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Nothing like side by side comparisons

Started by keagle, 08/16/2006 07:50AM
Posted 08/16/2006 07:50AM Opening Post
Sorry, I probably should have mentioned more about the side by side comparisons that are possible at a place like ATWB. I have heard all sorts of stories and read many binocular reviews, but there is nothing like seeing with your own eyes.

I read many good things about Canon IS binos here on this forum, also Nikon Premier LX, etc. I have a pair of Swarovski 10x50 binos, and my wife wanted another good pair for birding. The Canons and Nikons are much cheaper than the Swarovskis, so we were thinking of buying a pair. Going to ATWB, we could compare Swarovski, Nikon, Leica, Zeiss, and Canon, among others. We looked at a gas price sign down the hill from ATWB, hand holding all the binos.

First up were Nikon Monark 10x50s. These threw up a nice view and were very affordable conpared with the other binos, but you could not read the gas price on the sign. Next up were the Canon 15x50 IS, which had been mightily praised here on this forum. These were really nice, and you could read the price! Next were the Nikon Premier 10x42. These had noticeably better optics than the Canons (sharper and clearer, even with smaller aperture), but the IS feature and higher power of the Canons allowed you to see about the same amount of detail. Next were Swarovski 10x42. These turned out to be the best of the lot. They were brighter, sharper, and clearer than the Nikon Premiers, but they also cost about 30% more. Switching back and forth and comparing the Premiers with the Swarovskis several times finally convinced my wife that the difference in price was worth it.

As I mentioned, there is no substitute for side by side comparisons with your own eyes. Thanks, ATWB, for providing this opportunity!