New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - Best 8x42 binoc under $500
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

Check GunBroker.com for SWFA's No Reserve and No Minimum bid firearm auctions.

Best 8x42 binoc under $500

 Post Reply Post Reply   Topic Search Topic Search  Topic Options Topic Options Page  1 2>
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/13/2010 at 17:12
wildnorthern View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper


Joined: November/27/2006
Status: Offline
Points: 32
What is the best binoc in the 8x42 class for under $500?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/13/2010 at 18:07
Klamath View Drop Down
Optics Master
Optics Master
Avatar

Joined: May/20/2007
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 1267
It would be the Zen Ray ZEN ED2.  No other competition. The Leupold Gold Rings are on sale and have a $100 rebate, but even with that they are nearly $600, but still a heck of a deal as well.

Edited by Klamath - November/13/2010 at 18:08
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/30/2010 at 20:08
Smileydawg1 View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
Optics Apprentice
Avatar

Joined: February/22/2010
Location: Georgia
Status: Offline
Points: 88
What about the Kahles 8x42? how do they stack up to the Zen Ray?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/30/2010 at 22:08
NDhunter View Drop Down
Optics Journeyman
Optics Journeyman
Avatar

Joined: September/15/2006
Status: Offline
Points: 341
Originally posted by Smileydawg1 Smileydawg1 wrote:

What about the Kahles 8x42? how do they stack up to the Zen Ray?
I have owned the Kahles 8x42, and they are a very nice midrange model.  I have also owned a ZR, and
they are nice optically, but for build quality I do give the nod to the quality Austrian made, vs. the chinese
Zenray.
 
I guess sometimes it comes down to what you are looking for.  Some of these quality made types
can last a lifetime.  Some others may not be up to the same.  There is a lot of fanfare for these newer
ones, and so that remains to be seen.  If you could pick them both up, and handle them for a while
you would sure see what I mean.
 
I may compare it to purchasing an Audi, vs. a KIA. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/30/2010 at 23:34
Bitterroot Bulls View Drop Down
Optics Master Extraordinaire
Optics Master Extraordinaire
Avatar

Joined: May/07/2009
Location: Montana
Status: Offline
Points: 3380
Audi vs. KIA?

I don't know about that.  Unless the KIA outperforms the Audi, but looks a little cheaper.
One true story: A friend is using my Zen ED 10X43s while his Kahles are at Gamo USA for repair.

I will say the Zens "feel" a little cheaper than the Euro/High-End Japanese binos, but mine are standing up to some serious abuse.

My friend and I are in full agreement:  The Zens are optically superior to the Kahles.  I really like the Kahles focus wheel, though.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/01/2010 at 09:04
JGRaider View Drop Down
Optics Master
Optics Master


Joined: February/06/2008
Status: Offline
Points: 1431
I'd also take the Zen ED2 over the Kahles any day.  They are optically fantastic and very tough so far. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/01/2010 at 11:01
Klamath View Drop Down
Optics Master
Optics Master
Avatar

Joined: May/20/2007
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 1267
The Kahles, for all their "european pedigree" aren't much of an improvement over the Nikon Monarch.  Better, yes, but not on the same level as the ZEN ED 2.
 
Since the original question was about the best less than $500 binocular, I maintain the ZEN ED 2 has no peer, untill something better comes along.  That is with the caveat that this is based on the original announced sale price.  There are some good deals out there now for this price range on some end of life models, and end of year move some inventory sales,  for that price range.
 
Now the simple fact, as I see it, is that the ZEN ED 2 is pretty typical of the build found on pretty much all of the mid price glass today.  That build quality is stout enough  to be a non issue over most uses and unless durability is a serious concern for your use it is pointless to argue about.  It is a $450 binocular with a $1,000 plus view.  Ideal candidate for the answer to the original question IMO.
 
