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Well, the time has come for me... my binoculars have essentially fallen apart (they’re almost ten years old, so I’m not surprised), and I’m looking to invest in a new pair. I’m hoping to spend under $100 for a pair that have a pretty good zoom and ‘feel’. Any help appreciated.

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I suggest investing a little extra - if you use them every day over 10 years, it is definitely worth it.

An example of reasonably priced, good binoculars is the Nikon Monarch line which will be $250-$300.

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I suggest investing a little extra - if you use them every day over 10 years, it is definitely worth it.

An example of reasonably priced, good binoculars is the Nikon Monarch line which will be $250-$300.

That is what I thought too.

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Posted (edited)

As with anything, you get what you pay for but as you get into the really high-end stuff, it’s diminishing returns.

What I mean is, the difference between $50 and $300 binoculars is massive and obvious, whereas the difference between $500 and $3000 binoculars is somewhat noticeable in low light conditions but is not by any means obvious.

I highly recommend Nikon Monarch 5 8x42 which would be $250-$300. I do not personally own a pair, but I have friends that do, and they are good, good color, good clarity, comfortable to use.

At minimum wage, after taxes, that is less than a week’s worth of wages. If your binoculars last 10 years, I think investing less than 40 hours of your time to finance them is extremely reasonable. Especially when you consider the countless hours of entertainment binoculars will facilitate.

Edited by AlexHenry

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Posted (edited)

I also endorse checking B&H Photo.  In particular, check their Used section; there are often some terrific buys.

And I'm with AlexHenry, the difference between $100 and $300 binos is phenomenal.  Maybe look at Vortex Crossfire.

If you get a chance, go somewhere like Bass Pro and lay your hands on several pairs.  In my area, Sportsman's Warehouse had the best selection.  Focus on something as far away as you can.  Notice how much they weigh in comparison to each other, and how responsive the focus is when you turn the wheel.  Notice whether the wheel rotates in the direction you're used to, or if it's reversed from your current pair.  I wouldn't make that a major criteria or a deal-breaker but if it's opposite, you'll be fighting 10+ years of experience when you want to zoom out or in.  

Whatever you get, toss that cheesy strap it came with and invest $20 on a harness.

Edited by Charlie Spencer

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Whatever you get, toss that cheesy strap it came with and invest $20 on a harness.

Agreed! I just recently updated to a harness and they are world better comfort-wise!

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Yes! I talked to a couple other birding friends, and many of them recommended the Vortex Diamondback. I ordered them earlier this week.

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9 minutes ago, Trevor L. said:

Yes! I talked to a couple other birding friends, and many of them recommended the Vortex Diamondback. I ordered them earlier this week.

Funny world.  The Bushnell 10 x 42s that I was given for an employment anniversary eight years ago stopped focusing this week.  They were my secondary 'kitchen window / deck' pair.  Today I ordered replacement Diamondbacks, based on my experience with Vipers (my primary 'seriously birding' pair).

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Another endorsement for Diamondback, very happy with mine purchased from B&H (much lighter than my old Nikons 80s vintage - now yard duty).

That was painful - not good on my phone.Lost my internet this morning (dead modem and extremely limited service available from provider so replacement may take a while). Any future contact will therefore be very brief.

 

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