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Old Wednesday 25th October 2017, 23:59   #1
Nelhop
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Opinion on Wingspan Optics ProBirder Ultra 8x32

I am a birding newbie and quite elderly. I stuck to studying wildflowers for years because I am deaf and don't need to hear them. But I am taking all my grandchildren, teen to adult to Scotland where I hope we will see many birds especially on the northern islands. I need to buy binoculars for all of us. My internet research leads me to believe that anything under $100 is not worth buying. I have read specs of binoculars in the $100 - $150 range but the experience of someone who knows binoculars would be welcome.

Most of the group wear glasses so eye relief is important. Weight is also important. And of course, we want the best optics for the price.

I came across the Wingspan binoculars. I saw a couple of comments here on their being renamed Polaris binoculars. The comments were somewhat negative but more about the renaming than the quality of the instrument.

I looked at the
Wingspan Optics ProBirder Ultra HD 8X32 Compact Bird Watching Binoculars ED Glass
https://wingspanoptics.com/collectio...-ultra-hd-8x32

The price is right. They're a little heavy. They're waterproof and the eye relief is 17.8 mm. I would appreciate an opinion on this binocular and welcome any other suggestions. There is no store anywhere near me where I can look at instruments and compare so I have to rely on what I find online especially from knowledgeable people.

Thank you.
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Old Thursday 26th October 2017, 01:35   #2
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Hi Nelhop,

Welcome to Bird Forum!

Since you are going to be purchasing a number of binoculars I would stay away from any brand that required me to purchase them through the internet. You really want to try the binocular out first to make sure you like it. In your case you could get one through Cabelas although not the Wingspan binocular you mention.

There are 4 Cabelas stores in Michigan located in Dundee, Saginaw, Grandville and Chesterfield where you could do this.

A good binocular for you in your price range is the Nikon Prostaff 8x42 3S. It has 20mm eye relief and a good field of view of 7.2º or 378'@1000 yards. It weighs just under 20 ounces and it has 5.2 mm exit pupils, larger than the Wingspan's 4mm exit pupils. Cabelas sells them for $120.00. See this Cabela's link:

http://www.cabelas.com/product/hunti...6.uts?slotId=8

For more information about the binocular's specifications see this link from Allbinos:

https://www.allbinos.com/1765-Nikon_...fications.html

If this interests you I suggest that you try to contact your nearest Cabelas to find out if they have some in stock so you can buy one from the store to try out. They will ship it to you.

If you like it inform them that you are interested in purchasing about a half a dozen of them and I am confident that they will take care of you!

Bob

Last edited by ceasar : Thursday 26th October 2017 at 02:07.
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Old Thursday 26th October 2017, 01:53   #3
Nelhop
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Thanks Bob. There is a Cabela's about 35 miles SW. I'll drive out there this weekend and see what they have. The Nikon you mentioned is a bit bigger than I hoped for but I'll see how it feels.
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Old Thursday 26th October 2017, 01:59   #4
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Hi - I don't know much about binoculars, but I do recommend you check out Vortex diamondbacks 8x28. http://www.vortexoptics.com/product/...8x28-binocular . They are a bit more costly, but have a greater eye relief value, and are much lighter at 14 oz. I too wear glasses and am really happy with mine - especially the no questions asked lifetime warrantee - mine are now being replaced for the second time at no charge (the first time, I had dropped them from a height resulting in misaligned optics, and I TOLD them that, when I sent them in for repair. I was utterly astounded when they replaced them for the cost of shipping...). These might be too lightweight for a serious birder but it sounds like you and your family are not that serious (yet ! (= ), and with the warrantee they will be good for years to come. ( I also use mine at concerts....). Best of luck with what you eventually get, and have a lovely trip! best regards - Christine
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Old Thursday 26th October 2017, 02:27   #5
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Cabelas also sells those 8x28 Vortex Diamondbacks.

http://www.cabelas.com/product/hunti...4.uts?slotId=0

Bob
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Old Saturday 28th October 2017, 23:13   #6
Nelhop
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Thanks Ceasar and Christine. My husband and I visited Cabela's today in Dundee, MI. That place is quite an experience! It was lunchtime. My husband and I opted to have lunch in the restaurant. The online menu had looked great, except for a vegetarian :(. The actual offerings were, well to be kind, mediocre. But I came to see binoculars. I'm so glad you said it was important to actually hold them and look through them.

I looked at the Nikon Prostaff 3s 8X42, the Zeiss 8X32 Terra ED, and the Vortex Diamondback 8X28.

