Quantcast

Looking for a decent pair of binoculars...

Discussion in 'Shooting Gear and Storage' started by Sypher...., Sep 7, 2019.

  1. Sypher....

    Sypher.... Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2019
    Messages:
    54
    that won't break the bank. I'm looking for a budget of $200 or under. These will mainly be for hunting.
     
  2. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2018
    Messages:
    4,550
    Location:
    Up State New York
    I am interested in what guys will recommend, I used to use the large Nikon but lost my 2 pair in a flood a few years ago. Since I have just used a nice old pair of 6-12 swifts. There are some of the European military surplus binocs I wounder how they are.
     
  3. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2010
    Messages:
    6,389
    Location:
    South Eastern Illinois
    I like Nikon.
    I dont ha e a pair yet, as soon as something happens to my old bushnell 10x20s , I will.
    Two sons have them. They're very good for the$$.
    Right on your budget too.
     
    troy fairweather likes this.
  4. Dibbs

    Dibbs Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2018
    Messages:
    547
    Leupold makes a "Rogue" 10X25 compacts, for about 150, OTD. Very nice, compact, lightweight, great glass. Nikon makes a Prostaff 3s--(10X42) also a nice lightweight, for about 130$. I've used both these myself, the Nikon is a little larger, but they are both great compact field binos.
     
    troy fairweather likes this.
  5. Sypher....

    Sypher.... Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2019
    Messages:
    54
    Hmmm...it seems to me I saw some prostaff 3s 10x42 on clearance at a local store for about $70-$80 the other day. I wonder if they still have any left?

    I appreciate the feedback, let’s keep the suggestions coming.
     
  6. Rembrandt

    Rembrandt Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2003
    Messages:
    3,778
    Magnification is about all you'll get for $200....and that may be all you're looking for. After a few hours of glassing through them the eye strain will literally give you headaches. They won't be able to pick up true colors well or perform in low light as better optics do. If magnification is what your after, that will work.
     
  7. bersaguy

    bersaguy Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2011
    Messages:
    568
    Location:
    Tampa Bay
  8. Olon

    Olon Member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2018
    Messages:
    560
    Location:
    Roaming around the Heartland
    I just ordered a pair of Leupold McKenzie 10x42 for $129 (new, eBay). I’ll come back for an update once I get them.
     
    Walkalong and ohihunter2014 like this.
  9. berettaprofessor

    berettaprofessor Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2008
    Messages:
    2,507
    Location:
    Kansas
    Find that Walmart closeout thread on AR15.com There are almost always great binoculars on closeout, most recently Bushnell and Nikons. I didn't even need a pair but couldn't turn down a set of Leupold binos last year for $29 (regular over $300).
     
    Walkalong and Olon like this.
  10. Olon

    Olon Member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2018
    Messages:
    560
    Location:
    Roaming around the Heartland
    Where were you yesterday afternoon, man?! ;)
     
  11. StrawHat

    StrawHat Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2007
    Messages:
    3,870
    Location:
    NE Ohio
    If you want good binoculars, see what is recommended on the bird watching sites. They can tell you the clearest, sharpest lens in any price range.

    Kevin
     
    oldfortyfiveauto, DocRock and Olon like this.
  12. Dibbs

    Dibbs Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2018
    Messages:
    547
    Funny, I haven't gotten any headaches, I hunt a lot, yotes, wild boar, feral cats, and wild dogs, the year round, and I haven't gotten any eyestrain, just a clear view. Have you actually gotten a headache from using either of those two sets of binoculars, or is this just more internet BS?
     
    troy fairweather likes this.
  13. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2018
    Messages:
    4,550
    Location:
    Up State New York
    Maybe it's like watching tv. Ever use a old tv and it hurts your eyes to watch it.
     
  14. Dibbs

    Dibbs Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2018
    Messages:
    547
    I know the difference, and these aren't some 15$ Chinese POSs with transparent poly for lenses, sun washout, and distortion around the edges.

    I wouldn't recommend them, if they didn't hunt. I'm picky about my optics, and very fussy about scopes, there have been a lot of threads where I've advocated better glass, in general. And good binos are marginally better, but much heavier and bulkier, also.
    Great for a stationary stand, not so good for portability.

    So it's half to 1/3 the weight and bulk, and a clear view of 75 to 80% of what you can see with the heavier units. Bottom line, most of the time, my larger "better" binoculars wind up back in the truck.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019
    troy fairweather likes this.
  15. DocRock

    DocRock Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2019
    Messages:
    377
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    Camera Land just sent me an email flyer with deals. But I can't find it...
     
  16. Rembrandt

    Rembrandt Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2003
    Messages:
    3,778
    Not sure what two sets of binoculars you're referring to. If you are using them to occasionally glass, doubt you'll experience the eyestrain or headaches.

    I frequently use binoculars for as long as 6-to-7 hours a day glassing for trophy game. Budget binocs just don't have the clarity or lens quality found on better units. Went with Swarovski's 10X40 and the difference was day and night. Can glass all day and it doesn't feel like your eyeballs are being pulled out of their sockets. The other major difference is the ability to pick up colors more vividly. While deer hunting once we weren't sure if a buck had been hit....was able to confirm it had by glassing and seeing blood on the deer at half a mile away. Have picked up the colors of red fox where others had missed and overlooked them. That's just my experience and why I went with the Sarovski's.
     
