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Thread: binoculars

  1. #1
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    Default binoculars

    Looking for some binoculars for hunting and general purpose. either 8x42 or10x42. Anything good out there for under 150.00 bucks.
    You must pay attention to the man behind the curtain. Or you will loose.

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    Default Re: binoculars

    Don't buy anything until you've actually tried it. Don't go just by recommendation/critique. When trying out binoculars, look for a couple things:

    1. The largest pupil exit size you can find. The larger the exit size, the more light it passes. The more light, the easier to see.

    2. Resolution. Pick out small signs on the opposite side of the store. Look for the one that allows you to read the smallest letters clearly.

    3. Prisms. Make sure that the prisms are on the same plane. Pick out a horizontal line on the far side of the store (e.g., corner of wall/cieling). Hold the lenses away from your eyes a few inches. See if the line in the left eye continues straight across to the right eye. If they are on different levels, look for another pair.

    Decide how you want to use them. Magnification isn't always better. A 10X is stronger than an 8X but, if you want better resolution and light gathering in low light, you're better off with lower magnification.

    Check out local camera shops instead of sporting goods stores. They usually have some decent binoc for under $200. I have a pair of Nikon 8x42 and a pair of Minolta 10x50 that I got for under $200 at camera shops. I haven't found anything comparable for the price in hunting stores.
    "How feeble is the mindset to accept defenselessnes."

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    Default Re: binoculars

    Quote Originally Posted by Sandcut View Post
    Don't buy anything until you've actually tried it. Don't go just by recommendation/critique. When trying out binoculars, look for a couple things:

    1. The largest pupil exit size you can find. The larger the exit size, the more light it passes. The more light, the easier to see.

    2. Resolution. Pick out small signs on the opposite side of the store. Look for the one that allows you to read the smallest letters clearly.

    3. Prisms. Make sure that the prisms are on the same plane. Pick out a horizontal line on the far side of the store (e.g., corner of wall/cieling). Hold the lenses away from your eyes a few inches. See if the line in the left eye continues straight across to the right eye. If they are on different levels, look for another pair.

    Decide how you want to use them. Magnification isn't always better. A 10X is stronger than an 8X but, if you want better resolution and light gathering in low light, you're better off with lower magnification.

    Check out local camera shops instead of sporting goods stores. They usually have some decent binoc for under $200. I have a pair of Nikon 8x42 and a pair of Minolta 10x50 that I got for under $200 at camera shops. I haven't found anything comparable for the price in hunting stores.
    Thanks for the info. Sounds like you have done this before. Any brands to stay away from?
    You must pay attention to the man behind the curtain. Or you will loose.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: binoculars

    Quote Originally Posted by nomad48 View Post
    Thanks for the info. Sounds like you have done this before. Any brands to stay away from?
    Used to hang out w/ a bunch of die-hard birdwatcher/dorks and couldn't see/afford spending $1K+ on a pair of binoculars just to differentiate a juvenile from an adult "LBJ." (LBJ = Little Brown Jobber = indistinguishable passerine/warbler) I just wasn't that into it. But, you hang out w/ folks and you pick up what they know.

    It's been 20+ years since I did any looking. It used to be that there were only two or three manufacturers that ground the lenses. Nikon was one. I forget the others. All other manufacturers used to buy their lenses from these few producers. Some had higher standards. Some didn't. There are a lot of good binocs out there today. I can't speak about productions for Zeiss or Swarovski or any of the other top end glasses. They're out of your (and my) range anyway for the most part.

    The main thing I can advise is, go somewhere where you can try them out. Don't buy anything that's in a hermetically sealed package. (I hate those damned things!) You don't know what you get until you open them and, usually, you won't be happy and will have to return them.

    Look for clarity and color. See how they fit on your face. Smaller binocs are more portable but, don't give you as wide a field of view as larger.

    Do you wear glasses? If so, you can fold back the rubber around the eyepieces to allow for the binocs right up against your glasses rather than taking off the glasses. I personally can't do this. I just take off my glasses. You need a really large pupil exit diameter to do this well and that's expensive usually.

    Avoid zoom binocs. I've had them and they don't perform well and give poor quality resolution.

    When trying out a pair, focus the fixed eye w/ the center adjustment knob, then adjust the adjustable (usually the right) eyepiece to make both of the lenses parfocal (equal). Then, the center adjustment will focus both at the same time.

    Good luck. A nice pair of binoculars should last you a lifetime and are small enough to take everywhere. And, birdwatcher/dorks are pretty nice people. I need to arrange a PAFOA eagle-watching trip on the upper Delaware River this winter now that you can carry in the National Parks.
    "How feeble is the mindset to accept defenselessnes."

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    Smile Re: binoculars

    Thanks for the good advise sandcut. Time to start looking now.
    You must pay attention to the man behind the curtain. Or you will loose.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: binoculars

    Check out the new Redfeild rebel 10x42's they are impressive for 149.99 and they are actually made by leupold

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