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Need recommendation for budget binoculars for kids

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Old Tuesday 28th April 2015, 03:28   #1
drabina
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Need recommendation for budget binoculars for kids

I have Leupold Yosemite 6x30mm binoculars which, besides the eye cups problem, I like a lot. Now, I go bird watching with my two sons who always fight who gets to carry the binoculars. So I want to get another pair. I could get another Yosemite binocs but I want to try something else. I read lots of posts here and I am leaning toward Pentax Papilio 6.5x21. The key is smaller size, light weight and bright image. Magnification is not too important. I am fine with the 6x that Yosemites offer.

Any other recommendations with a budget around $100?
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Old Tuesday 28th April 2015, 04:09   #2
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The Papilio typically comes in well over $100,
and may not be as tough...maybe if they are over 10.

There is a Celestron 7x30 Cypress,
that recently came down to around $60 some places.

Or....you could get yourself some 8x30 Yosemites
and hand off the 6x30 Yosemites. That's a change of sorts.

Nikon Aculon 7x35s are kind of fun, for a good image and a wider field.
Big exit pupils for jittery kids, like the 6x30s. They are bulkier,
but it seems kids love to haul around bigger binoculars.
One little tike insisted her grandpa get her 7x50s at the shop shelf.
That's extreme, but 7x35 isn't much more weight.

In moderns, I have the Yosemite, Celestron, and Barska Crossover 8x30s.
The Barskas are just a little softer at the field edges, but I take them out
all the time because they are much better for using with glasses and the
focuser doesn't get sticky.

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Old Tuesday 28th April 2015, 04:15   #3
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Here is a good one for kids and it has a nice wide FOV for under $80.00. See the 4 reviews of it.

http://www.nikonsportoptics.com/Niko...-8x25-ATB.html

Bob

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Old Tuesday 28th April 2015, 04:26   #4
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There's the Kowa YF30 6x30.

Or if you want something really lightweight, someone here had good things to say about the Vanguard Orros. It's only like $62 on Amazon.

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Old Tuesday 28th April 2015, 04:41   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drabina View Post
The key is smaller size, light weight and bright image.
Well... in your budget, you can pick two. A 20 or 25mm bino will not have a bright image. Adequate, absolutely yes -- but not bright. A 32mm will be brighter, but not small. Many will be fairly light in weight, so that isn't too hard.

I really liked the Papilio. The close-focus was amazing, and I would bet that your kids would love it. For bugs and the like, it can't be beat. Overall, the Pentax reverse-porros aren't bad at all, and would meet most of your requirements. Nikon also makes some decent small R-P's too, as already noted.

Otherwise, I would have to say that the Yosemite and it's near-clone the Vortex Raptor are tailor-made for your situation, and I can't think of anything better in your price range. But if you don't get one of these, then I think your kids would really enjoy the Papilio. Especially once you get them to focus on their own kneecap........
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Old Tuesday 28th April 2015, 13:24   #6
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Thank you for all the replies and recommendations.

The Celestron Cypress, Kowa YF and Vortex Raptor look very similar to the Yosemites. Papilio are $126 at B&H. I can stretch my budget by that much especially that I will pay no tax and there is free shipping. So far the Nikon Trailblazers look like a fun binoculars. Something even my younger kid wouldn't have trouble carrying. Both of my kids have no trouble with the weight of the Yosemites but the youngest one have problem with the strap being too long. I just can't keep adjusting it every 15 minutes. :-) That's why the need for additional pair.
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Old Tuesday 28th April 2015, 14:30   #7
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drabina .... How old are your sons, that info may be helpful in matching up an appropriate binocular.

It is important to find a binocular that will squeeze together close enough so the distance between the light coming out of the barrels (exit pupils) lines up with the users pupils. This interpupillary distance (IPD) is more narrow on children. Many of the binoculars on the market are designed for adults and the IPD specs do not go low enough for children (and some adults with a narrow IPD).

