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Based in Vilnius, in the Baltic state of Lithuania (not too many kms from the border with the former USSR), Yukon optics has established manufacturing plants in a number of countries, including Scotland, the USA, and China. They now supply their optical goods worldwide.
YukonPointNZG_H_May2015_2.jpg Similar to Steiner binos, the Yukons have"bat-wing" flaps that eliminate glare, and the effects of wind on the eyes.
   There are several models available in Yukon's binocular line-up, but it was the"Point" range chosen for NZG&H to review, a couple of which have 56mm objective lenses. I was looking forward to glassing with these during low light conditions. I was also keen to have a close look at Yukon's 8x42s. as this magnification is one of the most useful and versatile for New Zealand hunters over a wide range of disciplines.
   The obvious difference between the Point 42mm and 56mm binoculars is their physical size - the 56mms weigh in at 1.23kg (45oz), whereas at 640g (22.6oz) the 42mms are just half the weight. Both are rubber armoured but there are differences in their ergonomic design, the 56mms having slightly better palm grips and thumb supports. The other major variation is in the focusing rings and eyecups. The 42mm has a chunkier adjustment and lacks the standard twist-up eyecups. Both designs feature"batwings" on the objective cups, which are excellent for arresting stray light and glare, or for preventing wind and rain from affecting your visual experience.
YukonPointNZG_H_May2015_3.jpg Left: Something for everyone - the Yukon"Point" range is extensive. Right: Powering up - the view through the 8x42s (top) and 15x56s (above).
   Another nice addition to the Yukons is the magnetic objective lens caps. Normally caps on my optics hit the rubbish bin pretty quick, but I found these very good to use as they are functional, snug fitting, and not a hindrance that flaps around in wind. Point binoculars feature a centre focus mechanism that is smooth, easy to use and has very little backlash. The range of latitude is also large, so they will suit people with a wide range of eye types, as well as those who wear prescription glasses.
   Optically the Yukons feature reasonable quality ВАК 4 lenses that provide high image quality over 90% of the visual field. There is a small amount of distortion in the last 10% of the viewing field, along with some field curvature errors, but given the price of these binoculars I would not lose any sleep over it. The binoculars show true to life colours extremely well thanks to the TRUE COLOR™ multi-layer lens coatings. This is important for hunting binoculars where you are often looking for very subtle colour changes, like trying to pick out a deer against a background of dry or brownish scrub.
 The magnetic lens caps work really well. Don usually ditches them, but he decided to keep these installed for the duration of the test.
 The magnetic lens caps work really well. Don usually ditches them, but he decided to keep these installed for the duration of the test.
   Resolution and the definition of lines or edges are also important traits to look for in a pair of binos. Clearly defined edges allow you to differentiate between two similar objects at a good distance, such as a clump of tussock and a tahr standing behind it. The Point binoculars did this well and I was able to clearly pick out wallabies against a grey background during the field test.
   The binoculars come with a comfortable neck strap, a protective bag. and an easy to read booklet for each particular model.
   With my nephew over from Aussie it was a good opportunity to get out for a hunt and obtain another opinion on the Yukons. Michael was pretty keen to knock over a few of the rabbits plaguing the South Canterbury area, using my .223 that he'd taken a fancy to.
   With a strong north-west wind blowing it was going to take a bit of skill to connect with the long distance shots, but he was really looking forward to the challenge and enjoying the hunting freedom we have here in New Zealand.