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View Full Version : Binoculars, why so cheap?


chowder
11-11-2007, 07:54 AM
I just purchased a pair of German made precision binocs that magnify to x30.

They cost me 9.99 and came complete with carry case with belt loop and neck strap, tripod,cleaning cloths and lens caps.

Why were they so cheap? I just cannot fathom it because they are damn fine binocs

Tully Mars
11-11-2007, 08:16 AM
Is that a legitimate question, or are you just wanting to brag a little? :)

essell
11-11-2007, 08:17 AM
Dude you're in Manchester.
Your supplier probably had a five fingered discount. :cool:

chowder
11-11-2007, 10:25 AM
Is that a legitimate question, or are you just wanting to brag a little? :)
Not bragging at all, just amazed at how cheap they were...no they were not nicked.

This is Manchester not Liverpool :p

Carson O'Genic
11-11-2007, 10:52 AM
When was the last time you bought precision optics? Or are you noting exceptional low price in current purchase?

Tamerlane
11-11-2007, 10:57 AM
I just purchased a pair of German made precision binocs that magnify to x30.

Something like this?

http://www.celestron.com/c2/product.php?CatID=20&ProdID=146

Why were they so cheap? I just cannot fathom it because they are damn fine binocs

They're cheap because a.) I'm assuming they're porro prism glasses, which are always more bulky but cheaper than comparable roof prism glasses ( the long skinny ones ) and b.) because, well, they are made from cheaper materials ;). Less refined optical glass, less robust body, less fancy lens coatings, etc.

Presumably they well perform less well than comparable models by Zeiss, Leica or Swarovski. More distortion, more optical color fringing, less refined controls, heavier, not "fog proof", etc. But if they're good enough for your uses, then you got a great deal :). Binoculars range from ~$20 to many thousands and the range is there for a reason - not everybody needs a $2000 pair of glasses.

I've got what you might call a semi-fancy pair of bird-watching binoculars - Swift Audobon EDs. They retail for around ~$350 American and at the time I bought them were considered sort of "entry-level elite" birdwatching glasses ( i.e. the cheapest "good" glasses, as opposed to a comparable $1500 pair of Swarovskis ). I've also got a pair of lower-rung Nikons that cost maybe ~$80 American. The difference between the two is real, especially in higher glare/contrast situations. But the difference usually isn't profound. It's more a matter of degree, like progressively fancier stereo speakers. You can often get by fine with the cheaper ones.

chowder
11-11-2007, 11:21 AM
Exactly like them apart from the brand name.

I also have a pair of bird watching binocs, much smaller and lighter.

I just couldn't resist buying the recent ones because of the price

Finagle
11-11-2007, 11:43 AM
I just purchased a pair of German made precision binocs that magnify to x30.

They cost me 9.99 and came complete with carry case with belt loop and neck strap, tripod,cleaning cloths and lens caps.

Why were they so cheap? I just cannot fathom it because they are damn fine binocs


I would guess it's because

a. The components of a binocular lend themselves well to mass production.

b. The materials for average quality optics are pretty cheap -- glass, metal, and plastic.

c. They were manufactured and assembled in a country where the daily wage wouldn't buy you a Big Mac.


What you get for more money with optics is better glass with more exotic materials, better anti-reflective coatings, and lots better quality control in the manufacturing and assembly.

chowder
11-11-2007, 11:46 AM
They were made in Germany !!

Dunno what the wages are in jolly old Deutschland but I'm guessing more than enough for a big mac AND fries.

Forgot to mention they carry a 3 year guarantee

Boyo Jim
11-11-2007, 03:34 PM
Jeez, this reminds me, I haven't had a look through binocs since I've had cataract surgery. My uncorrected vision, even before the cataracts appeared, was around 20/300, and I couln't take my glasses off to use binocs. Now my uncorrected vision is about 20/30, so the world should look quite a bit better through them -- and without glasses. I think.

Whoo hoo. I have to go digging into a closet and get my old pair.

essell
11-11-2007, 06:36 PM
This is Manchester not Liverpool :p
It's a peculiarity of the United Kingdom that people from Manchester think that people from Liverpool are a bunch of cunts.
And conversely people from Liverpool think that people from Manchester are a bunch of cunts.
When will they realise... ?
:D

Ale
11-11-2007, 07:09 PM
They're cheap because a.) I'm assuming they're porro prism glasses...


heh heh.... hehehe

You said "porro"; means "joint" (the smoking kind) in Spanish.

I bet you can see some really funk stuff through your porro prisms. :D

Lumpy
11-11-2007, 07:47 PM
What objective size? That counts for a lot more than the eyepiece magnification.

Tamerlane
11-11-2007, 07:48 PM
heh heh.... hehehe

You said "porro"; means "joint" (the smoking kind) in Spanish.

I bet you can see some really funk stuff through your porro prisms. :D

:)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ignazio_Porro

Telemark
11-11-2007, 08:02 PM
What objective size? That counts for a lot more than the eyepiece magnification.
Absolutely true, magnification means very little in quality binocs. The ability to gather light is much more important, and most cheap models are pretty poor at that.

http://www.birds.cornell.edu/Publications/LivingBird/Winter2005/Age_Binos.html

Also, 30x must be very difficult to hold steady when looking at anything distant. With that magnification you'd probably want a tripod or stand of some sort.

