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The Best Porro prism binoculars you have owned

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Bird Watcher View Drop Down
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    Posted: July/11/2010 at 15:38
I'd like to get some feedback please.
 
What is (was) the best Porro prism you own (owned)?
 
Please give some examples/reasons why you like (liked) a certain Porro prism binocular. 
 
I recently purchased a Minox BD 10x44 BP Porro prism binocular over the internet, brand new, for $199.95.
 
From what my eyes can see, this binocular gives me the 'Sharpest' daytime views of all my Porro prism binoculars.
 
Also, the 3D views are very pronounced and visually stunning.  Shocked
 
Light transmission and illumination, for stargazing, makes using this binocular, at nighttime, very pleasing to look through. 
 
I would imagine that, for hunting, it would work very well, at dawn and at dusk.  
 
Stan
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NDhunter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/11/2010 at 20:01
I will add to the discussion here and offer the Nikon Superior E, or SE series, as my best
choice as a top porro prism binocular.  I have owned all 3, the 8x32 the 10x42 and the 12x50.
All top choices and well regarded with having Nikons best glass, field flattener ocular lenses,
to offer great edge to edge views, the Nikon smooth focuser, and just a very nice choice.
I currently have the 8x32 SE, and every time I take it for a look,  I just really appreciate the
view.  It seems the 8x32SE porro, offers just a nicer view than many of the best roofs, as a 32mm can be a tough one, with the smaller objective.
This out of all the binoculars that I own, that I will never part with, and I have some of the
top Alphas.
 
Jerry
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote anweis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/13/2010 at 10:53
The two best porro prism binoculars that i have owned were
1. Nikon E II 8x30 - cursed be the day when i let it go,
and 2. Swift Kestrel HR/5 10x50.
 
The Nikon was better optically than the Swaro EL 8x32, but it was a bit too slow to focus.
The Kestrel was MUCH better than a Swaro SLC 10x42, but it did not survive being dropped in a coastal saltmarsh. 
I now have a super collimated super perfect Leupold Yosemite 6x30 and it rivals anything out there, but the coatings fall short when i look into the dark shadows when the sun is low and in front of me.   
 
I did try the Nikon SE 8x32, but it was not good for me. It had too much eye relief and the eyecups were too flimsy. It also had a slow and stiff-ish focuser.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote koshkin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/13/2010 at 17:29
I have had hands on time with several superb porro binoculars of different configurations:
-Nikon SE 8x32
-Fujinon FMTR-SX 7x50
-Swift Audubon ED 8.5x44

All were superb.

ILya
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NDhunter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/13/2010 at 20:46
Originally posted by anweis anweis wrote:

The two best porro prism binoculars that i have owned were
1. Nikon E II 8x30 - cursed be the day when i let it go,
and 2. Swift Kestrel HR/5 10x50.
 
The Nikon was better optically than the Swaro EL 8x32, but it was a bit too slow to focus.
The Kestrel was MUCH better than a Swaro SLC 10x42, but it did not survive being dropped in a coastal saltmarsh. 
I now have a super collimated super perfect Leupold Yosemite 6x30 and it rivals anything out there, but the coatings fall short when i look into the dark shadows when the sun is low and in front of me.   
 
I did try the Nikon SE 8x32, but it was not good for me. It had too much eye relief and the eyecups were too flimsy. It also had a slow and stiff-ish focuser.
Anweiss:
 
I have seen where some do not get along with the Nikon SE, for me, I do not wear glasses, and
the eyecups fit just right.  And I think the Nikon focuser is just right, smooth, no backlash and perfect for me.
I do have the Leup. Yose. 6x30 and agree they are nice.  But they are nowhere in the league of these Nikons.  Don't you notice the seal drag when you focus the Leup.  I guess that is how they make them waterproof.
 
Jerry
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 338LAPUASLAP Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/13/2010 at 23:03
I recently purchased the Minox and have compared them to the Fujinons and found them to be superior in everyway... however the 8 vs 10 should have made the Fujinons sharper and less distortion and this was not true the 10x looked better (over water even at that)
No one
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bird Watcher Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/13/2010 at 23:54
Originally posted by 338LAPUASLAP 338LAPUASLAP wrote:

I recently purchased the Minox and have compared them to the Fujinons and found them to be superior in everyway
 
Which model Fujinon are you talking about? 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gremlin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/15/2010 at 21:13
Since the question is phrased as those that "You have owned" and given that I'm too cheap to spend more than $300 for a porro, I'd rank my best as:

1] Bausch & Lomb 10x42 Discoverer.  Bought mine for $190 on a close out, new in the box a couple years ago and they've traveled well as I've been on many a bird walk.  Great contrast, sharp image, adjustable eye cups, sturdy as a rock, good eye relief, and pretty good low dusk and dawn capability.  Plus they've got the Bushnell Rain Guard coating.  There's a couple pair on the Sample List right now...

