The Athlon Talos 10×42 : A Tale Of Athlon’s Budget Binocular
Not all binoculars have hefty price tags attached to them. Some binoculars cost less than $200 and deliver the same performance as those costing more than $500. One such binocular is the Athlon Talos 10x42. This affordable offering from Athlon is a relatively new entrant to the budget binocular market. So, does it perform as good as its manufacturer claims it does or is just another cheap knock-off? Let’s take a closer look at the Athlon Talos 10x42 to find out.
First off, calling this a cheap knock-off would be a great violation of its status and quality. At first glance, it is evident that Athlon put in a lot of work into designing it.
Is This Right Bino For You?
The one question that I am sure you are asking yourself is whether this is the right bino for you. To answer you it is worth noting that this is not designed to be used as a primary binocular. It works best as a second option binocular. Its performance in low light is disappointing, to say the least. In my opinion, it excels when used during the day when there is sufficient ambient light. This is one of the reasons why I would not recommend it as a primary binocular.
At 2.5 m or 8.2 ft, the close focus distance is not all that impressive. However, it is still decent, especially for average glassing. For birdwatching, it still cannot be used as a primary binocular.
Generally, this is the best binocular for anyone looking for a second binocular that does not cost an arm and a leg. It has all the features found in higher end binoculars, which is a big plus when you consider its price.
In a nutshell, the Talon 10x42 is a great binocular for general outdoor activities such as fishing, hiking and a little bit of birdwatching. If you are looking for a binocular for serious hunting I suggest investing a little bit more on either the Cronus or Ares models.
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How Athlon Optics Made This Unit?
Athlon does not provide a lot of information about the construction of the Talos 10x42. The official description states that it is built from a lightweight composite material. Which material it is we are not told. However, I suspect is the same polycarbonate found in similarly priced binoculars.
As for the design, the manufacturer opted for a single bridge body design instead of the open hinge design. The single bridge and the construction material is probably why it is lighter than its pricier siblings.
Though Athlon opted for a single bridge design, they maintained the same rubberized armor found on the Ares and Argos models. Also, it has the same dark green color as its counterparts. Overall the rubberized coating feels good to the hand and makes for good camouflage.
The main composite chassis has o-ring sealing that prevents water and fog entering the binocular. And as with all the other Athlon models, it is argon purged to make sure it is 100% fogproof.
At the center of the binocular’s two barrels is a focus knob. This knob is large and makes zooming in and out easy and quick. On the right eyepiece is a diopter adjustment knob.
Speaking of eyepieces, the Talos features the same twist-up eyepieces as other Athlon models. This allows for different users to adjust eye relief based on their preference and comfort.
Interestingly, this model is heavier than the pricier Argos model. All the same weighing 25.5 ounces it is a lightweight and compact model. This means you will not have any problems carrying it around.
Now to the most important part of the review, the optical performance. Although it is significantly cheaper than other models it features almost the same components. That being said, this binocular uses the high-quality Bak-4 prism glass.
Unlike other cheap optics that have multi-coated lenses the lenses on the Talos 10x42 are all fully multi-coated. This means you get a stunning and bright image quality with very minimal to zero color distortions.
Being a roof prism it has phase corrected coating on the prisms that improve light transmission. Also, the lenses are built using Extra-Dispersion or ED glass. This is the same glass found on more expensive models.
With a 10x42 configuration, not a lot is expected in regards to the field of view. Nevertheless, the Talos does provide a decent 342 ft field of view at 1000 yards. Sure this is not as high as that of other Athlon models but at its price, it is quite impressive.
The eye relief stands at 15.2 mm, which is not at all impressive offers the right amount of viewing comfort for different people.
In its price range, the Athlon Talos 10x42 has very many competitors. However, very few offer the same features it does. One of the binoculars that can be said to be the Talos closest competitor is the Bushnell Green Roof Trophy Binoculars.
The latter offers almost the same features as the Talos. It also weighs 25 ounces just like the Talos. The two are also matched in regards to close focus distance.
In terms of optical performance, both are almost evenly matched. Given the quality and reputation that Bushnell has amassed the similarity between the two is impressive. You would expect the Athlon to be of lower quality, but that is not the case. Athlon really outdid themselves with this binocular.
- Offer a bright and clear image quality thanks to fully multicoated optics
- It is a lightweight and compact binocular
- It is waterproof and fog proof
- The twist-eye cups are easy to turn
- The central focus knob is large and smooth to turn
- Does not perform well in low lighting
- The eye relief is not that long
After going through the Athlon Talos 10x42’s features the verdict is out. While it is not the best binocular from Athlon it is the best at its price point. Without a doubt, it is packed with numerous useful features that we are not used to in its price segment. More importantly, it is solidly built and can withstand harsh weather conditions.