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My first set of binos - need some help

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/06/2005 at 22:55
greywolf View Drop Down
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Howdy, everyone.  Wife and I want to get a nice set of binocs and have been doing some research.  Mostly will be used for birding and wildlife viewing, but I MIGHT someday take them hunting (easy use, though - nothing too rugged).

 

I wear glasses, she doesn't.

 

Would like CLARITY and very clear glass - I'm used to looking through Zeiss rifle scopes (I'm spoiled now).

 

I have found the following:

 

1 - Bushnell Legend (lightly used) 8x32 for $161 shipped

 

2 - Swift 8.5x44 Audobon 820s, new - $256.90 shipped

 

3 - Sightron S3 12x30, new - $250 shipped

 

 

What would YOU buy, and why?

 

Need some answers soon as some of these are auctions ending tomorrow (Saturday) - thanks!

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/07/2005 at 06:56
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GW, have you looked at the Nikon ATB binos? They are pretty good bang for the buck.

(I believe them to be in the same price range as the others you mentioned.)

 

Pentax binos are said to be great as well, but I haven't fooled with them much.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/07/2005 at 07:20
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Originally posted by cheaptrick cheaptrick wrote:

GW, have you looked at the Nikon ATB binos? They are pretty good bang for the buck.

(I believe them to be in the same price range as the others you mentioned.)

 

Pentax binos are said to be great as well, but I haven't fooled with them much.

 

No, I haven't.

 

Found another deal for a pair of Alpen 10x42 waterproofs for around $100.

 

Decisions, decisions.

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/07/2005 at 08:03
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Looks like if I can find some Swift 8.5x44 820 EDs at a good price, that may be the way to go - esp. since Koshikin is so high on them -  I trust his judgement a lot.  Can't beat the price/value, either from what I have seen.

 

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/07/2005 at 17:46
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The Nikon Monarchs are a good value for the price you pay. Out of the 3 binoculars you listed I would go with the Sightron SIII binos. The Bushnell Legends are also good and the price you listed seems reasonable for a pair of used binos in good shape.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/09/2005 at 02:33
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If it your first binocular or you are not a very experienced binocular user I would not get a 10x binocular, much less a 12x.

8x42, 8.5x44 or something along those lines would be best.  Ordinarily, I would suggest looking at IORs also, but they are not eye glass friendly.

For light use where optical performance is paramount get the Swift porros. 

I found Nikon Monarchs to be not worth the money.  Bushnell Legend and Sightron S3 are both better. 

Nikon Action Extreme porros are quite good as well, but Swifts are better. 

If I was looking for a set of binoculars for wildlife observation and birding I would go for Swift 8.5x44 with ED glass.  The view is something to be experienced.

Ilya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/09/2005 at 06:38
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Koshkin - thanks for the advice.  I am now down to deciding between a pair of Swift EDs and Swift 828 HHS binocs - both in 8.5

 

The thing I like about the 828 HHS, even though it doesn't have the ED glass, is that they seem a LOT more eyeglass friendly and are nitrogen purged - we will be using these binocs in some pretty wet environments (rain forest, out on the ocean while kayaking, on rivers, etc.) and I was concerned with the EDs not being nitrogen purged, plus the eye relief issue.

 

Any thoughts on that?  Plus the EDs are about $55 more expensive (not that this really matters).

 

 

Oh, just nailed a decent deal on ebay for some 10x42 Alpen Waterproof binocs for some extra mag, and they are the long eye relief models.  Hopefully I will like these as well.

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/09/2005 at 12:26
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Current Swift EDs are supposed to be waterproof.  Swift has had some waterproofing problems though. I would think that they would be more pronounced in colder weather, though with possibility of internal fogging.  Most binoculars will do that to a degree though.  Optically they are better than 828HHS.  If you think you'll be dropping them into water, Swifts might not be the best choice, generally speaking.

 

Personally, I'd still go with EDs, but I generally try to go easy on my binoculars.

 

I've had some time with Alpen Apex binos and they were pretty good (8x version I think).  Are those the ones you got on Ebya?

 

Another really good porro to consider is Fujinon (especially if you are going to use them around water).  Fujinon Polaris binos are excellent in 7x50 or 8x30 version.  For allround daytime use 8x30 (FMTR-SX) would be great; for low light 7x50 are the way to go.  I think these have individual eye focusing like IORs and they are very waterproof with decent eye relief.

 

Ilya

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/09/2005 at 15:01
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I got the Swift 828 HHS 8.5x44 on Friday.  I am happy so far.  lightweight, bright and clear image.  The only thing I have found is the focus is a little slow but I guess you don't want it to fast either.  I guess I can get use to it.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/09/2005 at 17:29
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Originally posted by koshkin koshkin wrote:

If it your first binocular or you are not a very experienced binocular user I would not get a 10x binocular, much less a 12x.


8x42, 8.5x44 or something along those lines would be best.  Ordinarily, I would suggest looking at IORs also, but they are not eye glass friendly.

 

I agree. Good advise, koshkin.

I found Nikon Monarchs to be not worth the money. 

 

Wow! They are a decent bino for less than $300!!

More than a few decent reviews by optic geeks too.

 

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/09/2005 at 21:37
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I've looked at a couple of different Monarch binoculars and found that a few other binos in the same general price range were better.  For example, Bushnell Legend, Sightron S3, Swift 828HHS, Alpen Apex, etc.

 

Monarch really did not work well for my eyes.

 

Ilya

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/10/2005 at 04:52
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Originally posted by elkhorn98 elkhorn98 wrote:

I got the Swift 828 HHS 8.5x44 on Friday.  I am happy so far.  lightweight, bright and clear image.  The only thing I have found is the focus is a little slow but I guess you don't want it to fast either.  I guess I can get use to it.

 

Excellent - keep me updated on their performance, if you wouldn't mind.  Out of all the ones I've looked at, rated, run through the Optics Calculator (neat little online thing that allows you to rate on a 1-10 scale about 10 different criteria, like eye relief, coatings, weatherproofing, etc.) the Swift 828 HHS 8.5x44s always win out -

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