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Waterproof 8x32 (ish) and maybe older bino advice? (1 Viewer)

Hiya

I'd like a waterproof bino for long walk carrying on moor, coast and beach here on the Isle of Lewis where it can be grey more than bright, although low sun is common. Small and light, an inter pupillary distance of about 60mm, suitable for glasses wearers then it would suit all my family.

Wading through many online reviews, I could get an Opticron Discovery 8x32 WP PC which are nice and small, cheap enough if my son drops them. Or a Hawke Frontier ED 8x32 with mixed reviews sometimes. Or a Zeiss 8x32 B/GA T* P*, but are they waterproof?

So with maybe a £500 max on something older but better "value", a bit less on something newer (works in my head :)) would anyone suggest anything else?

Things around here are often further rather than closer, so going to a small and light 10x40 (ish) would to me seem ok too. I have a bigger pair for home use. And shops to try things out are far away.

Thank you for any help!
 

Jonno52

John (a bad birdwatcher)
Supporter
United Kingdom
I don't have the answer you're looking for, but as far as Opticron are concerned, my mum, brother and sister-in-law have all had Opticrons: they've all managed to drop them and had to pay for recollimation (ie aligning the barrels correctly). Decent optical quality for the price though.

Normally I'd put in a plug for the Zeiss Conquest HD 8x32, a model very highly regarded on BF. I have a pair and they deserve their reputation. Waterproof, and dropping them isn't likely to harm them, and I think you'd see more detail than with a cheap 10x40. But they're a bit more expensive than your budget (£599 at Amazon today) and at 640g probably heavier than you want.

Someone will soon come along with more helpful advice! Good luck.
 

MandoBear

Well-known member
Quite a bit below your budget, but a pair of Nikon Monarch 8x30 might fit. They're light, bright (for their size), and plenty sharp enough with a wide field of view. They work well enough with glasses, and they're decently and grippily armoured. As to reliability, the pair that I have have been carried in my rucksac to and from work every day for about 2 and a half years and used most lunchtimes, and have never missed a beat. I find them light and compact enough to be carried on long hilly walks without being a burden (mine have been used on many such walks), and they're more relaxing and enjoyable to look through than many "compact" binos. The only downside is that they can be a bit prone to stray light under certain conditions, but other than that I find them to be a thoroughly useful and enjoyable binocular.
 
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yarrellii

Well-known member
Supporter
I second MandoBear vote for the Monarch 7 8x30. They can be found second hand for incredibly low prices (less than 200 GBP) and to my eyes their simply in another league compared to the Discovery 8x32. Yes the later is a bit shorter and lighter, but the sharpness, brightness simply can't compare (to my eyes). I also find the shape and rubber of the M7 very pleasing. I've done mountain hikes (summertime, sweat, streams, snow), kayak on the sea (salty water on the bottom of the kayak) and the M7 have behaved like much pricier binos (the focus is shows a little less resistance, which I don't see as a fault; actually is one of the most pleasing focus wheels I've used). As for the stray light/glare, yes they're prone (not unlike other similarly specced 8x30-32). However, after using two samples with pretty distant serial numbers, I find that there is a difference, the newer showing less glare and producing a more vibrant a sharp image (which is no mean feat, considering the level of quality of the M7 in general). Furthermore, I tend to have problems with eyecups of smallish binos (8x30 CL, 8x30 Habicht, 8x32 Meostar B1, 8x32 Ultravid), but the eyecups on the 8x30 M7 are wide enough and really comfortable.
I'd definitely give it a try.
 

pbjosh

missing the neotropics
Switzerland
In that price range the Opticron and Kite versions of the Monarch 7 8x30 should be mentioned:

Opticron Traveller BGA ED 8x32 - this swaps in 32mm instead of 30mm objectives and has very slightly more eye relief (1-2mm more usable)

Kite Lynx / Lynx HD 8x30 - they've just released a newer version that theoretically has better glass? As well the prior version was already a bit more expensive and some people claim a bit better than the Nikon/Opticron, though I have not experience.

In any case the Nikon, Opticron, and Kite are the same design from the same manufacturer, and at least the Nikon and Opticron are VERY similar in optical performance.

Going a step down in price, the Sightron Blue Sky 8x32 is very popular with respect to its price on this forum, though I have no experience. There are many threads about it. I don't know how available it is in the UK.

Going a step UP in price / one to look for on offer or used, I would also highly recommend a Zeiss Conquest HD 8x32. A really excellent binocular that you can probably find for about your price range if you're open to lightly used.

In your shoes I would look at the Opticron Traveller and the Zeiss Conquest HD, honestly. The Opticron because it's widely available in UK, is very fairly priced, performs well, is quite lightweight, and has an excellent warranty (in the case of your son dropping them). The Zeiss Conquest HD because it is built like a tank, optically it is one if not the best 8x32 under about US$1000/£800, and Zeiss also provides excellent service and ought to be around for the long haul.

Best of luck.
 

b-lilja

Well-known member
Strong vote for the Conquest HDs. View on par with the Victory FL x32s, and you should be able to find a good 2nd hand pair within your budget. The Vortex Viper HDs are also good, I had those too but their image was a step down from the Conquests.

You are lucky to live on Lewis - what a place!
 
