10 February 2011

Cheap Chinese Knock-offs

When we first took our kayak out for a paddle, we took a small pair of binoculars with us. They're a nice little pair that we've used all over the world since Donna got them about five years ago. There's so much birdlife around our waterways, you'd be mad not to take a pair with you.

Because the pair we have is not cheap, we figured it would be a good idea to buy a couple of cheap pairs that we wouldn't worry too much about if we dropped them overboard. To that end, I logged onto eBay and had a look at a few. One set in particular was a pair of Tasco 8x21 with a buy it now price of just under $10 a pair. Tasco are a pretty good brand, they were just the sort of thing we were looking for, so I ordered two pairs, including postage for less than $30.


They finally arrived yesterday, but they won't be going out in the kayak with us.

This is the pair Donna took out of its packaging.

We grabbed a pair each and sat out on the back verandah to see how well they worked. It didn't take long for me to realise that my pair wouldn't focus properly. I could focus on some trees about 50 metres away, but adjusting the focus knob didn't change the focal point, it just went completely out of focus. By this time, Donna had already had a quick play with hers and put it in its pouch, remarking at the time that it didn't fit very well. I grabbed hers to see if they were the same as mine, and as soon as I removed it from the pouch one of the lenses came off in my hand. Shortly after, the focusing knob broke as well.

As you can see from the picture, there's no Tasco logo on them, that's because they're a cheap and nasty copy of these. In fact, they're not even marked as 8x21, they're marked as 10x25.

Am I going to try and get a refund? No, it's not worth it. I won't be buying binoculars that I haven't tried in the shop from now on though. Oh, and the person I bought them off, that's the first time I've ever given negative feedback on eBay.