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Adorrgon 12x42 HD Review

As you may come to expect from ultra-cheap binos, these feel like looking through a hazy tunnel
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Adorrgon 12x42 HD Review
Credit: Adorrgon
Price:  $100 List
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Manufacturer:   Adorrgon
By Benjamin Hickok and Jessica Riconscente  ⋅  Dec 23, 2023
40
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#15 of 16
  • Clarity - 35% 3.7
  • Brightness - 20% 3.9
  • Comfort - 15% 6.0
  • Field of View - 10% 3.0
  • Ease of Adjustment - 15% 2.7
  • Close Focus Range - 5% 5.9

Our Verdict

Whether you want a pair of binoculars for birdwatching, stargazing, sporting events, hunting, sightseeing, or shows, you'll want clarity, high light transmission, and a good field of view. Unfortunately, the Adorrgon 12x42 HD leaves a lot to be desired across the majority of our test metrics. However, it is on par with most ultra-affordable binoculars in an increasingly saturated market. If you're looking for an affordable entry-level option, we recommend taking a look at our binoculars review to find the right pair for your needs and budget.
REASONS TO BUY
Inexpensive
Lightweight
REASONS TO AVOID
Horrible field of view
Poor clarity
Poor adjustability

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Price $100 List
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Bottom Line Lacking in many ways, this is a poorly made product that we wouldn't recommend for anyoneOne of the best overall values on the market, particularly for mid-range price shoppersA great choice for birders on a tight budgetDecent clarity and compactness make these a good budget option for traveling, backpacking and hikingA good choice for someone on a budget and who could use a pair of binoculars that lets in a lot of light
Rating Categories Adorrgon 12x42 HD Vortex Diamondback... Celestron Nature DX... Nikon Trailblazer A... Nikon Aculon A211 8x42
Clarity (35%)
3.7
6.2
5.8
5.0
3.3
Brightness (20%)
3.9
8.1
7.4
3.5
8.3
Comfort (15%)
6.0
6.6
5.4
7.9
4.6
Field of View (10%)
3.0
8.4
6.8
5.2
8.3
Ease of Adjustment (15%)
2.7
7.1
6.6
4.4
2.6
Close Focus Range (5%)
5.9
8.9
7.5
8.3
5.4
Specs Adorrgon 12x42 HD Vortex Diamondback... Celestron Nature DX... Nikon Trailblazer A... Nikon Aculon A211 8x42
Measured Weight 16.7 oz 23.1 oz 22.8 oz 10.5 oz 27.2 oz
Measured Interpupillary Distance Range 56mm - 74mm 56mm - 75mm 57mm -74mm 38mm -75mm 56mm - 73mm
Measured Size 5.7" x 4.4" 5.7" x 5.1" 5.4" x 4.5" 2.7" x 4.1" 6.8" x 5.9"
Measured Close Focus 11.0 ft 5.5 ft 8.0 ft 6.6 ft 11.9 ft
Measured Eye Relief 15.0 mm 18.0 mm 18.0 mm 10.5 mm 12.0 mm
Glass Type BAK-4 HD BAK-4 Eco-Glass Eco-Glass
Magnification 12 8 8 10 8
Objective Lens Size 42 42 42 25 42
Claimed Field of View 367 ft 393 ft 388 ft 342 ft 420 ft
Claimed Close Focus Not mentioned 5.0 ft 6.5 ft 11.5 ft 13.0 ft
Claimed Eye Relief 18.5 mm 17 mm 17.5 mm 10 mm 12 mm
Waterproof/Fog Resistant Not mentioned Yes Yes Yes Not mentioned
Tripod Adapter Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Measured Lux Reading from Brightness Testing 293 lux 1163 lux 823 lux 237 lux 1236 lux

Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison


Another rather marginal pair of entry level binoculars.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Clarity


The Adorrgon 12x42 HD clarity is by no means exceptional next to a premium model, though we found it was better than the majority of entry-level models. The lens coating creates a hazy look, and color fringing at the sides of focused objects makes them stand out in an unnatural way.

The Adorrgon exhibited poor clarity in our tests.

Brightness


With a 42 mm lens, you would expect a large amount of light transmission compared to 28 and 25 mm lenses of compact models. However, the observed and measured brightness wasn't impressive. We measured 293 Lux, whereas other entry-level models transmitted nearly 33% more light, and the majority of more expensive models with 42 mm lenses measured over 1000 Lux.

adorrgon 12x42 hd - these exhibited poor light transmission results and an overall...
These exhibited poor light transmission results and an overall darker viewing experience than you'd expect from a full size binoculars.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Comfort


The Adorrgon 12x42 HD binos proved to be relatively comfortable to use due in large part to its dainty 16.7-ounce construction. While very lightweight, we found the balance point to be uncomfortable, meaning you'll consistently work against gravity trying to keep these level over large periods of time glassing. Though, the neck strap doesn't strain or irritate your neck like a heavier model would.

adorrgon 12x42 hd - gravity will constantly wear you down while using badly weight...
Gravity will constantly wear you down while using badly weight balanced binos.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Field of View


The field of view is a weak point of the Adorrgon 12x42 HD, as it brought up the rear in our testing. Using a vertical board fence at a specific distance, our team was only able to clearly see a mere 43 fence boards, which is far below average.

Ease of Adjustment


The Adorrgon 12x42 HD requires a lot of finger motion and effort to focus, and the lack of a locking diopter is no surprise at the entry level tier of binoculars, but is missing nonetheless. A short 15 mm eye relief was the nail in the coffin for these binos in our ease of adjustment test metric. Overall we found this model less than phenomenal when it came to making adjustments and a poor model to try and use with glasses. So glasses wearers will want to consider other models.

adorrgon 12x42 hd - ease of adjustment is a serious weak point for this model.
Ease of adjustment is a serious weak point for this model.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Close Focus Range


At 11 feet, the Adorrgon 12x42 HD are not an optimal choice for seeing up close objects magnified. In other words, they are a poor choice for butterfly houses or aviaries.

adorrgon 12x42 hd - the adorrgon 12x42 hd is a fairly run of the mill option in a market...
The Adorrgon 12x42 HD is a fairly run of the mill option in a market becoming saturated with entry level binoculars.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Should You Buy the Adorrgon 12x42 HD?


Despite its modest price, decent observed brightness, and reasonable comfort, we cannot recommend the Adorrgon 12x42 HD for readers who depend on our impartial testing and scoring to select an excellent pair of binoculars.

What Other Binoculars Should You Consider?


If you are determined to get a full-sized pair of binoculars with a 42 mm lens, and you expect performance that won't leave you disappointed, then you'll have to increase your budget and consider the Vortex Diamondback HD 8x42. If you are able to spend the money you will not be dissatisfied with it, as it has good clarity for viewing at almost all hours of the day. Of course, if you are unable to increase your budget, you should consider the smaller Nikon Trailblazer ATB Waterproof 10x25, which will give you greater clarity, comfort, close focus range, field of view, and ease of use, while maintaining about the same level of light transmission despite its smaller lens.

Benjamin Hickok and Jessica Riconscente