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0-400 USD binoculars

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$300-400 USD binoculars

Postby jdavis37 on Tue May 19, 2009 7:57 pm

Am seeking binoculars in this price range to be used mostly for bird watching and identification. Am mostly a bird photographer but is often nice to have a pair of binoculars handy. General usage is from 10 or so feet ( 8 to 14 ) up to 100+ feet of viewing.

Brands looked at thus far are:

Alpen Apex 10 x50
Alpen Apex 12 x 50
Eagle Optics SRT Ranger 10 x 50

Other brands/makes are also welcome ( such as the nikon Monarchs though I believe those are in 10 x 42 if not mistaken ). I prefer the 50mm size optics unless I am wrong in the assumption they will be better for low light. The 12X power is welcome for longer distance though I have some concern it may be over bearing for closer up viewing and or shake. I've handled 10 x 42 EOs without any issue with shake and am used to handling somewhat heavy 400mm lenses for my camera.

Many of these binocs look very similar even though carrying different brand names ( Leupolds included ). I cannot justify going much higher in price than this as I need more lenses and it seems this is a sweet spot for good performance with a minimal investment. I have an older cheap set of Bushnell 7 x 35s that I am using now but they are way too weak in power, and quite poor uality ).

I did run across a pair of demo Minox BL 10x42 BR for under $300 that made me curious to now more about them even though theya re 42mm in size. Lastly, are these binoculars made in Japan or China? Hate to say it but I hate Chinese made stuff.. in general it usually is less than desirable! Thx in advance john
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Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 7:43 pm

Re: $300-400 USD binoculars

Postby Jne_K on Wed May 20, 2009 6:07 am


Do not go with 12x - what little detail you gain over a 10x is more than lost to unsteadiness and field of view also decreases, making a 12x more difficult to use.

Absolutely no need for a 50mm. Nothing it will do that the Apex in a 42 will not and do with less weight, bulk and cost.

My personla pick is the ranger SRT in a 42, not a 50.

For the basics on birding binoculars, see my article at
Birding Binoculars
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