Testfire: GPO Passion 10x32 ED BinosBy Nik Maxwell
- 18th Nov, 2020 Nov 18, 2020, 12:04 PM
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Imported and distributed by NZ Ammunition Company, GPO (German Precision Optics) are beginning to make some real headway in the New Zealand hunting and shooting community.
Positioned within the mid to upper tier pricing, GPO offer high quality optics at a very reasonable cost and this price/quality/performance balance reflects their growing position in the optics market.
The GPO Passion 10x32 ED Binos arrived for review in a professional looking black cardboard box that included a hard carry case, lightweight neoprene neck strap, front and rear lens covers, instruction manual, and cleaning cloth.
Upon first handling them, I was immediately impressed with feel and look of the Passion 10x32s. They felt robust and well made. The binos feature a Magnesium chassis for additional weight reduction. The single hinge bridge is mounted at the top of the two barrels and is also constructed from Magnesium.
“The GPO Passion 10x32 ED Binos arrived for review in a professional looking black cardboard box that included a hard carry case, lightweight neoprene neck strap, front and rear lens covers, instruction manual, and cleaning cloth.”
Green colored rubber armour is located on the lower sections of the barrels and provides both added hand grip and protection for when placing on a surface. The upper section is also a soft touch rubber armour coating.
There a four different colour options; Green, Brown, Sand, and Black though not all of these may be available to the NZ market. The focusing wheel is larger than what I have seen on other similar spec binos. I hoped this to be a good thing as the larger diameter should allow for more precise focusing adjustments.
The wheel is heavily knurled and smooth to operate though it did feel quite light to turn. The Passions have a single right eye diopter adjustment, and the aluminium twist-up eyecups feature clickable positioning.
Measuring 44mm H x 118mm W x 118mm L, the 32s are compact in size and will sit comfortably in the palm of your hand. Weighing in at 500g, they come in just under the weight of their closest priced competitors; ZEISS Conquest HD 10x32 at 630g, and the Swarovski EL 32 Binoculars at 595g.
In short, a stylish and compact set of binoculars that I was looking forward to hitting the hills with.
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IN THE FIELD
For me, a field review is not complete without a deer hunt. Fortunately, I had a trip along the Poled Route coming up which would give me an excellent opportunity to test out the binos in the open and bush/scrub country of the Southern Kaimanawas.
Of particular interest is a huge clearing surrounded by bush that I felt sure would hold a deer or two. I would be there for a few days which meant opportunities to glass at both dusk and dawn. It is at these periods of low light that your optics light gathering abilities really get put to the test.
Rather than bore you with hunt details (simply put, the sika eluded me and on the animal side of things, the hunt was a non-event, however, you can find a summary of the hunt here), let’s instead concentrate on the use and performance of the binos.
“For me, a field review is not complete without a deer hunt. Fortunately, I had a trip along the Poled Route coming up which would give me an excellent opportunity to test out the binos in the open and bush/scrub country of the Southern Kaimanawas.”
Apart from high winds and a few short rain spells, the weather was great and allowed plenty of time behind the glass.My first decent crack at it was on the evening the second day. Positioned on the edge of the clearing I had a commanding view of the clearing which is around 200m wide and 600m long.
I sat peering into all the likely little bush openings and small guts that I thought a deer might pop out on to. The sharpness and clarity of the 10x32s became quickly apparent and the definition on objects was crisp. In good light, the binos were able penetrate the bush interior shadows, just where a deer might pause before moving out of cover.
There is some detectable distortion near the edges, but I have found this occurs in many other binos I have reviewed, even brands that cost significantly more.
Color reproduction is great, and the overall viewed image is excellent. As expected, the 32mm objective lens began to struggle (what 32mm binos and less don’t?) in that last piece of light but only to the point where I wouldn’t be looking to take a shot on an animal anyway. So for me, this is a non-issue.
Early mornings fared a little better as the continual increase in available light (even when it is only just light enough to see) provides a better view as each minute passes by. While that large focusing wheel was easy to access and turn, there did seem to be a fine line between the binos being in focus or out of focus.
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I noticed that it only took a small amount of movement for this to happen and I often found myself having to refocus a little more than I’d like to. This could be remedied by adding more resistance to the focusing wheel.
Handling wise, the Passions are comfortable to hold and the textured rubber armour provides good grip. The bridge has enough tension that the barrels don’t inadvertently push together.
For the next couple of evenings and mornings, I glassed patiently in hope that even a single animal might appear but to no avail. The last day came around and with that it was time to head home. No dice with the deer but I was more than happy with the overall performance of the binos.
“The Passion 10x32 EDs are great binoculars offering excellent quality at an equally great price. At under $1k, it’d be hard finding a better product at a similar offering. ”
Eager to spot some type of game with the Passions, I used the binos on several local rabbit population reducing missions. Throughout these evening hunts, I used them to great effect spotting rabbits at distance with ease.
I spent many hours glassing with these binoculars and at no time did I experience any eye strain nor discomfort - a testament to the quality of the lenses and ergonomic design.
I always know when a particular product is the goods when I feel a tinge of reluctance as the time to hand said item back rolls around! And like so many of the awesome firearms and gear I am fortunate to review over the years, handing these back most certainly invoked that same reluctance.
The Passion 10x32 EDs are great binoculars offering excellent quality at an equally great price. At under $1k, it’d be hard finding a better product at a similar offering.
Coupling this affordability with a 10-year warranty makes these binos a serious consideration for your next purchase.
|GPO Passion 10x32 ED Binos|
|Prism type||Roof - Schmidt/Pechan|
|Diopter range||-3 / +3 Dpt|
|Field of view||105m/1000m|
|Diopter setting position||Right eyepiece|
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