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Making an informed choice: 8x42

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/27/2015 at 12:19
ricm View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper

Joined: September/27/2015
Location: Sheffield
Status: Offline
Points: 2

I am looking for a pair of reasonable low-mid range binoculars. Use will be varied: some birdwatching, some viewing ships from coastal paths, some viewing points of interest.

I was looking at the Nikon Prostaff 7S 8x42 Binocular initially. I have yet to try these out.

I recently tried out these: Hawke Frontier ED 8x42 binoculars and felt comfortable with the fact that they had a wide field of view allowing for some latitude when placing the eyepiece. The image was also quite bright and there was no evident chromatic aberration. The eyepice diameter seemed quite large to others in the same price bracket and I assume this was responsible for the wider field of view. If I recall correctly, the FOV was 426ft.

This is not a question "which is the best?", but rather a question that, given a UK price bracket of £150-£250, are there other binoculars I ought to be trying out too?

Many thanks in anticipation of any suggestions given.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/04/2015 at 12:35
Remmy View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper

Joined: October/04/2015
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Status: Offline
Points: 4
Nikon Monarch 5 (ED glass which the Prostaffs do not have)
Vangaurd Endeavor ED
Zen-Ray ED2
Eagle Optics
Celestron Granite...maybe the trail seekers if on a tighter budget.
Sightron S2 Blue Sky 8x32 (these little guys are next on my list for a compact inexpensive roof)

LOTS of others to choose from. The Prostaffs actually are pretty good for the price. I prefer them over the Vortex Diamondbacks which are in the same price bracket, but with what else is available in the same price range, Id choose neither.
Its my opinion that nothing beats the Nikon Monarch 5 in 8x42 for $250 USD ..but then again I have not looked through a whole heck of a lot..there are so many its impossible. But from what I have looked through the Monarch 5 wins for their price. They flat out whoop the Vortex Diamondbacks optically and are only about 30-40 dollars more. (Im not disrespecting Vortex, their Talons, Vipers and Vultures are all great..and of course the Razors, but I don't spend that kind of money on optics...its a personal integrity kind of thing with me. The little Vortex Raptors in 8.5x32 are amazing for only 95 bucks)

Have you looked at any poro prism style? They are generally much more cost friendly and have great optical performance if you look at a decent brand (Swift, Nikon, Vortex/Eagle Optics,  Leupold, Vixen..etc)
but they won't be as compact. In my opinion poro prisms are much more ergonomic in the hands.
My hands always feel too cramped on roofs (unless open bridge design)  and nowhere to get a get solid hold, unless Im using large objective roofs like 50-56 mm, then I can get a good solid hold on the larger barrels....

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/08/2015 at 09:36
FrankD View Drop Down
Optics Journeyman
Optics Journeyman

Joined: November/11/2005
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 686
Since you are on the "other side of the pond" I would recommend, in addition to the models you mentioned, that you give the Opticron lineup a thorough review. Their price versus performance ratio is excellent and their customer service level in GB is exceptional. At/around your price point I would suggest models like the Discovery, Explorer WA, HR WP, Natura and Countryman. I have tried them all at one point or another and would recommend them.
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