I worked for 8 years in management of a large camera/optics store. We could step out of the store and look into the Black Mts of WNC, so we had lots of opps to try out binocs and scopes.
In my years of viweing different binocs, I found the Swaroskis to be the finest. They are nearly better than real life, and often brighter. The problem is they cost an arm and a leg. So I began a search for a lower priced alternative. The Pentax Roof prism line are excellent and rugged, but for even less money I found the Celestron Noble and Regal line to be equal with the Pentax and although not up there Zeiss, Swaros,and Leica they were in the ball park.
For less than $300 I have not seen a better pair than the Noble series. I took mine out for 2 weeks of winter wildlife watching in Yellowstone and they were superb. Very tough, fog-proof, quick focusing and very sharp.
Celestron binocs are made in China but you may be real surprised to see how they stack up against Japanese or even Euro optics. The Celestron rep told me a little known fact, MOST Celestron optics are phase coated even if they do not claim to be, they would prefer you to buy the more expensive models but the bottom line is that in the assemble line it is just as economical to phase coat everything than to do some and not others.
Specifications for Celestron Noble 10x42 Binoculars 71207:
Size: 10 x 42
Coating: Fully Multi-Coated
NEW Phase Coated
Angular Field of View(FOV°): 6
Linear FOV (ft @ 1000 yd): 314
Exit Pupil (mm): 4.2
Eye Relief (mm): 16
Near Focus (ft): 8
Weight (oz): 24
Features of Celestron Noble 10 x 42 mm Binocular:
Incredible Near Focus - for avid bird watchers
Fully Multi-Coated Optics
NEW high performance Phase-Coated Optics
Nitrogen Filled and Completely Waterproof
Compact Roof Prism Design
Protective Rubber Covering with Ribbed Exterior for firm grip
Long Eye Relief - ideal for eyeglass and sunglass wearers
No Fault Limited Lifetime Warranty
Celestron Noble 10x42 Waterproof Roof Prism Binocular 71207
Soft carrying case
( From opticsplanet.com )