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Mid-Range Priced Binocular Reccos (1 Viewer)

pmaxp

Member
I am sure all of you have, at one point or another, been asked by beginning birders for a recommendation of a binocular in the middle price range, US$250-450 or so.

NOTE: Following the first few responses, I realized that my specified price range was unrealistic. Consequently, I have revised the range above to reflect today's market. THANKS ALL.

I have looked through the Forums and came across threads that were quite a few years in the past, simply a bit out of date given the changes in the binocular market.

My view is that an 8x x 42 is a good starting configuration, but I'm sure opinions differ on this aspect.

So, please assist me, I have two different people asking.

Thanks.
 
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[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
I would consider US$150-300 low-range with $500-1000 being mid-range. At that price point I think about the best deal is a Refurbished Nikon Monarch 7 8x30 for $303.00. You can get the Monarch 7 in a 8x42 for $407.00 on eBay if you want to go up a little in your budget. It is a Best Offer so you could probably offer them $350.00, and they would take it.

https://www.nikonusa.com/en/nikon-p...ed-binoculars/monarch-7-8x30-refurbished.html
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Nikon-7548...578018&hash=item42091fbc97:g:eMQAAOSw1kxd78Gi
 
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Ratal

Well-known member
Buy a pair of 8x32 Sightron Blue Sky

That's more than all the binocular a birder could want when starting out.

Way less than 300$ too.

I have taken mine from Arctic Norway to African deserts. And never, not once found them lacking. Very light, super comfy and beautiful image.
 

eitanaltman

Well-known member
I am sure all of you have, at one point or another, been asked by beginning birders for a recommendation of a binocular in the middle price range, US$150-300 or so.

I have looked through the Forums and came across threads that were quite a few years in the past, simply a bit out of date given the changes in the binocular market.

My view is that an 8x x 42 is a good starting configuration, but I'm sure opinions differ on this aspect.

So, please assist me, I have two different people asking.

Thanks.


While 8x42 is definitely the most popular "all around" format for birding, there's a lot of room for personal preference.

If you see this in time, buy the GPO Spectra 8x42 that's on sale for $289 on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/German-Precision-Optics-8347-Binoculars/dp/B07JKFNTW4

Excellent binocular, normally priced 50% higher ($429), build quality and optical quality well beyond the budget level you're talking about.

I would also consider the Maven C1 8x42 as a top contender at this price range: https://mavenbuilt.com/products/c-1-8x42-10x42-12x42

You'll notice that both of these are at the top of the range you suggested -- the truth is that the jump from $150 to $300 is one of the most meaningful in terms of gains in optical quality / build quality. When you get to $300ish, you can get a pair of binocular that's VERY good, good enough for anyone but the pickiest birder. The quality jumps up in that $250-300 range, and if you're an astute shopper that $300 can get you a binocular on sale that would be competitive at double the price (the GPO and Maven above would both qualify for that description).

At $150, the choosings are much slimmer, and there's a lot more compromises to get down to the price point. At that low end I'd probably go with the Vortex Diamondback HD, which has solid optics and build quality and is backed by an excellent unconditional warranty in case you get a lemon (or drop it on concrete or run over it with your car)....

Besides Vortex, I would look at Celestron, Alpen, Athlon, and Carson as a few other companies that provide good value options in the $150-300 budget range. But if it was my money, I'd look for the $400-500 binocular on sale for $300.

The Nikon Monarch (upper end) and ProStaff (lower end) are long-time favorites in the $150-300 budget range, but IMO they aren't the best value and are cruising on reputation to an extent. You have to get to the $400-500 Monarch 7 level to get a really wide field of view that some of these other brands offer at a much lower price; the Monarch 5 that's in your budget range is nice optically and ergonomically, but has a very narrow FOV compared to the competition.
 

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