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Best Buy for $250

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/29/2008 at 13:36
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Any suggestions on what the best bang for the buck would be for the $250 price range?  I am purchasing a scope for $600-$700, and just can't afford to spend that much for Binoculars as well.  I would like to get something around the 8X42 or 10X42, somewhere in that range.  thanks in advance for your responses!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/29/2008 at 13:42
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These are pretty good, I checked them out in a store the other day and was impressed.  They are not up to par comparing them to some good Euro glass but for the price they looked pretty good.
http://www.swfa.com/c-2130-vortex-diamondback-binoculars.aspx
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/29/2008 at 15:03
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go to fleabay,
and find a Celestron Regal LX 8x42 for $170. Those binoculars originally sold for $500. They are stunningly sharp from edge to edge, very bright even in low light, excellent binoculars, and are covered by no fault warranty. Made in Japan.
I have a pair, and they are light and well ballanced, excellent quality.
The only differences between them and a pair of Zeiss or Swarovski are 
1. the field of view is less
2. they have a bit more color fringing in bright light, but not too much. 
 
Celestron appears to have discontinued them, and they are now on sale.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/29/2008 at 15:28
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Thanks for the info, I will check them out.
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/29/2008 at 15:33
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I'd change your budget.  You're getting close to $1000 for a scope and binocs.  Spend $450 on a scope and $550 on binocs.  I use my binoculars about 50 times as much as I use a scope.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/29/2008 at 15:33
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Celestron Regal
 
Canon 7x42mm WP


Edited by Bird Watcher - January/29/2008 at 15:47
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/29/2008 at 17:32
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Originally posted by mwyates mwyates wrote:

I'd change your budget.  You're getting close to $1000 for a scope and binocs.  Spend $450 on a scope and $550 on binocs.  I use my binoculars about 50 times as much as I use a scope.
 
+1
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/30/2008 at 07:10
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What lucznik and mywates suggest is actually wise. You will use you binoculars waaaaay more than your spotting scope.
Still, the Celestron Regal LX 8x42 is in the Minox/Kahles/Pentax $500 class and much better than, say, Leupold Pinnacles. 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/10/2008 at 09:24
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Originally posted by anweis anweis wrote:

go to fleabay,
and find a Celestron Regal LX 8x42 for $170. Those binoculars originally sold for $500. They are stunningly sharp from edge to edge, very bright even in low light, excellent binoculars, and are covered by no fault warranty. Made in Japan.
I have a pair, and they are light and well ballanced, excellent quality.
The only differences between them and a pair of Zeiss or Swarovski are 
1. the field of view is less
2. they have a bit more color fringing in bright light, but not too much. 
 
Celestron appears to have discontinued them, and they are now on sale.
 
 
I can't find these any cheaper than $348?  I would love to buy 2 pair, but not at that price.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/10/2008 at 14:56
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Originally posted by 12VMan 12VMan wrote:

I would love to buy 2 pair, but not at that price.


I sent you a PM.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/10/2008 at 19:42
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Originally posted by Bird Watcher Bird Watcher wrote:

Originally posted by 12VMan 12VMan wrote:

I would love to buy 2 pair, but not at that price.


I sent you a PM.
 
Just got it, thanks!  Not sure why that did not show up in my search this morning.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/10/2008 at 21:10
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Slick,
 
I'm one more vote for reversing your budget.  Get at least a $500 binocular.  For this price there is nothing better than a Vortex Viper.  Never used one but they are sure clear enough to try, look at the Vortex Viper line of scopes.  You will use the binocular far more than you will use the scope.  You will buy a much better $250 rifle scope than a $250 binocular.  If you still insist on more scope than binocular,is the Nikon Monarch series or Vortex Diamondbacks  (a little less than the Nikon), and are a pretty usable binoculars.  Another option is the Leupold Yosemite porro binoculars at about $100. 
 
Steve
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/18/2008 at 10:07
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Thanks for all the input, I did adjust my budget a little bit.  I put an order in for the Leupold® Wind River® Cascade Series Bino 10-42.  I looked through them at the store and was very impressed with the clarity and the fit/feel of them.  They were about $320.  There are so many choices out there in this price range, I don't really know if I made good decision or not.
 
