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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

What are the best really "CHEAP" birding binoculars? (1 Viewer)

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
I bought an Olympus 7x21 PC Classic reverse porro from Amazon years ago for only 30-35 bucks and it was great. I got rid of it when I had to start wearing glasses. I wouldn't buy a cheap roof, but the cheap porros and reverse porros can be quite good.
I agree. I had that Olympus, and it was amazingly good for the low price. A cheap Porro or reverse Porro for $100 is sometimes better than a $500 roof. The $100 Leupold Yosemite 8x30 will beat most roofs up to $500.
 

gr8fuldoug

Camera Land / Supporting Vendor
How about an Athlon Talos 8x42 which are on sale, reduced from $139.99 to only $99.99. Good quality binocular that won't give you a headache looking through it lol
  • Phase Corrected prisms: Phase corrected prisms produce images that have better contrast, a higher resolution and better color reproduction
  • BaK4 prisms: Bak-4 glass prisms reflect more light to your eyes which will give you brighter and sharper image.
  • Advanced FMC: Advanced Fully Multi-Coated lenses gives you better light transmission to bring optimum brightness and true color across the entire light spectrum.
  • Long Eye Relief: Long eye relief can be particularly important for eyeglass wearers because longer eye relief allows them to still see the entire field of view.
  • Close Focus: Close focus is important for those who are nature observers and especially important if you are going to watch butterflies or insects
  • Twist Up Eyecups: Twist up eyecups with intermediate stops allow you to set the eyecups to the ideal eye relief for you eyes
  • Waterproof: Waterproof to protect the binocular in the harshest weather conditions or if accidentally submerged underwater
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
How about an Athlon Talos 8x42 which are on sale, reduced from $139.99 to only $99.99. Good quality binocular that won't give you a headache looking through it lol
  • Phase Corrected prisms: Phase corrected prisms produce images that have better contrast, a higher resolution and better color reproduction
  • BaK4 prisms: Bak-4 glass prisms reflect more light to your eyes which will give you brighter and sharper image.
  • Advanced FMC: Advanced Fully Multi-Coated lenses gives you better light transmission to bring optimum brightness and true color across the entire light spectrum.
  • Long Eye Relief: Long eye relief can be particularly important for eyeglass wearers because longer eye relief allows them to still see the entire field of view.
  • Close Focus: Close focus is important for those who are nature observers and especially important if you are going to watch butterflies or insects
  • Twist Up Eyecups: Twist up eyecups with intermediate stops allow you to set the eyecups to the ideal eye relief for you eyes
  • Waterproof: Waterproof to protect the binocular in the harshest weather conditions or if accidentally submerged underwater
Those look like a good value for the money, Doug. Your link was incorrect so the link below is the correct one. I don't want to harm your sales but Adorama has them for $59.99. Will you price match?


ao115004.jpg
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
It's tempting to get a pair of those Athlons just to leave in the car. At $60 I wouldn't even care if someone stole them.
Exactly! That is a BIG advantage of "Cheap Binoculars". Also, if you drop them off a cliff or in a river just buy another pair. You're not going to be crying like if they were a Swarovski NL!
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
These are still hard to beat for clarity, weight and price.
I like the $60 price on the Athlon 8x42 better, and I will bet there is not much difference in the view. The Sightron Blue Sky 8x32 would not be as bright as the Athlon 8x42. At $60 I wouldn't cry at all if somebody stole them but at $170 I probably would.
 

dries1

Member
One thing I can say for the Sightron or the Fujinon KF 8X32 (similar clones) is that he focus still performs (consistent with no free play) like the day I bought them over two years ago, and both tubes focus simultaneously; more that I can say for some of the other low budget glass out there.

Andy W.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
But will you get a good sample from Amazon, or a reject, it's like Russian roulette with your time, send back and hope....for a good return sample. I would go with Adorama for the low price instead.

Andy W.
You're probably right. Amazon has really been going down hill lately. Slow unreliable shipping and like you say I think they send you their returns.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
One thing I can say for the Sightron or the Fujinon KF 8X32 (similar clones) is that he focus still performs (consistent with no free play) like the day I bought them over two years ago, and both tubes focus simultaneously; more that I can say for some of the other low budget glass out there.

Andy W.
I had a couple Sightrons and I always thought the edges were pretty soft and the focuser was a little stiff in cold weather. They are not bad for the money though.
 

Rob from Texas

Well-known member
Yeah, I absolutely started out with cheap/affordable binoculars. The Sightron blue sky are still in my procession, because every once in awhile I still use them. They still make me smile when I look through them, and for the 20th time I wonder how they can be so tack sharp and reliable for $190. They never let me down back in the day. At one time, it was fun and fulfilling to sort through and actually find a few rough gems at economical prices. But as far as bargains, I'll quit while I'm ahead on cheapies.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
Yeah, I absolutely started out with cheap/affordable binoculars. The Sightron blue sky are still in my procession, because every once in awhile I still use them. They still make me smile when I look through them, and for the 20th time I wonder how they can be so tack sharp and reliable for $190. They never let me down back in the day. At one time, it was fun and fulfilling to sort through and actually find a few rough gems at economical prices. But as far as bargains, I'll quit while I'm ahead on cheapies.
Have you tried any "Cheap" Porros?
 

Rob from Texas

Well-known member
"Have you tried any "Cheap" Porros?"

The only Porro I have owned were reverse porros. They were Vortex Vanquish 8x26. I was impressed with them. They were amazingly sharp (and of course handy and compact.) The reason I moved up to Blue Sky's was for bigger oculars. I gave the tiny ocular binoculars to a tiny person. It all worked out.
 

lmans66

Out Birding....
Supporter
United States
You're probably right. Amazon has really been going down hill lately. Slow unreliable shipping and like you say I think they send you their returns.
Amazon deals with 'dealers' ....so when you order something from them, it is one of their smaller dealers that handles much of the sales. So I suppose, if I am dealer and I have a pair of cheap bins 'or whatever'.... if they are returned to me due to some issue, then on the next purchase I am going to send them out once more knowing that the odds are the next guy will be happy and not complain even though there is an issue with the product.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
"Have you tried any "Cheap" Porros?"

The only Porro I have owned were reverse porros. They were Vortex Vanquish 8x26. I was impressed with them. They were amazingly sharp (and of course handy and compact.) The reason I moved up to Blue Sky's was for bigger oculars. I gave the tiny ocular binoculars to a tiny person. It all worked out.
That is the problem with compacts. The eye cups are so small they go to deep into your eye sockets resulting in black outs. They should make a compact with bigger eye cups.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
Amazon deals with 'dealers' ....so when you order something from them, it is one of their smaller dealers that handles much of the sales. So I suppose, if I am dealer and I have a pair of cheap bins 'or whatever'.... if they are returned to me due to some issue, then on the next purchase I am going to send them out once more knowing that the odds are the next guy will be happy and not complain even though there is an issue with the product.
You're exactly right. They keep sending out the rejects until some fool accepts them.
 
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia

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