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Binoculars in the under$300 range

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Urimaginaryfrnd View Drop Down
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    Posted: September/26/2020 at 00:20
I would like to pick up a set of binoculars in the under $300 probably  under $200 range however I have always had horrible luck with binoculars since I wear glasses.  In general I find it much easier to glass with a rifle scope due to its eye relief. The only binoculars that I ever looked at that really impressed me were Zeiss but I'm not likely to buy ones that expensive and their little monoculars seem to have vanished.    

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote koshkin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/26/2020 at 13:50
Honestly, I have not looked at any binoculars in this price range for quite a long time, so I am probably not much help there.

That having been said, if you wear glasses it gets a little rough. Depending on the fit, you basically need binoculars with around 19-20mm of eye relief.  Depending on the eyecup design, something as short as 17mm might work too.

I vaguely recall looking at Steiner Safari 8x42 a couple of years ago and I thought there were very respectable and usable with glasses.  I think these are in your price range.

Hawke Frontier 8x42 also seemed good, but I think they are a little more expensive than the Steiner.

ILya
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Urimaginaryfrnd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/26/2020 at 17:17
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote John A Roberts Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/26/2020 at 17:59
Hi Urimaginaryfrnd,


Particularly at a low level like $200 (or even $300) my general advice would be: 

firstly, a Porro prism design will provide better optics than a roof prism one


In terms of working out what’s going to fit your parameters, go to a online seller that has a wide variety of stock:

- set your preferred magnification

- sort from lowest price to highest

and see if anything has suitable eye relief


Once you’ve got a couple of possibilities, search for reviews and hopefully someone will address the issue of the effective eye relief


As an example, the Opticron 8x30 Savanna Porro has a stated 18 mm eye relief (I don't know what the effective ER is)

The same binocular is also marketed under other names



Good Luck

John


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Urimaginaryfrnd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/28/2020 at 22:30
https://www.swfa.com/steiner-8x30-predator-af-binocular.html

I am curious about :  Steiner 8x30 Predator AF Binocular.   quote: "Always Focused lets you focus each eyepiece to your vision once, then keeps images razor-sharp from 20 yards to infinity - no more chasing focus on moving objects."
With glasses I seem to be able to get one eye in focus and the other not so much which just makes me hate binoculars.  I'm wondering if this might fix that. 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote John A Roberts Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/29/2020 at 18:46

 Hi Urimaginaryfrnd,


In relation to binoculars, Steiner uses ‘Auto Focus’ as a marketing term, and in this instance it’s a highly misleading one!

i.e. it does not indicate any form of opto-mechanical auto focus as used in camera lenses


Instead, the AF Steiner’s are conventional individual focus binoculars: you separately focus each eyepiece so that it is at optimal focus at one distance


Auto Focus is used by Steiner to indicate that, when an optic is focused at one distance:

- there will be a gradual progressive decline to the acceptable focus on either side of the focus point (in photographic terms the useable depth of field), and

- the human eye will actively adjust to attempt to bring a slightly unsharp image to better sharpness i.e. accomodation


The degree of accomodation varies between individuals, and declines significantly with age

And accomodation requires involuntary muscular tension in the eye. So such viewing becomes increasingly uncomfortable the longer it’s maintained



So an AF Steiner is no different - and no more useable - than any other IF binocular of the same specification

And looking at the specifications, the 8x30 Predator has a very narrow field of view of only 302 ft at 1000 yds (100 m at 1000 m)



As the old saying goes, if it sounds too good to be true . . . 


John

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote John A Roberts Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/29/2020 at 19:40
Hi again Urimaginaryfrnd,


As my previous post indicates, it’s the user that provides the Auto Focus system when using Steiner binoculars!


And you’ve indicated that you have some difficulty with your own AF system - at least in getting each barrel of a binocular to equal focus, when making the initial dioptric correction 

i.e. altering the focus bias in one of the barrels, so that both barrels will then come to the same focus with your vision



The good news is that you’re not alone in this regard. The related issues have been recently discussed in some threads on BirdForum:


- For selecting a suitable target to make the adjustment easier, see the comments of others and myself in the thread ‘Is this a record? Re: Ultravid 8x32 HD Plus’

 https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?p=4039747


- My post also links to one by Bill Cook that specifically addresses the importance of the need to stare while adjusting the diopter i.e. keeping the eye in a relaxed state


- And for some practical detail in setting the dioptre adjustment, see the attachment in post #12 by Bill that’s in the thread ‘Bino Thoughts #3’ 

(and also my field expedient suggestion in the next post) https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=390836



Hopefully the above can help you to get the best focus from a binocular 



John

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Urimaginaryfrnd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/29/2020 at 20:50
Thanks John I will check that out. 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ffhounddog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/26/2021 at 21:52
dang I guess i should Not have gotten the 8x42 Steiner Safari.  I got Them for $180 shipped with many discounts including $50 gift certificate.  

I had an old Steiner porro but my 2d ex gave them away.
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