Best Mid-High End Binoculars for Xmas

Part 3:
Best Mid-High Range Binoculars for Xmas 2016

Here in part three of my Xmas buyers guides, I take a look at what I feel are the best deals on the best Mid-High End binoculars for Christmas ($300 – $500 in the US or £300 – £500 in the UK) that I have tested and reviewed in detail.

Within this price range you can now really get some top spec binoculars that almost anyone would be overjoyed at receiving on Christmas day, but which of the many hundreds should you get?

On this page you will find my top recommendations within this price category based on my findings when I fully tested and reviewed them and taking into account any current deals and special offers available over the Xmas period.

My hope is that this very short list will make your task of finding the ideal gift for that special someone just that bit easier:

Best Christmas Deal at this Price Range

Vanguard 8x42 Endeavor ED II – $100 Rebate Offer!

Vanguard Endeavor ED II 8x42 BinocularsNow whilst the original Vanguard Endeavor ED is still an excellent value bin, the newer Endeavor ED II does come with a number of improvements like the inclusion of ED Glass that is Made in Japan (rather than China) that I noticed do offer a real performance increase, but do understandably cost more. The great news for us is that Vanguard are also offering their $100 Christmas rebate on these as well:

  • List Price: $499.99
  • Current Price: $399.99 (on Amazon & Eagle Optics)
  • +Mail-In Rebate: -$100 = $299.99!

How To Get The Rebate

  1. Purchase a qualifying pair of VANGUARD binoculars from participating retailers (see links below) before the end of December 31st 2016 – so you do need to be quick!
  2. Download and fill in the Vanguard Mail-In Rebate form that can be found here or when purchasing on the participating retailers websites, which includes Amazon.com & Eagle Optics (see where to buy below).
  3. Then fill it in and send it along with a copy of your original purchase receipt as well as the UPC bar code from the packaging to Vanguard USA (Address is on the form).
  4. Vanguard say that you can expect your rebate check in the post within 60 days

Shopping BaketWhere to Get This Offer:
I found this current retail price and mail-in rebate on offer at both Amazon.com and Eagle optics (Ends 31 December 2016) – see below for links to these and other online retailers to compare current prices:

Also Check:


 

Mid-High End (between $300 & $500 / £300 and £500)

Below are my tips for full sized binoculars in this price range and any of these crackers will surely make someone a very happy person on Christmas morning!:

Eschenbach Trophy D 8x42 ED

Winner Best Birding Binocular this year, these Eschenbach Binoculars also excel as a general use, wildlife and hunting binoculars and make a great luxury Christmas gift and a chance to own some superior German made optics at a reasonable price.

Image Quality
Scoring a mega impressive 9/10, the Eschenbach Trophy D ED ranks up there with the very best I have tested. Apart for their expertise, this is achieved by incorporating the highest quality glass and coatings into their design:

Important Optical Features

Wide Field of View
Next on most users checklist when selecting their ideal optics, is one that has a wide field of view. At 408ft wide at 1,000 yards away, these Trophy ED’s are once again up there with the very best 8x binoculars.

Premium German Quality at a Reasonable Price
Made in Germany to the highest standards, there is no mistaking that the 8x42 Eschenbach Trophy D ED is a quality optical instrument. But what also really impressed me about them was whilst you would never call them cheap, these Mid-High End binoculars currently retial for around: $430 / £309, which is ALOT less than you can expect to pay for many other top of the range premium brands:

Shopping BaketBuy & Compare Prices for these Eschenbach Trophy D-ED Binoculars

 

Minox BL 8x44 HD Binoculars

Minox BL 8x44 HD BinocularsI thought these were outstanding and up there with the very best binoculars I have ever reviewed in this price range and were fully deserving of the Best Birding Binocular of 2014 award:

You cannot notice the difference in terms of size and weight due to the slightly larger than "standard" 44mm objective lenses, but in terms of image quality and especially brightness in low light, they really do help make a noticeable improvement.

 
 

It is not just about size however as the ED lens elements and phase corrected BaK-4 roof prisms and fully multi-coated optics all play their part in ensuring that the view you get through them is about as good as it gets in this class.

With these Minox binoculars, you can also be secure in the knowledge that they are entirely designed and manufactured in Germany using their world famous precision, finest components and their second to none expertise and quality controls.

 

Hawke Sapphire ED 8x42

Hawke Sapphire ED 8x42 BinocularsWinner of my award in 2013 for the Best Birding Binocular, these Hawke binoculars will make the perfect gift for any birder as they not only have a very wide field of view but also scored an outstanding 85% when I tested them, which included a 9/10 for their body stats, optical stats and image quality.

