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Old Wednesday 29th February 2012, 04:46   #1
b-lilja
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Need binocs for my birding/biking tour of Scotland - help me pick the right pair

I will be doing a two week tour of the Outer Hebrides, Wester Ross, Sutherland, and the Orkneys this May/June. I want a decent pair of binocs to keep parked in my handlebar bag. Optimally small but don't have to be full blown compacts. I have classic Leitz 8x32s and Nikon 9x30 Execulites but they're really nice and I don't want to trash them. I do have a couple pair of Japanese made Travelites (8x25 IV and 8x23 III) which I like quite a bit but they are not waterproof, and ideally I'd take something a shade better.

I tend to prefer the porro bang for the buck. I'd prefer them either made in Japan or Germany. I want waterproof. Older models are fine if it's the right thing. Probably ideally they would be 8x30s for size/viewing quality. I don't care for the Monarchs. Currently on the list are the Prostaff 8x25s (which I haven't seen yet) and the Pentax 9x28. Preferably $250 or less, but I would go higher for the right thing.

What else should I look at?
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Old Wednesday 29th February 2012, 05:20   #2
ceasar
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The new Vortex 8 x 32 Diamondback.

http://www.eagleoptics.com/binocular...8x32-binocular

Looks like it meets your needs.

Bob
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Old Wednesday 29th February 2012, 06:00   #3
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Its likely to be cold and wet so you will want waterproof. If you like value for money porro binoculars, then I would recommend the Opticron TGA WP Imagic 8x32. I've just bought one in near new condition from a man here in NZ. He got it when on a travalling holiday while in Scotland! He got it from Black & Lizars Ltd, Rose St, Edinburgh
, 59 pounds stirling 2010, he gave me the recipt.
I've tried it side by side with my Vortex Fury 8x32 and I'm not sure which one I would choose, its that good!
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Old Wednesday 29th February 2012, 07:57   #4
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I think you would be pretty happy with the Prostaff 8x25. I've owned the 9x25 and while they had a narrow FOV they had the best optical quality I've seen in a reverse porro by far and that includes the Vortex Vanquish. They are pretty small to boot. You could do a lot worse. I would think that small size would be a boon when biking. I would look through some before deciding of course.
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Old Wednesday 29th February 2012, 10:06   #5
Sandy Leng
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b-lilja View Post
I will be doing a two week tour of the Outer Hebrides, Wester Ross, Sutherland, and the Orkneys this May/June. I want a decent pair of binocs to keep parked in my handlebar bag.

What else should I look at?
We will be on the Outer Hebrides at the same time as you. Three of us are touring on motorbikes and we have got a trip to St. Kilda booked. We are staying at the Hotel Hebrides on Harris, so if you're passing say hello!

With regards to your bins, my requirements are similar to yours as I like to tavel as light as possible.

I will be taking my pair of Opticron Verano 8x32's, they are roofs and compact and only weigh around 500 grms. Mine are the open bridge version, and I have been very pleased with them, although my old Swift Audubon 804's
are my main birding bins when size and weight doesn't matter.

I don't know if Opticrons are widely available in the U.S but a lot of birders use them in the U.K and they are a respected brand.

Clive
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Old Wednesday 29th February 2012, 11:00   #6
John Russell
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If you're looking for a waterproof Porro, how about the Vixen Foresta 8x32 CF?
FrankD gave a very extensive and favourable review of the 7x50 CF here: http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=223931

John
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Old Wednesday 29th February 2012, 12:56   #7
ceasar
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There are these Opticron Travelers also. You should be able to find them over there in many places.

http://www.opticronusa.com/Pages/traveller_bga_mg.html
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Old Wednesday 29th February 2012, 13:00   #8
typo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b-lilja View Post
I tend to prefer the porro bang for the buck. I'd prefer them either made in Japan or Germany. I want waterproof. Older models are fine if it's the right thing. Probably ideally they would be 8x30s for size/viewing quality. I don't care for the Monarchs. Currently on the list are the Prostaff 8x25s (which I haven't seen yet) and the Pentax 9x28. Preferably $250 or less, but I would go higher for the right thing.

What else should I look at?
My wife has the Pentax LV 9x28. It's small size and weight sounds perfect. It's popular with many on the forum, but to be honest I don't find it as bright or as sharp as I would like, even in a compact. It's a while since I've seen the Prostaff/Travelite EX, but I think it's probably a better choice but they are both a long way behind the likes of the Bushnell Elite 7x26, unfortunately that's not waterproof. I've not tried the Opticron reverse porros, but they seem to be well regarded.

The Opticron Verano 8x32 mentioned is pretty good and made in Japan. It has been replaced in the range by the Verano HD and may be discounted, but I expect would still be well over budget. Their Chinese made Discovery 8x32 is small light and a lot of fun, but probably wouldn't meet your standards.

Have you considered the Leupold Yosemite or it's cousin the Kowa YF? Not the most compact but pretty light and fun to use.

A bit heavier and pricier, but still quite compact, the Swift Eaglet 7x36. I've just bought it's Opticron cousin and love it.

David
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Old Saturday 3rd March 2012, 06:10   #9
John Dracon
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Echo David's mention of the Leupold Yosemiti. Get the 6x30. Very bright, sharp, and waterproof, not to mention for around a $100 US. The 6x30 is a very, very useful glass and waterproof. Also comes with Leupold's life time guarantee which is the real deal!

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