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Binoculars


missty1405

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After some research for the better half's trip to Alyeska next month, I have come to the following conclusions regarding binoculars.

1. Get the best ones you can afford.
2. Lighter is better.
3. Roof prisms are usually lighter and more compact to carry.
4. 10x40, 10x42 or 10x43 (10 power, 40 to 43mm lenses) is a reasonable trade-off is light gathering, angle of view, power and weight.
4. Try for roof prism binoculars with BAK-4 prisms, multi-coated and phase coated.
5. Unless you want to spend well over $1000 for Swarovski, Zeiss, etc., look at the Alpen Apex, Pentax DCF-SP, Eagle Optics Ranger.

My favorite is the Pentax DCF-SP 10x43. It weighs just 25 ounces, has a 315 foot field of view at 1000 yds. and can be purchased for about $475 delivered off of eBay. The other brands are almost as good, but give up a little in quality and ergonomics.
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8 or 10 power and up to 50mm in size would be the optimal, depending on how big you want to carry. We took 10x50 Nikons to use on ship and wildlife tours. We also had pair of Pentax 8x25's for carrying at all other times. What ever you decide to buy, try it first and try it in low light. Most of them are nice and bright in bright sunlight, but you want the ones you can still see through clearly at sunrise or sunset. You don't have to spend $500 but don't buy super cheap either. Pentax, Nikon, Busnell and many others are out there. It also depends on whether you will keep them forever and use them regularly. If you do that, you might want to spend more money.
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