival a number of the finest binoculars on the market.

Color Constancy, Distinction and Chromatic Aberration

Color is all the time subjective, however I discovered the Ardour HD delivered vibrant, pure wanting colors with none discernable color solid. The standard of the optical parts, the coatings and the usage of HD lens components within the optical design virtually remove color fringing (chromatic aberration) within the Ardour HD. I struggled to induce any color fringing even when viewing actually high-contrast topics (silhouetted starlings o phone wires in opposition to a brilliant overcast sky, for instance). Within the centre of the sphere, it was not possible to induce any, no matter how laborious I attempted. By placing the topic proper on the periphery of the sphere in very difficult gentle, you can also make out the faintest trace of color fringing, but it surely was nonetheless minimal, by no means encroached on the standard of the picture throughout regular subject use.

Suffice it to say that the GPO Ardour HD controls chromatic aberration in addition to or higher than any binocular I’ve examined.

Low Gentle Efficiency and Coatings

All air to glass surfaces on the GPO Ardour HD are fully-multi-coated with the corporate’s proprietary suite of high-transmission, anti-reflective coatings to maximise gentle transmission by the instrument, forestall stray gentle and glare and ship the best high quality picture to the tip person. Additionally they function a protecting hydrophobic coating on the outer lens floor (dubbed PASSIONDrop by the producer) which repels water and grime, defending the fragile coatings beneath. These powerful protecting outer coatings have gotten normal on higher-end binoculars, and imply you usually want to scrub your lenses much less typically, and so they require a lot much less effort to scrub if you do.

Sporting a lightweight transmission score in daylight of 92%, in accordance with producer figures, the picture delivered stays brilliant nicely into twilight, pulling loads of element out of the shadows as the sunshine fades. It’s not fairly the brightest 10×42 binocular I’ve used, but it surely comes remarkably shut, and is a superb all-round performer in low-light conditions.

In keeping with GPO their “state-of-the-art multi-layer coatings creates optical excellence in transmission, subject of view, edge-to-edge sharpness, shut focus and shade copy”. Based mostly on a major period of time utilizing the binocular, it’s laborious to argue with something in that assertion.


GPO Passion HD 10x42 Binocular Review by Ireland's Wildlife: Accessories

The Ardour HD comes with the standard assortment of equipment you’d anticipate with a premium optical instrument.

Within the field you’ll discover a high-quality semi-hard case (which, like all binocular instances that cross my path, stays unused and nonetheless within the field. Why would you set binoculars in a case that will get in the best way and means you miss what you wish to take a look at most of the time?). It’s a beautiful case although, to be honest.

The included neoprene neck-strap is vast, nicely padded and intensely comfortably — it’s the most effective high quality straps I’ve seen, and does an excellent job of creating the fairly cumbersome Ardour HD snug to hold within the subject. As you’d anticipate, there are additionally the standard lens covers: a rain-guard you could connect to the strap to guard the eyepieces from rain, meals crumbs and different particles (a necessary little bit of package), and goal lens covers. In contrast to most tethered goal covers, which connect individually to the tip of every barell, GPO have gone for a single cowl, hinged within the center, that covers each aims which could be tethered to the strap attachment lugs with the included lanyard. Nonetheless, I think having this cowl swinging unfastened beneath your binoculars could be fairly irritating within the subject.

It’s irrelevant anyway, as after I get a pair of binoculars, I take away the target covers, throw them into the case and promptly neglect about them. They might have some benefit in case you’re planning to retailer your binoculars for lengthy intervals. In the event you’re utilizing your binoculars recurrently although, goal covers simply get in the best way.

Additionally value a point out is the included microfibre cleansing fabric. It’s a premium high quality fabric and comes sewn in to its personal little neoprene case with a lanyard and clip. It’s a novel method to all the time having a cleansing fabric with you, nevertheless, once more, I’d be reluctant to connect it to the binocular or strap as having peripherals swinging within the wind is the very last thing you need if you’re watching wildlife.


GPO present a 10-year guarantee with the Ardour HD — which is nice, and on a par or higher than the top-tier binocular manufacturers, however falls in need of the spectacular lifetime limitless warranties supplied by up-and-coming manufacturers like Hawke, Vortex and others.

Full particulars of the guarantee on the GPO Web site right here.


The GPO Ardour HD is a really completed binocular that may, in lots of areas, match one of the best binoculars from broadly acknowledged market leaders. That’s fairly an accolade for an organization that was solely established in 2015. What’s much more exceptional is that they handle to take action at a worth level that’s two-and-a-half to a few occasions cheaper than the top-brand’s flagship choices.

Are they pretty much as good as these flagship fashions? That’s a subjective query, however primarily based on what I’ve seen the reply is sure, in some areas, actually, in others maybe not fairly — however on steadiness they’re undoubtedly up there.

If you’d like the kudos and pedigree some affiliate with the top-tier manufacturers, and are ready to pay for that status, which may sway your resolution. Nonetheless, in case you’re in search of distinctive efficiency and worth, with little if any compromise, the Ardour HD from German Precision Optics will tick quite a lot of the correct bins for you.

Try the Ardour HD on the GPO Web site

Purchase the GPO Ardour HD on Amazon:

Technical Specs

Taken from the GPO web site:

Prism kind . Schmidt-Pechan
Magnification . 10x
Subject of view (FOV) at 1.000y . 336
Subject of view (FOV) at 1.000m . 112
Goal diameter (mm) Efficient diameter 42
Ocular diameter (mm) Efficient diameter 24,2
Exit pupil diameter (mm) Measurement of the pupilary ocular beam 4,2
Eye Aid (inches) From the final optical floor 0,67
Eye Aid (mm) From the final optical floor 17
Housing Most important physique and hinge magnesium
Shut focus (toes) Shortest focal distance 6,5
Shut focus (meters) Shortest focal distance 2
Inter pupilary distance (IPD) Middle pupil to middle pupil measurement 57 – 75
Dioptric compensation vary . -2,5/+2,5
Waterproof Mbars 300
Transmission Daylight ISO 14490-5:2005 92%
Peak (inches) With out covers 2,2
Peak (mm) With out covers 56
Weight (ounces) With out covers 30,3
Weight (grams) With out covers 860
Lentgh (inches) At exterior diameter 6,1
Lentgh (mm) At exterior diameter 156
Width (inches) Totally prolonged 5,1
Width (mm) Totally prolonged 130
Equipment included with the acquisition . instruction handbook, cleansing fabric, laborious
case, neoprene neck strap, laborious case
strap, goal covers, ocular covers


I’d wish to thank German Precision Optics for offering the Ardour HD 10×42 for evaluation on Eire’s Wildlife.

NB. Eire’s Wildlife has no particular affiliation to any optics or gear producer, and all critiques on the location are utterly impartial and goal. In the event you’re an optics or gear producer and wish to submit your product for evaluation on the location, please drop us a line utilizing the contact type and we are able to take issues from there.



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