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tranquilwaters67
member (8)member
 
05/22/2022 04:18PM  
Seems to me a pair of binoculars could be very handy to have; checking for campsites or portages, and of course viewing wildlife. I know little about them. Had a pair many years ago (they got stolen), I think they were 8x21's. I like the compact size, field of view was a little narrow... can anyone suggest a good magnicfication for a pair of compacts?
 
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bwcamjh
senior member (87)senior membersenior member
 
05/22/2022 04:52PM  
8 X24 is the smallest I would go. If these were my only binoculars and I still wanted something compact I'd go bigger, 8 X 30 or bigger. Some nice midrange 8 X 30's are out there. Nikon, Steiner, Zeiss Terra or go big bucks with Swarovski's.
 
walleyejunky
senior member (54)senior membersenior member
 
05/22/2022 04:58PM  
bwcamjh: "8 X24 is the smallest I would go. If these were my only binoculars and I still wanted something compact I'd go bigger, 8 X 30 or bigger. Some nice midrange 8 X 30's are out there. Nikon, Steiner, Zeiss Terra or go big bucks with Swarovski's."

Vortex are also reasonably priced and good quality
 
Prospector
member (26)member
 
05/22/2022 05:31PM  
Athlon Midas 8x42. This was my first real pair of binoculars and I've really enjoyed how they help me connect to my surroundings and view all kinds of wildlife. They focus close so I can also use them to check out activity near my feet in wetlands and along the trail--butterflies, etc. Highly recommended! I've read that quality control with Athlon is not as consistent as with higher priced units, but otherwise these binoculars seem to be a real bargain. They have good focusing and are really bright--I'm amazed at how well they work in low light--early morning or around dusk.
 
05/24/2022 08:43AM  
Yes, a lot goes into how compact you want them to be and price point.
Many 8X21 can be tossed right in your shirt pocket and if just needed for scanning the shoreline during the day will be just fine. Your x30's and x42's get decently sized. If looking to replace yours I've had a pair of Bushnell 8x21's that have served that purpose well for years. And at $20-25 it's not the end of the world if something happens to them
 
IndyCanoe
distinguished member (141)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/24/2022 09:21AM  
My wife picked up an pair from amazon that are 10x25. They were inexpensive maybe $25 but she does enjoy having them in the canoe. They are compact, fairly light weight and a low cost. We are not optics experts by any means but they seem to work for us. She loves to watch any wildlife with them but mostly any birds of prey. They have proved their worth at least a few times to check on a campsite availability.
 
05/24/2022 10:13AM  
Others know a good deal more than me about them, but I will add that I do love having a pair with me on trips, but for wildlife viewing and scouting campsite availability at a distance. Saves me a lot of paddling.
 
technically_rugged
distinguished member (395)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/24/2022 10:18AM  
I have a pair of Nikon LX 8x20 that I bought used, which are tiny little folding binos with amazing optics for their size. I keep them in my PFD for easy access when spotting campsites and portages. I don't use them for much else but they are extremely handy in those scenarios. I used to also bring big pairs of binos like 10x30 or 10x42 for wildlife and stargazing, but they didn't get used enough to warrant the weight and bulk, so I stopped.

If I was planning on a longer basecamp trip similar to what I did last year on Crooked, maybe on a more intimate/remote lake where I'd have the chance of seeing moose or something, with a good night sky view, then maybe I'd bring a big pair of binos again. But right now, I'm firmly planted in practicality. You don't need giant objective lenses to see campsites and portages in anything other than dawn/dusk, and those conditions improve/deteriorate quickly anyway, so bigger lenses doesn't make sense to me.
 
tranquilwaters67
member (8)member
 
05/24/2022 12:30PM  
I appreciate all the feedback, it's all helpful. I'll go back and look at some 8x21 or 30's; I do want to keep them fairly compact and light.
 
iCallitMaize
senior member (63)senior membersenior member
 
05/31/2022 10:15PM  
tranquilwaters67: "I appreciate all the feedback, it's all helpful. I'll go back and look at some 8x21 or 30's; I do want to keep them fairly compact and light. "

The Leupold Yosemite are pretty solid. Best I've had in the $100 range. Porro prism but compact and reasonable for x32...I think they come in 6x, 8x and 10x. I don't do anything less than 10x anymore.
 
MikeinMpls
distinguished member(1081)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/01/2022 11:45AM  
I just purchased a Vortex Solo Tactical Monocular. Used on my trip last week to Vista/Horseshoe Lake area. Best purchase ever. Beat my wife's binoculars. Granted, it's one eye versus two, but it's small and lightweight, built very sturdy, and did exactly what I wanted it to do. Probably one-fourth the weight on her binos (which as Eagle Optics, good ones).

Mike
 
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