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Thread: New Bino's, $200-300

  1. #1

    Default New Bino's, $200-300

    What's the best bang? I hear Nikon Monarch all the time. I'm considering the 10x42 Nikon (~$250ish), the Leupold Cascade (~$230ish) or stepping up and getting the Leupold Mojave's for $330 if it's worth the kicker. What do you guys think? Right now I've got 10 y/o bushnell trophy 8x32's. Next purchase will be a spotter to compliment.

  2. #2
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    I love my Monarchs. If you look at the deals from Cameraland, they usually have demo or refurbished 10x42 Monarchs for right around $200. If you see that deal, I don't think you can beat it with the aforementioned options.

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    I won't touch any leupy bino's. There are plenty of guys that like the gold rings and they are good glass but there are others at that price point that I would prefer. Of your list I would go with the monarchs. I am looking to buy a set in the sub 500 range for my wife and will most likely be going with the Zen-Rays from camera land. I havn't played with them yet but they are getting great reviews from lots of people who spend a lot of time in the field.

  4. #4

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    Where is cameraland? I could do $200 for the Nikons. What other resommendations do you guys have in the $300 range? I've heard Vortex alot and just recently the Zen-Rays.

  5. #5
    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Default Lots of info and choices...

    Picking a price range helps narrow things down. If you shop locally, then available inventory helps narrow the field. Two pitfalls in comparing binoculars: I think most hunters that post here are using 10x42 glass. There are other tradeoff considerations when folks use smaller (sometimes) or larger (almost never) binocs. The other pitfall in some reviews: field use factors - dirt/drop/wet/cold/hot-tolerance - not always figured into their reports.

    Field & Stream: I like reading Field & Stream's reviews, which tend to be hunter/field use oriented - first brought Vortex binocs to my attention and more recently liked Kowa (Best of 2009). Their comments about Vortex (Viper series, based on reader reviews maybe) fit well with guidance from Doug (Razor series) at Camerland (sponsor of the optics forum).

    Cameraland/Doug: I wouldn't hesitate to ask Doug in the optics forum for recs. Although it's healthy to be skeptical of advice from anyone with a business interest in the recommendation, a quick "Advanced Search" of "doug cameraland" I'm sure would show anyone how many satisfied OSA members have appreciated Doug. For best price (tough to beat IMO) on a quality binoc, Cameraland has been a "happy place" for many.

    For local shopping though, arm yourself with information. Here's some stuff maybe helpful:

    "Binoculars on a Budget":
    http://www.fieldandstream.com/articl...oculars-budget
    Included this advice: "Look at it this way: You will actually use your rifle for only a few seconds of any hunt, but if you have a brain in your head, you'll spend hours and hours glassing with your binoculars. They are as important as your rifle or bow".

    Specific binoc reviews from F&S:
    Minox APO HG: http://www.fieldandstream.com/photos...s-2010?photo=5
    Kowa:http://www.fieldandstream.com/articl...3?src=Shooting

    Optics4Birding: Here's one site I got from Snyd a couple years back:
    http://www.optics4birding.com/reviews.aspx. Snyd (an OSA Moderator) is a fan of some of the birding websites for optics reviews/information. Recently, this is the first place I found rave reviews about Kowa's optics, which Barney's Sports Chalet now carries.

    Best buys in binoculars (I think this article is a couple of years old but includes basic definitions of exit pupil etc useful for comparing binocs and makes some recs at the end that you don't hear much about):
    http://www.24hourcampfire.com/binoculars.html

    AOD/OSA threads:
    Best binocs on a budget:
    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ad.php?t=69575

    Binocs for girlfriend:
    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ad.php?t=11677

    Best ...under $300:
    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ad.php?t=25404

    Top 8X42s:
    http://www.24hourcampfire.com/8x42.html

  6. #6
    Member B-radford's Avatar
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    Like its already been said, go to Cameralandny and check out thier Nikon Monarch. He runs some good deals over there. I just got a pair of Nikon monarchs from him for zero dollars.

  7. #7

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    Sounds like the consensous is to buy the Monarch or spend $500 and get a real set. Doesn't sound like the step to mid 3's do any good. Minox's are $580 but the Zen's which I haven't tried are $300.

