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Carson XM 8x32 HD any good???

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/06/2009 at 09:08
haminator View Drop Down
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Found a pair for sale for 95$.  Msrp is 300plus.  Wondering if any of you guru's have any expierience with these.  I'm thinking for the wife, for camping etc..  Do they compare with a decent mid level?  The fov is good at 420'.  My wife is not super picky but wants a smaller pair with a nice fov but she has used my el's and hg's so she know what good glass is.  So a mid range for her should suffice.  You know I've gotta buy these cause I know she never will.  If could get her to kick in 500 and me match then were talkin.

 
Any way, little help.
Thanks, Ben.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/06/2009 at 11:30
lucznik View Drop Down
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Carson XM were a bit of a "flash in the pan" awhile back.  On numerous sites they got rave reviews and they sold for very inexpensive prices (well below their supposed MSRP).   Then they just died off and I haven't heard anything about them since.  They are still available at various retailers.  Just no one talks about them anymore.
 
This "here today and gone tomorrow" experience with Carson is what has kept me from building any real interest in any of the latest super-cheap HD binoculars like the Hawke, Promaster, Zen-Ray, etc, models being imported from China.
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/06/2009 at 17:50
haminator View Drop Down
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Ok, well I imagine if they were any good for the money they would'nt have died off huh.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/06/2009 at 20:02
Klamath View Drop Down
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The thing with the lower mid price range binoculars is that there is a lot of them.  When one comes along, it really has nothing to offer that the rest don't.  They are just one more beer can in the same case.  The Carson didn't offer anything different from better known names like Vortex or Bushnell, or whoever we've heard of before.  Therefore nobody bought them.
 
On the other hand, the ZEN, Promaster,and Hawke ED binoculars do offer something not found in their price class.  What that is, is that for $400+/-, you get a binocular with image quality that will challenge the high end glass costing 4-5x more money.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/07/2009 at 09:54
lucznik View Drop Down
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Originally posted by Klamath Klamath wrote:

The thing with the lower mid price range binoculars is that there is a lot of them.  When one comes along, it really has nothing to offer that the rest don't.  They are just one more beer can in the same case.  The Carson didn't offer anything different from better known names like Vortex or Bushnell, or whoever we've heard of before.  Therefore nobody bought them.
 
On the other hand, the ZEN, Promaster,and Hawke ED binoculars do offer something not found in their price class.  What that is, is that for $400+/-, you get a binocular with image quality that will challenge the high end glass costing 4-5x more money.


This is perhaps true, but if these start-up companies can do it, what makes you think some of the more established names can't?  They certainly are going to have better buying power and more established, reliable marketing and transportation schemes than these upstarts. 

In fact, one of them, Bushnell, is in fact now offering their Legend line as a low-cost,  Chinese made, ED binocular.  And in addition to the increased image quality, the purchaser gets to buy from a company that has been around for long enough to be relatively secure, thus making the warranty a little bit more trustworthy.

You can bet Nikon, Leupold, and others will soon be doing the same.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/07/2009 at 13:21
Klamath View Drop Down
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Originally posted by lucznik lucznik wrote:


In fact, one of them, Bushnell, is in fact now offering their Legend line as a low-cost,  Chinese made, ED binocular.  And in addition to the increased image quality, the purchaser gets to buy from a company that has been around for long enough to be relatively secure, thus making the warranty a little bit more trustworthy.

You can bet Nikon, Leupold, and others will soon be doing the same.
 
Leupold and Nikon may have already moved in response to these binoculars.  They have moved with Japanese manufactured Monarch X and Northfork brands.  These cost $200 more, have nearly 100' less fov and not quite as good an image.  Yes, I have had those two side by side with my ZEN ED. Nikon sat on their fat backside with the Monarch for a decade.  If these upstarts (how dare anyone do something new) hadn't shown up the biggies would maybe still be sitting on their backsides,who knows?  I think the upstarts saw a need, or at least an opportunity, and moved to fill it.
 
Furthermore, we may well find out that the biggies turned this design away to their ultimate chagrin.  The reason is that they didn't think anything Chinese would sell at this level of quality.  Your attitude may well bear that out.  BTW that is just an observation, no criticism intended.
 
At any rate if a Swarovski image won't beat the ZEN, and it won't by enough margin to tell about, I really don't think a $100 less expensive Bushnell will either.  Image quality alone is no longer a sole reason to go alpha.  Long live competition.


Edited by Klamath - March/07/2009 at 13:26
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/08/2009 at 23:16
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Before Sharper Image closed their stores, I went to check out the Carson XM HD after reading some really good reviews on one of the outdoor magazine. After checking it in store for about 15min, I started pondering whether the "nice" review on the magazine was glossly sugar-coated. The rubber cover on the XM HD feels cheap, in a way, similar to the rest of the binoculars offered in Sharper Image store. It was of course better than any other binoculars offered by Sharper Image. I had a pair of 8x42 Bushnell Excursion with me and didn't find anything standing out from Carson binoculars. 
 
I still see  a lot of low end binoculars from Carson that has cobranded with Dicovery Channel store. Maybe they just don't want to pursue the high end route that will expose them to the onslaughtering of user reviews without being sanctioned by magazine editors.
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