The Binocular Site
Oberwerk Corporation started a joint venture with Yunnan Optoelectronics Co. Ltd. in July of 2007. The company is now YunAo Optics Co, a combination of Yunnan and Oberwerk, and employs over 100 people. The president of Oberwerk, Kevin Busarow, is on the Board of Directors and is a shareholder in the company, so he is able to influence products at every stage in order to make sure the highest optical performance is maintained in binoculars with the Oberwerk name.
Oberwerk pushes their optics factories to make the best binoculars they can make, no matter what the cost. They emphasize high quality in the creation of their binoculars and don't cut corners in manufacturing. Their binoculars have broadband multi-coating on all air to glass surfaces, which prevents reflections on the glass, and they use BAK4 prisms instead of a less expensive BK-7.
The binoculars made by Oberwerk vary in use, but many of the larger Giant series binoculars are great for astronomy, like the 25X100mm IF, because of the high objective lens size. This doesn't mean their binoculars are only good for astronomy. They have many general-purpose binoculars included in their Sport RP series, with model magnification ranging from 8 – 12X, and a Mariner series with 8 – 10X. The Ultra series includes high quality mid-size binoculars at a better price than competitors.
In addition, Oberwerk offers tripod-mounted, long-range observation binoculars with 100mm objective lenses and 25x and 40x oculars on rotating turrets. Previously made exclusively for Chinese and East German military forces, these models are now available to the civilian sector.
Oberwerk offers 23 models across several ranges of binoculars, including the Giant series, the biggest you're likely to find without needing a tripod, which is great for viewing stars. For the casual user, there's the general purpose roof prism Sport RP series, the waterproof and shockproof Mariner series, and the Ultra series, high quality medium sized binoculars that rival the finest brands of other manufacturers for half the price.
The magnifications available on the standard Oberwerk binoculars are 7X, 8X, 10X, 10.5X, 11X and 12X. They also have binoculars with 15X, 20X and 25X magnification, since many of their binoculars are used for astronomy. Two models are available with 25/40x magnification.
The objective lenses on Oberwerk binoculars range from 32mm to a triple digit 100mm. Only three of Oberwerk's 23 available models are below the 50mm objective lens size. The 8X40mm from Mariner Series and from the Sport RP Series, the 8X32mm and 10X42mm models are the only below the 50mm objective lens. This isn't that big of a deal, since the objective lens enhances lighting and those models are best used when enough light is already present.
Field Of View (F.O.V.):
The bigger and longer Oberwerk binoculars tend to have a lower F.O.V. than the smaller binoculars. The available F.O.V. range on Oberwerk's binoculars is 2.5 degrees to 8.4 degrees. The giant 25X100mm IF pair of binoculars has the narrow 2.5 degree while the Mariner Series 8X40 more than triples the F.O.V. with an 8.4 degree view, giving the user a 145m view at 1000m.
You can find 23 different models of handheld binoculars on the Oberwerk website, broken up into the groups they are best suited for, like the Mariner and Sport RP Series. They make use of porro, BAK4, and roof prisms along their product line, and are regarded as a lesser known, but high quality, binocular manufacturer.
Oberwerk also builds long-range observation binoculars and binocular telescopes that require, or are at least best used with, a tripod. Many of the binocular products offered are great for astronomy. Oberwerk also does laser engraving and etching.
Oberwerk binoculars can be found for as little as $100 or for as much as $1995. The cheapest model that can be found is the Oberwerk 11X56 binoculars for $99.95, and the most expensive handheld pair of binoculars Oberwerk offers is the 25X100mm IF, which can be found for $399.95.
Oberwerk offers a one year warranty based on the date of purchase to cover any defects from manufacturing, in which case repairs or an exchange will occur as they see fit. Any malfunctions due to misuse, mishaps, or misplacements will be subject to normal repair fees.
When sending the binoculars in for repair, the binoculars must be well packaged to avoid possible damage during shipping, and several items must be enclosed. You'll need a copy of the sales receipt, a written explanation of the malfunction/problem, and payment to have the packaged returned upon completion of the repair. Charts are available on their website for the shipping amounts, since Oberwerk binoculars vary in weight and shipping costs increase when the weight of the package. Also, be sure to include your return address so they know where to send it and a phone number when you can be reached in case they need to discuss anything during the repair process.
In addition to a warranty, Oberwerk offers a Lifetime Binocular Exchange Program where customers can exchange their current pair of binoculars for a new pair of the same binoculars and get 40 percent off the Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price (MSRP).
Popular Oberwerk Binoculars:
The Giant series 11X70mm binoculars are the most popular binoculars from Oberwerk's product line. Even though they are great for nautical, wildlife, and surveillance, their objective lenses are 70mm and they take in large amounts of light making these binoculars a great choice for casual astronomy enthusiasts for only $149.99. The field of view at 1000m is 80m and the light level transmission is at it's highest since the optic lenses are fully multi-coated and BAK4 prisms are used.
A 15X70mm model is also available, sacrificing field of view, exit pupil diameter and exit pupil distance for added magnification.