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Not so high priced binoculars

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/24/2013 at 23:08
dsw1204 View Drop Down
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Hi everyone, I am new to this forum and am new to the binocular viewing world. I see lots of posts regarding binoculars costing over $1000. However, I cannot afford that kind of money. I am looking for a pair of binoculars that price out in the $250 area. Will be using them mainly for bird watching, but will also be used for general wildlife observing, also. I've looked at Bushnell Legend Ultra HD, Nikon Monarch 3, and the Vortex Diamondback...all are 8x42. Can I get some input from you guys/gals regarding these binoculars or ones you think I should consider? I appreciate all the help I can get.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/25/2013 at 08:28
PhilR. View Drop Down
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For your purposes, I would recommend going with something that has a smaller objective size. IMO the 8x30-32 size is just fine for what you want to do, and you will come to enjoy the smaller size and decreased weight vs. a 42mm. One exception to this that I would recommend is the Legend Ultra HD 8x36, which is about the same size of many 30mm binoculars. It is brighter and sharper than just about any other roof prism in it's price class, and is the one I would recommend most for your situation.

If you like an open-bridge, take a look at the Sightron SII Blue Sky 8x30. This one isn't as bright as the Legend, but it cost a bit less and is pretty sharp.

If you would consider a porro, then look at the Vortex Raptor 8.5x32. A really neat little set of bins whose brightness and sharpness really surprised me. It would be hard to find something better in your price range, at least until you get to an ED set. If I didn't already have a Blue Sky, I would have gotten this one. Kowa and Leupold also make porros that are almost twins to this one, but I would probably go with the Vortex.

If you just gotta have a 42mm, then look at the Legend Ultra HD, Bresser Everest ED, and Vanguard Endeavor ED which has a $50 rebate right now. The Bresser has gotten a lot of good press on the birding forums, and the Vanguard has been recommended here (it wouldn't surprise me if they used many of the same parts). These are probably about as good as you are going to get at the $250 range. The Zen Ray ZRS HD might also be a very good one to look at (or through).

Lastly, the Olympus EXPS-1 8x42 is a porro that can be had for around $100, and it outperforms just about everything under $200 that isn't ED. If you want to start off with a large objective for cheap, it would be a very good choice. There is a European website that has an extensive test of this one, and it beat out a lot of binos that are much more expensive.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/25/2013 at 09:59
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Originally posted by dsw1204 dsw1204 wrote:

I am looking for a pair of binoculars that price out in the $250 area.
Will be using them mainly for bird watching, but will also be used for general wildlife observing,

One of my favorite binoculars is the Nikon 7x35.
Sharp optics, 5mm exit pupil for brightness in all lighting situations, w i d e FOV,
reasonably priced, waterproof & fogproof, lightweight, etc.



Edited by Bird Watcher - May/25/2013 at 10:42
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/25/2013 at 11:53
dsw1204 View Drop Down
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PhilR, thanks for the information. I had not considered 30-32mm objective lens sizes. I was under the impression that having a 42mm lens give me a significant brighter image than with a 32mm lens size. I will definitely consider your suggestions and I am going to give those suggestions a looksee at the local dealers, if I can find them. I appreciate the help.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/25/2013 at 12:48
PhilR. View Drop Down
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Originally posted by dsw1204 dsw1204 wrote:

I was under the impression that having a 42mm lens give me a significant brighter image than with a 32mm lens size.


In general, the larger objective does give you a brighter image. But this also depends on construction too. One of the brighter 8x bins is the Nikon SE, and it only has a 30mm objective. I also have a 42mm 8x that is not as bright as my 30mm Sightron B.S..

If one is comparing two of the same model of binoculars but with different sized objectives, then you will usually get a brighter image with the larger one. However, you pay for that slightly brighter image with extra weight, extra bulk, and often extra cost. Since a good 30mm is plenty bright enough for most people for daytime use (such as your stated needs), I see no need for extra weight, extra cost, and extra bulk to get a slight increase in image brightness. More than a few people consider the 8x30/32 size to be the "sweet spot" in binoculars.

In the end, lets face it -- binoculars are like Oreos. You won't be able to stop at just one. Start off with what you think will make you happy. Sooner or later, you will end up with something of the opposite size you started off with. But do look at the Bushnell Legend Ultra HD in 36mm, which would work quite well for your purposes.....
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/25/2013 at 14:10
PhilR. View Drop Down
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By the way, once you find something, please consider coming back here and letting everyone know what you got, and what you think of it.

