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Old Thursday 28th February 2008, 19:57   #1
Dialyt
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Question Best cheap binoculars

OK folks I hope you can advise me on this: I need a second pair of binoculars to keep in the car, use on a boat for bird counts etc... I don't want to spend too much. But I want a reasonable performance.

I've seen the Bushnell Natureview 8x42 and was impressed. They cost 99.95.

Bushnell Trophy 8x42 roof prism priced at 135.00.

Bushnell H2O 8x42 Waterproof Porro Binoculars at 69.00

Bushnell 8x42 H2O Waterproof Roof Prism at 99.95

There is also a Pentax PCF WP II 8x40 priced at 125.00

Also Swift 8x40 Plover Binoculars 8x40 at 79.00.

I don't know what is best of that bunch, and with no chance of seeing em, I'm reliant on your opinions/experiences!

Cheers

Dialyt

Last edited by Dialyt : Thursday 28th February 2008 at 20:05.
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Old Thursday 28th February 2008, 21:28   #2
Steve C
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Best and cheap usually do not belong in the same thought. However there are some inexpensive binoculars that are OK. You hit some of them. Another you might add is the Nikon Action. The problem with most of them is that the optics are OK to even pretty good, but they will not last very well under any sort of use.

I just looked at and have decided to purchase a Leupold 6x30 Yosemite. They also come in 8x30. The 6x is available locally at $90.00 US. The 8x is $10-15 more than that. These are quite small for a porro and don't weigh very much. They have the reputation of a small IPD making them suitable for kids (and other smaller stature people), yet good enough for mom and dad to go birding with. If they get destroyed, not much is lost. Their image is good enough to make them a very acceptable binocular. They seem to be tough as nails according to some reports, even surviving long hunting trips in the wet and cold Alaskan wilderness. If you can't spend much, there is no better way to go. Leupold is known for first rate customer service.

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Old Thursday 28th February 2008, 21:42   #3
Perry Grin
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I've owned the Natureviews and was very happy with them (until I got a bee in my bonnet about upgrading!). Definately good value for money. They are the best Bushnells I've looked through so would definately plump for them out of your list.
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Old Thursday 28th February 2008, 22:33   #4
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On a well known auction site you will find some Smith & Wesson 8x32's.

These are, barring logo's, identical to the RSPB BG.PC. Do a search for
SWB832, their model number, and you will find an old Smith & Wesson brochure with the specs.

Yours for about 68 delivered.
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Old Friday 29th February 2008, 00:51   #5
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I asked a similar question in the general forum recently. My suggestions at or slightly above the $100 US price point...

Leupold Yosemite 6 or 8x30 Yosemite
Nikon Action EX 7x35 or 8x40
Bushnell Legend Porro 8x40
Celestron Ultima DX 8x32 (got my hands on a specimen recently that was quite good)
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Old Friday 29th February 2008, 19:32   #6
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I just got a pair of Leupold Yosemite 6x 30. And so far I think they are great!

My main bino is a Swift UltraLite 8x42 roof which is very good.

In getting a second bino, I wanted something different from what I already owned. The Yosemites are interesting in their lower power, wide field of view, as well as meeting my requirements for eye relief and narrow IPD. And the price is right! Around $100 US.

But maybe you are in love with 8x42, which is admittedly the best all-around configuration. If you are willing to go 125 pounds for the Pentax, you might want to look at the Vortex Diamondback 8x42. I was impressed by them recently, and they go for around 180-200 dollars US.
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Old Friday 29th February 2008, 21:24   #7
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I second the Smith @ Wesson 8x32. I bought a pair of these on Ebay. Phase coated, waterproof, 393' fov, 18.5oz. Paid $75. Great buy in my opinion.
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Old Friday 14th March 2008, 09:42   #8
minapre
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The Bushnell H20 8x42 is less expensive than the Natureview 8x42. Does anyone have any comment on the optics comparison b/w these two?
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Old Tuesday 18th March 2008, 23:16   #9
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I have a Bushnell Trophy and have had an H2O. The Trophy is a lot better. I threw out the H2O.
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Old Tuesday 18th March 2008, 23:19   #10
Dialyt
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Talking

Just to update this thread: I bought a pair of Leica Ultravid 8x32 bins!!!
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Old Tuesday 18th March 2008, 23:41   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dialyt View Post
Just to update this thread: I bought a pair of Leica Ultravid 8x32 bins!!!
You didn't just UPDATE it. You UPGRADED it. The subject is CHEAP binoculars!

To get back on course, here is an offer on a "cheap" Bushnell from Eagle Optics.

http://www.eagleoptics.com/index.asp?pid=4908 Anything under 300 bucks is cheap.

Bob

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Old Thursday 24th July 2008, 20:21   #12
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If Minapre is still asking I have both the Bushnell H2O and the Natureview 8x42. Bought both at the same time.

The natureview are the better optically, but I use the H2O's all the time. H2O's are very good and are a little smaller then the Natureviews. The H2O's also have better lens caps, the Natureview lens caps are POOR, actually very poor. That is the only negative point about the Natureviews.

Oddly, to me, the Natureviews feel lighter but are the heavier of the two, they are also a bit longer.

Bought mine from binoculars.com, they are a US site but I found them excellent. Ordered the binoculars Monday Evening at 17:15 had them Wednesday at 11:00. Sent via FedEx. After that I bought the Bushnell mini spotting scope.
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Old Monday 28th July 2008, 12:52   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ceasar View Post
You didn't just UPDATE it. You UPGRADED it. The subject is CHEAP binoculars!

To get back on course, here is an offer on a "cheap" Bushnell from Eagle Optics.

http://www.eagleoptics.com/index.asp?pid=4908 Anything under 300 bucks is cheap.

Bob
Very nice pair, Bob, much better than usual 2nd pair for the birder just getting serious. FOV is a bit small, otherwise really fine pair.
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