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Compact binoculars

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 mattyP 21 Nov 2020

I’m in the market for a pair of compact binoculars. Probably maximum £100. What do I need to know/what brands are good.

i like the look of these https://www.parkcameras.com/shop/steiner-safari-ultrasharp-10x26-compact-binoculars_9774186h?source=aw&awc=6241_1605989168_cf032a1caf030bc01100c586bedb73e2&utm_source=AWIN&utm_medium=Affiliate&utm_campaign=639029

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 Tom V 21 Nov 2020
In reply to mattyP:

It's an Octavia question.

Opticron Taiga.

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 Hat Dude 21 Nov 2020
In reply to mattyP:

Bought a pair of Celestron Outland 8x42 earlier this year

Seem very good for the price

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 Marek 21 Nov 2020
In reply to mattyP:

Depends on what you want them for.

Good light or dawn/dusk? Poor light --> wider objective & lower magnification.

How old are you (exit pupil gets smaller with age)?  

What conditions are you using them in (windy/exposed or protected)? 10x magnification is probably too high if you don't have some elbow support in wind.

What are you trying to see? How far away?

Do you wear glasses (need more eye relief)?

Small and light, I would be erring (in general) towards something like 7x32.

Post edited at 20:43
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 Wally 21 Nov 2020
In reply to mattyP:

I’ve got a pair of Nikon travellite 8x25. About £100, small, light, excellent optics and have been really happy with them. 

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In reply to mattyP:

Many years ago (could it be 30...?), I bought a pair of Pentax UCF-Mini 8x21, for £50, supposedly reduced from £100.

A few years ago, someone asked your same question, and I said how satisfied I'd been, and suggested looking on Ebay. Which I did. And found and bought a pair for £12. They were in pristine condition, as binoculars often are.

I've just had a look on Ebay. You can still find them, or others in the series, but they're more expensive than £12 these days...

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In reply to mattyP:

> I’m in the market for a pair of compact binoculars. Probably maximum £100. What do I need to know/what brands are good.

10 x 26 is (IMHO) quite a high magnification for a small diameter lens. I think the image might be fairly dark, plus, as Marek said, it might be difficult to hold them steady.

Edit: I bought Mrs Ridge a pair of Nikon Sportstar 8 x 25 three years ago for about £75. She really likes those, and there's not much difference in the image quality between those and an old pair of compact Leica binoculars I have that are going for about 3 times the price second-hand.

Post edited at 23:29
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 nigel n 21 Nov 2020
In reply to mattyP:

Hi

I am not an expert on binoculars but we recently bought a pair of these after a struggling on a visit to Mull last year  - really good though not especially light in weight:

https://www.rothervalleyoptics.co.uk/helios-mistral-wp6-8-x-42-binoculars.html

excellent service from Rother Valley Optics if you don't have a local shop

Nigel

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 barry donovan 22 Nov 2020
In reply to mattyP:

How about a monocular ?  They are smaller and even more compact and brilliant for working out routes. 

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 mike123 22 Nov 2020
In reply to Wally: I had a small pair of nikons , I can't remember the model but they were about £100 and were excellent , I'm assuming they were the same ones . I m off to ebay to look for a pair right now . After that I will take a look at the 2nd hand camera shops , although last time I saw a thread on this and had a look at the 2nd camera shops there was nowt . As has been said above 2nd hand bins used to very good value although lock down boredom may well have put paid to this .

edit : typos 

Post edited at 16:06
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 mike123 22 Nov 2020
 Chmusar 22 Nov 2020
In reply to mattyP:

I bought Steiner Safari Ultrasharp Binoculars, 10 x 26 , nice and compact and reasonably light I now carry them in my pack on every outing.

https://www.bestbinocularsreviews.com/Steiner10x26SafariPro-36.htm

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 Stichtplate 22 Nov 2020
In reply to mattyP:

Binoculars are the sorts of things you only want to buy once and good glass isn't cheap. If you're pretty good at not losing kit why not push the boat out and buy a pair of Zeiss ultravid? Their compacts come in 8X20 and 10X20. Wonderful image and miraculously tiny. They're stupidly expensive, until you consider that they're the sort of things you pass down to your kids.

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 Tom V 22 Nov 2020
In reply to Stichtplate:

> Binoculars are the sorts of things you only want to buy once

Since I own over a dozen pairs I can't really agree with that.

And sticking with the OPs parameters, I'd still go for the Taigas.

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 AlanLittle 22 Nov 2020
In reply to captain paranoia:

I have the 8x25 Pentax UCF WP, bought years ago after using a pair that belonged to a friend and being very impressed with them. "WP" for "waterproof", supposedly. Dunno about that, but being decently weather resistant was certainly a selling point for me.

They seem to be still available.

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 anyha 22 Nov 2020
In reply to mattyP: I bought a pair of Steiner 7x50 off eBay, suit me and are lightweight

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In reply to anyha:

> I bought a pair of Steiner 7x50 off eBay, suit me and are lightweight

Not exactly compact though, which is what the OP was after.

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 cb294 22 Nov 2020
In reply to mattyP:

As per usual, binoculars should only ever be bought used unless you have money to burn or you are blind anyway.

The optical quality of glasses that cost, say, 350 quid new and are now on the market for 100 -150ish will be so much better than anything you can at that price range new.

For a concrete recommendation, as marek above asked, I would need to know exactly what you want to do with the binos and whether you watch with or without glasses.

Shhoting from the hip you should be able to get a decent pair of Meoptas or Eschenbachs. If your budget stretches only a little further, I would go for a used Zeiss Terra 8x32, that is a serious step up in quality for only a little more money! 25 front lenses are a bit too dark for my taste.

CB

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 nniff 22 Nov 2020
In reply to mattyP:

I’ve had several pairs of small, light binos. And broke them all. The last pair, Nikon, were great while both sides pointed in the same direction. I’ve given up now and bought a monocular, but I’ve jumped in at the deep end with Leica.  There are lots of good options at around the £100 mark, half the weight and twice the quality for the money (ish). Small enough to take out all the time and light enough not to be resented on a big day out.  Avalon is worth a look

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