Spotters Are there any USA (or at least non-China) made binoculars available under $500?

91Eunozs

Private
Supporter
Full Member
Minuteman
  • Jun 9, 2013
    1,208
    5,824
    south central Texas
    I’m in the market for a set of relatively small(ish), and cheap binoculars, or maybe even a monocular to throw in my truck and to have for range use when I don’t want to drag out a spotter scope. Want at least 10x power, but not too hung up on objective diameter.

    Plenty of options out there, but just saw my go-to for reasonably priced US branded optics, Leupold, now has their lower-end stuff made in…China?!?! Was looking at their BX1 and 2...made in China. Not sure on the BX4.

    Really like everything about the Athlon Cronos…but made in China. Also looked at the Zeiss Terra, Steiner Bluehorizons, KowaBD…. China, China, China.

    WTF?

    Pretty much giving up on finding anything USA made at this price point, and about to punt and just get a Vortex Viper HD…Philippines, but at least not made in China.

    Anyone know of something in this ballpark?
     

    pineoak

    Assistant Minion
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Feb 15, 2017
    2,852
    837
    North Carolina
    Possibly Germany, but I can't be sure.

    Get these:



    but lock it down to your tripod in this:


    Handheld, everything sucks.

    Binos on a bag = Binos on the ground. IMO

    Have watched it happened twice. Neither one was severely damaged, but not happening to my glass.

    the glass on the Leicas will allow you to see like a 15x from a cheaper brand like Vortex

    This is the bottom of Leica, but still very nice, especially for the $

    I have the 8x, the HD versions are supposedly better but we're splitting hairs at this point.

    You'll pay double for the HD with barely perceptible difference.

    Birding is one thing. Spotting hits and reading wind is another.

    Personally, I would not leave these in the vehicle in hot summer for my budget.
     

    Twistid

    I'm pilot, I can fly
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    May 17, 2020
    320
    274
    Code 3 to Hawaii
    Steiner has dozens of binos for under $500. Off hand I have a Tactical 10x42 with ranging reticle, Predator 10x42, and a Marine 7x50, all were well under $500.
     

    91Eunozs

    Private
    Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Jun 9, 2013
    1,208
    5,824
    south central Texas
    Possibly Germany, but I can't be sure.

    Get these:



    but lock it down to your tripod in this:


    Handheld, everything sucks.

    Binos on a bag = Binos on the ground. IMO

    Have watched it happened twice. Neither one was severely damaged, but not happening to my glass.

    the glass on the Leicas will allow you to see like a 15x from a cheaper brand like Vortex

    This is the bottom of Leica, but still very nice, especially for the $

    I have the 8x, the HD versions are supposedly better but we're splitting hairs at this point.

    You'll pay double for the HD with barely perceptible difference.

    Birding is one thing. Spotting hits and reading wind is another.

    Personally, I would not leave these in the vehicle in hot summer for my budget.
    Thanks!

    Looks like it’s made in Portugal… and yeah, meant to say “in my range bag” vs in my truck. Wouldn’t leave it in there in the hot Texas sun!
     

    91Eunozs

    Private
    Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Jun 9, 2013
    1,208
    5,824
    south central Texas
    Steiner has dozens of binos for under $500. Off hand I have a Tactical 10x42 with ranging reticle, Predator 10x42, and a Marine 7x50, all were well under $500.
    The ones I saw for under $500 were all made in China… will look again though.

    Thanks for the input
     

    db2000

    Supporter
    Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Supporter+
  • Mar 27, 2020
    3,398
    2,493
    These are great quality IMO for the price. I read made in Japan but you can research further.
     

    pmclaine

    Gunny Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Nov 6, 2011
    30,945
    57,577
    54
    MA

    Simonsza1

    Private
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Feb 27, 2014
    1,535
    1,152
    I use the bx4 10x42 for hunting and they’re a great pair of binos and can also be had for under $500 if you look around
     

    Burdy

    Private
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Supporter+
    Jul 10, 2013
    1,211
    963
    Meopta optika HDs are going to be tough to beat at the price point. I really don't think you can beat them.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: 91Eunozs

    DeathBeforeDismount

    Pretty much Infantry
    Supporter
    Banned !
    Minuteman
    Nov 20, 2021
    2,198
    2,814
    Balmer, Murderland
    These are great quality IMO for the price. I read made in Japan but you can research further.
    Probably has as much chicom shit in them as anyone else. They are decent binos for the money glass wise.

    Leupold is the OG of the switch/bait bullshit labeling.
     

    91Eunozs

    Private
    Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Jun 9, 2013
    1,208
    5,824
    south central Texas
    Well, after going back and forth, and even trying some of the options from Vortex and Leupold, went with the Meopta Optika HD in 10x42

    AB0B085F-A59F-43DE-B7FF-CE8B4D199FAF.jpeg


    Seems like really nice glass for the price. Another smooth and easy transaction with Eurooptic…fast shipping too.

    Looking forward to trying them out at the range mañana.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: Milf Dots

    Burdy

    Private
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Supporter+
    Jul 10, 2013
    1,211
    963
    Well, after going back and forth, and even trying some of the options from Vortex and Leupold, went with the Meopta Optika HD in 10x42

    View attachment 7854530

    Seems like really nice glass for the price. Another smooth and easy transaction with Eurooptic…fast shipping too.

    Looking forward to trying them out at the range mañana.
    You couldn't have bought better in that price range. I keep a pair of these Optika HD 10x42 around as a backup and they are fantastic. I run their B1 Plus binos in 15x56 for spotting and 8x32, for hunting, as my primaries.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: 91Eunozs

    pineoak

    Assistant Minion
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Feb 15, 2017
    2,852
    837
    North Carolina
    They may be made in China

    Bhphoto has Nikon 10x 3S refurbished for under $100

    The one i got was very nice for the $

    Going to get a 2nd one

    I usually use low end Leica
     
    • Like
    Reactions: 91Eunozs

    Milf Dots

    Major Hide Member
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Oct 21, 2019
    1,821
    2,837
    Well, after going back and forth, and even trying some of the options from Vortex and Leupold, went with the Meopta Optika HD in 10x42

    View attachment 7854530

    Seems like really nice glass for the price. Another smooth and easy transaction with Eurooptic…fast shipping too.

    Looking forward to trying them out at the range mañana.
    Where are your Meopta made? Thanks
     

    redneckbmxer24

    Merica!
    Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Supporter+
  • Jan 15, 2005
    9,368
    5,179
    Gulf Coast, FL
    Leupold BX-4’s are really nice and made in Japan. I got mine on a Black Friday sale a few years ago from Cabelas for like $300. Not sure what they are now but even if they were $500 I’d gladly pay that for them.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: Simonsza1