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I am considering purchase of 8X42 binoculars. I'm considering either a pair of Bushnell Trophy 8X42, or a pair of Nikon Monarch 8X42. Does anyone have any experience/opinion on these models. I am mainly interested in brightness and clarity characteristics.
 

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I haven't tried the 8 X 42's. But my wife uses the 10 X 42's Bushnell Trophys. I feel they are a great pair of glasses. I think I saw where Bass Pro had either the 8 X 42's OR the 10 X 42's on sale for $99.00.
 

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I have a pair of the bushnell's and could not tell any difference between them and the nikons my father-in-law has the nikon's and we put them side by side just the other evening and could not tell any difference in clarity or briteness. Just the price.
 

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I recently completed my binocular shopping!:D
(my old pair were 25 years old..:eek: )
I compared the pentax dfc wps, the bushnell ledgends, and the wind river casscades. all 8X42s. i found the wind rivers to be the best! they where clearer to me, and just as bright as the others and where the least expensive + gauranteed for life and 100% water proof.
Ive had them for about two weeks now and am very happy with the purchase
:)
 

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No other choice

Hands down...go with ZEISS
 

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The Nikon monarchs have a good reputation in the lower price ranges. People seem to really like that model.

Another two binoculars in the sub $400 range that get rave reviews are the pentax DCF wp's and the minolta active 10x42D wp.

About 2 years ago I bought a set and looked at every binocular I could from $100 to $1500. I decided on the minolta activa for the price and quality, they compared wtih many binoculars costing near the $1000 mark. The Pentax was just as good but I could get the minolta's cheaper. In fact in my opinion for my eyes the minolta activa and pentax dcf wp, can stay optically very close to any binocular save one, the swarovski EL's, there were a couple zeiss and leicas in the $1000 range I thought looked slightly better than the minolta/pentax, but not for the extra $600, but those EL's those really are amazing, and for the price they better be. I will say this though, there was a lot more noticeable difference from the $1000 binoculars to a $1400 pair of EL's than there was from a $400 pair of minolta's to those same $1000 pairs.

A good place to check out reviews is www.birdwatching.com they compare spotting scopes and compact/full size binoculars of all price ranges. Best of all they use the air force's resolution chart for a true test of image sharpness.

There are other factors as well to consider. I will never buy a pair of binoculars that are not waterpoof, there are too many great binoculars that are to bother with ones that are not. Power is another, 8x42's will be brighter than 10x42's, my preference is for 8x binoculars they hold more steady (for me) and are brighter. I've seen several cases where I can pick out detail buddies with 10x can't because they are too shakey. Also in some cases the 10x binoculars are not allowed at shoots.

Fit and feel are another good indicator, the optics can be great but if they feel crappy that's no good either. I like a locking diopter adjustment, and also really like lens caps that are attached to the body. Some of these features won't come on lower to mid line binoculars though. Also everyone's eyes are a little different, what looks really clear and nice to me may not to someone else. Also when you preview binoculars make sure to check the diopter setting, many times they get played with and can be set way off, which will make them look like crap unless adjusted for your eyes. Another good idea is to make sure the lenses are clean before viewing them. I've seen a lot of very expensive and very dirty binoculars in stores.

I also won't buy a display model binocular or spotting scope, in the high end stuff it may mean waiting for them to order one, but in a lot of shops the stuff on display can be dropped by accident or scratched or knocked just a tiny bit out of alignment. They get handled a lot and many times by people that don't respect a $1000 pair of optics. Also some shops allow their employees to use optics on display at shoots and on hunting trips. For what some of those binoculars cost there's no reason to pay retail for what is really a used pair.

Another great idea is to look at binoculars inside, esp. if you can find a semi poorly lit area, look at a dark corner of the store, many stores try to take you outside to view optics, that's okay, but most all binoculars look great under bright outdoor light, it's only under poor light that the differences in light gathering really show up. If you can try to go late in the evening at dusk and compare them outside, that will really show off the light gathering differences as well.

I was lucky enough that there was a closed store across the hall from the shop I was checking out binoculars in. Looking into a dark closed store really showed the smaller differences in light gathering. Some binoculars you could see a lot of detail inside the dark store, make out boxes, shapes etc., where some you could not see anything at all but a dark store, no detail could be made out.

Also be aware that while some internet places have killer prices on optics that many companies will not honor warranty on gray market items (at least for US buyers). So if you think about ordering from a online store make sure to check with the binocular company to see if they are a authorized dealer (don't ask the internet store, they've been known to give false info on that topic). Some companies won't even service a gray market pair of binoculars for a fee, they will just return them saying they won't do anything for you because they are gray market. I've heard of Nikon doing this with camera's can't say for binoculars.

We hear it a lot but optics in general is one of the few places where you still pretty much get what you pay for. The quality is starting to trickle down and there are some great binoculars in the sub $500 catagory for sure.
 

