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New Bino's Under $200.00

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/11/2010 at 21:59
KAG View Drop Down
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Hello.

been lurking for quite a while. Bought a few things from swfa and looking for a new set of binoculars for under $200. I have a 8x32 that I use when crawling around varmint hunting but want a 10 or 12 X pair for glassing at longer distanced. Sort of looking at Vortex Vultures in 12x and a Nikon 7-15x35 but I am open to others. I care most about clarity and can I mildly abuse them and have them hold up. I can go up in $$ but don't really want to, not for what I will be doing with them. Mainly going to be scanning prairie land with them.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/11/2010 at 22:39
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http://swfa.com:80/Zen-Ray-ZRS-Binoculars-C2702.aspx

Zen is building a good reputation on these pages as having some outstanding glass for the price. I have a pair
of 10x43ED2 ($400+) that I absouletly love.


If your willing to go closer to $300 the above are an earlier version of the ones I and many others lurking these
pages have. These are demo's at a great price.


Edited by biggreen747 - January/11/2010 at 22:47
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/11/2010 at 23:48
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Stay the heck away from a zoom binocular.  Narrow fields of vision; and try to convince yourself that you really keep all those moving parts in alignment in a cheap package then ask yourself why all variables (for the most part) are cheap ones.  If it was a good idea there would be a lot more around.
 
The best deal under $200 is the ZRS series from Zen Ray, or the Atlas Sky Kings .  The new Vortex Diamondback is a good choice too.  Outside of those, and maybe the Atlas Radian there is not much I really like at that price.  You can go less expensive with Leupold Yosemite or Vortex Raptor porros and get good glass too.
 
Unless you have a tripod, stay away from 12x as a handheld.  Besides the 8-10x will give better glass at that price levels.  More magnification generally needs better glass.  Magnification magnifies shake as well as whatever imperfections there are in a binocular.  Having said that I will say that Vortex Vulture (now Diamondback) 12x look decent.


Edited by Klamath - January/11/2010 at 23:54
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/12/2010 at 07:12
anweis View Drop Down
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NEVER, NEVER, ever, never, ever buy a zoom or variable power binocular. Ever.
I seriously doubt that 12x binoculars that cost $200 are useable. If you want to scan prairies, you would be better served by a decent $300 spotting scope on a good tripod.
12x is way too much for hand holding for 99.9% of people. If you want bigger, buy a 10x50 porro prism binocular for $100-150.  


Edited by anweis - January/12/2010 at 07:17
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/12/2010 at 08:22
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What about the Bushnell Legend Porro?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/12/2010 at 10:49
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I would not touch the zoom binoculars even with a 9-ft pole. The exit pupil at maxmimal zoom is like a pin-hole that is really hard to handle, not to mention the poor optical quality

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/12/2010 at 11:07
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Originally posted by BillyWayne BillyWayne wrote:

What about the Bushnell Legend Porro?
 
You are right.  They are a good glass for the price, but a bit on the big side.  Definitely worth the money.  Just forgot them.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/12/2010 at 12:22
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/12/2010 at 16:11
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Wow, good stuff. The link explaining the problems with variable zoom was informative.

At my house which is rural, my home sits on a high point. I can see to the east/south 3 clicks. To the north/west, 1.5 clicks from my wrap around covered deck. I use my 8x a lot and my spotting scope which is a Burris I hate using for scanning the open prairie and draws with, just to cumbersome. I just want something to keep on the counter to use. I always take my 8x when I go out varmint hunting. Which is sometimes right off my deck.

Several of the bino's are something that would fill the need. I am heavily leaning towards a 12x though, I can just support it on the deck rail.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/12/2010 at 16:17
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I forgot to add that I know the Bushnell Legends are decent as thats what my 8x32 is.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/12/2010 at 16:33
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Originally posted by KAG KAG wrote:

 I am heavily leaning towards a 12x though, I can just support it on the deck rail.
 
One thing to keep in mind, if you use your High Magnification binocular from a comfortable sitting position you will be able to keep shake to a minimum.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/12/2010 at 17:37
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Originally posted by KAG KAG wrote:

Wow, good stuff. The link explaining the problems with variable zoom was informative.

At my house which is rural, my home sits on a high point. I can see to the east/south 3 clicks. To the north/west, 1.5 clicks from my wrap around covered deck. I use my 8x a lot and my spotting scope which is a Burris I hate using for scanning the open prairie and draws with, just to cumbersome. I just want something to keep on the counter to use. I always take my 8x when I go out varmint hunting. Which is sometimes right off my deck.

Several of the bino's are something that would fill the need. I am heavily leaning towards a 12x though, I can just support it on the deck rail.
 
I am not sure what you mean by clicks? Is that miles ?  I agree to take the advice here that you will often see more with a 10x than a 12x, unless it is for just a quick peek.  Chances are you will want to use it more than just when supported on the deck rail. 
 
You may be surprised how a quality spotting scope may be useful.   I'm sure you have the Burris on a tripod, and the difference in view to a better one is huge.  You will quickly find out here that fine optics are spendy.  And you often get what you pay for.
 
The sample list is a very good place to look as quality optics are found at a good price, and SWFA stands behind them.  You have found a good website for advice. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/12/2010 at 18:32
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1 click or Klick is a 1000m/1 Kilometer. I was a soldier for many years until not to terribly long ago and some things always stay with you.

