Best pair of binoculars for the money

Discussion in 'Long Range Scopes and Other Optics' started by Nikolakangrga, Oct 11, 2011.

  1. Nikolakangrga

    Nikolakangrga Well-Known Member

    May 20, 2009
    Iam looking to spend $500-700 on a good pair of glass. Can anyone recommend the best pair for the money? I want a 10x42
  2. youngbuck

    youngbuck Well-Known Member

    Jan 27, 2010
    If you have a chance to look though a pair of Zen-Rays, I highly suggest it. Most people don't believe they are as good as what people are saying. I have a pair of ED2s and am extrememly happy with them for the price. They are a back up to my Geovids. I sure wish Zen-Ray would make a geovid/EL range style bino. If I buy the CRF1600, like I plan, I won't haul the Geovids anymore.

  3. The Surgeon

    The Surgeon Well-Known Member

    Sep 4, 2011
    A good porro prism from Nikon, bushnell, Steiner, etc. The Roof prisms are good but they are more expensive. Your best bang for the buck will come out of a pair of porro prisoms.

    Not knocking the 10x42 but if light gathering ability is key, the 8x42's will get you a better exit pupil. If you are set on the 10 power then you would have to get into the 50mm objective to get the same light gathering ability as a pair of 8x42's. The 8 power will stabilize better giving you a clearer field of view.

    The exit pupil is the bright circle that can be seen in the center of each eyepiece when you hold the binoculars about 30cm away from your eyes with the objective lenses pointed toward a bright light. The larger the diameter is, the brighter the viewfield is, which is an important consideration when using binoculars in darker situations.

    Exit pupil = The effective diameter of the objective lens ÷ Magnification

    With 8x42 binoculars, the formula is 42 ÷ 8 = 5.3.
    Therefore, the diameter of the exit pupil is 5.3mm.
    This figure indicates the brightness of the image in view.

    The 10x42 has an exit pupil of 4.2.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2011
  4. Nikolakangrga

    Nikolakangrga Well-Known Member

    May 20, 2009
    Any thoughts on vortex glass?
  5. TG.

    TG. Member

    Feb 28, 2011
    I have used Swaro SLC 10x42 and Kahles 10x42 for years. Either can be found "sometimes" (older version) for around the $700 mark or less. I picked up a pair of Cabelas(Meopta) Euro 12x50 at bargain cave this year. Very impressed. Have used them on several hunts this year already and could not tell much difference from SLC. Obviously not great comparison as they are larger power. They normally have several of the 10x42s in the cave under $500. You may have to call someone at retail store rather than online to find these. I would not hesitate to buy another pair. Also, Sample List and Ebay have had these in the $500 range at times. Good Luck. TG
  6. WYcoyote

    WYcoyote Well-Known Member

    Jan 15, 2010
    +1 on the Z-Rs
  7. ZSteinle

    ZSteinle Well-Known Member

    Jan 30, 2008
    +1. For zen Ray! You won't believe what people say about them until you actually look through them and see for yourself
  8. tnshooter111

    tnshooter111 Well-Known Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Brunton Epoch is the best bang for the buck. I have a pair of leica geovid 10x42 but purchased my father a pair of epochs and man are they nice! They are just as clear as my Leicas but 1/3 of the price. Not to mention the best warranty out there. No mater what the cause if the binoculars are broke they will fixe or replace them for free.
  9. bowrifle

    bowrifle Member

    Oct 12, 2007
    meopta - meostar 10x42 or 10x50
  10. blipelt

    blipelt Well-Known Member

    Apr 5, 2008
    I know you don't want to hear this but, look at your age and how many more years you will be hunting. Then see how much those binos will cost you yearly for the rest of your hunting. That is how I could justify spending more on mine. Hurt in the beginning but I would do it in a heartbeat again. Swaros are that good in my opinion.

    I would look around and try to find a pair of Swaro SLC non HD they sold new for $899 when they discontinued them last year. Might find someone upgrading to HD and get a deal.

    I use my binos more than anything else in my hunting tools well maybe not more than my boots.

  11. Wisc_Hunter

    Wisc_Hunter Active Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    10x42 Vipers
  12. Scot E

    Scot E Well-Known Member

    Mar 1, 2008
    When I bought my last pair of binos the dealer let me take home 4 others pairs of binos to compare them at dusk. I compared a Nikon ATB, Leica, Pentax DCF, Bushnell Elite, and Alpen Apex. These were all very well rated binos. To be honest I was shocked at just how little difference there was between the high end and middle class glass.

    For my eyes it wasn't worth it to spend 3x the cash for only very slight improvments in resolution and clarity. I ended up buying the Alpen's and they have been fantastic! They have a great warranty are are very underrated IMO.

    I think you have gotten good advice here. The ZR's are very good. The Brunton's are good too. Those 2 and the Alpen Apex's (or the next level up) would be the ones I would choose from most likely.

  13. Sako7STW

    Sako7STW Well-Known Member

    Feb 12, 2004
    If you want the best deal, look for Theron Optics. I think they are basically the same bino as the Zen Ray with a few improvements for less money. I used my 8x42 Theron's for my Mule deer hunt and I am in awe of how good these bino's actually are! They are the Wapiti ED APO's. They are one of them rare cases of getting alot more for way way less and actually doing just that. Your talking half that of the dollar range you mentioned and optic quality that will laugh at the Cabela's Euro's.