I bird a lot and relied on inexpensive (~$50) pair of 10×50 binoculars by Bushnell. I was happy with them until this spring when I did more and more close up work and found myself backing up more and more. I finally measured my minimum focus distance – 25 feet. This problem grew more annoying until I decided that I had to find a solution.
I asked around and heard recommendations for $400-$2300 binos which were almost certainly excellent choices but way out of my price range. I have small children. I found these Celestrons for 1/3 the price. There is also a non-LX Outland model for about $75 but they look significantly different and I decided to not risk being disappointed
I ordered them from Binoculars.com on Monday, used an inexpensive 2-day shipping option, and had them on Wednesday, three weeks ago tomorrow. I started being impressed as soon as I took them out of the box. They are solid as if made from a single block of machined aluminum. The right eye diopter holds its setting. They are lightweight and the talk of waterproof appears to be true. I spent 2 ½ hours in a drizzle last weekend looking for thrushes with no problem. I’ve taken them out on perhaps 12 outings so far and really like them. They focus very close as promised though I haven’t measured the distance. Celestron warranties them for life, no questions asked. They say they will repair or replace them no matter what happens to them.
I can’t compare these Outland LXs to those other higher end brands, I’ve never used them, but I do think these are good solid performers and would recommend them to a friend.
Addendum: The review above was written in May 2009. Around July 2010, I noticed that the two images were not aligned anymore so I sent them to Celestron for repair. The repair itself is free but they do charge $25 for shipping and handling to discourage people from routinely sending them in for cleaning (my speculation). While they were gone, I ordered another pair as they have been replaced by a newer model. I now have two pair of these, one nominally for my daughter.