Athlon optics kick up a storm
We’re stoked to bring you a heap of Athlon optics for your outdoor hobbies and interests across New Zealand. But the burning question is, who are Athlon, what do they have on offer and what are the main differences between their various product ranges?
Who are Athlon and what do they have on offer?
Established in 2014, the Athlon brand of sports optics is a relatively new player in the optics world, but it’s already causing a storm with hunters, nature watchers, target shooters and birders world wide. They’ve quickly developed a reputation of high quality, precision optics that are built to perform exceptionally and withstand the rigours of the field.
Headquartered in the USA, Athlon offers a range of binoculars, spotting scopes, riflescopes and more to suit any activity and budget, with products being manufactured in either Japan or China depending on their price point.
What are the main differences between Athlon's product ranges?
Athlon offer six ranges of binoculars each of which are available in a range of different size and magnification options. Their riflescopes can be categorised into ten different ranges, and spotting scopes are available in two different ranges.
Below, we’ll take an in-depth look at what’s offered by Athlon’s flagship Cronus range, and then compare their other ranges to that so you can clearly see what sets their flagship range apart from their other products, and what you’re getting for your money.
Athlon Cronus optics - Top of the range, flagship
The best of the best, the Cronus range of optics is the top of the Athlon Optics product line and is packed with features. Designed for serious users, the flagship Cronus range offers exceptional edge to edge clarity, sharp detail enhancement, ultra-clear brightness and true colour representation. Ideal for hunters, nature watchers, birders and target shooters who won’t settle for anything but the best, the range of products in the Cronus collection is quite slim but expertly designed.
Key features for all optics:
- Argon purging for better waterproofing and thermal stability
- ED glass produces images with little or no chromatic fringe for a clearer and sharper image
- XPL coating gives extra protection on the exterior lenses from dirt, oil and scratches
- ESP dielectric multi layer prism coating reflects over 99% of light to your eyes bringing you a clear, bright image that displays accurate colour reproduction
- Phase corrected prisms produce images that have better contrast, a higher resolution and excellent colour reproduction
- Bak-4 glass prisms reflect more light to your eyes for brighter and sharper images
- Advanced fully multi-coated lenses deliver the highest level of light transmission for maximum brightness and true colour across the entire light spectrum
- Waterproof to protect against the harshest weather conditions or if accidentally submerged underwater
Specific binocular features:
- E2ES field flattening system employed in binocular mades to produce sharper, clearer images all the way from one lens edge to another
- Magnesium chassis
Specific riflescope features (available in standard and BTR versions)
- Precision zero stop system allows you to lock down your zero position and dial back to it with a sharp and precise stop right at your zero location
- First focal plane reticle stays valid at all power settings allowing you to fully utilise the specially designed reticle that shrinks or grows along with your target as you zoom in or out. The reticle offers quick target engagement at low power while offering precise holdover positions with finer details
- High precision erector system processed by high precision CNC machine with +/- 0.0001mm tolerance level to provide you the most accurate power settings and smoothest magnification change
- Side parallax adjustment
- Aircraft grade aluminium riflescope tubes
- Exposed turrets
- Illuminated glass reticles
Specific spotting scope features:
- Apochromatic lens system gives you images which have greater contrast, sharpness and colour definition
- Dual focus - coarse and fine focusing
Athlon Ares optics - High end
Packed with features, Athlon Ares optics follow closely behind those in the Cronus range in terms of quality. To make these optics more affordable, Athlon have simply omitted some of their very high end features. Other than that, the features they offer are pretty much the same as the Cronus range, and a broader range of configurations are available.
Ares binoculars are available in a wider range of configurations than Cronus binoculars; including a 36mm lens model, and also have a wider field of view. They employ an open bridge design which reduces their weight and makes it easier to maintain your grip. Unlike the Cronus range, they don’t have the field flattening E2ES system.
