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Need Help - Binocular Choice

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#1 Martian1576


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Posted 17 July 2019 - 11:56 AM



I would like to purchase a pair of binoculars but have been overwhelmed doing the research.  From all of the research, I know that there will not be a perfect choice and there are pros and cons for each binocular.  I am also 60 years old but very active (do a lot of hiking, camping, etc.).  I am leaning towards 8 x 42 in size.  I am looking for something durable.  I would like to try and keep the cost below $400.00.  Any help would be greatly appreciated..


Thank you,


#2 Antonio R.G

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Posted 17 July 2019 - 12:34 PM

Are you clearly decided for 8x42..? Do you prefer Porro prism or Roof prism? is weight or size very important for you..?... (Porro prism usually offer better quality image than roof prism, in low prices but it's larger and heavier). There are a lot of choices availables and you can, if possible, tell us which is your priorites (no only the price..). A good choice would be Nikon Monarch 7 8x42, sure (roof).. It have large field of view, ED lens (it get image free of chromatic aberrations) and nice eye relieve for glasses users. It is waterproof and shockproof, of course.. I have this model and it's my principal choice when I want travel light... I think it's of the best you can find in this price.. Or try Olympus 8x42 EXPS I (narrow field of view but excellent image) or Nikon Action EX 8x40 (larger field of vision). Both are Porro prism..

#3 Martian1576


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Posted 17 July 2019 - 01:04 PM

I am pretty sure that I am set on 8x42.  I will be sharing these with my wife...she doesn't have the steadiest of hands.  I am looking for better quality and more towards the lighter weight.  Though, they seem to contradict each other (porro vs roof prisms).  A large field of view with ED lens.  Since I like to backpack, hike, and camp, waterproof, and shockproof would be advantageous.


I would also like to observe the night sky but I know that is an entirely different animal!

#4 Binojunky


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Posted 17 July 2019 - 01:11 PM

Not sure if any porros come with ED glass at the price range you want to pay, the Swift Audubon 8.5x44 ED cost more than that. Be aware that ED glass does not mean a great deal if the rest of the instruments design is poor. I have seen a lot of non ED roof prism instruments out perform some ED designs. Lots to choose from for sure, my advise is visit a store with a good selection and try, my favourite  8x42 and the smallest out there are the Opticron Discovery, non ED but a very nice glass,just a point , you could get two pairs of Nikon Action Extremes in the 8x40 size, porro  design, one for your self and one for the wife, excellent binoculars, and in your budget. D

Edited by Binojunky, 17 July 2019 - 01:13 PM.

#5 jaraxx



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Posted 17 July 2019 - 01:16 PM

John - 

8X40 are a great choice for a general all round binocular. I've a pair of 8X45s that have been with me for 15 years and always rendered good service. They will be fairly light, compact, easier to hold steady and have a field thats wide enough to follow flighty birds. 

I think $400 is also a reasonable amount to spend to get a pair of binoculars that will be of lifetime service. This price is in the middle grade of binoculars, much better than the cheaper stuff that costs one third as much but not quite as good as the fine stuff that cost 3 times as much. A nice place to be.

As far as brand goes, I'm partial to two brands: Nikon and Vortex. 

Nikons are an old school company. I own a pair of 12X50 AEs that I use for astronomy and birds at long distance. Nikon offers a good warranty.

Vortex are a newer company but are known for producing great glass. Their warranty is lifetime and they will replace them for any reason - a great warranty from a company that has full confidence in their product. I just looked on the net and a pair of Vortex Viper8x40 roofs, argon purged (waterproof with no internal fogging), rugged (built with hunting in mind), ED low dispersion glass runs $439.

I have a 6X32 Vortex Viper binoculars that I love. I didn't mean to buy them until I looked thru them then bought them on the spot. They are great glasses and a wonderful window on the world.

I think you are on the right path- tho if possible I would urge you to go to a Cabbalas / Bass Pro / some other hunting/ fishing / outdoor chain and spend an hour or so looking thru binoculars (they have lots of models)

Good luck!

#6 BRCoz


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Posted 17 July 2019 - 07:32 PM

Check out vortex diamondback binoculars 8x42.  You might be able to get 2 for around $400 on sale.  B&H has them for $167.99 limited supply.


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