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Thread: Secondhand binos

  1. #1
    SD Regular Greener Jim's Avatar
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    Secondhand binos

    I know the general consensus is "buy the best binos you can afford" and that is exactly what I plan on doing. However, my budget is VERY low; the closer to 50 the better.

    So what makes (and models) should I be looking for? For example I can afford genuine Zeiss 8x30 Jenas which have good reviews but are old and there is more fakes than real out there! Someone mentioned Opticron to me but not a model.

    All help appreciated, however, advice to save up and spend more isn't really helpful. I am aware of this option the money just isn't there with a wedding and new house within a month but frankly, half decent binoculars, rather than an excellent set, are better than none at all!!
    Any Questions Feel Free to PM me

  2. #2
    I had same dilema and I ended up stretching to a new pair of Vanguard endeavor ED2.
    Maybe vanguard spirit/orros or hawke equivalent.

    If size doesn't matter get a porro as they woulld be much cheaper. Swift Audubon are a good option for your budget.
    Try your local cash converters..

  3. #3
    +1 for the Swift Audubon.

    I bought a pair of these about 12 years ago & they are still going strong. They are my go to binoculars for early morning woodland stalking & hill walking; I find that as it's getting lighter you don't need anything too fancy & I don't like a heavy weight around my neck when walking. They seem very well built & are extremely capable. I bought them as the manager of a well known Scottish gun shop had been to an optics trade fair & had tried them against all the top end options & could barely tell the difference; consequently he bought a batch of them & offered them at a discount.

    I have a pair of Zeiss range finding binos but find them a touch heavy for a several mile walk so tend to mainly use them in the evening when it's getting dark & I might sit for a while. I find that my shots rarely extend beyond 120 yards anyway.

  4. #4
    SD Regular Greener Jim's Avatar
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    Cheers lads, exactly what I wanted. With the Swift Aubudon do you mean the newer type or the older type?
    Any Questions Feel Free to PM me

  5. #5
    I second the idea of porro prisms. I find the wider set of the objective lenses give you an enhanced 3D effect which helps to pick out well camouflaged beasties from their background. I prefer them to any of the roof prisms I have looked through.

    If you look at the big camera lens names from the turn of the century when the mid range coated optics were all the rage and find a pair of gas filled waterproof ones which feel good for your hands and eyes you will be right on your 50. That is exactly how much I paid for my last pair of 8x40s 12 months ago.

    Alan

  6. #6
    Look in your local auctions, the catalogues are often on line, then you can have a look. There were some 10x Zeiss Jena in mine a week or two back, really mint and very clear indeed. Went for 15 + the premium which is I think 20% so 18 all told.

    David.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Greener Jim View Post
    Cheers lads, exactly what I wanted. With the Swift Aubudon do you mean the newer type or the older type?
    I went hunting for a picture of similar pair on the internet & found this review of the 8.5x44 Swift Audubon model no. 828 which are the ones I have. Perfect with glasses too, if that's an issue.

    Swift HHS Audubon 8.5x44 | Better View Desired

  8. #8
    Did you get yourself sorted with a pair of binos?

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by McKenzie View Post


    I have a pair of Zeiss range finding binos but find them a touch heavy for a several mile walk so tend to mainly use them in the evening when it's getting dark & I might sit for a while. I find that my shots rarely extend beyond 120 yards anyway.
    Slightly off at a tangent but may be of use to Jim if he needs to look at older binos which will possibly be heavier, particularly if they are the older 'built like a tank' Zeiss models...

    Heavy doesn't need to be a pain in the neck... I hear where you are coming from McKenzie... a 1kg lump of glass round your neck is no fun at all.. Put a decent bino harness on rather than a neck strap and, for hardly any less bulk, you will not know they are there..

  10. #10
    The last pair of second hand binos I bought were crosseyed. I could see the chimney and the soffit in some kind of strange mix.

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