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Help buying Binoculars Please (1 Viewer)


Help please in providing advice for bins for my sister

Hi folks. My mum wants to buy my sister (aged 31) a pair of general purpose bino's for Christmas. By that I mean a pair that she can use for birdwatching which she does at home in Switzerland, and here in the UK when she visits, and also for general use when out walking in the countryside. She overlooks Lake Geneva lucky thing. Last year she had a bad experience with another pair being very difficult to use. They were also a present and were returned I believe.

Mum and I visited Minsmere shop yesterday and had a look at several brands and the best for the money seemed to be the viking BG. PC at around £342. Having read some of the bino threads on here, it seems one should be a bit circumspect with any advice saying "Go for this brand or that model" because none of us are made the same and so the shape of eye sockets and the face and our ages all can affect how we get on with the bins. To confuse matters, I found a thread on BF which suggested that the 'Viking WPG' at around half the price of the Viking BG.PC's was actually better than the BG.PC and might be worth trying out. I would like to suggest perhaps one of the latest 'Zen ED's' made in China but don't think my mum would want to go down that road because of things having to be sent far away for repair in the event. I think she would want to be able to go direct to the point of purchase, ie, the RSPB shop.

1.What would your advice be?
2.Should we take sis along to a shop and get her to try out?
3.What is your opinion of Viking optics generally and the company's after sales service?
4.Do the binos mentioned represent good value? Are there others she could try up to this price range?

Thanks in advance.


Porros give good value for the money, but weight is an issue. See what 8x42 roof prisms are available. Phase coating should be listed in features.


Registered User

Take her to the shop and let her choose. She will get the ones that she likes - not a pair that you think she will like or a pair that someone on this forum likes. The RSPB shop will have a selection of bins of various makes that she could try, she might even like cheaper ones than the ones you have mentioned. However, be prepared for her to prefer something considerably more expensive (!). If you have a budget do not let her try anything over it - sods law is that those will be the ones she wants and if she tries a Swarovski, Zeiss, Leica or Nikon HG then you can all but guarentee that she will want one! I would have to suggest that she tries the RSPB's own range, thay are really good value for money. Good luck.



Thanks Paul and Tero for the advice. Seems to follow that I am on the right track. Will get her to the shop around Christmas.

Thanks Paul and Tero for the advice. Seems to follow that I am on the right track. Will get her to the shop around Christmas.


Hi Julian,

if you don't mind making a longer jouney, come up to Norfolk and visit Cley Spy in Glandford. They have an enormous range of binoculars. I've never seen such variety under one roof anyway.
Very knowledgable and helpful staff too.

I have no connection with them other than being a happy customer, by the way.

They're very near Cley NWT reserve for some top birding with your new purchase. Or any number of other top birding sites for that matter.

All the best,

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