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 Post subject: Best sub-$200 binoculars
PostPosted: Sun May 14, 2017 3:05 pm 

Joined: Wed May 10, 2017 4:26 pm
Posts: 51
I know that part of this will be personal preference and what your eyes see the best through, but I would like to hear some feedback on the best quality binoculars available for under $200, and preferably closer to $150 or less. I'm going to ask for them for Fathers Day, and they will be replacing my Nikon Aculon 7x42s (they may be smaller than 42mm). Quality, clarity and light gathering are far more important than high magnification, so 8x or 10x is preferred. Midsize for use all day but will also be carried.

I've found a few that were recommended on other websites to get the discussion started, but am open to other suggestions, as well...

These Leupolds are my favorites so far
https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00M4DE1 ... 1eAdXOJ9mL

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B01AU85Y ... ref=plSrch

https://www.amazon.com/Nikon-16003-PROS ... 22e097ddd2

https://www.amazon.com/Vortex-Optics-Cr ... 2223b47772

https://www.amazon.com/Leupold-119198-M ... 9edf547737

https://www.amazon.com/Vanguard-Spirit- ... 5f16f9cc02

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B003ZUHP ... ref=plSrch


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 Post subject: Re: Best sub-$200 binoculars
PostPosted: Sun May 14, 2017 4:27 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 11, 2013 6:02 am
Posts: 6180
Location: East Coast
Check out the Minox brand at Cameralandny.com they are good glass and can be bought for less than $200. A lot of bird watchers use and recommend these.


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 Post subject: Re: Best sub-$200 binoculars
PostPosted: Sun May 14, 2017 6:30 pm 

Joined: Wed May 10, 2017 4:26 pm
Posts: 51
Truck driver, what model are those?


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 Post subject: Re: Best sub-$200 binoculars
PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 1:22 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 11, 2013 6:02 am
Posts: 6180
Location: East Coast
EastTNHunter wrote:
Truck driver, what model are those?

They are the BV II 10X42mm but are not available from Cameralandny right now according to their web page and were $299. But they do have the BF 10X42mm in stock for $139 and I would think they would serve you well. They look very similar to the BV II model and I almost bought them but I got the BV II on an open box special for around $250 when I bought them in Dec of last year.


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 Post subject: Re: Best sub-$200 binoculars
PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 1:29 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2011 5:39 am
Posts: 1568
Location: Northern Maine/New Brunswick Border
Dont over look the new Cabelas Intensity line of HD glass.
Amazing optics for the money, razor sharp and well done in all ways. Top value and lots of advantages because of Cabelas warrantee.
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I have the new Minox BV binos and really like the design as they now feature the second hinge down on the end of the objective lens! They also have a larger diameter ocular lens.
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However for what ever reason
The intensitys were better at nite! And as Roger suggested these would only exist down in the $200 range as a demo's; as they are $300 binos. I like them alot but they are larger than the Intensitys for the same power, very similar optically, but the lens coatings must be better on the Intensitys as comparing carefully at nite, they just are flat out brighter than the german ones?
Go figure???

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Last edited by 35 Whelen on Wed May 17, 2017 2:42 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Best sub-$200 binoculars
PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 8:07 pm 

Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2010 8:04 am
Posts: 1795
Location: Delta Junction, AK
You can buy surprisingly good binos for under $200 these days as improvements in HD glass have trickled down several lines over the last few years. Most of them will be manufactured by just a couple of companies in China so brand might not be as important as you think as they're more alike than different.

I have really liked Vortex for lower end optics and Nikon continues to make reasonably priced binos as well.

What you can do is go to places like Cameraland NY, SWFA, or Europtic and buy demos. I've done this and it really stretches your dollars considerably and none of mine had so much as a scratch and came with full warranty.

You must watch them pretty closely and be ready to buy when you see what you want. You should be able to buy the next grade up that way and you'll likely be much happier with a set of $300 you paid $150 for!


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 Post subject: Re: Best sub-$200 binoculars
PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 3:30 am 

Joined: Sun Dec 24, 2006 12:20 pm
Posts: 27775
Location: Northern Virginia
hodgeman wrote:
You can buy surprisingly good binos for under $200 these days as improvements in HD glass have trickled down several lines over the last few years. Most of them will be manufactured by just a couple of companies in China so brand might not be as important as you think as they're more alike than different.

I have really liked Vortex for lower end optics and Nikon continues to make reasonably priced binos as well.

What you can do is go to places like Cameraland NY, SWFA, or Europtic and buy demos. I've done this and it really stretches your dollars considerably and none of mine had so much as a scratch and came with full warranty.

You must watch them pretty closely and be ready to buy when you see what you want. You should be able to buy the next grade up that way and you'll likely be much happier with a set of $300 you paid $150 for!


That is all so danged true.

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 Post subject: Re: Best sub-$200 binoculars
PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 12:38 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2014 10:02 pm
Posts: 630
Location: Georgia, U.S.A.
Back in 1997 I bought a set of Nikon Monarch 8X42's for a '98 elk hunt. I used them during the 97 deer season and was amazed at the clarity and light gathering capability. But it wasn't until the elk hunt that these $150. binoculars really began to impress me. I could see pronghorn's clearly at distances most of the hunters couldn't see them at all. I tagged out the 3rd day and became a "Camp Rat". One day a couple of camp rats, a guide and the outfitter were on a hill top just glassing around, filling time and comparing glass. The outfitter had one of those really large, 10X Zeiss bino's. Going from my Nikons to his Zeiss I couldn't tell any difference. Neither could he. Or any of the rest of the guys. And we were looking at herds of pronghorn's far away.
I still use these every season and they continue to give amazing performance for a $150. set of Binoculars.
I would expect that today's Monarch's are even better than mine as now they have Monarch 7's, 5's and other models.

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 Post subject: Re: Best sub-$200 binoculars
PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 6:43 pm 

Joined: Mon Nov 25, 2013 8:27 pm
Posts: 718
I bought the Minix BF 8x42 for my wife when we first met and have been very impressed with them. Recommended them when Rodger got his BV's at the better price. I should've been quicker to grab a pair of the BV's for my daughter


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 Post subject: Re: Best sub-$200 binoculars
PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2017 5:32 pm 

Joined: Wed May 10, 2017 4:26 pm
Posts: 51
Ended up with leupold mojave 8x32s. Cabelas has them for under $200 right now.


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