I have been surfing the sample list, then cross referencing them on an auction site to see what the going price is. So far the sample list is the way to go. After this bino purchase I am upgrading my LRF and the sample list has my attention.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/13/2010 at 10:06
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Believe me, i've tried using 12x binoculars. Even when resting your elbows, you will see better with a 10x. Yes, you see bigger with 12x, but not more detail.
That Pentax 10x50 porro is very very good.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/13/2010 at 11:18
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Originally posted by anweis anweis wrote:

Believe me, i've tried using 12x binoculars. Even when resting your elbows, you will see better with a 10x. Yes, you see bigger with 12x, but not more detail.
That Pentax 10x50 porro is very very good.
 
I got a tunnel vision with 12x binoculars.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/13/2010 at 13:36
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What brand & model was it?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/13/2010 at 16:19
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Can anyone here tell me more about the Pentax PCF WP II?
I seem to remember reading that you get alot more binocular for your money if you buy a Porro rather than a Roof? I am interested in getting a Porro, my only binocular is a Leupold Olympic in 10x50. So I have very little to judge by. Where is the Pentax made? what kind of customer support do they have? What other Porros are in competition with the Pentax? It looks like its well made.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/13/2010 at 17:58
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The Pentax PCF WP II and its rival, the Nikon Action Extreme ATB, are both manufactured in China.
However, it is my understanding that, the Japanese from both brand name companies, have a presence, or oversight, of the manufacturing process, that is done in China, and exercise stricter Quality Control Standards, over their own optical products, eleminating many, or most, of the QC issues, that normally end up on these shores; such as is often the case with the cheaper Chinese Porro prism binoculars that arrive out of collimation, in the USA.
 
If you read both companies literature/catalogs the first thing that you will notice is that the PCF WP II is advertised as Fully Multi-Coated, whereas the AE ATB is advertised as Multi-Coated.
 
Next, Pentax advertises the PCF WP II, as well as other models, as having JIS Class 6 waterproofing. Nikon does not advertise the waterproof rating of its AE ATB models, or other models.
 
The PCF WP II comes with a focus lock, for those of you who like to crawl around on the ground or in the bushes.
 
The PCF WP II is know for its longer Eye Relief, for those who must wear eyeglasses, or sunglasses.
 
The PCF WP II gives an appearance of heft & ruggedness, and has always filled up my hands very nicely, and the weight of these binoculars seems to help offset vibrations, or shake, when hand held, especially at higher magnifications. (10x, 12x, 16x(discontinued) & 20x.
 
I like the click stop settings of the right diopter adjustments of the PCF WP II, I can't remember what Nikon offers on the AE ATB models.
 
Both companies offer what amounts to "No Fault" Lifetime Warranties; so, even if we drop one, they will repair or replace it, for a very small fee.
 
I have had the 12x50mm, 16x60mm, & 20x60mm for a number of years, and am very pleased with the optics, optical coatings, and overall mechanical construction. 
 
For guys with smaller hands, you would more than likely want to look at the Nikon AE ATB, which seems to be slightly smaller, in construction, overall.
 
 
 
 
 
 


Edited by Bird Watcher - January/13/2010 at 18:39
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/13/2010 at 22:04
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After all the input I have received I am now drooling over a pair of Minox 10x44 swfa has for sale.....but trying t figure out if they are worth the extra cash, more than likely they are. I knew this would happen, always end up going over budget Big Smile
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/14/2010 at 14:48
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Thanks for all the great input. I ended up getting 2 pairs. One is a Pentax 12x50 PCF WP 11 and the other one is a Pentax 8x40 PCF WP 11. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/19/2010 at 15:11
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Originally posted by KAG KAG wrote:

Thanks for all the great input. I ended up getting 2 pairs. One is a Pentax 12x50 PCF WP 11 and the other one is a Pentax 8x40 PCF WP 11. 
 
Good choice for quality glass on a budget. One year from now (or 20-40 hours of use, whichever comes first) you will notice that the 12x50 is left home 99% of time.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/20/2010 at 00:36
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I thought I would post a follow up. the 8x40 are indeed a rock solid pair of bino's. They are very rugged in feel and I can tell they will see lots of service. I wish the lens caps were better and attached. The 12x50 pair I really like and no issues with stabilization. The were bought to sit on the counter and glass out off my deck across the fields and lake with. Very pleased with both.

Thanks for all the great advice. it was spot on.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/20/2010 at 21:58
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Look at some Quake Bushwacker or Butler Creek flip up objective covers.  Stock bino lens covers sometimes just plain suck.  The thing with binoculars and especially the Butler Creek, is that the proper size for a binocular is sometimes just between two sizes.  Go smaller, as it is easier to use a little caution and work a tight fit.  A too loose fit and they are falling off too easily.
 
I have both, and maybe prefer the Quake.  They are softer and grippier and seem to fit a wider range of objectives per cover size..
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/25/2010 at 18:33
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I use 12x binoculars all the time for various kinds of hunting. Aside from sitting down, I use a couple of other tricks to steady them:
 
1) I normally carry a pair of shooting sticks when hunting. Resting the 12x in the crotch of the sticks while sitting really helps.
 
2) Even if you don't carry sticks (because you use a bipod on your rifle, or whatever), holding your rifle upright in front of you while sitting, and placing the barrels of the binocular on either side of the rifle barrel also steadies things down considerably.
 
The only variable or switch-power binocular I have seen that's truly good so far is the Leica Duovid. In fact an 8+12x42 is my favorite all-around hunting binocular. But they are a little out of your price range. In fact they are a little out of my price range now--I got them when they cost half as much as their present price!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/25/2010 at 21:53
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Originally posted by John Barsness John Barsness wrote:

I use 12x binoculars all the time for various kinds of hunting.
Thank You!
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