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Old 11-18-2012, 07:56 PM
strvger strvger is offline
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Originally Posted by joseywales44 View Post
It depends on what you want to do with them and what performance you expect from them. I like Nikons, they have very good lenses. If you're planning to use them in a wet environment, waterproof is the only way to go. I bought a pair of Nikon 7x50 waterproofs from optics planet for around $170.00 USD. They are not light weights, but the performance justifies the weight (IMO).

A little tutorial on binos... a little math first, divide the size of the objective lens (the big end) by the magnification power (exp. 35 divided by 7=5). By doing this you get the light gathering ability number for this particular unit. Anything below a "5" is MAINLY for daylight use...not to say they CAN'T be used in low light, they're just not as effective.

The higher the magnification, the smaller the field of view (usually expressed as X feet @ 1000yrds). Higher magnification is also NOTICEABLY less stable image wise (higher magnification, well, magnifies the tremors caused by your muscles, breathing and even your heartbeat). Ten power magnification is about the most you can use, hand-held and expect a (semi) stable image. 7x50s are, IMO, the best all around glasses for day & night (7.14 light gathering ability).

I would love to have a pair of Zeiss 8x56s and I'd give up that little tad of light gathering ability, sadly... out of my budget.

Low priced binos are not going to be as sharp and clear, they may be fine at the center of the lens, but the closer to the edge you get, the fuzzier the image becomes. I have some Bushnell 8x24 H2o compacts that are really blurry at the edges. I chose these for compactness & water resistance and got a very poor compromise.

If you can wait a bit and save a little more money toward the purchase, I think you'd be more satisfied in the long term with a pair of binos in the $150.00 to $200.00 range and the 7x50 power range.

the other factors you should consider are the lens coatings and prisms used. the higher end binocs go to considerable length to polish and then use several different coatings to let the most light through and that adds much to the clarity and colors seen through the lens. they also sometimes prefer the bak-4 prisms over the bk-7's especially at lower powers (8x or less) because they let a more light through to the eye pieces.
in optics, you really do get what you pay for. but, sometimes, you can get lucky.


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