binoculars on a budget - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 25 Old 12-15-2009 Thread Starter
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binoculars on a budget

It seems that you could feasibly spend as much as you want on every single piece of a boat/gear? lol. I need some binoculars... and was eyeing (har t har har) the Barska 7 x 50 pair....

Walmart.com: Barska 7x50 WP Deep Sea Binoculars, with Internal Rangefinder and DIGITAL Compass, Center Focus, FMC, Blue Lens: Optics

any thoughts on these, or something you would reccomend....say for 250 or less?

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post #2 of 25 Old 12-15-2009
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Originally Posted by QuickMick View Post
It seems that you could feasibly spend as much as you want on every single piece of a boat/gear? lol. I need some binoculars... and was eyeing (har t har har) the Barska 7 x 50 pair....

Walmart.com: Barska 7x50 WP Deep Sea Binoculars, with Internal Rangefinder and DIGITAL Compass, Center Focus, FMC, Blue Lens: Optics

any thoughts on these, or something you would reccomend....say for 250 or less?

Q
These:
West Marine: Tahiti Waterproof 7x50 Center-Focus Binoculars with Compass Product Display

or these:

West Marine: Ocean Pro 7x50 Binoculars Product Display

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post #3 of 25 Old 12-15-2009
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Looks like a good price point for the Barska's. I'm not familiar with them but if they do the job go for it.


I have the Ocean Pro's (nikon) and like them just fine.

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post #4 of 25 Old 12-15-2009
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Call me cheap but I picked up a pair of 7x50 at the army surplus store for $35. They work just fine. I remember there's some rule about what level of magnification you want on a rocking boat so that you can keep your sight steady. If only I could remember what the actual rule is . . .
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post #5 of 25 Old 12-15-2009
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I am very happy with these and people who use them can't believe the price...
Defender Binoculars
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post #6 of 25 Old 12-15-2009
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After having used highend commander type binoculars on other boats I can say that my 35$ dollar pair from Wally World work pretty dam good. I might not be able to see lights from other boats/ships at night from over the horizon. They work pretty dam good. I saved 100$ Dan
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post #7 of 25 Old 12-15-2009
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I also heartily endorse the West Marine Tahiti binoculars. Great binoculars. When I bought them, they were rated by Practical Sailor over much more expensive units. Great clarity and brightness.
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post #8 of 25 Old 12-15-2009
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One of the big differences between cheap and expensive glass is quality control and acceptance. So while you may find that every pair of $1500 Leica glasses is exactly the same, you will find that in the cheaper glasses one pair may look pretty good while the next looks pretty fuzzy.

This is one purchase you can't do mail order. Go to a chandlery (or to B&H Photo in NYC if you can) and actually pick up some different binocs and compare the view through them. If you find a cheap pair that is "good enough" for you, buy THAT EXACT PAIR and not another copy of the same thing.

Then there's the warranty. In the 80's I bought a pair of Tasco binocs and a top VHF for the same price that a Fujinon or Steiner would have cost me alone. Or half that. The particular pair I picked up were dead on, Tasco was not a top brand.

And when one internal lens just shattered one winter, they repaired it free, lifetime warranty, and it seemed just as good when it came back. Ten years later...I almost lost them on a similar repair, as Tasco was in bankruptcy but still telling folks to send in binocs for repairs! Which were not getting done. Don't ask, I managed to get them back and repaired BUT the cost was no longer free and the quality not the same. Today someone else owns the Tasco brand but I'll neer touch their products again.
Barska? I don't know, I'd heard they were some east european bargain firm selling mainly to hunting suppliers "for a price". I'd suggest going for a stronger brand name (see the bridwatching sites to get some ideas) and good waterproof warranty, and if that means saving up a little longer...That's OK, no one ever cursed that his glasses were TOO GOOD.
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post #9 of 25 Old 12-15-2009
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I have the Nikon Action Extreme ATB 7x50 binos and have been extremely happy with them. Very durable -- rubberized body and reasonably priced -- just $125 at Amazon. West Marine usually does some crazy sales in the spring, but these blow away WM's house brand binos. Don't go for more than 7X as they will be unusable on board a moving boat. 50mm objectives have decent light gathering power which will result in a better image. Nikon's optics are coated which also helps to brighten the image in situations where visibility is limited.

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Last edited by CLucas; 12-16-2009 at 12:08 PM.
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post #10 of 25 Old 12-15-2009
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Binoculars on a Budget

For the last two seasons on the Chesapeake we have been using Celestron 7X50 Oceana binoculars. There are the best binocs I have ever used and good for use with glasses. Separate eyepiece adjustments help keep them well sealed against fogging. On the internet they can be had for $150-175. Here is one link.
Celestron Oceana 7x50 with Compass & Rangefinder Scale - Binoculars at Binoculars
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