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Budget binocular advice (1 Viewer)

My dad loves bird watching and I would like to get him a pair for Christmas. My budget is low at around £100, but given he uses a freebie National trust pair at the moment I’m hoping my small budget will still get him something better!

Criteria I’m looking at
Around £100 mark
Lightweight
Suitable for glasses wearers
Day time bird watching

Ive been looking at buying guides and found these 2 that could be suitable but would welcome thoughts/opinions on these and any others that you think could be suitable

Celestron 71332 Nature DX 8x42 BaK-4 prism

Steiner Safari UltraSharp 8x22 binoculars

Thank you in advance for looking and any advice you can offer
 
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PhilR.

Well-known member
I have tried several compact Steiners, and they performed very poorly. Mediocre optics, and horrible focus wheels. I would most certainly say to stay away from any small Steiner.

I haven't used the Celestron. Hopefully someone will come along who has used them.

Are Kowa or Opticron binos available to you?
 

jring

Well-known member
Hi,

Opticron Savannah WP in 6x30 or 8x30 would be only slightly over budget - depending on age of dad, the 6x might be a better choice as it is easier to hold steady... and has 3 mm more eye relief for use with glasses (although the 8x version also has a quite generous 18mm).

Joachim
 

dwatsonbirder

Well-known member
Hi,

Opticron Savannah WP in 6x30 or 8x30 would be only slightly over budget - depending on age of dad, the 6x might be a better choice as it is easier to hold steady... and has 3 mm more eye relief for use with glasses (although the 8x version also has a quite generous 18mm).

Joachim
An excellent suggest from Joachim, here is a pair within budget.

I'd recommend Opticron products within your budget, as they are well built, have good optics and the company have a good reputation.
Here are a few suitable options (long eye relief for people who wear glasses) within your budget:

The Birders Store are also great to deal with.

A final option are the Nikon Action series, again available within budget:


Good luck, and I'm sure your father will be delighted with whatever you buy for him!
 
I have tried several compact Steiners, and they performed very poorly. Mediocre optics, and horrible focus wheels. I would most certainly say to stay away from any small Steiner.

I haven't used the Celestron. Hopefully someone will come along who has used them.

Are Kowa or Opticron binos available to you?
Thank you for your advice about smaller Steiner binoculars- I used a pair on holiday recently and thought they were great, but it was a higher end pair. I assumed the quality would flow through the range so your advice is really useful thank you!

Kowa and Opticron do seem to be available- are there any particular Kowa models in my price range you have used and recommend?
 
An excellent suggest from Joachim, here is a pair within budget.

I'd recommend Opticron products within your budget, as they are well built, have good optics and the company have a good reputation.
Here are a few suitable options (long eye relief for people who wear glasses) within your budget:

The Birders Store are also great to deal with.

A final option are the Nikon Action series, again available within budget:


Good luck, and I'm sure your father will be delighted with whatever you buy for him!
Thank you for your advice! I really appreciate it! I’ll take a look through these models and read some reviews and see which might be the most suitable. Opticron definitely sound like a range in my budget!
 
Hi,

Opticron Savannah WP in 6x30 or 8x30 would be only slightly over budget - depending on age of dad, the 6x might be a better choice as it is easier to hold steady... and has 3 mm more eye relief for use with glasses (although the 8x version also has a quite generous 18mm).

Joachim
Thank you for the advice, esp on eye relief. It wasn’t something I had really thought about until I started reading more advice and buying guides. I’ll take a look at the opticron savannah models :)
 

yarrellii

Well-known member
Supporter
A quick note I hope you find useful regarding two binoculars that have been recommended (great recommendations IMHO). Both models would be on my shortlist.
The Opticron Savanna (whether 6 or 8x30) must be really great (I have not used that particular model, but its siblings from Kowa or Vixen are among my favourite entry-level binoculars and the ones that I always recommend, and have given them as a present in several occasions to friends and relatives. It's a winning bet). I also find the Nikon 7x35 Action EX to be just mind-blowing for the price. The field of view of the Nikon is incredible, and the sharpness on axis and 3-D view are impressive for the price to say the least (so is the steadiness and depth of field that come with 7x). However, these two binoculars could not be more different in one area (this is were I hope my comment could be helpful).
The Savanna 6x30 is quite small and really very light: 480 g and 116 x 160 x 40 cm (height, width, depth).
The Nikon Action EX 7x35 is pretty chunky and heavy at 800 g and 120 x 184 x 62 cm

So, I would definitely factor these data and your dad's size (Does he have big hands? Is he big/small?) because a really nice device (either of these are, I'd say the Nikon is one level above the Savanna) can be a ruined experience if they don't fit a person's characteristics. Say, the Savanna can even feel toyish and too light (with a shaky image) if your hands are very large, and on the other hand the 7x35 Action EX can feel a tad too bulky and heavy for smallish hands or someone less fit. I'm of medium size hands and the EX was on the limit for me as my daily binoculars (I couldn't "singlehand" it). On the other hand, they were just perfect for stationary observations (balcony, window, hide, car, etc.).