I buy stuff to use it.  It does not matter what kind of gear it is.  If the ZEN ED was not good enough to use, I'd have found out about it by now.  If I found it to be lacking there, I would have said so by now and my opinion of it would be less than what it is now.
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/01/2010 at 14:04
JGRaider View Drop Down
Optics Master
Optics Master


Joined: February/06/2008
Status: Offline
Points: 1431
I did just see a fllyer from the competitor........Leupol GR HD 8x42 for $479 after rebate.  Fantastic glass at a fantastic price, and built like a tank.  

Edited by Kickboxer - December/10/2010 at 11:05
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/01/2010 at 14:52
SChunter View Drop Down
Optics Journeyman
Optics Journeyman
Avatar

Joined: December/02/2007
Location: usa
Status: Offline
Points: 376
I have the Zen II's and GR both in 10x42--I have put them both through the paces--I like the feel of the GR's a little better, but optically, they are really close.
For under 500, however, I think I would also look at 8.5 x 50 vortex on sale at SWFA.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/01/2010 at 14:54
SChunter View Drop Down
Optics Journeyman
Optics Journeyman
Avatar

Joined: December/02/2007
Location: usa
Status: Offline
Points: 376
sorry, I think the Zens are 10 x 43, and both are better than a similarly configured Kahles.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/01/2010 at 16:46
Smileydawg1 View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
Optics Apprentice
Avatar

Joined: February/22/2010
Location: Georgia
Status: Offline
Points: 88
I have to decide between Zens or Vipers
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/01/2010 at 16:58
Bitterroot Bulls View Drop Down
Optics Master Extraordinaire
Optics Master Extraordinaire
Avatar

Joined: May/07/2009
Location: Montana
Status: Offline
Points: 3380
Zens.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/01/2010 at 22:12
Smileydawg1 View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
Optics Apprentice
Avatar

Joined: February/22/2010
Location: Georgia
Status: Offline
Points: 88
7x36mm or 8x43mm?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/01/2010 at 22:37
Bitterroot Bulls View Drop Down
Optics Master Extraordinaire
Optics Master Extraordinaire
Avatar

Joined: May/07/2009
Location: Montana
Status: Offline
Points: 3380
I am a fan of the 8X42 class.  This should be another option in this price range, but is bigger and heavier:

http://swfa.com/Vortex-85x50-Razor-Binocular-P47963.aspx

I have the 8X42 Razors and they are truly spectacular binoculars. 



Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/01/2010 at 22:55
NDhunter View Drop Down
Optics Journeyman
Optics Journeyman
Avatar

Joined: September/15/2006
Status: Offline
Points: 341
Originally posted by Smileydawg1 Smileydawg1 wrote:

What about the Kahles 8x42? how do they stack up to the Zen Ray?
Smiley:  It seems that there are many options out there, and I wonder how many of the posters here have even lifted a Kahles? Wink  
I am conservative by nature, and like to go with things I feel offer the best
value. 
 
It may be good to think ahead with warranty and other considerations.
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/01/2010 at 23:21
Bitterroot Bulls View Drop Down
Optics Master Extraordinaire
Optics Master Extraordinaire
Avatar

Joined: May/07/2009
Location: Montana
Status: Offline
Points: 3380
NDhunter,

If that wink is for me:

Many posters here, like myself, are optics addicts (perhaps you are as well?) and beg or borrow (never steal) every optic we can get our hands on.  Using the eyes God gave me, I have compared my friend's (now broken) Kahles 10X42s directly to my Meoptas and Zen Rays.  When they return from Gamo, we will be comparing them directly to my Razors.  I had to lift the Kahles many times in order to look through them.

I love this forum because I have gotten great advice, and I try to extend my experiences to others, to help them on their own optics journey.  I only comment on optics I have experience with.

Now you don't have to wonder about this poster.

Big Smile
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/02/2010 at 00:06
Klamath View Drop Down
Optics Master
Optics Master
Avatar

Joined: May/20/2007
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 1267
Or that wink could have been aimed at me as well.  Trust me Jerry, I have looked at Kahles binoculars.  I would not have made any comment about them unless I had done so.  They are OK, just never appealed much to me, or my conservative nature,  for whatever reason. 
 
