Sorry not sure if this is the right place for this but I would like a new pair of binoculars and am not sure what to buy. Having lost 2 pairs over the years - one left on car roof, the other dropped - I don't want to spend too much, probably around £50 - £75. Problem is all the adverts I've seen don't make it clear if the bins have a neck strap - which is what I want or just a wrist loop. The last pair of Nikon ones I had, only had a wrist strap and I think that is why I lost them.
Can anyone recommend something that might suit me? I should say I would like a compact pair too. Any suggestions gratefully received.
Your budget is very much the bottom end of the market.
You don't have to spend £1500 on a pair of Swarovskis to get a decent binocular, but, particularly at the budget end, you really should look through them before you buy them. (I wouldn't buy any binocular untried).
Bushnell are a well respected name worth looking at, as are Opticron, they should both have something in your price range, and I can remember trying some Nikon Travellites a few years back and they were quite good for a compact.
Have you thought about secondhand binoculars? InFocus - www.at-infocus.co.uk/index.html - do quite a lot and are a reputable dealer but unfortunately they don't have many outlets, so may not be convenient to you.
I agree with what Ayjay has already stated, at this cheap price binoculars are also prone to misalignment from the slightest knock rendering them useless; (I learned this from personal experience.) Bushnell binoculars are quite good the porro prisom type being a better choice at the budget end of the market 8x42 or 8x32.
However as I have already stated you will need to take care that they are not dropped or knocked, personally I would save up and spend a little more something like these nature views at £118 from Bushnell, or you could go for the cheaper pair at £76 I still have a pair of nature views these served me well for quite a few years and are still ok (I have since up graded) but my advice is choose porro prisoms at this sort of price, 8x32 may suit you better if you are concerned with weight.
As others have already stated it is also “very important” that you go to somewhere where you can try whatever you buy out first, what I have recommended may not suit you at all.
I also have a pair of these (in the link below) which I would “not recommend” 10 x42 I personally find these quite difficult to hold steady, I do know some birders who use 10x 50 all I can say is they must have arms like the Hulk! My sincere apologies goes out to all Hulks out there.
I also have an opticron BGA 8x42 monocular which of course I did try before I brought it, but again I found it very difficult to use in the field as I could not hold it steady for long enough, as a general piece of advice one could of course use a stick of some kind to rest it on. But yet again the monocular was another thing now consigned to history! Even so I do know some birders use a monocular for its compactness and are quite happy with one of these, but at around £140 probably a little out of your price range, incidentally this is what I use as a resting stick an inexpensive monopod from Argos (mine extends to around six feet) as you can also see mine has been modified with a light weight camera head as I spend all my time walking very long distances and looking up trees, I have also used this with a heavy spotting scope for short periods when binoculars are not up to the job.
Alan still reviewing the situation in the greenwood
I'd put another vote for either the opticron or RSPB (which are i think rebadged opticron anyway) range - I have opticron 8x42s which i find pretty good. that said somepeople swear by the cheap binos you can sometimes pick up in aldi and lidl - I had a 10x50 pair from there for 30 quid but mostly swore at them (they were okay but the eyecups didnt fold down easily which is a must if youwear glases like me)
I gave them to the child of a friend of mine in the end and hes been pretty happy with them since , but then his standards are probably lower and eyesight sharper.
I have the Bushnell NatureView Plus 8x42, never had issues with them (until I dropped them on the concrete!!), and they're not expensive. Only downside for you is they're not as compact as you might like. Came with strap and case: