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First binocular purchase

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#1 Zornhau

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Posted 14 October 2019 - 12:54 PM

I am looking for a decent beginner pair. Something in the 10x range with good lenses. I figured used would get me a better pair.

I heard that Minolta used to make some decent binoculars in the extra wide line a few decades back.

Does anyone have any experience?

#2 Swedpat

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Posted 14 October 2019 - 01:31 PM

Minolta Activa series was excellent binoculars according to what I recall. It was released in 7x35, 8x40, 10x50 and 12x50. All except 12x50 were great with eyeglasses. If you could find some of them in good condition at a low price I think it would be a good deal.



#3 Zornhau

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Posted 14 October 2019 - 01:55 PM

Thanks Swedpat. I am going to look around.

#4 harbinjer

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Posted 14 October 2019 - 02:25 PM

The older Standard MK series were good as well. The 8x40 in particular is worthwhile at used prices(I have one). I have the 10x50 and 7x35 as well, and they're not quite as good, but  if they're REALLY cheap(<$35), it might be worthwhile. The are decent, and quite wide, but the outer edges get really bad. That doesn't bother some people as they look in the center, and move it around.  Don't get the Standard XL or EZ series, they were much lower end. If you can't find one, consider the Nikon Aculon or Action Ex series, new or used. There are fantastic deals to be had on used binoculars, but there are duds out there too.


Edited by harbinjer, 14 October 2019 - 02:28 PM.

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#5 Zornhau

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Posted 14 October 2019 - 03:35 PM

What is the difference between the classic and the standard 10x50?

https://rover.ebay.c...tm/362781131965

https://rover.ebay.c...tm/352804405382

#6 Zornhau

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Posted 14 October 2019 - 05:08 PM

That's probably why there are all these EZ binoculars are so much cheaper

https://rover.ebay.c...tm/362781131965

#7 Antonio R.G

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Posted 15 October 2019 - 03:27 AM

Minolta Standard (no XL or EZ) are very good and reliable binos made in Japan. My prefer is 7x50 (fantastic), 7x35 and 8x40. It has japanese quality. Classic are ok also but it has more chromatic aberrations
and worse edges in my opinion. I don't know Minolta Activa. If you can find a good Standard Japanese you should buy it, no doubt. Try Aculon 10x50, 10x42 or Action EX 10x50.. Other good pair (and cheap) are these:

https://www.amazon.e...e/dp/B07JJN4RKX

I'm very surprised with this binos.. Very good and strong construction, sharp image, perfect collimation, and very little chromatic aberrations.. it has bak7 prism but it looks first class..
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#8 harbinjer

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Posted 15 October 2019 - 10:50 AM

What is the difference between the classic and the standard 10x50?

https://rover.ebay.c...tm/362781131965

https://rover.ebay.c...tm/352804405382

The Standard has an "MK" on the hinge, above the 10x50. Those are good. The other is as Standard EZ, which are built to a lower price point, and not as good. I'd say $100 is a little high, and you can likely get them for less, but these do appear to be in excellent condition, which is good. 

 

This 8x40 Standard MK is potentially a better deal: 

https://www.ebay.com...5&rk=3&rkt=12%2

6mehot%3Dpf%26sd%3D362781131965%26itm%3D333310151137%26pmt%3D1%26noa%3D0%26pg%3D2047675&_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m1851

 

They are missing the cover button the back of the hinge(only cosmetic), but also appear in excellent condition. The missing button could be trivial, or because somebody opened it up, which might be for a reason that you don't want to deal with. 


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#9 Zornhau

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Posted 15 October 2019 - 10:05 PM

Thanks, yeah, I was searching 10x but at half the price 2x doesn't make that much of a difference. They should be lighter right?

#10 dries1

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Posted 15 October 2019 - 10:21 PM

Here is what appears to be another standard 10X50 sample, a bit cheaper.

 

Andy W.

 

https://www.ebay.com...4?ul_noapp=true



#11 harbinjer

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Posted 15 October 2019 - 10:37 PM

8x will be steadier to hold, because of the lower magnification. They will also be quite a bit wider in FOV, and yes, they will be lighter.  There are several more MK Standards in 8x40 size on ebay right now.  Either the 8x or 10x will be a decent pair to begin with. Many objects will look quite similar in 8x and 10x. Big bright objects will be such in both. Most dim objects will be dim in both as well; there will be a few that are barely visible in one, and not the other. But I don't think you 'll miss the 2x much at all. 


Edited by harbinjer, 15 October 2019 - 10:40 PM.


#12 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 16 October 2019 - 03:50 AM

My two cents:

 

Buying used is ok for someone who's experienced, knows what to look for and is willing to take a risk. For a first binocular, I think a new pair is better. Used binos can have collimation issues, can be damaged in a variety of ways, these things may not be apparent to a first timer and can be expensive to repair. 

 

Jon


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#13 harbinjer

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Posted 16 October 2019 - 10:18 AM

Here is what appears to be another standard 10X50 sample, a bit cheaper.

 

Andy W.

 

https://www.ebay.com...4?ul_noapp=true

That's a Standard EZ, not an MK. I wouldn't go for it.

 

My two cents:

 

Buying used is ok for someone who's experienced, knows what to look for and is willing to take a risk. For a first binocular, I think a new pair is better. Used binos can have collimation issues, can be damaged in a variety of ways, these things may not be apparent to a first timer and can be expensive to repair. 

 

Jon

Jon's advice here is very pertinent, and should be considered thoroughly.  

 

Zornhau, if you're dead set on getting a wider than normal binocular (which aren't available new in this price class), here  is more: I trust ebay users with a return policy more than ones without. Also checking their reviews not just for positive reviews, but for how many other similar things they've sold, meaning precision optics: binoculars, telescopes, camera lenses, or anything like that. Lastly consider how much this money means to you. If this one is bad, could you just buy another? There is a lot of info online to fix things, including binoculars, but for common $50 used binoculars, it doesn't necessarily make much sense to have it sent out and fixed. Now I've had very good luck on ebay, but know that there is a chance of getting a bad one.  




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