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-   -   Binocular bargains (https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=124267)

Kevin Purcell Tuesday 30th September 2008 19:41

Binocular bargains
 
So I was lucky to get in on the Pentax DCF WP for $50 deal this weekend. But I felt for the people who missed it.

http://birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=124195

So I started this thread.

Consider this thread to be like the "binocular ramblings" thread as an ongoing thread to share the "best deals" you've found on the net. Bookmark it so you can find it when you need to post a bargain.

Please give
  • the name of the product
  • the price
  • shipping cost (especially if free)
  • Any other comments (e.g. if you've dealt with those folks)
  • a link to the product on the web site site to follow up

Caveat Emptor. You can check comments and ratings of online resellers at

http://www.resellerratings.com/

Beware those in Brooklyn, NY (there are a couple of good ones but they show up at reseller ratings).

And to be clear: I have no relationship with any of the deals I post. This is just trying to help other binouholics get their fix.

Kevin Purcell Tuesday 30th September 2008 19:46

So I kick the thread off with

Celestron Ultima DX 8x32
$79.95 with free shipping

http://www.buydig.com/shop/product.aspx?sku=CT8X32PR

Very sharp, if a bit heavy mid-sized porro (30oz, a lot of that is in glass)

I reviewed the one I have in my Budget Bins thread. It's very sharp, bright, wide FOV with excellent eye relief. Certainly in the $300+ roof range in optical quality. And this is $10 less than Eagle Optics.

I've never dealt with buydig.com

Kevin Purcell Tuesday 30th September 2008 19:50

Another buydig deal

Pentax 8x40 XCF Binoculars
$45 with free shiping

porro with internal focus
wide FOV (8.2 degrees) unusual for Pentax.
Downside is ER only 13mm not good for eyeglass wearers

http://www.buydig.com/shop/product.aspx?sku=PKB8X40XCF

Again, I've never dealt with buydig.com

Kevin Purcell Tuesday 30th September 2008 19:52

Third buydig deal for those that want a roof.

Pentax 8x36 DCF HS Binoculars
$130 shipped

Midsized JIS 4 (water resistant) roof. Not a lot of detail on the site but these are typical Pentax narrower FOV.

http://www.buydig.com/shop/product.a...=PKB8X36DCFHSB

Amazon too (with more technical details and perhaps sales tax!)
http://www.amazon.com/Pentax-8x36-DC.../dp/B00076WOM4

Again, I've never dealt with buydig.com

OK, now start posting the deals you find ;)

Henry B Tuesday 30th September 2008 21:09

Audubon 8x40 less than 2o see Bird Watching mag p15.

Tero Tuesday 30th September 2008 23:57

sample list
http://www.samplelist.com/
I have not bought off the list, but have dealt with SWFA, they are OK

there is a zeiss conquest 10x30 for 400 among rifle scopes etc.

Kevin Purcell Wednesday 1st October 2008 02:35

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tero (Post 1300348)
sample list
http://www.samplelist.com/
I have not bought off the list, but have dealt with SWFA, they are OK

there is a zeiss conquest 10x30 for 400 among rifle scopes etc.

Even better along the bar at the top of the page (below the header) you can cut that choice down to just seeing particular items e.g. the bins (or seeing the last n items added to the list) by clicking on a link. So you don't have to wade through lots of sights that you have no interest in.

e.g. bins only and see the bargains you missed ;)

http://www.samplelist.com/default.as...ide_sold=False

Tero Wednesday 1st October 2008 02:42

Yeah there is all kinds of stuff there. Be careful with warranties, read fine print etc.
Leica 8x42 Ultravid BR...might be able to reach one of those one of these years. I have teenagers. One is just now spending a lot traveling. Plus both have braces. :'D

Kevin Purcell Wednesday 1st October 2008 18:27

Best price I've seen for the Swift Eaglet 7x36 $329 with free shipping

http://www.adorama.com/SW825.html

The only thing to check is to verify it has the CFT (Cold Fusion Technology == cold deposited dielectric mirror) coatings (i.e. it's the current version) and not the previous version which would make it rather less of a bargain.

http://www.swift-sportoptics.com/pro...binoculars/825

Comments on the previous version

http://www.betterviewdesired.com/Swi...n-Egret-II.php

SteveC has commented on the current version on the forum.