I especially liked the small size of the Zeiss for myself though it was a bit out of my price range. As I already wear a chest harness for my camera (I photograph wildflowers) I would need a binocular that fit in my hiking pants pocket. The Nikon is too big for that. I liked the minimum focusing distance of the Zeiss which would be good for seeing birds at my bird feeder. I found the binocular difficult to adjust. The bird would long be gone before I found it. Maybe that would get better with use (?). Using while wearing glasses was not comfortable. Again, maybe I just need to get used to it. The farthest object I focused on was an elk on a somewhat distant wall. The image was clear enough but not as clear as I saw with the Nikon.

Trying the Vortex I had similar problems using with glasses. The minimum focusing distance was less which is a positive. Making adjustments was difficult as well. The elk on the wall was not quite as clear as with the Zeiss or Nikon. The weight is good and I think they might fit in a large pocket.

The Nikon was easy to adjust, comfortable with glasses and the elk was crystal clear. The minimum focusing distance of 10 feet is a drawback and they definitely are not pocket size. They would be okay for the older grandchildren who take photos with their cell phones and are stronger than their old grandmother. They are probably too heavy for the 12 year old who is small for her age except maybe with a harness. So I'm thinking about the Nikons for the grandchildren.

I had hoped to see the Cabela Guide 8X32 but was told it was discontinued and out of stock.

After returning home I visited Best Buy and Dick's Sporting Goods store. Neither store had anything I would even look at.

So, I think I am going to have to buy something online and return it if I don't like it. Your suggestions and anyone else in the forum would be most welcome.
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Old Sunday 29th October 2017, 00:02   #7
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Nelhop,

There are small 8x30 Porro prism binoculars made by Leupold which might fit your price and size needs. (They also come in 6x30 and 10x30 versions.) The 8x30 has 15.5mm Eye Relief and a FOV of 389'@1000 yards. They weigh 17 ounces. Cabelas price is $139.99.

http://www.cabelas.com/product/hunti...1.uts?slotId=7

https://www.leupold.com/binoculars/bx-1-yosemite-8x30mm

These binoculars are often recommended for younger children. They particularly like the 6x30s which have wider Fields of View than the 8x30 and 10x30 do.

Bob

PS: Close Focus is 10 feet which might be a bit long for your needs.

Last edited by ceasar : Sunday 29th October 2017 at 11:52. Reason: Add PS.
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Old Sunday 29th October 2017, 01:56   #8
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I've been thinking on your situation for a while...

Since you are preferring 8X32s...only one comes to mind in your price range...or close..

First choice would be the $164.88 Cabela's Guide 8X32. GREAT binocular for the money. Cabela's has had "sales" here and there where it could be bought for $150 or less. I don't have any problems with it and eyeglass use.

Another nice choice and within your price range...tho it's a 8X42...is the Eagle Optics Denali 8X42...closeout priced at $120 new or $109 demo.

https://www.eagleoptics.com/collecti...nt=37479607303

I had no problems with it while wearing glasses. You'll never beat the price IMO. The ONLY negative is...no returns whatsoever.

Showing a picture of this binocular at the bottom of the page. Mentioned binocular is on the RIGHT..
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Old Sunday 29th October 2017, 01:04   #9
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Chuck, thanks for the advice. I tried to see the Cabela's Guide 8X32 today and was told it was no longer available. It might be available at some other Cabela's but the one I went to today was an hour away. Any others would be much further. And, unfortunately, being able to return is important. If you have some other suggestions, I would like to see them.
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Old Sunday 29th October 2017, 01:14   #10
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Chuck, I could try to order the Cabela's Guide 8X32 online but I hesitate as the some of the specifications are not available on the website. Minimum focus distance is important to me and eye relief. They are not mentioned.
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Old Sunday 29th October 2017, 12:04   #11
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There are also the Opticron Savanna WP Porro prism binoculars which tick all your wish list high points.

http://www.opticronusa.com/Pages/savanna_wp.html

Bob

Last edited by ceasar : Sunday 29th October 2017 at 12:13.
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Old Sunday 29th October 2017, 17:18   #12
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Originally Posted by Nelhop View Post
Chuck, I could try to order the Cabela's Guide 8X32 online but I hesitate as the some of the specifications are not available on the website. Minimum focus distance is important to me and eye relief. They are not mentioned.
The min. focus distance on my 8X32 Cabela's Guide measures approximately 7 ft 4 inches. That number can vary a little depending on the persons eye sight and sample variation.

The 8X32 Guide looks to be the same as the Leupold Mojave BK-3 8X32 other than armor and branding. Leupold gives an eye relief of 16mm.