Either of those will make your dad really very happy, I'm sure :)
 
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jring

Well-known member
Hi,

the Kowa models Phil probably had in mind are the 6x30 and 8x30 from the YF series... close brethren of the Opticron Savannah...

Take whichever model is easier and/or cheaper to get. The YF might be on sale as Kowa seems to have introduced the YF II series...

PS: On eye relief - most interesting specification for users who use binoculars with glasses - ignore otherwise.

Joachim
 
Last edited:
A quick note I hope you find useful regarding two binoculars that have been recommended (great recommendations IMHO). Both models would be on my shortlist.
The Opticron Savanna (whether 6 or 8x30) must be really great (I have not used that particular model, but its siblings from Kowa or Vixen are among my favourite entry-level binoculars and the ones that I always recommend, and have given them as a present in several occasions to friends and relatives. It's a winning bet). I also find the Nikon 7x35 Action EX to be just mind-blowing for the price. The field of view of the Nikon is incredible, and the sharpness on axis and 3-D view are impressive for the price to say the least (so is the steadiness and depth of field that come with 7x). However, these two binoculars could not be more different in one area (this is were I hope my comment could be helpful).
The Savanna 6x30 is quite small and really very light: 480 g and 116 x 160 x 40 cm (height, width, depth).
The Nikon Action EX 7x35 is pretty chunky and heavy at 800 g and 120 x 184 x 62 cm

So, I would definitely factor these data and your dad's size (Does he have big hands? Is he big/small?) because a really nice device (either of these are, I'd say the Nikon is one level above the Savanna) can be a ruined experience if they don't fit a person's characteristics. Say, the Savanna can even feel toyish and too light (with a shaky image) if your hands are very large, and on the other hand the 7x35 Action EX can feel a tad too bulky and heavy for smallish hands or someone less fit. I'm of medium size hands and the EX was on the limit for me as my daily binoculars (I couldn't "singlehand" it). On the other hand, they were just perfect for stationary observations (balcony, window, hide, car, etc.).

Either of those will make your dad really very happy, I'm sure :)
Thank you for your message and advice - weight and size is important as I know my dad just won’t take them out walking with him if they are too big and clunky. For a day trip he might have a backpack but otherwise they would be round his neck. The size and weight of the Savannah look like they could be a good fit along with the Opticron 8x32 - I’ll have a look and compare
Thank you again!
 
Hi,

the Kowa models Phil probably had in mind are the 6x30 and 8x30 from the YF series... close brethren of the Opticron Savannah...

Take whichever model is easier and/or cheaper to get. The YF might be on sale as Kowa seems to have introduced the YF II series...

PS: On eye relief - most interesting specification for users who use binoculars with glasses - ignore otherwise.

Joachim
That’s good to know thank you! It’s always great being able to pick up a slightly older model for a better price than a brand new one. I’m hoping Black Friday will help my budget too!
I’ll take a look at the Kowa YF range. Thank you!
 

mr-b

New member
United Kingdom
Hi - hope you don't mind me jumping in, but I recently got the Olympus 10 x 50 DPS 1 (currently £60 at Argos). The Olympus was a revelation compared to some old 12 x 50 binocs as the image was so much brighter and clearer with a large field of view and an impressive 3D image, and importantly none of the periodic encroaching tunnel effect that seems to plague other binocs I've used (though I must admit I'm a newbie and I've not seen any explanations of this).

I also tried out the Celestron 71336 Nature DX 10x42 as they were recommended elsewhere. Being roof prism it's is much more compact than the Olympus which is very handy, the captive lens caps are very useful but the field of view isn't a wide as the Olympus. Also occasionally I've seen some odd yellow/green fringing on straight edges of objects against the sky. I've no idea what this could be and I was surprised as the Celestron on paper is a better spec (multi coated lenses, Bak4 prisms) than the Olympus. Is this a known optical fault, and is it worth exchanging them?
 

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