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-   -   I'm Getting Back Into Birding & Nature Viewing! Best Binoculars? -Sarah (http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=354311)

JoyfulCreator Thursday 7th December 2017 15:16

I'm Getting Back Into Birding & Nature Viewing! Best Binoculars? -Sarah
 
I'm on a mission to get some new binoculars as I'm getting back into enjoying nature & smelling the roses. Recommendations on best magnification for a set of binoculars? I'm considering either Bushnell, Athlon Optics OR Nikon. I've been reading reviews but hesitant without some guidance. Any help would be appreciated! - Sarah

delia todd Thursday 7th December 2017 15:31

Hi Sarah and a warm welcome to you from all the Staff and Moderators.

I've moved your post to the Binocular forum and subscribed you to the thread so you can find it easily, and will be advised by email when there's any replies. I think you've more likely to get the expert information you required in there.

Meanwhile I hope you enjoy your time here with us.

Maljunulo Thursday 7th December 2017 15:53

Quote:

Originally Posted by JoyfulCreator (Post 3652058)
I'm on a mission to get some new binoculars as I'm getting back into enjoying nature & smelling the roses. Recommendations on best magnification for a set of binoculars? I'm considering either Bushnell, Athlon Optics OR Nikon. I've been reading reviews but hesitant without some guidance. Any help would be appreciated! - Sarah

Even though mine are 10X, for you for general use I would lean toward 8X, for all the reasons which have been discussed ad nauseum, here and elsewhere.

ceasar Thursday 7th December 2017 17:06

Quote:

Originally Posted by JoyfulCreator (Post 3652058)
I'm on a mission to get some new binoculars as I'm getting back into enjoying nature & smelling the roses. Recommendations on best magnification for a set of binoculars? I'm considering either Bushnell, Athlon Optics OR Nikon. I've been reading reviews but hesitant without some guidance. Any help would be appreciated! - Sarah

Hi Sarah,

Welcome to Bird Forum:hi:

8X42 binoculars are usually suggested for beginners. They have an eye friendly 5.2mm exit pupil which makes it easy to center the pupils of your eyes in the right place when you use them.

Try them out if you can before you decide to buy one.

You may be able to visit a store like Cabelas in Kansas City and try out a few 8x42 binoculars while there. Cabelas usually has a number of Nikon 8x42s in different price ranges from about $100.00 through $400.00 that you can try out and they may also have some Bushnells.

Good Luck,

Bob

ClarkWGriswold Thursday 7th December 2017 17:29

Hi Sarah and welcome to BirdForum. I'm sure you'll get some decent advice re. binoculars here.

Rich

gunut Thursday 7th December 2017 17:36

on E-bay 2 come to mind

Bushnell Legend M series...8x42...item #292168188707...$159.99

Vanguard Endeavor ED...8x42...item # 253061736541...179.99 or offer....
if you prefer his one i'd offer 159.99 same as Bushnell and say that in my offer....

Chosun Juan Thursday 7th December 2017 18:09

Welcome :)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by gunut (Post 3652120)
on E-bay 2 come to mind

Bushnell Legend M series...8x42...item #292168188707...$159.99

Vanguard Endeavor ED...8x42...item # 253061736541...179.99 or offer....
if you prefer his one i'd offer 159.99 same as Bushnell and say that in my offer....

Hi Sarah, welcome to BF ! :D

+1 on all the above.

8x42 will be much easier to line up, hold steady, and use initially, and the Bushnell Legend M series is a really good all-rounder and superb value for money. It is bright and has a wide field of view. It will fit most people's eyes/faces, hands really well. If possible try before you buy. You'll know a great fit and view when you see it. :)

It seems to me that a 10x magnification requires a disproportionate increase in expenditure to get really good results, and the same applies to a lesser extent to smaller sizes like 8x32 for instance. As Bob said, the 5.2mm exit pupil (objective size divided by magnification, ie 428) will be much easier to get along with in snap viewing situations etc. Rest assured you will become more proficient as the years roll by :t:

Don't over complicate things too much just go and enjoy the birds and nature. :cat:



Chosun :gh:

WJC Thursday 7th December 2017 18:50

Quote:

Originally Posted by JoyfulCreator (Post 3652058)
I'm on a mission to get some new binoculars as I'm getting back into enjoying nature & smelling the roses. Recommendations on best magnification for a set of binoculars? I'm considering either Bushnell, Athlon Optics OR Nikon. I've been reading reviews but hesitant without some guidance. Any help would be appreciated! - Sarah

Hi, Sarah and Welcome:

My birding bino is a Nikon 8x32 SE. That choice has nothing to do with what YOUR choice should be. However, at the time, I ran an optics shop which sold Zeiss, Leica, Swarovski, Kowa, Fujinon, and over a dozen more brands. My choice was based on recognizable quality and VALUE, of which cost affects the situation only in a marginal way. :cat:

Good luck.

