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Need help buying 1st pair binoculars

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/27/2011 at 17:51
bluesky1 View Drop Down
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Hello everyone.  I was wondering if you guys had some binoculars you could recommend for me to try out.  I would be using the binoculars for things such as bird watching, looking at a boat or freight ship far out from onshore, spotting wild life anywhere, maybe a star or two if that's possible.  I saw the Nikon Monarch ATB 8 X 42 got some good reviews.  Can you recommend a few others and should I go 8 X 42, 10 X 42, or something else?  Price limit is $250
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/27/2011 at 18:42
FrankD View Drop Down
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8x42 is probably the most widely recommended configuration for all-around use. There might be some preferred configurations for star-gazing for example but, in general, 8x42 is typically your best choice.
 
There are many options for you to choose from under $250. The previously mentioned Nikon Monarchs (ATB and 3), the Nikon Prostaff 7, the Bushnell Legend Ultra HD, Eagle Optics Radian, Zen Ray ZRS HD, etc....
 
What you key in on when you read through all the descriptions and the specs is:
 
Fullymulticoated
Phase coated
Bak-4 prisms
 
You might find one or two with ED glass (like the Legend Ultra) but at your price point and below there are not many.
 
Field of view is important to some. The average field of view for many 8x42s in your price range is about 360-390 feet.  Some are under that figure and some are over.
 
Eye relief is also important if you wear glasses or have a larger than average nose. I would suggest at least 17 mm if you are in that boat.
 
On another note, I cannot help, because of your screen name, to suggest the Sightron Blue Sky SII series of binoculars. I have the "little" 8x32 and it is extremely impressive optically and ergonomically plus only about $200 online.
 
Hope this helps.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/28/2011 at 11:06
bluesky1 View Drop Down
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thanks 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/29/2011 at 15:17
Klamath View Drop Down
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bluesky1, what is your budget?  Lots of recommendations will depend on that. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/29/2011 at 15:47
lucytuma View Drop Down
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Originally posted by Klamath Klamath wrote:

bluesky1, what is your budget?  Lots of recommendations will depend on that. 
 
He mentioned $250.00
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/29/2011 at 20:17
Klamath View Drop Down
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Originally posted by lucytuma lucytuma wrote:

Originally posted by Klamath Klamath wrote:

bluesky1, what is your budget?  Lots of recommendations will depend on that. 
 
He mentioned $250.00
Well he sure did, put me in for the daily observant award Smile.
 
First off, I'd ditch the Monarch idea.  This coming from a longtime Monarch owner.  They are OK, but there is better for less on the market.
 
There are others, but I will steer you to three different binoculars.
 
First, the Zen Ray ZRS HD.  This is the best $200 glas I have seen.  Great view and really compact for a 42 mm class binocular.  Lots wider view than the Monarch 330'vs 393' for the 8x.
 
Second, the Theron Wapiti HQ.  Looks a lot like the original ZRS, but its optics seem unique.  It is s little biger than the ZRS and has a little narrower fov than the ZRS, but a lot better view than the Monarch.
 
Third,  is the Bushnell Legend Ultra HD.  These are marked around $259.99 (or less if you google around) and Bushnell is offering a $50 rebate right now.  This has low dispersion ED glass the above two do not have, and maybe a little brighter image.  I think the black armor is too slick for my liking, but that may be just me.  It has nearly 100' more fov than the Monarch.
 
Any of the three will best the Monarch and surprise you very much with what you get for your money.


Edited by Klamath - October/29/2011 at 20:26
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/30/2011 at 16:04
bluesky1 View Drop Down
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Originally posted by Klamath Klamath wrote:

Originally posted by lucytuma lucytuma wrote:

Originally posted by Klamath Klamath wrote:

bluesky1, what is your budget?  Lots of recommendations will depend on that. 
 
He mentioned $250.00
Well he sure did, put me in for the daily observant award Smile.
 
First off, I'd ditch the Monarch idea.  This coming from a longtime Monarch owner.  They are OK, but there is better for less on the market.
 
There are others, but I will steer you to three different binoculars.
 
First, the Zen Ray ZRS HD.  This is the best $200 glas I have seen.  Great view and really compact for a 42 mm class binocular.  Lots wider view than the Monarch 330'vs 393' for the 8x.
 
Second, the Theron Wapiti HQ.  Looks a lot like the original ZRS, but its optics seem unique.  It is s little biger than the ZRS and has a little narrower fov than the ZRS, but a lot better view than the Monarch.
 
Third,  is the Bushnell Legend Ultra HD.  These are marked around $259.99 (or less if you google around) and Bushnell is offering a $50 rebate right now.  This has low dispersion ED glass the above two do not have, and maybe a little brighter image.  I think the black armor is too slick for my liking, but that may be just me.  It has nearly 100' more fov than the Monarch.
 
Any of the three will best the Monarch and surprise you very much with what you get for your money.

Thanks for the suggestions.  I thought for sure I'd be going with the Nikon, but now I'm very curios in the ones you suggested especially the Zen Ray.  It had alot of great reviews.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/30/2011 at 16:31
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/30/2011 at 16:39
bluesky1 View Drop Down
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I will write all of these models down but this is getting confusing.Whacko  I need to get out and test them.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/25/2011 at 13:11
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If you look around I believe you can find Steiner 8x30 Military-Marine binos at your price point. Hard to get a better glass for the price. When mine were new I could easily see .22 holes in targets at 100 yds. Now approaching 30 yrs of use/abuse the clarity has slightly degraded the glass coatings so I can't see .22 holes as well but the bino still outperforms other current brand names near the $250 mark.
 
Lightweight and tough plus "fixed" focusing make them the most outstanding value on the market. I don't work for any optics outfit, just in a gun shop and I'm an extremely happy customer. Yippee
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/25/2011 at 13:28
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Welcome to the OT, LtBlue425!

Those Steiners have pretty good performance, and the design hasn't changed much since your model was made. You might want to consider contacting Steiner and see if they will recondition the binocular for you.

Regarding the OP, I tend to agree with the other posters that the latest budget roofs give the best feature list at this price point. I would be looking most closely at the Zen Ray ZRS HD myself.

Edited by Bitterroot Bulls - December/25/2011 at 13:29
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