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Old Thursday 13th March 2008, 20:13   #1
Magpie70
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New bins advice

I've decided to splash out on some new bins. I know threads like this are common on this site, but I would really appreciate any advice on binoculars around the 1000-1200 quid range. I would be interested in knowing what other people use and what they think of them.
Cheers in advance for any replies, Mark.
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Old Friday 14th March 2008, 10:15   #2
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take the best you can efford, and make sure you get a 10x42 or 10x50, or maybe a 8x42 ; for birds you have to have at least a 8x ,10x,and a x42 !!
i read that there a many people use a 7x32, 8x32 for birds, my advice DON'T go that way , you will regret it when you are watching migration or waterbirds that are a bit far away .
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Old Friday 14th March 2008, 12:29   #3
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take the best you can efford
I have a different view. Midpriced binoculars have improved a lot over the years, and many people find the difference between good midpriced binoculars and high end binoculars to be very minor and not worth the money. You will not identify any more birds with high-end binoculars, and you will be able to appreciate the beauty of birds just as well with midpriced binoculars. All you get with high-end binoculars is a slightly prettier picture. Not worth paying 800 pounds or so more for IMO. Think of all the other things you could do with the money.

I would only go for high-end binoculars if you personally like the view through them that much better. But you have to try them to find out.

I would also differ with the statements about objective sizes and magnifications; I view those as personal preferences. I think different specifications will suit different people better.

My two cents,
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Old Friday 14th March 2008, 15:10   #4
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I would also differ with the statements about objective sizes and magnifications; I view those as personal preferences. I think different specifications will suit different people better.

My two cents,
Jim
I am with you on that one Jim, I am very happy using my 7x42's for all of the many reasons previously stated. If I want to look at seabirds, waders etc I take my scope. Mind you even at high mag I still have trouble identifying half of them!!!!!!

Paul

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Old Friday 14th March 2008, 16:12   #5
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... make sure you get a 10x42 or 10x50, or maybe a 8x42 ; for birds you have to have at least a 8x ,10x,and a x42 !!
i read that there a many people use a 7x32, 8x32 for birds, my advice DON'T go that way , you will regret it when you are watching migration or waterbirds that are a bit far away .
I disagree! 8x32 are an excellent choice for birdwatching, and 7x42 are too.
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Old Friday 14th March 2008, 18:12   #6
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I have a different view. Midpriced binoculars have improved a lot over the years, and many people find the difference between good midpriced binoculars and high end binoculars to be very minor and not worth the money. You will not identify any more birds with high-end binoculars, and you will be able to appreciate the beauty of birds just as well with midpriced binoculars. All you get with high-end binoculars is a slightly prettier picture. Not worth paying 800 pounds or so more for IMO. Think of all the other things you could do with the money.

I would only go for high-end binoculars if you personally like the view through them that much better. But you have to try them to find out.

I would also differ with the statements about objective sizes and magnifications; I view those as personal preferences. I think different specifications will suit different people better.

My two cents,
Jim
I wholeheartedly agree, Jim. There are still a few porro-prism binoculars available from the likes of Nikon, Swift and Fujinon that sacrifice NOTHING in image quality to the 800 GBP (~$1600 on this side of the Pond) "Premium" bins. I'm beginning to tire of the never-ending price escalation - due only in part to the weak dollar. Leica's, Swarovski's, Zeiss' and now Nikon's finest are rapidly approaching the $2000 mark. Yet, for all that money, they are simply replicating the performance of the finest <$500 porros. I would like to start a new Forum entitled "Porro Prism" or "Under $500", within the binocular group. I have no idea how to do this or whether there would be sufficient interest...Any advice or comments would be appreciated. Both porros and sub-$500 bins are discussed here regularly, but this may be a better way to organize information for passionate amateur birders who feel a greater need to make their next mortgage payment, rather than purchase binoculars.

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Old Saturday 15th March 2008, 17:56   #7
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I wholeheartedly agree, Jim. There are still a few porro-prism binoculars available from the likes of Nikon, Swift and Fujinon that sacrifice NOTHING in image quality to the 800 GBP (~$1600 on this side of the Pond) "Premium" bins. I'm beginning to tire of the never-ending price escalation - due only in part to the weak dollar. Leica's, Swarovski's, Zeiss' and now Nikon's finest are rapidly approaching the $2000 mark. Yet, for all that money, they are simply replicating the performance of the finest <$500 porros. I would like to start a new Forum entitled "Porro Prism" or "Under $500", within the binocular group. I have no idea how to do this or whether there would be sufficient interest...Any advice or comments would be appreciated. Both porros and sub-$500 bins are discussed here regularly, but this may be a better way to organize information for passionate amateur birders who feel a greater need to make their next mortgage payment, rather than purchase binoculars.
Angleo,

What about those being threads on a new Sub-Forum entitled: "Frugal Binoculars"?

