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Feel the intensity, not your equipment. Maximum image quality. Minimum weight. The new ZEISS SFL, up to 30% less weight than comparable competitors.

8x42 or 10x42 Binoculars under £400. Any suggestions? (1 Viewer)


Always finding a way to go off topic...
United Kingdom
Hi all, I currently own a cheapy pair of binoculars which my mum got off of Amazon at £50. These binoculars are good to handle and generally produce a nice image, but there is a lot of chromatic aberration, which can only really be expected at that price range. I am looking for a pair of binoculars that are under £400, which produce a nice sharp image with little Chromatic Aberration (CA). I do not mind the weight aspect, but I would like them to be less than 1kg, and to come with a lanyard. I do not have a specific brand that I am after. I would like them to be either 8x42 or 10x42; the binoculars I currently own are 10x42, but I am unsure if 8x42 would be better here. I do not carry a scope with me, it's usually just the camera and bins combo, so perhaps 10x42 is better for me. Any suggestions greatly appreciated.

Kind regards,
If the 10x42 works for you, get a 10x42. I prefer lower magnifications in general. So I'd use an 8x42 but that is personal preference.
A good cheap bino would be an Opticron Adventurer T WP porro in 8x32 for example. It also comes in 8x40. IMHO it is better than something like a Nikon Action EX. The Opticron Adventurer has better coatings and a more neutral color rendition. The Nikon AE has a greenish tint to the image. Only slight but it's there.
For cheap roof prism models with little CA I like the Fujinon KF series but I think they are no longer made. They were manufactured by Kenko in the Philippines.
Similar models were also sold under the Sightron brand name:

The Celestron Regal would be another good option. I looked through it in a store. Pretty nice but I didn't test it for longer as I bought a Kowa BDII XD in the end.
The Regal has field flatteners which some people like.
Not sure where your nearest optics shop will be but my suggestion would be to go there and try stuff out. Almost certainly worth making a special journey to find the right binoculars (and avoid the wrong ones !). Make sure they are comfortable in your hands and can be adjusted comfortably for your eyes.

If you want to support the RSPB go to one of their reserves with a shop and try their Harrier X range as they fall into your price range. Granted, they might not be a good fit but worth checking
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I can thoroughly recommend the GPO Passion ED binoculars and have found Stealth Birding, and their owner James, to be superb.

A bit above and a bit below your budget for the 10 and 8x42's but James has a very generous 60 days returns policy should the bino's not suit you. I have the 8 and 10x32 Passion ED's and both are cracking binoculars should you wish to go 'smaller'.

The advice above is spot on if you can visit either an optics shop or an RSPB reserve with a shop, but for many that is impossible and thus a retailer with an excellent returns policy is often the default means to purchase.

Best of luck sifting through the plethora of suggestions and recommendations that will follow!
If fancy a trip to the coast :
Hopefully the "cheapy" set has given valuable insight into your requirements regarding field of view, magnification and size and weight. Not sure though whether the latter two may be affected by intended camera upgrade. Seems sensitivity to CA is a badge of honour to photographers :cool:.
Ev, is warranty important? Some manufacturers limit their warranty to the original owner, while other brands assign the warranty to the optics. Just something to consider if you buy used.
Ev, is warranty important? Some manufacturers limit their warranty to the original owner, while other brands assign the warranty to the optics. Just something to consider if you buy used.
Uhhh, it would be useful to have some warranty especially if I dislike the binoculars, but it's not a major factor. Those Aurora 10x42's look lovely, just wondering how big they are in the hand because I don't want them to be too small.
Just wait till someone suggests, "Just save up a little and get an NL Pure" :ROFLMAO:

I'll top that: save a little bit more and get a Nikon WX :rolleyes:

More seriously: have a look at the Nikon Monarch 7, Zeiss Terra ED and Opticron Natura BGA ED. There are also several brands that are basically resellers of binoculars manufactured by Kamakura Koki of Japan that are usually decent.
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I can support the Nikon Monarch 7.

When we were looking for binoculars for my daughter, I let my Other Half, as an unbiased participant, decide

The Monarch 7 was the only one where she said “Wow!” as soon as she put it up to her eyes.

That was the one we bought.
I've just received my Bushnell Forge 8x42 today and I couldn't be happier.

I don't think there are many more options out there with similar optics & build quality at its price point.

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