Monday, March 23, 2015

Zeiss Terra ED 8x32 Binocular

From Scott in L.A.:

5/5 Rating

 I love these binoculars

I own the classic Zeiss Dialyt 7x42 and Leica Ultravid pocket binoculars and it's been a while since I've looked through anything touted as "entry level" binoculars, so this review may sound Homeric, but I love this

Being a long time birder, I'm used to thinking of glass at this price range as being "acceptable" at best, but these seem truly first-rate, and at any price range.  I guess binoculars have changed a lot in the last few years. 

The Terra 8x32's are a delight to look through.  ED glass, too.  And I wasn't expecting this: they are solid, well-built, bright, crisp, lightweight but not squirrely; and fun to use.  I bought them for the car and I'm happy to have them.  They're very handsome, too, with a charcoal gray body.  Clean, spartan, Germanic design.  The armoring has a slight grit to it which feels good and secure.

The deal killer for me is always eye relief since I wear glasses.  This has 16.5mm and, not surprisingly, it's JUST enough for me.  Wish it were greater, on perhaps a 6x32.  The view is wide and excellent, and not just for budget glass.  It's bright, snaps to focus with no disturbing fuzzies at the edge. 

Focus wheel isn't finicky or sloppy and doesn't lose focus. While it lacks the WOW factor of my 7x42's, CA is actually no worse!  Fit and finish are superb!  And I think that Zeiss's decision not to tart these glasses up with hefty carrying case and more solid covers is a smart idea.  All your money goes into the glass, which is important when money is tight and you're already stretched thin buying your first pair of binoculars.  Highly recommended.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Vanguard Endeavor ED II 8x42 Binocular

From David in Napa, CA:

5/5 Rating


I was greatly impressed by the detail achievable with my newly acquired .

I had read the reviews and chose these for their highly acclaimed quality. I was gratified on using them to discover that the reviews were not merely hype but accurate descriptions of their true performance.

Absolutely no regrets! Eagle Optics gave me a great deal and their service was first rate.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Zeiss Terra ED 8x32 Binocular

From John D. in the U.S.:

5/5 Rating

Best for the price I have ever seen

If the holds up to hard and frequent use, it will become a low cost icon.

This binocular uses tried and proven design for focusing the right ocular.  It is compact, aesthetically pleasing, waterproof to a meter depth, lightweight (17 oz) ergonomically excellent, has a relatively wide field over 390 feet (wider than the Terra 8x42), and IMO a better view. 

The focusing (so far) is smooth, neither fast nor slow - it doesn't zoom by on the way to best resolution.  The rubber eyecups are robust and completely functional with four (4) stops. I like the ocular covers.  They cover easily, stay put, yet are not difficult to remove. 

Its coatings are different than the Terra 8x42, and make the Terra 8x32 very, very bright at dusk and dawn.  Resolution?  Reminds me of alphas I have owned and used. It comes with the Under Armour harness, an interesting contraption, which can be made useful. warranty is transferable. Chromatic aberration? Don't know. Can't see it anyway.

Recommendation - highly recommended.  If the Chinese maintain quality control at the Zeiss level, Eagle Optics will sell these by the ton.

Vortex Razor HD 16-48x65 Angled Spotting Scope

From Karen in El Cerrito, CA:

5/5 Rating

Everyday spotting scope

As an amateur birder, I have long thought about getting a spotting scope. As I approached my retirement, I began to research options. 

Years ago I had been referred to Eagle Optics to purchase binoculars, and over the years I have accumulated several pairs, most recently, the Vortex HD Vipers.  I have been impressed not only by the quality and price of Eagle Optics products, but also with the service and patience with my questions.

In a spotting scope I was looking for quality at a price I could afford, and I narrowed my search to the Vortex Razor, but which one?  After a conversation with an Eagle Optics service rep, I chose the .  Perfect for my birding in marshes and along water, not too heavy to carry, and able to see the moons of Jupiter! 

It has surpassed my early expectations and enhanced my birding experiences, all without depleting my wallet.  And the warranty is awesome.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Vortex Viper HD 10x42 Binocular

From Rhonda in Las Vegas:

4/5 Rating

Easy on the eyes

I bought the  as a Christmas gift for my husband to use when he goes elk hunting. We brought them on our recent trip to Hawaii.

I have poor vision, thick eyeglasses, and found these binoculars easy and comfortable to use. They were great for viewing rainforest flowers, waves, surfers, whales, birds and other wildlife. The optics were excellent, sharp and clear.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Swarovski CL Pocket 8x25 Green Binocular

From Steve in San Ramon, CA:

5/5 Rating

Great small pair

Brought this about a year ago after trying a lot of different brands to find something in a small size which fit my eyes.  I have not been disappointed in any way.

I take them hiking and walking and they just fit in my shirt pocket.  Hence they are always with me. They are extremely sharp and are close to the EL's in fact it is often hard to see any difference.

They are easy to hold, focus quickly, and a pleasure to use.  When carrying a scope having these in your pocket really comes in handy.

I can not rate them highly enough. A great pair of bins which you always have with you what more can one ask for.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Pentax Papilio 8.5x21 Binocular

From Norm in NY:

5/5 Rating

Great retirement binos

My wife and I, now being retired for some/several years (10x yrs.), were looking for a lightweight/compact binocular glass to be used only in/at our home's garden here, no need to always drag out the powerful full size Zeiss glasses every time to just be used at 50 feet or so for observing the local birds & butterflies.

In this particular regard (for close & medium range observation) the binoculars fill the bill perfectly. Light in weight & very compact in size they fit my wife's hand palm perfectly, she absolutely loves them, as well as do I.

Not equal to, or nearly up to the Zeiss glasses of course--no, not by any means. But still, a rather good serviceable glass.  Their near focus of 1.6 feet is a revelation! They really do come to focus at that distance. With an exit pupil of only some 2.4 mm one must be very careful to properly align/center your eyes directly/straight behind the eyepieces.

Not really an interior glass, they can however be used near a window or any door that allows sufficient light to enter the field of vision. The body/style/design of said glass is fragile; it must not ever be bumped, shaken or dropped. Under ordinary use and care I would estimate a 3-5 year life span might prove to be a realistic achievement.

Would I, after having given all of the caveats named of above, recommend them?  Yes, I would most certainly highly recommend them. But, they are never to be thought of as you're primary/sole pair of nature watching binoculars (too small, too delicate). They are to be used only as a supplemental pair.

 And this too: never for use by any over active child or children, not for use by themselves without proper adult supervision anyways! We here consider them to be the absolute ideal retirement couple's pair of garden binoculars. Tiny & lightweight, they offer much to the discerning and patient wildlife observer.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Celestron Nature DX 8x42 Binocular

From Mary Jane in Portland, OR:

5/5 Rating

Lightweight and easy to handle

The that I purchased as a birthday gift for my partner are better than I expected.

They are easy to handle because they are lightweight and focus easily. We were both surprised at the clarity while out bird watching on a recent trip.

The quality for dollars spent was outstanding. We would recommend them to our friends and more than likely will purchase a second pair for myself.

The only other comment is that a higher quality strap and directions for attaching them to the binocs would be helpful.