• BirdForum is the net's largest birding community dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE!

    Register for an account to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

What price range gets most for your money? (1 Viewer)

Bluben79

Member
United Kingdom
Hello, I'm new to the forum. I'm a relative novice and bought a pair of Viking Badger bins last year. They've been great in getting me outside and looking but they obviously have there limitations as they only cost £90.

I'm wanting to upgrade but was wondering at what price point is the best value. I'm happy to spend quite a bit more but realise as with most products there can be limited gains despite huge price differences.

What would real world differences be from say a £500 to £1000?

Does anybody have any recommendations within that price range. So far I've looked at GPO Passion and Hawke Frontier in 8x42. Should I consider any others?

Thanks
 

Maljunulo

Well-known member
I would say 1. decide how much is the absolute most you want to spend. 2. get advice and read reviews on what is the best glass for that price. 3. buy, use, and enjoy, secure in the knowledge that you got the best for your eyes, for the money you were willing to spend.

Don't look back, don't look for flaws because if you look for them, you will find them and then they will bug you forever.

Don't ever look through better glass, as you may become unhappy with yours.

Yes, there are differences between £500 and £1000 binoculars, and you can read endless and totally pointless discussions of whether they are "worth the difference".

One more thing: before you put down your money, think about a used model of a "better" glass.

Good luck.
Richard
 
Last edited:

Conndomat

United States of Europe
Europe
Hi,

For £ 1000 you can get a Swarovski SLC 8x42, that optically and mechanically plays in the 1st division!
Otherwise Zeiss Conquest, Nikon MHG, Leica Trinovid HD and Meopta also make very good binoculars!
I would reconsider the tip from Maljunulo.

Andreas
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
I wouldn't spend more than a $1000 for an alpha roof anymore. Just get a big 10x50 or 7x50 porro, and it will outperform almost any roof even the alphas for a lot less money. A 50 mm objective is going to pull in 60% more light than a "wimpy" 32 mm or 96% more light than a "baby" 25 mm regardless of differences in the quality of the coating and that big 5 to 7 mm exit pupil is going to be way more comfortable to use. It is a matter of physics. A good 10x50 porro will even best the "fancy pants" NL 8x42. I sold my NL 8x42 because my Fujinon FMTR-SX 10x50 is better. A big 50 mm porro is like a Shelby 427 and the NL is like a Ferrari V12. The Shelby just uses the simple formula of a lot of horsepower and very little weight, whereas, the Ferrari has all kinds of valves in its V12 with all kinds of complexities. The Cobra will usually beat the Ferrari in a drag race. The 50 mm porro just has a big objective lens with a simple efficient optical system and the NL has a much more complex less efficient optical system with a smaller objective lens, and it uses all kinds of optical trickery to get that huge FOV which creates weird effects. In the end the porro beats all the gimmicks of the NL just like the Cobra beats the Ferrari. Look at the top 7x50,10x50 and 8x56 binoculars on Allbinos. A porro tops ALL THREE lists and for good reason. If you get a 7x50 porro you don't have to worry about the IF focusing because you hardly ever have to focus anyway, and it has great DOF and you can hold it steadier, and it will kill the highly regarded 7x42 in every way. I recommend a Fujinon, Habicht, APM, Nikon or Doctor Nobilem porro in 7x50 or 10x50 or if you can't carry the weight the Habicht 10x40 GA for birding and hiking. With a normal 8x42 roof prism you are already carrying 2 pounds what is another pound to carry a 50 mm porro to get the ultimate view? You can get an APM 7x50 APO Porro binocular for $400.00, and I challenge anybody to find anything better optically for the price.

 

Attachments

  • APM-MS-7x50-ED_hinten.jpg
    APM-MS-7x50-ED_hinten.jpg
    38 KB · Views: 8
Last edited:

edwincjones

Well-known member
If possible, go to a store that has a good selection of binoculars, try them out in different price ranges,
see which ones you like best, that you bond with.

edj
 

cottonbase

Well-known member
To answer the title question, I'd say £300 - £750 for new price. Secondhand, considerably less.

You should probably add Opticron DBA VHD+ x42s and Zeiss Conquest x32s to your list.
 

