Recommend Compact Binoculars?

paulr

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I don't think you can draw any conclusions about that no-name set you linked to. They could be ok or they could be crap.

Crap binoculars are actually not as useless as they sound, it's just that you can get them for $10 or less. They usually produce a reasonably sharp view at the center of the image but are soft at the edges. Since the center is the part you actually look at when observing (i.e. you re-aim the binoculars to look towards the edge of the field) the crap binoculars still do a reasonable job. For digiscoping (photographing through the binoculars so you need the whole image to be sharp) they're no good.

www.betterviewdesired.com has lots of binocular ratings though they concentrate on higher end models. But good camera makers like Nikon and Olympus make good small binoculars in your price range.
 

MicroE

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If you're looking to spend under $50, then you are looking at the low end of quality. One way to overcome this problem is to go with a larger lens diameter.
I would look at the Barska 8x32.
They are made in China and cost about $30. The 32mm diameter lens makes for a better binoc than the standard 8x21 configuration. Just MHO.---Marc
 
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Any Cal.

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Brunton makes a 10x25 that is pretty nice for what it is. The new ones are advertised as waterproof, but I have the previous gen. It is pretty crisp for cheaper compacts, and the couple times I took it from -25F to 70F it did not fog up inside. I think MSRP on them is 50-60 bucks. They are easily worth that.
 

fishx65

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Nikon makes a nice 8X25 for around $60.00. Most of the large sporting goods stores carry them. I've been using them for deer hunting for about 8 years with no problems. They come in black or camo. Went through many cheap ones before I got these.
 

leukos

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Steiner safari 8x22 are at the upper end of your price range, but maybe you could find a deal on ebay.
 

Trashman

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I've got a nice pair of (pair...hmmm...that almost doesn't sound right, but that's the way I've always said it) Canon binocs. It's their 7x17 ultra compact binocular. http://cgi.ebay.com/CANON-6184A001-...DVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem?hash=item330082910384

They might be out of you price range, but if you keep checking, you might be able to snag it for less. I lucked and got the deal of the century on them--brand new, $12 - shipped!

I like them because they fit in my pants/shorts pockets. How compact do you want them, BTW? The reviews of this pair say that the viewing angle is not very wide to compaired to others and that they are better suited for the opera and such. I use them for sporting events, mainly tennis. For me, they're great, but I imagine for some, they just will not do.
 
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GadgetTravel

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Flying Turtle

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Someone reported that the Bushnell zoom binocs sold at Target were pretty decent for under $50 cheapies. It can be nice to have the extra punch even if the view isn't the best. Having zoom does make them larger, however.

Geoff
 

Lit Up

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MicroE said:
Do they have to be waterproof?
A need for "waterproofness" will change your decision.

Yeah, those will run more in cost. However, I've found monoculars that are water/fog proof for similar pricing to the cheapy compact binos. Having had one for awhile, I find I actually now prefer a monocular to binos.
 

Eskimonio

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Being somewhat of an Opti-phile and suffering disappointments with compact binoculars. I can wholeheartedly recommend these: http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=4324523

Bushnell is Bausch and Lomb. The optics are better than average, and the 42mm objectives let in a ton of light.

When you remember that clarity is primarily a function of the amount of light that hits your eye, which is composed of magnification, focal length, objective lens size and to a lesser extent glass quality, you'll be HUGELY pleased with these binocs.

They are not the ULTRA COMPACT style, but they are VERY portable and well within anyone's price range. They have a nice heavy rubber armoring, and come with a case and strap. I am not kidding, they are dynamite. I have owned many sets of binoculars, and too often I've jedi-mind-tricked myself into believing a 10x25 or 12x25 set of field glasses can do the job. It can't, it just doesn't let in enough light. These are literally the best glasses I've looked through under $200. Amazing image quality and clarity, and heck...they are TWENTY THREE DOLLARS!!

Do yourself a favor, try these side by side with your other choices; then buy TWO pair because they're so cheap you can keep one in your house and one in your car.
 
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arty

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Get The Swift 8X25. The optics are super and they are a real bargain. I like them much better than any of the other compacts I looked at and considered much more expensive ones.
If you can - try them out first. You can find them at the photo shops - try BHphoto
 

JNewell

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dw51 said:
These are just out of your price range, but you may take a look anyway.

http://www.sportsmansguide.com/cb/cb.asp?a=55596

I don't think you will be disappointed.

I bought that model when they had them for around $60 and it was hands-down the best value I've ever seen in binoculars. Even at $90, they're very, very good. For both definition and contrast they really deliver a lot for the money.
 

oldblazer

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I had a pair of very nice Nikon 10x25 binocs (silver colored, NASCAR edition) that I liked a lot, but gave them to my brother-in-law as he needed a small pair to keep with him at work. I replaced my Nikon with a pair of Alpen 10x25.


Pros of the Alpen:
1. the rubber "armor" covering is much less reflective than my Nikon, which I saw as an advantage while hunting last year. The rubber also muffles sound if something hard hits one or both optics tubes, such as can happen if I drop my coyote call to sight through my rifle scope.
2. easy-to-use focus adjustments
3. price was only $25
4. Alpen Optics received four "Great Buy" ratings from Outdoor Life


Cons:
1. padded vinyl carry case seems cheesy compared with the Nikon case but that might be my personal preference (it reminds me of vinyl seats from 1970s cars)
2. neck strap is definitely cheesy (it is only a 1/16" nylon cord which is not as comfortable as the wider Nikon strap

Just my .02.
 
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