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Best $200 or less bino?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/17/2011 at 22:37
samhill79 View Drop Down
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I was wondering what the consensus is on a good cheap (less than $200) pair of binoculars.   I have never shopped the low-end of the binocular spectrum before.   I have a Minox and a an Ultravid, but I am looking for something to leave in the farm truck and not worry about.   The farm truck is dusty, dirty, and gets the crap beat out of it.  Also, I do not want to provide top notch optics for the hired hands.   That said, what are your suggestions?   I was thinking I read somewhere about Pentax being a good bino...can't remember for sure?  I am open to all opinions.  thanks in advance.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/18/2011 at 09:05
Midwest_Hunter View Drop Down
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What about a monocular? Also if a lower end optic is going to take a beating, take a good look at warrenties.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/18/2011 at 09:56
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Originally posted by Midwest_Hunter Midwest_Hunter wrote:

What about a monocular? Also if a lower end optic is going to take a beating, take a good look at warrenties.
I too am interested in a monocular for farm use.
Perhaps this thread (Bino based) will get a better response that when I posted in a "monocular" thread.
Thanks in advance for the help.
 
Here is my previous post:
 

I have interest in the a Vortex monocular for my Mom to carry around the farm with her in her pocket.

 

It comes in 8x25, 10x25, 8x36 and 10x36.

 

From their web site:

 

Solo 8x25 Monocular

Packing super light? Then take a closer look at the all-new 8x25 Solo monocular. Weighing in at less than six ounces, is there any reason not to pack it along? This little waterproof wonder is easy to pocket, and will serve you well in any weather.

 

Solo 8x36 MonocularBuilt to be carried as a standard piece of equipment, close-at-hand, the Solo monocular gives you a closer look when you need it. And with the integral carry clip, the Solo attaches securely to any belt, strap or webbing. This premium roof prism with fully multi-coated glass surfaces delivers bright images in a unit that is compact, lightweight, and easy-to-handle

 

The bold italics are mine.

Questions please:

   * Is this just a better description than the one for the 25mm or is it in fact better glass?

 

   * There is a focus ring on the monocular.  Does it work like a binocular?  In otherwords does one have to focus for each object at each distance? Or is the focus for the user's particular eye condidion - like a diopter adjustment?

 

   * Do the concepts of 8 vs 10 power work like a binocular?  8 obviously smaller, but steadier and easier on the eyes?

 

   * If low light is not an issue, will the 25mm be sufficient or will 36mm be very different?

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/18/2011 at 10:34
Midwest_Hunter View Drop Down
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Great little optic that is warrentied to take any abuse you throw at it. Also the clip on it is nice for carrying it around and having it when needed.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/18/2011 at 10:46
robbie View Drop Down
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Originally posted by Midwest_Hunter Midwest_Hunter wrote:

Great little optic that is warrentied to take any abuse you throw at it. Also the clip on it is nice for carrying it around and having it when needed.
Thanks - It comes in 8x25, 10x25, 8x36 and 10x36.
Are you vouching for anyone in particuler one?  Is the glass better in 36?  Is 36 "too big"?
Thanks
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/18/2011 at 10:49
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I have an 8x36 that I use for bowhunting. And it works perfect for me. Don't care much for binoculars hanging around my neck, so I just clip the monocular on my hunting bibs so it's right there when I  need it, and out of the way when I don't.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/18/2011 at 13:13
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/18/2011 at 15:06
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I'll reply here from the standpoint of me being the farmer/cattleman that I am.  I have binoculars in my pickup 24/7/365.  So I have a pretty good idea of what the life inside a farm truck is.  The truck binocular gets used more than anything else in the truck.  Trust me, I have lots of stuff there.  Probably even some stuff I've forgotten about too.
 
