The other day, Amazon had a sale on Bushnell Legend XLT “Bone Collector” 10×42 binoculars. They were okay, but this started me on a small binocular comparison project. I tried the following models:
- Athlon 112002 Ares 8 x 42 ED Binoculars, Green //Not arrived yet.
- Nikon 16000 PROSTAFF 7S 8×30 Inches Compact Binocular (Black) //Very nice but not worth $180 for me when my Athlon 8×34’s at $85 (super deal) are awesome and not that much larger.
- Athlon 114006 Argos 8 x 34 Binoculars, Green //Amazing, especially at the $85 deal I got, compared to $165 as the approximate normal price.
- Vortex Optics New 2016 Diamondback 8×42 Roof Prism Binoculars //Really disliked them ergonomically. They seemed about as sharp and bright as the Athlon Midas 8x42s.
- Nikon 8248 ACULON A211 10×50 Binocular (Black) //Hated these. Cheap looking and feeling and poor quality optically.
- Nikon 8246 ACULON A211 10×42 Binocular (Black) //Hated these. Cheap looking and feeling and poor quality optically.
- Steiner AZ830 Binocular //Meh. Also really disliked the style of binoculars.
- Steiner AZ842 Binocular //Meh.
- ALPEN Wings 8×42 Waterproof Fogproof Roof Prism Binocular (non-ED model) //These were okay. Nothing special. A bit of black edge for my eyes, which may have been handled if they had a little more eye relief.
- Athlon 113004 Midas 8 x 42 ED Binoculars, Green //Incredible. But I got a pair of 8×42 Ares for $227 (instead of $390), compared the the $260 (usually $290) I paid for these Midas.
- Athlon 113003 Midas 10 x 42 ED Binoculars, Green //Didn’t like these at all. Congested picture and a little fatiguing.
- Nikon 8217 Trailblazer 8×25 ATB Binocular //Terribly dark, which I expected but sort of hoped wouldn’t be so pronounced.
- Bushnell Trophy XLT Roof Prism Binoculars, 10x42mm (Bone Collector Edition) //I liked the picture in these better than that in the Athlon Midas 10x42s, but these were still sort of unremarkable ergonomically and I only got about $25 off by buying them on that one-day Amazon special (paid $70, usually $95 or so). Theses also had the widest diameter barrels of the similar binoculars I’ve tried. Frankly, since I’m comparing these to $290 Athlon Midas binoculars and they produced a better sight picture than those (the 10×42 Midases), that’s amazing! But I don’t want 10x42s though.
Everything I don’t want is boxed up and going back to Amazon tomorrow. Amazon is charging me $16 for the combined shipping, which beats paying about $7 apiece to send each pair of binoculars or each order (a couple binocs per order in some cases) back. I’m keeping:
- Athlon Midas 8×42 //Going to compare them to the Athlon Ares 8×42 which are coming in two days and which I paid less for than these lower-price-point Midases!
- Athlon Argos 8×34. These are keepers, period. Especially (but not only) at the $85 I paid for them because I scored a fluke Amazon Warehouse deal.
Nothing else. That’s it! I’m looking forward to receiving the Athlon Ares 8×42 in two days. I’ll probably keep those (I have discovered that I love an open bridge binocular body for the positive grip it affords), but I want to compare them to the Midas 8x42s first. I’ll probably then send back the Midases.