Ed
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Old Saturday 15th March 2008, 19:08   #8
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Angleo,

What about those being threads on a new Sub-Forum entitled: "Frugal Binoculars"?

Ed
"Frugal" may be problematic, since it is highly subjective. "Porro Binoculars" would be my first choice for several reasons: I'll use the Swift 820 and Nikon EII's to illustrate. The Nikon EII, was a spectacularly good binocular - still optically unsurpassed by any 8x32 roof-prism design - for a small fraction of the price. A lack of public awareness and interest, I suspect combined with a relatively small profit margin, led to its demise. At its price point, Nikon now offers clearly inferior roofs and porro's. It is the birding community that has suffered by not having a wonderful <$400 binocular. Similarly, Swift has compromised the mechanical quality of the Audubon series with the introduction of the 820 model. The Audubon 820 is proof that fine glass alone is simply not enough. With its wobbly plastic bridge, the Audubon 820 is no longer the premium performer it once was. In both cases, a lack of consumer interest led to the elimination or degradation of two of the finest affordable binoculars ever made. Perhaps, with an increase in awareness of the fundamental soundness of the porro prism design, we can reverse this trend. Imagine: Nikon's new EDG line including an ED glass version of the 8x32 SE or EII, complete with modern eyecups! Or Swift's replacement for the 820 being just a bit closer to the standards of the 804. None of this can happen without informed consumers applying market pressure. The current Fujinon 8x42 BFL and 10x42 BFL, are both serious, though imperfect attempts at making a premium porro binocular - both optically and mechanically. Since there is precious little information to be found about either, they will likely suffer the same fate as so many other fine porros - and once again, it will be the birding community that has lost.
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Old Sunday 16th March 2008, 01:01   #9
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"Frugality ... is a philosophy in which one does not trust, or is deeply wary of "expert" knowledge, often from commercial markets or corporate cultures, claiming to know what is in the best economic, material, or spiritual interests of the individual." (Wikipedia)

I'm more interested in a place to discuss cost-effective equipment (old or new), than a platform to jawbone manufacturers into changing their ways. I use their equipment, but don't share in their profits. When they become cooperatives I might have a different motivation.

Really, a Porro Prism sub-forum would probably be quite worthwhile, or just a thread to determine the current level of interest. I think Porros are one of the frugal birder's best options for enjoyment, financial stability, and being iconoclastic.

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Old Sunday 16th March 2008, 19:14   #10
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[quote=elkcub;1151736]"Frugality ... is a philosophy in which one does not trust, or is deeply wary of "expert" knowledge, often from commercial markets or corporate cultures, claiming to know what is in the best economic, material, or spiritual interests of the individual." (Wikipedia)

Ed[/QUOTE)
This is precisely why the word "Frugal" is problematic - it is both vague and highly subjective. It is Wikipedia's primary and most common use of the word "frugal" I find problematic: "Frugality (also known as thrift or thriftiness ) is the practice of acquiring goods and services at minimum cost, achieved via economical restraints or creative measures." (Wikipedia)
Frugality, in the philosophical/theological context, implies not wasting resources on ones self that could otherwise be used to help others - as this is sinful behavior by puritanical standards. Without delving into a semantic quagmire, I think "Porro" gets right to the point. The target audience of this forum would not be the manufacturers, but rather birders who, I feel, have been misled into believing a second rate roof-prism bin is preferable to a first rate porro - both being similarly priced. Those of us who know better, by virtue of our passion and experience - and having no financial incentive - can perhaps do a service to those who don't.

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Old Monday 17th March 2008, 03:15   #11
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Somewhere above you said:
Quote:
"Any advice or comments would be appreciated. Both porros and sub-$500 bins are discussed here regularly, but this may be a better way to organize information for passionate amateur birders who feel a greater need to make their next mortgage payment, rather than purchase binoculars."
To me this translated into the notion that some folks need to be frugal. Maybe my comment was wrong.
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Old Monday 17th March 2008, 05:46   #12
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"Frugality ... is a philosophy in which one does not trust, or is deeply wary of "expert" knowledge, often from commercial markets or corporate cultures, claiming to know what is in the best economic, material, or spiritual interests of the individual." (Wikipedia)
Ed
Hi Ed!
That's a "philospphy" I can subscribe to.