You can get by just fine with $200 binoculars in the truck.  Keep in mind that even though perhaps less expensive than some, a $200 binocular is still a precision tool.  As such you will (as I found out the hard wayShocked) have to keep them in some kind of case and keep something handy to clean them with other than a sweaty shirt-tail or the corner of a grease rag.  As you are well aware, there is a line between hard use and abuse, an easy line to cross in a farm truck.  An unprotected binocular bouncing around in the truck, regardless of who made or how much it cost, will get destroyed without some minimal effort to keep it in order. As I said, you probably realize that as well as I do. 
 
I use with complete satisfaction a Zen Ray ZRS HD or a Promaster Infinity Elite ELX ED.  Both have proved amply durable and optically they are good enough thery will do Yeoman's duty if you need something better optically.  I would also not hesitate to recommend a Theron Wapiti HD.  These are all pretty tough customers for the money and you will be surprised at how good the optics are.
 
I would forget about the monocular.  You are under no particular weight or size constraint with a pickup glass.  I find some of the toughest questions I wind up asking solutions from out of a binocular come from the seat of the truck.  I would not even consider sacrificing any of the stereoscopic view attributes for a single eye piece unless I get into a spotting scope use.  I think monoculars are just fine if you need the absolute reduction in size and weight.  I am seriously thinking of getting one to have handy to keep on my person.


Edited by Klamath - March/18/2011 at 15:11
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/18/2011 at 16:59
samhill79 View Drop Down
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Klamath, thanks for the post I'll check them out.  I never have had any interest in a monocular for the same reasons you stated.   My thread kinda got sniped overnight.   Hammer Hit     I agree hard use and abuse.....there is a fine, somewhat hazy line there for the farm truck.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/18/2011 at 17:02
samhill79 View Drop Down
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Oh yeah.   Who and where are Zen-Ray binos made?   I have never heard of them before.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/18/2011 at 18:23
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Zen Ray is a company in Oregon that imports high-quality optics made by Chinese OEMs.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/18/2011 at 18:27
Klamath View Drop Down
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Originally posted by samhill79 samhill79 wrote:

Oh yeah.   Who and where are Zen-Ray binos made?   I have never heard of them before.
Like any $200 or less binocular (actually probably closer to $500) they are made in China.  Zen Ray Optics is located in Portland, OR.  Make of that what you will, but it is what it is Smile.
 
Actually there are a lot of optics owners out there who are secure in their belief that their optic is Japanese (or anyplace Asian but China) who would doubtless be mortified to find that substantial portions of their optic is Chinese in origin.  Again, I intend to make nothing special of it, it just is what it is.  Companies seem to be going to greater lengths to hide the Chinese aspect too.
 
As Japanese industry tries to get back on track aftet the earthquake, this may increase too.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/18/2011 at 18:54
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you also try  http://swfa.com/Leupold-BX-2-Acadia-Binoculars-C3462.aspx 
 they are pretty good pair for the price ur looking maybe few $$  more also
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/19/2011 at 10:10
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Originally posted by samhill79 samhill79 wrote:

I was wondering what the consensus is on a good cheap (less than $200) pair of binoculars. 
I was thinking I read somewhere about Pentax being a good bino...can't remember for sure?  I am open to all opinions.
Pentax PCF WP, excellent binos for the money. I have three. Bandito
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/19/2011 at 22:49
samhill79 View Drop Down
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Thanks hunterwingler and bird watcher.  

Of the two the Leupold acadia and the pentax-pcf-wp-II which is better in anyones opinion and why.  How about warranties and customer service.  Does the acadia have the traditional leupold blue tint when looking through it?  How about ruggedness, which will hold up under the roughest conditions.  Thanks guys
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/20/2011 at 03:01
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I've got a pair of Brunton Binoculars that get beat on with consistency and so far I like them.  I won them in a drawing awhile back and have beat the snot out of them and they work flawless.  They are the echo model which is a little out of the range what your looking for, but Brunton does have some in your price range.

