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Binoculars....


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Posted
  • Location: Hubberton up in the Pennines, 260m
  • Location: Hubberton up in the Pennines, 260m

    Hello all, i have some binoculars which are Nikon sprint IV 8x21/6.3". Now they are fine but i don't get nowhere near close enough to seeing some of the birds around here so i'm wanting some which are a lot stronger with brilliant quality....Money isn't necessaraly an issue here just very good quality.

    I know nothing about binoculars which is why i'm asking, the Nikons i have were a present.

    Thanks :lol:

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    • 1 month later...
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    Posted
  • Location: Western Isle of Wight
  • Weather Preferences: Snow, Storm, anything loud and dramatic.
  • Location: Western Isle of Wight

    I don't know much about makes but what I do know is that if one mounts binoculars on a tripod/monopod or similar it is actually possible to see quite clearly objects at great distance at huge magnifications like X40. Basically if the binoculars are not steadied there is no point in spending a lot of money. Mine are Cheeeeeeeep (note the capital C), I use them looking for photographic opportunity's and at work sometimes looking up trees(!), at X40 they are dull and dark, unlike expensive models and shaking all over the place, just like expensive models...

    I tend not to need more than X20 b/w, my camera with a lens at 400mm is X20ish I believe.

    Regards,

    Russ

    I forgot to add, the Germans make the best glass regarding binoculars, they always have.

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    • 3 months later...
    Posted
  • Location: Louth, Lincolnshire
  • Weather Preferences: Misty Autumn days and foggy nights
  • Location: Louth, Lincolnshire
    Hello all, i have some binoculars which are Nikon sprint IV 8x21/6.3". Now they are fine but i don't get nowhere near close enough to seeing some of the birds around here so i'm wanting some which are a lot stronger with brilliant quality....Money isn't necessaraly an issue here just very good quality.

    I know nothing about binoculars which is why i'm asking, the Nikons i have were a present.

    Thanks :)

    Sorry Barry, only just caught up on this thread, so don't know if this advice is still valid.

    Like much in life, it really depends on

    a) What you use them for, and

    :) How much you want to pay.

    I've got two pairs of binoculars - a pair of Opticron BGA 10x42s. They're a roof prism type rather than porro-prism, they're fairly small, fairly light and pretty decent. They retail new for about £375 I think, but you can find good quality second hand pairs for £150 - they're a bargain at that price.

    My second pair are Zeiss 8x42 FLs, they're fantastically bright, very light and a first rate binocular, but they're not cheap - new, they're around £950, but I picked mine up second hand (but in mint condition) for £650 - you can't find decent examples much cheaper than that. They're a terrific binocular for birding, bright and with a quite long reach. The magnification of your present bins - 8x is fine for birding, but 8x40's or even 8x42 will allow a lot more light in than your 8x21's so the detail will be much more vivid and the image much clearer, even in poor light. You could look at 10x, but the image starts to degrade a bit unless you go for huge objective lenses and a 10x50 pair of bins is a big bit of kit to carry around all day.

    If you're happy to spend big (£850-1200), then the top of the range Zeiss, Leica, Swarovski, Kowa, Nikon are all exceptional glass and the issue then is just personal preference, ergonomics and weight. If you don't want to break the bank, then it's worth looking at the second hand market, and mid-range maufacturers like Opticron, Minox, Pentax, Bushnell and Swift - they produce decent binoculars from around £199-400. You do get what you pay for however, with optics and although the mid range examples are pretty decent, their low light peformance in comparison to the top end manufacturers glass is pretty stark.

    There's no substitute to popping into you local London Camera Exchange and trying a few pairs out, side by side. It's the only way to get a feel for the comparative performance of each pair and will give you a feel for the all important price against performance. Personally, I think the Zeiss are the best you can buy, but I know people with Swarovski's and Leica's who'll say just the same. As I said, once you get close to £1000, it's basically a case of personal preference as the binoculars themselves will all perform magnificently, even in poor light.

    Hope this helps

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    Posted
  • Location: Louth, Lincolnshire
  • Weather Preferences: Misty Autumn days and foggy nights
  • Location: Louth, Lincolnshire
    Sorry Barry, only just caught up on this thread, so don't know if this advice is still valid.

    Like much in life, it really depends on

    a) What you use them for, and

    :lol: How much you want to pay.

    I've got two pairs of binoculars - a pair of Opticron BGA 10x42s. They're a roof prism type rather than porro-prism, they're fairly small, fairly light and pretty decent. They retail new for about £375 I think, but you can find good quality second hand pairs for £150 - they're a bargain at that price.

    My second pair are Zeiss 8x42 FLs, they're fantastically bright, very light and a first rate binocular, but they're not cheap - new, they're around £950, but I picked mine up second hand (but in mint condition) for £650 - you can't find decent examples much cheaper than that. They're a terrific binocular for birding, bright and with a quite long reach. The magnification of your present bins - 8x is fine for birding, but 8x40's or even 8x42 will allow a lot more light in than your 8x21's so the detail will be much more vivid and the image much clearer, even in poor light. You could look at 10x, but the image starts to degrade a bit unless you go for huge objective lenses and a 10x50 pair of bins is a big bit of kit to carry around all day.

    If you're happy to spend big (£850-1200), then the top of the range Zeiss, Leica, Swarovski, Kowa, Nikon are all exceptional glass and the issue then is just personal preference, ergonomics and weight. If you don't want to break the bank, then it's worth looking at the second hand market, and mid-range maufacturers like Opticron, Minox, Pentax, Bushnell and Swift - they produce decent binoculars from around £199-400. You do get what you pay for however, with optics and although the mid range examples are pretty decent, their low light peformance in comparison to the top end manufacturers glass is pretty stark.

    There's no substitute to popping into you local London Camera Exchange and trying a few pairs out, side by side. It's the only way to get a feel for the comparative performance of each pair and will give you a feel for the all important price against performance. Personally, I think the Zeiss are the best you can buy, but I know people with Swarovski's and Leica's who'll say just the same. As I said, once you get close to £1000, it's basically a case of personal preference as the binoculars themselves will all perform magnificently, even in poor light.

    Hope this helps

    I'd also add that whilst the German manufacturers do produce outstanding glass (Zeiss FLs, Leica trinovids, Swarovski 8.5x42's), the best Japanese glass (Nikon High Grades, Kowa XDs) are right up there in quality terms, if generally a little heavier.

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