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Binocular Advice Pet Peeves

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Old Monday 17th December 2018, 16:16   #26
Binastro
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The Sun's elevation in NSW is 80 degrees today at midday.
If one doesn't wear a hat and cuts down on the chocolate, then mirth happens.

B.
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Old Monday 17th December 2018, 19:07   #27
marcsantacurz
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Originally Posted by Josh Exmoor View Post
I've thought about starting this thread a few times. Well, actually any time I see someone ask for some advice on choosing a new pair of binoculars. Not here, where good advice is pretty easy to come by, but listservs, facebook groups, etc. It seems I see the same mediocre advice over and over again. Here's a few of them.

1. You're wasting your money if you buy any binoculars under x amount. X is almost always a pretty darn high number. $500 or $1000. The implication being that anything under $500 is junk that is useless for birding. I always assume these people last bought new optics twenty years ago and assume that nothing has changed since then.

2. Nikon Monarch! I don't recall seeing an optics thread EVER outside of here that didn't have at least one person piping up and saying that you should buy a pair of Monarchs. Now, this is not terrible advice on its face. I don't believe I've ever heard about a specific junky model of Monarchs, but at this moment there are 14 models of monarch being sold from anywhere between $200 and $1000. My impression has always been that basically none of the Monarchs are the best value at their price point.

3. X brand are great! Kissing cousin to the monarch comment above. Most brands make multiple lines of bins and multiple models in each line. Not all of them are good, or at least provide good value for money.

4. I love my pair of 20 year old $30 10x50 porros! Perhaps they have a diamond in the rough, but having grown up on cheap porros I often wonder how these people see any birds at all.

Anyone else have any optics advice that gnaws at them?
Many good things have been said in the previous posts, so I'll try to add my 2 cents without repeating.

Monarchs: you get what you pay for. "One will be happy," I like to say, "with the low end until you try a better binocular." The M5 and M7 (two of the most popular) are lightweight, fairly inexpensive, and often good-enough for many people. This gets to my main point.

Having recently gone on an extensive search for binoculars that work for me, I've come to a couple conclusions about advice. First, experts can absolutely direct one to good brands or model lines within brands. Nowadays, there are many (hurray!). They can also tell you salient differences (e.g. conquest hd has a fast focuser), or other arcana (e.g. you might want to try the long eye-relief eye cups), which may or may not be important to you [1]. Second, there are clearly some binoculars with extreme price that have extreme wow-factor, but again that frosting-on-the-top might not be so important to you [2].

This all leads me to believe that 90% of finding a good binocular is to actually try them out, and not just in a store looking across a few isles. Nowadays, we are blessed with quite a few companies that will ship you whatever you want and let you send it back to them, no questions asked, so long as they are in the same new condition [3]. You can pick a few pairs in your price range, based on expert advice, and actually try them in the outdoors in different lighting and different sun positions and see which ergonomically work for you. You are the ultimate expert on what you experience, which is very hard to predict from stats and ratings.

Marc

[1] Sorry to pick on Conquest's, but that's what was on the top of my head.

[2] I love my Victory HT 10x42!

[3] Order them at the start of you credit card billing cycle, try them a week, then get your credit before the bill is due.
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Old Monday 17th December 2018, 22:34   #28
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Chosun's rant would be fair, if nobody here ever sold their optics to Cooter. LOL

Last edited by justabirdwatcher : Monday 17th December 2018 at 22:47.
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Old Tuesday 18th December 2018, 11:02   #29
Chosun Juan
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Originally Posted by PYRTLE View Post
Made an old boy chortle, thank you...
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Originally Posted by jring View Post
Rotfl...
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Originally Posted by dogbreath View Post
Chosun Juan - made me laugh.
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Originally Posted by Steve C View Post
Wow, CJ, maybe chocolate in moderation is needed?

However I got a chuckle out of the post and the point is one I can see as well.
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Originally Posted by Gijs van Ginkel View Post
Chosun, post 19,
You did it again, I had to see a medical doctor, since you made me unstoppable laugh.
Gijs van Ginkel
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Originally Posted by Gilmore Girl View Post
... I really like the bino model names you mentioned
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Originally Posted by Binastro View Post
The Sun's elevation in NSW is 80 degrees today at midday.
If one doesn't wear a hat and cuts down on the chocolate, then mirth happens.
Quote:
Originally Posted by justabirdwatcher View Post
.... LOL
.
Haha - I'm glad everyone could have a good chuckle it's good for the soul tongue in cheek (mostly! :) and all good fun

Bin has it pretty right - it's been super muggy here lately, so maybe I went a little bit 'troppo' ! ....... and Steve, I did indulge in a bit of chocolate - the trouble is I'm halfway through January's budgeted stocks ! I've now tipped over the edge from 'stir crazy' to guilt-ridden ! :)

Gijs, glad to help give the laugh lines a workout ! :) .... a laugh a day (and an apple too :) - keeps the doctor at bay :)


Good birding and Merry Christmas to all <3



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Old Tuesday 18th December 2018, 11:05   #30
Chosun Juan
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..... TakeDown Optics Swamp Hunter IV xTreme UHD DD 10x42
LOL !
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Old Tuesday 18th December 2018, 11:22   #31
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Originally Posted by Chosun Juan View Post
LOL !
I read those bino names of yours like 5 times. They're already classics in my mind. Yesterday was a slow day finally at work and I was making up whacky bino names while trapped in my cube. There could be a whole fun new thread on these over-the-top models.

