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New binoculars under 200€ (1 Viewer)

I really like the idea of getting a porro prims, but it seems impossible to find a balanced one for about 200€. I was attracted to the Kowa, but I read some opinions that it performs worse than the Opticron Adventurer, which, in turn, you say performs at the level of the Svbony. This is all very confusing to me, especially since here in Italy the Kowa YF II 8x30 is sold for about 170€ (30 more than the Sv and 70 more than the Opticron). Plus, now that you make me pay attention to it, actually the focus wheel on the Kowa might be difficult to adjust. There would also be the Opticron Savanna, but I'm afraid it might have the same problems as the Kowa, plus I'm not quite sure if optically it ranks on the same level as the others just mentioned or higher.

That said, I do know that for the same price a porro is likely to give a better image than a roof prism. But does this also apply compared these binoculars with roof prisms such as the P7 or the Vortex DB that can be found for 200€ but started with prices closer to 300€?
The price difference can be based on something like import fees or just extra brand name fee. Not necessarily quality of materials or optics.

Other porro's near your price range are hinode 6x30-b plus from Japan and apm ms CF 6x30 and 6.5x32 ed except the apm's are out of stock until April 2024 according to their website.


apm 6x30 non-ed

apm 6.5x32 ed

There's also skyrover ms ed 6x30 cf which I think are clones
 
First of all, thank you for the advice. Excluding price, from an optical point of view did the Opticron seem better than the P7 to you? I understood that in this range there are no abysmal differences and all the binoculars mentioned perform sufficiently well, but I also wanted to understand if it all comes down to preferences regarding size and cost or if, discounting less portability, the Optricon also return superior vision.
I also ask because if I had to choose an Opticron I would aim for the Savanna WP of which I have read good things and which seems to be a step up from the Adventurer (however, it also costs 170€ so we are much closer to the price of the P7 and that is where my doubts come from).
Personally I would go with either the safe bet as suggested and get vortex hd 8x28 or 8x32. Or have fun and get one of the porro's listed since you already have a roof primary instrument.
 
Nice. I had a look at those a while ago. Love to have one but too much hassle ordering from Japan and paying an extra 19% in taxes on top.
Yes, I've been contemplating ordering them through amazon JP myself but I worry their shipping will be inadequate and they will go out of collimation. Also they locked me out of my account and when I try to fix it they tell me to call customer service which I can only do when I'm logged into the account... I googled for the number but it's of course japanese. I was thinking about trying an forwarding service like Rakuten or Tenso but I don't know how much they cost. They're also available on Ebay but at a premium cost.
 
IMG_20240203_115153.jpgSo I did some more comparing between the Opticron - or rather the Celestron Ultima 8x32 which is technically the same bino just with a different label - and the Svbony SV202.
First of - the colors, contrast, center sharpness and brightness are largely the same (the pics are just to show the difference in field of view and distortion). The Svbony might have a slight tendency towards more green. The Celestron actually is a teeny tiny bit more neutral (but it really is almost unnoticeable in use).
When I put one in front of the left eye and the other in front of the right eye, there is no visible difference in the points mentioned.
That being said - the SV202 has a visibly smaller field of view, more pincushion distortion (even though that looks exaggerated in the pics, it will be less visible when using it), is more prone to blackouts (more finicky eye-box), shows slightly more lateral color (off axis color fringing from the eyepiece) and at least mine has less leeway towards infinity but still works for me without glasses (might become more of a problem for extremely shortsighted people).
Close focus is about 3m for the Svbony and about 4m for the Celestron/Opticron.
All in all, I clearly prefer the Celestron Ultima (especially for the 60€ I paid).
The pics were all quick and dirty on a cloudy day, through 50 year old windows and free handed. Any difference in sharpness is due to the camera, I see no difference when looking through them, even though it looks like it in the pics but I probably just didn't hold them steady enough. So this was by no means a "scientific set-up" :D.
Pics:
Svbony 8x32:
IMG_20240203_110548258_HDR.jpg
Celestron 8x32:
IMG_20240203_110701667.jpg

Svbony:
IMG_20240203_110940649.jpg
Celestron:
IMG_20240203_111101781.jpg

Svbony:
IMG_20240203_114722345_HDR.jpg
Celestron:
IMG_20240203_114740856_HDR.jpg
The binos:
IMG_20240203_111600408_HDR.jpgIMG_20240203_111645664.jpgIMG_20240203_111649969_HDR.jpg

