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The New Eagle Optics Ranger ED Binoculars

Hands-on Review

by Michael and Diane Porter

Tried-and-true favorite gets a big upgrade

We have loved the Eagle Optics Ranger binoculars for a long time. We've always considered it one of the nicest handling mid-priced binoculars we've ever seen. (And we have seen a lot of binoculars in 20 years of testing and reviewing optics.)

First, the optics

Eagle Optics Ranger EDNow Eagle Optics has made a new Ranger, but this time it's a Ranger ED. It keeps all the features that we loved about the original Ranger, but they have improved the optics. Noticeably!

We carefully compared the resolution of the 8x42 Ranger and the 8x42 Ranger ED. We mounted the two binoculars side by side on a steady tripod and looked at the same resolution chart through both binoculars. We thought the regular Ranger was good, actually. But the Ranger ED was better. We could distinguish finer lines when looking through it.

The explanation lies in the high-quality ED (extra-low-dispersion) glass, which keeps the light together and doesn't let the light spread out when passing through the glass. The result is the sharper, clearer image that we saw through the Ranger ED.

And the ergonomics

The new Ranger ED is the same size and shape as the original Ranger. And that is a good thing. The ED version has the same light weight and durable body. The same nice twist-up eyecups.

Eye relief


The distance between the eyes

Here's a point that might seem unimportant, because it affects only a small number of people, but if you happen to be one of them, you are going to really appreciate the Rangers.

Like its predecessor, the Ranger ED adjusts to the distance between the eyes even for a person whose eyes are set closer than average. If you can't bring the binocular barrels close enough together, you actually can't look through both eyepieces at the same time. You can imagine how frustrating that would be!

One of the birders who helped us review binoculars for Bird Watcher's Digest ran into that problem with almost every binocular, including some high-end, very expensive binoculars. The only one that worked for him was the Eagle Optics Ranger. The new Ranger ED has exactly the same


with only slight changes in the design details of the armoring. Now the mantle, where your fingers hold the binocular, has a better-gripping finish. (You can see the texture in the center area, where the logo appears.)

On the Ranger ED you can lock your diopter adjustment setting, so it won't get turned accidentally. It can mean you get to see a bird that you might have missed if you had to re-adjust the diopter when you weren't expecting to. (If you need a refresher on what the diopter adjustment is all about, read this.)


The same 5-foot close focus, wide field of view, and affordable price of the beloved original Rangers. This 10x42 version is recommended for birders who like a 10-power binocular, who have steady hands, and who do not wear glasses while using binoculars.

Schools use it

Several schools and nature centers have ordered class sets of Eagle Optics Shrikes from us, to use in birdwatching programs. One junior high school teacher ordered 20 pairs and then came back after two years and got some more, so that every student could have one on their field trips. She said that all 20 of the original pairs were still in good working order, after heavy use in her classes throughout two school years.

She also said the kids in the birdwatching class were thrilled to go birdwatching with good, easy-to-use binoculars. And they were getting really serious about watching birds.

Eye relief

The 8x42 Shrike has 17.5 mm of eye relief. This is long eye relief, which allows everyone can see the full field of view, including people who are wearing glasses. This matters a lot to glasses wearers, who need to be able to get the full picture, not just the center of it.

With short eye relief With long eye relief

Optical quality

The binocular has fully multi-coated lenses. The image quality is good. In fact, for a binocular costing under $100, it is amazing.


The Shrike is waterproof and sealed with O-rings to prevent moisture, dust, and debris from getting inside the binocular.

Better Birdwatching Starter KitIn the Birdwatching Starter Kit

We include this binocular in our Better Birdwatching Starter Kit.

This is our most popular starter kit. Many people find it an ideal gift for a beginning birder or for a youngster with a developing interest in watching birds.


The Shrike comes with the Eagle Optics Platinum Protection unlimited, unconditional lifetime warranty.

Buy it


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Copyright 2013 Michael and Diane Porter