2] Swift 8.5x44 Audubon.  Got mine for $229 in 2005 without the ED glass and haven't missed much so far as I can tell.  They rate behind the Discoverers because the eye relief isn't as long (as a spectacle wearer, it's a bit bothersome to me) and they're just a tad bulkier than the B&L's.  They may have a wider field of view than the B&L's, but the Discoverer's are sharp from edge to edge and the Swifts tail off just a bit at the perimeter.

3] And this one's from out in left field... they haven't been available in six or seven years, but if you can find a pair on e-bay, put a bid on 'em:  Bausch & Lomb 8x36 Custom.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, they're 20th century technology, but they sold new back in the day the B&L Customs were the tops among birders.  Bright, bright, bright lenses with great contrast and a marvelous image.  You find them rubber armored and with tremendous eye relief--we're talking 20+ mm here.  Light weight and a great image AND BEST OF ALL, less than $100 on eBay would probably get you a pair of these and you'd be getting an image the equal (or better) of today's $350 roof binoculars.

I've got Minolta Activas, Olympus, Pentax, Nikon, Bushnell, and Celestrons, but these are the three that I rank at the top of those that I have owned.

Just my two cents...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bird Watcher Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/15/2010 at 23:15
Originally posted by gremlin gremlin wrote:


I've got Minolta Activas, Olympus, Pentax, Nikon, Bushnell, and Celestrons, but these are the three that I rank at the top of those that I have owned.

Just my two cents...
 
Thanks to all of you!
 
gremlin,
 
And a special thanks to you, it always good to hear positive reviews about the older B & L binoculars and where to locate them. 
 
Thanks to all for sharing your experiences.
 
Stan
 
p.s. Anyone out there who owns the Nikon 7x50 Prostar, or, who has had prior experience with one?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lilcrazy2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/17/2010 at 00:12
I have several of the afformentioned binocs and agree that the Nikon SE, EII, and Fujinon FMTR-sx 6x30 % 8x30 are about as good as it gets, but let me throw in a curve from left field.
 
After many months of reading various older forum threads, I picked up a pair of like new Meade Safari Pro 10x42 porros from a well known auction site for $16, and they are simply outstanding! After a couple of months now of checking them against my other porros and high dollar roofs, I still marvel at how good these porros are. I believe these sold in the neighborhood of $200 when they were first introduced, but they have been discontinued for years.
 
Now if I can only find a pair in 8x42
 
tom
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bird Watcher Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/17/2010 at 13:26
Scroll down on this link and you can read some mini-reviews on the Meade Safari Pro 8x42.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote zeissoem2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/20/2010 at 14:58

The best Porro Prism I do own is my zeiss 14 x 45

 
3 D is very GREAT 
 


Edited by zeissoem2 - July/20/2010 at 15:00
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Spot N Stalk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/21/2010 at 00:27
Limiting it to "What I've owned..."

Steiner 8x30 Nighthunters are very nice. Small, light, durable. They're in my daypack alot...


Looking through the XP's was VERY impressive. I'm saving for a pair of 7x50's with built in compass for something fancy whilst wheelin' or cruisin.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bird Watcher Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/21/2010 at 11:39
Originally posted by Spot N Stalk Spot N Stalk wrote:

I'm saving for a pair of 7x50's with built in compass for something fancy whilst wheelin' or cruisin.
 
I think that the majority of 7x50 binoculars, with built-in compass, are manufactured to be used at sea or around water, so, they normally have Individual Focus eyepieces. Have you ever used a binocular with IF?
 
http://www.nikonsportoptics.com/Products/Binoculars/Sports-And-Marine/index.page


Edited by Bird Watcher - July/21/2010 at 11:42
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote davelandefeld Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/21/2010 at 11:42
My Steiner 8x30's and 6x30's have IF.
 