Here's a link to their stuff.  Don't have a heart attack on price shock when you view the first page.  These are their I think Swiss made products.  Scroll through a page or two.  Just some food for thought.

http://store.bruntonhunting.com/optics/

Maybe SWFA will start carrying these soonCool

And if your around the northern/central part of Idaho you can take a look through my Bruntons and see what you think.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/20/2011 at 19:09
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Originally posted by shockey shockey wrote:

Here's a link to their stuff.  Don't have a heart attack on price shock when you view the first page.  These are their I think Swiss made products.  Scroll through a page or two.  Just some food for thought.
Brunton is Japanese with their Epoch line and Chinese or wherever else Asian they can get what they need to fill their specifications for a particular binocular, just like anybody else in the optics world these days.  Switzerland has nothing to do with it.  Brunton may have some Swiss stuff, just not optics.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/20/2011 at 19:37
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I don't think the Acadia's are quite up to the performance level of the mentioned Zen Rays.  Those Pentax porros have a pretty nice view.  Personally I would go for the Zen Ray Summit HD for the OP's uses.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/20/2011 at 22:55
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how about the zen ray warranty?   Sounds like they are definitely worth checking out.   What about the roof prism over the porro,   I think I once heard that porro's are less likely to get out of focus....any thoughts   Thanks for all the great posts..... not including the monocular crowd.Loco
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/20/2011 at 23:40
Klamath View Drop Down
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Originally posted by samhill79 samhill79 wrote:

how about the zen ray warranty?   Sounds like they are definitely worth checking out.   What about the roof prism over the porro,   I think I once heard that porro's are less likely to get out of focus....any thoughts   Thanks for all the great posts..... not including the monocular crowd.Loco
 
Zen Ray has a fully transferable lifetime warranty.
 
The porro is the one most likely to get knocked out of whack.  However the Pentax is of the internal focus variety and is preetty tough.  It is also a lot bigger than the ZRS HD, which may be of no concern with a truck binocular.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/23/2011 at 18:55
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Originally posted by Bitterroot Bulls Bitterroot Bulls wrote:

I don't think the Acadia's are quite up to the performance level of the mentioned Zen Rays. 
I took  mine compared them with pair Swars and seem to be close to same glass untill had an over cast day then Swars were by far better IDK maybe it me
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/23/2011 at 19:50
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Originally posted by hunterwingler hunterwingler wrote:

Originally posted by Bitterroot Bulls Bitterroot Bulls wrote:

I don't think the Acadia's are quite up to the performance level of the mentioned Zen Rays. 
I took  mine compared them with pair Swars and seem to be close to same glass untill had an over cast day then Swars were by far better IDK maybe it me


The Acadia series are decent bins for their price range.  I used a pair of Leupy Olympics happily for years, and they were a similar bin to the Acadia. 

It is just the ZEN ZRS HD offers more for the money.  With the Zens you get dialectric prism coatings, more modern broadband multicoatings (the Acadia is still using the Leupold standby Multicoat 4 technology), and HD lens elements.  It is likely the low light performance of the Zens is better than the Acadias due to the dialectric coatings alone.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/24/2011 at 13:36
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Originally posted by Bitterroot Bulls Bitterroot Bulls wrote:

Back to the OP:

These are some good choices for your uses:

http://swfa.com/Zen-Ray-Vista-Binoculars-C2700.aspx

http://swfa.com/Zen-Ray-ZRS-HD-Binoculars-C2702.aspx

http://swfa.com/Leupold-Green-Ring-Yosemite-Binoculars-C331.aspx


For slightly over $200, the ZRS HD is a hidden jewel that has not been as widely discussed as their bigger ED2 siblings. I am surprised how sharp this binoculars is. It feels more like a mid-size binos than a typical full size binoculars
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/24/2011 at 15:51
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Originally posted by Bird Watcher Bird Watcher wrote:

Originally posted by samhill79 samhill79 wrote:

I was wondering what the consensus is on a good cheap (less than $200) pair of binoculars. 
I was thinking I read somewhere about Pentax being a good bino...can't remember for sure?  I am open to all opinions.
Pentax PCF WP, excellent binos for the money. I have three. Bandito
 

+1 ... have the 8x40 model and they are a great pair of binos for the price.
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