I got one more for ya! ...

Gargoyle Optics SuckerPunch HyperSonic-Focus UHD DD 10x42

I eat one (sometimes 2) small squares of Dove dark chocolate with almonds each morning after breakfast with my tea (green or black). I use the excuse that dark choc is supposed to be healthy (antioxidants and all that jazz), but really I just like a little chocolate to start my day.
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Old Tuesday 18th December 2018, 12:45   #32
Chosun Juan
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Originally Posted by Gilmore Girl View Post
I read those bino names of yours like 5 times. They're already classics in my mind. Yesterday was a slow day finally at work and I was making up whacky bino names while trapped in my cube. There could be a whole fun new thread on these over-the-top models.

I got one more for ya! ...

Gargoyle Optics SuckerPunch HyperSonic-Focus UHD DD 10x42

I eat one (sometimes 2) small squares of Dove dark chocolate with almonds each morning after breakfast with my tea (green or black). I use the excuse that dark choc is supposed to be healthy (antioxidants and all that jazz), but really I just like a little chocolate to start my day.
Haha - you should start that thread GiGi - it would be heaps of fun :)

I think you could also attribute part blame to reading just about every 'Far Side' cartoon I could get my hands on ...... some became life philosophies ! (as in "Hey! Look what Zog do!" :), and there were others that I just absolutely loved, like, the one where the Lions had just hunted and killed a photographer and were taking their 'trophy' snaps - "That's just not impressive Doris [referring to holding open the man's tiny jaws and teeth] - the brain, hold up the big brain!" LOL ! Or the one where the hunters had a deer tied to the bonnet of their car, and then that (along with just deer, and hunter skeletons) was tied to a flying saucer as a trophy for the two aliens inside ! :) , or the one with the mama bear with a pile of bones in the cave, and two hunters skulls on each hand, telling a bedtime story to her cubs in a cave - "Ok, one more time and then it's off to bed for the both of you - Hey Jim do ya think there's any big ol' bears in this cave? I dunno Bob - lets go take a look !" ROTFLMAO !! Love it !

I was thinking of the "Thagomizer" as inspiration for those models. Lol. I was doing a search on the net for the 'Thagmeister' cartoon, and came across this post I made a bit over a year ago. Hahaha - good fun ! :) https://www.birdforum.net/showpost.p...9&postcount=28

After buying about 2kg of various chocolate on special (Chewy Caramel Tim Tams, Picnic Bars, Maltesers, and Dark Milk family blocks) - I tried to ration it until the end of January - about 30grams a day ...... so far over the last few weeks it's been about 90grams a day - usually with painkillers to help them work (and that's not even counting a daily iced coffee!) ...... going to try to make it to New Year's 'cold turkey' .....

I reckon I will have to call on about 3 apples a day :)



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Old Tuesday 18th December 2018, 13:14   #33
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Far Side was great! I read those all the time and had the page a day desk calendar for work one year.

I try to eat a small apple a day. I like to buy the little ones. The huge ones are too much apple.

I'll get this thread back on track with my advice pet peeve:

When someone narrows down their choices to just 2 or 3 makes/models and they get
overwhelmed with a ton of responses suggesting completely different ones and even totally different
configurations. This is just too much especially for people new to optics. This happened to me as a newbie.
For example, Post#1 begins with a few 8x30/32 for light hikes and ends up with full size, heavier bins...totally off the mark. Or, a price range is given and responses are something like "for just a couple hundred more you can get a Whistler StarVoyager 10x42 HD DD ... I know you said 8x , but I find 10x to be better for blah blah blah.
I just remember being overwhelmed the first time I asked for shopping advice and I see these type threads with new people that devolve into a mess of unrelated suggestions.
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Old Tuesday 18th December 2018, 14:22   #34
Chosun Juan
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Lightbulb

GiGi, Yes, the dreaded fanboi 'pump' and paralysis by analysis!

Conversely, sometimes there are gems of wisdom in there that we are just too naive (blinkered) to recognize.

I remember my initial enquiry about a good value/ budget 10x42.

Ronh suggested the Nikon SE 10x42 which I let go through to the keeper, due to a narrow Fov, and higher than desired price, and a bit more than desired CA. The value for money of such a quality instrument just didn't register amongst the noise and specs of lesser bins, and the thought (still unfulfilled) that surely someone would make the holy grail bin. Sorry Ronh ! :)

Had I listened to that advice I would have had a high quality instrument (for a pretty reasonable price back then), which I would have kept, treasured, and likely hot rodded to end up with a fine (if narrow Fov) keeper instrument.

