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

Sebzwo

Well-known member
It's really nice to look through quality binoculars. You can see the difference and don't want to go back.
Yesterday's alphas are quite nice at way less than what current ones cost. So going second hand from a trusted seller like a qualified store or similar might be a good way to go.
Going "anti-fashion" might help too. Everybody wants small? Go big. Everybody wants a certain brand? Take competitors or some less known brand. There is a lot of marketing hype going on these days which you don't need to pay for.
 

lmans66

Out Birding....
Supporter
United States
I have an old pair of Porro's.... The one thing that stops me is the 'ease of birding' ...focus wheel quickness etc..... I never use them. I don't have the SE so can't speak to it, but when looking at a birding binocular, speed and ease of focus is 'huge to me'...
How are the SE's...? Just out of curiosity...... By the way, I haven't seen one person using a Porro in years. funny.... never thought of this till now, jim
 

jring

Well-known member
I have an old pair of Porro's.... The one thing that stops me is the 'ease of birding' ...focus wheel quickness etc..... I never use them. I don't have the SE so can't speak to it, but when looking at a birding binocular, speed and ease of focus is 'huge to me'...
How are the SE's...? Just out of curiosity...... By the way, I haven't seen one person using a Porro in years. funny.... never thought of this till now, jim

Hi,

if you insist on a super fast focus as in less than one full turn, the SE (or E2) are not for you - they have about 1.5 turns of full travel. Ease of focus is very good though, smooth but neither too stiff nor too light, no slop - after all it's a Nikon.

Joachim
 

Patudo

Well-known member
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?

I think, because the personal circumstances (both financially and what we expect from binoculars) of each of us are different, this is really a journey that each individual must take for himself - and that attitudes towards quality vs value can and often do change over time and through experience. Some years ago now I had the opportunity to choose between a 10x40 Dialyt (P model) and a 10x42 FL which was almost twice the price. At the time, I just didn't feel that what I thought was only a slight (though apparent) difference in optical performance was worth the cost. Now, much later, the latest binocular I have, somewhat reluctantly, purchased is a 10x42 that approximates the performance of the FL I tried years before. I suppose I could, and perhaps should, simply have plonked down the extra cash back then. But the experience of using the Dialyt was also valuable, in that I got to enjoy its qualities, find out what it could and could not do for me in the field, and in general educate myself more about binoculars in general.

I feel the best quality (optical and mechanical) for the cheapest price is always found secondhand, and if your budget is between £500 and £1000 it's possible, with care and patience, to acquire some really good binoculars from the used market. The sentiment that one should never look through better binoculars than one can afford does indeed have much to recommend it, but I have to say, speaking for myself only, that trying the top alphas at places like Birdfair (I'm really grateful to have done so now, as goodness knows whether opportunities like that will ever return) has been a very educational experience. Having tried a wide range of alphas, ex-alphas and sub-alphas was very helpful in deciding what was best in optical performance (brightness, sharpness on axis and to the edge, field of view, colour rendition), and what I really needed for my own requirements.

A couple of things I've found, and again this is speaking only for myself: for some (many) kinds of birding it isn't necessary to have alpha performance to enjoy a wonderful day. But for other jobs, unfortunately, that level of optical performance I can only describe as alpha or near alpha class makes a real difference. Also, the practical value of, and indeed the pleasure in handling, something well built (mechanically) should never be underestimated. Just think how many times in a day you turn that focus wheel, or even adjust eyecups or similar things. That is partly the reason why the best of the great old classics (Leitzes and so on) are still admired today despite their optical performance being in many respects sub-par to even a £300 Opticron (as the gentleman I spoke to at the InFocus stand memorably once told me).
 

lmans66

Out Birding....
Supporter
United States
I like what you stated here 'the practical value of, and indeed the pleasure in handling, something well built (mechanically) should never be underestimated.".... To me, part of birding is the pleasure of birding. I can always 'find' a bird with any binocular, and while I can't always observe with the same details with 'all' binoculars I do know that the ergonomics of a binocular, the relative quality that one feels from the binocular and how long that same quality might last over the course of years'; well, it goes along ways towards that 'pleasure'...
 

Maljunulo

Well-known member
Binoculars are one of the most wonderful thing which I have enjoyed during a (rather) long life.

Birds are an unusually beautiful way to enjoy using binoculars, but almost anything can be used as an excuse to look through them.

The better your optics, the better you see ............ it is that simple after all is said and done.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
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... :)
I had a thread on that Phenomenon. It was called "Once You try Alpha You Can Never Go Backa." Look it up.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
Only at night. In the daytime and well into twilight, transmission rules.
Don't underestimate the value of a 7 mm exit pupil for eye placement comfort and in addition a lot of distortion passes the field stop never reaching your eyes because of that big exit pupil, so they have a view unmatched by even a 42 mm because of lack of aberrations.
 
