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Bino’s (low cost)

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/09/2004 at 16:10
ReneZ View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
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Joined: August/09/2004
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Sorry gents, probably a silly question. I'm looking for a 'not too expensive' binoculars. Regretfully budget is limited to 150. If I'm really very very nice to my wife 200 should be possible. Any chance of getting anything useable for that amount of money? I've been looking at the sample list, but don't know enough to make a decision. Main purpose is hunting/bird watching.

Appreciate your time & help!

Thanks, Rene

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/11/2004 at 14:00
Stephanie View Drop Down
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Take a look at Leupold,Steiner or the Nikon Monarch or Bushnell all of the bino's are in your price range and great for the money!

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/11/2004 at 19:56
gremlin View Drop Down
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As a fellow Birder / Hunter, I know first hand that the Sample List is mighty slim in the $150-$200 range.  The best combination binoculars on there in that range that I've had the opportunity to look through are #1335, the 8x30 Steiner Predators for $179.  I stopped in at Keislers Police Supply yesterday and tried out a pair that they had and felt they'd make a great combo-binocular.  Kiesler's was asking $100 more than the Sample List is getting.

The color rendition was very good and they're waterproof as well as reasonably sharp at a distance of 50 yards.  The problem for a birder would be their lack of center-focus--you adjust each eye piece manually at distances below 60 feet.  The fact that they're focused out to infinity past that distance doesn't do an ardant birder much good if he's in tight and wanting to get that lasting look in a matter of seconds.

Outside the Sample List, as combination birding/hunting binoculars for under a realistic street price of $200, I'd make the following recommendations based upon my viewing experience.  Someone else might have other recommendations, but these are simply the glasses that I either own today or have had the opportunity to borrow and use in the field...

1] Olympus 10x42 EXPS I Pathfinders -- fully multi-coated, bak 4 porro prisms, rubber armored, and the best eye relief of any porro binocular I've ever used at 10X (that's critical if you're wearing eye glasses!).  They've got a crisp, sharp picture and the color tones are so rich that they honestly give everything a 'wet' look.  Made in Japan, they're water resistant (not waterproof), come with a nice vinyl case, comfortable strap, and weight 24 ounces.  $169 or thereabouts.  Spend 7 bucks buying some Eagle Optics tethered lens covers.

2] Pentax 8x40 PCF WP porros -- fully multi-coated lenses with aespherical elements, bak 4 porro prisms, submersible waterproof to 3 feet of depth, rubber armored, 20 mm eye relief (which is also incredible) using slide out eyecups instead of rubber, and the smoothest operating center focus knob of any porro in this price range.  They're a bright glass and offer a pretty sharp image with a lot of contrast between light and dark.  I think the Olympus image is sharper and the colors are richer, but... it's a matter of opinion.  $169 at SWFA.

3] Bushnell 8x42 Legend porros -- fully multi-coated, bak 4 porro prisms, waterproof, and Bushnell's patented RainGuard hydrophobic coatings on the ocular and objective lenses.  They shed rain water like the proverbial water off a duck's back.  Not the brightest glass I've ever used, but when hunting in an early morning mist I find the RainGuard protection more important than color.  Pull up eye cups, 15mm eye releif (plenty enough to be comfortable), and almost 25% wider field of view than either binocular listed above.  They only weigh 24 ox and and have been a great value and utterly reliable for me--I always call the Legend porros the Ruger of binoculars.  They close focus down to 13 feet and that also makes them better for birding than the others.  Only $125 or so at most places that stock them on the web.

4] Audubon 10x42 Raptor porros -- fully multi-coated, bak 4 porro prisms, waterproof, fog proof, all the features of the Legends except for the RainGuard.  They've got a brighter picture than the Legends, but their field of view is much narrower and they weigh 6 oz more.  That's not a huge amount, but it's noticeable after an hour of glassing across a wetland.  Great binoculars that would be an even greater value if they had a hydrophobic coating.

5] Eagle Optics 9x42 Denali roofs -- the only roof prism binoculars below $200 that I've found give a picture anywhere near acceptable for birding.  They're not phase coated, but they are fully multi-coated with bak 4's, waterproof, and have 19mm eye relief with Twist Up eye cups rather than push pull (I prefer the twist up style by a wide margin).  The field of view is only 252 feet at 1000 but they're crisp all the way out to the outer edges of the image and short focus down to only 12 feet--that's important especially if you do any back yard birding.  Nikon makes glasses with much wider fields of view, but the sharpness of the image falls off dramatically a short distance outside of center, they probably only give you 252 feet of sharp field of view.  The Denali's weigh only 20oz and I thought their low light performance was exceptional--certainly better than any thing in their price class.  $99 at Eagle Optics.

Maybe it's just me, but I'm not a big believer in the Nikon Action Extreme line.  My experience has been that while their color is excellent, neither the 7x35's I own nor the 8x40's I borrowed had a very crisp image outside the inner third.