If anyone has had any negative experience with these please let me know, I have not received them, because the store was out of stock.  So I can always send them back, or just not pick them up, as I have not paid for them yet.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/18/2008 at 11:47
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Slick,

Look for my PM.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/23/2008 at 06:07
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The next pair I buy will be alot better, I spent more on the scope than the Bino's should of spent 500-600 on each, oh well lesson learned. My wife enjoys the Leupold Mesa 10x50 to look at birds in the back yard. I am saving up for a new pair now. So for about 750.00 is all I can REALLY afford to spen what would you look at? Thanks guys....

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/23/2008 at 06:57
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For $750.00 Ive been told the new VORTEX RAZOR is the one to look at. I am thinking about buying some Vortex Viper for around $500.00. I have no experience with either but the reviews are very good. Vortex have a great lifetime warranty.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/23/2008 at 10:45
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I agree with Dave44, start with the Vortex Razor/Viper models and do some comparisons.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/23/2008 at 10:48
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The Leupold Gold Ring HD typically sells for $750.  The non-HD version can still be found for under $600.   Leupold Pinnacles sell for under $500.

Refurb Bushnell Elites can be found for under $500.

Vortex does seem to be getting a lot of really good press lately - at least their binoculars do.  Personally, I found the Razors to be a bit too big for me but, they were very nice otherwise.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/23/2008 at 10:52
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Originally posted by Slick Slick wrote:

I put an order in for the Leupold® Wind River® Cascade Series Bino 10-42... They were about $320... I can always send them back, or just not pick them up, as I have not paid for them yet.


You could have bought this same binocular for $280 from SWFA, saving yourself $40.  That would be enough motivation for me to cancel my order.

In this price range you also would really be better off getting the 8x42 version.  10x is really hit-and-miss (mostly miss) in budget class optics.  Not only will you get better optics with the 8x but you'll save even more $$$. 




Edited by lucznik - February/23/2008 at 10:55
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/23/2008 at 11:11
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Personally, imo, I do not believe you need to change your budget at all.  One of the most under appreciated pair of binos is the Olympus Magellan EXWP I, roof prisms, phase corrected, water proof and made in Japan.  They are 10x42.  I have owned a pair for almost 2 years and they have accompanied me bear hunting on multiple occasions.   Tough terrain and dense woods to scope which is much more demanding of a bino than that of flat long distance scoping were resolution is of primary importance.  I have directly compared these to many high end expensive binos and can either tell no difference or thought the Olympus binos were better.  The color rendition is uncanny and the clarity is perfect from edge to edge.  There is no significant color/chromatic distortion and the depth of field for any given focus point seems deeper than other binos, which when scoping woods, is important.  They are built tough and I have not had a problem with them at all.  List price is 389, but I just did a check for medic52 and found them as low as 169.95, may be gray market, but around 200 or a little more should get you a USA pair easily.  I would not trade them for any other pair even up.  Where I hunt, binos take alot of abuse and invariably somebody forgets them and asks to use yours.  I have not had anybody who used mine who did not believe they were not incredible, regardless of what they owned (from cheap Bushnells to some high end models that I cannot recall the names and models, as I would be guessing).  At least, look through a pair.  Could not hurt.  I sure I will get alot of flack recommending this pair, as they are not in the mainstream for a hunting binocular.  But, when I set out to buy a nice pair of roof prism binos, I researched the topic thoroughly, looked through alot of them and found that I did not have to spend 1000 dollars on a pair.  This pair is made in Japan, which is also reassuring.  One caveat, get flip up lens covers as they come with standard non-attached lens covers.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/23/2008 at 11:46
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Dolphin,

That's interesting to hear your account of the Olympus Magellan.  I tested one not too long ago and while I thought they were nice for their price range, they definitely were a step behind the Bushnell Elite I was comparing them with.  Here's the link:

http://www.opticstalk.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=6350

I suppose the question becomes; did I have an unusually poor sample or do you have an unusually good sample? 

Depth of Field, by the way, is almost strictly a function of magnification.  Assuming you are not dealing with total crap optics, which is an entirely different problem altogether, a 10x bino of one maker will have the same DoF as a 10x from any other maker.   The same is true for all other magnifications as well.  That the DoF in your Magellan "seems deeper than other binos" is essentially an optical illusion created by other factors.


