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Best Binoculars under $150?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/25/2006 at 21:49
.41Dave View Drop Down
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I need advice on choosing the best binoculars for $150 or less. I know there are better binoculars for more money, but I don't have more money, so please don't recommend anything I can only dream about. I would be using them for hunting primarily, but also for general use. I have decided to go with porro prisms, as optical quality is the most important thing to me. I want no more than 8x magnification, although going down to 7x or even 6x would be ok.

 

I am looking for the following in order of importance:

 

1. quality optics (i.e. resolution/sharpness/clarity/brightness/low light/etc.)

2. waterproof

3. durable

4. compact

 

I am considering the following models:

 

Bushnell Legend 8x42 porro

Nikon Action Extreme 8x40 (despite the silly name)

Leupold Wind River Mesa 8x42

Pentax PCF WP II 8x40

 

Which of these models would be the best bang for the buck? Or are there any other models I should consider?

 

Thanks for the help!

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/26/2006 at 15:32
Scootz View Drop Down
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How about Barska Huntmaster?  SUPER clear for about $120.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/26/2006 at 16:05
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I have used the Legend porros.  Great bang for the buck!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/26/2006 at 16:17
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That's the first time I've ever seen Barska recommended for anything but to serve as targets for trap shooting....  The one's suggested are roof prism binoculars that are not phase-correction coated so, image quality would suffer significantly. 

 

 

For the money you have to spend you are definately on the right track.  Personally, I would choose either the Bushnell Legend or the Pentax PCF WPII.  However, none of the ones you have listed would be a mistake. What you should really do is go to an optics dealer and try out each one to find which one has the best ergonomics for you.

 

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/26/2006 at 16:44
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I agree with lucznik, I have talked to those who sell Barska & they say that they have more returns on these than other binocular out there. They generally arrive over here out of collimation & have quality control problems.

From critical astronomy reviews I have read the Pentax PCF WP II has better optics than the Nikon Action.
I sold a pair of Nikon Action after only 3 mos. because the optics were less than hoped for.

I have looked thru several different models of Leupold at my local sporting gooods store & have been favorably impressed with all of them.

Bushnell makes a great product. You need to go handle & look thru the ones you listed & SEE for YOURSELF what you like best.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/26/2006 at 18:05
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Pentax DCF WP II.

I think they are a little better than Nikon Action Extreme, but the two are reasonably close.

Bushnell Legend porros are nice, but not waterproof, while both Pentax and Nikon are.

ILya

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/26/2006 at 18:23
lucznik View Drop Down
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Are you sure the porro prism Legends aren't waterproof?

 

Their spec sheet says that they are. 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/26/2006 at 18:36
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Originally posted by lucznik lucznik wrote:

Are you sure the porro prism Legends aren't waterproof?

 

Their spec sheet says that they are. 



They were not in the past.  Have there been a recent redesign?  I do see that they are listed as waterproof on Bushnell's site.

Anyway, Pentax PCF WP II has somewhat better glass.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/28/2006 at 17:40
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Originally posted by lucznik lucznik wrote:

That's the first time I've ever seen Barska recommended for anything but to serve as targets for trap shooting....  The one's suggested are roof prism binoculars that are not phase-correction coated so, image quality would suffer significantly. 

 

 

For the money you have to spend you are definately on the right track.  Personally, I would choose either the Bushnell Legend or the Pentax PCF WPII.  However, none of the ones you have listed would be a mistake. What you should really do is go to an optics dealer and try out each one to find which one has the best ergonomics for you.

 

 

 

 

Intesting, my Barska Huntmasters ARE Phase Coated and a great bang for the buck.  I have also spoken with dealers and they have remarked on the return rates and QU issues as to only be assiciated with the high power zoom binos.  Also, for me, the roof prisim is a far superior choice for a hunting binoc.  Just my 2 cents 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/28/2006 at 18:29
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Barska Huntmaster & Scavenger, which are their top of the line products, are phase coated.
Glad to hear that you purchased and received 'one' of their better models.
However, it is not just the zoom binoculars that have collimation & quality control problems. Take a look at www.cloudynights.com, & click on reviews, then click on binoculars, then click on 70mm, & then scroll down to Barska 15x70, & read the review for yourself. It is always good to stay informed.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/29/2006 at 09:50
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Originally posted by Scootz Scootz wrote:

Intesting, my Barska Huntmasters ARE Phase Coated  

 

My bad, sorry.  The advertising copy I read did not list phase coatings and I generally go by the mantra that if it's not listed, it isn't there.  If you're sure they are phase-correction coated, then I'll take your word on it.

 

I still wouldn't buy one of these binoculars as yours is the first positive review I have ever heard, read, or otherwise been aware of relating to any Barska optic. I've looked through a few and have always been... well, let's just say "underwhelmed."

 

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/20/2006 at 11:20
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Under $150, great, sharp, colorful optics, water proof, and compact...

 

I've got a couple dozen pair of binoculars in my collection.  The pair that fits that description is also the pair I keep hanging on a hook by the back door.  They're my 'general' binocs that I like to have handy for anything from scoping out the latest critter across the south 40, to back yard birdwatching, to star gazing.

 

Minolta Activa porro's in 7x35.

 

I have had mine for four years, they've withstood numerous light downpours, been knocked around on that hook, dropped (gently) from the table to the deck, and still do a wonderful job.

 

If I ever lost 'em, I'd go out and replace them tomorrow with the exact same thing.

 

Quick focus, great depth of field, pin point image, and that great combination of ruggedness combined with inexpensive.  They don't cost so much that I'm afraid to be rough on 'em, and they're rugged enough that I can be a bit rougher with them than my Audubons or my Superior E's...

 

Just my two cents.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/20/2006 at 11:33
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I do not think they make Activas any more, but they are sure great inexpensive binoculars.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/17/2012 at 07:10
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I just got some Bushnell Legend 10x42.  They are roof prism, not porro and they are very waterproof.  I don't have a lot of experience with high end binoculars except that I grew up with my dad's Fujinon 7x50, but the Legends seem very sharp.  Bushnell makes a Legacy that is poro, which may be where the confusion lies.  They have gotten very good reviews and I believe they are waterproof too.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/20/2012 at 08:33
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wow.. this thread was buried deep in hybernation for 5+ years. Now the mummy has returned.Big Smile
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