View Full Version : Binoculars?
12-01-2006, 12:39 PM
So, my mom asked for a pair of binoculars for X-Mas. I don't know the first thing about binoculars, so I figured I'd check here to see if there is any advice available.
Basically, she is a small woman in her early 60s, so can't have anything too big. She lives in the middle of Manhattan and wants to use them for birdwatching in the parks. I doubt she will travel a ton with them, but who knows - better to get something she can take with her for travels.
I tend to always buy quality and like to buy things for myself and for other people that are likely a little better than needed . . . I think my budget might be up to about $200 . . . is that reasonable? Any suggestions for models? Danke!
12-01-2006, 09:53 PM
Well if you wanna spend money for the sake of spending money, and use every dime of your $200 budget, then go for Zeiss or Swarovski, et al. Those companies, along with Leupold, Burris, etc usually provide excellent service if the optics are ever damaged. I'm sure she wouldn't be dissapointed, but I also don't think that the expediture of $ is neccessary in this case.
You could easily find a small light-weight pair of 8x21mm binoculars for <$20 or so that come in a little carrying case, and have a neck lanyard, by a less expensive company like Simmons or Tasco that would work just fine for spotting birds in the park. You should be able to find this at just about any sporting good store or any store that has a sporting goods section. I carry a set of rather cheap Simmons 8x21mm binoculars around my neck, tucked into my coat, when hunting so I don't have to shoulder my rifle or shotgun to look through the scope everytime I want to see something close up. For scopes I really like Leupold, but aiming at a deer 300+ yards away in low light conditions with the intent to drop it with one shot and looking at birds on a stroll through the park in the middle of the day are very different.
In short, you can easily spend $200 if it'll make you feel good, but IMHO a simple $20 pair would do just fine.
12-01-2006, 10:15 PM
if you really want...I constantly see street vendors sell binoculars. they have all kinds. I've tested a few out and I they're pretty good quality. well...at least to my untrained eye they're good quality. I bought a pair (about $5 USD) and I can see freakishly far with them. (they broke 3 years later). but hey...5 bucks? you can't go wrong!! =)
12-02-2006, 10:09 AM
Thing is . . . if she wanted a cheap pair of binoculars, she'd get them herself and wouldn't ask for them as a present. Whenever getting a present, get the person something better than what they would have gotten themselves (at least that's my view).
Also, I love photography, and there is one key parallel that I think would have to exist between cameras and binoculars . . . the importance of the quality of the glass you're using cannot be ignored.
If you're being completely functional and don't care about how well the light reaches you and how vibrant the colors are, then it doesn't matter. If you're just spotting something to know it's there . . . it's no issue.
However, if you really want to be able to appreciate what it is that you're seeing and enjoy the colors and the details, good glass is a must . . . and gotta pay for that . . .
12-02-2006, 11:23 AM
I go to a store and check out 10x50 and 7x35. Depends if she wants them for wide view or to bring a object in for closer viewing!
Here is a link with a bit of better info! Also a good online shop!
12-02-2006, 11:58 AM
I think the kind I have (and love) are Bushnells.
12-04-2006, 04:34 AM
What will she be using them for?
12-04-2006, 07:29 AM
Bargainoutfitters sells binocs pretty cheap on occasion. Might want to have a look there.
12-04-2006, 07:40 AM
For that amount of money, you could get a decent set of binoculars with a built-in digital camera.
12-04-2006, 10:55 AM
The first number is the magnification factor- 7x means things will appear to be seven times closer. The second number means the size of the biggest lens. A bigger number here means more light can get in. Does she want something in a "full size" or more compact model she can carry in her purse or pocket somewhere (birdwatching or neighbor spying?). They will also have different coatings to both protect the lenses from scratching and for light filtering/ corrections.
The ones with the built in digital camera are usually poor at both uses. Might try places like Overstock too.
12-04-2006, 03:40 PM
You could get her a good but modest pair of binoculars and give the rest of your budget to charity in her honor. Just a thought.
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