I guess you can get away with going cheap…

…if you do it early enough.

I don’t know anything about quality optics in general, or binoculars in particular. In fact I rarely give the subject much thought, but it came up this morning. I was futzing around in Landlady’s barn when I came upon a dusty binocular case somebody had forgotten there…

I took the case home to clean it and the glasses inside it, then later in the morning TB and I dropped them off at Landlady’s house while I checked the mousetraps. Maybe she has use for it, maybe not but gathering dirt in the barn isn’t a good look. It got me to thinking about my own “good” binoculars – if you happen to be an optics snob, carefully swallow any food or drink before looking below…

Yup – Bushnell. That’s the price point in which Uncle Joel has always swum, even back when he was a budding young Tactical Tad. I bought these in a K-Mart sometime in the mid-seventies. The case and strap long ago fell apart but the glasses still work well enough I never gave serious thought to upgrading. I suppose if I were a real hunter I might have wanted something more imposing, especially since my unaided eyes have never been much. But the only times I’ve been bugged by a desire to upgrade my kit was when my needs demanded better performance – otherwise it’s been my lifelong habit to go cheap and use it up. Pushing fifty years and these never quite got used up.

Now that I’ve dragged them out of the cabinet, though, I’m thinking about making a new case and putting them in the Jeep. I don’t actually use them much at the cabin but the freebie mini-binocs in the Jeep get used a fair bit and these are better.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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3 Responses to I guess you can get away with going cheap…

  1. Robert says:

    Yours look just like mine. They’ve been good enough.

  2. WS says:

    I’ve used that price point and below in my everyday binocs for many decades. the truck ones are <$20 Tasco and all have served me well. The only exception is a set of Celestron Deep Skys from when astronomy was a thing.
    BUT, my wife recently became interesting in birding and got a quality set of Vortex. DAMN, they are soooo much better than anything but my clunky oversized Celestrons. So i picked up a set of smaller 10x28s Vortex (like 150+/-) and never went back (tascos still live in the truck tho).

  3. TK421a says:

    Back in the day when Bushnell products were made in the States, the lower price point binoculars were good quality for the money. These days with their lower end products being made off shore the quality has suffered. My Bushnell 10X50 binoculars are around forty years old and still do the job. That $39 I spent was a great investment.

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