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N+1 Pair of binoculars

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#1 S28546


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Posted 14 December 2019 - 12:26 PM

I'm looking for recommendations for a second pair of binoculars.  


I'm in my late 50s and wear glasses.  My home is near DC and I don't see a lot of stars in our night sky.  I last bought binoculars around 2010 before a family trip to Montana.  For myself, I bought a pair of Nikon EDG 8x32s (Take it to the EDG deal - it was the sale of the century I understand).  I also bought five pairs of 8x22s from LLBean so everyone else in my family had their own binoculars.


I use mine for star gazing, birding, boating, watching wildlife, and travel.  The 8x22 binoculars are not used.


My opportunity is a friend and I will be heading to Phoenix later this month (Dec 2019), and I hope to be able to get to a dark sky site in NM around the time of the new moon.  I'd like a nice second pair of binoculars so we each have a pair to use.  I'd like them to be suitable as all-rounders if I give them to my travel partner after the trip, but not necessarily be so similar to my 8x32s that I would essentially duplicate what I have if I don't give them.


Budget wise, I'm leaning toward under $200 but don't have a hard ceiling.  If I can meet my desires for $60, I don't need to spend more.  If I end up at the lower end of cost, I'm much more likely to give them.  At the higher end, I'll probably like to keep them.  I'm also open to recommendations beyond just a second pair.  I'm willing to read recommendations for perhaps an all round pair (to give) and third more astronomy leaning hand held binocular (to keep) if there is thought that I could obviously improve on the night sky view of my 8x32s while remaining in my self imposed budget.  


Just looking at Nikon, I've seen Aculon, Action Extreme, Monarch and Prostaff suggested in other threads.  I know there are many other brands as well, I'm just not familiar with them.


Thanks in advance for any and all replies.



#2 Mark9473


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Posted 14 December 2019 - 12:43 PM

Nikon Action Extreme 10x50 has been a long time favourite recommendation on this forum.

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#3 hallelujah



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Posted 14 December 2019 - 12:51 PM

Personally, I would make the jump from 8x to 12x.













Edited by hallelujah, 14 December 2019 - 12:58 PM.

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#4 sg6



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Posted 14 December 2019 - 12:58 PM

Inexpensive I have are Bushnell H2O's, roof prism, have had them for around 15-16 years and still in one piece.

Reasonable but not spectacularily great I suppose.


I chose them after a big bird watch show and looking through 60-80 pairs. Leica's are good, but guess around $2500 now, Minox impressed. The place had an "Optics Marquee" with about every brand you can thionk of. Honestly couldn't see straight after an hour and a half. However at  view to cost I bought the H2O's - later from Binoculars.com - site may not have had the "s" in it - may be 2 therefore.


Better set is the Bushnell Natureviews, better optics all round. Just unsure if they have changed over time, they look different - besides the rather awful new color they are.


Both are 8x42's, both roof prism. Good for general and fine for just looking at the sky.


There are many brands around, most seem Chinese with some name on the side.


Would advise to avoid the idea of "astronomical" binoculars, they are often some inexpensive objective that looks big, then they are stopped down to reduce aberrations and at even 10x I find targets bounce around. Bounce at 8x a bit.


Have fun, it is a bit of a minefield. But if the idea is reasonable, inexpensive and probably give away I guess the H2O's fit.

Edited by sg6, 14 December 2019 - 01:07 PM.

#5 S28546


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Posted 15 December 2019 - 11:41 PM

Thank you for the feedback and information.  I appreciate the time and recommendations.  You've given me several ideas and options.

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