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Old 12-28-2015, 10:20 PM   #11
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Bushnell makes a permafocus. In focus up close and long range. Use with kids when hunting. Around $40 to $50.

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Old 12-29-2015, 05:51 AM   #12
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I think I’d spend just a bit more than $50 and get a slightly better pair of binoculars. My suggestion is the Celestron Cypress 10 X 50 which can be found for less than $100 and is pretty rugged. They are a bit heavy at 2.2 pounds but you, your wife, and your 12 year old will be glad you went with them. These are great for general purpose viewing of scenery, wildlife, and birds in state and national parks. They’re great for spying on neighbors too.

For your 3 year old I would buy a dedicated binocular like the Bushnell 8 X 21 powerview that can be found for less than $15. If these binoculars are dropped and ruined you’re not out a lot of money.

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Old 12-29-2015, 06:01 AM   #13
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There's a lot to choose from at Brookstone. Take a look here:


When you get to that page, change the drop down from "Best Sellers" to "Price-Low to High"

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Old 12-29-2015, 01:03 PM   #14
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In the $50 range, go to Bushnell or Tasco... They have binoculars that can easily last a 3 yr old... and I'd go 10 x 40 for a good start.
However these are throw away type binoculars...
There have been advancements over the last 10 yrs in binoculars... but anything inexpensive is not the best in quality.
If you want something that will be good and last, look at Nikon Monarchs or Vortex.... anything of good or better quality will be $450 up... good stuff and lifetime guarantee in most cases...
Swarovski and Ziess, are the top of the heap... $2000 and up... but this is extremely good glass and there is nothing better.
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Old 12-29-2015, 01:55 PM   #15
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As an Audubon outdoor educator, I agree with many of the suggestions offered. One thing I always tell people is to handle the binocular first - what feels good in my hands, might not feel good in another persons.
For adult and young adult, am 8x42 glass would be best, in the approx $200 price point. Look for fog-proof and waterproof models.
For your 3yr-old, look for a 6x glass, and make sure the distance between the eyepieces is short enough to allow binocular views.
Also, one response said to look for "porro prism" models 'cause the tubes are straight - he meant to look for a "roof prism" model.
Keep in mind that the better viewing experience a young person can have, i.e. using a better binocular, the more likely he/she will want to use the binoc.
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Old 12-30-2015, 04:21 PM   #16
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I think BirderLarry's response is most helpful. The really cheap binoculars can be hazy and because they aren't well sealed, might eventually fog bad enough they become useless. In the better brands, chromatic aberration is well managed too, so color fringing will be less noticeable. If you have time, I too suggest you save up and buy a name brand pair that's weather resistant and maybe even nitrogen filled. (Fwiw, I think ruby colored coatings may be pretty much for show.) Reviews at B&H, Amazon, etc. can also be good sources of info. Walmart has some good prices on their lower price optics - that might be a good place to start, mainly because they've got a good return policy. If the binoculars feel good in your hands and you like 'em, they'll work fine for even the young ones, while you're checking out which of the better quality models you'll be more happy with.
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Old 12-30-2015, 05:57 PM   #17
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Thanks everyone. This gives me a lot to digest.

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