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Need Help Choosing Binos on a budget.

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Old 07-18-2012, 02:50 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 17
Need Help Choosing Binos on a budget.

So i need help choosing a pair of binos. I'm hunting in mostly rolling hills but i hut all through out California. would be used for hunting deer, hogs, and bears. I don't plan on bringing a spotting scope. I also wear glasses so im looking for something with some good eye relief.
first thing is i'm a broke college student. Im trying to keep it within 200$ range. and im not sure if i should go with a 10x or an 8x. ive been looking at the some Nikon and Bushnell stuff. i really want to keep it under 200$ but ive been eyeing the nikon monarch 3 and the vortex diamond back but those two are pushing the upper end of my budget. is there any others i should take a look at?
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Old 07-18-2012, 01:57 PM
Zep Zep is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 387
Re: Need Help Choosing Binos on a budget.

I had a little time to spend this afternoon so I looked up the Nikon Monarch 3 as best I could. I found a lot of very good reviews. Couple that with Nikon's great warranty that would be the route I would go in an 8 power.

A lot of people are going stronger power so it is best you handle a pair to make sure the shake factor does not impact you if you go the 10 power route. Of note, it is one thing to not be shaking while standing in an air conditioned store, it is another thing entirely to not be shaking after walking a few hours.

I use an 8X42 Zeiss which I cannot speak more highly of but there are times I wish I had something like the Monarch, less to worry about.
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Old 07-19-2012, 09:27 AM
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Ventura CA
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At that price point, you're better off going with a decent porro prism bino than a poor roof prism one. Roof prisms are expensive if made properly. They require a good dielectric coating ("phase coating") that is also expensive. Expect to spend more than $400 for a decent roof prism bino (Hawke Frontier ED 4x43 or equivalent ZenRay - ED2 I believe).

Pentax PCF WPII 8x40 is excellent at about $140 shipped. Nikon Action Extreme 8x40 ATB is almost as good at $130 shipped.
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Old 07-19-2012, 09:38 AM
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Join Date: May 2012
Location: Ohio
Posts: 577
Re: Need Help Choosing Binos on a budget.

I picked up a LNIB pr of Leupold Cascades 8x42 on here a while back for $130.00 I've had a pair myself for 3 yrs and for the price they are killer glass. You may be able to find a used pair like that for cheap, meaning under $175. They have a lifetime warranty as well.
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Old 07-19-2012, 12:47 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 564
Re: Need Help Choosing Binos on a budget.

for under 200 dollars you could probably find a vintage pair of Bausch & Lomb Zephyrs... check ebay...

You will have to spend 1000 dollars or more to get the clarity the old Zephyr's can provide.

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Old 07-19-2012, 01:16 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Townsend, Montana.
Posts: 8,135
Re: Need Help Choosing Binos on a budget.

Don't over look the Vortex DiamondBack series. I have purchased two pair of these in the last year. One for my son and one for my wife. When I compare them to my $1500 Swaros I am blown away a how good the Vortex really are.

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Old 07-19-2012, 08:26 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: ND
Posts: 320
Re: Need Help Choosing Binos on a budget.

Zen Ray ED2's were selling for $279. If you can swing it you will have absolutely awesome glass for the money. Friends of mine with Alpha glass curse under their breath when they look through them. Not saying they are as good, but it's close enough to be interesting...
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