Edit: just for fun - none of these can hold a candle to a vintage super wide 8x30 when it comes to field of view. Like one of Japanese made "Eschenbach" binos I own. (Sorry for the once again bad image quality, I really need to set up a tripod and take pics outside).
IMG_20240203_115806714.jpg
 

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Thank you. The thing I don't understand is whether the Svbony 8x32 are just great quality/price or even putting cost aside can they actually compete with the Prostaff P7, Vortex, Kowa etc etc
Anyway, that there is no one answer as to which is the best binoculars under 200 I know, but maybe someone who has tried a few can give me some feedback to help me narrow down the field with more certainty. Unfortunately, where I live there are few binocular stores and in general they are short on 8x32s.
Hello,
I have the Svbony SV202 8x32 and the Kowa YII 6x30.

Weight:
Weight of the SV202 8x32 with its neckstrap and lenses covers = 550 grammes.
Weight of the Kowa YII 6x30 with its neckstrap and lenses covers = 560 grammes.

IMG_20240203_133841.jpg
Consequence:
It's more comfortable to handle the Kowa because the density is less high. I show a picture to show you the size of both of them.
I also feel less the weight around my neck with the Kowa.
However, the svbony is more comfortable around my neck because it is stable on my chest when I'm walking. The Kowa moves from right to left on my chest when I'm walking.

Focus wheel :
I use my middle finger for the Kowa and my index finger for the Svbony.

Consequence :
It's more natural to use the focus wheel of the Svbony.

Image :
To me the image of the Kowa at the center is sharper but I think it's because the magnification is only 6.
The apparent field of view on the Kowa is much smaller than the 8x32.

Consequence:
With the Kowa, the image is sharper but I see less details ; twlight factor : square root of 6x30 = 13.416...
With the Svbony, the image is less sharp but I see more details ; twlight factor : square root of 8x32 = 16.
The view is less immersive with the Kowa.
The view is more immersive with the Svbony.
IMG_20240203_132445.jpg
IMG_20240203_131926.jpg
Exit pupil :
5 mm on the Kowa.
4 mm on the Svbony.

Consequence:
The eye placement is easier on the Kowa.
The eye placement is hardier on the Svbony. I spent several weeks to find the best sharpness for my eyes.

CONCLUSION :
I think those questions can help you to make a choice for your friend:
Do your friend prefer a comfortable pair around her neck when she is walking or when she is holding it?
Do your friend will be satisfied with a very sharp image with less details or simply with a sharp image with more details?
Does she want a wide field of view with a small apparent field of view or the apparent field of view is important?
Is the ease of use important for her?
 
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It really doesn't though. Exup is just a fanboy of this particular bino. Not sure why.
It performs exactly as the price suggests. The nice thing is the build quality. The negatives are:
-- smallish FoV.
-- lots of pincushion distortion -- similar to some old porros
-- for me, not enough leeway towards infinity. Problematic for viewing without glasses. And they are unsuable for me with glasses as the field of view gets truncated too much.
-- lateral false color is also nothing to write home about.
All in all they perform optically similar (but with a smaller field of view) to the Opticron entry level Adventurer T WP porro. I just used them today. My 100€ Komz 8x30 (sold by Levenhuk in their "vintage" line) is sharper in the center and has the exact same brightness.
Another alternative:
The Prostaff P7 8x30 has a much wider field of view compared to the Svbony SV202 but the plastic build quality is not that great (especially for the price -- here the Svbony SV202 is clearly better). I had problems with the diopter ring (which locks) snapping off but others had no such problems.
A Pentax might also be worth a look but I never owned them, so I cannot say how they compare.
In general, when not wanting to spend too much, I'd recommend a porro prims bino, not roof prism.
Hi. It is really interesting to know more about Komz 8x30. It has a very traditional look and a significantly less price tag. Also the FOV is quite large compared to most of 8x30/32 binos. How it is compared to the more modern porros like Celestron Ultima or roofs like Svbony in the aspect of sharpness, distortion, color tint (if any), and weight?
 
Hi. It is really interesting to know more about Komz 8x30. It has a very traditional look and a significantly less price tag. Also the FOV is quite large compared to most of 8x30/32 binos. How it is compared to the more modern porros like Celestron Ultima or roofs like Svbony in the aspect of sharpness, distortion, color tint (if any), and weight?
Optical quality is really nice. Very sharp. But the eye-cups are slightly too deep so the image is truncated. Build quality is "USSR"-style. Robust but not really refined.
 
