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Thread: Any such thing as decent Binoculars for 150 or less

  1. #1

    Any such thing as decent Binoculars for 150 or less

    I don't really know the 1st thing about binoculars but it looks like I could do with a pair for my new venture but I don't have a great deal to spend on them, so there's no point in quoting leicas or Swarovski to me as they are just way to far out of reach at the moment, I see a lot of the expensive ones are a fixed magnification, is there a reason for this to say a zoom pair?.

    I have a budget of around 150 for a pair and looking on sportsman gun centre they have loads of Bushnell's at half price or more and also a pair of vortex well within my budget but are any of them any good or should I say any better than what the wife got me about 7 years ago for watching birds and deer on some farmland behind our house at the time, don't laugh but they are a pair of Hawke nightwatch 8x42's, should I just make do with these and save up for a better pair next year or replace these now?

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    minox bv 8x42 are around that price and cracking bins

  3. #3
    I have just bought a pair of vortex from sportsman and all I can say is they are fantastic and for the money they seem as good as some of the more expensive ones my buddy has

    adrian

  4. #4
    Hawke actually don't do bad binoculars to be fair, I know several folk that use them for birding etc and for the saving it's hard to see the 12-1400 difference, that said you can't beat good optics and I would always get the best I could afford..... Try a few out and find something that suits you. Most bins are fixed mag, I've only ever experienced one pair of zoom ones and they were shockingly bad!
    Opinions are like arseholes....... we all have them, and most of them stink

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by webby954 View Post
    I have just bought a pair of vortex from sportsman and all I can say is they are fantastic and for the money they seem as good as some of the more expensive ones my buddy has

    adrian
    +1 and a lifetime guarantee.

  6. #6
    I would make do with the ones you have and save up to buy something better........buy once cry once....

  7. #7
    Take your Hawkes along with you and have a look through some others in your price range and compare them side by side. You may find little advantage.

    The only safe advice anybody can give is always "the best you can afford". That sort of gets mis-translated to "the most expensive you can afford". I would far rather base a purchase on what suited my eyesight and the purpose I was going to put them too, rather than the latest trend and fashionable brand. Though we are all guilty of believing the luxury marketeers mantra "you only get what you pay for".

    I prefer carrying and handling porro prism binoculars. With their shorter wider format they are less pendulous around the neck and ride higher on your chest. I find the wider spaced objective lenses enhance the 3d effect making it easier to pick out an animal from its background.

    I once asked to look through a professional stalker/Swarovski agent's binoculars at some fallow in a field. I was really shocked at how heavy and cumbersome they were, and worst of all how dim and flat was the view. My mum's 1990s 7x42 Miradors seemed to me far brighter and sharper looking at the same herd in the same light conditions. So I am always surprised when I read on here that what you are paying for is that they are still picking out animals clearly at dusk long after others have failed.

    I will now probably be stoned for heresy....

    The main advantages of the roof prism designs seems to be their external simplicity, and thus robustness, and the ease with which they can be weatherproofed. My mum's Miradors are dry conditions only, but there are a number of weatherproof / marine porros available. My recently purchased and equally bright rubber clad weather proof and fog proof and over 8 degree wide angle 8x40s cost me all of 50 on Amazon, second hand of course...I did have a pair of 10x50 of the same brand and range so I knew what I was going to get. No longer made I am still on the lookout for them in the lower mag ranges, stocking up as insurance!

    Just go by your own eyes, be subjective!

    Alan
    Last edited by Alantoo; 06-12-2014 at 13:46.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by rooster View Post
    minox bv 8x42 are around that price and cracking bins
    Good shout I had a pair. A very good glass at a good price.


    Nutty

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by nuttyspaniel View Post
    Good shout I had a pair. A very good glass at a good price.


    Nutty
    +1

  10. #10
    This won't be a popular suggestion but my best binos are an old set of binocs made in Japan and bought at a second hand store (charity shops?). They are crystal clear with beautifully ground lenses and very precise focus. I have bought and given away many of these old (50's and 60's) Japanese-made units from 7x35 to 8x50. The clarity rivals my hunting partner's $1100 binocs.... They have never cost more than $10 each.

    I don't know if you have such shops there but it might be worth a look. I seldom see budget binos that will come close to the quality of these old units.~Muir

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