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Kahles 10x42 Binocular

Gobbler, twelve o'clock, 75 yards and closing." The voice came from what otherwise looked like a bush growing next to the tall ponderosa pine about three feet away from where I sat against another pine, posing as an equally unobtrusive accumulation of vegetation.

The voice broke my concentration. For the past five or so minutes I had become totally oblivious to the seductive turkey hen sounds coming from the nearby "bush." I had been deeply involved in glassing a distant stock tank, around which I could occasionally see a sizeable black bear that was turning over logs and rocks in search of an easy meal.

"Black bear, 500 yards and feeding," came my whispered reply.

"Huh?" came the response from the bush. "How can you tell? Where?"

"Well beyond the same direction as the gobbler. Shhhh! The gobbler's getting closer," I whispered. I pointed my Winchester Model 1300 right at the on-coming Merriam's gobbler, hoping he'd think it simply a branch. At about 35 yards, standing in over our shoulder morning sunshine, the gobbler fanned to a full strut. His iridescent feathers flamed a full color spectrum. I waited for him to come to half-strut and gobble. As soon as he extended his neck, I sent a load of Winchester No. 5 turkey shot his way. He went down. Turkey dinner assured, I again raised my 10X42 Kahles binocular and went back to glassing the bear.

"Let me see those glasses," came the plea from the turkey-calling bush. "I can't see the bear with mine."


I handed him my binocular and started toward the downed gobbler to apply my New Mexico turkey tag.

"Wow, that is a bear. Hey, these really are pretty good glasses. I couldn't tell the bear from the shadows with mine. What brand are these?" the bush asked, now revealing a human's face as he pulled down his face mask.

I told him it was a Kahles 10X42 binocular.

During the past three years I've had the opportunity to use Kahles binoculars and scopes in a wide variety of hunting situations from hunting wild turkeys to wild hogs, to pronghorn antelope, to elk and whitetail deer. So I've really tested this binocular in the field.

I've long been a 10X fan and have always felt anything that could be done with an 8X binocular could be done better with a 10X. I have also long been a fan of 42mm objectives. Such objectives are not overly big and thus make for an easier to carry and lighter binocular. Larger objectives tend to make binoculars bigger, bulkier, and certainly heavier.

This binocular also has multicoated lenses that are extremely proficient at gathering light under most all hunting situations that I encounter.

Kahles is a most interesting European company. It is actually one of the oldest binocular and riflescope companies in the business. The name Karl Zeiss is likely familiar to most shooters and hunters. Although it is not a well-known fact, Zeiss actually apprenticed with Kahles before he began his own optics company. Another fact is that Kahles was the first company to produce a variable riflescope.

Unfortunately, when Berlin was divided after World War II, the Kahles facility ended up on the "wrong" side of the wall. It wasn't until that divider came down that Kahles once again became truly available to westerners. Today, Kahles is part of the Swarovski network of companies, and its optics are available to us in the States.

After tracking this New Mexico Merriam's turkey with the Kahles 10X42 binocular, Larry dropped him at 35 yards.

Old-World pride in workmanship coupled with modern technology describes the quality available from Kahles these days. How can you truly determine that to be true? The best way is to compare. If you have the opportunity, compare Kahles's 10X42 binocular at your local sporting-goods dealer or in a hunting camp to other binoculars present. Look for clarity in normal and, especially, low-light conditions. Look through each at least a total of five minutes without taking them away from your eyes. Using a binocular is how you can really see the difference. I've had the opportunity to do so, especially as mentioned in the field under actual hunting conditions and under all sorts of light, ranging from good to extremely poor. The Kahles 10X42 shines!

I like the fact that this binocular from Kahles is of roof-prism design and lightweight. It weighs only 26 ounces. It is compact, measuring 43/4 inches wide and 51/2 inches long.

It is rubber-armored and available in either basic black or Advantage Timber camo.

Something else I appreciate is the cost, especially compared to other more expensive binoculars. The suggested retail price for the Kahles 10X42 in black is $772, $822 for the camo version. This might seem a bit expensive when compared to the cost of a binocular available at some of the discount stores, but by investing in a quality binocular, you won't have to find a replacement every other year. All in all, I consider the price tag on Kahles's binocular fair, especially for the quality received.

The eyepieces of the Kahles 10X42 are interesting. If you don't wear eyeglasses, you'll appreciate the winged eyecups, which block out outside light from the sides, that come included in the package as an accessory. But if you're like me, blessed with less than perfect vision, you'll appreciate the twist-in or twist-out eyecups to give the perfect eye relief for glasses wearers.

Kahles 10X42 Binocular

Type: Fixed-focus, roof prism
Magnification: 10X
Coatings: Multicoated lenses, phase-colored prisms
Objective Lens Diameter: 42mm
Focusing Range: 8 feet to infinity
Exit Pupil: 4.2mm
Twilight Factor: 20.5
Length: 5 1/2 inches
Width: 4 3/4 inches
Weight: 26 ounces
Finish: Rubber coated, black, or Advantage Timber camo
Price: $772 (black), $822 (camo)


The center focus knob when turned about 11/8 complete turns covers all the focus distance, from the near focus of eight feet to infinity. One of the things I especially like about the center focus knob on the various Kahles binoculars I've used is that it is relatively stiff. Thus when hanging on my chest, being "interfered with" by clothing, the focus doesn't change before I again raise it for use.

The Kahles 10X42 binocular is waterproof. I've had the opportunity to field test it in a driving rainstorm in Wyoming where I purposely left the binocular hanging outside of my Gore-Tex rainsuit. On another occasion while on a spring bear hunt in wet British Columbia I left my binocular sitting outside the cabin during an all-night storm. That particular Kahles binocular definitely was and still is waterproof!

If you've gathered that I've become a fan of the Kahles 10X42 binocular, you're absolutely correct. I've put it through some interesting field tests, and it has not let me down!

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