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Thread: Binos - Best Under 100?

  1. #1

    Binos - Best Under 100?

    Ok - I searched the forums and there is another thread with a similar title to this one, but it's a couple of years old, so prices / models have probably changed a bit since then.

    Before anyone says "don't waste your money" and starts bandying around names like "Kahles" and "Zeiss" and the like - I promise you that I will buy a pair of decent binos when I've had the year or two to save up the money and they will be Kahles, Zeiss or similar.

    Since I plan on doing some stalking a little sooner than two years time, I need a pair of binos to tide me over in the short term. I have just put a Kahles Helia CT 3-10x50 (hat tip to Olaf) on a Heym .308 and rinsed up the best part of a grand doing it, so money is a little short right now. I get the arguments for decent optics (I have been educated!) and I'm not looking to rehash them here. ()

    With the above in mind, I need suggestions for the best model of binoculars (and reasons why) that I can buy for around the 100 mark. I know they'll be - to a degree - crap, but I don't have a magic money tree so they'll have to do whilst I save up the money for a decent pair.

    I don't mind second-hand at all, but first hand would be preferable. My Mrs wants to buy me something for hunting for Christmas, so unless there's a guaranteed supply I can point her at, second-hand is likely to be difficult to co-ordinate. At this point, I can't make any promises to buy - she'll have to see and approve whatever I choose before any money changes hands (since it'll be her money).

    With thanks in advance for any suggestions you can offer.


    PS - I have heard some old stalkers say a monocular is the way to go: I will consider these too if someone explain the reasons.

  2. #2
    Sportsman gun centre- minox 8x42 .130. Not sure if they still have any

  3. #3
    I have a pair of Opticron and can't fault the for their money.

  4. #4
    I found a link to these guys on the other thread:

    Prices look reasonable - are they any good?

  5. #5
    Pay a bit more and stick to the minox.

    fantastic glass and quality you can be sure off.

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  6. #6
    Firstly - greatly admire your efforts to filter out the near certain tide of 'lecturers' that are doubtless itching to pound keyboard We'll see how it goes

    Vortex - whilst preference would be up around the Talon series, the Crossfire and Diamondback ranges start ( in sensible sizes ) at about 119 per Riflecraft website.

    Goof proof lifetime guarantee.

    A client dropped on a pair of 'as new' diamondback series 7x35's on e bay for circa 70. For that money - or quadruple it - their performance was breathtaking. Impressed enough to run them on a resolution target - the performance was marginally below Swarovski SLC 8x30 ( caveat - looking through them isnt the be all and end all ). Impressed enough that said client has my 'first bibs' on them if he decides to move them on anytime.

    This client has now had these glasses pushing 12 months. Whenever he is out he makes constant use of them and every so often there's a little hint of a smile when he's glassing something. I just dont see those sustained reactions with other brands at that price level.

    ​Minox push hard - but dont believe warranty is the same and outwith secondhand most of the better models above the circa 100 mark.

    Good luck in your search - let us know how you get on.
    Stalking and Courses
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  7. #7

  8. #8
    I got a set of barr & stroud (8x30 or similar iirc) for 50 inc the leather case for keeping in the car.
    didnt fancy leaving geovids in there all the time

  9. #9
    Regular Poster
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    "Image intensifier" under 100 : here's something cheap and quick off the High Street, Jessops 10x42, roof prism, nitrogen filled, 35.00, cheap enough but not waterproof, at least you'll be able to see it before buying :

    Uttings have some bog-standard clearance lines :

    Bushnell 10x42, BaK-4 prisms, nitrogen filled, WP but heavy, 89.00

    and the Nikon Monarch clone Vanguard Spirits in 8x36, 8x42, and 10x42 all about half price at 99.99. These are the 'standard' Vanguard Spirits, now discontinued, but nothing wrong with that.

    Although overbudget I really like the fast smooth focus on the Vanguard Spirit ED, quicker than on the new Nikon Monarchs, and really useful when using gloves in cold weather. Bought a set in preference to the Minox BV 8x42 BR, better build quality, better coatings & ED glass, smoother handling, and far lighter.

    Good customer service and no quibble return policy at Uttings.

    Under budget Celestron Outland X 8x42 also worth a look. I think they are normally about 90.00, now discounted everywhere. Wex have them under 60.00 :

    If not too far and not too short notice there's an optics event at Lackford Lakes, Bury St Edmunds, tomorrow Sunday 17th November. Both Viking (who manufacture the RSPB bins) and Opticron will be there. Good opportunity to try before you buy. Although too low mag for stalking the Viking 6.5x32 MD may still be available under 100.00 (or much less for an end of the day ex-demo ), originally 250.00, a 300.00 view in a 100.00 body, a very nice bright wide-angle low power, a bargain.
    Last edited by Spix; 16-11-2013 at 11:10.

  10. #10
    Actually, I think its quite easy recommending binos around the 100 mark, my money is on Opticron, lower end of the range if you want new or mid range but secondhand. Have a look at Cley Spy, just up the road from me and I would be happy to go and check out anything for you. Having said that, you can trust the lads in there to be straight with you.

    Its much harder to give advice when people are looking to spend 250-350 as you're not quite into secondhand Swarovski or Zeiss but if you buy new binos from lesser makers then they will probably be fine but have zero or at least very low residual value when you come to trade up.

    I think you have a good plan, buy now for 80-100 then when you have saved and upgraded keep the old ones in the truck or give them to a young lad.

    I would go for 830 or 840.

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