Looking for reviews of compact binoculars?

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moab
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Looking for reviews of compact binoculars?

Post by moab » Fri Jun 29, 2018 10:30 pm

I read a nice "how to buy binos" on opticsplanet. So I know I want the larger variety. I forget the prism name off the top of my head. Probably looking for 8x25 or so.

But then when you look at like "top 10 compact binoculars" on google you get the same regurgitated sites that just show stuff from amazon. And base all their reviews on them. Or a bird watching site that only shows high end stuff.

Anyone got any leads on reputable binocular reviews? Maybe I'll try Audubon Society or other birding places. But if you have any help it would be greatly appreciated.
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Re: Looking for reviews of compact binoculars?

Post by Stercutus » Sat Jun 30, 2018 7:31 am

You will be out some bread but buy once, cry once. You will be completely satisfied with them.

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Re: Looking for reviews of compact binoculars?

Post by raptor » Sat Jun 30, 2018 9:13 am

They are not compact but are great in the marine environment. Fijion 7x50 with or without the compass are truly water proof and durable. They are also big and heavy.

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Re: Looking for reviews of compact binoculars?

Post by raptor » Sat Jun 30, 2018 9:16 am

They are not compact but are great in the marine environment. Fijinon 7x50 Mariner with or without the compass are truly water proof and durable. They are also big and heavy. They should come with a flotation strap.

It is hard to beat 7x50 for low light viewing. It is also hard getting beaten up by them lugging them around on land.

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Re: Looking for reviews of compact binoculars?

Post by EBuff75 » Sat Jun 30, 2018 9:37 am

Question, did you read the Optics Planet article on choosing compact binoculars, because they do have one that is specific to that type. https://www.opticsplanet.com/howto/how- ... ulars.html There are some recommendations for binos in the article for three different categories: corrected roof prism, premium compact roof prism, and porro prism. Might be a good place to start looking.

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Re: Looking for reviews of compact binoculars?

Post by moab » Sat Jun 30, 2018 12:52 pm

EBuff75 wrote:Question, did you read the Optics Planet article on choosing compact binoculars, because they do have one that is specific to that type. https://www.opticsplanet.com/howto/how- ... ulars.html There are some recommendations for binos in the article for three different categories: corrected roof prism, premium compact roof prism, and porro prism. Might be a good place to start looking.
Ya. that's the article I started with. I'm looking closely at these waterproof Leupold's. https://www.amazon.com/Leupold-Rogue-8x ... Leupold+8x

$89 and they get excellent reviews. Even on the shitty review sites. lol.
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Re: Looking for reviews of compact binoculars?

Post by Asymetryczna » Fri Jul 20, 2018 5:52 am

Could you be a little more specific about their specific or main use?
It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see.
Henry David Thoreau

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Re: Looking for reviews of compact binoculars?

Post by moab » Fri Jul 20, 2018 6:13 am

Asymetryczna wrote:
Fri Jul 20, 2018 5:52 am
Could you be a little more specific about their specific or main use?
Hunting out to a few hundred yards. Bugging out, inch.
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Re: Looking for reviews of compact binoculars?

Post by flybynight » Fri Jul 20, 2018 8:34 am

Echo what Sterticus said. Those that you showed are not quality binocs. They are casual use binocs that in the long run will fail. I've always liked Stieners. I've had good luck with Baush and Lomb mid level price binocs ( but not as clear or well constructed as Stieners, Zeiss or Swarovski But then again I have not even shopped for binocs in ten years )

Just judging on my personal past appearance I would go with something like this
https://www.amazon.com/Steiner-Military ... binoculars
OR even these
https://www.amazon.com/Steiner-575-Mari ... binoculars

Raptor is right about the 50 mm objectives gathering more light. and at the distances you stated 7 power is all you need. Optics are expensive. Usually the more you pay the better you see and they last.
Try going to a quality sporting goods store that specializes on hunting or another store that has quality lens like a camera shop and try out some of their Binocs. Look at both brightly lit and darkend areas ( like a darkened portion of the store or building )
You'll be amazed at the difference in quality and clarity between different models and prices.
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Re: Looking for reviews of compact binoculars?