Edited by lucznik - February/23/2008 at 11:50
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/23/2008 at 13:13
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Actually, dof is theoretically defined by the magnification, but is also affected by the lens objective.  In addition, while two binos may be identical in their specs, ie 10x42, that does not mean that their dof will be identical based on the quality of the lenses employed and the fact that while one bino might say 10x, but may be somewhere off of the mark.  Olympus has been making high quality glass in their own factory for quite some time and knows how to do it correctly.  They do not need to source out their glass to certain specs and hope that those specs were meet and quality control is meet with each piece made.  They make high end glass for their digital cameras, which are highly regarded.  I personally own three, in addition to two Nikons.  It may be that you had a bad pair, doubtful I had a good pair.  Everybody makes a dud.  I am not sure when you looked through the pair you did, but may be the quality has changed.  Mine are about 2 years old or slightly less.  They still function well and are as optically as clean as when I bought them.  For the money, I could not be happier.  I try to be as unbiased as possible when evaluating a product, but I do have to admit, I fall into the camp where I will be more biased toward a really good product that is less expensive and be biased against a product that is more expensive, as I expect more out of it and try to find out why it costs so much, especially with the modern manufacturing techniques.  Just to illustrate a point of the mark ups of Euro products, I found an Australian gun shop, Hermans Gun Shop, I believe.  He was selling Merkel O/U model 2000 shotguns for 1995.00 US dollars.  Try to find one over here for less than 5000 dollars.  The Weatherby Athena Grade 5, no longer produced, which I believe is just as good as the Merkel model 2000 variants (not their best), cost more than the Merkel 2000.  I am just trying to be honest about my potential bias, but my review of the Olympus still stands.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/23/2008 at 16:23
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Originally posted by Dolphin Dolphin wrote:

Actually, dof is theoretically defined by the magnification, but is also affected by the lens objective.  In addition, while two binos may be identical in their specs, ie 10x42, that does not mean that their dof will be identical based on the quality of the lenses employed and the fact that while one bino might say 10x, but may be somewhere off of the mark. 
Objective lenses will affect FoV which can result in a perception of greater DoF, though it is an optical illusion.  Also, if one bino is mislabeled as to its actual magnification, that doesn't change the reality that DoF is controlled by magnification.  It just means that you are unknowingly comparing things that are not in fact equal.

You should take a few minutes (actually it will likely take hours) and go over to www.birdforum.net and read over some of their lengthy and highly technical discussions about DoF, its causes , what influences it, how we perceive it, and the math that is involved in its calculation.  They are highly instructive.  

Originally posted by Dolphin Dolphin wrote:

I am not sure when you looked through the pair you did, but may be the quality has changed.
I posted my review about the Magellan at the end of March last year.

Originally posted by Dolphin Dolphin wrote:

For the money, I could not be happier.
"For the money" is a very significant disclaimer.

Originally posted by Dolphin Dolphin wrote:

I try to be as unbiased as possible when evaluating a product, but I do have to admit, I fall into the camp where I will be more biased toward a really good product that is less expensive and be biased against a product that is more expensive, as I expect more out of it and try to find out why it costs so much...
This is a reasonable and perhaps even "wise" practice.  It is smart to be aware of our own biases and I relate very well with the one you have described.  I too look to find maximum value in my purchases. It is a fairly objective fact that increases in the cost of optics are rarely if ever proportionately connected with the amount or degree of improvements. However, it is important not to equate an unwillingness to pay a premium price for potentially very small increases in quality to being the same as if those quality increases did not exist.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/23/2008 at 18:54
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Well, I guess if it is an optical illusion, that is what I am experiencing, because that is what seems to set the Olympus binos apart from the others.  I appreciate your link to the bird watchers, but when I researched the Olympus binos, alot of the bird watchers criteria for a good pair of binos for their purposes were not the same for my purposes.  In addition, for the money, being a disclaimer, I could not disagree more.  It is merely a statement regarding the fact that the quality, which I consider on par with the best, is an added benefit.  Nothing more.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/24/2008 at 05:47
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Originally posted by Dolphin Dolphin wrote:

...  Just to illustrate a point of the mark ups of Euro products, I found an Australian gun shop, Hermans Gun Shop, I believe.  He was selling Merkel O/U model 2000 shotguns for 1995.00 US dollars.  Try to find one over here for less than 5000 dollars. ....


Hermans may be an anomoly on that gun but belive me, you guys in the US have a great deal on Euro items when compared to the rest of the world.

Being a small market here in Australia means we get hit from all sides with markups. The only thing we have going in our favour at the moment is the strong Australian dollar versus the greenback. But guess what? no downwards movement in pricing pretty much across the board for all imports from the US.Shocked

The internet has been a boon for buying O/S and importing items, thus side stepping the markup upon markup.
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