Burris Signature HD Review

A truly remarkable pair of binoculars that offers fantastic value for money. A sure-fire contender for one of the best binoculars available.

In this Burris Signature HD review, we’ll look at how Burris combines user comfort and performance with advanced optical features with such elegance that makes it one of the most popular binoculars available. This pair of binoculars comes retro-fitted with phase-corrected BAK4 prisms which are of a high-density glass of low dispersion. The lenses are made out of multi-coated optics that are coordinated perfectly for maximizing the transmission of light into the lens tubes and also reduce internal light loss. All these factors together result in the production of very clear and bright images which also reduce comas and halos while reducing chromatic aberrations to a large extent.

Burris Signature HD Review


Besides being loaded with all these amazing features, this compact binocular is a pleasure to use with a generous angle of view, a very comfortable eye rest set up, twist-out eyecups for ease of handling and a very comfortable focusing mechanism as well as offering travelers, adventurers and bird watchers an immersive experience on their journey, in the bird watching range or in the wild.

Physical Features and Build Quality

Burris Optics Signature HD Binocular is a standard sized, 42mm roof prism set of field glasses which is also available in three variants. One comes with an 8x magnification option, the other comes with the 10x magnification option and the last variant is a 12x variant with a 50mm objective lens. The binoculars in this series are very compact compared to the older versions of binoculars from Burris and stand at 5 inches with its body fully elongated. In terms of width, it is also a fairly compact instrument with a width of just 5 inches.

The binocular weighs around 23.2 ounces, which is a good thing for field glasses. The lens barrels are lined with the iconic Burris desert yellow or military green rubber coating, with black hinges, focus knob, yellow ochre rubber finger cups, and eyecups. Like most roof prism binoculars today on the market, even the Burris Signature HD is completely sealed with nitrogen and O-ring sealed to keep it dustproof, waterproof up to a depth of one meter and fog proof on the inside of the lens barrels even in extremes of conditions. Since the rubber coating is made of an aluminum alloy chassis, this binocular functions flawlessly in both hot and cold extremes of temperature.

Rain Guards and Lens Caps

This binocular is fitted with a set of rain guards which are made of soft black rubber which are joined together with a link made out of the same black rubber. This rain guard does a very efficient job and fits so perfectly over the eyecups that it won’t come off even by chance. Burris has also fitted holders on each of the eyecups to enable the binocular strap to be installed with the rain guard on. The holder to the left has a gap so that the user can unstrap the binoculars at any time. This is an extremely effective rain guard and it is perfect at what it is supposed to do. It has no major defects in its build quality.

The main lens covers are also composed of the same black rubber used for the rain guards. The lens covers come with tethered caps where the caps are connected to the barrels by a short link. Each of the caps has a groove on the inside into which the rim of the lenses snugly fit, providing tight protection for the lenses.

Burris Signature HD Review
Burris Signature HD Review

Case and Strap

The case that Burris provides with the Signature HD set of binoculars is pretty similar to what most companies provide these days. It is a very clean and minimalistic design made of lightweight rubber and comes with a double zipper enclosure system. The case has a synthetic strap attached. The strap provided by Burris is a lightweight nylon textured strap which comes fitted with large patches of leather around the neck lined with foam padding to increase user comfort. For those who prefer it, Burris also has a harness strap which comes with the binoculars. Also, the Burris Signature HD 10×42 case comes with a lens cloth for maintenance and cleaning of the binoculars. Along with the binoculars, the case comes with a removable holster which can be used as a belt accessory and can be used on hikes and treks while offering ample protection to the binoculars from external threats. The holster has an efficient locking system to keep the binoculars in a secured position when not in use. The rubbery texture maintained throughout all the components of Burris also enhances grip to a great extent and is actually very easy to handle while wearing gloves.

Optical Features and Image Reproduction

The first thing that is notable in the Signature HD binoculars is its high quality of optical resolution and clarity of the images being viewed. It has such a smooth top-quality performance that it is sometimes thought to be priced way above its original cost of $400. Many give all the credit to the newly installed BAK4 glass, but it has many more enhancements making contributions to the clarity. For instance, the binoculars come fitted with lenses which have been multicoated and utilize low dispersion HD glass which is fundamental in producing superior quality optics and color reproduction. To reduce the formation of comas and halos, the Signature HD binoculars have used phase corrected prisms which help in reducing internal light diffusion. Some degrees of chromatic aberration was also noticed in spite of the presence of phase corrected optical components but these were in negligible quantities. The image generated is completely color neutral and, coupled with the superior level of contrast due to the phase corrected prisms, helps in generating the clean and clear image. According to the company, the 8x magnification variant has a 330 foot field of view at 1000 yards of distance and for the 10x version it is 314 feet. These numbers are generally at par with the industry standards and not very impressive.

