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Budget 8x30 recommendations

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Old Sunday 12th August 2018, 21:34   #1
lgc123
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Budget 8x30 recommendations

Hi,

I'm looking into getting my wife some binoculars as a present. My budget is 100ish, but this is somewhat flexible. She will probably want something as compact as possible, but having looked into it, it seems that 8x30/32 provides a substantial step up in quality from 8x25, so I hope this will be an acceptable compromise for her.

I've just spent a bit of time trawling the forum, and some recommendations I've found (all of which push the budget a bit) are:
Hawke Frontier ED 8x32 (135)
Nikon Prostaff 7S 8x30 (149)
Opticron Discovery 8x32 WP PC (149)
Pentax AD 8x25 WP (109)
Bushnell Natureview 8x32 (110)

I can see that these brands have cheaper models (opticron oregon 4, bushnell powerview, etc.) but I don't really know how different they'd be in use..

Any thoughts or recommendations much appreciated.
Cheers!
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Old Sunday 12th August 2018, 23:58   #2
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https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Sightron-...wAAOSwMapbZY7R
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Old Monday 13th August 2018, 08:16   #3
typo
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Igc,

It's never easy to predict what binoculars will suit someone you've never met and know nothing about. Some of those models will be sharper, have better colour or work better with glasses than others for example, but those characteristics will be more or less important to different users. If I had to pick one from that list on the basis of popularity with forum members I think it would be the Opticron Discovery. The Sightron that Dennis mentions might well be sharper but not readily available here and certainly not at US prices. You can occasionally find the Kenko version here, but it's somewhat over budget, and the Pentax 9x32 version is even more expensive.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Kenko-8X32-.../dp/B004DYQRME
I should point out my wife didn't like ergonomics of the Fujinon version I had for review.

I rather liked the Nikon Prostaff, but it does have a rather narrow field of view and wouldn't work so well as the Opticron with glasses.

Most of those models and many more will be at Birdfair at Rutland Water this weekend. I guess it would be a couple of hours drive for you but there really isn't a better opportunity for your wife to try out what's available. It's a huge show with plenty of other stuff on offer.
https://birdfair.org.uk

David

Last edited by typo : Monday 13th August 2018 at 08:35.
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Old Monday 13th August 2018, 09:15   #4
lgc123
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Thanks for the suggestions. The idea is to make the present a surprise (and unfortunately a 2 hour drive to check them out is not possible for me at the moment) but I'll keep the receipt. The only binos she's used before are very cheap compact ones, and we're not serious bird watchers, so I think whichever option will feel like a substantial upgrade!

I like that the Discovery you suggest seems to be particularly compact. Do you know much of the Opticron Oregon 4? They seem quite well reviewed as well (and closer to my intended budget!)
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Old Monday 13th August 2018, 10:43   #5
typo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lgc123 View Post
.....

Do you know much of the Opticron Oregon 4? They seem quite well reviewed as well (and closer to my intended budget!)
Sorry, I've not tried the Oregon 4 yet, but there will be an opportunity at Birdfair. It's nice to see it's phase coated. A couple of specifications to note are that the eye relief is 8x32 is only listed as 15mm which might well be a problem if your wife wears glasses and it's a 100g (4oz) heavier than the Discovery.

David
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Old Monday 13th August 2018, 23:18   #6
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Another model worth considering is the RSPB 8x32 WPG, on sale down to 145 from 195. Details here: https://shopping.rspb.org.uk/rspb-bi...e=&Position=15
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Old Wednesday 15th August 2018, 11:54   #7
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Hi,

I would probably take the Optocron Discovery in that case... reviews read ok, ER is good and its weight and size (or rather the lack of) will surely be appreciated.

Joachim
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Old Monday 20th August 2018, 22:16   #8
Sandgrounder
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On the Opticron front, I was just comparing a few of their lower-priced models to choose a pair for my mother. I had the Discovery WP 8x32 in mind, but actually, the cheaper Savanna models (both WP porro and R PC roof models) are strong competitors.

Although they are both slightly heavier than the Discovery, being also a little bit larger they don't feel it, and depending on the size of your face and hands they might be ergonomically better.

Where the Discovery really stand out is their outrageously good close-focus performance - if the binoculars are to be used for flowers or insects as well as birds, then they are an automatic first choice. If 3m close focus is OK, consider the Savanna models at 109/119.

I haven't tried the Oregon 4.
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Old Tuesday 21st August 2018, 19:06   #9
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Two years ago, i bought the Nikon Prostaff 7x 8x30 as my first binoculars and am still using (birdwatching) it.

+ very light, compact, tough
+ sufficiently sharp in the center of the image
+ eyecups can be long extended (good for people with long eyelids)
+ CA is well controlled

- not so sharp at the edges of the image
- ER not perfect for wearer of glasses

Imo very good value for money.
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Last edited by steppsch : Tuesday 21st August 2018 at 19:08.
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Old Tuesday 21st August 2018, 20:29   #10
w.travis
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This ^
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Old Thursday 23rd August 2018, 02:40   #11
justabirdwatcher
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Sigh Tron.

Every time.

Still love mine after many years.
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Old Friday 24th August 2018, 03:59   #12
18000bph
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I recommend considering the Leupold Yosemite 8x30 and/or the Kowa YF. My child has the Yosemite due to the small minimum IPD and the optics compete way above their budget. I can't stress enough how fantastic the optics are to my eye. On the other hand, the build quality is acceptable but noticeably lacking compared to Nikon Prostaff, Celestron Nature DX, and probably most on your short list. That's why I also suggest the Kowa since I am under the impression it's essentially the same bino but with a little better build quality.

Consider that these suggestions are porro prism so they are wider than the roofs on your short list but they are similar weight and short. My six year old uses them for hour long outings without any issues. FOV is very competitive at just under [email protected]
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