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10x Bino Selection - Help! :)

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Portland View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
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    Posted: February/15/2020 at 10:29
Hi guys!

My name is Paul and I'm new around here. I am in the market for a new pair of binoculars and as I generally like to do before making a big purchase, I research the heck out of it and also ask for advice from the pros. In a nutshell, I live in SW Washington and spend a lot of time outdoors hiking, fishing, and hunting. I am looking for a rugged pair of binoculars that will last me a long time while also giving me superb optical quality. I live on 5 wooded acres and have a ton of wildlife in my backyard that I like to sit on my back porch and glass. I have a few cheapo binoculars, but I'm ready to step up to something nicer.

Here is what I have narrowed my selection to, although I am totally open to other brands, magnifications, objective lens sizes, and models. I went with Vortex because they looked great when I looked through them in the store, and their warranty is hard to beat. I have seen all 3 of these in person in the store. They all have great optics so I'm sure I can't go wrong, but would like to hear from all of you which you would pick.

1) Vortex Razor HD - 10x42

2) Vortex Razor HD - 10x50

3) Vortex Razor UHD - 10x42

From my research these models seem to be the most popular in the $1,000-$1,500 range. I don't know much about Swarovski, however with the UHD Razor being $1,500 it puts me in range of the SLC line of Swarovski binoculars such as the SCL 10x42 WB. 

A couple of questions for you..

-Am I on the right track with the Razors? 
-Is there a big difference between the Razor 10x42 and 10x50 other than the size? I found a great deal on the 50s so I'm tempted to go with these, but want to know if there are any down sides when compared to the 42s.
-Which other models should I consider?

Thank you in advance for your help!
Paul
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JGRaider View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JGRaider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/15/2020 at 10:34
In the Razor HD price range of  $1000, I'd pick a Nikon Monarach HG, Meopta Meostar HD, Zeiss Conquest HD, or Tract Toric UHD, and GPO Passion  HD before the Razor HD.

In that $1500 UHD price range (which is ludicrous for a Vortex anything), I'd pick a mint/used SLC HD every and any day of the week.   

There's always something as good or better than Vortex for the same or less money.    Vortex is a marketing machine.  


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Portland View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Portland Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/15/2020 at 10:58
Looks like the SLCs are the same price as the Razor UHDs on Amazon..

https://www.amazon.com/Swarovski-Waterproof-Binoculars-FieldPro-Package/dp/B00FF9TUHA

Does Swaro make an "HD" and non-HD version of the SLCs or is the one in the link the one you were referencing?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JGRaider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/15/2020 at 11:39
No.   The SLC nowadays from Swaro is HD, it's just not in the name, and it is the one in your link.    The previous generation of SLC HD's did have the name, and they were black and green, with the same optics as the SLC's nowadays, which.    You'd have to go back at least 12 years to find when Swaro had a non HD SLC.   
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RifleDude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/15/2020 at 12:42
Hi Paul. The recommendations given are sound, though I’d take the Nikon off the list. The Razor series Vortexes are good binos, but in their price range, I’d go with Meopta. 

To answer your question on the difference between 42mm and 50mm objective, the 50 will give you a slight edge in low light viewing due to larger exit pupil. If you value ultimate low light performance over better handling when carried a lot, you may find the larger objective to be a worthwhile trade off. Personally, for an all around, carry everywhere optic, I do not.

I personally prefer 8x over 10x or more, as I believe 8x gives me a better compromise between magnification detail, field of view, and depth of field. I can steady the image in 8x binos a bit better and accomplish the same tasks that 10x would give me, with a more relaxed view. I have some 10x binos, and I don’t really feel handicapped by them, I just prefer 8x slightly better. 

In fact, I’ve pretty much settled on 8x32 in recent years. I’ve found that as long as you go with with top drawer optics, the 32mm versions still give me good enough low light performance for my needs in a lighter, more compact package that is much handier to carry around with you. The best binos for any application are those you have with you, and I’m more likely to have my handy, unobtrusive little 8x32s with me whenever I’m doing most anything outdoors. My 8x32 is a Leica Ultravid HD, but you don’t have to spend Leica money to get superb optical performance.
Ted


Money can't buy happiness... but it's much more comfortable to cry in a Porsche than on a bicycle.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Portland Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/15/2020 at 13:00
hey Rifledude,
Thanks for your input. I’ll definitely look into the Leicas and the Meopta you referenced. 

I just left my local sports store a few min ago and looked through the Swarovski SLC 10x42 and holy moly. It puts the razors to shame. What an impressive Bino. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Portland Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/16/2020 at 13:06
So, I did a thing...

After going into my local Sportsman's Warehouse and doing a side by side of the Razor HD 10x42, Razor HD 10x50, and the Swarovski SLC 10x42, I could not stop thinking about the Swarovskis. I looked at the Leica Trinovid 10x42 and the Zeiss Conquest 10x42 as well. The Leicas were nice, but didn't feel as high quality in the and as the Swaro's. 

I went back again today and tried them all a second time and it really sealed the deal for me. I know the Swaro's are more expensive, but I like to buy it once, buy it right..

So I ended up pulling the trigger and ordering a pair of Swarovski SLC 10x42. Whacko 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JGRaider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/16/2020 at 13:29
You'll never regret that one.   They are a pleasure and joy to use.    Congrats. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RifleDude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/16/2020 at 19:14
Swaro SLC is never a bad choice. When you get to that tier of binos, the choice of “best” for you usually boils down to the little things that add up to personal preference.
Ted


Money can't buy happiness... but it's much more comfortable to cry in a Porsche than on a bicycle.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Portland Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/19/2020 at 23:14
The SLCs came in today. Wow. I can’t put them down. I work on the 15th floor of an office building in downtown Portland. I glasses the Willamette river and downtown Portland today from the floor I work on and it was incredible. These binoculars will probably be with me for a lifetime. Worth every penny. 
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