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Buying Binoculars

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Old Saturday 26th March 2011, 23:26   #1
Himalaya
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Buying Binoculars

I am from the North West of England and I want to buy a new pair of binoculars. I had a Pentax model 8 x 42 and want something bigger and better for under a 100. Any recommendations ?
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Old Sunday 27th March 2011, 19:12   #2
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It would be helpful if you could let everyone know which model you currently have, what magnification/size you are considering, whether you want roofs versus porros, and if you wear glasses. You will get more meaningful recommendations if these are known.
tom
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Old Sunday 27th March 2011, 20:13   #3
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I am from the North West of England and I want to buy a new pair of binoculars. I had a Pentax model 8 x 42 and want something bigger and better for under a 100. Any recommendations ?
How do you plan to use them. In what ways do you want them to be bigger. A pair of 25 x 100 would meet your bigness criteria but they are probably less than optimal for chasing birds in the bush.

I would suggest that you look at the Nikon Action series for starters. It's going to be difficult to find new binoculars of better quality than the Pentax at your low maximum price.
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Old Monday 28th March 2011, 09:46   #4
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Originally Posted by lilcrazy2 View Post
It would be helpful if you could let everyone know which model you currently have, what magnification/size you are considering, whether you want roofs versus porros, and if you wear glasses. You will get more meaningful recommendations if these are known.
tom
I wish I had the Bins with me but I gave them away. I can consider any magnification/size as long as they help me birdwatch.

I have no idea what roofs versus porros means. I do not wear glasses.
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Old Monday 28th March 2011, 09:50   #5
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How do you plan to use them. In what ways do you want them to be bigger. A pair of 25 x 100 would meet your bigness criteria but they are probably less than optimal for chasing birds in the bush.

I would suggest that you look at the Nikon Action series for starters. It's going to be difficult to find new binoculars of better quality than the Pentax at your low maximum price.
It should help me both with range and in the bush.

Why would a 25 x 100 not be good for the bush?
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Old Monday 28th March 2011, 11:40   #6
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I would have thought it unlikely to better your Pentax for less than 100.
Have you considered the weight and handling characteristics of a pair of 25x100, not to mention the support required?
I would recommend joining an RSPB local group and talk to fellow birders to increase your general birding knowledge.
Reading some of the threads on BF should increase your overall knowledge of what are "good buys" for 100
Finally buying a 8x32 (30) is always a good choice and they are cheaper than the manufacturers equivalent 8x42 model.
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Old Monday 28th March 2011, 11:46   #7
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Three web pages here explaining some of terms :
http://www.monkoptics.co.uk/binoculars-explained.html

The 8x42 specification of your (ex) Pentax sounds a good choice for a birding binocular.

If you wish to go to a retailer for advice, in North West the following have good reputation providing for birders :
www.at-infocus.co.uk
www.pennineonline.com
Local Wildlife trust might have optics days at nature reserves enabling you to try stuff.
Could also consider LCEgroup or Jessops but these might be best if you already know which model you want.

Do you intend birding in inclement weather? I read somewhere once that it rains sometimes in North West England

Last edited by normjackson : Monday 28th March 2011 at 11:50.
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Old Monday 28th March 2011, 15:43   #8
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Depending on where you live the Stockport Binocular and Telescope Centre appears to have quite a wide choice in your price range including some Chinese brands which might offer good value.
http://www.telescopesandbinoculars.c...inoculars.html
It's always best to try a few for comparison. Generally the porro prism type will give you a better quality view for your money.

Looking at one of your older posts I think you said it was the Pentax 8x40 XCF porro you had. I'm not sure what you mean by "bigger and better". I wouldn't want a larger/heavier pair for birding myself, and 8x is a good general purpose magnification. Above 10x most would need a tripod or something to hold it steady. I personally think the Nikon Action EX 8x40 might be a shade better than the Pentax and just in your budget if you hunt around. Like here:
http://www.uttings.co.uk/Product/507...0-cf-baa661aa/
The Bushnell Legend 8x42 is probably worth a look as well.
http://www.microglobe.co.uk/catalog/...end-binoculars

Do try to test them for yourself.

David
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Old Monday 28th March 2011, 21:46   #9
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If you near Lancaster then pop into Lamberts and they will sort you out.
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Old Wednesday 30th March 2011, 12:19   #10
Himalaya
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Originally Posted by Robert Wallace View Post
I would have thought it unlikely to better your Pentax for less than 100.
Have you considered the weight and handling characteristics of a pair of 25x100, not to mention the support required?
I would recommend joining an RSPB local group and talk to fellow birders to increase your general birding knowledge.
Reading some of the threads on BF should increase your overall knowledge of what are "good buys" for 100
Finally buying a 8x32 (30) is always a good choice and they are cheaper than the manufacturers equivalent 8x42 model.
How heavy is a 25 x 100?

Would nt i be seeing less with a 8 x 32 as compared to an 8 x 42?
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Old Wednesday 30th March 2011, 12:24   #11
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Three web pages here explaining some of terms :
http://www.monkoptics.co.uk/binoculars-explained.html

The 8x42 specification of your (ex) Pentax sounds a good choice for a birding binocular.

If you wish to go to a retailer for advice, in North West the following have good reputation providing for birders :
www.at-infocus.co.uk
www.pennineonline.com
Local Wildlife trust might have optics days at nature reserves enabling you to try stuff.
Could also consider LCEgroup or Jessops but these might be best if you already know which model you want.

Do you intend birding in inclement weather? I read somewhere once that it rains sometimes in North West England

At in focus they stock Opticon Vega 2 10 x 50 magnification at 86 or I can order it......what are they like as bins?
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Old Wednesday 30th March 2011, 12:28   #12
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Depending on where you live the Stockport Binocular and Telescope Centre appears to have quite a wide choice in your price range including some Chinese brands which might offer good value.
http://www.telescopesandbinoculars.c...inoculars.html
It's always best to try a few for comparison. Generally the porro prism type will give you a better quality view for your money.

Looking at one of your older posts I think you said it was the Pentax 8x40 XCF porro you had. I'm not sure what you mean by "bigger and better". I wouldn't want a larger/heavier pair for birding myself, and 8x is a good general purpose magnification. Above 10x most would need a tripod or something to hold it steady. I personally think the Nikon Action EX 8x40 might be a shade better than the Pentax and just in your budget if you hunt around. Like here:
http://www.uttings.co.uk/Product/507...0-cf-baa661aa/
The Bushnell Legend 8x42 is probably worth a look as well.
http://www.microglobe.co.uk/catalog/...end-binoculars

Do try to test them for yourself.

David
They were the bins I had! Iwish i remebered lol. I should have said more magnification and clearer views. Would yo say a 10 x 50 is the maximum I should aim for?
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Old Wednesday 30th March 2011, 16:43   #13
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Everybody has there own preferences for magnification and objective size for different situations. Many here have several pairs for different situations. As a general guide 6 or 7x might be a good choice for woodland and 10x for estuaries etc. and 8x being the general purpose. Unless you have very steady hands the higher power may not show you any more detail. Most birders would use a spotting scope on a tripod or an image stabilised pair of binos for higher magnifications, but of course these are a lot more money.

Bigger objectives capture more of the available light and are helpful at dawn/dusk etc. but the down side is that they are heavier and can be cumbersome. I would find a 10x50 a nuisance to carry around all day. I think most would choose something smaller and lighter like a 7 or 8x 30/32 or a 10x40/42 at the most. I use a 7x26 more than any other pair, but of course there are some who need the higher power. Have a look at the article by Binomania.
http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=195652
The Google translator might leave something to be desired but the pictures tell the story of what bigger and better might look like.

You mentioned the Opticron Vega. I suspect they would not be as good as your old Pentax, though Opticrons more expensive porros (eg. SRGA, HRWP) are very good. Compare them to the Nikons and Bushnells 8 and 10x and others if you can. The Leupold Yosemite 6x30 is a very well regarded lower power pair which can be found in your price range as well.

You need to try out a few and see what works for you.

David

Last edited by typo : Wednesday 30th March 2011 at 17:29.
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Old Tuesday 5th April 2011, 16:32   #14
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It should help me both with range and in the bush.

Why would a 25 x 100 not be good for the bush?
Good question. Binoculars with 7 to 10x magnification with objectives from 32mm to 40mm are typically the most useful for hand held observation.

A 25x100 pair of binoculars would have a close focus of maybe 60 feet, a very narrow field of view, would be too heavy and big to carry around ones neck and the very high magnification would mean images would bounce all around when handheld.

They are designed for use on a tripod for long range terrestial observing and astronomy.

I think a pair of Nikon Action 8x40 would do the job if available in your location.

Last edited by John S. : Tuesday 5th April 2011 at 16:35.
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Old Friday 8th April 2011, 10:41   #15
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Ideally i would want a pair which I could carry around my neck and is not too heavy. I think a pair suited to estuaries and other distant environments would be the one I am looking for.
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Old Friday 8th April 2011, 14:23   #16
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Ideally i would want a pair which I could carry around my neck and is not too heavy. I think a pair suited to estuaries and other distant environments would be the one I am looking for.
I wonder if you're really talking about spotting scope magnification here.
There's an Opticron Mighty Midget MM2 currently for sale on "well known auction site" for just over your budget. You'd probably want a shoulder pod with that though.
One way of getting the extra reach with a binocular is something like this :
http://www.opticron.co.uk/Pages/uta.htm
but can't see it being convenient for more than very occasional use.
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Old Friday 8th April 2011, 14:46   #17
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Do LIDL put 10x50 binoculars on sale in the UK ?
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Old Friday 8th April 2011, 16:53   #18
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Ideally i would want a pair which I could carry around my neck and is not too heavy. I think a pair suited to estuaries and other distant environments would be the one I am looking for.
Then look for something with high magnification like a 12x50 or 16x50 and consider the use of a monopod for critical viewing. Pentax makes well regarded bins in either size. Just understand that any pair of binoculars represents both benefits and tradeoffs relative to other binoculars.
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Old Friday 8th April 2011, 17:31   #19
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Have you considered a 12x42? If you have steady hands (or, if you don't, a beanbag or tripod) you could do worse than a Nikon Monarch 12x42 mk.III DCF currently on eBay UK for 215, very light, short, easy to hold still, latest 'dielectric' coatings (= sharp image) and a good compromise between low and high magnification. Good value for little outlay. I'm happy with mine...
How heavy is a 25x100? Heavy enough for use as a club if you have to defend yourself!
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Old Friday 8th April 2011, 21:00   #20
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Do LIDL put 10x50 binoculars on sale in the UK ?
Don't think they have the offer all the time nor am sure if it's nationwide when it is :
http://www.lidl.co.uk/cps/rde/xchg//...d&ar=1&nf=True
7dayshop also sell bargain basement porros.
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Old Saturday 9th April 2011, 13:23   #21
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Given that LIDL appear to sell in the UK I will mention what I have found satisfactory.

Where I am at the moment LIDL appear to put binoculars on sale every 3 or 4 months. Given that the binoculars can make useful presents I have on more than one occasion bought several pairs.

Having bought the binoculars I take them to the car park and check them out very carefully for loose screws, inadequate minimum focusing distance etc. Sometimes it is simply some detail of the design that I dont like.

All the unsatisfactory models are then returned and I have ended up with a perfectly adequate pair of binoculars for a very reasonable price, plus the odd present for other people..
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