Opticron Explorer WA ED-R 8x42 review: see further & clearer with this great scope

At this price point the Opticron Explorer WA ED-R 8x42 monocular is probably one of the best options today

Opticron 8x42 Explorer WA ED-R
(Image: © Future)

Digital Camera World Verdict

If I was in the market for a Monocular that offered good range, was well made and offered nitrogen-filled optics to keep out, and wade off any moisture of any kind from blocking my view, I would pick this Opticron 8x42 Explorer wide angle monocular. It might not be the most compact one of the market for size, but what you get is a very capable optic that serves its purpose and will give the user hours of enjoyment


  • +

    Great price point

  • +

    Compact and lightweight

  • +

    Crystal clear optics


  • -

    Stiff focusing

  • -

    Low-quality accessories

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If you're looking for a trusty monocular to join you on a day's birding or for some wildlife spotting then the Opticron 8x42 Wide Angle Explorer is the perfect monocular for your needs without spending a fortune or a great entry level product you can show off to your fellow bird watches and wildlife enthusiasts. 

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This pocketable monocular is able to provide crystal clear viewing for when out and about in the day. You will be able to see birds and wildlife from a good distance thanks to its 8x range magnification and its 42mm lens diameter.

These two elements combined makes sure all your wildlife spots are rich in color and and clear as a bell when focused in. It enables you to focus as close as 6.2ft / 1.9 m which is very handy when on a good walk in the countryside. I also found no issue with focusing on subjects at long distances, at least 100m, but when viewing at a long distance I did notice a slight magenta cast to the overall image however, it wasn't bad to not want to use it for observing far-away subjects.

(Image credit: Future)

Opticron 8x42 Explorer specifications

Magnification: 8x optical
Field of View: 7.8
Eye relief: 18mm
Waterproof: Yes
Prism Type: Roof
Size: 120 x 50 x 43mm
Weight: 260g / 9.2 oz

Key features

This monocular from Opticron I found to be very well built, with a solid construction and offered a great overall package in a relatively cheap price point. It is equipped with wide-field ED optics and has the latest multi-coating technology for extra light transmission and color contrast, which I found to be excellent when viewing stationary, as well as moving objects at distance, and closer to home.

It is also equipped with a handy strap that clips to the monocular itself which is a good feature when you are out all day bird watching. It also comes with a rubber lens cap that isn't the best of quality, but get the job done so you wont hurt or scratch the front element while hiking for your next spotted woodpecker sighting.

Along with these features you are also provided with a nifty case to store the monocular away while in transit to your next location for it to give a bit more protection from the elements. A great feature for this monocular is that it's Nitrogen filed optics means even in the blistering sunshine or the coldest of mornings you view through it will never become obstructed by vape, either from your own breathe or condensation from your eye over long viewing periods.

(Image credit: Future)
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(Image credit: Future)

Along with its compact size, lightweight construction and reasonable price tag, its ability to offer a crystal clear view of sighting up to 100m away is extremely good.

For the price, and its function I was pleasantly surprised by the Opticron 8x42 Explorer, being able to make clear sightings from close range, all the way to 100m, if not with a little magenta overcast, which is me being extremely picky on this wonderful optic. Construction is solid and feels as though it will take a beating before it starts to show signs of wear and tear, in fact the build quality is that good I think other manufactures should take note, but please Opticron, fix the poor rubber caps.


(Image credit: Future)

If I was in the market for a Monocular that offered good range, was well made and offered Nitrogen filled optics to keep out and away any moisture of any kind from blocking my view, I would be this Opticron 8x42 Explorer wide angle monocular. It might not be the most compact one of the market for size, but what you get is a very capable optic that serves its purpose and will give the user hours of enjoyment.

The only things which picked up on were the accessories it comes with, though this is a entry level product, its own super construction is only let down by rather thin and flimsy front and rear body caps, which don't match the well-made quality of the eye cup or rubber on the focus mechanism. Again, the included strap and case are an added benefit to anyone wanting this however, they are not the best quality, but will do for most users. I also found the focus to be rather tight, however, after some use its operation did get better, I would of liked to see a more dampened action with looser control. - For the money though, I you cannot go wrong and I am sure it will bring a lot of joy to all who use it, as it did me on my many walks.

Read more:

Best monocular
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Sebastian Oakley
Ecommerce Editor

For nearly two decades Sebastian's work has been published internationally. Originally specialising in Equestrianism, his visuals have been used by the leading names in the equestrian industry such as The Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), The Jockey Club, Horse & Hound and many more for various advertising campaigns, books and pre/post-event highlights.

He is a Fellow of The Royal Society of Arts, holds a Foundation Degree in Equitation Science and is a Master of Arts in Publishing.  He is member of Nikon NPS and has been a Nikon user since the film days using a Nikon F5 and saw the digital transition with Nikon's D series cameras and is still to this day the youngest member to be elected in to BEWA, The British Equestrian Writers' Association. 

He is familiar with and shows great interest in medium and large format photography with products by Phase One, Hasselblad, Alpa and Sinar and has used many cinema cameras from the likes of Sony, RED, ARRI and everything in between. His work covers the genres of Equestrian, Landscape, Abstract or Nature and combines nearly two decades of experience to offer exclusive limited-edition prints to the international stage from his film & digital photography.