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Old Wednesday 15th February 2012, 17:16   #1
ureinwohner
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Best Value Roof under 200

Hey there !

After having been so well avised before my last bino purchase from you (ended up with the Fujinon FMTR SX 7x50) i would like to ask you once again for your help.

I am looking for a pair of binos that supplement my Fuji i.e. a lightweight pair which i can use for longer hiking trips. The money i want to spend is around 200 euro max. and the specs should be 8x30 or 7x30 or 8x32 or 8x36 or even 8x42.

I ordered a pair of Fuji's Offroad 8x32 (around 70 euro) and i also want to take a look at the Monarch 8x36 (180 euro). Do you have any other suggestions and what do you think about those glasses ?

Thank you for your help

Basti



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Old Wednesday 15th February 2012, 18:03   #2
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Basti, sorry to make you disappointed but I've tried the Fuji Offroad 8x32 and it was totally unusable because of the excessive curvature of field that required about 90 degrees turn with the knob to focus between the edge and the center of the field. Crap!

I have also had the Minox BV 8x25 BRW and it was usable, but now I have the Bushnell Excursion 8x28 that sells for roughly the same as the Offroad. Read the thread in the Bushnell subforum and get yourself one!

If you want get the most out of your €200, the Sightron Blue Sky 8x32 has earned a very good reputation on the forum.

//L
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Old Wednesday 15th February 2012, 18:57   #3
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not sure the Sightron is going to be under 200 in Bavaria!

so among EU models, what about the Opticron Verano 8x32? that looks to be a clone of the same body that Theron uses for the Wapiti LT and Vixen uses for the New Foresta, so it should be a quality optic and pretty light and compact.
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Old Wednesday 15th February 2012, 19:44   #4
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I have also had the Minox BV 8x25 BRW and it was usable, but now I have the Bushnell Excursion 8x28 that sells for roughly the same as the Offroad. Read the thread in the Bushnell subforum and get yourself one!

If you want get the most out of your €200, the Sightron Blue Sky 8x32 has earned a very good reputation on the forum.

//L
IME/IMO the excursion 8x28 is far superior in actual use than the 8x25 minox. The minox is tiny though.

Also IME you will really have a difficult time finding a bino that is superior to (not just equal to) the theron LT / sightron SII 8x32's in the sub $250 range (200 euros).

I've made this offer before in PM, but if the euro-Birders are having trouble getting some bino's for a good price, you can buy a set of binos I have for sale, and if you overpay by the right amount, maybe I'll jsut "happen" to drop a brand new set of whatever else you want ordered from the US of A right into that same little ole shipping box . (Mods, is that OK to post? )
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Old Wednesday 15th February 2012, 19:47   #5
ureinwohner
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The sightron looks very seems to be good but i would pay 240 shipped from Germany. What do you think about the Monarch Series ? Can they compare with the Sightron. If not, i might wait until some friend makes a journey to the US.
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Old Wednesday 15th February 2012, 19:54   #6
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Originally Posted by ureinwohner View Post
The sightron looks very seems to be good but i would pay 240 shipped from Germany. What do you think about the Monarch Series ? Can they compare with the Sightron. If not, i might wait until some friend makes a journey to the US.
1) No
2) Yes, wait!
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Old Wednesday 15th February 2012, 19:57   #7
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IME/IMO the excursion 8x28 is far superior in actual use than the 8x25 minox. The minox is tiny though.
Absolutely. The Excursion is perfectly usable, not completely flawless but a smashing bargain, worth like a hundred Fuji Offroads...
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Old Wednesday 15th February 2012, 20:07   #8
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I sent my Minox back the same day I got it.
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Old Wednesday 15th February 2012, 20:23   #9
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There are a couple of positive reviews of the 149 Euro Eden 8x42 HD in the review section.
http://www.birdforum.net/reviews/sho...9/limit/recent
http://www.birdforum.net/reviews/sho...0/limit/recent

The 8x42 is quite heavy at 760g
http://www.edenwebshops.de/de/pt/-ed...as-hd-8x42.htm
but the 8x32 is only 480g and 110 Euro and seems to get good feedback from buyers.
http://www.edenwebshops.de/de/pt/-ed...as-hd-8x32.htm
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Old Wednesday 15th February 2012, 20:30   #10
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IME/IMO the excursion 8x28 is far superior in actual use than the 8x25 minox. The minox is tiny though.

Also IME you will really have a difficult time finding a bino that is superior to (not just equal to) the theron LT / sightron SII 8x32's in the sub $250 range (200 euros).