  8. #8

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    I have to 2nd or 3rd the Nikon Monarchs 200 bones to Doug at www.camerlandny.com gets your great glass IMO.

  9. #9

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    Since I'm looking for a spotter and bino would thid be a good idea?

    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...oug+cameraland

    Cameraland special, Monarch 10x42 and a prostaff 16-48 spotter for $500?

  10. #10
    Member Have Gun Will Travel's Avatar
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    Default bino quest

    dbeast:
    Just returned and completed unpacking from a successful PWS black bear hunt and saw your thread. For what it's worth, you might read the thread I started about Zen-Ray binos. Offer still stands for anyone to get a "hands-on" look at Zen-Rays top of the line (you can even compare them head to head with my Swarowski and Zeiss binos). Zen-Ray's top model is a bit more than you were wanting to pay (about $400), but match up optically with my other binos (Swarowski pair now retails at $2800 and older Zeiss Classic around $1000). Buy the best quality optics you can afford--you won't regret it in the long term! Good luck in your search....
    -Have Gun

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    Quote Originally Posted by Have Gun Will Travel View Post
    ...Buy the best quality optics you can afford--you won't regret it in the long term! ...
    Ya, or buy the best pair you CAN'T afford

  12. #12
    Member AKShawn's Avatar
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    Default Second

    I second the Nikon Monarchs... Just picked up a set of 10X42's - very nice glasses for the $$
    Quote Originally Posted by Alaska_Lanche View Post
    I have to 2nd or 3rd the Nikon Monarchs 200 bones to Doug at www.camerlandny.com gets your great glass IMO.
    AKShawn

  13. #13

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    Sportsmans almost got expensive, they've got the Leica 8x42 ultra's on sale for $12 something and they are NICE. Looks like in the 200-400 you don't really change much over the Nikon. Also looks like under $400 you should stay with an 8x. The Mojave's were nicer in a 10x but it seems like I should either spend $200 or over $800.

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    I narrowed my options to Zen-Ray ED2 10x43 and Vortex Razor 10x42. Both got some good reviews with ZEN being $300 cheaper. Has anyone compared them directly side by side?

  15. #15
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    If you are willing to pony up to vortex level I would highly recommend giving a hard look at the Minox HG's! I love my set and they are magnesium bodied which saves a LOT of weight over the Vortex. The glass is equal to the vortex and better than leupold gold rings to my eye! Doug has em on sale right now at a great price as well.

    I would choose the Minox HG's over anything but Swarovski EL or Leica. Yes that is specific to the swaro EL, I would not trade my minox for the heavier aluminum swaro's unless it was to sell em, buy a new pair of Minox and pocket the change!

    http://www.cameralandny.com/optics/minox.pl?page=62157

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    The best kept secret in bino's are Carson XM HD 10x50. Should run right about 300.00

    The glass is incredible. They won't last that long at that price. I use a pair that I bought several years ago and they're still the best bino's I've used. I've gone back and forth between my friends zeiss and my carsons and the zeiss might be a little brighter but not by much. it'd be a tough call. At least to my eyes, YMMV.

    Carson has a solid repair/replacement warranty....10.00. Done. Send it in, they'll take care of it.

    If you ever get a chance to look through one. I know you'd like em.. just my .02

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    I went ahead and got a pair of 10x43 ZEn ED2. The pro shop two blocks from my house has Vortex. Will compare them and see which works better for my eyes

  18. #18
    Member Floridascuba's Avatar
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    just picked up the monarchs from cameraland. Which they carried Leupold because i would like the boone and crocket rangefinder.

  19. #19
    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Default Eagle Optics? Hats off to Snyd for suggesting birdwatching forums for optics info...

    Best starter binocular?
    http://www.birdwatching.com/stories/feathered_fire.html

    Worth a look at $80?
    http://store.birdwatching.net/store/Detail.bok?no=417
    Eagle Optics Triumph - their webstore's bestselling binoc x 3 yrs.

  20. #20

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    Zen Ray ED2 smokes 'em all in the sub $1k class

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