Bill

Maljunulo Thursday 7th December 2017 19:14

Quote:

Originally Posted by WJC (Post 3652137)
Hi, Sarah and Welcome:

My birding bino is a Nikon 8x32 SE. That choice has nothing to do with what YOUR choice should be. However, at the time, I ran an optics shop which sold Zeiss, Leica, Swarovski, Kowa, Fujinon, and over a dozen more brands. My choice was based on recognizable quality and VALUE, of which cost affects the situation only in a marginal way. :cat:

Good luck.

Bill

Pay attention to Bill.

I'm not saying take his advice, but weigh it heavily in your deliberations.

He knows whereof he speaks.

(Just my opinion)

Chosun Juan Thursday 7th December 2017 19:30

Quote:

Originally Posted by WJC (Post 3652137)
Hi, Sarah and Welcome:

My birding bino is a Nikon 8x32 SE. That choice has nothing to do with what YOUR choice should be. However, at the time, I ran an optics shop which sold Zeiss, Leica, Swarovski, Kowa, Fujinon, and over a dozen more brands. My choice was based on recognizable quality and VALUE, of which cost affects the situation only in a marginal way. :cat:

Good luck.

Bill

+ 1 to that too :t:

At a slightly higher price point but superb value, and in absolute terms one of the best views there is.

Definitely try before you buy to ensure it's compatability with you, and your ability to handle a 4mm EP.



Chosun :gh:

Steve C Thursday 7th December 2017 21:27

Hi Sarah,

Another welcome to the forum. Keep in mind that regardless of the price range, there is no universally acknowledged "best binocular". The reason is in the enormous variability in the user population. My best may not be somebody else's best. It has to suit you and you alone. There are indeed many choices, enough to be confusing in the least.

I'd actually tend to ask for a bit more information. For instance what is your budget limit. When I see Bushnell come up I tend to think there may be a constraint involved. Nothing wrong with that or with Bushnell either. Another thing is what are you looking for in terms of overall size, and do you have close set eyes?. If you need to get the objectives close together then there are some product limitations involved. Not all binoculars may have adequately narrow inter-pupillary adjustments. The most important thing to get right is to get a binocular that fits you well. A good binocular that does not fit is not so good.

The previous recommendations for the Bushnell M is going to be nearly impossible to beat price wise, provided they are still out there for the $160.00. But they are big. If you want smaller, then there is the SIghtron S II at about the same price. It is a 32 mm size and about half as large as the Bushnell M.

Look for fit first, then a balance of fit and performance.

justabirdwatcher Thursday 7th December 2017 23:49

Everyone should own at least one pair of Sightron Blue Sky II 8x32's. They are just incredible for the price and are a pleasure to use. If you decide you want to go bigger, or more magnification or whatever, you can always do that later. But these to me, are a great launching off point.

Maljunulo Friday 8th December 2017 00:16

As in all things, people can give you better advice if they know how much you are willing to spend.

I have never even seen a pair of Sightron Blue Sky II 8X32, but many folks here seem to be impressed with them, with the usual "for the money" caveat.

denco@comcast.n Friday 8th December 2017 00:40

What is your price range? I would recommend an 8x32 or 8x42.

fazalmajid Friday 8th December 2017 06:47

Welcome to BirdForum!

Unless you are physically unable to carry a pair of 8x42 binoculars for an extended period of time (most are in the 1.5-2lb range), that's what you should get.

I can understand why you'd want to get Bushnells, as they are based in Overland Park, but they are all made in China anyway. Regarding Athlon vs. Nikon, this review might help:
https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/the-best-binoculars/
but as a counterpoint read this forum's opinion: http://www.birdforum.net/showthread....t=Athlon+midas
(I have never tried it, so I can't comment).