Quote:
Originally Posted by elkcub View Post
Really, a Porro Prism sub-forum would probably be quite worthwhile, or just a thread to determine the current level of interest. I think Porros are one of the frugal birder's best options for enjoyment, financial stability, and being iconoclastic.
Ed
Yes, please.
I subscribe to that, too.

A good start into the new week, everybody,
Tom
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Old Monday 17th March 2008, 06:26   #13
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Somewhere above you said:

To me this translated into the notion that some folks need to be frugal. Maybe my comment was wrong.
Here is my point in a nutshell: A Mercedes may be thought of as a "frugal" form of transportation to the owner of Rolls Royce, but most likely not by the owner of a Hyundai. It is the subjective nature of the word that concerns me. This is what I meant by my previous entry. By the standards of the Ultravid HD, a Trinovid represents a "frugal" purchase. My suggestion though, is to offer guidance in selecting a fine optical instrument for half again the price of a Trinovid - that is in no way an optical compromise. In my own experience, I have only found this combination of price and performance in a handful of porros (several of which are no longer available), and not yet in a sub-$500 roof-prism bin.

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Old Monday 17th March 2008, 08:43   #14
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Originally Posted by Magpie70 View Post
I've decided to splash out on some new bins. I know threads like this are common on this site, but I would really appreciate any advice on binoculars around the 1000-1200 quid range. I would be interested in knowing what other people use and what they think of them.
Cheers in advance for any replies, Mark.
As you can see from this thread opinions vary dramatically, read as much as you can, but rely on your own testing to make the decision.

Go to a dealer and try the Leica Ultravids, Nikon HGL, Swarovski ELs and Zeiss FLs and see which suit you best. Also try 8x vs 10x and 32mm vs 42mm, with your budget you could buy any of them so find which you like most.
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Old Monday 17th March 2008, 09:03   #15
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As you can see from this thread opinions vary dramatically, read as much as you can, but rely on your own testing to make the decision.

Go to a dealer and try the Leica Ultravids, Nikon HGL, Swarovski ELs and Zeiss FLs and see which suit you best. Also try 8x vs 10x and 32mm vs 42mm, with your budget you could buy any of them so find which you like most.
Summed up in a nutshell.

They are all good but they each have their individual strengths so trust your own judgement, buy what suits you and don't worry about what other people say.
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Old Monday 17th March 2008, 09:12   #16
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Thanks for all the advice. I went to a few places over the weekend and had a go with a few different sets of bins(Swaro's, leica's and zeiss). I have decided to go for the Zeiss 10x42 Fl's. All the bins I tried are excellent quality and it's very hard to see any differences between them. However, I liked the feel of the Zeiss binoculars and for that reason I have made my choice. It just reiterates what people have said on this thread, you need to try before you buy!
Thanks again, Mark.
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Old Monday 17th March 2008, 09:18   #17
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Thanks for all the advice. I went to a few places over the weekend and had a go with a few different sets of bins(Swaro's, leica's and zeiss). I have decided to go for the Zeiss 10x42 Fl's. All the bins I tried are excellent quality and it's very hard to see any differences between them. However, I liked the feel of the Zeiss binoculars and for that reason I have made my choice. It just reiterates what people have said on this thread, you need to try before you buy!
Thanks again, Mark.
Congratulations on your choice. You should be very happy with them.

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Old Monday 17th March 2008, 22:41   #18
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Congrats, Magpie, many years happy birding to you and your new Zeiss!
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Old Tuesday 18th March 2008, 02:14   #19
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I bought two high-end binos in my entire life, in the last year. In fact, these are the only binos I've ever bought. One off them used, and another new. I have a feeling I won't be buying any for a long time, as I don't see a need for more than 1 bino.

Get the best you can afford, used is OK, keep it for a long time, maintain good resale value...
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Old Tuesday 18th March 2008, 09:11   #20
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hello magpie, i am happy to see that you take a 10x42 instead of the 7 and 8x 32 that many people are talking about, these are just to short for birds believe me and many other birders to in europe !!
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