PhilR.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/25/2013 at 21:28
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What is the model of that Nikon 7x35? There are two models that have that 7x35 configuration listed on Binoculars.com.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/25/2013 at 21:37
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/02/2013 at 11:09
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You mentioned the Monarch 3'. I would pass and look at the Monarch 5's. More "bang for the buck" for not much more money.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/03/2013 at 13:04
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monarch 5, redfield rebel, vanguard spirit.    
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/05/2013 at 07:59
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Hi everyone
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/05/2013 at 08:21
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Hi everyone,

Just wanted to thank everyone for all of your input. I checked out everyone's recommendations and have finally made a decision.

I ended up getting the Vortex Diamondback 8x42. I talked a lot with the people at competitor.com, Binoculars.com, and Eagleoptics.com and all of them just reaped praises on the Diamondbacks. I did go to a Bass Pro Shops and checked them out against a lot of the others and I liked the image quality and field of view was ridiculously wide. I, also, like how they jut felt in my hand. They were very comfortable and have a very natural feel to them. The Legend Ultra HD's came in a close second, but Vortex's warranty made the decision easy. Their warranty is an unlimited lifetime and transferrable one. Anything goes wrong for whatever reason, they will repair or replace it. Period. I love that commitment to customer service. Thirty years from now I can give these to my great grandkids and the warranty will still be in place.

Thanks again to all who assisted in my search. Please let me know what you think of my decision.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/05/2013 at 09:10
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id look at the new zeiss terra 8x42 as well. think they go fo around 349. nice looking bino
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/05/2013 at 09:11
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think youll like the vortex tho. heard good things about them and they have a great warranty
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/05/2013 at 11:02
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I talked to somebody (either from competitor.com or binoculars.com) about the Zeiss Terra binoculars and they said that some other manufacturer makes those particular glasses for Zeiss and Zeiss just puts their name on them. It makes sense to me, since Zeiss only makes high end optics. I was told that there were better binoculars for the money than those.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/05/2013 at 17:09
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Originally posted by dsw1204 dsw1204 wrote:

I talked to somebody (either from competitor.com or binoculars.com) about the Zeiss Terra binoculars and they said that some other manufacturer makes those particular glasses for Zeiss and Zeiss just puts their name on them. It makes sense to me, since Zeiss only makes high end optics. I was told that there were better binoculars for the money than those.

Ignorance abounds, mostly in this case from the source of your information.  The Terra is a design specific to Zeiss, that information is all over the place on that binocular.  Zeiss will outsource the manufacture of the Terra to a Chinese source, but it will be a Zeiss inspected and quality monitored process of a Zeiss designed binocular.  I doubt you will ever find Zeiss just calling up some generic binocular manufacturer and ordering a couple of thousand off the rack, just add black armor and a blue badge...ain't gonna happen.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/05/2013 at 21:28
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Hey, I am just stating was stated to me by people actually working in the binocular industry. I know very little about who makes what in this industry and I didn't claim my information as first hand info. The people I talked to seemed knowledgeable and could have pushed a $349 binocular on me, but didn't for with what seemed to be good reasons.

I doubt I would seen any difference between the Diamondbacks and the Terras. Someone who knows optics, like a first rate photographer, might be able to spot differences. But, an amateur like me probably would not.

For the money I spent, I think I got the best bang for the buck and you can't ask for more than that.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/06/2013 at 17:56
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Originally posted by dsw1204 dsw1204 wrote:

 I doubt I would seen any difference between the Diamondbacks and the Terras. Someone who knows optics, like a first rate photographer, might be able to spot differences. But, an amateur like me probably would not.

For the money I spent, I think I got the best bang for the buck and you can't ask for more than that.









As long as you are satisfied with your investment.... that's all that really matters. Thunbs Up
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/06/2013 at 18:02
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binocular buying can turn into an obsession. ive just recently ordered my 2nd pair and still shopping for a 3rd lol
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/06/2013 at 18:57
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Originally posted by Robster80 Robster80 wrote:

binocular buying can turn into an obsession. ive just recently ordered my 2nd pair and still shopping for a 3rd lol

The more binoculars you have the greater the viewing experiences.  Big Grin
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/06/2013 at 19:09
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Binoculars are a "pair" of monoculars...
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/06/2013 at 22:14
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Originally posted by Kickboxer Kickboxer wrote:

Binoculars are a "pair" of monoculars...

GIANT binoculars used for astronomy, stargazing, etc. are also known as "binocular telescopes". Wink
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/06/2013 at 23:21
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I have to agree with you, Robster80. I have already started looking into getting another pair. Maybe a pair of astronomy glasses. I know nothing about astronomy binos, but I knew nothing about any binoculars when I started looking for my first pair (which I am absolutely thrilled with them).
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