Simmons 8-17×25 ProSport Compact Zoom Binoculars (Model 899875)

simmons-prosport-compact-8-17x25Magnification: 8-17X
Power Variability: Variable
Objective Diameter: 25 mm
Close Focus Distance: 9.8 feet
Dimensions: 3.5 x 9.5 x 7.2 inches
Weight: 10 ounces
Field of View: 216 feet/100 yards
Eye Relief/Exit Pupil: 12-9 mm/ 3.1 – 1.47 mm
Optics Coatings: Multi-Coated
Glass: BK7
Prism System: Porro
Focus System: Center
Waterproof/Fog-proof: No/No
Eye cups: Twist up
Tripod adaptable: Yes
Rangefinder: No

Best Uses: Hunting, Birdwatching, Wildlife Observation, Event Observation

Our Rating:

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Simmons ProSport Compact Binoculars Review

This Simmons ProSport Compact 8-17X25 is a porro prism bino that has a variable zoom power of 8-17X with multi-coated lenses. It also features a 5mm exit pupil on BK7 prism glass on a compact and small armored body that’s tripod adaptable.

Reviewers love this bino just as much as they love the previously reviewed ProSport FRP binocular. Like that one, this compact bino has received next to no negative feedback.. There’s only one word for this – excellent!

As only one of two variable zoom binoculars in the entire Simmons line, reviewing this one was an obvious decision. Firstly, it’s the cheaper zoom bino of the two, costing roughly $30 dollars online. Secondly, this 8-17X50 was, by far, more popular with reviewers than the 8-24X50 – hands down.

Not sure whether a zoom power binocular is for you? The following Q&A will address the ins and outs of owning this variable power Simmons bino so that you can make the most informed buy.

 

PROs:
  • Price
  • Zoom power
  • Compact
  • Lightweight
  • Tripod adaptable
CONs:
  • Not weatherproof

 

ProSport Compact 8-17X25 Binocular Q&A:

What are the advantages of a variable zoom binocular?

In the binocular world you either love ’em or hate ’em. It’s a matter of being able to effectively focus your lenses for the varying distances. Think of it more like a rifle scope optic that gets right on target and sharpens its image quality no matter what your stalking distance is (within the scope’s reasonable capabilities).

Lost? Check out our hunting rifle scope reviews if you think you may need a rifle scope instead of a binocular, otherwise, continue on.

If you’re set on a bino, here’s what this ProSport variable zoom will get you. You’ll have the benefit of being able to have just one binocular that has the ability to go from 8X high power to 17X super high power with just a turn of a knob.

If you’re changing up your stalking or viewing behavior during the hunt from close range to long-range or vice versa, this might be a good option to consider.

To use the variable zoom is easy as puttin’ on your hunting boots and walking out the door at the end of the work week. Use the optic in low power at first for the wider field of view.

Once you’ve found your target, zoom in to super high power to see the dirt, debris, and patches on your soon-to-be furry trophy.

 

What is BK7 glass?

BK7 is known among amateur optic geeks as “cheap” glass, although this isn’t always entirely true. While BaK4 prism glass is often seen in mid-grade and higher end binoculars, BK7 is also used in very expensive and premium binoculars when combined with the right optical conditions.

But generally, you will see it in more budget-friendly binoculars like this ProSport binocular.

BK7 uses borosilicate components to make up the crown-based glass. It does have a lower refractive index than BaK4 glass which is why it’s been labeled as the inferior type of glass.

Tip – refraction index refers to the ability of the glass to minimize variations of wavelengths of light to keep light loss and light scattering from happening. These variations are the reason why chromatic aberrations in the lenses occur.

With that under your belt, BK7 glass does lose light when it reflects off the sides of the prisms. You’ll be able to see this in the squarish-shaped exit pupil that has grey-like aberrations towards the sides.

If you can live with that funky exit pupil and slightly dimmer edges of view, the BK7 will be perfectly fine for your $30 binocular.

 

Is this binocular tripod adaptable?

Yes! In fact, all of the ProSport porro prism binoculars are tripod adaptable. With the high magnification ranges of this binocular, you will need something to help maintain a still and steady image.

Even hunters with binoculars that have fixed 10X magnification still appreciate being able to use a tripod when you can’t seem to get rid of that hand shakiness.

 

What does close focus mean?

This is a term that you’re definitely going to need to know if you’re going to buy a Simmons binocular or even if you’re going to surf the binocular market. There’s no getting around the fact that you need to get up to date with the terminology.

To help you out, here’s the short and sweet answer: it’s the closest distance to you that you can effectively use your binoculars and still maintain its optimal focus. The shorter the distance, the better.

So, does this binocular have a good close focus distance? Since it’s a high powered variable zoom optic, you really shouldn’t need me to answer this for you. This bino is made for long distance viewing, and if you’re interested in this, then you’re probably not going to be concerned with the nearby distances.

But, since this optic starts on the lower end for binoculars (8X), this variable zoom power ProSport has a decent close focus distance of 9.8 feet. If you ask me, I’d say that’s pretty good.

 

Noteworthy Features:

  • BK7 glass in porro prism design for optimal viewing quality
  • 8-17X variable zoom power for close to long distance ranging
  • 9.8 feet close focus distance
  • Multi-coated optics for brilliant image quality and maximum light transmission
  • Tripod adaptable for steady and still viewing
  • Durable rubber armor body for secure gripping in wet and harsh conditions

 

Our Verdict on the Compact ProSport

To glass it up, the Simmons ProSport Compact 8-17X25 binoculars are cheap, compact, and reliable. Never mind that they’re ugly, they’re so affordable it’s difficult to pass them up. However, the instructions indicating that they’re somewhat weatherproof, we say they’re not. We couldn’t verify this with Simmons, so it gets a thumb down in this arena. Besides, as a reverse Porro prism bino and for how low cost they are, we’re pretty sure they’re not.

For weatherproof-ability, you’ll have to leap into the world of the 12X50 ProSports. It’s more than inconvenient if you’re wanting a free-hand device, but it will suit long distance optics users on a tripod just fine.

There aren’t a lot of zoom binoculars in the market. It’s because the technology to get the lenses on the exact same power range is practically impossible. However, the Barska Gladiator 7-21X40 specializes in zoom power. Check them out if you’re willing to spend four times as much as the ProSport but still keeping the budget under $100.

Simmons dabbles in the fixed power, zoom power, not weatherproof, and the weatherproof features of optics. It’s in their blood to play around with features that will best suit the needs and budgets of their buyers. If you like the sound of playing around with zoom, this is your low budget buy for sure!

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