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Help me Bird Forum, you're my only hope... new binoculars, £1000. UK. (1 Viewer)


Well-known member
Current binoculars
Hawke Endurance ED 10x42
Svbony SV202 8x32

I visited an RSPB site on Sunday and tried out the alpha binoculars. NL Pure 8x42 & 10x42, Noctivid 8x42 & 10x42 and Victory SF 8x42 & 10x42. All wonderful. Stunning! But at £2500, £1900, £2400 ish respectively, I simply don't think I'll ever benefit from them.

I've tried reading as much as I can. And know that most of you will tell me to buy alpha (probably correctly so).

I'm primarily a photographer, but do appreciate looking through binoculars occasionally.
I am a fairly early riser, so "decent" low light would be appreciated.
Still terribly torn on 8x42 and 10x42. Obviously the fov on the NL Pure is just great. But hey ho.

I don't want used binoculars. New only. Budget approximately £1000. Could be stretched a little.

Which brands and models should I be looking at/through?

Thank you in advance.
The Zeiss SFLs might be along the lines of what you’re after - I have the 10x40 SFLs - but they seem considerably above your price-point right now (though below ‘alpha’ pricing nonetheless).

I’m not sure Zeiss Conquests would be right for you, either - but maybe something like a Tract Toric or the Maven equivalent? FWIW, I have Toric 8x42s (earlier version than current) and thought they edged-out the equivalent Conquests at a lower price-point. But I don’t know how their direct sale, no dealer model would work with UK postage/import costs and rules.

Have you looked at Meopta? I’ve no personal experience but some say ‘good things’ about them.

I'm a fan of the Vortex Razor line. The HDs are selling new for about £1000 in some places, and they are very light and versatile binos. The new and bigger UHDs are more pricy, but have a bit more of an alpha build quality.

A Leica Ultravid HD or HD+ might be worth a look, too. Although that will certainly be more expensive.
If you'd consider ex-display: Ex Display Kahles Helia S 8x42 Binoculars

The Helia S (note the important S) are made by Swarovski and are rebadged SLC 8x42 / SLC10x42, but about £1200 if you don't want ex-display.

Much as I thought the Zeiss Conquest 8x32 were particularly good for the money, I wasn't so impressed with the 10's I tried - no idea about 8x42

Leica Trinovids are certainly worth lookin at. Too much CA for me, but otherwise they're very good binoculars.
For what its worth, I would still consider saving a little and buying the NLs.

Always buy the ones you really want, whatever they are, if that is at all possible. That's my motto.
Thank you all so far (too many to quote).

I had done some basic research on the Meopta, but seemingly tough to get hold of? The B1 Plus are available, but not really required. Any suggestions?

Other than that, SFLs or Trinovid or Razor HD?

I think the NL Pure will always be overkill for me. During a "session", they'd probably be on my eyes 5-10% of the time.
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Habicht 10x40 ga? Viraj has one in the classifieds thats as good as new with almost all the 10 year warranty left, spectacular view, probably best for the price.

Or zeiss victory pocket so it's not taking up too much size and weigh with the camera gear to carry as well - and is under budget.
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If you already have camera to lug around.
Something smaller like the CL companion 8x30 or Monarch HG 8x30 perhaps.
FWIW: what I actually use, carrying photo equipment and following birds in close country, are Maven B.3 6x30s. Small and light, easy to keep out of the way, a large real FOV (though not AFOV) and good for identifying and tracking birds ‘til I can get the long lens onto them. Good eye relief with glasses (which I use through the viewfinder too, and don’t want to be pushing up and down between camera and binocular views).

I don’t use my Mavens for much else, but I find them just the ticket for that.

You’ve already decided that you don’t want the best, so now you just have to deicide which compromises to accept.

There are many, many choices.

Happy hunting.
Since everybody always recommends his personal favourite, I will do, too.
Fujinon HC 8x42 would be my current favourite and recommendation.
Perfectly neutral color rendition, no "tint" whatsoever. Very good control of chromatic abberation. Super-sleek design. I love the haptics and ergonomics.
Excellent coatings and brightness.
One of the most affordable, made in Japan, roof prism models.
A few minor nit-picks: it suffers from "fuzzy field stop" syndrome. The hard field stop is slightly out of reach for me. But I have problems with many binos when it comes to eye relief as my eyes are deep set.
Eye cups can become rather cold in winter as they are metal with just a small rubber ring on top. But otherwise they are very comfy.
Sounds like you really don't use binoculars for your observations much, and you have two binoculars which likely do the job already. Perhaps if the want to spend $$ is there, is to spend it on something else related to your observations. Spending 1000 pounds can go for another camera lens/accessories as well.
I am about to order the 10x42 NL Pure having been totally smitten by the Swaro bug by a pair of 9 month old 7x42 Habichts I bought from Ace Optics last week. But as you asked about the sub £1000ish bino's may I thoroughly recommend the GPO Passion HD 8 or 10x42's.

I have the Geco Gold 8x42 (same as GPO Passion HD) and they are superb.

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