The only issue I see with the Yosemite is there may be QA issues with the focuser being a little sticky, as I have read. Any store with a return/replacement policy should solve that problem.
Well, the yosemites are out of the race then. The (two way international shipping) cost of returns means I'm more likely to be stuck with a defective product.
I wonder why BaK4 over BK7? I would think it's less of an issue for birding.
Basically, value: I want to avoid the "diminishing returns" of cost cutting at the bottom. I already own $35 Celestron UpClose G2 which are BK7.
So far the tally is:
Nikon 7x35 Acculon A211: $70, with 9.3° TFoV (59° apparent) is out of the race because it's 5m minimum focus distance makes it unsuitable for "feeder observing"
Pentax 8x40 SP-WP, waterproof, $139, 6.3° TfoV, (50° apparent), 3m close focus: Might be an option but is not appealing because of its narrow field of view.
Pentax 8x40 SP: $69, 8.2° TFoV (65° apparent), 6m close focus: despite it's wide field + cost being so attractive, the close focus is too much. I'm starting to see a triangle with "choose any two" situation here.
Nikon Prostaff 7s 8x42: $187, 6.8° TfoV (19mm ER), 4m close focus: if it had better close focus or better FoV or a better price it'd stay on the race, but so far it's out.
This bino get me thinking: it seems a long eye relief at a fixed price shrinks the field of view. Since I don't have astigmatism, I'm ok removing my prescription glasses to use binos (just like at the telescope), but for birding the removing of glasses and putting them back on (because spotting is done at 1x and I'm myopic), this makes me wonder whether I should give more value to long ER, hoping to g from eyes to binos much more easily, or whether a long ER bino is a risk, considering I don't like very long ER eyepieces at the telescope (around 12mm is my happy point) and I'd have sacrificed FoV to get a long ER I may end up disliking. Food for thought.
Yosemite 6x30: out
Bushnell 8x42 Legacy: $79, 8.2° TfoV (65° apparent), 3.6m close focus. Fog and waterproof. Plenty of good reviews, with the one drawback often cited being "heavy/large". Most likely the outer third of the 65° AFoV is not sharp, but for locating/following a bird it still counts. These seem to be raising the bar for all other binos, unless there's something I'm not seeing.
Bushnell 8x42 Legend M: $160, 8.1° TFoV (65° apparent), 2m close focus distance, ED glass, water/fog proof, 18mm ER, roof (compact) with phase corrected + dielectric prism. This looks like the winner so far. What casts doubts around it are two things: #1 it's reduced availability: not at B&H, and Roger sporting goods is the sole Amazon vendor having it. Almost looks like a discontinued product (which would have reasons). #2 The complaints one can find about poor CA correction in sub-$400 binos sporting "ED glass". The $160 price could end up feeling quite high if "ED" ends up being more of a marketing gimmick than a performance indicator. Which would kill sales, making point #1 all the more suspicious.
Pentax Papilio II 6x21: $97, 7.5° TFoV (50° apparent), 0.5m close focus (a field microscope!!!). Not water/fog proof, porro (reverse) but very small light. It's main con is the small 3.2mm exit pupil and 21mm aperture which in low light / woods is bound to suffer. It does have so many hard core fans amongst nature lovers, who swear it "opens a whole new world" up for observing. Some people in birdforum even said in a thread about "if you could only keep one pair of binos" that for them the Papilio would be the one (despite the Zeiss and Swarovski on their signatures). The people who like it don't just like it, they love it. I can't help but want this bino, as I'm a nature freak. It is more of a "specialist" bino though.
It's relevance right now is that it makes me ask myself: ¿What does a $200 Vortex/Nikon/XX_ED bring to the table, that makes it preferable to buying the $97 Papilio + a $103 Pentax/Bushnell?
This feels like when I was chosing my first telescope (and now I have 5!). I need to be careful with my choices.
Edited by Adun, 15 March 2019 - 02:12 PM.