I love the Leupold roofs--the Pinnacles are fabulous and I think they hit a home run with the Katmai line--but I have never thought their porros equaled the performance of less expensive alternatives. 

I tried to keep my recommendations closer to the $150 or below than to the absolute stretch limit of $200.  I know the feeling of trying to stretch those disposable income dollars and the difficulty of talking my wife into an extra $50.  Others might disagree, but I hope this gives you the type of info and suggestions you were looking for.  Of those full size bino's I've used, I think a birder/hunter could make do very well with any of these.

Just my two cents.

Take the long way home...

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/12/2004 at 10:39
tbone1 View Drop Down
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Pentax PCF WP 8x40 would be my choice.  Great optics for the money.  Take care.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/13/2004 at 08:03
Stephanie View Drop Down
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The Pentax DCF HR II   8x42 or 10x42 are really great and the price that you can spend!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/13/2004 at 19:06
redneckbmxer24 View Drop Down
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i havnt seen them on SWFA, but i have a pair of brunton lite tech binos from cabelas, 8x32? and i compared them to a pair of swaro's EL's, and zeiss conquest, and liked my bruntons more, i beleave they were under 100 bucks. im definently AM NOT sayin the bruntons are better than the swaro's, or zeiss's, becuase they are not, but they bruntons fit my eyes better. i bebleave a consumer should handle the binos before he buys them, becuase different eyes are comfotable with different binos. run to a local sporting goods store, and check soe out, and decide which ones ya like the best, thne come back on, and order them, becuase, you cant beat SWFA's prices!!!!

cory

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/15/2004 at 14:33
Chris Farris View Drop Down
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How about an 8x42 Legend ROOF prism....they come with a free $99.95 gear bag till the end of the year.

MODEL       MAGNIFICATION
X OBJ LENS
  SIZE   CLASS   FOCUS SYSTEM       PRISM        SYSTEM PRISM          GLASS PC-3 PHASE        COATING LENS         &n bsp;   COATING FIELD-OF-   VIEW
ft@1000yds/
m@1000m
13-4208 8 x 42 Standard  Center Roof BaK-4 Yes Fully Multi 330/110
                 
RAINGUARD®                                          CLOSE FOCUS(ft/m)     EXIT PUPIL (mm)        EYE
RELIEF     
EYECUPS                        WEIGHT
(oz/g)
WATER/FOG        
PROOF
ADAPT TO
TRIPOD
Yes 6/1.8 5.25 18 Twist Up 30.1/853 Yes Yes
 
       
Legend™ series binoculars should be on the wish list of any serious outdoor enthusiast. Powerful magnification and crystal clear BaK-4 optics deliver a full range of color and clarity – images like no other in their class. Pick them up and you'll instantly notice how nicely balanced the solid, grippy rubber-armored design is. O-ring sealed and nitrogen-purged for total protection from the elements – the Legend series also features Rainguard,® a patented Bushnell® lens-coating technology that offers remarkable fogproof performance. Rain or shine. Dusk to dawn. Legend binoculars set a standard that other similarly priced products cannot match. And, for you serious hunters, we offer two of our most popular models in Mossy Oak® New Break-Up® for maximum concealment in the field.

PC-3® Phase Coated BaK-4 Roof Prisms: Every Legend™ roof prism model features fully multi-coated optics – which means that every lens surface is treated with a special anti-reflection multi-coating for optimum light transmission and a brighter, sharper, higher-contrast image. In addition, they're built with the finest barium crown BaK-4 glass roof prisms which are then 'phase corrected' with our proprietary PC-3® phase-coating. This compensates for phase shifts of light rays to deliver absolutely crisp images with the highest possible resolution of details.
    FEATURES :
PC-3® phase-coated BaK-4 roof prisms
Fully multi-coated optics allow maximum light transmission for optimum brightness
Heavy-duty, 100% waterproof/fogproof construction
Rainguard, water-repellent lens coating
Long eye relief
Twist-up eyecups allow quick adjustment for optimum eye relief
Large center focus knob for precise focusing – even when wearing gloves
Trim, ergonomic shape for easy, all-day use
Textured, non-glare, non-slip rubber armor absorbs shock
Knurled diopter adjustment for precise and reliable adjustments

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/18/2004 at 19:16
Grubbs View Drop Down
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How does the Bushnell Legend compare to the Nikon Monarch ATB?  I am wanting to get the best bang for the buck out there for my son this fall. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/18/2004 at 20:06
ranburr View Drop Down
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The Legend appears to be superior in my limited experience with these two sets of binos.

ranburr

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/21/2004 at 16:07
Chris Farris View Drop Down
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We have many customers that rave about the Monarch and must only assume that they did not compare them to others in the same price range or were upgrading from a tasco.

The Monarch binoculars are not worthy of the Monarch name and reputation that the scopes have established.

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