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Posted: 6/15/2009 12:34:29 PM EST
My Sightron binoculars are going cloudy and have some lens issues so they're getting sent back in. Not sure how long it will take but I don't want to be without a set in the meantime and possibly upgrade from the SII set that I have now.

I'd like to keep it under $200 and they will be for field and hunting usage.

What are your recommendations?

Link Posted: 6/15/2009 12:36:36 PM EST
I've been using a ~$350 set of leupold Olympic 10x50's for several years now and love them.

I think they make a porro-prism counterpart for around $200. You might try those.

Link Posted: 6/15/2009 12:37:45 PM EST
http://www.eagleoptics.com/

This place is popular with bird watchers...they're pretty anal about their resolution. I've picked up some nice glass from them.
Link Posted: 6/15/2009 12:38:37 PM EST
I love my nikons, been damn good field glasses!

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Link Posted: 6/15/2009 12:38:41 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/15/2009 12:39:13 PM EST by Jammer1]
I bought a pair of Leupold green ring 10X50s from SWFA for $150 and love them. There are certainly better, but the price starts getting pretty steep to get much better.
Link Posted: 6/15/2009 12:43:29 PM EST


http://swfa.com/Steiner-8x22-Safari-Pro-Binocular-P11199.aspx

Link Posted: 6/15/2009 12:47:31 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/15/2009 1:04:57 PM EST by Gamma762]
Steiner 8x30s are an excellent daytime choice and can be had for very close to your price range.

Rugged, waterproof, lightweight, better depth perception vs. roof prism designs, and the "sports auto focus" system the utility of which should not be discounted.

I like the 7x50s and they are a better choice for low light use, but are typically closer to $300 than $200. Can usually find some good deals on ebay on them, there's a reconditioned 8x30 on there right now BIN at $150.

Be aware that Steiner has several different lines of optics... like "predator" and "safari"... these tend to have different color reproduction to emphasize certain colors. I haven't tried them to know how much difference it makes.

ETA: If you're looking for higher power Steiner has a very compact 10x50 (as well as higher powers).
Link Posted: 6/15/2009 12:49:21 PM EST
Vortex 10x42 Diamondback

about $200 and the glass looks as good as svaraski to me
Link Posted: 6/15/2009 12:57:22 PM EST

Originally Posted By gaspain:
Vortex 10x42 Diamondback

about $200 and the glass looks as good as svaraski to me

I'm on their website now and that's right in my magnification range, I'm using 12x50s now.

They have some good looking stuff.
Link Posted: 6/15/2009 1:01:27 PM EST
Am I correct in thinking that the bigger objectives helps light gathering at times like dusk or overcast days?
Link Posted: 6/15/2009 1:06:04 PM EST
Originally Posted By Maynard:
Am I correct in thinking that the bigger objectives helps light gathering at times like dusk or overcast days?


absolutely
Link Posted: 6/15/2009 1:10:33 PM EST
Originally Posted By Maynard:
Am I correct in thinking that the bigger objectives helps light gathering at times like dusk or overcast days?

Yes. Higher power diminishes light gathering, bigger objectives improve.

Objective lens size divided by magnification power equals exit pupil diameter. Exit pupil of 6 to 7 is better for low light, less than 5 is pretty poor in low light. Of course good optical quality to make the most of the available light path helps a lot too.
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