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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/03/2006 at 20:44
wess View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
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Hi.I stumbled onto this forum and thought it would be the perfect place to ask a question. I would like advice on which compact or small binoculars to purchase. I can spend $600 and I don't mind shopping the used market. Purpose of the binos would be hiking around the farm and viewing objects from 20 yards to 500 yards. I would prefer a smaller size bino so that they will fit into a cargo pocket. I don't wear glasses(yet) What do you all think I should get? Thanks

 

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/03/2006 at 22:43
koshkin View Drop Down
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Generally, compact binoculars are more of a last resort choice than anything else.  They really do not do well with any less than optimal illumination.  I would not go with anything smaller than a 32mm objective lens for allround use:

http://www.swfa.com/pc-1748-699-minox-bd-8x32-br-binocular.a spx

http://www.swfa.com/pc-1823-127-pentax-8x32-dcf-sp-binocular .aspx

http://www.swfa.com/pc-3425-318-leupold-6x32-wind-river-katm ai-binocular.aspx

http://www.swfa.com/pc-1637-35-kahles-8x32-binocular.aspx

http://www.swfa.com/pc-5321-878-kowa-8x32-bd32-binocular.asp x

http://www.swfa.com/pc-1575-207-zeiss-8x30-conquest-binocula r.aspx

http://www.swfa.com/pc-4777-754-swarovski-8x30-slcnew-binocu lar.aspx
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/03/2006 at 22:48
Bird Watcher View Drop Down
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I would suggest Leupold Mesa Compact Series either 8x23 or 10x23 and IOR B/GA 8x21 or IOR B/GA 10x25.

You might want to also look at Minox.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/04/2006 at 06:13
anweis View Drop Down
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The Leupold Mesa 8x23 is a dim binocular with stiff focus and narrow field of view. The IOR i have not seen. If you get compact binoculars, they will fit in your pockets, but you will get less performance out of them. For up to $600 you can get any premium copact from Nikon Leica Zeiss Swarovski. My favorite is the Ultravid 8x21.The best price/performance in a compact seem to be the 7x and 8x compacts sold  by Nikon for $100-$200.

Minox and Kahles 8x32 is your best shot for new glass, Swarovski, Leica, Zeiss for used. Zeiss Classic 8x30 can still be found for $600.

Don't buy the Zeiss Conquest. Too expensive for what you get.

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/04/2006 at 11:02
lucznik View Drop Down
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Compacts seem to be a "love 'em or leave 'em" affair.  Personally, I love 'em.  I almost always have a compact binocular with me because bigger glass is often just too large to be useful.  Compacts also (IMO) provide a lot more versatility and functionality than they are given credit for. Personally, I prefer the 10x25 models over the 8x20's.  The exit pupil is the same for each so light gathering will be basically the same (subject of course to the quality of the lens coatings.) You do give up some of the field of view but, you get a closer view of what you are observing. Some people do seem to have some trouble holding 10x glass steady but, I'm not one of them. In the end this is a choice that you will have to make yourself. 

 

For the absolute best glass I would recommend you look at both the Leica Ultravid ($600) and the Nikon Premier LXL ($450.)  If you want to spend somewhat less, you might also want to look at the Zeiss Classic ($300-350,) Brunton Eterna ($250,) or Pentax DCF MC II ($130.)

 

Pentax, Nikon, Bushnell, and a few others all make good reverse-porro prism compacts that are optically as good or better than the very best roof prism compacts and which will only cost you around $100-$150. The 7x26 Bushnell Custom Compact has long been been considered the very best compact made (optically) and will cost you around $225.  It is however, not waterproof.  Of course, as with all porro prism designs, you have to compromise on the binoculars compactness (they are all significantly bigger than their roof prism siblings) to get this savings in cost.

 

Finally, a pretty good compromise between the smallish objective lenses of the above options and the potentially too large objective lenses of anything in the 30mm+ class would be the Pentax DCF MP ($250.)  This binocular strikes the middle ground with 28mm objective lenses and yet, is still small enough for convenient pocket carry.

 

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/04/2006 at 20:25
wess View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
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Thanks for all the information. Looks like I have some research ahead of me.I guess thats half the fun though.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/06/2006 at 07:03
anweis View Drop Down
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Yep, i hate compact binoculars with all my guts.

Yes, a lot of fun comes with finding a pair that you like. Just make sure that you end up in a happy mariage.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/09/2006 at 13:20
jonbravado View Drop Down
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try a pair of fujinon 7x50's - you can get them new or slightly used for around 400 bucks on ebay -

 

get the best ones you can afford -

 

the image is very stable, bright, and clear - i have a pair and they are wonderful in the lowlight hunting senario.

 

good luck.  these will not let you down.

 

J

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