RE: Best binoculars in the $550 price range?
I' m sure price will be an indication, but I' ve looked through a pair of Pentax in that range($500 to $600), that were very nice. Sorry, can' t remember the exact model though, but I think they were the DCF Waterproof 10X50' s. The 8x42' s are around $450, while the 10x50' s are around $600.00.
I think the Zeiss ClassicC Bino' s are still on sale at Cabelas with the 10x40' s going for $699.99, down from $969.00. If you could swing it financially, I would think they' d be a very safe bet.
Whatever you do, don' t do like I did: Set a price limit of $125, and then buy 1. Set a price limit of $300 for a compact, and then buy 1. Set a price limit of $300 for a full size, and then buy 1. Set a price limit of $400 for a better quality, and then buy 1. Realize none of them even come close to the best, say a $1200 pair of Lieca, Ziess, or Swarovski, and buy one of those as well.
The way I look at it, if I would have just bought the good glass to begin with, I could have saved myself $1125 in the long run. Oh well, at least I have some for the kids to use.
Jeff...U.P. of Michigan.
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