Anyone know where I can get some good binoculars advice?


mattie

Link Posted 17/08/2016 - 18:01
Hi all

Apols for massive bump, but I'm about to ask the same question (we're after a set of binoculars for our safari trip and for general wildlife) so thought it made sense to build upon what went before!

I've seen a set of Meopta Meostar 8x32 ex-demos which feel nice in the hand and give a good, clear image. This is a bit of a blast from the past, my first enlarger was Meopta which was a touch agricultural, but I gather they're well respected in high quality optics and these binoculars felt well-engineered.

I was surprised by the cost of these though, arpund 500, which I only found out after trying them out (and after being highly impressed by their clarity). Our local shop sells opticrons for around the 100 mark, and whilst they seem pretty clear and sharp to me I can't readily try the Meoptas and the Opticrons side-by-side to compare and contrast. As such, I'd be keen to hear what I'd lose by going for entry-level and what I might gain by investing - I'll be looking closely for purple fringing, but other pointers would be much appreciated.

All advice gratefully received - I really do know next to nothing about binoculars.

johnriley

Link Posted 17/08/2016 - 18:12
There are shops at WWT sites who are very knowledgable about binoculars as well as all other birding scopes and accessories. If you are near one then perhaps worth a visit?
Best regards, John

mattie

Link Posted 17/08/2016 - 18:23
Ta John - I'm not a million miles from Slimbridge, however I'll be near Newport tomorrow and they have an RSPB birdwatching site with (if I recall correctly) a shop with binoculars. I'll look to swing by.

Algernon

Link Posted 17/08/2016 - 18:47
Try some of the birding forums. The best value for money used to be Nikons. IMHO some of the prices for other makes are for people they saw coming

--
Half Man... Half Pentax ... Half Cucumber

Pentax K-1 + K-5 and some other stuff

Algi

gtis

Link Posted 17/08/2016 - 19:00
Hi
I use a pair of theses
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Pentax-8-x-36-DCF-HS-WP-Roof-Prism-Binoculars-UK-Stock...
cheers Neil
pentax k3 k5 super A da* 300 f4 da*50-135 f 2.8 dfa 100 macro f2.8 smc smc 50mm f1.7 af 360 fgz pentax1.4xhd converter
Pentax o-gps1
sigma . 10-20 17-70 dc macro

Panasonic Dmc Fz200

Algernon

Link Posted 17/08/2016 - 19:14
This is a good beginners guide....

http://www.audubon.org/news/the-best-binoculars-every-birder

--
Half Man... Half Pentax ... Half Cucumber

Pentax K-1 + K-5 and some other stuff

Algi

Blythman

geordie01

Link Posted 18/08/2016 - 09:04
I am using these they are great
https://www.pentaxuser.com/forum/topic/pentax-mini-binoculars-52634
And a pair of Hoya 8x that i got from Tynemouth Market for a tenner
Last Edited by geordie01 on 18/08/2016 - 09:12

mattie

Link Posted 20/08/2016 - 14:56
Thanks all for comments, much appreciated.

I popped by Newport wetlands and tried a few out, the reduction in fringing and increased brightness of image was noticeable comparing cheap models to the more expensive, but I could only really detect clear differences between the very cheap and the expensive. I think the RSPB binoculars are rebranded Vikings, and I tried some of the HD and HDX ranges and although they were very good I'm not sure I can stretch to the 450-650 range. I would, of course, prefer to put that cash towards camera lenses!

I had a play with some binoculars in town, the Nikons and Minox were both comfortable and offered decent images, but not sure what separates the circa 130 ranges (Nikon Prostaff, Minox BF) with the circa 250 (Nikon Monarch, Minox BV) - I gather there's some ED glass in the Monarchs, but I could only find slight image quality differences between these price brackets when testing them out. I worry that the key differences won't be obvious through 5 minute tests outside the shops on a brightish day, so I'd be interested to know if anyone is aware of what the differentiators are - longevity, brightness etc. I'd hate to buy a set and only realise their shortcomings once out on safari.

I appreciate this might not be the most sensible forum to ask, I've been on some of the birding forums but the ranges they discuss aren't the same as available in my local shops (or are in my price range!)

I'm gravitating towards the Nikon Monarchs as a longer-term investment, but in the meantime all advice gratefully received - thanks to all for pointers to models, I liked the Pentax roof mirror ones but can't get my hands on a pair to try before buying, sadly. I'm after something in the range of 8x42, btw, and roof prisms (i.e. the more compact style).
Last Edited by mattie on 20/08/2016 - 14:58

johnriley

Link Posted 20/08/2016 - 15:41
You could try: http://www.srsmicrosystems.co.uk/binoculars-scopes/pentax-binoculars-accessories...

I wouldn't spend a fortune on binoculars unless you are really going to specialise, but you're right that the cheapest ones will not be anywhere near as good as the medium priced ones.
Best regards, John

RobL

Link Posted 20/08/2016 - 21:05
What you pay for are robustness and longevity, plus what you would expect on an expensive camera lens - sharpness at the edges, quick and positive focusing, and good performance in poor light. I had a mid-range Minox which is beautifully engineered but I found myself 'hunting' all the time to try to get enough sharpness, also the colour fringing really irritated after a while. I traded them after six months for Leica Trinovid which I know are more expensive but do everything I have described. The acid test I have found is a Little Egret; for some reason the fine white feathers will test any glass for colour fringing! If you are near to Slimbridge then try Clifton Cameras at Dursley.

mattie

Link Posted 22/08/2016 - 09:36
Ta all for advice - in the end I went for a set of Nikon Monarchs, which won a head-to-head with a set of Hawke simply as they are lighter. I would quite have liked to have tried the Pentax, as the field of view of the Nikons isn't as wide as others so I'd have been interested in how the Pentax stacked up, but no-one in Bath or environs stocks them.

It seems that the 250-300 price range is very competitive!

Algernon

Link Posted 22/08/2016 - 11:51
I'm sure you won't be disappointed. If I were buying some now I would have gone for the same.

--
Half Man... Half Pentax ... Half Cucumber

Pentax K-1 + K-5 and some other stuff

Algi

bestbirdingbinoculars

Link Posted 18/02/2018 - 03:58
Binoculars are a vital piece of equipment for bird watchers, but choosing the best birding binoculars can be confusing.It's important to consider a number of factors including the magnification and lens size of birding binoculars along with their size and weight.From the site you can learn everything about binoculars and which will be best fit for you.
http://thebinocularsguy.com/best-birding-binoculars/

jeallen01

Link Posted 18/02/2018 - 10:47

I bought those about 3yrs ago (having previously tried the 10x50 version and finding that I didn't get enough eye-relief when wearing my specs) and found them sharp, little/no fringing and easy to focus. Only downside for me is that they don't have a tripod bush which - on reflection - should have been part of the requirement (as maybe captive lens covers should also have been). Nevertheless, they are very good value at around 60.

PS: we also have a pair of Olympus 8x25s that I bought years ago and are also very sharp, and that was what lead me to Olympus for the 8x40's (I tried quite a number of 8x25s/8x30s out in one of the now-closed Jessops' branches, and they beat everything anywhere near in the same price range!)
K-3 II, K-3 and K-30, & some Sigma and Pentax lenses (and a lot of old 35mm gear!)
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