Looking for a one stop pair of bins in the sweet spot. Not really about the money, but considering I want something for the garden/dog walk/odd day hike I don’t see the need to go big. But I don’t want cheap.
I have settled on the Nikon M7 as a benchmark.
Not sure on the 8x42 or 10x42.
I’d pay more but it has to be for a real jump, not just a bit of polish or for a name.
You might get loads of different opinions. For what it is worth, I advise you pop into a local bricks and mortar shop and try some out. Binoculars are a very personal purchase - one instrument might suit one person but won’t another - physical size, location of focuser, eye relief, balance of instrument and other factors determine whether you will enjoy one instrument over another. Do not be afraid to buy a used instrument from a reputable dealer.
Certainly, Nikon, Hawke, Zeis, Kowa, Vortex and Opticron are well respected manufacturers and should find something that suits without having to go too spendy.
That’s the issue these days, nowhere to get hands on.
I’m open to buying used as well, as it gets more for less.
Does seem to be much much of a muchness at a given price point, and more about taste (like watches).
I think there is more to choosing binoculars than taste. Ergonomics and “fit” are very different. If you cannot get to a physical store the places I suggested will be happy to talk to you and you could check out their returns policy.
At £500 ish I would be looking at (in no particular order) Vortex, Hawke, Opticron. Are you wedded to 10x42? You might find 8x42 less difficult - typically greater apprarent field of view and less heavy without giving much away in magnification.
Ambivalent about 8 or 10. Depends on price and how much I want to future proof (seems to be a natural “upgrade” route).
Eight seems the right choice but ten might stop a later itch!
I won’t hammer these, but I do want to buy right and have something to last. They will need to do it all, from sofa browsing through the window to day hikes and trips.