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Paralysis by analysis (1 Viewer)

Haydn C

Member
Greetings birders of the world. I’m a Bedfordshire based newbie birder/photographer and find myself becoming into the state of my thread title.

It’s my first post here and feeling ever so slightly guilty for jumping straight in and asking what must have been done umpteen boring times to death before. Nevertheless, I am in a confused state as to which direction I should go with some slightly upgraded bins.

A couple of years ago I bought what I thought would be a half-decent pair of Nikon Aculon 8x42 and while they’ve been acceptable they’ve hardly been brilliant. I now find myself wanting not only something slightly lighter (in this I’ve decided 8x30 or 32) but also with a bit more wow factor on the optics side. I’m a glasses wearer and have a budget of about £200 (ideally) but would possibly stretch to £300 if the extra poundage bought a suitable improvement.

So far I’ve been looking at Vanguard Endevour II 8x30 ( they do not seem to do this size format in Endevour IV ? Vortex diamond back, Hawke Endurance, though I’m slightly confused they they seem to have ED glass and the higher spec Frontier range have HD glass - unless you choose the significantly more expensive Frontier ED. To add to my potential short list (which seems to be getting ever longer) I see decent reviews on here for Sightron Bluesky, though they seem less easy to source here in the UK.

At the moment I’m leaning towards the Vanguard’s but before I pull the trigger, is there anything else worth me looking at? Any comments would be greatly appreciated and I look forward to becoming more than just a forum lurker on here now.
 
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lmans66

Out Birding....
Supporter
United States
Don't get sucked in to the type of 'glass'....ED, HD, etc... Any binocular can have any glass initials connected to it but quality is still suspect. My advice is to read up on type of binoculars, styles....needs in terms of size, your budget etc...but first you have to know what you intend to do and how you intend to bird. yes, you have it right.... Paralysis by analysis, :)...welcome
 

SeldomPerched

Well-known member
Hello Haydn

If you are happy yet to mix with the public or go into any stockists that are open I'd also suggest you give yourself time to try lots out. How they feel, what the view is like, close focus, eyecup comfort, steady hold etc count for everything. If it doesn't work for you no review will change your experience; on the other hand a review might point you towards what to track down and try out.

This is advice you will start seeing on here many times over! Good luck.

Tom
 

dipped

Well-known member
Greetings birders if the world. I’m a Bedfordshire based newbie birder/photographer and find myself becoming into the state of my thread title.

It’s my first post here and feeling ever so slightly guilty for jumping and asking what must have been done umpteen boring times to death before. Nevertheless, I am in a confused state as to which direction I should go with some slightly upgraded bins. A couple of years ago I bought what I thought would be a half-decent pair of Nikon Aculon 8x42 and while they’ve been acceptable they’ve hardly been brilliant. I now find myself wanting not only something slightly lighter (in this I’ve decided 8x30 or 32) but also with a bit more wow factor on the optics side. I’m a glasses wearer and have a budget of about £200 (ideally) but would possibly stretch to £300 if the extra poundage bought a suitable improvement.

So far I’ve been looking at Vanguard Endevour II 8x30 ( they do not seem to do this size format in Endevour IV ? Vortex diamond back, Hawke Endurance, though I’m slightly confused they they seem to have ED glass and the higher spec Frontier range have HD glass - unless you choose the significantly more expensive Frontier ED. To add to my potential short list (which seems to be getting ever longer) I see decent reviews on here for Sightron Bluesky, though they seem less easy to source here in the UK.

At the moment I’m leaning towards the Vanguard’s but before I pull the trigger, is there anything else worth me looking at? Any comments would be greatly appreciated and I look forward to becoming more than just a forum lurker on here now.

Hi and welcome to BF

Perhaps you could add to your list the Fujifilm KF 8x32 H Binoculars, which I believe are a clone of the Sightron Bluesky binoculars.

They are on offer at Jessops for £219.97 see here: https://www.jessops.com/p/fujifilm/kf-8x32-h-binoculars-154460

There is a review of them in the small binoculars review section of BF.

There is also a youtube review in Russian comparing them to the Sig Sauer Zulu 3 binoculars which appear to be another clone of the Sightrons. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AkO-w4roWBI

Are these the best value binoculars in the UK? Possibly. I've never looked through any of these clones but Sightrons are so highly rated I have a feeling you wouldn't be disappointed with them.
 

marcsantacurz

Well-known member
Hayden,

Specs are good for what they are, but I find that the ergonomics make a huge difference. You need to try the binoculars to make sure they are comfortable for you and work OK with your actual eyesight.

If you can stop by an actual brick & mortar store to try them out (and then buy there!), or order from an on-line merchant with a good return policy, that is the best. Just order the 2 or 3 models you are thinking about and try them all. Return the ones (or all of them!) you do not like. If you time it well in regards to your credit card, there will be no out-of-pocket expense.

