Replies: 4 - Last Post: Feb 20, 2013 12:32 PM Last Post By: mickyfinn
Dec 6, 2012 3:10 PM
Budget BinocularsSo I plan to do some birding and also watching butterflies in Mexico and am wondering about binoculars.
I have a real small pair that are ok but I would like to get something with a bit stronger magnifcation.
If I am looking to spend under $100 do people have any suggestions?
There is a pawnshop in San Diego that sells some used for $50 that seem pretty decent so that is why I am asking for ones under $100 new.
Also, the smaller the better since I will be backpacking with them.
Dec 7, 2012 8:45 AM
1Well, budget and binocular do not actually mix. You get what you pay for. You also need to consider lense diameter vs. magnification. The bigger the lense the more light it lets in and the higher magnification you can go to. There is a reason why most binocular come in standard sizes. ie. 7X35, 10X50, 8X20.
You can find all kinds of information using your good friend Google to search for 'best binocular for birdwatching' and from that get an understanding of what to look for. What you will find is that your stated desire for a small pair with stronger magnification is not a good idea.
Here is a good explanation. http://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/binoculars.html
So, you get what you pay for primarily in the quality of the lenses; what's best for backpacking is small but what's best for birdwatching is large. If you choose compacts for backpacking I would not go above 8 power for a 20-25mm lense. The lense quality is what determines how sharp what you see will be. Go to a store that sells quality binoculars and try looking through a few pair and you will quickly see the difference when you try focusing them on an object some distance away. ie. further than anywhere in the store. So look outside and NOT through a window.
Dec 9, 2012 2:51 AM
2If you consider that a decent lens for a camera costs a few hundred bucks at least, and binoculars have 4 (two lenses, two eyepieces) + a pair of prism assemblies, and that the both sides must be perfectly aligned, expecting to get anything good for $100 is not reasonable.
Binoculars with bigger magnification are hard to hold, x8 is easy, x10 starts to be the limit of useful magnification. Bigger magnification also means that you need bigger lenses, or the exit pupil becomes too small both for comfort and low light viewing ability.
With luck you might find an usable pair of small binoculars with $100.
Dec 15, 2012 2:49 PM
Decent optics for not a lot of money. I use them because if they happen to get stolen I'm not out a lot but still are reasonably good quality glasses.
Feb 20, 2013 12:32 PM
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