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Suggestions for a new pair of binoculars


gwalchmai
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I'm thinking I'll get some new binoculars. 8x42 roof-prism (probably, but I'm open-minded), light enough to carry all day and bright enough to be useful. I'd appreciate your recommendations and thoughts. Also, if you know of decent retailers in the Chattanooga area please let me know.

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Pawn shops, or Ebay. Buy quality like Leupold, Pentax, Minolta. I have a couple pairs of Minolta 10x50 that I really like. Although they are both the same size, one pair is noticeably lighter. Must be a different material in the housing. One pair I have had for almost 40 years and have hauled them in on remote hunting trips and banged them around on the dash of the 4x4 and they are still as sharp and clear as when they were new. I have several compact Nikon and Minolta also for carrying in a pocket or hanging around my neck. Bushnell makes a ton of different styles, but I have never been impressed with the quality or the warranty. 

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I own a pair of Fujinon Polaris binoculars.  They are exceptional, but heavier than you are looking for.  I also have a pair of Steiner 8x30s.  Much more compact and lightweight, but not the optical equal of the Fujinons.  Take a look at Vortex Optics also.  https://www.amazon.com/Vortex-Optics-Diamondback-Prism-Binoculars/dp/B01AU85XZ8?ref_=ast_sto_dp

Edited by Gunboat1
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These were originally recommended

I was looking at these

Ended up with these

 

No doubt the Vortex are top shelf and people are kinda ga ga over them, but the Celestron glass is crystal clear, and eye relief is amazing compared to my 35 year old Redfields that have bee dragged all over the western US and Texas. If the Redfields were ever that good, it has been long enough I don't remember, but at the time, they were "The last ones I'd ever buy". That didn't pan out. LOL

Anyway, I don't think I'll ever use something enough or travel enough to spend the $$ when the off brand are amazing. The field of view has taken some getting used to. I was used to a 50 reticle and the 42 is more narrow. They gather light very well. The tech these days seems to have paid off.

Happy Shopping

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I think it kinda depends on what you're looking for. Birds up relatively close, versus a mountain goat on the other side of a valley, are going to require different optics. It's a trade-off between FOV and magnification. I have a pair of Bushnell 16x50 that aren't bad for looking at star clusters and scanning mountain sides for critters, but not great for up close work. Also, the optics could be a lot crisper, and I wouldn't want to carry them around all day.

 

I think if you want FOV, mag, good optics, and reduced weight, it's gonna hurt the wallet.

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Good point. Essentially wildlife and birding, although I'm not a "pro-am" birder", but good birding glass would suit my needs. I'm budgeting in the $500 and looking at Zeiss, Kodak, and now Vortex.

Y'all ever notice after you been in the gun culture for a while you start budgeting hobby stuff in guns? "Yeah, that ought to cost a handgun or two..." :supergrin:

 

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9 hours ago, gwalchmai said:

Good point. Essentially wildlife and birding, although I'm not a "pro-am" birder", but good birding glass would suit my needs. I'm budgeting in the $500 and looking at Zeiss, Kodak, and now Vortex.

Y'all ever notice after you been in the gun culture for a while you start budgeting hobby stuff in guns? "Yeah, that ought to cost a handgun or two..." :supergrin:

 

The old wisdom, and maybe the modern wisdom as well, says to get all the glass you can afford. There is a lot of truth in that. Eye relief, clarity, magnification, and weight are almost always better in the higher end, or used to be.

Still, cheap and frugal are two different things and should never be confused.

Edited by LostinTexas
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50 minutes ago, gwalchmai said:

Dang, it seems that just about all the mid-priced binos are made in Mordor.  Steiner and Meopta are made in Germany (or USA) and Czech Republic respectively, but that's all I've found so far.

LMAO. Unfortunately for this selection, you can bring your checkbook or throttle your virtue. Hating China is quite the pass time, especially the last few months, but the market is what it is.

With the experience I've had with all the German Engineering, I'd use caution. They may be fine and worth a try, but not for 5X the price. At least to me.

Happy Shopping

 

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15 hours ago, LostinTexas said:

LMAO. Unfortunately for this selection, you can bring your checkbook or throttle your virtue. Hating China is quite the pass time, especially the last few months, but the market is what it is.

With the experience I've had with all the German Engineering, I'd use caution. They may be fine and worth a try, but not for 5X the price. At least to me.

Happy Shopping

 

I think (fear) you're right. I just got an email back from Kowa saying their products are designed in Japan and manufactured by their partner in China. I understand the economic reasons for all this, but I really have trouble with it since I know that the money ultimately ends up supporting The Party. And they are dedicated to killing me (I'm too old to rehabilitate). I have hopes that the ChinaVirus will wake us up to this menace, but I'm aware that "in reality we're living with a couple of whores". :supergrin:

 

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20 hours ago, Historian said:

I spent about $400 on a set of Leopolds that are fantastic for the price.  It's hard to go wrong with them.

I paid nearly $300 for the Redfield glass I still have.

I contacted them when I started looking and found that the new offerings were what they were, or the old binoculars were fading. They should have been the last I ever had to buy, and really did make a good run. They aren't unusable, but are very fatiguing now.

Conversation verbatim with Redfield rep:

After asking for SN,

rep: are they fogged?

No

rep: are they cracked?

No

rep: Will they focus?

almost

Rep: Do they have anything rattling?

no

rep: Sorry but they sound fine. They are old, and probably outlived their serviceable life.

It just cost a phone call, so nothing lost and it was plain to see they had no intention of any sort of service, but for the upgrade, I can't gripe. For the service of the Redfield's, it is hard to find fault with that either.

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3 hours ago, LostinTexas said:

It just cost a phone call, so nothing lost and it was plain to see they had no intention of any sort of service, but for the upgrade, I can't gripe. For the service of the Redfield's, it is hard to find fault with that either.

I slipped and dropped a rifle years ago and sure enough my scope hit a rock.   Wasn't good.  It was heavily scratched and had a good dint in it.

Called Leupold and they replaced it.  No questions asked.

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