I see Adorama claim it has ED glass. Not sure that's true. Not mentioned at Swift Optics and they would know ;)

Steve C Wednesday 1st October 2008 20:31

Kevin

If the picture of the Eaglet on the adorama link is correct, that is not the CFT version. Swift always used the pictured fold down eyecups untill the new CFT version. That is when they began to use twist up eyecups.

Also below Swift Eaglet on the objective barrel it clearly states CFT prisms. The CFT is bold and would show in that photo.

They do not use ED glass. The Eaglet was developed for and still sold mainly to Law Enforcement Agencies (used by SWAT teams a lot apparrently) and is built to the same original bid specifications which have not changed since the binocular was introduced. They were able to use CFT coatings because the change was OK'd by contract negotiations. Turns out that monkeying around with eye pieces and fov would cause hasssles with their contract.

Steve C Wednesday 1st October 2008 23:27

Swift Audubon 820 ED
http://cgi.ebay.com/Swift-8-5x44-BWC...3286.m20.l1116

Hot Digital for $378.00

Tero Thursday 2nd October 2008 01:01

Some possible deals here
http://www.pentaxbinoculars.info/
http://www.bushnellbinoculars.biz/
it is the same outfit
hmm, it all goes to http://www.binoculars.com/
read fine print on exchanges and returns

Kevin Purcell Thursday 2nd October 2008 02:12

I was saving this one so I don't post too many times per day ;)

Adorama have the Swift 820ED for $370 with free shipping.

http://www.adorama.com/SW820ED.html

Adorama have the Swift 820 for $280 with free shipping

http://www.adorama.com/SW820.html

Kevin Purcell Thursday 2nd October 2008 16:08

Mentioned over on the Bushnell subforum

http://birdforum.net/showpost.php?p=...9&postcount=21

Interesting. But that link is to Costco Canada

http://www.costco.ca/Browse/Product....A&Sp=C&topnav=

A search at the Costco.com site (the main US site) doesn't show any Browning bins.

http://www.costco.com/

On the other hand it's a good deal for the Canadians, eh?

And it much mean there is stock out there still ...

Kevin Purcell Thursday 2nd October 2008 19:43

For those in the UK

Posted by NormJackson

http://birdforum.net/showpost.php?p=...4&postcount=23

Browning 8x32 139 and 8x42 179

Direct link to frame ...

http://www.uttings.com/Categories/Op...lars/Browning/

Kevin Purcell Thursday 2nd October 2008 20:17

Another one from Norm for the UK folks

http://birdforum.net/showthread.php?...05#post1301405

99 Opticron 8x32 Discovery WP PC Roof Prism

http://www.thedigitalcamerashop.co.u...ls.php?id=3466

Kevin Purcell Friday 3rd October 2008 19:42

Eagle Optics has added a group of Vixen bins to their Hot Deals page: 3 porros and 1 roof.

Vixen Foresta 8x32 DCF Roof Prism Binocular for $269 shipped
Light at 16.4 ounces but rather narrow 6.4 degree FOV, short ER (13mm)
http://www.eagleoptics.com/index.asp?pid=5142

Vixen Foresta 8x32 CF Porro Prism Binocular $199 shipped
The specs reported for this are wrong (including weight are those of the roof above). I've let Eagle optics know.
http://www.eagleoptics.com/index.asp?pid=5141

Vixen Foresta 8x42 CF Porro Prism Binocular $229 shipped
Good ER, 7.5 degree FOV.
http://www.eagleoptics.com/index.asp?pid=5140

Vixen Foresta 10x42 CF Porro Prism Binocular $229 shipped
Good ER, 6 degree FOV.
http://www.eagleoptics.com/index.asp?pid=5140

I have a previous generation of these Vixen Foresta 10x42 bins sold as the OEMed Eagle Optics Raptor 10x42. I really like them especially for $90 shipped.

