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Budget Binos - Help !

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/19/2011 at 10:27
Jambumali View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper


Joined: August/19/2011
Location: India
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Points: 5

Total noob from India. Looking for buying first decent binoculars. Am on a tight budget. 

My needs: 

1. Easy to carry. 

2. Kids (10yr) also would be using them.

3. Require long life / sturdy bins. No plan to upgrade for long time!

4. Budget: $150 for one and <$100 for the other. Max 300 for the two bins. I din't know that these can cost even $2000!

5. Uses: birding (recently started), carry on vacations.  

6. Live in a small place in India - no access to physical checking of the product. Will be relying entirely on the net - both for finalization & purchase.

Originally started with requirement of 1, but most probably will end up buying two.

Looked at Consumer Research. Read elsewhere in these forums that the best budget buy the Redfield Rebel may not be so good?

I also read about the ZenRays. But will the 42mm Vista, be too big? Can't afford the 36mm one.

Also actively looked at the Nikon Travelite V & ProStaff 8x25. Read somewhere that the ProStaff (Travelite EX in some countries including India) build would be better for the reason of being water-/fog-proof.

Thought of the Bushnell - but build quality issues seem to be a problem. These bins need to last for a long time.

Also read about the Celestron 8x25 NatureView but again build quality issues seem to plague.

Pl. remember that I have no access to any kind of service.

I do understand that getting good sturdy bins at my budget would be quite a challenge - hence this request for guidance.

Thanks for your time!

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/19/2011 at 11:11
cybertext View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper


Joined: May/25/2010
Location: Santo Domingo
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Hey, don't spend a ton of money.

I have some Cabela's  Euro Binocs, and I bought a set  of Leupold Yosemite binocs for my son for $80.00. The Euro's are great (at $700.00).   But bang for the buck, those Yosemites are the way to go -- there's a difference, but they are pretty darn good; way better than my father's 1970's era Bushnells.  

If you loose them or they get stolen in some third world hole . . . . it's only $80.00.

Fritz B.
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/19/2011 at 20:21
Jambumali View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper


Joined: August/19/2011
Location: India
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Thanks @cybertext. Those Yosemites seem compact. 

For the next step, among these:

1. Redfield Rebel 8x32

2. Nikon ProStaff 10x25 or 8x25.

3. ZenRay Vista 8x42

4. Nikon Travelite V or VI

Are the ZenRays portable in the sense, that can one put them in a backpack & carry them for a few hours? 42 while giving better brightness may also be bulkier? 

what would be better for the 2nd pair ?


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/19/2011 at 20:26
Jambumali View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper


Joined: August/19/2011
Location: India
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Points: 5

forgot to add one imp thing: we wear glasses (spectacles).

Initially Steiner Safari Pro 7x22 was on the list but surprisingly too many negative reviews of users seem to cancel out the positive reviews of the experts!

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/19/2011 at 22:30
Bitterroot Bulls View Drop Down
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If durability is a priority I think the Zen Rays are a great option, as roofs are generally more durable than porros.

There is no denying the optical quality of the Yosemites.  And the interpupillary distance can go small, which is nice for kids.  I bought a pair of 6X30 Yosemites for my 7 year old son.  They are very nice indeed.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/20/2011 at 05:28
Jambumali View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
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Joined: August/19/2011
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Thank you @Bitterroot Bulls.

The main reason for thinking of porros is the budget - what i read is that at low budget, porro optical quality would be better compared with roofs. 

Any specific reason why the Redfield Rebel 8x32 is not being suggested at many places while it was highly recommended by this Consumer Research report on binoculars? Incidentally they also seem to be roofs! But I was thinking mainly the size 32mm may be brighter than 25mm but hopefully less bulkier.


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/21/2011 at 06:53
FrankD View Drop Down
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Joined: November/11/2005
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I can think of two reasons not to choose the Redfield model.
 
One, since it is a roof prism model it needs to have phasecoating on the roof prism or it won't be comparable optically with a similarly price porro prism model. Without phase-coating the image will appear dimmer and less sharp. I looked up the Redfield model and could not find the word "phasecoated" anywhere in the literature.
 
Second, despite what the description says, a 389 foot field of view is not class leading. There are many 8x32 roof prism models on the market that sport a 420 foot + field of view in the same price range.
 
I have two further suggestions to the ones already mentioned.
 
One, there has been a trend recently towards having full-sized 42 mm models in shorter overall lengths. One of the "old reliables" since this trend started has been the Swift Reliant. It has all of the bells and whistles that one would look for in a roof prism model and the price usually hovers between $100-$125. Optical performance is very good for a roof at this price point.
 
Second, consider the Bushnell Excursion 8x28. A friend over on birdforum introduced the model to me recently. For many years I discounted any of the inexpensive Bushnell models because of quality control issues. Their mid-priced models (thinking along the lines of the E2 here) were uninspiring. Only their high priced Elites and the Ultra HDs really impressed me. So, it came as a bit of a surprise when the little Excursion 8x28s arrived at my door and the image quality was really impressive.
 
The field of view is an impressive 417 feet.  Eye relief is decent but not great at 15 mm. The image itself is what is attractive. Not only is the field of view wide but the size of the sweet spot of image in focus and free of distortion is extremely generous. I haven't found anything near this price range that is comparable. The image also offers very good apparent sharpness and decent contrast. Who would have thought such a beautiful image could come from such an inexpensive Bushnell product. Prices vary from the usual $115 to the very attractive $70 from the popular internet auction site.
 
So, to summarize, if you want good full-sized performance then the Swift Reliant is a bargain at this price point plus it is very compact for a 42 mm sized glass. The little Bushnell Excursion 8x28 may be just what you are looking for if the 15 mm of eye relief isn't too short for you. If neither totally meets your needs because of either the eye relief or weight issues then I would certainly agree with the Leupold Yosemite suggestions mentioned previously...as well as all of their "clones" (Eagle Optics Raven, Celestron Nature, Barska ....., etc....
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/29/2011 at 12:06
Jambumali View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper


Joined: August/19/2011
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Thanks everybody.

I will be finalizing in a couple of days. This has been quite an enlightening experience!


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/29/2011 at 13:03
jjrgr21 View Drop Down
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i have the brunton lite-tech's, i use for spotting ground hogs. they are great for the $$, and a lifetime warranty, and great CS
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/01/2011 at 19:28
spf2 View Drop Down
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I would get the Zen-Ray VISTA from SWFA.  Under my recommendation, a couple of friends ordered the VISTA. They are very nice, much better than a $150 I would have imagined.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/02/2011 at 00:37
robbie View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
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Originally posted by spf2 spf2 wrote:

I would get the Zen-Ray VISTA from SWFA.  Under my recommendation, a couple of friends ordered the VISTA. They are very nice, much better than a $150 I would have imagined.

OK - I'm confused.  There is a ZR Vista on Sample list that is totally different that ZR Vista in new Bino section?????
 
 
 
Thanks
 
 
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