Post by moab » Fri Jul 20, 2018 11:02 am

I guess i should have been more specific. I'm replacing a $20 pair of camo, rubber coated, tasco 8x20's. That's sat in my hiking bag for maybe 30 years. And still work fine. But fog up easy. I also have a Pentax 8x40. That i used doing surveillance work. Back when i still worked myself in the field. Nothing fancy obviously. So i thought i would upgrade to a $100 range waterproof compact binos. For use in the PNW. Hiking and hunting mainly.

This isnt one of those items i need to be high dollar. I'm not going to sea. Or using these to drop artillary fire. Just need a normal set of commercial quality and most importantly compact pair of binos. That are also waterproof. That i can throw in my pack and use occassionally. I actually need them to fit my HPG chest pack. With everything else i need in there. Including my pistol, compass, gps etc etc. Not a lot of room. Nor do i feel like i need a large pair. Otherwise I'd take my pentax. Which are just fine. And I've had for 20 years.

Back in the 80's i worked with a LEO vice unit. And a sergeant i knew had a pair of self focusing binos. In a similar size. 8x30 maybe. But when i was looking this time. I didn't see any self focusing models reviewed. So maybe that's not a thing anymore.

I definitely don't want anything over the size of those Leopold's i posted. I would probably prefer 8x10s. As size and weight are a big factor. Not even sure i have room for these. But for $100 I'd be happy with small normal optics. That were waterproof/fog proof.

So that's what I'm looking for. A set of small cheap binos. Not $20 cheap. But not $300 cheap either.
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Re: Looking for reviews of compact binoculars?

Post by raptor » Fri Jul 20, 2018 11:56 am

Ah Ok.

I bought a pair of these for under $100 same maker albeit with a porro prism. I went with the 6x since I wanted more light gathering due to dense growth and for the same reason I rarely use them to look past 100 yards; so 6x is fine for me. They make a 8x & a 10X.

https://www.amazon.com/Leupold-Yosemite ... binoculars


They are a great improvement over the 8x25mm folding binoculars I used and not too much heavier or bulkier. That said these will not fit in my pocket like the folding variety could.

They work OK but despite claims of being "waterproof" I do NOT use them on my boat, only in the woods so YMMV as far as waterproof goes.

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Re: Looking for reviews of compact binoculars?

Post by Asymetryczna » Mon Jul 23, 2018 6:04 am

Thanks MOAB. If you are just buggin or inching any lightweight model should be fine.
Last edited by Asymetryczna on Tue Jul 24, 2018 10:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see.
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Re: Looking for reviews of compact binoculars?

Post by Asymetryczna » Mon Jul 23, 2018 12:00 pm

Tasco!
Last edited by Asymetryczna on Tue Jul 24, 2018 10:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see.
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Re: Looking for reviews of compact binoculars?

Post by flybynight » Mon Jul 23, 2018 2:39 pm

Ok.. gotta ask about your club.
As of now I bet you got me wrong

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Re: Looking for reviews of compact binoculars?

Post by Stercutus » Mon Jul 23, 2018 4:42 pm

Back when i still worked myself in the field. Nothing fancy obviously. So i thought i would upgrade to a $100 range waterproof compact binos. For use in the PNW. Hiking and hunting mainly.
Can't help much. I either go cheap where they are all pretty much the same or expensive when it really matters. Not a whole lot of middle ground, but curious what others think.
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Re: Looking for reviews of compact binoculars?

Post by moab » Mon Jul 23, 2018 5:21 pm

Stercutus wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 4:42 pm
Back when i still worked myself in the field. Nothing fancy obviously. So i thought i would upgrade to a $100 range waterproof compact binos. For use in the PNW. Hiking and hunting mainly.
Can't help much. I either go cheap where they are all pretty much the same or expensive when it really matters. Not a whole lot of middle ground, but curious what others think.
The distances i hunt at in the woodsy and brushy pnw are quite near. And i don't rely on these for anything remotely life or death. Or even advanced hobbies like bird or animal watching. I rarely bring these out.

But i hear what your saying. There are those cheap camo bushnells i think for 20 bucks or less that would be the same quality of what I'm using now. But i think with a bit more lens diameter and water/fog proofness. I should see an improvement.

I should take pics. But if you saw what I'm using and how low quality they are. You'd go oh ya anything will be an improvement. Lol.

I also simply don't have this prioritized as highly as other gear. Financially speaking. I've got a lot more important stuff to put money into. Firearms, ammo, weight savings in my core kit. Things like that.

