I think youre in the right ballpark, Bryan. Nikons 8x42 Monarch ATBs (US$340, A$450; www.nikonsportoptics.com) and Brownings 8x42s (US$260, A$345; www.browningsportsoptics.com) are lightweight, durable, waterproof, and have above-average optics for clarity and good performance in moderately low light. Id probably give the Nikon a slight nod for optical quality, but Im not sure youd notice that much difference unless you were trying to count nose hairs on said sambur deer. For the uninitiated, sambur are large deer with a three-point antler introduced into Australia and similar areas by settlers.
Nikon Sports and Marine 7x50 Binoculars
Sports and Marine 7x50 Binoculars
You might benefit from either a little more pull or better light-gathering. For the former, Nikons 10x42 Monarch ATBs (US$380, A$505) are only a few dollars more and offer 25 percent better magnification than the 8x42 model. Browning makes a similar binocular, again for only slightly more dough. And, interestingly, the 8x42 models actually are slightly heavier. Binoculars with a 50mm objective diameter will gather a bit more light than those with 42mm, so Nikons 7x50 Sports and Marine binocular (US$368, A$489) offers that attribute in a waterproof set. Id also look at the new 10x40 Predator Pro by Steiner (US$400, A$532; www.steiner-binoculars.com), which are waterproof and have optics designed to make wildlife stand out against green backgrounds. I really like Steinerstheyre well-made, with excellent glass.
The votes are in: Check out the winners of Outside's 2006 Gear of the Year awards, including the year's hottest digital cameras and GPS units.
Lead Photo: courtesy, Nikon
Our mission to inspire readers to get outside has never been more critical. In recent years, Outside Online has reported on groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health, and we’ve kept you informed about the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands. Our rigorous coverage helps spark important debates about wellness and travel and adventure, and it provides readers an accessible gateway to new outdoor passions. Time outside is essential—and we can help you make the most of it. Making a financial contribution to Outside Online only takes a few minutes and will ensure we can continue supplying the trailblazing, informative journalism that readers like you depend on. We hope you’ll support us. Thank you.
Contribute to Outside →