Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!
Zeiss - Always on the lookout for something special – Shop now

Welcome to BirdForum.
BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE! You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Cheap optics, anyone tried them - any good/bad experiences

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread
Old Tuesday 16th May 2006, 10:24   #1
sammyboy
Registered User

 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Staffordshire, UK
Posts: 312
Cheap optics, anyone tried them - any good/bad experiences

Ever been tempted by those cheap main street department store bins, or those ruby-coated 'day and night active' binoculars you see at temptingly cheap prices on Ebay? Thought I'd see what experiences people have had with cheap binoculars/scopes.

In a couple of more impulsive moments recently, I've bought a cheap pair of 'ruby' coated 10x50 bins, no manufacturer name, and a pair of 7x35 fixed focus ones, both for about the 10 mark. Both will probably be sold again soon as I have far too many pairs of binocs and hopefully going on honeymoon next month so need all the money I can get!

The fixed focus model cost 8.51, of which 8.50 made up the postage charge! (though he only spent about 2.50 on postage ) These, perhaps unsurprisingly were rather disappointing. I'm not sure if it's because I wear glasses or simply cheapo nasty optics! Whatever I'm looking at always seems ever so slightly fuzzy or out of focus, looking through my Olympus DPS-R 8x40s resolves things a lot better, even the cheap 10x50s are better! Needless to say they're probably going back on Ebay soon!

The 10x50s aren't actually too bad! The image does have a rather blueish tinge due to the coatings, but are quite sharp and bright, despite the only coating being the red one on the objectives. Though I can't get the 'foldable' rubber eyecups to fold down! Still a pretty good field of view though.

So, anyone else succumbed to the tempation? What were your experiences? Did you find a 10 pair that worked surprisingly well, or did they take flying lessons out the nearest window? Also, ever looked at the description of one of these cheap pairs on Ebay, and had a laugh at the 'RRP' of 99, 'night active' optics or any of the other guff they come out with?
sammyboy is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 16th May 2006, 11:14   #2
richt
Registered User

 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Hull
Posts: 256
Quote:
Originally Posted by sammyboy
Ever been tempted by those cheap main street department store bins, or those ruby-coated 'day and night active' binoculars you see at temptingly cheap prices on Ebay? Thought I'd see what experiences people have had with cheap binoculars/scopes.

In a couple of more impulsive moments recently, I've bought a cheap pair of 'ruby' coated 10x50 bins, no manufacturer name, and a pair of 7x35 fixed focus ones, both for about the 10 mark. Both will probably be sold again soon as I have far too many pairs of binocs and hopefully going on honeymoon next month so need all the money I can get!

The fixed focus model cost 8.51, of which 8.50 made up the postage charge! (though he only spent about 2.50 on postage ) These, perhaps unsurprisingly were rather disappointing. I'm not sure if it's because I wear glasses or simply cheapo nasty optics! Whatever I'm looking at always seems ever so slightly fuzzy or out of focus, looking through my Olympus DPS-R 8x40s resolves things a lot better, even the cheap 10x50s are better! Needless to say they're probably going back on Ebay soon!

The 10x50s aren't actually too bad! The image does have a rather blueish tinge due to the coatings, but are quite sharp and bright, despite the only coating being the red one on the objectives. Though I can't get the 'foldable' rubber eyecups to fold down! Still a pretty good field of view though.

So, anyone else succumbed to the tempation? What were your experiences? Did you find a 10 pair that worked surprisingly well, or did they take flying lessons out the nearest window? Also, ever looked at the description of one of these cheap pairs on Ebay, and had a laugh at the 'RRP' of 99, 'night active' optics or any of the other guff they come out with?
Hi

I think there are various posts regarding both Bresser and Meade 10 x 50 "cheap" Lidl binoculars on this forum and others
Basically one of the low cost supermarkets Lidl in UK have sold these at various intervals over the last year or so
Of course there is sample variation and they sell out quickly at 9.99 and 14.99 but if you can check a pair for yourself and look through them first these are very very good for the price of as few beers
The Bressers have twist up eyecups which some prefer but both models have a very sharp and relatively wide view for a 10 x
They are actually nearer a 10 x 40 as there is an internal stop in the binoculars and are fully coated in a blueish tinge
For the life of me i cannot quite understand how they perform so clearly and well in low light but i have compared both models to very high quality binoculars in different circumstances and these binoculars are not disgraced by any means image wise
They come with case,strap and all covers and though the build quality will vary and ultimately the Nikon SE's etc of the world are brighter and suffer less reflections under trying conditions these are a bargain providing you can check a pair over
I believe there are also some very good 10 x 42 waterproof roofs from 7 day shop available for just a few pounds more which some folk state are as good if not better than these porro's
Either way both variations are tremendous value being far better image wise than the usual "basement specials"
Really great as spares because at the price its not the end of the world if they are lost damaged or just fall apart after a few years

Regards
Rich
richt is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 16th May 2006, 11:30   #3
kmiernik
8x32, 8x40, 8.5x44
 
kmiernik's Avatar

 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Poland
Posts: 48
I have such ruby coated cheap "Russia" binos. I've bought them just for fun (price 30 PLN = 5). There's a sign "25x60" but I haven't discovered yet what it's describing. I've measured lenses and they have 45 mm and the exit pupil has 6.5 mm. Which means my binoculars are something like 7x45 which makes them almost night binoculars. The ruby coating gives that blueish mist everywhere. Image quality is satisfactory only in the very center of view. In something like 1/4 of it gets blurry and dark. In the edges distortion and darkening is really huge.