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ibramr

Well-known member
Greetings. Perhaps I should also suggest a good sample of the tad older Leica Trinovid 8x32 BN. It should be in the target price range, and in my experience, it will certainly provide you with excellent service. Regards.
 

jring

Well-known member
Greetings. Perhaps I should also suggest a good sample of the tad older Leica Trinovid 8x32 BN. It should be in the target price range, and in my experience, it will certainly provide you with excellent service. Regards.

Ah, the brick, as it's affectionately called... it's not the lightest, but yes, people still like it.

Joachim
 
Crikey. I did ask for it :)
A lot more to look at thank you all!

Should I ask here how adding a 100 grams or so and a bit of bulk to go to 10x40 ish would help in low light situations? Many seem to suggest 8x30/32 from a size perspective, but the weight and size penalty to jump to 10x40/42 isn't that big, and bigger lets more light in presumably, must therefore be "better", so is the extra size that big of an issue or is it quite marginal round your neck all day?
 

Foss

Well-known member
I prefer 8x32 over 8x42 for rugged hikes and long walks. Even wearing a binocular harness (a must, IMHO, for any size) the 32 wins hands down for reasons stated.
 

jring

Well-known member
Hi,

so let me summarize: You want a rugged, waterproof pair which is small, light, good in low light and for high distance viewing, plus of course usable with glasses - did I forget anything? Ah yes, and under 500 quid...

If you find one, I want one too...

There will be compromises - very light and small usually means an 8x32 pair and often less eye relief (15mm or less). And they're a bit worse than a larger and heavier 10x40 for high distance and low light (they both have 4mm exit pupil but the higher magnification helps a bit at dusk).

Very rugged examples like the Conquest or the old Leica BA/BN aka the brick mean a bit more weight and size. More eye relief means either narrower field of view or larger eyepieces (or both). Choose your poison.

Also the weight difference between 8x32 and 10x40 is not usually 100g. If you compare the heaviest 8x32 pair and the lightest 10x40, you might get somewhere close but for sth comparable (like an 8x32 and 10x40 model of the same series) it's usually 200g or more.
Actually the Opticron Dicovery 8x32 is 400g and 11cm long while the Conquest HD 10x42 is 800g and 15cm long.

Joachim
 

richard866945

Bino repair man
8x32

I know you are supposed to get what you pay for but I have been amazed by the Helios Lightwing HR range. They make an 8x32 with BaK4 prisms which are both phase and silver dielectric coated, fully broad band multi coated lenses, water proof and nitrogen filled, rubber armoured and twist up eyecups for just £111. Weight is 500 gms.
I would love to be able to compare one with a Nikon Monarch.
 
Hi,

so let me summarize: You want a rugged, waterproof pair which is small, light, good in low light and for high distance viewing, plus of course usable with glasses - did I forget anything? Ah yes, and under 500 quid...
Joachim

Yes. Floats and makes the tea ideally too :)
 

jring

Well-known member
Yes. Floats and makes the tea ideally too :)

Hi,

so when you have made some compromises with your requirements (and the result was not some surplus british army amphibian vehicle - hey, it ticks robust, waterproof, floats and makes tea ;-) you can indeed get some sth. nicer inside your budget when buying used.

I like to buy used optics in person so I'm able to inspect it before buying or from a reputable store with a no questions asked return policy.
I have made some exceptions to that rule for items from the classifieds subforum in here and had only good experiences - for what it's worth...

With some luck and patience a nice pair of upper midrange bins from the well known brands (around $1000 new) can be found around your budget - maybe except for the Swaro SLCs but they tend to be a bit above that new and used Swaros tend to be a bit more expensive...

Things to look out for would be Zeiss Conquest HD series, Zeiss Victory HD or FL would be screaming deals, Nikon HG or HGL series, Nikon Monarch HG would also be very good deals if in budget, basically any Leica Trinovid (but not the ones named Leitz - those are usually no phase coated and some not even multicoated), Meopta Meostar series and of course a Swaro SLC if you can find one in budget.

Former top models of some less well known brands can sometimes be found around 300 quid or below - Opticron DBA and Verano series come to mind or the Pentax DCF ED 8x32 which I got as an open box demo for 220€ (I felt a bit guilty of robbery after I got it but I have managed to live with it over time and it's my pair of choice for long hikes in rain or crawling though the jungle).

Joachim
 
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pbjosh

missing the neotropics
Switzerland
Lots of good opinions in this thread. If you're concerned about weight, be wary of the recommendations for used Nikon HG/L and Trinovid BA/BN bins, they are heavy beasts. I personally would take a Conquest HD over either of those if I wanted the best performance at the price, and the Conquest is also very durable and has a modern warranty. But this is just my opinion of course.

As you mention x42's, I will say this - I would probably take a Monarch HG x42 over the Conquest HD x32 if price were comparable. Weight is not too far apart and the Nikon is one of the smallest and lightest x42 there is. I prefer the FOV and the color and contrast of the Nikon HG.

I do think at your budget, I would shop for one of the £600+ bins used or at a good discount rather than spend £400-500 on a bin at list price. If you ultimately choose to go a bit less expensive though, you certainly can get a very solid bin like the Opticon Traveller at £300 or less and needn't feel like you're ending up with a less than excellent tool.

Whatever you do, hopefully you'll get a chance to look through them before committing, or buy from a shop where they can be returned.

Best of luck
 

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