Smileydawg,
 
I really prefer the 7x36 ZEN ED 2 over the 8x43.  It is my main go to glass.  Makes a nice combo with the 10x43 big brother. My own entirely personal observation is that I can see no difference in image detail between 7x or 8x.  For me they are too close to alike to matter much.  However, the 7x36 has a very noticeably deeper depth of focus than the 8x.  This is largely a function of the depth of focus being larger with lesser magnifications.  The 7x36 Z ED2 is nearly focus free, not entirely, but you will not need it too often.  That coupled with the wide fov it has makes for a 3-D image presentation not often seen in roof prism binoculars. 
 
Forestalling some maybe to appear comments, one of the things that seems to raise some angst in binocular users is in how an individual perceives image performance at the outer edges of the field.  Some require sharp to the edge performance and can't tolerate edge fuzziness.  I really have no idea of how big a percentage of users fit here.  I suspect that if my understanding of human optics is correct in that  we are  center field viewers, that most people are not too terribly bothered by the slightly fuzzy edge.  Those that don't like, it really don't like it, and are really vocal about it.  So I have no idea where you are on this spectrum.  However, if you want completely sharp to the edge performance the 7x36 may not be for you, because it does have a ring of fuzziness around the edge that has drawn the ire of some.  So if you are, as I suspect most are, not too terribly distressed about some edge distortion, I'd seriously consider giving the 7x36 a go.  What edge distortion there is does not bother me personally.  I have to stop viewing, force myself to take a look at what's going on at the edge of the field.  When I do that, yes there is some distortion there.  In reality there is some degree of edge distortion present in almost any binocular.  Also the very wide fov of the 7x36 tends to perhaps magnify the presence of edge distortion.  It is kind of hard to maintain a flat, edge sharp field across that much fov.  If they would have used a different field stop to narrow up the fov to mask the distortion, then those other users who want all the fov they can get would be unhappy.  Binocular designers walk a fine line.


Edited by Klamath - December/02/2010 at 00:13
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/02/2010 at 11:57
Smileydawg1 View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
Optics Apprentice
Avatar

Joined: February/22/2010
Location: Georgia
Status: Offline
Points: 88

Steve, you are correct in order to see edge clarity you have to readjust eye focus to see what’s going on there. Also, I just want to thank everybody for their help Matt, Steve and others. I have been reading posts here for a little over a year but never posted. I will be an active poster now and will pass on any information I may have that is what makes these forums so great. I think 7x36 will suite my needs the best.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/02/2010 at 14:36
Klamath View Drop Down
Optics Master
Optics Master
Avatar

Joined: May/20/2007
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 1267
You should be happy with then I think.  Another thing I like about it over the 8x43 is that it is smaller.  While it is not a compact in the sense of being larger than the majority of the 30mm+ crowd, they are enough smaller to make a noticeable difference packing them around all day over hill and dale.  Not so much for their lighter weight, but for the physically smaller footprint makes them less noticeable.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/02/2010 at 14:50
Bird Watcher View Drop Down
Optics Master
Optics Master
Avatar

Joined: August/30/2006
Status: Offline
Points: 1490
Steve,
 
When are you going to give us some feedback on the 9x36?
 
 
Stan
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/02/2010 at 17:01
Klamath View Drop Down
Optics Master
Optics Master
Avatar

Joined: May/20/2007
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 1267
Originally posted by Bird Watcher Bird Watcher wrote:

Steve,
 
When are you going to give us some feedback on the 9x36?
 
 
Stan
 
The one I got had some issues with a  prism housing and I had to send it back.  Charles wanted to use it to see if it was an isolated incident (evidently it was) or not, I told him to take all the time he needed to be sure everything was OK.  My bad one seems to have been pure bad luck.  So I won't see it until next week.  I told him to fill other orders first as I was in no particular hurry.
 
I will post a new thread when I get some info.


