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Best binos for price?

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Best binos for price?

Old 04-05-2020, 09:12 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Northern Adirondacks
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Default Best binos for price?

Hey guys,
I have never used binoculars when it came to hunting, always just kind of went by the seat of my pants.
Wondering what you guys recommend for a set of binos at a decent price point? Especially considering most stores are closed currently and I cannot test them out.
Trevor K.
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Old 04-07-2020, 10:28 AM
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Location: West Central Illinois
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Question is too general. You should add a price range or a maximum price plus the intended use. A set that works well for a midwest whitetail hunter with a "maximum" need of 200 - 400 yards will not work for a mountain hunter needing to glass all day at 1,000+ yards. Maybe others will prove me wrong and provide their $0.02 just like I am doing. If you are seriously shopping, you need to add some limits, if applicable. I suspect you will get more specific answers. Opticsplanet.com and cameralandny.com have great deals. I bought my last two scopes from them.

I've never sought a high quality pair as I was satisfied for many years 20+ with a cheap pair of Bushnell followed by a better pair of Nikon 10+ years. Don't know the model. They are hand-me-down from my brother who is an avid target archer. I suspect they cost less than $300 new. One of the best light gathering set I viewed were Steiner. If I were to go all in seeking a high quality set with money no object, I am likely settling with Zeiss or Leica. Going to set me back $1500 to $2000. I would have to baby them 24/7. I prefer to care more about other items in my pack than my binoculars. But and a big but, I've only hunted out west once in Wyoming for Antelope. My middle of the road Nikons were adequate. If I were a guide or hunted out west annually, I would carry the best I could afford which equates to something beyond the hand-me-down Nikons.
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Old 05-20-2020, 01:37 PM
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I saw a pair of Steiners on sale a few weeks ago for $350.

Steiner is big good.
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Old 05-20-2020, 03:23 PM
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Location: Vermont
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I have Zeisse and Nikon binos and Zeisse, Nikon, Leopold and Bushnel scopes. When you hit 300 bucks cost you are really at the bottom of acceptability. The really good stuff Zeisse, Steiner, Leika and Swarovski is worth it if you can spend that much.
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Old 05-21-2020, 10:41 AM
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Location: Northern California
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I have an older pair of Swarovski 7x30 binos and several pair of Vortex in various sizes. I have one of those cheaper pair of Nikons and couldn't recommend that specific model (10-22x50). That doesn't mean other Nikon binos in better models aren't good, just that I haven't personally tried or used them.

It does make a difference on how you plan to use them and carry them. Chest harnesses are fairly inexpensive (less than $30) but can make a nice difference, especially if you're hiking a lot. For overall use, I like 8x42's for under 300 yards. They have a nice wide field of view which makes it easier to spot game. 8X doesn't seem to magnify hand or arm shaking too much and it's one of those sizes that all binocular manufacturers make so you can usually find a pretty good deal. I have Vortex Vipers in 8x42 (my favorite) and 10x42. I can see more detail with the 10X but glassing is much easier and quicker with the 8X. I also have a pair of Vortex Vulture 8x56 binos which are a tank but were purchased specifically for when I'm hunting that last legal half hour after sunset. They are a tank and work best on a chest harness but they give me the 2nd 15 minutes of that 1/2 hour after sunset. All of my Vortex binos give me the 1st 15 minutes but those big 56mm objective lenses make a world of difference after the 1st 15 minutes.

Are you intending to buy a pair before stores open back up? If so, I would recommend Vortex because I have several pair and all have worked well in the field while hunting. If you can wait until stores open back up (probably next month for most states), it would be worth your while to wait and go look through several different brands of binoculars at a store. If you can find a dark corner or spot in the store, it will give you a little better idea of how well the binos might work in low light. If you look at something written on the other side of the store, it will give you an idea if the glass is likely going to be harder on your eyes or not. Make sure the clerk shows you how to adjust the binoculars for your eyes so you can make a better evaluation of the binoculars. In the end, you're the one who has to decide what price point you can afford and what level of glass will work for you. Hopefully this helps some.

p.s. Fair warning. Buying different pairs of binoculars can be addictive.

Last edited by CalHunter; 05-21-2020 at 01:44 PM. Reason: sp.
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Old 05-21-2020, 01:38 PM
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Mostly I use Swarovski, but my wife chooses Nikon Monarch 7 binoculars. Price had no impact on her choice. The Nikons Monarch series are actually quite good. My wife simply likes the way they fit her and she likes their light weight.

I have bought some Nikon Monarch 5 binoculars for gifts recently. They run under $300 and I believe that they are the best buy on the market. Bird watchers are very serious about binoculars and many of then use the Monarch 5, or the Monarch 7 if they can afford the extra couple hundred dollar delta.
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Old 10-13-2020, 07:08 PM
Join Date: Oct 2020
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I’ve started to use a monocular. Fits in a shirt pocket and no bulk. Leopold is what I have.
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Old 10-14-2020, 06:58 AM
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I think rogerstv brings up a valid point about what price range you're considering. It does no good to tell you about how much value Swarovski ELs provide if your budget only allows for Bushnell. Or vice versa.
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