Author Topic: Recommendations re Binoculars?  (Read 6576 times)

Offline Zuladad

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Recommendations re Binoculars?
« on: October 07, 2011, 04:53:50 PM »
I'm looking for (yeah, pun intended) a solid binocular; not too cheap, not too expensive, but just right, maybe 100$ or so.  I am leaning towards smaller rather than larger.  I have in mind something that would serve in a car bag or bug about pack.  Not for hunting, birdwatching, stargazing, or spying on neighbors.  Just general prep-use purposes.  I don't want the kid's version or those cheapie fall-apart pretend binoculars.  I have little comprehension of the esoteric lingo that describes binoculars.   I feel more comfortable with a better known name brand, but am not looking for top-of-the-line, certainly not in the $100 range.

If anyone has some insight (or farsight), please offer it as though you were speaking to a child.

An aside: You know, it is nice to be able to turn to this group for advice, recommendations, and the witty turn.  I do appreciate you all.

ps - I couldn't turn up a review of this topic, but if I missed it, Mods, my apologies in advance.

Offline RPZ

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Re: Recommendations re Binoculars?
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2011, 05:13:31 PM »
I do not have them, but based on many reviews I have read by some rather critical folk, check out the Leupold Yosemite 6x30.

Wide field of view, very good glass, relatively light and compact, waterproof, and Leupold's lifetime warranty. You can snag one for around $90 or less right now - check Amazon and ebay.

Offline NorIDhunter

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Re: Recommendations re Binoculars?
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2011, 08:43:40 PM »
Jmtc but buy the best glass that you can afford, I know they're out of of your price range but I bought a pair of Zeiss Dialyt 21 years ago and they're still going strong. I wouldn't trade them for anything.
I don't know what else you're looking for but imo, you want the pair that transmits the most light through the device so you can see at first dawn and last dusk. The human pupil generally opens to about 6mm at full dilation so the closer you can get to that, the better that will match your eye.
Fer example, a pair is usually listed as 8x30mm etc . So take the lens dia (30) & divide by the magnifying power (8) which equals 3.75 in this case. That means it's only letting through about 2/3 of the light your eye can handle. My Zeiss are 7x40's = 5.71 which is pretty close to optimal. RPZ's Leupold's would be a 5.
Hope this helps and good glassing!  ;)

Offline FreeLancer

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Re: Recommendations re Binoculars?
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2011, 01:42:14 AM »
I don't like high magnification binoculars because they are harder to hold steady (unless you pay for image stabilization) than lower power.  A shaky 10x image will provide you with a lot less detail and more fatigue than a steady 7x image.  Personally, I think 7x is the sweet spot and combined with a 40-50mm lens will give you really good low-light performance and wide field of view.

I've got a pair of REI branded 8x42 that were on sale for ~$100 that aren't too bad and are  compact and easy to pack around.  But I get noticeably less detail, more eye fatigue, and poorer low light performance with these compared to my ~$300 Steiner Marine in 7x50.  Granted the Steiners are heavier and less compact, but I find it much easier to hold them steady for long periods and can actually see more detail in low-light than with the naked eye.

At some point I'd like to get myself some high-end binos, like NorIDhunter's Zeiss glass, but haven't quite been able to bring myself to pull the trigger on something in the $1000+ range. 

Offline jbm555

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Re: Recommendations re Binoculars?
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2011, 09:08:47 AM »

I don't know the model right off hand but I've had good luck with Nikkon binoculars.  I got them about 8 years ago for around $170.  I don't have them with me at the moment and I can't remember if they are 7x or 8x.  I also don't know off hand if they they have 40 or 50mm objectives.  They're light and have a clear picture. 

I've had binoculars that were as high as 10x and 12x and I didn't like them.  The increased magnification also magnifies every little movement and it's hard to "steady" them.  7x - 8x really is the sweet spot for "walking around" glass.  I can't recommend variable power binoculars either.  I had a pair several years ago and there are too many compromises to make variable power work well in binoculars. 

Offline JerseyVince

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Re: Recommendations re Binoculars?
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2011, 10:35:25 AM »
Cabelas is having a sale on Leupold Rogue 8x50 & 10x42 models for 119.99 and 109.99 abouut half the usual price, nice binos for a really good price for leupold.

Offline RPZ

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Re: Recommendations re Binoculars?
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2011, 11:27:53 AM »
If you are willing to spend another $50+ I can recommend the Vortex Fury 6.5x32. There is a pair on ebay right now starting at $149 and a buy it now at $159. These are a $350+ glass that outperform some costing far more than that.

Offline OkieBoy

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Re: Recommendations re Binoculars?
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2011, 02:44:45 PM »
The Audubon Equinox are a really good line-comparable to much more expensive brands. I loved mine until they ended up on the bottom of the Mulberry River in Arkansas.....

Offline oktheniknow

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Re: Recommendations re Binoculars?
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2013, 02:28:12 PM »
Have a couple of old binoculars. Am thinking of getting another for our new homestead to look at wildlife, and for security purposes need to have where it can zoom in sharply to 175 yards away and up to 500 yards. The ones I have are Bushnell 7-15X25mm zoom and Tasco 10x50mm, which are only so so. What the best monoculars (as I usually end up closing one eye anyway) or binoculars out there under $100? Have seen where some are on the heavy side. Would be a nice feature to be able to use a tripod with if it had an attachment for. 

Offline bcksknr

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Re: Recommendations re Binoculars?
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2013, 06:08:09 AM »
You might want to consider a monocular (essentally half of a binocular). Especially for a bug out bag. I exchanged my binos for a cheaper monocular to save weight and space. The rationale is that bug out optics would probably be used to check out an individual, group or structure from a concealed distance. I can live with a little 10x shake or less than perfect glass. I try to buy good quality gear for my BOB, but always with the thought that I may have to abandon it at some point. I don't want to be tempted to run into a burning structure or vehicle to try to rescue my $1000+ gear. I would also suggest you look into nitrogen fillled waterproof optics. Dunking binos pretty much ruins them.   

Offline oktheniknow

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Re: Recommendations re Binoculars?
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2013, 07:10:35 AM »
I decided to go with this 8x25 pair as they are portable, lightweight, nitrogen filled/waterproof and only $50. Is sharper than I expected. http://www.amazon.com/Olympus-118795-BINOCULAR-COLEMAN-MAGELLAN/dp/B003EA1X22/

Offline NWPilgrim

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Re: Recommendations re Binoculars?
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2013, 05:02:01 PM »
I just bought a pair of Nikon Monarch 3 8x42 on sale at Cabela's for about $200.  very nice. 8x is the most power I can hold by hand.  The 10x is too jittery to see well, have to have a rest.  I have a compact Leupold field spotting scope 15x-30x if I need a lot of magnification.

Offline Practical Prepper

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Re: Recommendations re Binoculars?
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2013, 05:51:53 PM »
I would have to say the best bang for the buck would be the nikon monarchs but they are in the 200-300 dolar range. What make a difference in the price is quality of glass, coatings, waterproofing vs water resistance and if they are gass filled. Try to find one that is multicoated and waterproof and then always test them before purchase to insure proper glass allingment so you don't get double vision

Offline cmxterra

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Re: Recommendations re Binoculars?
« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2013, 06:08:29 PM »
I've been happy with my Steiner Marine