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Bargain Basement Pocket Binocs - bear with me

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/26/2010 at 10:52
GlkTiger View Drop Down
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Hi everyone. Lurking for a while and appreciate the info found on this forum. Also placed a couple orders with SWFA as a result with good success.

First let me say that I KNOW the category of sub-$20 optics involves bottom of the barrel components and the products are basically toys. I own Zen ED2's and a couple upper-end Bushnell optics currently and know what "decent" glass should cost.

So my question is simply this -- is there any appreciable difference in the sub-$20 offerings from Bushnell, NCStar, Barska, Celestron, Konus, Tasco, etc? For some background, I have a pair of old pocket Sears 10x25's, an NCStar 10x monocular, and the kids have some Eddie Bauer (Bushnell) 6x18's, so I pretty much know what to expect from this range. However they actually can be useful (in the "better than nothing" sense).

While I appreciate and love my Zen's, I still would like to stash some cheapies in different bags, vehicles, etc, and was just curious if there is really anything that sets one brand/model apart from another in this class.

BTW, I'm aware of Yosemite's as well and they're on my Santa list, and I'm aware of monoculars too but I'm truly just looking for the skinny on the $10-$20 "blister pack" pocket binocular offerings.

Thanks for bearing with the question -- I appreciate you all humoring me.   
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/26/2010 at 11:03
SVT_Tactical View Drop Down
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Chief Sackscratch

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Bushnell 8x21 Powerview Binocular
Bushnell 8x21 Powerview Binocular
Stock # - 132514
  • Rubber Armor
  • Compact
  • BK-7 Roof Prism
  • Center Focus
  • Fold Down Eyecups
$12.95 
 I have had a set of these that had been in the box on a four wheeler for a while.  they worked but not good. 

Edited by SVT_Tactical - October/26/2010 at 11:07
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/26/2010 at 12:16
Bird Watcher View Drop Down
Optics Master
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Originally posted by GlkTiger GlkTiger wrote:

I'm truly just looking for the skinny on the $10-$20 "blister pack" pocket binocular offerings.

Thanks for bearing with the question -- I appreciate you all humoring me.   
 
Unfortunately, most of today's "blister pack" $10-$20 binoculars are the very cheapest junk that China has to offer.
I'd much rather spend my money on a good used binocular.
 
The internet sometimes offers reasonably priced, acceptable quality, inexpensive binoculars through the chain-stores, especially at Christmas time. Just look around and keep your eyes open. I'd recommend that you stick with the inexpensive Porro prism binoculars.
 
If you are looking for stocking stuffers for the kids, or Christmas presents for adults, take a look at the Bushnell Falcon 7x35.
You won't feel like you are looking through two straws.
W I D E FOV & 5mm Exit Pupil.  (small, lightweight, and ALOT of fun) Thunbs Up
 
 
 


Edited by Bird Watcher - October/26/2010 at 18:42
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/26/2010 at 14:10
Klamath View Drop Down
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No, I doubt there is any serious or significant difference in any of the cheapies.  The may look decent for awhile, but, and it seems you already know this, they won't cut much mustard.  If you put lipstick on a pig, you still have a pig.  Junk is junk.
 
However, if you want one (or two) then go for it. Smile
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/26/2010 at 14:41
GlkTiger View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
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I found it interesting that Hawke has a $12.95 pair too. Although it's not on Hawke's site that I could find. I'm sure they're the same novelty type as the others I've mentioned.

http://swfa.com/Hawke-8x21-Compact-Binocular-P44460.aspx

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/26/2010 at 15:15
GlkTiger View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
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Originally posted by Klamath Klamath wrote:

No, I doubt there is any serious or significant difference in any of the cheapies.  The may look decent for awhile, but, and it seems you already know this, they won't cut much mustard.  If you put lipstick on a pig, you still have a pig.  Junk is junk.
 

However, if you want one (or two) then go for it. Smile


Thanks Klamath. Consider though that I already have representative samples of this optics class via the Sears mini's, NC Star mono, and Eddie Bauer mini's. So I'm "okay" with them as a class (for this intended use). Just wondering if there was anything that might give one of those brands an edge (such as overall company reputation or warranty service for example).

They all seem to have similar specs, like BK-7 roof's, 8-10x (I'd pick 8x personally), "fully" coated, center focus, etc.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/26/2010 at 18:17
NDhunter View Drop Down
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Klamath is right, there are very few small pocket bins that are worth buying.  Just get something like
an 8x32, or save up and get something from the top makers.  Small binoculars are hard to get right.
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