I've made this offer before in PM, but if the euro-Birders are having trouble getting some bino's for a good price, you can buy a set of binos I have for sale, and if you overpay by the right amount, maybe I'll jsut "happen" to drop a brand new set of whatever else you want ordered from the US of A right into that same little ole shipping box . (Mods, is that OK to post? )
US forum members are lucky with the deals they can get and shipping deals plus easy returns! Here in NZ we have none of that and it can be very frustrating knowing that with the money you spend on so so kit here, in the US you could have something very nice! Oh well thats life.
That said I did import a set of Fury 8x32 from America (cameraland NY) at a very good price, the p&p was high but still a good deal, they had a fault so sent them back and had to pay the return postage, deal not so good now but the 2nd pair very nice.
You in America dont know how lucky you are! When you live out side the loop, life can be hard!
I would say take a chance on importing from the US if all's good it can pay.
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Old Wednesday 15th February 2012, 21:46   #11
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1) No
2) Yes, wait!
I don't think that's fair -- the Monarchs sometimes are a punching bag on this forum but to say they can't compete is out of line IMO. The Monarchs have quite good optics for the money, the only real knock against them is that (1) they have a substandard FOV compared to their peers and (2) they have sort of stood pat for years while other companies have caught up and surpassed them in terms of "best bang for the buck".

My wife's 10x42 Monarchs are not as good as the Zen ED's or Vortex Vipers I have tried (which are in another price tier anyway) but they are certainly competitive with the $200 type glass I've seen, including Eagle Optics Ranger SRT, Vortex Fury, Theron Wapiti LT, Zen-Ray Vista, etc. I don't doubt that the Sightrons are a bit better optically but there is no way they are so spectacularly superior that the Monarchs can't "compete".

Plus the Monarchs are quite light for the configuration. If he's looking for a lightweight package for hiking with good optics he could do a LOT worse than the Monarch 8x36 (under 20oz) for the price.
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Old Wednesday 15th February 2012, 22:29   #12
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Being a Nikon lover I can admit the Monarchs have a certain value, but they're not the bargain they used to be before the new Chinese brands began to show up.
Even though I was disappointed with the faulty Hawke Frontier ED I received, I'd think they are better value than the Monarchs.

I owned a Monarch X - a more expensive binocular than the ordinary Monarch - but was deeply dissatisfied with its excessive chromatic aberration. Its total optical performance was WAY below that of my Vortex Fury, maybe thats why I rate them so low.

Probably the Bushnell Legend Ultra HD are the new Monarchs?
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Old Wednesday 15th February 2012, 23:07   #13
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I will make this easy. Current cost for the Sightrons via Ebay or Amazon is $180 US. I have Amazon Prime. Free two day shipping. Cost of shipping a medium flat rate box via USPS International Priority is about $45 US...6-10 days. So $225 shipped to Germany as a "gift".

Would love to see opinions of the Sightron SII spread to Alpha territory.
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Old Thursday 16th February 2012, 07:42   #14
ureinwohner
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Thank you both for the offer ! Given the positive reviews of the Eden glasses and the possible difficulties with guarantee and return to the US, i will try the the Edens. My wife just had trouble with an ebook that was bought overseas and so i am a bit conscious about the comfort of having a shop in Germany who can take care of stuff or who you can call and swear at :) Today the Fujis will arrive and i will keep you informed about my findings !

Thanks for your help

Basti
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Old Thursday 16th February 2012, 09:29   #15
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Just received the Fuji Offroad 8x32. As experienced by other users, these are crap.
I lack the terminology in order to describe what was so crappy about them, it was not the housing though. The picture was not very sharp, little contrast and the sweet spot was very tiny. Not to speak of edge sharpness. I was afraid of getting eye cancer.

They will be sent back.
Just ordered the Eden 8x32 HD , 8x42 HD and the 8x42 XP in order to make a proper comparison.
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Old Thursday 16th February 2012, 17:38   #16
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...these are crap.
I lack the terminology in order to describe what was so crappy about them, it was not the housing though.
My favorite quote of the day
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Old Thursday 16th February 2012, 19:02   #17
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I liked that one too. It allows one to rate binoculars without any or little experience by flying by the seat of your optical pants. I'll bet he's totally correct too.

Except for the little details anyone should be able to tell whether a bin is basically good or lousy.
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Old Thursday 16th February 2012, 20:44   #18
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Hmmm, do I trace some hints of sarcasm?
The "C" word originally written by yours truly is in fact very adequate when it comes to describing these particular binoculars. And the Bavarian aborigine does indeed identify not only that it's not a mechanical issue but an optical, but also that the edge sharpness is unbelievably poor.
What more could one ask for? Those binoculars deserve no more comments unless as a cautionary tale.

Ergo: Trust me, and trust my fellow European:

The. Fujifilm Offroad 8x32. Are. Crap.

//L
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Old Thursday 16th February 2012, 20:47   #19
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No sarcasm from me. I totally believe you.

Now if Dennis said it I'd have to hear from several others.
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Old Thursday 16th February 2012, 21:50   #20
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.

Ergo: Trust me, and trust my fellow European:

The. Fujifilm Offroad 8x32. Are. Crap.

