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Thread: Small binoculars - suggestions?

  1. #1
    Sharp Shooter

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    Default Small binoculars - suggestions?

    I bought a pair of 8x32 Bushnell Trophy bins last week. Had a great time birding from the kayak up the Krom River.
    Then discovered that the one eyepiece seal does not look flush, o-ring visible from an angle. Took it back to dealer (Kloppers, PE). It turned out that the remaining units in stock all had the same issue, right out the box.

    Looking for alternatives in the same size. Paid R1700 for the Trophy's and would like to get something in the same ballpark, but willing to stretch the budget up to R2500 if it is worth it.

    I was happy with the Bushnell's glass. Other specs that I consider important are eye relief (preferably >15mm) and FOV (min 58 apparent/7.2 actual)

    So far my shortlist has the following:
    Kenko Ultraview 8x32
    Lynx Ranger 8x32
    Hawke Nature Trek 8x32
    Vortex Diamondback (only 8x28, FOV a bit limited)
    Celestron Nature DX 8x32 or 8x25
    Steiner Safari Ultrasharp 8x22 (eye relief a bit tight)

    Opinions of the above appreciated.

    Anything I have overlooked, MTC, Sightron etc?

    Online prices seem to vary greatly. Sites like wantitall generally have the greatest variety but prices are way higher than other outlets, if I am lucky enough to find one.
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  2. #2
    Sharp Shooter
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    Wife gave me a little Nikon 8x32 as birthday gift many years ago. Strapped to my chest with a chesty it has been part of many hunting ventures walking & stalking game and all other outdoor activities where binos go to work. The branding and bling has been crawled and climbed to smithereens but the glass and workings still good. Loving my dusty & beaten little hunting/birding/hiking/sporting partner.
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  3. #3
    Sharp Shooter

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    The most affordable Nikon I could find in this size is the Prostaff 7 which is well over R3k. FOV is also very narrow.
    I have the Nikon Aculon 10x50 which gets used a lot. Not exactly clear to the edge but good value.
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  4. #4
    Sharp Shooter
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    I have personal experience with 2 of the binoculars you listed

    Steiner safari (older version 2005)
    Vortex diamondback 8x32 (slightly larger objective lens)

    Was not very happy with Steiner in the 13 yrs that i have used it. Eyepiece wasn't suited to my liking and glass was very mediocre.
    Vortex has good (in its price range) glass and very user friendly.

    Pentex 8x25 UCF is another good pocket sized bins that doesnt break the bank.
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  5. #5
    Sharp Shooter

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    Bought a pair of Vortex 10 x 32 some time back at great expense and since then have not been hugely impressed. Had a look through some less expensive Nikons in a camping shop and was really impressed. Wouldn't waste the money on cheapies. They don't seem to last.
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  6. #6
    Sharp Shooter

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    Thanks for all the feedback.

    The shop offered me a generous discount on the Kenko as a replacement for the Bushnell.

    I did not know the brand so had to look it up. Turns out that overseas they sell for up to double what most of the other scopes in my list cost (upwards of $200).
    They are not as compact as most of the others but have wide FOV (60) and decent eye relief. I took the plunge and got a pair.
    Going to hit the river and find some Fish Eagles to oggle...
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  7. #7
    Prof. Jan Itor

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    You got lucky. I have a Bushnell Trophy 8x32 and was gifted a Kenko ultraVIEW EX OP DHII by a friend a couple of months ago, the Bushy is not in the same league.
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  8. #8
    Sharp Shooter

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    Love it when a plan comes together.

    River, check.
    Creaky wooden boat, check.
    Fish Eagle, check.
    Fish Eagle Jr., check.



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  9. #9
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    I have a Hawke Nature Trek. It's quite good but has only seen service from inside the house as it's quite bulky.
    I use it for ship spotting from the balcony and the only real gripe I have is the right focus wheel is really sticky.
    I used to use a very small Tasco for hunting and it lives in the car glovebox (for about 18 years now). It's
    a very good bino.
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