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Which entry level Binocular? (1 Viewer)

Stawanski

Member
Hi folks,

I am looking for a good pair of binoculars for my wife. She got into birding and in a short time quite good with identifying. But she is using an old pair of binoculars I inherited from my late grandfather. I guess they are from the 60s and no major brand so you can imagine, that the quality is not good.

The budget is quite limited and I struggle to find the pair of Binoculars to go for as it shall be a surprise.

The budget is 150-230 euros.

So far I checked the
  • Celestron Nature Dx 8x42
  • Nikon Prostaff 7s 8x42
  • Vortex Diamondback HD 8x42
  • Vanguard Veo 8x42

Of course all of them have their pros and cons, but I do not know which pros and cons are more important 😅
My wife is small, so they should not be too heavy and have good ergonomics.

Which one would you recommend?
Or would you recommend a completely different pair?

I would really appreciate your help and advice.

Best regards
Markus
 

Rob from Texas

Well-known member
Here are a couple pair that I have owned and verified as good dollar values:

 

KC Foggin

Super Moderator
Staff member
Opus Editor
Supporter
United States
I'm just going to jump in here and wish you a warm welcome to you from those of us on staff here at BirdForum (y)
We're glad you found us and please join in wherever you like ;)
 

Stawanski

Member
I just saw here in different threads that the Hawke Optics Endurance 8x42 is also very often recommended.
Would you guys prefer that instead of the ones mentioned above?

From photography I am a big nikon fan but I also know that their top line is amazing if money doesn't count, the consumer lenses are more like meehhh for quite a lot of money compared to Sigma or Tamron e.g.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
Hi folks,

I am looking for a good pair of binoculars for my wife. She got into birding and in a short time quite good with identifying. But she is using an old pair of binoculars I inherited from my late grandfather. I guess they are from the 60s and no major brand so you can imagine, that the quality is not good.

The budget is quite limited and I struggle to find the pair of Binoculars to go for as it shall be a surprise.

The budget is 150-230 euros.

So far I checked the
  • Celestron Nature Dx 8x42
  • Nikon Prostaff 7s 8x42
  • Vortex Diamondback HD 8x42
  • Vanguard Veo 8x42

Of course all of them have their pros and cons, but I do not know which pros and cons are more important 😅
My wife is small, so they should not be too heavy and have good ergonomics.

Which one would you recommend?
Or would you recommend a completely different pair?

I would really appreciate your help and advice.

Best regards
Markus
The best thing is to try them all yourself even if you have to order them and return the ones you don't care for from a dealer that has an easy return policy. Everybody is different and what I prefer might not work for you because of facial structure and eye socket depth and so on. I just did that myself when selecting a 10x42 roof at the $1000 price point. It is the best and most sure way to decide.
 

Ratal

Well-known member
I have taken my Sightron 8x32 blue sky from deep within the Norwegian Arctic Circle to deserts of north Africa. Faultless. You will be very hard pressed to believe the view from such an inexpensive binocular!

 

Stawanski

Member
The best thing is to try them all yourself even if you have to order them and return the ones you don't care for from a dealer that has an easy return policy. Everybody is different and what I prefer might not work for you because of facial structure and eye socket depth and so on. I just did that myself when selecting a 10x42 roof at the $1000 price point. It is the best and most sure way to decide.
I would like to, but it's not possible right now to go to a shop. The lock down due to covid here in my area in Germany won't allow me to check any out in a shop. And regarding the infection rate this won't change any time soon... So the only option is to order online and return it if it is a complete no go for her. But I won't be able to order all of them and return all except one, I am not fond of this customer behavior tbh.
 

Stawanski

Member
Small, light, sharp view & absolutely worth every euro spent. Honestly? I have stopped yearning / wishing for other binoculars since I got mine near 6 years ago.


All articles so far recommended a 8x42 over the 32 for better ambient light performance.
My wife is in Egypt right now, so during daytime it's probably enough with a 32. But what about the time around dawn, Will it still be enough?

The 32 would have the advantage of less weight, what comes with the disadvantage of being more unstable I guess, that's at least my experience with cameras/lenses.
 

Ratal

Well-known member
All articles so far recommended a 8x42 over the 32 for better ambient light performance.
My wife is in Egypt right now, so during daytime it's probably enough with a 32. But what about the time around dawn, Will it still be enough?