Ares BTR riflescopes are available exclusively in an illuminated first focal plane reticle, with a large 50mm objective lens. There aren’t as many options to choose from in the Ares range, but you can be safe in the knowledge that they’re packed with all the same features as the higher end Cronus range.
With three objective lens size options available in the Ares range of spotters, there’s sure to be something that suits your activity. This range features an ultra compact 50mm spotter which is significantly lighter than its 50mm Cronus counterpart. These awesome scopes are packed with all of the same features as the Cronus range, but don’t have dual focus abilities.
Athlon Midas optics - High to mid range
Athlon Midas optics set the gold standard for their class. Setting a rugged benchmark for all-weather brightness and clarity, they have many of the features of both Cronus and Ares models, including ED glass and argon purging.
Midas binoculars are light and slim thanks to a magnesium chassis. Their closed bridge design makes them slightly heavier than Ares models and they don’t have the field flattening E2ES system.
Midas BTR scopes are designed with tactical precision in mind and are accurate, tough, durable and extremely versatile. Similar to Cronus and Ares scopes, Midas BTR scopes have HD glass which produces images with utmost contrast. Unlike Athlon’s higher end scopes, Midas BTR’s have a second focal reticle system.
Athlon Argos optics - Mid range
As part of Athlon's mid range options, Argos optics still offer a very high level of components and features, and are great performers. They have a fantastic price point which is more accessible to many outdoor enthusiasts who have a tighter budget.
This awesome range of binoculars is similar in many ways to Athlon’s higher end models, however, like the Ares models, they aren’t built with the field flattening E2ES system seen in Cronus models. In addition, they have a more economical polymer composite chassis which not only saves you money, but also takes the weight off your neck and still stands up to the demands of hunting and other outdoor activities.
Available with a variety of different lens sizes and magnification ranges, Argos binoculars are a great option if you're looking for all-weather brightness and clarity at a great price.
Riflescopes (available in standard and BTR versions)
If you’re looking for your first riflescope then take a close look at the Argos family. These scopes have features normally only found on high-end scopes and are versatile enough to be a great option for multiple shooting disciplines. They’re available in a range of different specifications with either standard second focal place or illuminated first focal plane reticles (BTR range only)
Argos riflescopes include all the awesome lens and prism coatings you’d expect from Athlon scopes but don’t have high precision erector power settings or the precision zero stop system seen on the more costly models.
Athon Talos optics - Mid range
The ideal range for outdoor enthusiasts, hunters and birders who need optics but don’t want to spend the earth, Athlon keep things simple with their Talos range by including everything you need for rugged, effective, outdoor use, without including high end features that only fanatical users really appreciate.
Built with a polymer composite chassis which saves weight and money, Talos binoculars are waterproof, have phase corrected prisms and advanced fully multicoated lens. They leave additional coatings to the big players in more expensive ranges and do a fantastic job of offering value and performance at a great price.
Talos riflescopes are available in a standard and BTR configuration which offer a 1inch or 30mm tube. Nitrogen rather than Argon purging is used to waterproof riflescopes in the Talos range, with all models employing fully multicoated lenses for bright, clear images. Standard Talos models have second focal plane reticles only, whereas the BTR models also have a first focal plane reticle option. Like higher end scopes, parallax can be adjusted with side focus, however they keep things more affordable by leaving out a number of their coatings.
Athon Neos optics - Entry level
Neos optics are perfect for beginners who want quality equipment that performs under pressure and doesn’t leave a hole in their pocket.
Unlike many entry level binoculars, Athlon don’t scrimp on the essentials of waterproofing and multicoating of lenses.
Neos scopes keep things simple and affordable and are available in a range of specifications and reticles. Nailing all of the important stuff, like a nitrogen purged, waterproof body, fully multicoated optics and a second focal plane reticle, these basic scopes are ideal for beginners or those who want a simple scope for their rifle.
We’re sure you’ll agree that Athlon really do have an optic for everyone, every activity and every budget. Now it’s down to you to decide which range will suit your needs and fit your budget.
- Jodi Markham