Charnwood

Active member
United Kingdom
As a relative beginner I hesitate to advise but it might also be worth considering what other birdwatching optics would complement your existing binoculars. I started off with a pair of reasonable quality 10x42 binoculars. Next I bought a very compact pair of 8x32s (Opticron bga mg travellers) which I could carry more easily out hiking and on my walk to work (and which my partner could use if she came out birdwatching with me). After that I bought a scope so that I could get a better look at far off waders and waterfowl when I visited some of the local reservoirs and nature reserves.
 

bkdc

Well-known member
The price at which you are satisfied with the binocular and stop losing money from upgrade-itis buying and selling binoculars. For some that's the middle tier and for some that is the premium level.
 

YuShan

Well-known member
Ten years ago I bought my first binoculars. They were £330 and reasonably good (ED glass). In the shop I ask the sales person what was the best binoculars he had, just to compare how much difference there was. He gave me the Swarovision 8.5x42 to compare. I was blown away! But it was five times the price and at the time I didn't know yet that birding was going to be such a serious hobby, so I bought the cheaper one. But I never forgot how blown away I was with the Swaro.

Just one year later, I put my binoculars on ebay and bought the Swaro anyway! It was expensive, but I have now used it for nine years. It has been with me on countless (international) trips and hikes and every time I enjoy the fantastic quality, having a "seat on the front row" so to speak. I may use it for the rest of my life. It was very expensive, but in hindsight it was some of best money I have ever spent.

The moral of this story: if you know that this is a serious hobby, go for the best you can afford.
 

lmans66

Out Birding....
Supporter
United States
Like others...I started in the 80's with a cheaper pair....loved it, got into birding. Then just started 'looking' and found like YuShan implied that better binoculars get one 'blown away'...I was no different as better bins provided better contrast, color, ease of use etc etc. Those intangibles pushed me into the mid priced which then pushed me to the Alphas. Then I made a regress and sold an Alpha and got into the mid-level...but I found my enjoyment of birding diminished a bit without some of that quality glass. I still birded and enjoyed nature and walked etc but I missed the high price view. I got spoiled I suppose. So now back to an Alpha although still have a few mid-priced to play around with too. Yes, the moral of the story is, afford the best you can afford and be happy with it.

Go to the stores and go looking....try them out. Go to bird fairs and do the same. Order in demo pairs once you get it narrowed down. But keep in mind your budget and go with that in mind.
 

Foss

Well-known member
To Blubin79.
In regard to your primary question about what price range gets you the most for the money, I'd say in general terms that if you have between £500 to £1000 to spend, you're there. Like others have said, research thoroughly, test as many as possible, and spend wisely.
~ Jack
 

jring

Well-known member
Hi,

for me it's all up to 500€ so far - but I tend to buy used or look for very good deals so these bins would have been in the 450-1000€ range if bought new at MSRP - although I'm not quite sure what the MSRP for a pair of Nikon SE 10x42 was back then in the early 90s when it was Nikon's top dog.

So far I have not felt an immediate urge to have to upgrade when comparing those bins to alphas... they might be better but they usually are not 5 or 10 times better...

Joachim, still tempted at times by well priced used alphas.... but must repeat: "I have enough binoculars"...
 

lmans66

Out Birding....
Supporter
United States
So far I have not felt an immediate urge to have to upgrade when comparing those bins to alphas... they might be better but they usually are not 5 or 10 times better...
My strong suggestion then is to never 'look' at an Alpha thru your own eyes, or you will never want to go back 'down'....If you want a mid to low-priced binocular, concentrate solely on looking at that price point in the stores and don't allow yourself to even look at an alpha or you might be disappointed... :)
 

jring

Well-known member
Hi,

I have looked through my share of alphas... and no, I did not want to upgrade. Some were better than my bins, but not enough to warrant paying 2k more than what I paid.

Btw, a funny story - I once was observing with a group and a gentleman had a pair of Ultravid 10x50 (I think non-HD as this is some time back) and wanted to try my funny porro (SE 10x42).

He then offered me his Ultravid for it (which would have been a good deal, but due to the rarity of the SE I had to decline). I told him what to look for on ebay, maybe he got some SE...

Joachim
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top