In one of my very first blogs here, I discussed a pocket binocular that I purchased more than 35 years ago. While looking for bargains at my friendly, neighborhood K-Mart all those years ago, I stumbled on a camo, rubber armor coated 8X21 Jason binocular for well under $10! It turned out that this was a retuned item that K-Mart didn't even sell, so the sales clerk made me a fantastic deal and I have used them heavily for many years. Although this is a decent quality product, made in Japan, I would still like to get something a bit better.
So, I figured it's time to replace them and I'm searching for a new, compact pocket binocular – something like an 8X or 10X with an objective of 20mm up to about 26mm. There are several contenders that I like and am trying to decide which will be best for my purposes. Like most binoculars, there is a huge range of quality and, of course price. The coatings and glass being first and foremost, then the construction and overall features. Then it comes to how much I want (or can actually afford) to spend!
Prices aside, my first choice would, without a doubt, be the Zeiss 8x20B T Conquest. To me, the Zeiss glass is superb in terms of overall color, clarity and sharpness. Then there is the Nikon 8×20 Premier that boasts high resolution, fully multicoated optics and 100% waterproof in addition to outstanding brighness, clarity and durability. Then there's the Steiner T24 Tactical 8×24 that claims high definition crisp, bright images, waterproofed and built to military standards. What a dilemma!
These would be MY choices, but can I justify the purchase or do I use my old "Jason" model for another 35 years? Uhh, not a chance! I need to do a bit more research, both in features and my wallet, before I decide on my new pocket companion…