Edited by Klamath - December/02/2010 at 17:03
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/02/2010 at 19:09
Bird Watcher View Drop Down
Optics Master
Optics Master
Avatar

Joined: August/30/2006
Status: Offline
Points: 1490
Thanks.
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/07/2010 at 18:55
spf2 View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
Optics Apprentice


Joined: February/02/2007
Status: Offline
Points: 169
Originally posted by Smileydawg1 Smileydawg1 wrote:

I have to decide between Zens or Vipers
 
Zens for me too. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/09/2010 at 13:47
meanwhile View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper


Joined: December/09/2010
Status: Offline
Points: 7
I'd bet on these Porro's to be at least 99% as good as anything else under $500. < ="-" ="text/; =utf-8">They're officially 8x45, but probably closer really to 8x42. This guy really knows what he is talking about and he rates them:


< ="-" ="text/; =utf-8">The optical performance of this binocular is quite remarkable. Already on the first sight, the image appears very bright and with high contrast. I was informed that this model comes with a novel, further improved coating technology, and the tests seem to support that claim. During daytime, the image brightness is higher than that of my Docter 8x42 B/CF (which is the version made before 2007) and comparable to the Nikon 8x30 EII. The image is also very neutral without any color tint. In the night, ghost images of street lanterns are well suppressed, indicating that not only the lenses but also the prisms are treated with a high performance coating. Under the night sky, the star images remain point-like over about 80-85% of the field of view (radial from the center) - an excellent result! This binocular is therefore suitable for astronomy. 

- And this guy is a physicist, so he takes his binocular reviewing pretty seriously. 

The 10x42 just won a UK astronomy magazine binocular shootout against binoculars costing several times more - that was under the "Elinor" brand, where they sell for £160 (http://www.opticalhardware.co.uk/news.htm). However you can also get them branded as Hilkinson Falmouth's for £80 here: 

http://www.claritas-online.co.uk/products/product_pages/binoculars/falmouth.html

They take PayPal, so they should be willing to ship to the States.


Downsides: 

- A little ugly because of the grey bridge and bulging name badge

- Slightly heavy focusing

- Mine came with a really nasty soft case.

- Most people think roofs are somehow "cool" 


Upsides: 

- Image quality to blow away any roofs I've used that don't have "Leica" on them. As Dr Meyerlitz says, the coating technology used seems to be exceptional - these are very bright, even allowing for the huge size of the eyepiece exit glass.

- Nitrogen filled and sealed.

- For me, exceptional well balanced and shake free in my hand. But that's probably very personal.

- For what you get, very cheap indeed. Even the Elinor branded glasses are a bargain and the Hilkinson ones are quite insane value. 
< ="-" ="text/; =utf-8">

- Good eye relief, excellent screw-in rubber eyecups



Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/09/2010 at 18:25
NDhunter View Drop Down
Optics Journeyman
Optics Journeyman
Avatar

Joined: September/15/2006
Status: Offline
Points: 341
meanwhile:
 
Some interesting ones here.  Are you in the US or elsewhere?  For many watching here, warranty
and some history are important. 
 Post Reply Post Reply Page  1 2>
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Similar Threads: "Best 8x42 binoc under $500"
Subject Author Forum Replies Last Post
Need good low light binoculars for less than $500 BigDad Binoculars 1
Binoc Review Minox v Vortex v Zeiss 8x42 binocs ssives Binoculars 2
Nikon Monarch 3 8x42 good binocs? Robster80 Binoculars 2
Good 8x42 bino for $300 catorres1 Binoculars 4
$500 binos blacknblue Binoculars 6
$500 and a .257 Weatherby hunting rifle Elkins45 Rifle Scopes 27
Best Scope Under $500 for LR 7mm rem mag FLAVIO Rifle Scopes 8
8x42/43 for Hunting and Good Low Light Performance GunAround Binoculars 24
$300 vs $500 Binocular Decision Steerdog Binoculars 31
Best 1 x 6 Tactical scope for $500 or less goosedowner Tactical Scopes 8


This page was generated in 0.359 seconds.