The Athlon Midas G2 8x42 UHD hits a slightly precarious balance point between price and performance. It costs more than a budget pair of binoculars and manages to perform significantly better than said budget pairs but falls substantially short of some of the other models in its price range. While we have no significant complaints about this model, it’s possible to get better performance while spending the same amount. If you manage to find these binoculars on sale, by all means, go for it, you’ll be getting a good deal. However, if you’re shopping at retail prices, we’d suggest looking at some of the other binoculars we tested.Editor's Note: This review, initially published in November 2021, was updated on January 11, 2022 with additional product comparison info and recommendations.
Athlon Midas G2 8x42 UHD Review
Cons: Dimmer than competing models
Manufacturer: Athlon Optics
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Athlon Midas G2 8x42 UHD
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|Pros||Good clarity, easy to focus||Excellent brightness, great clarity, comfortable||Good clarity and brightness, smooth focus knob||Inexpensive, good clarity and brightness||Good clarity, small and lightweight, relatively comfortable|
|Cons||Dimmer than competing models||Slightly heavy for backpacking||Mediocre close focus range, mediocre field of view||Average construction quality, mediocre low-light performance||Poor low-light performance|
|Bottom Line||A good pair of binoculars, but is easily outdone by other models in the same price range||An excellent balance of price and all-around performance with particularly impressive brightness||These perform well for the price, offering a smooth focus knob and decent brightness and clarity||The most budget-friendly option we've found that offers a good introduction to birdwatching||An inexpensive, small, and packable model that offers surprisingly good optics|
|Rating Categories||Athlon Midas G2 8x4...||Vortex Diamondback...||Nikon Monarch 5 8x42||Celestron Nature DX...||Vortex Diamondback...|
|Ease of Adjustment (15%)|
|Construction Quality (15%)|
|Close Focus Range (7.5%)|
|Field of View (7.5%)|
|Specs||Athlon Midas G2 8x4...||Vortex Diamondback...||Nikon Monarch 5 8x42||Celestron Nature DX...||Vortex Diamondback...|
|Multi - Coating||XPL||FMC||FMC||FMC||FMC|
|Field of View (at 1000 yards)||426 ft||393 ft||335 ft||388 ft||332 ft|
|Close Focus||6.5 ft||5.0 ft||8.2 ft||6.5 ft||6.0 ft|
|Eye Relief||17.2 mm||17 mm||19.5 mm||17.5 mm||18 mm|
|Size (Length x Width)||5.7 x 5.2 in||5.7 x 5.1 in||5.7 x 5.1 in||5.3 x 4.9 in||4.6 x 4.5 in|
|Weight||23.3 oz||21.8 oz||22.2 oz||22.2 oz||14.0 oz|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Athlon Midas G2 8x42 UHD is a good pair of binoculars that gets a bit lost in a price range that has a number of slightly better options.
The Midas G2 8x42 UHD provides a level of clarity that feels fair given the price, but other models that cost the same manage to outshine that price point.
The clarity of these binoculars is good — we had no trouble picking up small details in birds 30 feet away. However, the clarity fades a bit towards the edges of the image. While this didn't prevent us from identifying any species, it did make the image feel a bit flatter. Because of this, looking at a bird through these bins feels a bit like looking at a nature coffee table book. In contrast, some other products in this price range offered a slightly more immersive image that was more akin to watching a nature documentary.
This is where the Midas G2 8x42 UHD falls a bit further behind other competitors in the price range. The brightness is good but falls well short of top-notch.
In normal lighting conditions, the Midas G2 8x42 UHD provides a bright image that allowed us to appreciate all the subtle colors of a bird's plumage. However, in low light conditions, those details quickly faded. At dawn and dusk and on particularly cloudy days, we were disappointed by dark bird silhouettes where other bins in this price range could still display an ample color palette.
Ease of Adjustment
The Midas G2 8x42 UHD provides a fairly standard experience when it comes to ease of adjustment. We had no specific complaints in terms of adjusting the focus knob and adjusting the diopter. Some models offer slightly more supple adjustment knobs, but we don't think anyone will be disappointed with nor have trouble adjusting the Midas.
The Athlon Midas G2 8x42 UHD feels relatively good in the hand but lacks a few touches that make other models more comfortable to hold.
The rubber coating of these binoculars feels grippy but avoids feeling overly sticky, a problem we've run into with some other models. The barrels are relatively comfortable to hold, depending on your hand size. We really wish they had thumb indents on the underside, however. This would have made them more ergonomic and friendlier to a wider range of hand sizes.
Close Focus Range and Field of View
With a close focus range of 6.5 feet, these binoculars are likely to allow you to get everything you'd like in focus. If you're lucky enough to get a butterfly to land on your shoe, that will likely be too close to get into focus, but otherwise, you should be good. If beautiful creatures have a tendency to land on your feet, other models in this price range can handle such a situation.
Offering a field of view of 426 feet at 1000 yards, the Athlon Midas G2 8x42 UHD has one of the widest fields of view on the market. However, even the models that it bests in this manner aren't that far behind, and you might be pressed to notice the difference outside of a direct, side-by-side comparison.
Should You Buy the Athlon Midas G2 8x42 UHD?
In a price range where many manufacturers are aggressively competing to provide the best value per dollar, the Athlon Midas G2 8x42 UHD falls towards the middle of the pack. These binoculars aren't a particularly bad value, but we feel there are significantly better options available at similar price points.
What Other Binoculars Should You Consider?
The Athlon Midas G2 8x42 UHD is a good overall pair of binoculars, but they fail to offer a good enough performance to price ratio to rise above their many competitors. In a similar price range, we'd recommend the Vortex Diamondback HD 8x42, which bests the Midas in almost every test metric. For those on a budget looking for an intro pair for birding or viewing far-off scenery, the Celestron Nature DX 8x42 is sure to please. And if you have a bit more money to throw at a pair of binoculars, the Vortex Viper HD 8x42 offers top-of-the-line brightness and clarity.
— Max Mutter
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