lighter 8x42 under 500
Steve at OpticsPlanet
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Between the ones you suggested, I would pick the Ranger as long as it is the newer HD version. IIRC, it has a wider FOV than the Viper. I do believe however that the viper will probably weigh less. You should also look at the Bresser Everest and Vanguard HD Endeavor too. They won't be any lighter in weight, but they will cost significantly less than the Ranger or Viper but yet still provide the same level of performance. You can read about the Vanguard at the birdwatching.com website, and you can read a lot about the Bresser at the birdforum.net site.
That being said, I would suggest that as weight is of concern, that you also consider the 36mm's as well. A decent set of 36mm will allow you to do pretty much anything that you could do with a 42mm, but with less weight. The Bushnell 8x36 Ultra Legend HD's are a fine little set of bins that would *easily* meet your desire for decreased weight and cost under $300.
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