Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Looking for a low-cost 8x binocular for field research

I was hoping you could recommend some binoculars for field research. I will be studying hyenas next year and I need binoculars that are light, so that I can hold them up for extended periods of time, shock resistant, at least 8X40 magnification, water resistant, and on the cheaper end of the scale. 

Do you have any recommendations?
Molly M.


Hi Molly,

Thanks for your inquiry. We definitely have some binoculars that will work well for your purposes.

The first one I would recommend is the Eagle Optics Ranger 8x42, our most popular selling binocular for birding, wildlife watching, and general use. It’s one of the lightest 8x42 binoculars we have, at 21.8 ounces, and is at a really great sale price of $249, down from $299.

If you wanted to knock the size and weight down a bit, you could also take a look at the Ranger 8x32, which has the same great optics but is a bit shorter and lighter. However, it won’t be as bright in low light situations as the 8x42, so if you’re going to be observing during dusk and dawn I’d recommend sticking with an 8x42.

If you’d like to keep the price a bit lower, you could check out the Eagle Optics Denali 8x42. At $179.99,  its optics won’t be quite as sharp as the Ranger’s, but it’s still nice and lightweight and has a wider field of view than the Ranger, which may be beneficial in for scanning for your subjects.

Another low-cost binocular that has really stand-out optics is the Atlas Optics Radian 8x42. It’s only $129.99, but competes with binoculars at a higher price range. This one is quite compact for an 8x42 and also lightweight.

A binocular that’s at an amazing price right now is the Vanguard Endeavor ED 8x42. It usually sells for $349, but is at a sale price of $269.99 for a limited time. Its optics are going to be a nice step up from those listed above, with better resolution, color quality and edge sharpness.  It’s a little bit heavier than the Ranger, at 25.75 ounces.

One more that’s a bit of a step up from the first few options is the Zeiss Terra ED 8x42. It’s got great crisp images and color tones at its price, and is going to be small and pretty lightweight, at 25.4 ounces.

All of these binoculars will be waterproof and fogproof, and come with lifetime warranties. The Eagle Optics, Atlas Optics, and Vanguard binoculars have unconditional lifetime warranties, which means that any issue you have with your binocular, not just manufacturer’s defects, will be repaired under their warranty.

There are even more options to consider if you’d like to look at a more specific price range or have any other specifications, but hopefully this helps give you a place to start.

Please call our store if you have any other questions.


Eagle Optics

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