Skip to main content

Oberwerk Sport ED 8×42 Binoculars: Our Review

These binoculars offer excellent brightness, sharpness, and color, though the ergonomics are not quite perfect. We rate them a Solid Choice.

At A Glance

oblique view of a pair of roof prism binoculars with red highlights and "Oberwerk" brand name.
Oberwerk Sport ED 8×42 binoculars. Image courtesy Oberwerk.


  • Very good image
  • Good focus wheel movement
  • Generous field of view
  • Good close focus


  • Metal focus wheel can be slippery
  • Loose eyecups and lens covers
  • Eye relief on the low side


  • Price: $349.95 MSRP at press time. Prices often fluctuate, so check with retailers
  • Close focus: 6.6 feet (200 cm)
  • Field of view: Reported as 8.1° (425 feet at 1,000 yards). More about field of view 
  • Weight: 26.9 oz (763 g)—that’s about 2.0 oz (57 g) heavier than the average for 8×42 binoculars in our review
  • Eye relief: 15.0 mm

More on Binoculars

Viewing Experience: For birders looking for excellent image quality at a relatively low price, the Oberwerk Sport ED is an impressive option. These compact, slightly heavy binoculars got our reviewers’ attention with bright and very crisp images. The colors are true without seeming overly saturated. Even against the glare of a gray sky, we were impressed with the gradation of grays and tans in the fur of an eastern gray squirrel as it nibbled the vivid buds of a red maple. Similarly, American Robins gathering in a backlit tulip poplar showed warm orange bellies against a wintry glare, and the Oberwerks even brought out the matching warm brown tones of the tree’s conelike seed clusters. Image sharpness holds well at long distances—watching ducks on the far side of a large river, more than 1,200 feet (400 m) away, the white bars on the flanks of several Ring-necked Ducks were easy to make out. Looking high in the sky at a speck of an immature Bald Eagle circling with gulls, the brown-and-white mottling of the body and wings came through clearly.

Feel and Build: The binoculars themselves have a solid, sturdy feel, and this small company ships them out with a thank-you/inspection card hand-initialed, apparently, by the company owner. The basic olive-green armoring is enlivened by a crimson metal focus wheel and diopter ring. These have wide, rugged ridges for grip, though one reviewer found that the width of the ridges made the wheel slippery and a bit hard to adjust quickly. Once the fingers gain purchase, the focus wheel itself moves smoothly and precisely. Given Oberwerk’s impressive optics, the accessories didn’t quite measure up. The objective lens covers attach to the barrels very loosely, easily slipping up and down and even slipping off during normal use. The eyecups have a loose feel as they dial up and down, though they did not shift position once they were set. The binoculars come with two fairly narrow straps, one embroidered with the Oberwerk name and one made of a cushioned neoprene-like material.

This article is one in a series of mini-reviews. To see how these binoculars compare to others we’ve tested, see our full review of affordable 8×42 binoculars.  

The Cornell Lab

All About Birds
is a free resource

Available for everyone,
funded by donors like you

American Kestrel by Blair Dudeck / Macaulay Library