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$500 binos

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/09/2011 at 21:21
blacknblue View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
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Hello,
 
Rookie on this forum, but found it while doing research on an upcoming binocular purchase. Plenty of interesting info, but mostly added chatter to the ongoing debate in my head already. 
 
Started off looking trying to whittle a list of 2-3 down to one, but now have 7-8 candidates.
 
So.....
 
Looking for suggestions.  If you had a budget of 500$ to spend on Leupold or Nikon($200 gift card from dealer who only carries those) what would you choose?
 
Primary use - archery elk backpack hunt.  Originally thought 10x42, but some members here mentioned that 10X in that price range might be more of gamble than 8X.  Open to suggestions.
 
Thanks for any help.
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/09/2011 at 22:36
Bitterroot Bulls View Drop Down
Optics Master Extraordinaire
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If you can get your dealer to let you in on a Leupold Gold Ring HD 8X42 or 10X42 (even the 8X32 for backpack hunting archery) for $500, then you need not look any further. 

If not, I would recommend trying to turn that $200 into cash (get something easy to sell from the dealer) and look into a Chinese ED like the Zen Ray ED2 or Vortex Talon HD.

I really like Nikon's EDG binoculars (which are out of your price range), but I have never been particularly impressed with the Monarch series bins.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/10/2011 at 08:33
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Welcome to OT, blacknblue!
 
I agree wholeheartedly with Matt on all counts. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/10/2011 at 10:19
Klamath View Drop Down
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That's not a lot of choice IMO.  I had a Nikon Monarch for a number of years, and it was OK, but didn't really stand the test of time.  The new dielectric coatings are somewhat better, but Nikon still sit on their backside with that crappy fov.  The Monarch X is WAY to heck and gone overpriced and pretty well sucks in fov, but the optics are pretty decent.    Plus there is that ergonomic disaster "bleeping" rod between the barrels.   I'd actually get the new dielectric Monarch ATB over the X.  Glass like the ZEN ED 2, Kruger Caldera, Theron Wapiti APO-ED and Steiner Predator Xtreme will kick its butt every day of the week and twice on Sunday and save you a couple of C-notes in the bargain.  If the Monarch X was priced closer to the ZEN ED it might be a better deal.  But it lacks ED glass at that price.

 

Leupold is better, especially for archery backpack hunting.  The Yosemite is certainly way under your price limit, but it is nice, light, bright binocular you won't really believe cost around $100.  There is also the Katmai compact roof.  For archery, I'd go 6x in either.  However the Katmai is not as good as the Viper 32mm glass.  It is however a nice glass and the smallest 32mm glass I know of.  The 8x could use some more fov, but the Katmai is usable at 8x.

 

Actually for backpack hunting, I'd look at a good 32mm glass like the Vortex Viper in either 6x or 8x.  The Kruger Caldera is pretty compact for a full size glass and that's where I'd suggest you go, if you want a full size number.

  



Edited by Klamath - May/10/2011 at 10:23
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/11/2011 at 05:51
Bird Watcher View Drop Down
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Originally posted by Klamath Klamath wrote:

Leupold is better, especially for archery backpack hunting.    There is also the Katmai compact roof.  For archery, I'd go 6x in either.  However the Katmai is not as good as the Viper 32mm glass.  It is however a nice glass and the smallest 32mm glass I know of.  
 
http://www.samplelist.com/Leupold-6x32-Green-Ring-Katmai-Binocular-DEMO-B-P2618.aspx
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/11/2011 at 07:38
tpcollins View Drop Down
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Originally posted by Bitterroot Bulls Bitterroot Bulls wrote:

If you can get your dealer to let you in on a Leupold Gold Ring HD 8X42 or 10X42 (even the 8X32 for backpack hunting archery) for $500, then you need not look any further.
 
 
And if the dealer has a previous model non-HD you ould save even more. I went thru an exercise last summer for a midsize pair, including a Vortex and a Zen RAy EDII 7x36 and returned them all and kept the 8x32 non-HD Gold Rings.  I was using my Zeiss and Leia to compare them and the Leupold won the contest. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/11/2011 at 09:30
Claus View Drop Down
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Welcome to OT.
I have had a lot of different binos during the years, but so far i have been most happy with my Zeiss Conquest. 
Should be possible to find a used pair for 500$ maybe a new one depending on model.
Good luck.Wink
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