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Old October 30, 2012, 05:32 PM   #1
Northslope Nimrod
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Best Binoculars for the money?

Brother in Law needs new Binos. They will be for his truck. They need not be compact, but not uber large.
What are the best for the money.....under $250. (maybe up to $299)

We live out West where he will look at deer and elk out to 1000 yards at times. Thus, they need to have some power.
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Old October 30, 2012, 07:05 PM   #2
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Give these guys a call. With the storm it may be a few days before they are back up and running, but it will be worth the wait. Give them a budget and describe your needs.

They are super and will fix you up with the best scope you can get for your budget. They often have display models, discontinued models, etc., they can sell for quite a bit less.

They sold me a pair of these.

3 years ago for $250. Of course they have gone up in price about $100 since then and mine were a display model. Didn't hurt them a bit.

Don't get carried away with too many X's on your glass. 8X or 10X is about as much as is practical unless you are using a tripod.

The absolute best bargain are these.

But only in the 6X version. It is amazing that an $85 binocular is this clear and sharp. I know lots of guys who own these. I have 2 sets, keep one in the truck. If someone steals them i'm not out much. In fact someone did steal my 1st pair. Bought 2 more to replace those.
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Old October 30, 2012, 08:22 PM   #3
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Vortex seems like the popular "affordable excellence" choice these days. My next ones will be one of their mid-range models.

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Old October 31, 2012, 03:06 PM   #4
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Thanks for the rec's. I may need some more recommendations in the $100 to $150 range. Sister says she may be limited to that budget now.
I have the Yosemites and like them. I know Vortex are good too.
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Old October 31, 2012, 03:19 PM   #5
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Binoculars for under $250 for looking out to 1000 yards. Realistically, probably none. Remember eye strain as well, because cheap binoculars are not cut for 1000 yard clear focus. No different than a cheap rifle scope and trying to hit an animal 800-1000 yards away.
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Old October 31, 2012, 06:51 PM   #6
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Get to ebay and watch for a pair of Swift Sport kings. They will be 7x35-wide angle. Nice pairs are available for 70 bucks or less. The original cases are usually falling apart but the glasses good as new. Excellent for under seat.
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Old November 1, 2012, 02:37 AM   #7
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For $220 I really like the Vortex Diamondback 8x42. The image is very sharp for the money and it has an exceptionally wide field of view. These are the ones that I take with me to the local races. Review


If you're going to invest $200 in a good pair of binoculars then do yourself a favor and invest in a decent harness for them.


I also keep a set of Eagle Optics Ranger SRT 6x32 with my bug out bag. These only run about $180 and are pretty decent.
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Old November 1, 2012, 02:46 PM   #8
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I'm not a gadget freak or gearhead but I've seen that Steiners, the German company are highly rated for binos & optics.

They are in use with many military/LE & NATO forces all over the world.
Steiners are not cheap but they have a top product.

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Old November 1, 2012, 03:08 PM   #9
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I bought a pair of Leupold Wind River Mesa 10x23 compacts to replace my others for elk hunting. I absolutely love them, the clarity is awesome and they're light enough not to be noticable. I use them for everything now.

I got them new on eBay for around $65. If you look you can find some good deals.
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Old November 1, 2012, 08:49 PM   #10
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I can second the recommendation for Steiner's binos, but at this price point they would HAVE to be stolen

What I will say is that over the years I have come to understand that just about any imaging task is made or broken by the ability to capture light ... whether it is a camera, a rifle scope or binoculars. That ability does come with flawless optics, but it is mostly a function of objective diameter ... so without even looking at the items, I can pretty much know that a 7x50 (that would be 50mm diameter objectives) is going to be brighter than a 7x20 or 7x35 ... that isn't to say that the smaller glasses don't have a use, but if you are looking for deer, it probably isn't in the full sun of noon-time ... more than likely it will be at dawn or dusk and that is where the 7x50's really shine. My 7x50's happen to be Steiners ... but I have seen many others that were quite good for less $$$.

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Old November 2, 2012, 08:36 PM   #11
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I have a pair of Bushnell Legend 8x42s and brand new Bushnell Legend HD 10x25s... I love them and think they are great value, I'm using the compacts more than the full size as they are so much easier to drop into a pocket etc.... and still have the benefit of having binos over using a scope
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Old November 3, 2012, 12:24 AM   #12
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Check out ZenRay ED2's. Pretty close in price...a little more. Exceptional glass...a lot of optics for the money.
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Old November 3, 2012, 12:52 AM   #13
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If they sell 'em, or if you can find a good pair used, I recommend you check out Asahi Pentax. About ten years ago I bought a pair, 9x68, 5.8 degrees, and they are outstanding, especially for low-light. Believe I paid $120, new, at the time. They are not compact but are not too heavy and, relative to my budget, they remain my favorite bino's.

For the old farts viewing, they remind me of 'Nam-days Pentax Spotmatic and the lenses we got then.
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Old November 3, 2012, 10:31 AM   #14
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Another vote for Vortex...
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Old November 3, 2012, 10:55 AM   #15
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Stieners...if I had the money......have handled several different models...when I worked for a marine outlet....sold many a pair....are worth every penny....I just did not have enough pennies....even at employee I went with Nikon........10x50....
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Old November 3, 2012, 01:00 PM   #16
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+1 for Vortex. I forget which model I have, but I love them.
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Old November 3, 2012, 03:38 PM   #17
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Buying used binoculars is not like buying used guns.

I sometimes get used binoculars for 10 cents on the dollar... at gun shows.
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Old November 12, 2012, 06:31 PM   #18
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Just ordered the Vortex Diamondback 8x42 Binoculars. Will let you know asap.
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Old November 12, 2012, 07:23 PM   #19
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I have these, and they work very well. As you can see by the reviews, a lot of other people like them too. They are made in China, which may be a turn off to some, but it also means you can get features such as ED glass and silver coated prisms w/o paying through the nose. And they come with an unconditional lifetime guarantee.

ETA: Here is a link to the 10x version:

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