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The big three

Leica, Zeiss and Swarovski

Buy anyone of the big three and that's all the binoculars you'll ever have to buy. I have Leica and Swarovski in 10x42 and would put them up against anything made.

My preference is Leica I think they make the best optics bar none but that's just my opinon. Buy what looks good to you go to a store that has a large selection and look through the ones that interest you.

Target 1
 

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Another good tip, esp. I know with Leica and Swarovski is their warranty papers have places where the dealer stamp and signature are supposed to go when purchased. Many sales people don't know this and so it never gets filled out properly. I'm not sure if leica or swarovski would refuse warranty for that reason but I suppose they could. So whichever one you buy make sure if there is a spot for the dealer to sign that you have them do it.
 

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Warranties

Zeiss has a lifetime transferable warranty!! Give them to your kids, their kids, and so on.
 

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I have a pair of Bushnell Legend 8x32 roof-prism and they are very clear and bright. Alot of people that shoot 3-D use these cause of the quality for the price around $400 canadian. I suggest going to the roof-prism over the poro-prism cause of the size and quality.
 

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Binoculars

A good site for you to check out would be Binoculars.com. They have a lot of info, reviews and carry all of the top lines of binoculars. I have a pair of 10x42 Steiner Safari bino's that work great. Happy shopping!
 

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One of the tips I got for comparing clarity between different binoculars, is looking at power lines with them. With the better glass, the power lines are more well defined.
A couple of years ago, I was in the market for a new pair of hunting binocs and could not afford a pair from the upper price range. Water-proof and shock resistance was important factor in my selection due to the abuse they tend to take in hunting conditions.
A friend of my bothers was out shooting ground squirrels one afternoon and suggested Nikons. He had a pair of 7x35 Nikons in their lower price range and I was extremely impressed with their clarity. He claimed that their product was an excellent value and attributed their quality of glass to the experience of making fine camera lens. My mind was made of and I bought a pair of Nikon Monark 10x40's. I am not a bit disappointed in my selection and would not hesitate to buy any Nikon product.
One morning on a Texas whitetail hunt, I arrived to my blind quite some time before daybreak and had no idea where the feeder had been placed. It was still very dark and could see nothing with the naked eye. I wondered what I could see with my Nikons and was amazed to find that I could not only see the feeder, but could see a deer mingling around it. The painful part was having to wait until there was enough light to shoot. Fortunately, the buck hung around and I evenually took him.
On a successive trip to Wyoming, one of my hunting buddies asked to try my Nikons and was so impressed with the quality for the cost, he got him a pair. The next year, his brother had gotten a pair of Zeiss and we compared our Nikons against them. There was not a very percievable difference in quality, but quite a difference in cost ($30.00 vs $800.00). Don't get me wrong, the Zeiss were superb and if you have the bucks you can't go wrong.
The point being, there are some good glasses out there for us lower budgeted types.
 

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I have the Nikon Monarch 8 x 42 and love them. Very bright and razor sharp resolution. I bought mine from Jon over at the optic zone. Best price and service!!

www.opticzone.com

Joey
 

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ALPENS

After shooting all the above brands and then some others. I recently changed to this brand. Im using sheaper pair 7X42 and there great. Might be worth chercking out. Nikon would be my choice of both above.
 

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I know these wern't one of your choices, but I thought I would throw these into the line.
TASCO EXP, waterproof, great clarity, and come with a super comfortable neoprene strap.
Normally over $200 this place has them for $99. They have compared favorably to MUCH more expensive binos.
Tasco EXP
http://www.cdnninvestments.com/tas8xexproof.html



Here's a pic taken through my digital camera. The first pic is wide angle no zoom, the second is 3X zoom through the 8X42 binos. This was also taken through a window, which I'm sure didn't help clarity, but you can tell how bright they are.
 

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I looked for binos for a copule years and finaly ended up with wind river olimpics 8x42's . Check them side by side to the others you are looking at and you will be surprised . Cost- value is great , the only binos I found that were brighter and just as clear cost $800 more . Those were swarofskis . I paid $300 for mine .
 

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got to aggree wind rivers are great binos...mine are the cascades and they are also great for the price...as i said earlier a buddy has the brunton 7X42 eternas and i compared them side by each in deep shade and prefered the wind rivers! mine are $00 cnd and his $579

boone..i thought you where a brunton man.....
alpins??
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks for all the input guys. I think from a cost-wise standpoint, that the Bushnell Trophy will give me the best bang for my buck. I would only be using them at a few IBO shoots a year. If and when the IBO would ever wake up regarding 8X limitation, and drop it, I don't want to be stuck with expensive 8X binos, that I would never use again for anything else.

Thank you again, I appreciated everyones comments.

Elkie
 

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I will tell you something, I work at Gander mountain and I always highly recommend the Leupold Yosemites. They are the best binoculars for the price.we sell them for $119.99 but I am sure you can find them cheaper. They smoke the bushnells and nikons in clarity and brightness. Check them out!
 
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