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Binoculars - any recommendations

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by BillN, Apr 11, 2010.

  1. BillN

    BillN Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 19, 2010
    SW France

    I need to upgrade - mine are not very good - will be used for nature watching and spying on the neighbours - must be "carry around" weight

    Budget - don't want to pay more than about £700 = $1,100 - could stretch to a little more

    Nikon and Pentax have always appealed but you guys in the US have Swarovski

    Looked at used Swarovski EL 8x32 WB on Ebay

    Have any of you guys got any recommendations - makers, sizes, etc.

    What are the problems, buying used

  2. grebeman

    grebeman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2010
    South Brent, south Devon (UK)
    Hi Bill,
    As a keen lifelong ornithologist I've used Swarovski for the last 35 years, excellent binoculars and an after sales service second to non, under their lifetime guarantee they virtually rebuild a pair for no cost to you (had it done twice over the years for what were originally quite minor defects). However they have now become prohibitively expensive new. I have always used 10x40 or these days 10x42, capable of being hand held in windy or cold conditions without too much shake.
    I used to know a rep who demonstrated binoculars on field days and for the price I was impressed with Opticron. For about £400 you can get a very good new pair.
    Personally I would avoid the very small pocketable types, I certainly never can get on with them. I've not tried 8x32, be aware of the field of view, too narrow and you might struggle to home in on your target, also the speed of focus adjustment, working in woodland in particular can require an ability to quickly refocus from very near to more distant, you don't want to be for ever winding the focusing wheel while your intended target beats a hasty retreat.
    Like all things it depends on how much you intend to use them, I've been in the habit of using mine most days and so was willing to pay a premium price for a premium product, for lesser usage then I would seriously consider Opticron.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. paulkbiba

    paulkbiba Mu-43 Rookie

    I love my Canon 10x30 image stabilized binoculars. I have never been able to hold a 10x binocular steady and previously had to stay with my 7x Nikons. The image quality on the Canon is excellent - crisp and clear.

    The stabilization feature is fantastic and makes bird watching into a much more pleasant experience. My dream is to get the 18x stabilized ones, but they are extremely pricey. In the US Amazon has the 10X for $350 (the 18X are about $1,100). They also make an 8x25 stabilized unit and it goes for about $250 and a 12x36 that runs about $600 at Amazon.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. peterpix

    peterpix Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 8, 2010
    So. Maine
    Peter Randal

    I second the recommendation for Canons. I have both 10x and 15x. Worth every penny. Sharp, plenty of light coming through, and the stabilization is great.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. BillN

    BillN Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 19, 2010
    SW France
    Hi - thanks for the Canon recommendations - I was keen on those, but read reports that if they were knocked the image stabilisation could fall out of line
  6. cosinaphile

    cosinaphile Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 26, 2009
    new york city
    canon is 10 x 30 is what i own , the difference between IS binocs and non is night and day

    i know leica and zeiss and swav. make better instruments optically but the canon IS are an amazing in use and panning is like drifting across a still lake ... they are bright and contrasty

    if you have a chance to try them youll be hooked
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    Are you planning on using a tripod with the binoculars?
  8. BillN

    BillN Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 19, 2010
    SW France
    Djarum - No tripod use - just carry arounds on my (morning) walks
  9. seasonnie

    seasonnie New to Mu-43

    May 5, 2010

    I got a pair of travel Binoculars no brand last summer for Kid to watch birds on sky. It is work great in outside. The price is very cheap , about USD12.00 , but i thought it just is a toy binoculars for kids. As it can't see clearly stars in sky ,may be it doesn't night vision function. Don't know if you like it
    The link on ebay for you reference
    Hiking Camping Nature Bird Watching Binoculars 9 x 22 - eBay (item 230466634243 end time May-25-10 09:03:35 PDT)
    Hope it helps
  10. cosinaphile

    cosinaphile Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 26, 2009
    new york city
    I third it!! i own the 10 x30 and they are light years ahead of non stabilized they are amazing and make birding a pleasure

    the 8x25 offer inferior stab. and the build quality is not so great,but the 10x30 has much nicer build quality and is the least expensive QUALITY stabilized that canon offers
  11. dannat

    dannat Mu-43 Regular

    May 2, 2010
    Melbourne Australia
    8x42 is a good size..do you want a roof prism? (both barrels have eyepieces in them) they are smaller & lighter but cost more than a porro (eyepieces are inside the front lens)
    Pentax are a good choice, there binos are usually sharp close to the edge but have slightly less field of view. nikon are also good.
    I have bought a number of used name binos & i don't have a problem doing this - but then i am familiar with image quality thru bino glass & what to expect.
    I would not go for a 25mm front lens- 32mm is about the smallest - 42mm is probably the biggest if you don't want a heavy weight.
    You may want to look at ED binoculars - they are good for daytime viewing with little CA
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