Be sure and check out the IPD specs on any binocular you are considering for your sons. The IPD specs of the Yosemite 6X30 (along with the high quality optics, light weight, lower power and low price) is one of the things that make it such a great choice for kids. The IPD spec for the 6X30 Yosemite is 50mm. I can not find a spec on the new Papilio II but an old B & H Photo page shows a number of 56mm for the older model.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...&fromDisList=y

Buyng a binocular with to large of an IPD will not work just as buying a pair of shoes that does not fit. The user will not be able to line them up with their eyes to get the proper view. You can test that out for yourself with the Yosemite by squeezing them in and out.

If you do not know the IPD of your sons, stop by the vision center of Costco, Sam's Club, Walmart, etc and ask if they would do a measurement for you. It should only take them a minute and I suspect they would be willing to do it as a good will gesture.
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Old Tuesday 28th April 2015, 14:40   #8
drabina
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drabina .... How old are your sons, that info may be helpful in matching up an appropriate binocular.
My kids are 6 and 8. They definitely do not have problems using the Yosemites. We also have some cheap Bushnell binoculars but the poor quality of the image they are producing makes me want to throw them out. No surprise there since they were only $25.
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Old Wednesday 29th April 2015, 01:58   #9
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Need recomendation for budget binoculars for kids

The Yosemite 6x30 was developed with children in mind, the IDP can get down small enough for most children.
They are small and light enough for most children and the pairs I have given to kids have survived the rough treatment that kids will give a pair of bino's.
Just about perfect for anyone but especially good for children.
Nothing else out there with their combination of good optics, adaptability to small IDP and toughness.
Art
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Old Wednesday 29th April 2015, 03:03   #10
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I was going to warn about the exit pupil and shaking issues with 8x25,
but I see someone's beat me to it..

If weight is to be minimized,
the Papilios would be ideal, as long as they know they have to be careful.

Unfortunately, you can't find currently-made 7x25s.
The Elite 7x26s are too pricey for your limits.
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Old Wednesday 29th April 2015, 12:47   #11
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Here is another one to throw into the mix if you are looking for something different. For several years my two boys fought over who used this pair.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=REG&A=details

They are now 12 and 9 but I bought them three or more years ago. No problem with IPD obviously. Really easy view because of the low magnification and wide field of view. The downside is they are only fully-coated so not as contrasty as fully-multicoated models but my kids wanted to use them over their Yosemites and similar models.
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Old Wednesday 29th April 2015, 13:08   #12
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I bought my 10 yr old son a pair of 8x26 Vortex Vanquish and he loves them. Great view,lightweight,nice ergonomics and IPD just right.

Regards Gerard.
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Old Wednesday 29th April 2015, 16:29   #13
drabina
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I bought my 10 yr old son a pair of 8x26 Vortex Vanquish and he loves them. Great view,lightweight,nice ergonomics and IPD just right.
I was actually checking out Vortex Vanquish binocs. Those and Yosemites 8x30 are currently on my list. Papilio doesn't seem to be sturdy enough for my two boys. :)
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Old Wednesday 29th April 2015, 19:42   #14
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Cool

Any Nikon M7!
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Old Wednesday 29th April 2015, 20:01   #15
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Over here, the old Pentax Papilio 6,5x21 is selling as low as € 90,-. Maybe you can find it as cheap, too? With the introduction of the new II it should get cheaper anywhere, isnt it?
After using mine for the very first hour, I would say its a great tool for any kid with an interest in nature observation.
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Old Wednesday 29th April 2015, 20:38   #16
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Over here, the old Pentax Papilio 6,5x21 is selling as low as € 90,-. Maybe you can find it as cheap, too? With the introduction of the new II it should get cheaper anywhere, isnt it?
After using mine for the very first hour, I would say its a great tool for any kid with an interest in nature observation.
No help to the OP but the Pap II is available here for about Eur 89.00, I guess the old Pap I, if you can find them, will be cheap enough to use as Christmas tree decorations.
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Old Wednesday 29th April 2015, 20:55   #17
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No help to the OP but the Pap II is available here for about Eur 89.00,
thats a good price for this one, do you have a source?
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Old Wednesday 29th April 2015, 21:02   #18
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FrankD, regarding the Bushnell 4x30's, there's a review on amazon.com which turned me off from buying them:

These are not 30mm x 4 times binoculars.
There are 30 mm "window panes" (nothing optical) in front of the REAL 22mm objectives.
These are truly (in reality) 22x4 binoculars with a 5.5mm (measured) exit pupil.
The package documentation comes in English, French, Spanish and German.
Only the German documentation says "22x4" all the others say "30x4"...my guess is that the German laws are stricter than US, French, Latin countries.
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Old Wednesday 29th April 2015, 21:07   #19
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Any other recommendations with a budget around $100?
Natchezss have a closeout on the Weaver Nitrex TR One 8x25 / 10x25 compacts.

