I know this has been covered plenty of times before so apologies for another 'which binoculars' type thread but....
I'm after a new pair to replace my current ones which I think are something like 25yrs old!
Unfortunately my untimely and very costly camera repair means that the budget is somewhat 'less' than originally planned!! at about £100ish I know I will be struggling but really could do with updating my current antiques with a slick modern pair!
The purpose of this post is to ask all you good people out there to tell me which binoculars you have within this £100ish price bracket (maybe your second pair or car pair) and what they are like in your experience? What you do like and what you don't like etc....
I'm hoping that with your thoughts and experience I can make a short list of half a dozen pairs or so which I can then go and try?
I have these in 8x42 http://www.opticron.co.uk/Pages/im_tga_wp.htm I paid about £120 a year ago.
I'm well satisfied with them , little or no colour finging. My pal has a pair of Leitz , they are a little better but not £500+ better.
Many thanks Galatas, I will check them out. hopefully I might get a few more replies to get some comparisons....
anyone got any ideas as to whether the nikon bins are any good or are you just paying for the name
I have a pair of Nikon Ex Sporter 8x42 bins just purchased (around £130) and haven't been overly impressed with image clarity. I have just re-read the Amazon review however, and most people praise them - not sure whether it is my poor eyesight or whether I might have a sub-standard pair of bins. They are good in terms of weight, handling and gathering light but the image is just not as sharp as I hoped. I have a good quality scope and the image is razor sharp by comparison, so perhaps it isn't my eyes.
Snap Dave. I've recently bought Nikon Ex Sporter 8x42's. I have a bit of problem with clarity too. I thought it was my eyesight! I wear varifocals and find it difficult because there is such a big difference between near, middle, and far. However, they are light and easy to us, and sometimes the clarity is better than others!
Thanks geodave thanks sparrow will bear that in mind I'm primarily looking for something in the 200 - 250 mark that will give an edge in spotting photography subjects well in advance allowing me to "go stealth" any thoughts :) thanks again
Interesting posts about the Nikons, having Nikon camera and lenses I did consider them but will tread carefully after reading your two reports. Thanks!
Keep em coming as i don't have many to compare against each other yet!....
with alot of bins it tends to be you pay for the quality. The more expensive, the better the optics although it isnt always right. The other thing is, what feels best for you. I looked at two pairs of Binocs when I replaced mine- one opticron one hawke, in a similar price bracket. They were pretty much the same standard optically, but the body and eyepieces on the optiron suited me better. Its mainly down to price and what i would reccomend is looking around as much as you can- go to specialist optic centres where you can try them out, eg cley spey in norfolk. Just get the feel for what you want. Rspb reserves (the larger ones) tend to have them, and WWT often do to. Keep your eyes of as some companies do optics displays at reserves nationwide. Check in local reserves if they have one in the next few months, and i believe both the bird mags (Birdwatch and bIRD watching0 have them listed in events sections.
Another thing is what kind of birding you do. If your wandering around a wetland or moorland reserve where birds can be distant its better to get 10x mag for the extra power. In woodlands you should get 8x which have a larger field of view enabling you to get on to small flighty birds easier. Bigger field of views are better when you can get them too and it does make a difference.
Just feel the binoculars, spend as much time holding them and getting the feel of them, so you know the confort, how easy focusing is ect and how confortable they are, as you will be using them alot.
As Michael says a lot depends on what suits you,I once borrowed a pair of Swarovski and godd as the optics were I could not get away with them.Both Opticron and Hawke are showing well in the lower price range as are the latest Helios and all do a range to match your budget.Because of an ongoing eye problem I was advised by the eye specialist to look for a wide field of view and I had looked at Opticron Oregon 8x32 and lo and behold Santa came up with a pair.Having had them out in the ield for 3 trips now I am quite impressed both with the value and quality.For bins with only a 32mm objective lens the view is still fairly bright late on a winters afternoon.These were less than £100 so inside your budget,the advice about the general feel of the bins is important as hopefully they will last a long time.My old Optolyth Alpin lasted well past their 30 year warranty but the new bins seem to fit me so much better,good luck in your hunt,there is a lot out tere.
thanks michael and seaman sound advice i will have a look
Hi Higgy,in October I got a pair of 8x42 bins from Jessops for £100 in the sales they are made by Bushnell and are from their Birding series,they are lightweight and good for quick focus
Thanks Roger I have read some reviews on the Bushnell range and they came out ok.
Also thanks to all who have given some suggestions I will be looking at them all plus the Barr & Stroud 8x42 Savanah binoculars. I think that at least gives me a good starting point with a few different pairs to try out!
I'll let you know how I get on....
Don't forget the RSPB range, there are some quality optics around your price ranges, well worth trying these out if you can get to one of our reserve shops, listed here, as well as other makes that we stock such as Viking.
Personally i've got an old pair of porro-prism RSPB 8x40's which are a bit banged about now but have weathered my clumsiness well and still give good clear views. I've also got a newer pair of RSPB 8x32 pair for travel which are brilliant. If I can remember the model names i'll add them.
For a real a value for money budget bin the RSPB Puffin 8X32 is getting great reviews and let's face it you don't get a lot for fifty quid nowadays.At the end of the day it is what suits you in your price range.
I was given a good tip when I was looking for my first pair of bins. Look for colour fringing around high contrast objects. A good test is something like a TV aerial against the sky. Poor quality bins will show a green and purple outline around the aerial.