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Improving my binoculars....finally

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Old Wednesday 13th February 2019, 17:55   #1
Peaky-B
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Improving my binoculars....finally

Hi folks.....having introduced myself today I thought I would just say I'm looking to purchase a pair of binoculars to replace the poor unbranded compact type I've been using for years.

I'm a spectacle wearer and will be using the bins for walkng/ trekking days out, watching wildlife and of course watching birds, holidays and travel. I'm open to 8 or 10 X and I am planning to visit a store this week to look, hold and see the bins up close.

Nothing beats holding them and viewing them. I've been considering the varied specs of a number of bins and have a budget of around 300. I do not profess to be a veteran optics user but I do grasp the usual debated specs and preferences to be desired in a pair of binoculars. I've been looking at forum posts, review sites and the reviews of others who have owned them for some time now. That said I'm finally hoping to view the following binoculars this week.....Minox BV, Steiner Skyhawk, Vanguard Endeavor EDll, Hawke Endurance ED & Vortex. None of these will be alpha bins and I'm certain that all will be a massive improvement on what I've been struggling with for years.

I hope to be letting you know what I've decided on towards the end of the week....
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Old Wednesday 13th February 2019, 19:11   #2
dwatsonbirder
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Try before you buy is always best, as buying unseen could be risky. I've no experience of the models you have outlined, but both Vortex and Hawke seems to have a good reputation and make excellent optics for the money. I don't think that Steiner are particularly good, though not a popular brand in the UK. One brand to check out are Opticron who make affordable but high quality kit. If you will be hiking a lot, a pair of 8x32's would probably be recommendable. Here are a couple of used options in your budget that are worth considering; https://www.lcegroup.co.uk/Used/Opti...WP_232110.html and https://www.at-infocus.co.uk/product...-imagic-se-dd/. Good luck and let us know how you get on - I'm sure other members will make more suggestions!
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Old Wednesday 13th February 2019, 19:33   #3
Peaky-B
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Originally Posted by dwatsonbirder View Post
Try before you buy is always best, as buying unseen could be risky. I've no experience of the models you have outlined, but both Vortex and Hawke seems to have a good reputation and make excellent optics for the money. I don't think that Steiner are particularly good, though not a popular brand in the UK. One brand to check out are Opticron who make affordable but high quality kit. If you will be hiking a lot, a pair of 8x32's would probably be recommendable. Here are a couple of used options in your budget that are worth considering; https://www.lcegroup.co.uk/Used/Opti...WP_232110.html and https://www.at-infocus.co.uk/product...-imagic-se-dd/. Good luck and let us know how you get on - I'm sure other members will make more suggestions!
That's really helpful thanks Daniel. I did look at Opticron Daniel and the shop do stock them so will take another look. I'm really open to looking at all, especially if I can try them first hand. Keep you posted and thanks again for the links, I'll take a look.
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Old Friday 15th February 2019, 18:38   #4
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Just an update on my purchase.....I tried quite a number of magnifications, brands and objective lens sizes and was able to test them outside the shop which was great. Whilst they all had their individual pros and cons they were all a 'mahoosive' improvement on anything I had at home or have ever owned.

After much deliberation in the store and many weeks of reading I went for the Minox BL 10x44 HD, which were not originally on my short list. I had the BV model on my list but having tried the BL model I was taken by the quality of the finished product. The image was excellent, as were the others I tried from Vortex, Opticron, Hawke and Vanguard but the brightness of the BV model did it for me. I don't have the experience or the bench mark of another good pair of binoculars to make comparisons with other than the sub standard pair Ive been using but I'm very pleased with them.

I'll hopefully be able to comment a little more once I've had opportunity to try them in the field.
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Old Sunday 24th February 2019, 21:11   #5
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If you are looking for what is best for you I very much agree that price does count, and about the need to 'try them out first' if possible - although of course it usually isn't, without buying an example! I have never had the chance to try, or seen the right clues to buy, the Minox BL so look forward to reading more about how you get on with it.

I would not dare to say that the specs and the latest developments like 'dielectric' don't matter, but I do not think that a budget needs to be such a limiting factor. This is because it could be well worth including the older and second hand models in the hunt.

Re. "...Vortex, Opticron, Hawke and Vanguard..." I have looked at those too and tried several of them, and eventually even Zeiss 8x42 FL, but the favourite ended up as old stock Nikon HGL 8x42 at 600 for various reasons, which include its super easy flat field view and superlative focussing. Nevertheless it seems that The HGL 8x32 was more popular so I now need to try that too
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Old Monday 25th February 2019, 20:05   #6
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Originally Posted by chris6 View Post
If you are looking for what is best for you I very much agree that price does count, and about the need to 'try them out first' if possible - although of course it usually isn't, without buying an example! I have never had the chance to try, or seen the right clues to buy, the Minox BL so look forward to reading more about how you get on with it.

I would not dare to say that the specs and the latest developments like 'dielectric' don't matter, but I do not think that a budget needs to be such a limiting factor. This is because it could be well worth including the older and second hand models in the hunt.

Re. "...Vortex, Opticron, Hawke and Vanguard..." I have looked at those too and tried several of them, and eventually even Zeiss 8x42 FL, but the favourite ended up as old stock Nikon HGL 8x42 at 600 for various reasons, which include its super easy flat field view and superlative focussing. Nevertheless it seems that The HGL 8x32 was more popular so I now need to try that too
Hi Chris.....thanks for your post. The issue I had was that none of the shops in my area of the country stocked all the makes and models I was interested in, so the thought of travelling around 4-5 shops across the north west of England was a grim one. Any how's I found an excellent shop in Worcester, Birders Store. They had all the binoculars I wanted to hold and view so we took a trip South.

I will be considering a 2nd pair soon and so my reach starts again!! And yes I would definatley consider 2nd hand for sure...thanks again.

Last edited by Peaky-B : Monday 25th February 2019 at 21:02.
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Old Tuesday 26th February 2019, 08:57   #7
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Nice choice of shop Peaky-B, I've bought a couple of pairs of binoculars from The Birders Store, via the internet, and always found Brian such a helpful and knowledgeable guy.

Les
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Old Tuesday 26th February 2019, 20:09   #8
Peaky-B
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Nice choice of shop Peaky-B, I've bought a couple of pairs of binoculars from The Birders Store, via the internet, and always found Brian such a helpful and knowledgeable guy.

Les
Hi Les.....yes what a nice man Brian is, I would highly recommend the shop. They have so much stock and so many brands and models in stock. Very obliging too and as you say very knowledgable.

It was a 2 hour drive but well worth it.....

Gary
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