You can also get these from Vixen North America (but as an "all sales final" deal and the prices are now rather higher). But I think the 42mm porros are previous generation (different "Swift 820" like enclosure).

http://www.vixenamerica.com/Products...sta+Binoculars

I've not compared the smaller models but I suspect the Celestron DX Ultima is the better bang per buck (it's a very good bin)

Kevin Purcell Friday 3rd October 2008 22:16

And for those of you with the big bucks a couple of Eagle Optics Swaro deals ;)

Swarovski EL 8x32 Class A Condition Binocular w/SnapShot Adapter
$1449
http://www.eagleoptics.com/index.asp?pid=5488

Swarovski EL 10x32 Class A Condition Binocular w/SnapShot Adapter
$1529
http://www.eagleoptics.com/index.asp?pid=5489

Kevin Purcell Friday 3rd October 2008 22:43

BH has an amazing deal found by tingjunkie

http://birdforum.net/showthread.php?...99#post1301999

Bushnell 10x42 Excursions plus Bushnell iPod speakers for $99 and free shipping.

The bins go for $164 and the speakers with dock go for $150. Weird.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...inocular_.html

Slightly less amazing but interesting

Used Kowa 8x32 BD32-8 Roof Prism Binocular for $289 + shipping

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...oof_Prism.html

Tero Friday 3rd October 2008 23:36

Most of the Excursions are worth a shot, except not the 10x28, it was awful, and the 10x36 I have no clue if any good, but to me not even interesting. Probably just like Monarch 10x36 which I do not like. You are a little safer with the 8x Excursion to get something you will like.

Tero Tuesday 7th October 2008 17:27

Here is some minimal birding gear, a 7x35 for less than the Action 7x35, about 30 dollars for those places that carry it
http://www.celestron.com/c2/product.php?ProdID=138

It may be about the same as the typical Simmons pair, but actually good value for the money. You will see your back yard bird feeder fine with these and if they fall off the table, well...no big loss.

The Actions DO have even wider a field.
http://www.eagleoptics.com/index.asp?pid=3880

OwenM Thursday 9th October 2008 17:03

Not a binocular, but probably my favorite accessory: the Stoney Point binocular rest. Much easier than using a tripod mount with a monopod, especially if you want to switch back and forth between bins.
Paid $16.95 for my first one.
Found these this morning, on clearance at $9.08.
I ordered two, and a couple of other items. 2hrs 10min later, I had confirmation that my stuff had already shipped.
http://www.archerymarket.com/store/p...st-Attachment/

Kevin Purcell Thursday 9th October 2008 19:02

Nice one, Owen. Do you have a favorite monopod?

I stumbled into this today at Amazon

Bushnell Elite 8x43 Waterproof/Fogproof PC3 Magnesium Binocular
$456.98 with free shipping (from Amazon)
Model number: 62-4208

Looks like the previous revision.

http://www.amazon.com/Bushnell-Water.../dp/B0007PEOIM

The current Elite 8x43 on the Bushnell web site is 63-0843: "New rugged style highest light transmission, plus new 4-position twist-up eyecups."

i.e. it seems to have a newer version of the dielectric mirror coating and new eyecups.

http://www.bushnell.com/general/bino...=General%20Use

Obviously trying to compete with the Promaster ED and Hawke ED (though this is not ED)

EDIT: This also qualifies (as it has Rainguard) for the Free Jacket promotion (waterproof, breathable, quiet, "Real Tree" camo).

http://media.sw-network.com/eo/pdfs/...acket_1208.pdf

Tero Thursday 9th October 2008 19:15

These things develop so fast. I got a 36mm Nikon pair 5 years ago, they looked pretty good, but they are now obsolete. In five years, all but the 100 dollar pairs will be ED glass.

OwenM Thursday 9th October 2008 22:12

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kevin Purcell (Post 1306485)
Nice one, Owen. Do you have a favorite monopod?

Right now it's a Bogen 681B w/Bogen 3229 tilt head and 677SPN foot. Overkill-too heavy and uses a tripod adapter that makes switching bins a pain. It stays next to the back door, usually with a Pentax 12.5x50 DCF SP mounted on it. My other one is a cheapie from Wal-Mart that I bought just to see if I'd use a monopod or not. It uses a Stoney Point rest, and lives in a locker at work.

Ordered the Bogen 676B monopod I've been wanting today. It's a lightweight 4 section, and will wear a Stoney Point rest. I'm 5'6", and short enough that it will work for me at ~62.5" total height with the rest. At 1lb. total, I expect this will be my favorite for use with 7-8x binoculars, since I'll actually take it places with me.
I do love monopods. All my binoculars are image stabilized:t:

FrankD Friday 10th October 2008 00:55

I love this thread. The only "bad thing" is that it is like giving crack to a cocaine addict. What were you thinking when you posted this Kevin?