Focusing Mechanism

Burris’ Signature HD binoculars have a very generously sized focus knob that is covered all over with textured black rubber which basically enhances the stability of the grip. The whole process of focusing is smooth and efficient. It can be accomplished easily and quickly. The minimum close focus of the 8x variant has been measured at around 7.5 feet while it is 8.2 feet for the 10x model. It has been noted that the transition from minimal focus to infinity can be made in approximately 1-2 turns of the focus knob. This is generally the same as the number of turns required by binoculars of the same variance. However, with exceptional focal capabilities, the binoculars can show crystal clear images for objects up to distances of 20 feet with just 0.7 turns of the focus knob. This covers the objects that the users, birdwatchers to be specific, would be interested in seeing as it would be covered by the minimal focal length. The 10x model of Signature HD binoculars could have been made better if the minimal focus range was kept below 8 feet as most of its competitors have achieved that goal.

Peripheral features

The framework for the adjustment of the diopter on the Signature HD line of binoculars is very user-friendly and is an easy-to-use mechanism. A helical twisting mechanism is used to adjust the eyecups to meet the requirements. One can do it by rotating them clockwise for raising them and counterclockwise for lowering them. The position for right dioptric correction is marked by a white dot on the ring which, upon being lined up with a raised vertical line on the rubber case, marks the position for a balanced level of sight These binoculars only have one completely stable position between fully extended and fully retracted eyecups. The Burris Signature HD binoculars have an impressively large inter-pupillary distance starting from 57 mm and ranging up to 74 mm. This basically means that it is going to be a very comfortable fit for anyone on the eye and especially for people with a somewhat narrow face.

Burris Signature HD Review Bird Spotting
Burris Signature HD Review Bird Spotting

Advantages

  • Superior optics used in these binoculars provide clear images.
  • The lens barrels are dustproof, waterproof and fog proof from the inside.
  • The superb protection offered to both lenses by sturdy lens caps and rain guards
  • Lightweight, compact binocular which makes it very convenient for carrying on long treks and hikes or for longer durations
  • The sophisticated and lightweight case which comes with a holster.
  • Excellent color reproduction due to the phase corrected prism technology.
  • Generous field of view provided by both the variants.
  • Provides a minimum focal distance of 7.5 feet for the 8x and 8.2 feet for the 10x which is decent for outdoor uses like bird watching and other adventure activities.
  • User-friendly and surprisingly efficient focus adjustment mechanism.
  • Large inter-pupillary distance within a range of 57 to 74 mm which ensures comfortable to use for everyone.
  • Tripod mountable with an optional adapter.
  • Comfortable 15.5mm eye relief.

Disadvantages

  • The 10x model has certain shortcomings in certain crucial areas like minimum focal distance which could have been improved.
  • The build quality of this binocular is not as good as the build quality of other binoculars in the same price range.
  • Advanced users and travelers might not like this design as it was exclusively meant for beginners.
  • It is a bit too costly for the features that it is offering. For the same price points, other companies are producing ED field glasses which are said to produce much greater quality images.

Customer Reviews

Something that was common among all the customers was their levels of satisfaction being tremendously high from the time they started using the Burris Signature HD binoculars. They have all reported being really happy with the product’s ergonomics and optical aspects. Customers even highly praised the image clarity and, in comparison with their own older binoculars, found this pair to be much more user-friendly. However, some people also complained about the build quality is a bit too brittle for a binocular that is made for use in extreme temperatures and rugged terrain. There were mixed reactions regarding the screw-in mode of the lenses. However, something that most customers appreciated was the surprisingly light weight of the binoculars. The customer segment particularly happy with this attribute were found to be mostly budding travelers and bird watchers, so this binocular is perfectly performing the job with which it was tasked. This binocular was made by Burris for novice travelers, hunters, and birdwatchers and it has delivered its best to all of its various users.

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Warranty

The Burris Signature HD 10x42s come with a Burris Forever Warranty which covers manufacturing defects, which are probably internal damage due to the wrong assembly of materials or mechanical failure leading to the breakage of a component. However, the Burris Forever Warranty does not cover the damage caused to the product due to rough handling or dropping of the product. Neither does Burris cover for defects like scratches on the lens because of improper cleaning methods, for the normal wear and tear the product undergoes over time nor theft. It is always advisable for customers to ensure proper maintenance of total utility and satisfaction with the product while using it for various endeavors.

Conclusion

With a very impressive array of optical features and a compact and user-friendly design, Burris has definitely come out with the ultimate friend for a budding traveler, trekker or a bird watcher. Judging by the image reproduction presented by this line of binoculars, it is sure that the Signature by Burris will be etched into the minds of everyone who uses it. To be honest, this binocular is, however, priced a bit higher than others and the complaints about the brittle body are being looked at by the company to be solved at the earliest possible time which might make this another strong contender in the 400$ range of adventure binoculars.

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