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Binoculars ideas (1 Viewer)

Rufus1401

Well-known member
Wales
Hi All,
So I have a pair of Zomz 7x50 USSR binos from 1976 and a pair of 16x70 Fujinon Polaris which I will never part with. I am looking for a pair of wearable binos which are weather proof, especially rain, and excellent for scanning. At the moment, based on my current possessions, I am looking at a pair of Fujinon FMTR SX2 Polaris 7x50. I am open to suggestions. Thanks.
 
Can you be a bit more specific on the type of (scanning) viewing you will be doing, from a boat? or stationary or on the move? Are you open to center focus roof prisms.
 
Not sure I'd consider the Fujinon 7x50 (which I own) as a good choice for a "wearable" bino for daytime use. 1.4kg is just a bit much even though I have used them for short hikes wearing the strap across the shoulder (but I put a better strap on them as the original that came with the bino is too flimsy).
For "scanning" something like the wide angle Kowa 6.5x32 BDII might be nice but some people don't like the field curvature and blurry edges.
I do like my military binos like the IOR 7x40 or Komz 7x30 but those are not that lightweight either and have a yellow tint due to the missing blue wavelengths (a feature not a bug). The IOR is much more yellow than the Komz. I will be getting one of those old 7x40 Zeiss NVA binos one day. But those have a rather narrow FoV.
A simple Nikon Action EX 7x35 would probably work but I'm reluctant to recommend those as I think the coatings are not up to modern standards. But their scanning behavior is rather civilized. Less curvature than the Kowa.
 
I live in probably the wettest part of the UK. A twenty minute walk an I am in the hills with a two to three mile view in most directions. A half an hour walk and I have twenty to thirty mile viewing radius. Plenty of wildlife and birds including buzzards and Kites. I am looking for something that will firstly stand up to the damp conditions (that’s where my Zomz fall down as much as I like them) and also that I can take out and do a swift view of the surrounding landscape/tree tops etc to see if there is anything of interest and make use of the lovely views across the Bristol Channel. That’s where the 16x70 Fujinons come into their own, but they are just a little hefty to take on the longer hikes. Would also like them to be built like a tank in case I drop em.
 
And the ever-present question …….. how much are you willing to spend?

You mention “to see if there is anything of interest” what do you do next if your hypothetical binoculars show such an item?

I guess I’m having trouble grasping just what it is that you are about, so I guess I’m not going to be of much help here.
 
That sounds like an excellent view. I went on a bike camping tour up in your neck of the woods a couple of years back. I suppose your in the rare position where centre focus isn't as necessary as it is for most. Have you considered the 10x50 fmtr sx2? There's this one on eBay at present with a couple of tripods thrown in - fujinon binoculars 10x50 FMTR-SX | eBay.

The 10x mag will get you a bit closer to those raptors and the tripods will help with stability. I find larger objectives in good daylight do give a slight increase in resolution which is more noticeable at longer ranges. I suppose it depends how much weight your prepared to lift up the hills!
 
And the ever-present question …….. how much are you willing to spend?

You mention “to see if there is anything of interest” what do you do next if your hypothetical binoculars show such an item?

I guess I’m having trouble grasping just what it is that you are about, so I guess I’m not going to be of much help here.
Probably spend up to £1000 if it’s a good deal. We do have some lovely raptors in the hills, which sometimes you can spot on a tree top or pylon. Sometimes if lucky, there are deer. If there is time, get the spotting scope on it.
 
I'd head down to ace optics, i believe they have an excellent selection to try and are local to you, I've dealt with them in the past with no complaints. It's unusual to have such a good optics retailer so close by.
 
I would buy these new Leica Trinovid BA 10x50 from Japan. These are tough as nails, very waterproof, and they have superb optics. perfect for the UK! They are more convenient than the Fujinon because they have center focusing instead of IF.

 
At the moment I’m seriously looking at Nikon Monarch 5 20x56, Vortex Razor HD 18x56, Vortex Kaibab 18x56, Leupold BX5 15x56, a used pair of Vortex Vulture 15x56, and possibly Swarovski SLC 15x56. Please feel free to shoot down any of the above.
 
If you have the Fujinon 16X70, I’m having trouble understanding why you are looking at high magnification, large aperture glass.

What am I not understanding?
 
At the moment I’m seriously looking at Nikon Monarch 5 20x56, Vortex Razor HD 18x56, Vortex Kaibab 18x56, Leupold BX5 15x56, a used pair of Vortex Vulture 15x56, and possibly Swarovski SLC 15x56. Please feel free to shoot down any of the above.
None of the above is a significant improvement over your Fuji.
You want less heft, but also a 'tank like' build and more power. That can't be done with a binocular afaik.
The logical solution for you is a draw scope such as the Swaro CTC 75 (see: CTC 30x75 question? )
or something similar with 18-45 zoom from Zeiss (only twice your budget). There are lower price options from Optolyth and Meopta, with Meopta probably better quality, except they apparently have just decided to get out of sports optics.
Your fallback is the Canon 15x or 18x50 IS, the image stabilization allows for tripod like seeing without the hassle of a tripod. Again priced above your budget, but they really work very well. I have the 10x42, most capable birding glass that I know of, the IS transforms the viewing.
 
At the moment I’m seriously looking at Nikon Monarch 5 20x56, Vortex Razor HD 18x56, Vortex Kaibab 18x56, Leupold BX5 15x56, a used pair of Vortex Vulture 15x56, and possibly Swarovski SLC 15x56. Please feel free to shoot down any of the above.
The SLC 15x56 is no doubt the best, but it is going to be expensive. I would stay away from the 18x and above, especially the Nikon. The optics have to be superb to handle that much magnification. I don't think you can beat the value/performance ratio of the Vortex Viper HD 15x50 if you are looking for a 15x. It is better than the Vulture and the Leupold IMO. The Razor is a little better, but I don't think it is worth the difference in price. I I would go either with the SLC 15x56 if your budget allows, or I would get the Vortex Viper HD 15x50.

 
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