View attachment 1557631So I did some more comparing between the Opticron - or rather the Celestron Ultima 8x32 which is technically the same bino just with a different label - and the Svbony SV202.
First of - the colors, contrast, center sharpness and brightness are largely the same (the pics are just to show the difference in field of view and distortion). The Svbony might have a slight tendency towards more green. The Celestron actually is a teeny tiny bit more neutral (but it really is almost unnoticeable in use).
When I put one in front of the left eye and the other in front of the right eye, there is no visible difference in the points mentioned.
That being said - the SV202 has a visibly smaller field of view, more pincushion distortion (even though that looks exaggerated in the pics, it will be less visible when using it), is more prone to blackouts (more finicky eye-box), shows slightly more lateral color (off axis color fringing from the eyepiece) and at least mine has less leeway towards infinity but still works for me without glasses (might become more of a problem for extremely shortsighted people).
Close focus is about 3m for the Svbony and about 4m for the Celestron/Opticron.
All in all, I clearly prefer the Celestron Ultima (especially for the 60€ I paid).
The pics were all quick and dirty on a cloudy day, through 50 year old windows and free handed. Any difference in sharpness is due to the camera, I see no difference when looking through them, even though it looks like it in the pics but I probably just didn't hold them steady enough. So this was by no means a "scientific set-up" :D.
Pics:
Svbony 8x32:
View attachment 1557619
Celestron 8x32:
View attachment 1557620

Svbony:
View attachment 1557621
Celestron:
View attachment 1557622

Svbony:
View attachment 1557629
Celestron:
View attachment 1557630
The binos:
View attachment 1557626View attachment 1557627View attachment 1557628

Edit: just for fun - none of these can hold a candle to a vintage super wide 8x30 when it comes to field of view. Like one of Japanese made "Eschenbach" binos I own. (Sorry for the once again bad image quality, I really need to set up a tripod and take pics outside).
View attachment 1557637
Thanks for sharing. The difference in green foliage is striking. Way more intense in one picture.
 
Thank you all for your opinions and photos. Thinking about it I think we'll take the Opticron at 100€ if we were to go for savings, or the Vortex DB at 180€ if we decide to spend a bit more. I would hate to give up the 3D effect of the porros, but perhaps among the binoculars closer to 200€ the Vortex is the most balanced, between build quality, compactness and optical quality.
 
Hi there! Congratulations on diving into the exciting world of birdwatching! It's always great to hear about newcomers finding joy in this hobby.

Regarding your question about choosing a second pair of binoculars for your girlfriend within a €200/€210 budget, there are indeed some excellent options to consider. Firstly, you raised a valid point about the trade-offs between 8x32 and 8x42 models, especially considering factors like price, weight, and existing equipment. Opting for an 8x32 might indeed offer more versatility, particularly if you envision it as a backup pair for spontaneous birdwatching adventures.

Your shortlist of options looks promising. The Vortex DB HD 8x32, Prostaff P7 8x30, and Svbony SV202 ED 8x32 all offer compelling features within your budget range. It's also interesting to hear your consideration of the Kowa YF II, although weight could be a concern with the 6x30 version.

In terms of additional recommendations, have you explored the possibility of checking out Binoculars Prices? They offer a comprehensive selection of binoculars across various brands and price ranges. You can easily filter by criteria such as brand, price range, and reviews to find the perfect fit. It's a fantastic resource to explore before making your final decision. Additionally, you can find information on topics like reviews and birdwatching through the Binoculars Prices Blog Page link.

As for the 8x42 options, the Svbony SV202 does indeed stand out as a solid choice. It's great to see that you're prioritizing both quality and affordability in your decision-making process.

Ultimately, I'd recommend comparing the specifications and user reviews of your shortlisted options, perhaps even trying them out if possible, to ensure you find the perfect pair that meets both your needs and budget. Happy birdwatching adventures to both you and your girlfriend!
 
Thanks for the suggestions! We haven't bought anything yet, but we are leaning towards the DB 8x32. If we manage these days we'll go to a shop and try out a few of the binoculars mentioned above, although it's difficult to find well-stocked sellers here.
 

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