Those binos seems to be very light (much ligter than my roof 8x32 which have around 0.6 kg). I suppose they are made of plastic. On the front of objective lenses there is extremly stupid sign "Made In Russia" (who writes things on lenses!). These letters are made in the coatings and you cannot get rid of them. Touching oculars results in changing focus. Touching anything results in impression that those binoculars may fall into pieces in any moment.

Looking through them leaves feeling that you have squint. It's that they are not well colimated (I mean each eye is looking in slightly different direction). You can see this more clearly: while looking through them start slowly pushing them away until 20 cm. In good binoculars there is still the same image in every ocular. In bad colimated binos you get two different.

Oh, I forgot that there is a small compass. The way it works is a summary of everything. It is showing random direction as it's just kind of a plastic arrow in a water.
kmiernik is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 16th May 2006, 11:56   #4
sammyboy
Registered User

 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Staffordshire, UK
Posts: 312
@kmiernik, I think I've seen those binos on Ebay, they don't sound too good!

Mind you, I think the collimation on my 10x50s is ever so slightly out, I don't get double images, though I can feel my eye muscles and brain compensating for a slight misalignment. The image does get a bit blurry at the edges of sight, but it isn't too distracting.

Little tip by the way for your miscollimation, try slightly unscrewing one of the objective lens tubes whilst looking through the bins. Don't worry, there should be plenty left on the thread to stop the objective wobbling about or falling off. You should be able to get the image to converge properly within half a turn or so. If they get further apart, screw it back in and try with the other objective tube. Stick a little mark on the tube and the body of the binoculars when you've found the right spot so you can find it easily if it moves! Cheap and cheerful re-collimation
sammyboy is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 16th May 2006, 12:05   #5
Tero
Retired
 
Tero's Avatar

 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 8,557
The Meades can be useable, but you have to see the individual pair. No zooms!
__________________
humorblog
http://esabirdsne.blogspot.com/
Last in ABA list: 373 short-billed dowitcher
Tero is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2005 2006 2007 2018 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Tuesday 16th May 2006, 12:22   #6
eetundra
Registered User

 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Manitoba
Posts: 198
Even an $5 binocular can get you on birds, and that is really the point of the hobby anyhow. The next fifteen hundred dollars is personal preference.
eetundra is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 16th May 2006, 13:56   #7
FrankD
Registered User
 
FrankD's Avatar

 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Eastern Pennsylvania
Posts: 8,421
I bought a pair of Alpen roof prism compacts last year when visiting the local "Hawk Mountain". They were selling for about $20 US. Eye relief is, ofcourse, on the short side and it seems there is a bit of an amount of uneven distortion between barrels but the image is not that bad. Center field resolution is fairly decent with a fair amount of distortion in the outer 1/3rd to 1/2 of the image. Color rendition is fair. Not bad for the price especially when you consider that I bought them for my 4 year old son.
FrankD is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 16th May 2006, 14:35   #8
kmiernik
8x32, 8x40, 8.5x44
 
kmiernik's Avatar

 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Poland
Posts: 48
I won't play collimation game with this binoculars. It would be waste of time and I'm not sure if I can unscrew something there. I belive everything is glued. I wouldn't give those "25x60" to children. This plastic is surely toxic. And binos would not survive more than 5 minutes.

You can consider buying them only as kind of joke.

eetundra: Starting birdwatching with those plastic rubbish wouldn't be nice and I'm happy I could start with something completely different. Now I have three other binoculars and a scope.

You can buy quite nice and usable binoculars for 50-60$ (e.g Nikon Action 8x40 or 7x35). And that's the lowest price for reasonable binoculars. Usually all below is a simple rubbish.
kmiernik is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 16th May 2006, 22:54   #9
sammyboy
Registered User

 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Staffordshire, UK
Posts: 312
Sounds like those cheap bins you have kmiernik are about ready for the bin! :p

I'll have to at least have a look through some of the high quality bins from someone like Zeiss or Leica and compare that to what i get out of my cheap optics, or my current 'best' pair of Olympus binoculars.
sammyboy is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 18th May 2006, 14:49   #10
eliaszuniga
Registered User

 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Long Beach, CA USA
Posts: 25
eetundra, I agree...

Quote:
Originally Posted by eetundra
Even an $5 binocular can get you on birds, and that is really the point of the hobby anyhow. The next fifteen hundred dollars is personal preference.
My 9 year old got started birding with $10 compact Barska's and had a fun time with them for 6 months regardless, until I actually looked through them and couldn't believe how horrible they were. Now I've upgraded him to $50 Nikon Sportstars that he loves even more....
eliaszuniga is offline  
Reply With Quote
Advertisement
Reply


Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Musings from a beginner re two cheap spotting scopes downunder Spotting Scopes & tripod/heads 1 Friday 28th April 2006 18:22
Nikon Action 7x35 (non-EX) - cheap or inexpensive? Sout Fork Nikon 4 Tuesday 25th April 2006 13:46
Eagle Optics brand bins? FrankD Vortex 14 Friday 17th February 2006 16:49
Help me choose a cheap digital camera swamp_rattler Cameras And Photography 0 Wednesday 21st December 2005 14:19
Leica Trinovids? Bill A Leica 45 Sunday 5th June 2005 11:20

{googleads}

Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Help support BirdForum

Page generated in 0.13169789 seconds with 22 queries
All times are GMT. The time now is 23:35.