Birding Binocular recommendations? - Graybeard Outdoors
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-14-2019, 05:46 AM Thread Starter
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Default Birding Binocular recommendations?

I'd like to have a good pair of binoculars for birding, preferably under 200 dollars. I found a Nikon looks great in this article, any tips on what to look for in a pair of them?
I want to be able to explore the forest early in the morning or late in the afternoon, so it would be good to gather light.

Last edited by karaRobert; 07-14-2019 at 08:50 PM.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-14-2019, 06:05 AM
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best advice youll get is to pm or call doug at and tell him your budget and let he recommend something. You can find links in the optics for sale section to contact him. Hes never steered me wrong and allways has some closeout or discontinued model that you would have paid about twice as much for if you bought it last year.

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-14-2019, 09:52 PM
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Donít forget a bird book for the area your in. And a small log to keep track of the birds you identify.

Vortex seems to be the latest word in outdoor optics along with Hawk.


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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-06-2019, 08:33 PM
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Although I find it hard to pass up older japanese binoculars for 10-20 bucks at garage sales...Tasco made a 7x35 wide angle that was pretty advice to purchasers of new glasses is to save until you can spend $450-500 on a pair of 7 x 35 or 8 x 42. You'll get better optics and more durable mechanics. Look at the cost amortized over 20 years and it won't hurt so much. A lower powered quality glass will provide higher detail definition than higher powered inexpensive glass.

We purchased Nikon Monarch 7 and Vortex Viper 8 x 42 glasses for about $450 last year and have been very happy with them.

Occasionally one can find a top end binoc used at a reputable shop. I've seen older pre and post-war German glasses that were very sharp, but not as good as current glass for color and brightness. From time to time I see individual focus surplus military binocs for sale; most are beat up but some are in remarkable condition. As Lloyd Smale noted, Cameraland may have some last years models or trade-ins that have been discounted.

If you're looking at used glasses, look in the front objectives to see if there is any debris floating around or fungi on the inside of the lenses, look at parallel lines like venetian blinds while you change the interocular distance....if the lines are offset then a prism is not aligned. Make sure the main focus and right eye/individual adjustments are smooth but not loose.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-07-2019, 11:44 AM
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Default Birding Binocular recommendations?

I have to agree on saving for a while. I went through this about 1year ago. The monarch 7as well as that vortex were on my short list.

I ended up getting the Zeiss Terre for essentially the same price. I purchased from WalMart online and saved $20 roughly pus free shipping to the store. Picking up at the store was great, no fear of porch pirates. I examined them before I left, knew they were what I ordered, and were not damaged.

For the $200 budget check Steiner 8x30 military marine. Iíve used mine for 20 years and continue to do so.

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-21-2019, 06:08 AM
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What did you decide on? I am curious. I own at least a dozen pairs of Binos...from inexpensive to not...and am always interested in other folk’s choices.

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Before you get into a discussion:
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-21-2019, 06:41 PM
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Having owned many brands and powers over a long life, I finally found my ideal binocs about five years ago.
Bushnell perma-focus.
Granted, they will give you a headache if you try hours of glassing at one sitting, but for checking out birds or squirrels or deer for several minutes at a time, they are great.
A so-called friend borrowed my first set and "lost" them, and other folks that tried mine said they'll be buying their own.

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-21-2019, 07:01 PM
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Steiner 7X50 military/marine. Best bang for your buck. Rugged, excellent in low light, wide field of view and they do not require focusing at different distances.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-21-2019, 07:05 PM
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Here are a couple resources to help.


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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-24-2019, 06:51 AM
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well I guess you can take advice from guys like me that look at birdies at the end of a 12guage or guys recommending 50 dollar glass or talk to a real expert like doug at cameraland. Ive bought my last 3 pairs of binocs from him and he never steered me wrong. He has many closeouts and discontinued models that will let you step up to 400 dollar glass for half the money. Hes allways posting in the optic classified section and if you pm him he or neil will call you back and discuss it with you. Heck even if all you have is 75 bucks he will get you into something better then some tascos.

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