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Help plz..Bins for Birding under $300.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/12/2011 at 23:25
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Optics GrassHopper
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I need bin especially for birding under $300 with excellent optics as far as birding goes. Roof design is preferable. As far i have searched in net,
Nikon Monarch 8x42 is the winner. Can you please suggest any other bins for birding?
My preferences are as usual for any birders..Excellent optics, should feel very easy for long time birding in field, water proof and best bang for buck of course..

Your replies are very well appreciated.

Thanks in advance.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/13/2011 at 06:56
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Burris 8x56 Signature Select Binocular

$524.95 $199.95

Stock # - 300284 

•Black

•BaK4 Prisms

•Fully Multi-Coated

•Twist-up Eyecups

•Waterproof

•Fogproof

•Highly Shock Restitant

 



Originally posted by Chris Farris Chris Farris wrote:

The 8x56 binos are a crazy good deal, they are amazing in low light and even in the dark.  Those are not Landmarks or Fullfields, they're Signature Selects.
 
If you want to see what's moving around before and after legal shooting time these are the ticket.
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/13/2011 at 09:51
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Originally posted by birding_buddy birding_buddy wrote:

I need bin especially for birding under $300 with excellent optics as far as birding goes. Roof design is preferable. As far i have searched in net,
Nikon Monarch 8x42 is the winner. Can you please suggest any other bins for birding?
My preferences are as usual for any birders..Excellent optics, should feel very easy for long time birding in field, water proof and best bang for buck of course..

Your replies are very well appreciated.

Thanks in advance.
 
$300 is a little on the low end for a good birding roof prism.
 
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/13/2011 at 11:08
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Optics Master Extraordinaire
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I like the Zen ED suggestion, even if it is a little over your price range.  The Zen Ray ZRS HD is actually a pretty good binocular in your price range.

http://swfa.com/Zen-Ray-8x42-ZRS-HD-Binocular-P46910.aspx

I will be evaluating the Theron binoculars that Klamath liked so much shortly, and they sound like a good option near your price range as well.





Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/13/2011 at 11:29
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birding_buddy
 
Of whatever binoculars I would put on my sub $300 list, I suppose the Monarch might make it, but it would be no where near the top of my list.
 
It has got a field of view that is on the narrow side of acceptable.  Nikon chose to male this glass so one can fine dial focus at any distance.  That might seem like a good idea, except for two things.  The optics are not that fine, and that pretty much wipes out the depth of focus.  I have some Nikon Monarchs and they are entirely too focus fiddly for my tastes.  They do have a very nice responsive focus system, which works well for birding.  Whether the new dielectric changed this mush, I don't know as I have not seen one.
 
I think for $350 there is no better birding choice than the Zen Ray ZEN ED 2 7x36.  You get an outstanding fov and 7x gives a pretty deep field of focus.  You won't use the focus much.  Now any one binocular won't fit everybody and the ZEN has been criticized for glare and lack of a totally sharp edge.  I have no idea how sensitive you are about optical things, so I can't say how this might affect you.  The ZEN ED 2 focus is somewhat stiff and will perhaps take some getting used to.
 
Now as to staying under $300.  There are three choices IMO.  The Zen Ray ZRS 8x42 has a 393' fov and has dielectric coatings.  The Theron Wapiti HQ has a 367' fov, sharp edges and is also dielectric.  The Bushnell Legend Ultra HD not only is dielectric but has ED glass and a wide fov.  I had one of the latter and really didn't like it much, but I think it might have had some factory problems, see also my point about one binocular design not fitting everybody.
 


