Best binoculars for safari

Old Sep 16th, 2009, 07:16 AM
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Best binoculars for safari

I know we discussed this topic before, but it's been awhile and things change. And I can't find it.

My husband needs a new pair of binocs and I like to get him the best, but under $500.00, preferably less. They have to be good for birds, so those little opera types won't work. Got to be 8X42 or similar. What do you use?

Thankful for all advise,
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Old Sep 16th, 2009, 07:22 AM
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Try looking at : http://www.african-safari-journals.c...inoculars.html

I followed their recommendation several years ago for Meade's Kestrel 8 x 42 Waterproof/Fogproof binocs and have been very happy with them (that they were $150 was a bonus).

sdb2 is offline  
Old Sep 16th, 2009, 08:20 AM
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This is a great site: decisions, decisions!!!
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Old Sep 16th, 2009, 09:38 AM
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my choice.

Happy travels!

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Old Sep 16th, 2009, 12:10 PM
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Nikon Monarch ATB 8 x 42

It is available for less than $250. I bought mine based on a review of binoculars by the cornell lab of ornithology and am very happy with them.
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Old Sep 16th, 2009, 01:52 PM
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SV, I do agree with you - the Swarovski glasses that I tried at the store in the spring were AWESOME in a word! A really cool colour, lightweight, crystal clear, easy to use & then just as I said 'write them up' I thought to ask the price. Oooooh. They were $825.00 CDN.

So, instead I bought the Nikon 10 x 25 Sportstar, as did Jamie. We both found they were really good (price about $125). If you can get the Nikon 8x42 for less than $250, then I'd say go with them! Nikon seems to have the art of binocs down.

Want me to bring them down so Tom can try them out on Sat?
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Old Sep 16th, 2009, 03:05 PM
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Unfortunately, trying out binoculars in a store is an almost useless exercise, except to get a feel for their weight/comfort.

I have a pair of Canon Image Stabilized 10x30s, and I have yet to find anything that beats it on safari. The IS is only useful for the very far end of the scale -- those objects that are so far away that it's virtually impossible to get a steady image. And when you press the magic button on top of the 'nocs, the shake stops, the image clears, and you hear yourself saying Wow!

The downside is that they're relatively heavy, take up relatively a lot of space, and require batteries (AA), though they do not seem to use a lot of juice. (I've never run out of power -- always replace the batteries before any trip.)
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Old Sep 16th, 2009, 03:24 PM
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I replaced my Nikon Monarch's 8*42 with a huge pair of Canon IS 15*50 for myself. I need all the help I can get seeing. I wear them in a harness as they are heavy, but ohh .. I can see now. I only see with one at a time and old age also took its course on me.

Love that stabilizer. I didn't think you really needed it for 10*30's, but I've gotten spoiled with mine? I gave my Monarchs to my guide in TZ. Tom has a pair of Swift 8*40 that served him well until a so called friend dropped them into the Colorado River on a rafting "safari". They've never been the same since and now I think, he needs a new pair for his birthday safari. However, I think they should be at least 8*42.

Lynda, is 10*25 really bright enough? With mine, I can practially see in the dark. This is awesome after sundowners on the way back to camp.

Thanks everyone for all these great ideas. Just wondering what was new out there today,
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Old Sep 16th, 2009, 04:36 PM
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I only see with one EYE at a time is what I meant to say! Darn,
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Old Nov 29th, 2009, 09:58 AM
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I brought this post up again because the latest Audubon mag had a guide to binocs and thought I’d include some of their comments.

First, some other binoc threads.

Now for Audubon:
“Larger than 42 diameter (the 2nd number) are too big for most people to carry around comfortably. If you are only sitting in a vehicle, this is less of an issue.”

Magnification—“Keep in mind that binoculars that magnify an image eight times also magnify the small movements of your hand eight times. The more the image moves, the less useful information you get from it. Since your brain must work harder to interpret a shaky image, higher-power binoculars will be tiring to use. Higher magnification also increases the distortion from rising hot air currents—called ‘heat shimmer’—which can make it impossible to get a sharp image when looking across a field or a marsh. Ten-power (or higher) binoculars also slash the field of view and are not as bright as seven-power or eight-power. Roger Tory Peterson used a pair of 7 x 42s when he worked on the last edition of The Peterson Guide. David Sibley used the same size when preparing the Sibley Guide.”

“If you pay more than $200 for your binoculars, they should be waterproof and nitrogen purged, so they don’t get fogged in humid conditions.”

“Don’t buy zoom binoculars or image-stabilized binoculars because they are heavy, give up a lot of brightness, and have a much reduced field of view.”

“Hunters, boaters, and hikers may know a lot about optics, but they have different needs than birders.” So don't rely solely on their advice.

Audubon's recommendations:

ALPHA CLASS-less than $2500 “Take the plunge and you’ll never be sorry.”

Leica Ultravid HD 7x42 (8x42, 8x32)
Nikon EDG 7x42 (8x42, 8x32)
Swarvoski IL 8.5x42 (8x32)
Zeiss Victory 7x42 T FL 8x42, 8x32)

ALMOST ALPHA CLASS-less than $1000 “these models come very close to the state of the art and cost a lot less

Nikon Premier 8x42
Zeiss Conquest 8x40 BT (8x30)

BEST-VALUE CLASS-less than $500 “Durable, waterproof, not settling for inferior product..”

Bushnell Legend 8x42
Leupold Cascades 8x42
Leupold Katmai 6x32
Nikon Monarch 8x42 PC ATB
Swift Audubon Roof Prism 8.5x44
Vortex Fury 6.5x32

GET IN THE GAME CLASS-less than $100
Leupold Yosemite Porro Prism 6x30
Nicon Action 7x35

I have had the Nikon Monarch for years.
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Old Nov 30th, 2009, 05:52 AM
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If you wear glasses, be sure to buy a binocular model with 'long eye-relief'.
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Old May 28th, 2013, 11:21 PM
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What strength of a zoom are you looking for? It's not hard to find a good binoculars for under 100.

Nikon and Celestron are good brands to use. I found this article which talks more about safari binoculars:
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Old May 30th, 2013, 03:14 AM
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A thread from Sep 2009.
How do people dig these 2-3-4 year old threads up? By searching by word? How did you find it ZS?

regards - tom
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