:)

On another note, I will see if I can find it but there was a place I saw on another forum that was selling the Bushnell Elite 60 something mm spotter for under $40. Yes, you read that correctly, under $40...shipped. The bad news is that I got to the thread late and the website had actually shut the link down because too many people caught wind of it and ordered them at that price. ;)

Kevin Purcell Friday 10th October 2008 01:47

I saw that one too. On buy.com. It will be interesting to see if they fulfil those orders or not.

Crack, eh? I suppose so. You start of cheap then you need a bit more because the cheap stuff isn't doing it for you any more. I can handle this, you think. Then you try the next level up. Man, these are good. Got to get me some of these. How much, man?

Perhaps the Hawke and Promaster are the Naloxone of the bin business. Just keep the person happy and stable for a while? ;)

Kevin Purcell Friday 10th October 2008 19:04

Updated my previous post on Bushnell Elite 8x43 for $456 from Amazon (on page 1)

http://birdforum.net/showpost.php?p=...5&postcount=23

They're the previous version with minor changes from current version (4 click stops on eyecups and improvement to dielectric mirror coating).

They also qualify (as it has Rainguard) for the "Free Jacket" promotion (waterproof, breathable, quiet, "Real Tree" camo). They call it a rebate (which I hate) but it's really a "free gift" (send in UPC, recipit, and a $10 check and get the jacket).

They're also one of the lightest 8x43 out there at under 23oz.

2 left as I write this.

Tero Tuesday 14th October 2008 05:50

demos
http://www.opticsplanet.net/demo.html

Kevin Purcell Sunday 19th October 2008 01:27

CameralandNY has a couple more Brown Vortex Diamondbacks for $129 in 8x42

http://www.24hourcampfire.com/ubbthr...page/1/gonew/1

Tero Sunday 19th October 2008 02:07

Sounds like a really good deal. Too bad I am not in need of much anything below my one top end Pentax. Well, I could probably go for a 8.5x if a similar deal came by. Always wanted a 8.5x to try but passed many times on the Swift. I borrowed the 8.5x porro one time but prefer roofs.

NWBirder Sunday 19th October 2008 06:01

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kevin Purcell (Post 1312710)
CameralandNY has a couple more Brown Vortex Diamondbacks for $129 in 8x42

http://www.24hourcampfire.com/ubbthr...page/1/gonew/1


Looks like a good deal. I just saw your early post on Bhphoto deal for $99 Excursion 10x42. If Excursion is indeed the same as Diamondback, that deal is smoking hot.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...nocular_.html#

Kevin Purcell Sunday 19th October 2008 06:32

Quote:

Originally Posted by NWBirder (Post 1312763)
Looks like a good deal. I just saw your early post on Bhphoto deal for $99 Excursion 10x42. If Excursion is indeed the same as Diamondback, that deal is smoking hot.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...nocular_.html#

The Diamondbacks for $129 is a great deal. They're "good enough bins"(tm) with a good no-fault warranty for first roofs or loaner roofs or roofs that you don't have to worry about if you are doing something else.

I did order the Excusions deal (I don't do that with everything post!). I now have the Excursion 10x42 but haven't taken it birding yet (though I did take it out to my local P Patch (my regular close in testing place on Capitol Hill) and was very pleasantly surprised. I wouldn't have ordered a cheap 10x roof (and my only other 10x bins are my inexpensive but rather good $90 Eagle Optic Raptor 10x42 porros seemed like a better deal!) but I'd been thinking about iPod speakers and that pushed me over the edge. Of course now I can try some 10x birding without to much expense. The view is quite good. I guess I'm still surprised by how good a "low end" view is today even in cheaper 10x42 bins. Of course there is a lot lower in the market ;)

BTW that bundle was originally a Bushnell bundle (both are bin and the iPod speakers are Bushnell branded) shrink-wrapped together with a sticker. Retail bins and retail speaker. I guess they got closedout.

But I'll take the two 10x out and compare them.

Oh, and the Bushnell Excursion 10x42 have a stamp (in black on the dark grey armor) indicating they're Chinese made rather than a stick-on label. I think my Celestron Ultima DX are the only other's that I have like that. All the other Chinese roofs seem would rather hide it.