Now if i was shooting something out to 300 meters or beyond i would be wanting a lot more optic. But then it would be full size 8x40s. So a totally different deal.
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Re: Looking for reviews of compact binoculars?

Post by Asymetryczna » Tue Jul 24, 2018 7:30 am

flybynight wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 2:39 pm
Ok.. gotta ask about your club.
You'd probably approach Gandalf and say, "Dude, is that an axe handle or something?" lol.
Actually, it was a fathers day gift; I am still breaking it in. It is a custom made walking staff made by Mike Ivancic, Kendallville, IN. Contact info: acornfurniturefolks@gmail.com
It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see.
Henry David Thoreau

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Re: Looking for reviews of compact binoculars?

Post by flybynight » Tue Jul 24, 2018 10:08 am

Asymetryczna wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 7:30 am
flybynight wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 2:39 pm
Ok.. gotta ask about your club.
You'd probably approach Gandalf and say, "Dude, is that an axe handle or something?" lol.
Actually, it was a fathers day gift; I am still breaking it in. It is a custom made walking staff made by Mike Ivancic, Kendallville, IN. Contact info: acornfurniturefolks@gmail.com
Did I mention that before? I made a couple clubs out of axe handles. :lol: So probably yea
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Re: Looking for reviews of compact binoculars?

Post by Asymetryczna » Tue Jul 24, 2018 10:42 am

Yep, I do a lot of looking and viewing so one could say that I did the deep dive on research.
Songbirds are delicious.
For additional reading: A BIT MORE on BINOS

And because I think flybynight is actually Bo Svenson, more on Buford Pusser
It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see.
Henry David Thoreau

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Re: Looking for reviews of compact binoculars?

Post by moab » Tue Jul 24, 2018 11:54 am

Asymetryczna wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 10:42 am
Yep, I do a lot of looking and viewing so one could say that I did the deep dive on research.
Songbirds are delicious.
For additional reading: A BIT MORE on BINOS

And because I think flybynight is actually Bo Svenson, more on Buford Pusser
Jesus. I have a degree in film and video. So i understand most of the topics explained in that bino article. But damn the optics industry is not for the casual buyer! They really need some standardization in specs so you can compare like models. Maybe b&h has filters in their bino search for this. But its why i don't go down this rabbit hole with rifle scopes. Its just to confusing. When reading specs on optics i think about 90% of buyers eyes glaze over in the first 15 minutes. And reviews rarely go into the actual specs of each model. Its like you need a degree in optics just to soundly purchase a pair.

Having said that. The most important attribute to me is fogproof. Which also means waterproof. Beyond that i have no idea which coating is better. Or what half the item descriptions mean. With all their bullshit sales speak. I honestly don't blame guys for simply looking thru the viewfinders and picking the one that looks the best. Or just grabbing the model their friend recommends.

They really need some industry wide testing standards. Like a low light scale or clarity scale. Otherwise its just a mess of sales speak, numbers and prices all over the map. Ive never distrusted an industry more.

I think for 80% of the buying public my $80 8x40 Pentax would do them fine. I can see the clarity difference. And have used optics in the plus thousands of dollar range. (I've had canon out to my PI offices before. Demonstrating their highend optics.) And they are impressive if looked thru with an educated eye. But i think for the vast majority of folks. A $100 pair of binos will work fine. I've used what the industry would probably consider poor quality for decades. And i don't find the budget binos that lacking. And for everything from shooting in the marine corps to doing street surveillance as a PI.

Ok. Stepping off my rant box. Thanks for listening. Lol. My eyes glazed over a half hour ago. ;)
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Re: Looking for reviews of compact binoculars?

Post by teotwaki » Wed Jul 25, 2018 3:13 pm

Unglazed yet?

Great thread! Thanks for letting us participate in your decision process. Those Leupold Yosemites that Raptor recommended look as if they meet your exact requirements: low cost, compact, waterproof & fogproof and weigh in at a pound.

Leupold is a great brand.

In my HPG chest bag I have a tiny pair of old Nikons since my eyes are starting to weaken. Similar to the newer Travelite model. Super handy to always have with me.

In my pack I often carry a pair of the Steiner 8x30 Military with the range finding reticle. In my truck I have a pair of the Marine 7x50 with the electronic compass.
My adventures and pictures are on my blog http://suntothenorth.blogspot.com

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