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Mark9473

Well-known member
Belgium
Don't underestimate the value of a 7 mm exit pupil for eye placement comfort

That doesn't work for me because I also use my binoculars at night, and then my eye pupils open to 7 mm.
Matched eye pupil and exit pupil sizes make for a disaster in eye placement comfort - every tiny movement results in a visible brightness fluctuation.
 

Jessie-66

Germany
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
And in which "division" do Swaro NL, Zeiss SF, Nikon EDG, Nikon WX play? Maybe in the "alpha division"? :)
Drawer / pigeon hole thinking has disadvantages. And what is "very good" for others, for unknown people? Justifications with facts and experiences or links selected with care help others more: The OP and (later) readers of a thread can then assess what is (in-) acceptable or important or "very good" for them/they. Jessie
 
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lmans66

Out Birding....
Supporter
United States
When I first started birding with my ($69) Bushnells in the 1980's... I was 'wowed' by the view as I compared the binoculars to my Dad's old WWII binoculars .... So what is 'unknown' for many by not looking at any binocular better than their own, remains unknown until they look thru a better pair.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
That doesn't work for me because I also use my binoculars at night, and then my eye pupils open to 7 mm.
Matched eye pupil and exit pupil sizes make for a disaster in eye placement comfort - every tiny movement results in a visible brightness fluctuation.
Interesting. I never heard that before. In my opinion the bigger the better when it comes to exit pupil.
 

dries1

Member
And in which "division" do Swaro NL, Zeiss SF, Nikon EDG, Nikon WX play? Maybe in the "alpha division"? :)
Drawer / pigeon hole thinking has disadvantages. And what is "very good" for others, for unknown people? Justifications with facts and experiences or links selected with care help others more: The OP and (later) readers of a thread can then assess what is (in-) acceptable or important or "very good" for them/they. Jessie
???????????
 

Jessie-66

Germany
???????????
1. I have expressed myself clearly.
2. Your keyboard is probably defective: the key for the question sign marks bounces, other keys seem to be stuck or have no contact.
3. I don't understand some awarding of "likes".
 
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Troubador

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
Interesting. I never heard that before. In my opinion the bigger the better when it comes to exit pupil.
Dennis if you read the post carefully you will see the poster was not complaining about large EPs only about when the EP and his own pupils are the same size so any slight misalignments result in distracting changes in brightness.

Lee
 

jring

Well-known member
The Praktica's below have roused my attention though. I can get a pair for £180 online but wouldn't be able to try them out.

https://www.praktica.co.uk/praktica-ambassador-ed-8-x-42-mm-binoculars-green-5055189023871

Hi,

never heard about Praktika building binoculars themselves - they have a long tradition of building cameras in east germany though. Nowadays they seem to be more of a rebrander of chinese products...

As for the pair you mentioned - probably chinese built - which does not necessarily mean bad. It looks good from the specs, ticks all the wanted boxes for fully multicoated, phase coated, dielectrical mirror coatings on the roof edges and ED glass. Eye relief is ok for a 8x42 pair with 17.5mm and should be ok for most users with binoculars.

The given true field of 142m/1000m is quite wide for an 8x42 pair... will be interesting if that's real and how large the sweet spot is...

For 180 quid sounds like a steal - if it is a good example... but if you buy online you should be able to return it in case of a dud, right?

PS: It looks a lot like a Pentax SD 9x42...

Joachim
 

Bluben79

Member
United Kingdom
Thanks for the reply Joachim, they also look alot like the Vortex Talon albeit with some very minor molding differences on the main body, identical focus and eye relief adjusters.
 

PYRTLE

Old Berkshire Boy
Thanks for the reply Joachim, they also look alot like the Vortex Talon albeit with some very minor molding differences on the main body, identical focus and eye relief adjusters.
Yes, this is fairly standard for M.I.C. binoculars. They are mass produced (based around a standard design unit) and then have slightly different finishing touches applied - brand label, shade of rubber armour, etc
Older well known names such as Olympus, Praktica and newer brands do this rather than manufacture.

Post#2 still stands. First step - decide how much you want to spend.
Good luck.
 

jring

Well-known member
Thanks for the reply Joachim, they also look alot like the Vortex Talon albeit with some very minor molding differences on the main body, identical focus and eye relief adjusters.

Yes indeed, the Talon HD 8x42 seems to be an identical twin... here is a review.


I would probably be tempted if I needed a pair of 8x42 and it can be returned in case of a dud.

Joachim
 

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