  17. DocRock

    DocRock Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2019
    Messages:
    377
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
  18. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2007
    Messages:
    12,445
    Location:
    Georgia
    $200 isn't going to get you much. But some tips.

    Avoid the compacts in that price range, you're more likely to get a better quality with full size binoculars. Same advice with magnification,you want lower magnification at that price point. And you want the front objective to be at least 5X the scopes magnification. In other words you want 6X30, 7X35, 8X40, etc. If you start looking through something with 8X32 then having high quality glass is far more important. An 8X42 or 8X43 for example would be better. Avoid scopes in 8X22 or 10X25 sizes like the plague. At that size they will be useless in all but bright daylight, especially with a sub $1000 binocular. It is harder to make decent inexpensive roof prism binoculars than inexpensive porro prism binoculars. Stay with porro prism to get the best glass for the money.

    Honestly this is the one I'd buy. I have a pair that I keep in the truck and they are the best thing under $200 I've found. The fact that they are under $100 is even better. I'd rather have these than anything else at or under $200. They make them in an 8X30 and 10X30. Avoid those, the 6X30's are what you want. Buy these for now and save the extra for something better later.

    https://www.swfa.com/leupold-6x30-bx-1-yosemite-binocular-5.html?___SID=U
     
    CharliesHammer and DocRock like this.
  19. oldfortyfiveauto

    oldfortyfiveauto Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2008
    Messages:
    407
    These are great in all but the open plains for spotting. Really nice in a vehicle due to the lower power.
     
  20. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2018
    Messages:
    4,550
    Location:
    Up State New York
    I had a pair I got from dicks about 8 years ago. Don't know where they went. They were Simmons and only like $8. They were very good for the price and small enough to fit in a t-shirt chest pocket.
     
    Olon likes this.
  21. ohihunter2014

    ohihunter2014 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2015
    Messages:
    5,569
    Location:
    Ohio
    I have the 8x Mckenzie and like them. A little heavy but clear and focus nice. They are about 5yrs old so I'm sure the new ones are better.
     
    Olon likes this.
  22. ohihunter2014

    ohihunter2014 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2015
    Messages:
    5,569
    Location:
    Ohio
    For hunting I like an 8x. 10 is way too high for woods and most fields around here. I am a Leupold Mckenzie fan for the price. My buddy owns Vortex Bino's and isn't a fan.
     
    Olon likes this.
  23. Olon

    Olon Member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2018
    Messages:
    560
    Location:
    Roaming around the Heartland
    Well, the jury’s in on the McKenzie 10x42s. I’m really happy with the clarity I get with these binos. Far and above that of the ones I’ve had previously (cheap). As my first foray into middle-of-the-road binos I’m very happy. Funny how decent glass gets used way more haha.

    I’d highly recommend the Leupold McKenzie binos. Fit and finish is superb. My only gripe is that the covers it comes with don’t stay put well and the adjustment knob is so easy to move that often it gets unfocused when I put it in its pouch.
     
    Walkalong and ohihunter2014 like this.
  24. Kano383

    Kano383 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2016
    Messages:
    290
    Location:
    East Africa
    There ain't no cheap and good binoculars, and in the world of optics even $500 is cheap.

    Once you use one of the top three (Swarovski, Zeiss, and Leica), you won't ever want to get "next best", even if Santa gave them to you. There is more of a step down from Swaro to Nikon than from Nikon to an el-cheapo Tasco or whatever.

    Expensive? How about that: I bought a pair of Swarovski 8x30 in 1992, paid something like the equivalent of $900-1000 back then. I've been using them ever since, in Africa: 27 years, of which more than ten as a professional hunter, carrying my binoculars from dawn to dusk in the bush, under the sun and the rain, crawling on the ground, sloshing in the swamps. They fell, got trampled, capsized in a river, saw it all.

    Today, they still look new... Why? Because I sent them to Swarovski for service, twice, the first time after almost fifteen years. They came back NEW, my guess is that they picked a new one and engraved the same serial on them, I couldn't find another explanation. New, twice. Charge? $0.00. Zero. Zilch. Both times. They sent an invoice, detailing everything that had been changed, and the total was $0.00.

    It just so happens that there is a pair of Swaro 10x42 for sale on THR, like new: https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/wts-swarovski-10x42-slc-binoculars-co.855870/

    Or look on eBay, you can get good deals if you look seriously.

    10x42 is the max you should go for if you use them on foot, 8x30 is the preferred size, combining portability and performance. More than 10x is useless unless you are on a steady rest, because the magnification amplifies any tremor you may have, even your hartbeat, and you can't see properly.
     
    Walkalong likes this.
  25. Benp

    Benp Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2019
    Messages:
    41
    Location:
    Northern MN
    These.
    I 110% agree.

    I have a pair of 8x42 Pentax DCF WP's I bought in 2000 for an elk trip. Fantastic glass and my experiences are identical to yours. Plus with the larger exit pupil light transmission is better, I was seeing into shadows

    Also as mentioned eBay and the sample list are great places for fantastic deals.

    Good glass is an investment that will serve one well for a very long time
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice