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Looking to Buy Binoculars

I'm looking for some good binoculars, new or used, for general use. I'd prefer a pair that are medium-sized. I don't know much about optics or the specifics of binoculars, so am interested in any suggestions you may have. I know that prices range considerably and my price range is under $200.

I borrowed a friend's Leitz 7x35 /150m/1000m and really liked them, but think a similar pair may be above my price range.
 
Good binoculars don't have to be expensive. The very cheapest tend to be low quality, but you don't have to go to the upper end of things.

Binoculars are usually listed with power and objective lens size. 7x35 means it makes things look seven times bigger, with objective lenses of 35mm. The higher the power, the more it picks up every little movement. Very high powered binoculars work best with a mount, just like a telescope.

The larger the objective lens, the better it works in low light conditions. I have a pair of compact binoculars that are practically useless as soon as it's dusk.

Have used zoom binoculars at work, and like those pretty well. That adds to the cost, though. My last work pair was a Nikon Action 8X40. It wasn't a zoom, but did the job. A check shows a modern version running about $129. This is an all-weather binocular, so standard 8x40 binoculars would probably cost less. IIRC, the company bought these at a Walmart, so you might see what they have to offer.

I'm assuming you know about the adjustment on the right eyepiece that allows you to compensate for vision differences between both eyes. I took a bit of correction fluid and marked the dial of mine once I had it set. All I have to do is align the white marks, and it's good to go.
 
Another point:

If you are wearing glasses be sure to get something with a "high-eyepoint" design - you might have trouble to get things into focus otherwise.

I was gifted an old but very high quality Swarovski "Habicht" binocular some years ago by my father when he upgraded to a newer version and sadly had to return it - no way I could get it to work with glasses. Bought a Nikon Monarch 8x36 (discontinued) and am very pleased with this.

I also strongly recommend getting an all-weather binocular as you will probably want to use it outside :=)

br,
tom
 

Legion

Moderator Emeritus
A second vote for Nikon Monarch. There are a number of models in that range, but all are good bang for your buck.

Id recommend getting them from a bricks and mortar store, as binoculars can be very YMMV, and different ones work better for different people. It would be worth your time and a few extra bucks to be able to try out a few models side by side.
 

FarmerTan

George Bailey Fanboy
I've always wanted a good set of binoculars, but my stinkin' lazy eye drives me nuts. I'm going to look into a monocular, if there is any such thing made today, kind of like what a pirate uses, I suppose? Sorry for the thread derailment!
 

Legion

Moderator Emeritus
I've always wanted a good set of binoculars, but my stinkin' lazy eye drives me nuts. I'm going to look into a monocular, if there is any such thing made today, kind of like what a pirate uses, I suppose? Sorry for the thread derailment!
You can still get them. Bushnell makes them, along with other companies.
 

Legion

Moderator Emeritus
Thanks! A friend has a very high priced spotting scope, but I'm not made of money, and it just looks weird to me, lol.
Spotting scopes are fine for looking at static subjects (targets and so on), but hopeless for trying to find and follow anything moving, or if you are hand holding the scope. A monocular in an 8 or 10 power is what you want for general use.
 
Spotting scopes are fine for looking at static subjects (targets and so on), but hopeless for trying to find and follow anything moving, or if you are hand holding the scope. A monocular in an 8 or 10 power is what you want for general use.
+1
Basically, half binoculars instead of a stronger telescope.
 
My favorite go-to binoculars are Leupold. The optical quality is excellent from this manufacturer of gun sights. There's a lot of junk out there even from some of the better-known brands.
 
I'm looking for some good binoculars, new or used, for general use. I'd prefer a pair that are medium-sized. I don't know much about optics or the specifics of binoculars, so am interested in any suggestions you may have.
Do you want roof prism or porro prism binoculars? The later type are a cheaper prism arrangement. Also the better ones are nitrogen filled.
General use would be 7 or 8 x 42. In your price range you would be looking at second hand.
 

Ad Astra

The Instigator
Ambassador
x2 Leupold, and .02: gathering light is most important vs. power. Anything over 10x, and you shake.

Yet weight is important too: gave away a pair of good-glass Japanese-made 7x50s; too heavy.


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