There should be a bunch of posts about what to look for in a binocular and how to hold them and use them. you want to make sure you understand what you are looking at, to some extent, before comparing. Personally, I have a hard face to fit and many binoculars give me blackouts (kind of kidney-bean shaped black spots) if my eyes are not perfectly aligned. Others are much more forgiving or have none at all. Different people will see ghosts and chromatic aberrations (color fringes) differently. There are also differences in how bridge styles (open bridge, closed bridge, position of focus wheel, etc.) and some people find one form easier to use than another.

When I was looking for some 8x32 bins, I started with a few in the sub-$400 (USD) range and kept one and returned the others. Then I tried two in the $1000 range and kept it and return the less expensive one. I was able to clearly see a marked improvement in the view. I ended up keeping the Kowa Genesis 8x33. It was more, but I was able to distinguish the difference. Some people might not see a difference or the difference might not be enough of a difference to make a difference to them.

You could also look at the Nikon Monarch 7 8x30. It's a nice compact and light bin.

Marc
 

KC Foggin

Super Moderator
Staff member
Opus Editor
Supporter
United States
BTW Hayden, I thought I would jump in and wish you a warm welcome from those of us on staff here at BirdForum! Hope to see more of you ;)
 

Haydn C

Member
Thank you all for your comments and welcome.

I think at this time trying various options out at a local shop is unlikely, given that there seems to be little choice nearby. However, I’m in no rush and this is a want rather than a need to I shall continue my pondering and possibly try some options out and return the unsuitables as suggested.

Thanks again.
 

jring

Well-known member
Hi,

difficult question - 8x32 pairs which are truly fit for uncompromised use with glasses are quite rare - in that regard 8x42 pairs are easier to find.

One such example (and also a former Nikon top model and nowadays nice upper midrange pair would be the HG-L 8x32). LCE (mentioned by Daniel in post #4 for some other used offers) has one at a good price, but still quite a bit out of budget - but it would be what I would probably go for in your situation and probably never buy another pair in the format again.

https://www.lcegroup.co.uk/Used/Nikon-8x32-HGL-DCF_276313.html

There are some cheaper ones which do offer decent ER but at the cost of limiting the field of view quite a bit more than what is normal for 8x30 - the Vanguard you mentioned is one example - 126 on a 8x30 pair is narrow and I would not want it.

Otherwise I would look at some Opticron models - both the Explorer ED-R 8x32 and the Traveller ED 8x32 are in budget (the former) or just a tad above (latter). Here's some reviews for both:

https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?p=3980308

https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=340808

Joachim
 

yarrellii

Well-known member
Supporter
Haydn, a warm welcome to the forum, you'll see this place is full of nice (and knowledgeable) folks eager to share and have good times.

This whole thing reminds me of that famous book "The paradox of choice", basically your title could be the subtitle of that book (a nice read, btw). Basically having more choice is worse than having little choice. So I would stick to 3 candidates and try to test them. 3 is a nice number, it gives you many combination possibilities. A mere suggestion:
- The performer (but uncomfortable or expensive)
- The convenient (cheap or easy to source neraby, but not so good)
- The difficult (seems to fit but it's hard to find)
So, an easy solution instead of trying to find an "affirmative" solution would be to find a "negative solution": what I don't like, what I can't live without, what I won't trade, etc.
Just a suggestion... or else just indulge in the lovely search of that mythical creature: the perfect choice in binoculars ;)


EDIT: oh, and by the way, I absolutely second Daniel and Joachim advice. I wish someone had steered me towards 2nd hand when I first started looking for binoculars. You need to find someone reliable (this forum is not a bad place to start, although places with score systems are not bad either), and then think about the good thing about optics (especially good optics). Since they don't have electronics they don't lose value as fast as i-gadgets, so if you buy a used piece of kit at a good price and you end up not liking it, you can probably sell it with a lesser loss that if you buy brand new. And chances are that if you can't try them first hand were you are, you will end up not being 100 % satisfied with your first purchase. So, just like with cars, I wouldn't try to buy "the" binoculars at first attempt, but just like Marc says: I'd buy a 2nd hand Ford Fiesta and drive it around, learn to drive, maybe have a scratch or two, see how I like it, learn the things I like and don't like about it, the things I miss or the things I would like to have, and then buy something better (well, maybe "better" is not the word, but "better suited for you").
 
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Haydn C

Member
Thanks again for the additional responses. The Opticron suggestion looks good and it seems Opticron themselves may well be the nearest stockists to me.
 

jring

Well-known member
Thanks again for the additional responses. The Opticron suggestion looks good and it seems Opticron themselves may well be the nearest stockists to me.

Hi,

ok, now that is funny... but maybe give 'em a call or ask via mail if they are actually selling to customers at their Luton office - especially right now...

Joachim
 

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