Highlights Include:

  • Top Hinge Body Design
    that is tough, light as well as fog & waterproof.
  • ED glass elements used in the lenses
  • Fully Multi-coated optics
  • Bak-4 Roof Prisms with phase correction and the very best highly reflective dielectric coatings.
  • Very wide FOV: 426ft @ 1000 yards
  • 18mm eye-relief, which is more than enough for most eyeglass wearers.

Ideal For:
These are perfect for birdwatching and most other wildlife observation, including hunting and like most other 8x42 binoculars make perfect general use bins.

 

Celestron Granite 8x42

Celestron  Granite 8x42 BinocularsFeatures like highly reflective, phase corrected roof prisms made with BaK-4 glass, as well as fully multi-coated optics and ED lenses helped these Celestron binoculars achieve a brilliant score of 9/10 for the quality of their optical components.

However it was their very wide viewing angle of 8.1° which gives them a width of view at 1000 yards of 426 feet (142m @ 1000m) which really set them apart from the competition and helped them win the award for Best Birding Binocular in the 2012 Annual Binocular Awards.

Ideal For:

Obviously these make great birding binoculars, especially if a wide viewing angle is important to you and like most 8x42s, their strength lies in their versatility and these could be used effectively in most situations including watching larger wildlife, hunting, camping

 
 

Opticron Verano BGA HD 8x42

Opticron Verano BGA HD 8x42 BinocularsMade in Japan, these fully water and fog proof Opticron binoculars feature a modern open hinge body shape that is both secure and comfortable to hold.

Optical highlights include fully multi-coated optics, roof prisms made from BaK-4 glass that also has phase correction coatings for a higher resolution view. The exterior lens surfaces also feature water repellent coatings that not only help with observation in wet weather, but helps prevent watermarks from forming on the lenses, requiring less vigorous cleaning and thus less chance of permanently marking them.

Other Highlights:

  • Filed of View: 366ft @ 1000yds
  • Close Focus: 6.6ft
  • Twist-up Eyecups with 4 click stops
  • Very Long Eye Relief: 22mm
  • Tripod Adaptable
  • Lifetime Warranty (North America) / 30 Year Guarantee (Europe)
 

Pentax 9x42 DCF BR Binoculars

Pentax 9x42 DCF BR BinocularsCurrently costing around $300 / £370 these Pentax binoculars are up there with the best in this price range.

Like the Celestron above, these come with an open bridge body that is more secure to hold onto and shaves a few grams of the body weight. The unit is completely sealed and filled with nitrogen making them both water and fogproof.

Optical coatings like the silver mirror coatings on the phase corrected roof prisms ensure a very high level of light transmission, which combined with the 42mm objective lenses ensure they produce a bright image in all conditions, including low light.

Important Features:

  • 9x Magnification
  • Fiber-reinforced Polycarbonate Open Bridge Body
  • Waterproof (JIS Class 6) and Nitrogen Filled
  • Click Stop Diopter Adjustment Ring
  • Fully Multi-Coated Optics
  • Phase & Silver Mirror Coated Roof Prisms
  • FOV: 321m wide at 1000m (6.1°)
  • 18mm of Eye-Relief

Ideal For:

The 9x magnification on these makes them in many ways the ideal compromise for those who want a little more reach and image detail than you get with 8x, but do not want to sacrifice as much of the width of your view with most 10x bins. For this reason these cross over into many areas and so are ideal all-round and general use binoculars, that will perform well in most birding, wildlife observation and hunting environments.

 

Eagle Optics NEW Ranger ED 8x42

Eagle Optics NEW Ranger ED 8x42 BinocularsThere is a lot to like about the updated 8x42 Ranger ED from Eagle Optics as not only have they changed the overall body shape giving them a more modern look, but have managed to make the both smaller and more lightweight as well.

The highlights don’t end there as EO have also retained all the most important high end components and coatings as well as improved light transmission with higher quality Dielectric Coatings on the prisms:

  • Water & Fog Proof
  • Lockable Diopter Ring
  • Fully Multi-Coated Lenses
  • Phase Corrected BaK-4 Roof Prisms with Dielectric Coatings
  • FOV: 341ft @ 1000yds
  • Close Focus: 6.6ft
  • 19.5mm of Eye Relief
  • Weight: 23.6oz (669g)

Ideal For
Birding, Hunting, Wildlife & General Use.


Further Reading & More Christmas Inspiration:

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