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Thread: Binocular recommendations??

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    3rd Line Role Player Waitsfan's Avatar




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    Default Binocular recommendations??

    I am looking to buy a decent pair of binoculars. My cousin, who is a hardcore birdwatcher, recommends Zeiss or Leica...but both seem a bit out of my price range. I don't think I want to spend more than $500, but could be convinced to, if the additional money was worth it.

    I intend to use them on backpacking trips, local hiking, and possibly out on the water (whales and dolphins, etc.). I would prefer them to be relatively light weight, but not necessarily the tiny compact ones.

    My cousin took me birdwatching (not something I thought I would enjoy) and let me use his $2000 binoculars. I was absolutely amazed. The binoculars (and my cousin's knowledge of the birds) made the day rather enjoyable. I don't think I'll ever really be into birdwatching, but would love a decent pair of binoculars.

    I guess I'm asking if anyone knows of any good off brands (new and upcoming companies?), or has experience with something like the Nikon Monarch series, or similar. Or, can you convince me that it is worth the money to buy Zeiss or Leica??

    Thanks for any advice!!

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    mmmmm Taco's jammer06's Avatar




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    checked with my mom and stepdad, they use them for the horse races but they basically have old pairs (20 years) and have no idea about new ones. Sorry it's crappy info but it was funny when my mom started down the "check some garage sales" path.
    x-wingcamewest and Waitsfan like this.

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    3rd Line Role Player Waitsfan's Avatar




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    Quote Originally Posted by jammer06 View Post
    checked with my mom and stepdad, they use them for the horse races but they basically have old pairs (20 years) and have no idea about new ones. Sorry it's crappy info but it was funny when my mom started down the "check some garage sales" path.
    Thanks for checking. After using really expensive, high quality binoculars, I totally understand that cheap ones are not the way to go. I just don't know where the break is between crap and decent. I've been told that I'll need to spend at least $300....probably more like $500. I don't know what to think. Not knowing a thing about them, I don't know if it is safe to assume that the more expensive the better they are. I don't want to just pay for a brand name.

    I'd be stoked if I could find high quality at a garage sale!! doubtful....but you hear stories of people finding a Picasso behind some crap landscape painting. Stranger things have happened.

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    mmmmm Taco's jammer06's Avatar




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    I've done the garage sale things a few times when our neighborhood gets down for it. Pretty surprising what you can find but it's not the most efficient way to go about it. The knowledge is a hard thing, you might check with military shops too, they'll have some good people on optics.
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    1st Scoring Line DeaderFan's Avatar




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    When got 300 seats at Staples I decided to get some good binoculars. I did my research and discovered there is a lot to consider like size, weight, prism design, power, field of view, brightness, etc. As it turns out, bird watchers really are the authorities on binoculars. I read a lot of their reviews and decided on these:

    Nikon 8x32 Premier SE Binocular 7381 B&H Photo Video

    They have been great for games and concerts. They are smallish and really sharp and bright. Check out the reviews on B&H. I have two pairs now. both are more than 5 years old and still going strong.
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    Iím sicka the high hat!! santiclaws's Avatar




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    Quote Originally Posted by Waitsfan View Post
    I intend to use them on backpacking trips, local hiking, and possibly out on the water (whales and dolphins, etc.).
    You forgot the "wink, wink, nudge, nudge."

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    Check ebay and craigslist too.
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    3rd Line Role Player Waitsfan's Avatar




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    Quote Originally Posted by DeaderFan View Post
    When got 300 seats at Staples I decided to get some good binoculars. I did my research and discovered there is a lot to consider like size, weight, prism design, power, field of view, brightness, etc. As it turns out, bird watchers really are the authorities on binoculars. I read a lot of their reviews and decided on these:

    Nikon 8x32 Premier SE Binocular 7381 B&H Photo Video

    They have been great for games and concerts. They are smallish and really sharp and bright. Check out the reviews on B&H. I have two pairs now. both are more than 5 years old and still going strong.
    those look decent....but now I'm researching between roof and porro prisms......I like the compact nature of the roof prisms, but like the price of the porro prism binoculars.

    My perfect world (which this isn't....although winning the Stanley Cup makes it a bit closer) binoculars: less than $500, compact, lightweight, very clear optics, decent in low light, at least 8x, but preferably 10x magnification. Probably doesn't exist. Also, I'm comparing the optics to the Leica Ultravid 10x42, so I'm bound to be disappointed with anything in the $500 range.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Waitsfan View Post
    I am looking to buy a decent pair of binoculars. My cousin, who is a hardcore birdwatcher, recommends Zeiss or Leica...but both seem a bit out of my price range. I don't think I want to spend more than $500, but could be convinced to, if the additional money was worth it.

    I intend to use them on backpacking trips, local hiking, and possibly out on the water (whales and dolphins, etc.). I would prefer them to be relatively light weight, but not necessarily the tiny compact ones.

    My cousin took me birdwatching (not something I thought I would enjoy) and let me use his $2000 binoculars. I was absolutely amazed. The binoculars (and my cousin's knowledge of the birds) made the day rather enjoyable. I don't think I'll ever really be into birdwatching, but would love a decent pair of binoculars.


    I guess I'm asking if anyone knows of any good off brands (new and upcoming companies?), or has experience with something like the Nikon Monarch series, or similar. Or, can you convince me that it is worth the money to buy Zeiss or Leica??

    Thanks for any advice!!
    You might want to check out the The Canon IS (image stabilized) binocs, I think they are awesome. The entry-level ones start below $500.

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