The Leupold BX-4 McKinley HD 10×42 binoculars are obviously quite large in size, and therefore designed for the more professional user and people who are looking for something heavy duty.
Having said that, this particular model of binoculars have enough features and high quality abilities that it is something to consider for someone looking for binoculars for any form of use.
Leupold BX-4 McKinley HD Video Review – Watch Below
Leupold BX-4 McKinley HD Binoculars Specifications
|Leupold BX-4 McKinley HD 8x42||Leupold BX-4 McKinley HD 10x42|
|20 mm||18 mm|
Field of View
|425 ft/1000 yds||385 ft/1000 yds|
|8.20 ft||16.5 ft|
|BAK 4 Prisms||BAK 4 Prisms|
|29 oz||34.6 oz|
|155 mm||155 mm|
|READ REVIEWS||READ REVIEWS|
This is quite understandably the most important aspect of a pair of binoculars for many users. In this case, the majority of people who purchase them will not be disappointed.
If you are a regular binocular user, when you first look through the eyepieces of this particular pair you will be able to notice the sharpness of the image straight away.
It looks like it stretches right to the edges of the lenses. This is a very impressive feature, and is something that you can only say about a small amount of other binoculars on the market right now.
Field of View Sweet Spot
Even more impressive still is that the sweet spot as it is called can be stretched out depending on your field of view.
It’s only if you really look closely and inspect the binoculars closer that you see that the sweet spot and sharpness of the image doesn’t quite reach from edge to edge of the lenses as Leupold claim.
Instead it spans around seventy five percent of the lens, which is still extremely impressive.
Even when taking this into consideration, the field of view around the edges where the sharpness of the images fades is very small, around ten percent in fact, and as a result it is barely noticeable unless you are inspecting the binoculars closely.
With these particular pair of binoculars the amount of color fringing in the field of view is greatly reduced.
This is thanks in part to the objective design of the binoculars, which include extremely low dispersion glass.
As with most binoculars though, the color fringing is controlled for the most part by the sweet spot, meaning that chromatic aberration is more noticeable around the edges of the image.
As we’ve seen though, the sweet spot of the lenses is rather large, so any problems with color fringing are barely noticeable unless you are looking at it closely.
An effective test is to focus on an object in the distance, and start from the top and slowly move your way down. With these binoculars, you will notice that color fringing barely occurs.
Focusing on the sweet spot though, there is absolutely no color fringing whatsoever. It is practically an immaculate image.
Even in the small area where the quality of the image starts to fade somewhat there is no sign of color fringing.
Any color fringing that occurs outside of the sweet spot seems to be very well controlled.
It’s almost like Leupold realized that they weren’t able to create a completely perfect lens, and so did what they could to make sure color fringing didn’t occur around the edges.
Brightness and Sharpness
When it comes to brightness, these binoculars are almost perfect. Surprisingly, they even work very well in situations when your surroundings are not very well lit.
Even when tested in a variety of settings and when other factors have been taken into account, there seems to be no issues when it comes to the brightness of the image.
This naturally will be something that impresses many users, particularly those who are looking for a pair of binoculars that work well in dark conditions.
Many frequent binocular users will know that some models that are 8x or bigger are capable of delivering a more detailed image than the human eye is capable of seeing.
It sounds very strange but is true. You do get the feeling that could be the case with this particular model as well.
At no point do you get the feeling that you are getting anything other then the best possible quality and the most detailed image you are capable of seeing.
For example, if you were to look at a tree from around fifty yards away, you would be able to see every last detail without even the slight hint that you are missing out on something.
To use another example, you could use these binoculars for bird watching as looking at something moving from well over a mile away is something that is not too difficult.
Representation and Color Bias
With some pairs of binoculars you can find that some of them adopt what is known as a color bias.
This is when the lenses are able to show either warmer colors or colder colors in greater detail. This naturally results in some colors not showing up in as crisp or rich as other colors.
When it comes to the McKinley though, they are practically neutral. All colors show up in great detail, with no clear signs that some colors get any preferential treatment.
The colors themselves all show up very well saturated and very rich.
You can test exactly how much color bias a pair of binoculars have by using nothing more than a white piece of paper.
All you have to do is place the piece of paper over the ocular lenses and look down the objective end, and you can see if any additional colors show up against the white. When doing this test, not a single color shows up.
Again, this is an area completely free of fault. Black and white colors both show up in rather stark contrast. This makes them ideal for astronomers who like to use them for stargazing.
If you were to use them to look at the moon for example, the bright color of the moon would show up very sharply against the dark sky.
There really is only one downside to the Leupold BX-4 McKinley HD 10×42 binoculars. The size of the eyecups are rather small, so it may be difficult for some people to use them, particularly for people who wear glasses.
In fact, the overall design will be difficult to get used to for people who have used Leupold binoculars before as these are a considerably different design. When it comes to performance though, there is almost not a single fault.
The lenses have been very well crafted so then you can see things at great distance without experiencing any loss in quality, and they also represent every color on the spectrum without any sign of bias.
They are also able to capture brightness no matter how well lit and area you might be in, making it perfect for stargazing or indeed any nocturnal animal watching. In fact, despite their size these binoculars are pretty much perfect for any form of activity, except for perhaps any form of marine use.
They are quite large though, so it’s important that you take into account whether or not you want a pair of binoculars this size and weight before you decide to buy them. They’re also certainly not one of the cheapest models on the market, but the Leupold BX-4 McKinley HD 10×42 binoculars do represent good value for money.
They are practically flawless, and as a result will be well worth the purchase price if you are using them regularly.