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Mid price porro binoculars for beginners (1 Viewer)


New member
Hi guys!
I would like to introduce myself. My name is Andreu, I'm from Spain and I'm introducing to birdwatching.
As a beginner, I'm looking for my first binocular for birdwatching and general nature with a limited budget. Nowadays I'm using my father's binocular, a military 8x30 Carlzeiss, but it hasn't center wheel focus and this is annoying.

I've always heard porros are better than cheap roof binoculars. So could you suggest me some porro binoculars between 200-300€? I would like a 10x42 but if it has to be a porro it will be too big for backpacking so maybe a 8x32 would be a better choice (or with my budged there are good 10x42 roof bioculars compared to porro?)

If it helps, sometimes I use glasses and living in Spain if the binocular is not waterproof it's not a problem.

I know that choosing a binocular is something personal, but I can't try it myself because there aren't a lot of shops with expensive binoculars where I live, so I should buy it on the net.

Thank you guys

[email protected]

Well-known member
I would usually recommend a Nikon 8x30 E2 porro-prism, but they have crept up in price to over $500.00 which is not within your budget. Nevertheless, they would be my first choice but a little over your price point. As a less expensive alternative and more in budget I would consider the Nikon M7 8x30 which is a nice small roof prism.


Well-known member
Hi Andreu,

first of all, welcome to Birdforum!

You are right that in the very cheap price range of around $100, roofs often leave quite a bit to be desired and a Porro from the Kowa YF, Leopold Yosemite or Opticron Savanah series is a better option.

Beyond $200 some ok roofs are to be found - the Nikon M7 8x30 would certainly be a great deal if found inside your budget (I did see it occasionally at 250€ on sale).

If you want to splurge on a porro, you can spend around $450-$500 and probably some more at customs for an E2, but will get a view which rivals the $1000 class of bins.

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Well-known member
Hi Andreu.

There are almost no mid price Porro binoculars available to buy new these days which look like an attractive choice for general birdwatching.

If there is a possibility you will want to use the binocular with glasses that may limit the field among 8x30 and 10x42 models : 15-16mm is maybe the norm for those configurations and you could need more.

At the 200-300€ price point there are losts of options in the UK from such names as Opticron, Viking, Vanguard, Hawke etc etc. Not sure whether the options are the same in Spain. Anyways, as a benchmark maybe have a look at the specifications of the Opticron Discovery 8x42 here and maybe compare the size and weight measurements to your dad's Zeiss to see whether something like that would be acceptable or you maybe need to go smaller :

pat mitchel

Well-known member
I gather the vixen foresta ZWCF has been recently discontinued but still shows as a available on one U.S. website 0ceanside photo, also the 8x42 is shown as "more on the way"- not in stock. Both in the $250 US range. Well regarded binocs . I fear you are likely to find the only realistic alternative to a used porro is a new roof and there are many that would suffice for your needs. Good luck, Pat


New member
Thank all of you for your suggestions!

I'm not considering second hand binoculars because I want to check it and return if it is not suitable for me and I don't feel secure to buy used binoculars without check it first.

Nikon e2 are outside my budged and I can't find it on second hand market, but I will have a look on nikon m7 8x30, its field of view of 8.3° seems to be really nice!

Some of yo have suggested the vixen foresta cf and it seems to be interesting too, but I haven't found a review about the 8x32 (a lot of good reviews about the 7x50). Have someone tried the vixen foresta 8x32 cf? Could it be compared to nikon m7 8x32?

Thank you guys! I really appreciate your opinions


Well-known member
Andreu, Welcome to the forum, I'm sure you'll find very good advice around here.
I wrote a review of the 8x32 Vixen Foresta porro a few days ago, you can read it here:

It can be found for around 150-175 €, and for that price it is a very nice piece of equipment. However, as you have already been advised, around 300 € you have very interesting roof binoculars and fewer porros. So I'd say porros are very interesting at the low end of the scale, like the Kowa YF 8x30, that can be found for little more than 100 €, sometimes even for less (especially the 6x30) and things like that (not to mention the Nikon Aculon range). But as you go up the price ladder, unfortunately porros disappear, and there are hardly any mid range (besides things like the E2). On your range, the Vixen Foresta, as has been said, and you might want to consider the Levenhuk Sherman Pro, which I think is a sibling of the Foresta. You can read a review in Allbinos, here:

On the other hand, there are binoculars like the Kenko Ultraview (a sibling of the much praised Sightron Blue Sky, there's an endless thread with a lot of praise for that model, and for many it represents the best value in its price range.

As for second hand, I would't rule it out. It is a pity, because until last week there as a brand new Nikon EII for 300 € in Wallapop. At the moment there is a 10x32 Kenko for around 150 also there (I don't have any relationship whatsoever with the seller, just pointing it out in case it is interesting).

I have bought the Nikon M7 8x30 two times for around 200 € (second hand, both in very good condition) and it is something I would wholeheartedly recommend for that price. Else, Opticron usually offers very good value as well. There's a lot to choose from in the 300 € region :) Good luck! I hope this helped.
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New member
I will follow your suggestions and I will look for a pair of Sightron Blue Sky 8x32 (or their siblings Kenko Ultraview). Meanwhile, I will follow the price of Nikon M7 8x30 (nowadays they are outside my budget) and I will check second hand marked for E2.

Finally, I discard Vixen Foresta CF due to their weight (700g), as I want to use them for backpacking too.

Thanks all of you guys, binoculars' marked is enourmous and there are some many brands and models...I was getting lost!


I wonder why the price of the E II 8x30 has increased so much over the last year, now over $600.00 seems like the average price.

Andy W.


United States
I just picked these up and went back and got a second pair...very impressive for the price..roofs, just over 200 bucks, hoy mulitcoated. DOnt know too much more as not as serious as some of the guys on here but def compared to my buddys 500 dollar nikons..


Well-known member
you could go for something like a pentax 9x32 roof 249 US from bhphotovideo, with your 250Euro budget you can still get a decent roof, the nikon porro's are nice, but getting harder to get- the small porro is becoming extinct. i have ha nikon 10x32Eii, and sightron-cant go wrong with either

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