DrDeth
11-11-2007, 08:23 PM
What brand name? :confused:

chowder
11-12-2007, 02:12 AM
What brand name? :confused:
Sorry I meant makers name which is "Traveler"

Objective size is 60mm

As mentioned in my OP I did get a tripod with them

tagos
11-12-2007, 05:05 AM
Sorry I meant makers name which is "Traveler"

Objective size is 60mm

As mentioned in my OP I did get a tripod with them

Hi Chowder

Can't find anything advertised at that price. Where you pick them up from?

chowder
11-12-2007, 06:12 AM
Aldi

tagos
11-12-2007, 06:15 AM
Aldi

Ah - thanks.

tagos
11-12-2007, 06:21 AM
They must have been one of the loss-leaders. You got yourself a real bargain.

chowder
11-12-2007, 06:23 AM
Some weeks ago I noticed them, a great pile of the buggers at 14.99.

Sunday there was just 2 left at 9.99 with the tripod thrown in

nd_n8
11-12-2007, 06:31 AM
Aldi
That could explain the low price vs. good quality.

If Aldi UK works anything like Aldi US they probably got them for a good price at the manufacturer (overrun, seconds, original customer stiffed them, situations like that) and were able to offer them at a good price in the store.

It seems Aldi US keeps adding more and more hardline merchandise, it's starting to look like a mini-WalMart in there.

Off topic question: Do you have to bag your own groceries / gather assorted boxes at Aldi in UK?

tagos
11-12-2007, 06:31 AM
Some weeks ago I noticed them, a great pile of the buggers at 14.99.

Sunday there was just 2 left at 9.99 with the tripod thrown in

The Traveler brand seems to sell for a decent wack. Even the pre-sale price was a bargain. I have a pair of cheap binocs but using them to do some sky-watching really shows up the poor lens quality.

chowder
11-12-2007, 06:36 AM
That could explain the low price vs. good quality.

If Aldi UK works anything like Aldi US they probably got them for a good price at the manufacturer (overrun, seconds, original customer stiffed them, situations like that) and were able to offer them at a good price in the store.

It seems Aldi US keeps adding more and more hardline merchandise, it's starting to look like a mini-WalMart in there.

Off topic question: Do you have to bag your own groceries / gather assorted boxes at Aldi in UK?
I've noticed that more and more hardware is being sold at Aldi, also toys/fireworks/cosmetics/clothing/shoes.

One time it was mostly foodstuffs but as you say it's getting to be like the mini markets.

Yes we do have to bag our own stuff and they charge you for the bags, 3p each.

Never seen any empty boxes lying around

nd_n8
11-12-2007, 07:39 AM
I've noticed that more and more hardware is being sold at Aldi, also toys/fireworks/cosmetics/clothing/shoes.

One time it was mostly foodstuffs but as you say it's getting to be like the mini markets.

Yes we do have to bag our own stuff and they charge you for the bags, 3p each.

Never seen any empty boxes lying around
We have empty boxes sitting somewhere near the register. For those who want to save on the bags. Either that or people empty the boxes while shopping and stash them under the cart. The box thing is kind of a hallmark of Aldi here, that and the $0.25 deposit for the cart.

9.99 = $20.68 USD, If they are even a kind of decent pair of binoculars that's still quite a good deal. I don't think I would have passed that up either.

tagos
11-12-2007, 07:53 AM
Off topic question: Do you have to bag your own groceries / gather assorted boxes at Aldi in UK?

Bagging your own groceries tend to be the norm (in my experience anyway) in UK supermarkets. We don't have baggers. The checkout person may offer to bag it for you but by and large they don't really mean it.

Charities sometimes are on hand to randomly stuff your shopping into approximately seven times the number of bags actually needed.

chowder
11-12-2007, 09:09 AM
[QUOTE=tagos] . We don't have baggers.

I was asked if I wanted a part time Xmas job at Tesco to help customers bag-up.

I refused for a few reasons.

1. I am not exactly desperate for the cash
2. I would not be allowed to accept tips
3. I'd have to work some nights :eek:
4. The money is crap
5. I'm 65 and my working days are finished as far as I'm concerned :p

tagos
11-12-2007, 09:11 AM
[QUOTE=tagos] . We don't have baggers.

I was asked if I wanted a part time Xmas job at Tesco to help customers bag-up.

I refused for a few reasons.

1. I am not exactly desperate for the cash
2. I would not be allowed to accept tips
3. I'd have to work some nights :eek:
4. The money is crap
5. I'm 65 and my working days are finished as far as I'm concerned :p

But it's not a regular job all year job like it seems to be in the USA. But I don't have a Tesco's around me so maybe they are moving in that direction.

chowder
11-12-2007, 09:18 AM
I think all the major supermarkets employ olde codgers during the festive? season.

No Tesco near you?. My god dear fellow where the heck are you living?

tagos
11-12-2007, 09:33 AM
I think all the major supermarkets employ olde codgers during the festive? season.

No Tesco near you?. My god dear fellow where the heck are you living?

Just up the road from you. Lancaster. There is a Tesco in Carnforth but it's a very un-tesco like dump.