I was able to get the full FOV with the eye cups fully retracted when just now looking through it with glasses. That can vary depending on the eye glass frame fit.

Cabela's online is showing the Guide 8X32as currently being sold out but it is possible that some stores may have one in stock. You would have to call Cabela's to find out. I believe the stores will ship to you. I know they ship between stores as I had a binocular shipped to my store about a year or so ago.

http://www.cabelas.com/product/CABEL...RS/1821456.uts

Here is a post on the Guide. The comments should also apply to the Leupold version.

http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=332112
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Old Sunday 29th October 2017, 18:12   #13
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Just checked. They are completely sold out. I seem to be a day too late :(.
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Old Sunday 29th October 2017, 18:18   #14
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Just checked. They are completely sold out. I seem to be a day too late :(.
You could optionally look for a deal on the Leupold Mojave BK-3 8X32 as it is basically the same. Cabela's did have a close out sale on it but it looks to be back at the original price for the moment. I would not be surprised if they put it back on sale as best I can tell, Leupold has discountinued this model.
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Old Sunday 29th October 2017, 19:00   #15
Nelhop
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The Mojave BK-3 8x32 is not in stock at the only Cabela's anywhere near me. I do now appreciate how important it is to hold the binoculars to my face before buying thanks to the advice given me by Ceasar. I wonder how much their inventory is affected by the fact that Bass Pro Shops is buying Cabela's?
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Old Tuesday 31st October 2017, 13:11   #16
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So Nelhop...

Did you ever figure anything out?
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Old Tuesday 31st October 2017, 15:27   #17
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I just looked on Cabela's website and they show the 8x32 guide on sale for $98.88. At that price I think I'll buy a pair for myself as back-ups! PS I shop Cabelas a lot and it's not unusual for an item to be "sold-out" and then show up again at a better price. Not sure why but it happens often.
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Old Tuesday 31st October 2017, 15:35   #18
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They also have their Euro 8x32 (Meopta) for $399.88. That's over $450 off the retail price!
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Old Tuesday 31st October 2017, 15:44   #19
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I just looked on Cabela's website and they show the 8x32 guide on sale for $98.88. At that price I think I'll buy a pair for myself as back-ups! PS I shop Cabelas a lot and it's not unusual for an item to be "sold-out" and then show up again at a better price. Not sure why but it happens often.
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Old Tuesday 31st October 2017, 20:58   #20
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Thanks!!! I was at Cabela's in Dundee, MI today. None in stock. In fact pretty much everything was out of stock. I was told too many hunters buying binoculars. I just now saw your post cill6X6. I immediately went to Cabela's website and ordered 5 Guides for my grandkids. Can't beat the price and the recommendations. Just wish I could have seen them. Then I thought, what the heck, I'll buy one for myself, too. So 6 coming. Sales tax but no shipping cost. I hope they will be good with glasses.

Now I can relax. The birds at my bird feeder have been emptying the sunflower seeds so fast I have to replenish several times a day. Weather has turned awful here. Now I'm waiting for the first trick-or-treaters.

Thanks again to everyone!
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Old Wednesday 1st November 2017, 02:57   #21
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Thanks!!! I was at Cabela's in Dundee, MI today. None in stock. In fact pretty much everything was out of stock. I was told too many hunters buying binoculars. I just now saw your post cill6X6. I immediately went to Cabela's website and ordered 5 Guides for my grandkids. Can't beat the price and the recommendations. Just wish I could have seen them. Then I thought, what the heck, I'll buy one for myself, too. So 6 coming. Sales tax but no shipping cost. I hope they will be good with glasses.

Now I can relax. The birds at my bird feeder have been emptying the sunflower seeds so fast I have to replenish several times a day. Weather has turned awful here. Now I'm waiting for the first trick-or-treaters.

Thanks again to everyone!
Hope they work out for you. I believe it's about your best bet for an 8X32. You can sent them back if you want. Now these are a legitimate $250 binocular! Or more...SERIOUSLY! If they work out...you did GREAT!
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Old Monday 6th November 2017, 21:35   #22
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I have received the 6 Cabela's Guide 8X32 binoculars! So far I'm pleased with the one I have been learning to use. It's a bit heavy and a bit stiff to adjust. That's my only complaint. I plan to buy harnesses for the grandkids. I already wear a harness for my camera which goes everywhere with me so I need to find some other solution for myself.

Now, a question about cleaning. The brochure that comes with the binoculars recommends "applying ammonia-free-optics cleaning formulas or a soft brush to your lenses. To lift oil and debris from your binocular lenses without smears or scatches, use a Cabela's Lenspen."