As it was I ended up in a somewhat different place with the 8x43 Zen-Ray ED3 , gaining quite a few good points in the process, but losing 1 or 2 others. Overall the 8x is much more versatile (as several advised), and I am pretty happy - besides, it's cheap enough to just be tossed in the car as a "Beater Bin" (a term I believe you coined ! :)

Swings and Roundabouts ...... what's more important is the goodwill of the good folk here :)




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Old Tuesday 18th December 2018, 15:37   #35
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Originally Posted by Chosun Juan View Post
GiGi, Yes, the dreaded fanboi 'pump' and paralysis by analysis!

Conversely, sometimes there are gems of wisdom in there that we are just too naive (blinkered) to recognize.

I remember my initial enquiry about a good value/ budget 10x42.

Ronh suggested the Nikon SE 10x42 which I let go through to the keeper, due to a narrow Fov, and higher than desired price, and a bit more than desired CA. The value for money of such a quality instrument just didn't register amongst the noise and specs of lesser bins, and the thought (still unfulfilled) that surely someone would make the holy grail bin. Sorry Ronh ! :)

Had I listened to that advice I would have had a high quality instrument (for a pretty reasonable price back then), which I would have kept, treasured, and likely hot rodded to end up with a fine (if narrow Fov) keeper instrument.

As it was I ended up in a somewhat different place with the 8x43 Zen-Ray ED3 , gaining quite a few good points in the process, but losing 1 or 2 others. Overall the 8x is much more versatile (as several advised), and I am pretty happy - besides, it's cheap enough to just be tossed in the car as a "Beater Bin" (a term I believe you coined ! :)

Swings and Roundabouts ...... what's more important is the goodwill of the good folk here :)




Chosun
You've had your ZR ED3 for quite a while now, so it has served you very well

Yeah there's definitely some gem advice that new people may gloss over due to perhaps getting caught up in 'latest and greatest' thinking. I'm sure I did that.

In retrospect, I should have kept using my cheap 6x30 Leupold porro and 8x32 Katmai roof until I saved up for a top tier 32mm binocular; then move to the 7x42 after getting eyeglasses keeping both the top 32 and 42. Instead, I went through many binoculars before getting the right fit for me. Part of that was just wanting to try a bunch of binos for fun and part OCD type behavior. I did waste money, but I shouldn't really feel too regretful. I like bins and got to try a bunch of good ones.

If you click on this link you may be an addict ...

www.whistleroptics.com

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Old Tuesday 18th December 2018, 16:05   #36
Chosun Juan
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You've had your ZR ED3 for quite a while now, so it has served you very well

Yeah there's definitely some gem advice that new people may gloss over due to perhaps getting caught up in 'latest and greatest' thinking. I'm sure I did that.

In retrospect, I should have kept using my cheap 6x30 Leupold porro and 8x32 Katmai roof until I saved up for a top tier 32mm binocular; then move to the 7x42 after getting eyeglasses keeping both the top 32 and 42. Instead, I went through many binoculars before getting the right fit for me. Part of that was just wanting to try a bunch of binos for fun and part OCD type behavior. I did waste money, but I shouldn't really feel too regretful. I like bins and got to try a bunch of good ones.

If you click on this link you may be an addict ...

www.whistleroptics.com

Yeah, about ~7 years now, though, one of my favourite things about my Zens is that they're "Beater Bins" , and after all this time I'm fine with that. They haven't even had objective covers for a few years, and just leaving them in the car is super convenient. That's not something I would have picked at the start of the journey! :) Tbh, I find all other bins have their compromises too, which for ~10x the price doesn't compel me to change, or add.

The Nikon MHG has come out and feels just about equally great in the hand, is very well put together, and has great specs - I will need to study the view a bit more - so there's an upgrade path available to most of what I was after. They would have to be treated a whole lot better though, as would any other 'alpha' .

If you add up any money 'lost' through flipping through bins, and divide by the number of days you had them for, then the small daily matter of cents it amounts to is a small pice to pay. Just think of it as very cheap rental.

Well ...... I clicked on the link - but it wouldn't display --- so I guess I really am an addict ! :)



Chosun

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Old Tuesday 18th December 2018, 16:17   #37
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Yeah, about ~7 years now, though, one of my favourite things about my Zens is that they're "Beater Bins" , and after all this time I'm fine with that. They haven't even had objective covers for a few years, and just leaving them in the car is super convenient. That's not something I would have picked at the start of the journey! :) Tbh, I find all other bins have their compromises too, which for ~10x the price doesn't compel me to change, or add.

The Nikon MHG has come out and feels just about equally great in the hand, is very well put together, and has great specs - I will need to study the view a bit more - so there's an upgrade path available to most of what I was after. They would have to be treated a whole lot better though, as would any other 'alpha' .

If you add up any money 'lost' through flipping through bins, and divide by the number of days you had them for, then the small daily matter of cents it amounts to is a small pice to pay. Just think of it as very cheap rental.

Well ...... I clicked on the link - but it wouldn't display --- so I guess I really am an addict ! :)



Chosun
Yes, you were excited to view the Whistler StarVoyager 10x42 HD DD (referenced in post 33) which I made up ...

Whistler Optics is not a real company so sorry

btw ... I don't think I coined 'beater bin' b/c the word 'beater' is used in general for cars and other things of little-value that you don't mind getting dented or messed up.
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