//L
lol, OK, becoming my favorite thread now!
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Old Thursday 16th February 2012, 23:24   #21
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Having been disappointed to find Sightron 8x32s are only available in the UK for over twice the lowest price in the USA, I've been researching alternatives. I too independently came to the conclusion that Eden 8x32s looked the best bet pricewise. Unfortunately, I really wanted an open bridge style binoculars for their ergonomic advantages,
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Old Saturday 18th February 2012, 19:15   #22
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Ok, i give you a quick update. Today, the Edens arrived. 8x42HD, 8x32HD and 8x42 XP.
Before i tell you about my experience, i just want to tell you what i can compare these binos with. I own a FMTRSX 7x50 and i also know my friends Swaro 8x5x42 EL.

So, after unpacking, i went with two friends of mine out on the balcony and looked a bit through the 3 Edens and the Fuji. First impressions:

General: Very Nice Binos, good built quality and nice optics.

All of them produce a crisp and clear picture none of them were as sharp on the edges as the Fuji. Of course not. The colors seem more lively than those in the Fuji.

With the 8x32 HD it takes a bit longer to find the position in which you have to hold the binos in order to look through them comfortably. The different levels at which you can position the eyecups are not so precise and the adjustment seems to be a little loose. But that is nothing major to me. I like the small size of these ones very much.

When i switch to the 8x42 HD i feel that the space is more vast. It is easier to accommodate the eyes to the bins and my eyes felt a bit more relaxed. Colors and sharpness were the same to me and to my friends.

When i now switch to the 8x42 XP, the only difference i feel is the 100 grams less weight. Neither me nor my friends nor my wife were able to tell the optical difference between those two.

So, the XPs who cost twice as much as their HD peers seem to be out of the race.
I went for a walk outside with my friend and the two HDs to test them a bit more.
The 8x32s were more convenient to carry and their small size appealed to both of us. But when it came to the optical quality and the ease of looking through them, the 8x42s were our favorites.

Tomorrow i will take the three outside again to assess a bit more. Maybe i will do a little video too.

If you have questions, please tell me.
And if you find some grammatical non-sense, please tell me that, too! I have to pass the IELTS test in march :)

All the best to you


One more thing i have to add to this. My wife thought that the 8x32s and the 8x42s provided the same optical quality. She switched back an forth several times and told me to stick with the smaller ones.

As i told you before, i ordered these crappy Fuji 8x32 Offroads. The Edens, without any doubt are a light-years ahead of the Fuji's.

I just thought you might think that the 8x32 are not good. I think they are very good binos in their class and to compare them with 8x42s, of course, is not fair. I really consider sticking with them.

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Old Saturday 18th February 2012, 21:11   #23
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The best bargain in inexpensive roofs I've tried was the Pentax 8x36 NV. With 6.5* FOV, it feels less cramped than the Monarch, the edges are sharper, which adds to that feeling, and since I have large hands, the longer length of these "in-betweeners," which is closer to full sized than midsized (6" long) suits me.

The tapered eyecups fit my eyes well and the bin was easy to use, smooth focuser, no fussing with the focus like my old super fast 8x32 HG or struggling with the ergonomics. They fit comfortable in my hands.

Binoculars are personal instruments, so one size does not fit all, but I think the Pentax is worth a look if you can try one in a store nearby you. Good warranty in the US, not sure about Europe.

http://www.eagleoptics.com/binocular...8x36-binocular

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Old Sunday 19th February 2012, 08:25   #24
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Basti,

Thanks for the report. A bit of a relief hear that they are rather better than the Fujinon Offroad at least. .

In spite of the encouraging reviews from Renze and others it's difficult to know if sample variation and QC are likely to afflict these less well known brands like some others. Sounds good so far.

David
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Old Sunday 19th February 2012, 19:38   #25
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Ok, was out there today with the 3 binos from Eden, the Swaro 8.5x42 EL and the Fujinon 7x50. We (me, my wife and two friends) went out at 17.30, so light was already a bit dimm.

Our findings:
-the 8x32s have less edge sharpness than both 42s and the sweet spot is smaller
- the differences between the 42HDs and the XPs are hardly noticeable. The XPs seem to transmit a bit more light (but this not clearly evident, you have to believe in that thought in order to see that)
-Me and my friend (the one who ownes the Swaros) were very surprised of how well the 42s compete with the Swaros. He was also very convinced of the solid built quality of the Edens.
-the 32s might be out of the race, as the optical performance of the HD 42s is significantly better and because they are still not too bulky or heavy
-the optical performance of the Fujinon FMTRSX 7x50 and the Swaros are very similar.
-The colors of the Edens are warmer than the colors of the Swaro
- the focus wheel of the 42 Edens has a tiny bit of play and is very quick/coarse

That is basically it.

I think the price difference between the 42XPs (280 euros) and the 42HDs(150 euros) does not translate into a noticeably better optical performance and the 100 grams less weight do not justify 130 euros in price difference.

As i said, i think i will keep the HD42s.
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