Doing some research on Google about lenspens of various makes, there are those who claim the lenspens actually cause scratches and smears. Others rave about them. There are pros and cons for lens cleaning solutions and lens wipes, as well.

A soft brush sounds fine to me. But I wonder what your recommendation is about lenspens vs. cleaning solutions.

Thanks.
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Old Monday 6th November 2017, 22:47   #23
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I think lens pens are great, but for just the brush! I have concerns about grit getting in the cleaning disk and so I do not use that part of the pen. There is a lot of dust in my part of the country so it is easy to pick up hard particles of dust.

I try to limit any cleaning but sometimes it is necessary. First I blow off the lens to remove the big stuff then I dust it off with a brush, such as the lens pen. Once I am sure all of the dust particles are removed, I will blow on it with my breath to fog the surface of the lens and then very gently wipe it lightly with a clean (dust free) micro fiber cloth. That will usually do the trick.

If more is needed, then add some filtered or distilled water to a bowl with a drop of Dawn dish washing soap and mix. Dampen a clean micro fiber cloth in the water and lightly dampen the spot to be cleaned and then lightly wipe. Dry with a clean dry microfiber cloth. It is unusual to need to do anything more. There are cleaning fluids that can be used. I have used isopropyl alcohol on occasion.

I have also used the Ziess Wipe pads out in the field but very lightly after brushing off all the dust. They are not soft like a cloth. I do use them on sunglasses all the time without any issues.

My biggest issue is when drops of sweat get on the lens. That dries to a crusty hard surface so I like to wet it so it can be lifted off with a cloth.

As far as carrying you new binocular with your camera, check out the Optech site for a lot of options.......

https://optechusa.com/

You mentioned the new binocular is stiff to adjust. Is that the focus, the hinge or both? Try moving the mechanisms through their range multiple times to see if they will "break in". Sometimes that helps.

Interesting that the Guide 8X32 left you with the impression of being heavy. I think of it as a light weight hiking binocular.

I hope they work out well on you outing.
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Old Tuesday 7th November 2017, 02:34   #24
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I have received the 6 Cabela's Guide 8X32 binoculars! So far I'm pleased with the one I have been learning to use. It's a bit heavy and a bit stiff to adjust. That's my only complaint. I plan to buy harnesses for the grandkids. I already wear a harness for my camera which goes everywhere with me so I need to find some other solution for myself.

Now, a question about cleaning. The brochure that comes with the binoculars recommends "applying ammonia-free-optics cleaning formulas or a soft brush to your lenses. To lift oil and debris from your binocular lenses without smears or scatches, use a Cabela's Lenspen."

Doing some research on Google about lenspens of various makes, there are those who claim the lenspens actually cause scratches and smears. Others rave about them. There are pros and cons for lens cleaning solutions and lens wipes, as well.

A soft brush sounds fine to me. But I wonder what your recommendation is about lenspens vs. cleaning solutions.

Thanks.
I'm glad you like them! I really don't think it is possible to beat them for the money. You came around at the perfect time!

As far as cleaning goes....I really don't clean the glass THAT much at all. I like a photography quality lens brush. Although I have used LensPens for years and YEARs....I tend to get better results with one of the MagicFiber microfiber lens cloths or similar...
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Old Wednesday 8th November 2017, 00:57   #25
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To Bruce H and chill6X6:

Thank you for your helpful suggestions on cleaning binoculars. Following your advice I will purchase Lens Wipes by ZEISS, 100 Glass Cleaning Wipes which are available for $5 at my local Walmart. I also ordered from 47st. Photo through Walmart 2 pks of Opteka Camera Lens and Sensitive Electronics Professional Cleaning Brush (3-Pack) with Premium Microfiber Cloth (3-Pack) for $9.95 each. That should be enough for me and the grandchildren.

Now while smiling I will address the next to BruceH who doesn't think the binoculars are heavy: BruceH, in my imagination you are tall, young, and strong. Am I right? I on the other hand am a short (5ft) , old (84), and weak (100 lb) female. On a hike I already carry a heavy camera on a harness. In my small backpack there is rain gear, my lunch, enough water for the day and any other necessities. I use two walking sticks for ascents and descents and any rough trails. I still have to figure out how I will carry the binoculars, but I'm sure that after a few hours they will definitely be HEAVY. LOL. On the other hand my strong, young grandchildren will probably not find them too heavy.

Thanks to both of you for taking so much time to help me!!!
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