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Charlie Spencer

I'm getting new binos! Let the flaming begin!

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$300 to $500 range, most likely 8x42.  Most of the world seems the Nikon Monarch and the Vortex Viper.  B&H has a Hawke Frontier pair for about $80 less than the more popular models.  They alsoe have a pair of Minox BL in an unusual 8x44 objective lens configuration.

Anybody have experience with these, preferably with more than one?  Gods forbid, but any other recommendations?

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Sorry, Charlie, but I'm afraid I can't help you with this. I buy the cheapies from Walmart then cuss myself when I can't get a good view of a bird that might have been a lifer! ☹️

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I bought a pair of Zeiss Terra Ed 10x42 online about 18 months ago.  My gripe with them is the focusing.  I don't have any problem at relatively near or far ranges, but they're over-responsive in the middle.  It seems I'm always -JUST- off one way or the other, that I can never -QUITE- get a sharp image at 50-200 yards.  I don't expect to get a lot of detail that far out, and I'd might accept it if except they're rock solid when I go farther out.  It's almost as if the gearing gets finer in that range, although I know that's not what's happening.

Anyway, I'm tired of it.  I get a better image at that range with either $100-$125 pair that I received as workplace anniversary premiums.  The Pentax 8x42 porros are too heavy to use in the field, esp. one-handed, and the focus is too slow; I keep them in  the garage for what I may spot when I'm working in the yard.  The Bushnell 10x42 'Bonehunter' edition have the closest focus range and so are great in the kitchen window for watching the feeders,   But between the Bushnells and the Zeiss, I'm running into the usual issues of holding 10x steady, especially a couple of hours into an expedition.

I'm probably going to sell the Pentax and Zeiss, if I can figure out how.  Whatever I get new will definitely come from a brick-and-mortar store this time, so I can compare multiple models side by side.

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I'm going with the Vortex Viper, if anyone cares.

The selection at the local Dicks' was lousy, maybe a dozen models, mostly entry level or unsuited for birding (high mag or high objective).  Academy would have had a better selection, 25 or 30 models, IF they had been fully stocked but they were out of about two-thirds of them.  Sportsman's Warehouse had a great selection of several top brands (Leopuld, Zeiss, Nikon, Vortex, at least two more I don't recall today), with at least two models of each, and at least two mag / objective combos.

The Viper addressed my main problem with the Zeiss.  They adjusted focus a bit slower, taking maybe a full 1.5 rotations of the wheel to span the full range, instead of the appx. 1 rotation for my Zeiss or for the Nikons I tried.

B&H will buy my used Zeiss and Pentax, and either send me a check or credit my Viper purchase.  I think I can get the Viper cheaper on line from WallyWorld, bundled with a harness.

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