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binocs for shooting range and general use

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/27/2012 at 23:14
wskungfuclub View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
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budget <= $200

must have tripod mount capability.  have been looking at pentaxes and nikon action series. 

really what i'm looking for is a good solid pair of binocs that will allow me to use for spotting out to a few hundred yards and be versatile enough to take on vacation for nature watching, sporting events, etc.  just don't have the funds available to get a quality dedicated spotting scope.  my biggest question is WHAT MAGNIFICATION is best for this purpose?  10x?  12x?  16x?  20x? 

thanks again guys!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/28/2012 at 12:03
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Sorry, I don't see where this is going to happen in one instrument at $200 Smile.
 
From my perspective you need a good 20x capability at the range for seeing holes in targets, which means a spotter mostly.
 
For the other portion of your use ,something like 8 or 10x is going to be a lot better.  Go much above 10x and you do need a tripod.  Add a tripod onto the thing for say a Nikon Action 16x50 and...do you really think you or anybody else will pack that around for nature viewing? 
 
So, if you are on a tight budget (hey we've all been there)  decide which use is prevalent and go there.  I'd suggest you Nikon Action suggestion is a good enough starting place, but go with the 8x or 10x.  Good entry level spotters worth the $$$ outlay like the Zen Ray Ridgefield or the Theron Saker are around 250.  Minox does make a nice small spotter in 50 mm which will fit your budget, now that I think about it, but overall you are trying to do too much with too little.  Like pulling a big camper with a little Toyota 2wd truck.
 
Tripod mounting is pretty much a universal roof prism feature, but I don't know off hand if the Nikon Action has that ability.  There are several good roofs around the $200 level like the ZRS HD or the Vortex Diamondback.
 
There are good useable, decent optics out there for not a lot of $$$, there is also a lot of crap which will waste your $$$.  Think about this, ask some questions and don't rush yourself.  Besides which, taking your tine might add a few bucks to the optics pigghy bank.  I think you will need closer to $350-500 to get two instruments that get you into the minimum useability level.  A small Minox 50mm spotter and an 80 or 10x Action would be as little as I'd recommens spending
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/28/2012 at 12:31
PhilR. View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
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For tripod-mounted spotting out to several hundred yards, might as well get something between 16x and 20x.  Certainly I would prefer the older Pentax WP models over the Nikon Actions.  Also, there are some astronomical binoculars that range from 15x to 20x and that work very well for this, and can be found in your price range.   I often use a 20x astronomical during the daytime, as it's easier for me to use two eyes rather than one.
 
However, these will not work for your other stated specifications.  For sporting events, a wide-field 6x works very well (and you do not want to be using a tripod at a sporting event).  A good example is the Leupold Yosemite 6x, which is what we use for this purpose.  For vacation nature watching, a decent 8x is fine.  I would not go above 8x for your stated needs.  If you can't do it with 10x, then you won't be able to do it with 8x either, and anything above 10x will just be too large to tote around while on vacation, and too difficult to hold steady.
 
I would suggest getting a good 8x set of binoculars, which will do all of your stated requirements except the tripod thing, and unless you have a great issue with shake, will obviate the need for a tripod anyway.  There are lots of decent 8x sets you can find under $200.  If it were me, I would check out the Sightron SIII's that are on sale here.  The Zen Rays are also worth looking into.  If you could stretch your budget about $25, the Bushnell 8x Legend HD's are also worth looking at (or through).
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/28/2012 at 15:44
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Optics GrassHopper
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/28/2012 at 15:49
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Optics GrassHopper
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No good reason for it but I have 7 or 8 spotting scopes, couple good ones lot of not so good ones.  The old Bushnells 70's vintage are very good scopes. Used off Ebay Bushnell Stalkers are 75 bucks or so. Larger ones bit more.  I have one in 20x dedicated to my basement 10 meter Air Gun range. Before that kept it under my car seat on a window mount for Hawk spotting.  Replaced it with a Leoupld 25x50 mm and gained very little in resolution.
 
Buy a good binocular go with a used Bushell until you can upgrade
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/29/2012 at 16:35
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Optics Apprentice
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take a look of the ZRS HD 8x42

 
 
 
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