If your budget can stretch to $1000, I would recommend having a look at the Nikon Monarch HG 8x42, the Canon 10x42L IS (stabilized) and the Leica Trinovid HD 8x42. If 8x42 are too heavy, the Zeiss Victory Pocket 8x25 and the new Swarovski 8x30 CL Companion (not sure when they are expected to be available in the USA).

E-commerce has taken a toll on camera and optics stores, but you could always visit your local Cabela's and sample their selection. Don't let them sweet-talk you into buying the store brand, unless it's old-new-stock EuroHDs (made by Meopta) which are excellent binoculars, keenly priced.

Last but not least, keep an eye out for the Binocular Bargains thread:
http://www.birdforum.net/showthread....24267&page=999

Alexis Powell Friday 8th December 2017 13:00

Quote:

Originally Posted by fazalmajid (Post 3652291)
...I can understand why you'd want to get Bushnells, as they are based in Overland Park, but they are all made in China anyway...

Ah yes, but if you have a problem w/a Bushnell it is easy to pop into the headquarters or outlet store to pick up a warranty replacement (or, at least in the past, for warranty repair of a high end model). Sometimes, they have good deals on close-outs at the outlet store, but generally everything is list price, which is to say _way_ more expensive than the going rate from B&H, Amazon, Adorama, or others. If you buy a cheap bin, it is generally nice to be able to try the exact unit you are purchasing before you buy it, to insure that there are no manufacturing flaws. With Bushnell, you can buy a model that you like from anywhere, without prior testing, and if it is a bad unit just swing by Bushnell headquarters for a replacement.

All the above said, Nikon has historically had excellent warranty service, and in my experience has better quality control to begin with and better repair service (= fewer headaches overall, despite need for shipping to CA).

--AP

Sancho Friday 8th December 2017 22:34

Hi Sarah, it's an optical minefield out there, but I had a look recently through a pair of Hawke Sapphire ED 8x42, and was very impressed. You no longer have to spend thousands on 'alpha' binoculars. The Hawke Sapphires are compact, comfortable in the hand, wide field of view, bright and crisp etc. They cost about 450 euro. If you can, try a pair.

Maljunulo Tuesday 12th December 2017 01:21

Is it appropriate to wonder what happened to the lady who wanted all this advice?

Chosun Juan Tuesday 12th December 2017 01:26

Quote:

Originally Posted by Maljunulo (Post 3653692)
Is it appropriate to wonder what happened to the lady who wanted all this advice?

Busy watching birds perhaps ?! :-O



Chosun :gh:

dries1 Tuesday 12th December 2017 01:54

Lost Bino Shopper
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Maljunulo (Post 3653692)
Is it appropriate to wonder what happened to the lady who wanted all this advice?


Maljunulo
Now that was perspective, and funny also.
I would like to see more of your quotes.

Andy W.

Maljunulo Tuesday 12th December 2017 03:13

Quote:

Originally Posted by dries1 (Post 3653695)
Maljunulo
Now that was perspective, and funny also.
I would like to see more of your quotes.

Andy W.

I posted one a while back, and the post was removed. I am assuming it was deemed "off topic".

gunut Tuesday 12th December 2017 04:04

in the title line the poster adds "Sarah" at the end to grab the attention of the goofballs that stumble all over themselves to help out the female....but its most likely a troll having its demented version of fun....whatever...

ceasar Tuesday 12th December 2017 14:28

Quote:

Originally Posted by Maljunulo (Post 3653692)
Is it appropriate to wonder what happened to the lady who wanted all this advice?

Most likely she was overwhelmed by it.:smoke:

Bob

dries1 Tuesday 12th December 2017 15:44

Bob,

I am with gun nut on this one, smelling the roses and no follow up?

Maljunulo, I know you have an appropriate quote for this one.

Andy w.

Theo98 Tuesday 12th December 2017 16:05

Quote:

Originally Posted by ceasar (Post 3652109)
...You may be able to visit a store like Cabelas in Kansas City and try out a few 8x42 binoculars while there. Cabelas usually has a number of Nikon 8x42s in different price ranges from about $100.00 through $400.00 that you can try out and they may also have some Bushnells.

Good Luck,

Bob

Sarah (or Any Newbie-as it may be),

Agree with Bob!!!

Take the great suggestions presented in all the post and with any knowledge you can gain, spend a little shopping time and "see for yourself" what You may like and be comfortable with!

Santa's Helper... ;)

Ted


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