You can't "walk" throught the woods with it like you can with a CF. I'd like to try the new Steiner porro 8x30 with CF. Maybe it'll go on sale sometime...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote coyote95 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/30/2010 at 15:08

 swarovski habicht sl 7x42 are one of my favorite binoculars in a porro design. really like the view you get with a porro glass Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bird Watcher Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/30/2010 at 16:50
Kevin,
 
Here's a link that I thought you would enjoy reading: Thunbs Up
 
 
Stan
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote coyote95 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/30/2010 at 18:01
thanks Stan. looks like wife made good choice back in 92,gift for graduating from trade school. i remember it being a discontinued model, advertised as a ergonomic design. i would really like to have a pair of the 10x40 rubber armored some day  http://www.swarovskioptik.us/en_us/products/binoculars-habicht
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NDhunter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/30/2010 at 18:11
Originally posted by Bird Watcher Bird Watcher wrote:

Kevin,
 
Here's a link that I thought you would enjoy reading: Thunbs Up
 
 
Stan
Stan:
The review here from Holger is about the Swaro. Habicht. 7x42, which is the conventional porro that Swarovski continues to make.  The one in the picture here is the Swaro. 7x42 SL Porro.
They are different models.  I am sure they differ, my brother has the 8x56 SL, bright, but not
as great in other ways.
 
Jerry
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bird Watcher Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/30/2010 at 18:42
Originally posted by NDhunter NDhunter wrote:

 
Stan:
The review here from Holger is about the Swaro. Habicht. 7x42, which is the conventional porro that Swarovski continues to make.  The one in the picture here is the Swaro. 7x42 SL Porro.
They are different models.  I am sure they differ, my brother has the 8x56 SL, bright, but not
as great in other ways.
 
Jerry
 
 
Jerry,
 
I just hate it when I do that! Embarrased
 
You're right, thanks for the heads up.
 
Stan
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote etudiant Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/31/2010 at 21:38
Best ever porro for me was a Docter 12x50BGA Nobilem.
Razor sharp and super clear optics, decent field of view, eye relief just barely enough for someone with glasses.
Only downside was that it is a big and bulky binocular.
Of course Docter no longer offers that specific model, but they still carry a similar 10x50.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lucznik Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/02/2011 at 20:50
Throw in another vote for the B&L Discoverer.
 
I had a 10x42 which was superb.  I wish I'd never sold it.
 
I have an 8x42 which is equally as good.  It is one of my favorite binoculars ever.
What if the hokey pokey really is what it's all about?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Klamath Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/03/2011 at 13:05
Since the "I have owned"  question is in play:
 
Swift Nighthawk 8x40.  First good binocular I ever bought or even used.  Huge 499' fov.  I still have it and bought another one like it in NIB condition from ebay a couple of years ago.  I used and abused the devil out of that glass and it took its lickin' and kept on tickn'.  It never did let me down.  I finally did have to send it in for a cleanup and tune up.  The black armor has faded to gray, but is still securely attached.  While the optics are not really up to modern standards, I still have no qualms about using it and do not feel like I am at much disadvantage.
 
Swift Audubon 8.5x44 HR 5.  This is still one of the better binoculars for pure view available.  It is a step up over the Nighthawk for sure.  I sold this one.  Mine was the non ED version.  I also had the modern version of this binocular, but sold it because the eye cups were too large in diameter to fit me comfortably.
 
Leupold Yosemite 6x30.  This is simply the best deal I have ever seen.  This will gall a lot of folks, but the Nikon SE I don't think is a really significant advance., seeing how the Yosemite is waterproof.  The 8x32 SE is certainly apparrently brighter than the 8x30 Yosemite, but the 6x seem a made to order match for the Yosemite.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HuntMaster Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/03/2011 at 18:48
Those I currently own:
1. Seeadler-Optik  9x63
2. Pecar-Berlin  9x63  - these are about 30 yrs old and the lenses are getting " milky" in appearance. It doesn't seem to affect performance though.
 
Finest bino's I have ever owned, but are very heavy/bulky. Not a bad thing considering my hunting is usually from an elevated shooting house. 


Edited by HuntMaster - January/03/2011 at 18:50
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote spf2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/04/2011 at 14:48
It is not the best Porro out there. But  it's the best one I have ever owned. :)
 
Tasco 7x50 back many moons ago.  It's better than junk grade.  But I quickly moved away to roof binoculars when the prices of those came down.
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