It's the model number (I think) and a clue to the OEM:

SH 123456 CHINA AO

I can't recall the number: it could be a serial or a model number.

SH? Shanghai? Shenzen? Just a code or model number?

AO? A-something Optical? The name of the OEM perhaps?

It might reveal where the Vortex, Bushnell, Hawke and Promasters are OEMed (or maybe even ODMed ... Original Design Manufacturer ... the correct term for people who do the design and the build).

Anyhow this should probably be on another thread ...

ceasar Sunday 19th October 2008 08:14

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tero (Post 1312721)
Sounds like a really good deal. Too bad I am not in need of much anything below my one top end Pentax. Well, I could probably go for a 8.5x if a similar deal came by. Always wanted a 8.5x to try but passed many times on the Swift. I borrowed the 8.5x porro one time but prefer roofs.

The Brown Vortex 8 x 42 Diamondback at Cameraland, priced at $129.99 is a remarkably good deal for a very good binocular. I have one of the green ones. I should have waited! Darn!:C

I wouldn't get one of the 8.5 x 50 Vultures though. (I think there is a similar sale for them and the 12 x 50 too, with higher prices, on the brown coyote versions) They have too narrow a FOV and are heavy. If I was going to get an economical 8.5 roof, I'd get the Swift HHS. I've tried it (and compared it at the same time with a Swaro. 8.5 x 42 and couldn't justify the over $1200.00 price differential) and I like it's view and ergonomics a lot. And it's much lighter in weight than the Vultures. But it's not likely we will ever see a sale on that one.
Bob

Tero Wednesday 22nd October 2008 01:56

A bit of an odd ball porro, 8.5x
http://cameras.pricegrabber.com/binoculars/m/53070117/

I tend not to risk those kind of toys anymore. Not unless I could return it.

Kevin Purcell Wednesday 22nd October 2008 03:01

It is an oddball. I recall the Carson Optical SuperWide 8.5 x 42 Binocular with E x tra-Wide Field of View having been mentioned on the forum before (or perhaps over at Cloudy Nights)

Bob A (SD) Wednesday 22nd October 2008 03:13

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tero (Post 1315007)

It is an oddball and I own one. I popped for it after reading favorable comments from an icon on another board, CEWDewer. He loves it for the huge fields of view at night allowing whole constellations to be viewed. I figured since I really enjoy my vintage uber wide angle 7x35 porros that it'd be a pretty safe bet. Well at 11* FOV and > 90* AFOV it is in another class all together.

While there is some edge distortion in the vintage 7x35s, I have never found them distracting or objectionable. With the Carson, focus is very twitchy with the wheel requiring spot on setting. The edges have more pronounced issues which combined with a lack of focus outside of the modest sized sweet spot conspire to displease. That said Dewer is right about night time view encompassing a vast expanse, although stars outside of the center get twisted and stretched unnaturally.

If you, unlike me, like bins with sharp centers and are not dissuaded by problematic edges or smaller sweet spots (which is why I went for my Swaros over the Zeiss FL, etc.) this might just be an inexpensive fun pair of bins to enjoy. Me? I could have spent the money much better elsewhere.

ewsjr Wednesday 22nd October 2008 18:03

Amazon.com has some superb deals on Kowa binoculars right now. Unfortunately, the deals are on the ones with the silly camo coating. Drop them in the dry grass and you'll be glad they were cheap 'cause you'll have a devil of a time finding them. The 8x32's are a shade under $275. I've looked at these in the past at the Anacortes Telescope and Wild Bird store and regretted the Kowa's bins are not more widely accepted.

Here's a link http://www.amazon.com/Kowa-BD32-8-CA...727503&sr=8-23

FrankD Tuesday 28th October 2008 16:43

I just received an email that Eagle Optics is having a blow out sale on Audubon Binoculars.....

Vector 8x25 35.99
Compact 8x25 41.99
Raptor 8x42 71.99
Vector 8x42 77.99
Dimensions 80 mm scope 95.99
Equinox HP 8x42 181.99

Tero Tuesday 28th October 2008 17:02

Includes 10x, at 78 dollars. $129.99 elsewhere.

OK, will check out the 10x42. If it surpasses my Monarch 10x, may sell that. I still have the Pentax.

At least the weight listing is right 29oz. Unlike the Bushnell 8x42.


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