Edited by Klamath - January/13/2011 at 11:32
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/13/2011 at 12:01
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  I just got my ED 2 7x36's last evening so haven't had chance to really give them good try out.  So far I've found out that the fov is WIDE and that I didn't know what tunnel effect didn't look like.  Steve,I don't know if Z-R has caught word of a stiff focus control issue but ,from stop to stop, mine couldn't work smoother and with no effort to turn it. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/13/2011 at 12:15
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My ZEN ED focus wheel loosened and smoothed out considerable after a couple months of use.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/13/2011 at 12:58
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Well, I actually think the ZEN ED focus is just about right.  The real reason I mentioned it is that birders are really choosy about liking a soft, quick, easy moving wheel for when birding in close and the depth of focus gets shallow.  My 7x36 is likely the first one to get to a customers hand and is the original version.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/13/2011 at 13:06
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   "birders are really choosy about liking a soft, quick, easy moving wheel "
 
   Then if all Z-R's are like mine they'll LUV 'em.  That describes mine to a T. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/14/2011 at 04:51
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Optics GrassHopper
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Thanks a bunch. I would be more delighted to have Zen Ray, but since i am a student i cant stretch buy budget that much. Anything less than $300 would do for me as of now. I guess there are many rivals for Nikon monarch in this price range. Plz suggest me a good bino which offers best bang for buck. My considerations are

Bushnell legend
Alpen Apex
Vortex DiamonBack
Pentax DCF CS
Leupold GreenRing Cascades.

Plz suggest me any other options too. Since i wont be able to try out personally before buying, your recommendations are of very much consideration for me.

Pls Note: The bino which i have with me is Nikon Action VII 8x40.(Pls Note. Its not Action extreme..Its just Nikon Action). If i get optical quality comparison with any of the above bins with Nikon my Action 8x40,it would be of immense help for me to decide.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/14/2011 at 07:43
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  This was suggested to me when the ones I wanted were discontinued and the other out of my price range at the time.
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/14/2011 at 07:48
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birding_buddy,
I have been a student strapped for cash, i have climbed mountains in tennis shoes because i could not afford boots (i returned barefoot and bleeding but i saw my birds), i had to choose between buying food or buying a train ticket to go birding, and i still am suggesting this: wait one more month or two, save another $80, and buy the Zen Ray ED II 7x36. It is worth the sacrifice and it will offer you a much better view than any $300 binocular. Nikon Monarch and most of the roof prism $250 binoculars are not worth it. Rather than those, i would keep the Nikon that you already have, because you would be spending $250-300 and not gaining anything optically.   
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/18/2011 at 23:36
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Optics GrassHopper
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Thanks for the replies.
I currently own Nikon Action 8x40.
Since Zen ray 8x42 has been strongly suggested to me , i am pondering about extending my budget to $400 and get the most praised Zen ray.

But, Will Zen Ray will give considerable improvement in optics quality over Nikon Action Extreme. If yes, then i would love to get Zen Ray. If not , i would like to settle with a porro like pentax pcf WpII or Nikon Action Ex.
Thanks .

Happy Birding.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/19/2011 at 10:35
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IF you can swing the ZEN ED 2 7x36, then yes, it is better than the porros you have or mention.  There is some edge distortion in the ZEN, a trade off for the wide fov.  But while there is a little field curvature at the edge of the ZEN, its field curvature is less than the Nikon.  After the fov of the Nikon Action, I doubt you would like the Pentax due to the very narrow fov it has.  The ZEN 7x36 has a very wide field and outstanding depth of focus and comes very close to the porro 3-D image view.  If the edge features of the Nikon Action don't bother you, then neither will the ZEN ED. With the ZEN, you will be getting a binocular with a wide fov, something you have with the Nikon you have.

Edited by Klamath - January/19/2011 at 10:37
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/19/2011 at 23:29
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Optics GrassHopper
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Thanks. When it comes to optics, i am more concerned about brightness , resolution and sharpness(guess everybody prefers this of course. :)

Please comment on the overall brightness resolution and sharpness of

Zen Ray 8x42 vs Nikon Action Extreme 8x40.
Thanks.    
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/24/2011 at 07:38
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Zen Ray.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/24/2011 at 09:44
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The Zens are better in all three categories.
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