8x25, $49.99 from $189.99
10x25, $59.99 from $199.95

TruCoat™ fully multi-coated lenses
Rugged rubber-armored, easy-grip design
BaK-4 Roof prism glass
Scratch-resistant coating on exposed lenses
Phase coated roof prism
Shockproof, fogproof, waterproof

Natchezss : http://www.natchezss.com/nitrex-tr-o...inoculars.html

Natchezss returns policy : http://www.natchezss.com/customer-se...returns-policy

Nitrex Catalog : http://glarp.atk.com/2010/2010_Catal...rexCatalog.pdf

All safe to click or download links.

These have been on the market priced over $200.00 and although I haven't seen them they look like they should stand a degree of hard use.

I bought a high end Weaver bino from Natchezss last year and their client care was excellent, as is the binocular. They are customer focused so you could just give them a ring if you needed any further info.

Good luck with your choice.

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Old Wednesday 29th April 2015, 21:08   #20
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thats a good price for this one, do you have a source?
See PM.

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Old Wednesday 29th April 2015, 22:00   #21
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The Kowa YF 6x30 I use them Superb little pair of bins Eye cups stay put and have a a great clear sharp view.So good I got another pair just in case I loose them
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Old Thursday 30th April 2015, 00:38   #22
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Originally Posted by drabina View Post
I was actually checking out Vortex Vanquish binocs. Those and Yosemites 8x30 are currently on my list. Papilio doesn't seem to be sturdy enough for my two boys. :)
You have lots of suggestions, but it still comes back to the Yosemite.
It is not just a child's binocular or a toy, it is a very nice binocular, and
used by many nature lovers.

And be sure to get the 6x30 model, the 8x30 is not as good, I have
tried both. I have 3 on hand to give to my grandkids, when the time is
right.

Jerry
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Old Thursday 30th April 2015, 03:31   #23
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And be sure to get the 6x30 model, the 8x30 is not as good, I have tried both.
If I go with Yosemite, I would actually get the 8x30. I just do not see a reason to get exact same model (6x30) as I already have. The extra magnification may come in handy plus I can get them in a Mossy Oak camo which I know my kids would like. That of course unless the 8x30 is a lot worse optically.
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Old Thursday 30th April 2015, 04:01   #24
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The 8x30 is also quite good. Alone, it's a little jumpy for kids, but combined with
having the 6x30 on hand, you really have a nice variety of distances and depths to work with.
And...you have the familiar size and shape, so swapping is easy. The 6x30 will be for that
which is closer by and moves around more, the 8x30 for distance and/or studying what's still.
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Old Thursday 30th April 2015, 04:18   #25
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Drabina - You already have experience with the Yosemite 6x30 and thinking about going to 8x30 model? Jerry's post above (#22) matches my experience. It is not that the 8x30 is optically inferior,but rather its smaller EP makes is less bright and fussier to manage. And the field is smaller. The 6x30 IMO is a proven performer so why change horses in the middle of the stream? I have forgotten how many 6x30s I have given away and nary a complaint have reached my ears. I have some friends who own the best of the best and still will use the 6x30 as a knock around binocular. If it is stolen or badly damaged, no great calamity.

A tip for those of you who have used your Yosemite a lot and find the frame holding the barrels together starting to move with little effort, i.e., not stiff enough. I don't know what kind of polymer is being used, but I believe it has its own lubricating qualities. I have discovered a few judicious drops of Loc-Tite (blue) on the joints will stiffen things nicely. Give it a week or so and it should help. I see no evidence of damage to the polymer using this stuff.

John
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