The 32 would have the advantage of less weight, what comes with the disadvantage of being more unstable I guess, that's at least my experience with cameras/lenses.
Well, I will only say again that I have no desire to swap my binoculars. None. They were superb in the Arctic Norwegian winter, superb in the African dust and heat, and everywhere in between. On that note - What will you want to carry all day? A smaller, lighter unit for prolonged trips, or a heavier, bulkier bit of kit which you often leave behind for weight reasons? And they are way inside your budget.

* Having been sat in a hide at daybreak in Arctic Norway (Feb) whilst watching seabirds, I found the Sightron to be more than enough. 4mm is a LOT of exit pupil.
 

Rob from Texas

Well-known member
I would say, if early morning is a preferred and the regular viewing time, then yes, a 8x42 is slightly better, but, for general use I've never felt dis-advantaged when using a 8x32. I think the Blue Sky is amazing for the money and the Carson 3-D ED would be a similar experience in a 8x42 format. You would have to spend much more to improve either.
 
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Stawanski

Member
the issue with the Sightron is that it doesn't seem to be available in Germany. I found only one ebay reseller who sells it for a price above my budget.
The Carson 3D 8x42 is sold for 232€ on amazon Germany. So its more expensive than all the others I looked at so far. Does it outperform the others i mentioned?
 

Rob from Texas

Well-known member
I have only tried 2 of the 4 you initially listed. I have tried the Prostaff 7 and the Diamondback HD. I would say the Diamond back is a bit closer in quality to the Carson. Another feature of the Carson you cannot tell from the picture is that it is much more compact and solid than portrayed. I could not find anything, what-so-ever disagreeable with that binocular.
 

Ratal

Well-known member
the issue with the Sightron is that it doesn't seem to be available in Germany. I found only one ebay reseller who sells it for a price above my budget.
The Carson 3D 8x42 is sold for 232€ on amazon Germany. So its more expensive than all the others I looked at so far. Does it outperform the others i mentioned?

They ship all over the EU. Germany included.

*Anyway, that is the last I'll comment as 6 years of taking them all over the world has never had me wanting 'more.' That is all I can say, but I wish you good luck in your hunt.
 

jch10400

Member
I'm another very happy Sightron SII Blue Sky 8x32 user. When I first got in to birding I bought a Vanguard Endeavor ED 8x42, then wanted something smaller so I bought an Endeavor ED 8x32. The 8x32 is a little heavy, so I bought the Sightrons after reading about them on this board. I decided to upgrade to Conquest HD 8x42's in 2020. So far:

Both Vanguards are sitting in a box waiting to be sent in for warranty service. The hinge on the 8x42 loosed up to the point that it won't maintain a steady IPD, and the 8x32's diopter adjustment won't stay put.

The Conquest's left eyecup adjustment cracked the 4th time I used the binoculars. Zeiss mailed me a replacement.

Each time something else breaks I use the Sightrons. I also use them for birdwalks that are longer hikes as I like the light weight. They have never failed me.
 
Markus,
there are clones of the Sightron available under different names. Some of these may be easier to get in Germany.
One example is the Kenko Ultraview 8x32, which is now in it's 3rd version (OP DH III).
Its previous version DH II has been discussed in some detail on the Juelich Binocular Forum.
If you put "Kenko" in the search function, you will find various accounts of users.
It is within your budget.
Good luck
 
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Stawanski

Member
The Kenko is definitely available here, yes. Unfortunately I don't find much about them except here and some other forums.
I have to buy blind anyway, cause ei can't go in a shop to test. But I have to say, I am nowadays a bit careful with products hyped only in forums, because I got disappointed several times already. Usually they offer great value for the price, but the hype kinda let people not speak about any downsides, although there are. It is an interesting physiological phenomena, that we can see very often happening whenever there is a hype about something. Be it a hype like Apple or an insider hype in a forum.
Maybe it's not the case with the sightron /kenko, but it's difficult to evaluate because there is not much to find outside this forum...
On the little sources I found, the look a bit cheap and flimsy at the eye ups and lense covers.

Did anyone try sightron and kenko? I could get both for the same price basically.
 

jring

Well-known member
Hi,

as for people who tried the Sightron, you might find a few in this thread - it's only 79 pages long...


Regarding downsides - yes, a pair of 200€ bins will have downsides - as do alpha pairs for 10 times that.
But if a lot of people on this forum have bought them and did not complain, it was good enough to go birding with them. It is not going to be an alpha, though.

PS: for Kenko try the following if you can read german: https://www.juelich-bonn.com/jForum/read.php?9,450251,450278#msg-450278

Joachim
 
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