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Which Pair Under $200

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/12/2007 at 08:47
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Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper


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I am looking at getting some binoculars and cannot afford to spend over about $200 on them.  These are thre of the choices I have looked at.
 
Pentax 8x40 PCF WPII
 
Bushnell Excursion 8x42
 
Leupold 8x42 Green Ring Mesa
 
Any other suggestions.  I want the best optics I can get at this price.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/12/2007 at 09:15
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Here is a link from the other day that gives reviews on the Excursion:
 
I have looked through the Mesa, and the PCF WP II, and the Nikon Action Extreme ATB.
 
The Mesa is not in the same category as the other two.  The Mesa is not as sharp and is only Multi-Coated.
 
The Nikons have better Multi-Coated optics but have some softness around the edges which will in turn effectively reduce your overall Field-Of-View, however, this is more noticable at the higher magnifications.
The Nikon has excellent resolution performance on axis/centrally located.
 
The Pentax has the best optical coatings, Fully Multi-Coated as well as Super Multi-layer coatings. 
The Pentax also has aspherical eyepiece elements which generally give you sharpness out to the edges making up for the narrower FOV. 
The Pentax has internal focusing which gives it better waterproofing/JIS Class 6. 
The PCF WP II's also offer a focus lock which comes in handy at times.
The Pentax was brighter and clearer during instore testing.
The Pentax also has excellent resolution.
 
Either the Pentax PCF WP II's or the Nikon Action Extreme ATB should work well for you at your current budget limitations.


Edited by Bird Watcher - December/12/2007 at 11:10
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/12/2007 at 09:58
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Optics GrassHopper
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How much would I gain by going up to the Leupold 8x42 Cascades or the Vortex Diamondbacks?  Which of these is a better choice?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/12/2007 at 10:13
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Diamondbacks are Chinese, same as the Nikon AE ATB and the Pentax PCF WP II.
The Cascades are Japanese and have always had good reviews for the money.
 
If you go with a roof prism, either Leupold Cascades or Vortex Diamondbacks, personally I think you would loose some light transmission to your eyes in low light situations when comapred to the porro prism binoculars.
 
The Leupold Cascades 8x42 is also available in an Internal Focus Porro Prism and from past reviews of the Cascades I would think that it would be a step up in overall quality when compared to the Nikon or the Pentax porros.
 
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/12/2007 at 10:34
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One thing I forgot to mention, I have looked through different Leupold roof prism binoculars and my favorites have always been the Cascades.  http://www.binoculars.org/birding/Reviews/Leupold/WindRiverCascades8x42.html

I purchased the Leupold Katmai 6x32mm roof prism for my wife and she is really impressed with them.  It was always her favorite when looking thru Leupold and other brand binoculars.
I have used them as well, around the backyard for birding, and they are quite addictive, because they are so small and lightweight. I prefer the 6x because higher magnifications shake too much in this model. Depth of field on the 6x is very impressive.


Edited by Bird Watcher - December/12/2007 at 10:54
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