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The Case For Mini-Binos

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#1 Remy Bosio

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Posted 05 March 2004 - 12:28 PM

Hello All,

I know we all have bino-aperature fever,(myself included) but what about the little guys? :bawling:

The smallest and probably most used pair of binos I own is the Tasco 8x21 165RB Essentials. I have had them for about 5 years now, and they are a really functional pair of mini's.

I use them mainly for terrestrial/birding and find them to be really of good overall quality inspite of their low price (+- $15.00).

These little Japanese roof's have a thick rubber armored exterior with fold-down eyecups and decent case. The specs are 2.5mm. exit-P,fully coated and fold up (er,down) to a mere 2.25"x4" package. They give crisp clear terrestrial views and I have used them in a pinch on the Moon and to watch the ISS and other space hardware flybys. They have little or no color on bright objects and are easy to keep in focus.

I am interested to see if anyone else on this forum has experienced the Tasco 8x21's or similar animal.

Let's hear it for the small fry!

Attached Thumbnails

  • 66113-Tasco 165RB.jpg

#2 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 05 March 2004 - 02:11 PM

In the UK the best cheap deal seems to be the Summit 8x26 MR. These are small roof prism bins. I say small, but they are quite a bit bigger than the typical 8x20 roof prism job. Their most impressive feature is the 8 degree FOV. I suspect they have Hoya optics. The build quality is quite solid and not bad at all though nowhere near a German bino. Optically they are quite useable.

I have seen them for £35 and reckon they are fine to keep as a spare pair in the car - taking care to avoid exposure to too much heat of course.

#3 Rusty



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Posted 05 March 2004 - 03:51 PM

I have the Celestron 8x21s - for the price, they're also hard to beat (they may very well be the same item as the Tasco).

I have three pairs - one in each of my vehicles, and one at the ready at the house...they're extremely small.

#4 Tom L

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Posted 05 March 2004 - 04:12 PM

I have the Nikon Travelites (somewhere) that are great for hiking.

#5 KennyJ


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Posted 07 March 2004 - 11:08 AM

I have access to my wife's Swarovski 8 x 20 and intend to right a review on it in the coming weeks to post to this forum :-)

Regards --Kenny.

#6 Charlie Fisher

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Posted 07 March 2004 - 10:42 PM

I like the small guys also, and like the comments above, I like them for terrestrial use. They just don't cut it for astro, though, even at a dark site.

But, in the bright daytime, small aperture isn't much of a hindrance. I must say I prefer a reverse porro design over mini roofs (ergonomically my hands are just too big for mini roofs and I can handle the reverse porros better). I have a Simmons 8X21 roof which I don't ever use and will give to my youngest daughter when she won't smash them (she's 3.. maybe another year, and maybe never!), a small Olympus 8X21 reverse porro that my son (6 yrs.) uses (great size for him), and an Eagle Optics Triumph 8X25 that is my best car/ backup bin.

I love the 8X25 and it has been there for me when I needed to grab a bin off of the car seat on quite a few occasions. It has transmogrified, when necessary, into my prime binocular for the periods during which my Swift Audubons have been out to Boston for repair (too often, sadly). It is a heck of a convenient and solid $70 binocular. And tiny to boot!

Birding with the Triumphs was enough to convince me to 'go small' with my next more substantial birding binocular, and when I had to send in my Swifts for attention the fourth time, I cracked and got the new Pentax DCF SP 8X32. They arrived Friday. I used them all day today, they are wonderful. They are not minis, of course, except to the astro crowd. I turned them to M42 on Friday, and as expected, 32mm of aperture is not impressive. But they were great in the field today-- 32 mm was plenty for seeing the birds in cloudy weather, and very comfortable to carry. Anyway I have 10X50s for astro purposes so it's no loss.

This is a really nice binocular, the Pentax. I'm glad I picked them up. If Boston can ever fix the blasted Swifts, they were absolutely tremendous! Good for both purposes. And now they are for sale, just because I like the Pentax so much. Once I get 'em back finally fixed right.


#7 nemo


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Posted 08 March 2004 - 01:46 PM

I have a pair of Swarovski 10x25B binoculars and I have to say that out of all my bino's that they get used the most. The reason is because they are so small and compact I can and do carry them every where with me. They are particularly nice when I travel. All to often due to serendipity I have lost the chance to see something cause I did not have my bino's with me. Thus the purchase of the Swarovski's. My motto now is the best bino to have is the one you have with you when you need it. I will be looking forward to your review on the 8x20's. I find mine to be meticulously made and like a little optical jewel.

#8 KennyJ


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Posted 08 March 2004 - 02:43 PM


I doubt it will ruin my review to say here and now that I agree with you about these being little optical jewels :-)

Regards , Kenny

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