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Good 8x42 bino for $300

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/27/2014 at 17:42
catorres1 View Drop Down
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My 11 year old son is looking to get himself a decent set of binoculars. Rather than go cheap, he is going to spend a bit more (a ton for him), to get quality. He only has 300 max. We spent the day looking at Vortex Diamondbacks, Nikon Monarch 3's and 5's, Zeiss Terra's, and Leupold...can't remembers. It's hard to tell in Cabelas, but it seemed the Nikon Monarch 5's were the sharpest and brightest of this bunch.

Any other recommendations we should also consider? Obviously, sharpness is important, but low light is also really important.

I know of good deals on Meopro's, but I have only seen the Meostars, which obviously doesn't count.  Also, Minox is out there and maybe some others.  Even found a set of Weaver SuperSlams online that some people say are great, but none of these are available for me to look at for him.  Interested in how they compare to the Monarch 5's and maybe the Terra's as these seemed pretty close, with the Monarch's seeming a bit brighter.


Thanks!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/27/2014 at 21:59
PhilR. View Drop Down
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I realize that you are asking for an 8x42, but right now the best buy under $300 that I know of is the Cabelas XTII 10x42 for $229.  Essentially a Leupold Mojave with a Cabelas label.  A decent bino at it's normal price range, but a great buy for $229.  Of course, this is moot if he cannot hold 10x steady.

You can also find the 8x42 Vanguard Endeavor under $300 as well.  Although these do not have the largest FOV out there, it is much larger than the Nikon M5, and they do IMO provide the sharpest view for under $300.  They are the best budget 8x42 under $300 that I've seen so far. 

Do you really need a 42mm?  A 30 or 32mm will be a lot lighter in weight, and a good one will be plenty bright.  You can get a new 8x30 Nikon Monarch 7 for just under $300, and it is a great binocular that is extremely sharp and extremely wide in view (much wider than the M5 or Endeavor), and weighs less than 16 oz..  This is IMO the best buy in an 8x under $300 right now, and if it weren't for the 10x above, would be IMO the best buy of any size bino under $300.  After using these and several other good 8x32's, I find that I have no real use for an 8x42.  I would be willing to bet that if he were to try a 42mm with the 30mm M7, that he will prefer the M7.  It is just a jewel of a binocular.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/27/2014 at 22:39
catorres1 View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
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Phil,

Thanks for your reply!

Yeah, he has a harder time keeping 10x's steady, so I think 8's are better for him.

Also, why at 42?  Maximum light gathering.  We have been in situations where just that bit more would have been really helpful due to the very end of the day or very early morning.  And he is willing to pay dearly to get the best possible in this situation.

I have a line on a really good deal on some Meopros, do you know how they rate vs the Monarchs, Terras et al?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/27/2014 at 23:03
PhilR. View Drop Down
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Originally posted by catorres1 catorres1 wrote:


I have a line on a really good deal on some Meopros, do you know how they rate vs the Monarchs, Terras et al?

We have the 6.5x Meopro, which is a $300 binocular  It is my wife's favorite bino.  I think it has excellent build quality.  I've not seen better build quality in this price range.  It also has one of the best focus wheels in this price range too.  Unfortunately, I have not handled the 8x or 10x Meopro, so I cannot say anything about their build or optical quality.  I would think it would be the same as the 6.5x, but I don't know for sure.  If the 8x has similar build and optical quality as the 6.5x, then it would be a very good buy if you can get one for $300.  Personally, I would not have an 8x with such a small FOV, and that weighs that much as my primary binocular.  But I think I would prefer it over a M5 or Terra.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/29/2014 at 17:16
BobbyH View Drop Down
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I agree with the Vanguard Endeavor; great bino for the price

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