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8 or 10 power for hunting

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/11/2007 at 15:29
encoreguy View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
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I am trying to decide on what power of Bino to get.  I kind of settled on a Pentax HD II do to the fact that I can get a deal on them, I just need to decide what power, 8 or 10 in these 42mm bino's.  I hunt in the midwest and low light performance is important as well as being able to judge trophy quality while scouting.  I hunt in semi open country so looking at deer at 1/2 mile or more is not uncommon.  Someday I also hope to do some Western hunting.  Any thoughts????
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/11/2007 at 16:03
lucznik View Drop Down
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1. Current prevailing "wisdom" will tell you to get 8x and if you're new to optics and not acustomed to using them, this probably has some merit. Commonly cited advantages of the lower magnification are:

  • reduced image shake.
  • wider field of view.
  • less eye strain during long glassing sessions.

2. 10x is my personal preference and I have never found an 8x binocular that offered me any advantage so great as to be worth the loss of magnification.  After all, getting a closer view is the whole point of optics and to sabotage that with low magnification just seems silly.  When I get old and feeble maybe I'll need to reevaluate my choice but, I'm at least a couple of years away from that.

 

With those two contradictions firmly in mind, I suggest you flip a coin.  The basic reality is that (assuming of course, that you are comparing optics of equal quality) it's not the binocular but the person using it that really makes the difference. 

 

I know people who see and identify animals with their naked eyes at ranges so distant that I simply must have optics just to find them.  I also know others who can't find their a$$es with both hands no matter what optical help they have.   



Edited by lucznik
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/11/2007 at 17:28
encoreguy View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
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I have a cheap pair of Bushnell trophy bino's in 10X42's now and the whole reason for new ones is their poor performance at the beginning and end of legal shooting time.  My whole interest in 8 X was the larger exit pupil with the 8X giving me the "magical" max of useful range of 5.  Does this idea really hold any value?  I have looked through the Pentax's in 8X and they are crystal clear and give great image detail at a reasonable price.  I was not able to compare them to a 10X model unfortunately.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/12/2007 at 07:41
ND2000 View Drop Down
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Encore -

 

The concept of an exit pupil does hold some value, but you can't make a decision based on it.  There are many other factors that affect brightness, such as what coatings are applied to the lenses.  Also, if you look just at exit pupil, people would assume that a 7x35 and 10x50 would be equally bright, and nothing could be further from the truth...the 10x50 will be brighter 100% of the time.

 

If you are set on getting the Pentax, I would probably recommend the 8X power, particuarly given to your eyes they are "crystal clear."  I think the vast majority of mid-range binoculars suffer when you get to 10X, as it is much harder and more costly to produce a good image at higher magnifications.

 

ND2000

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/12/2007 at 09:19
Bird Watcher View Drop Down
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Encore,

I had the same experience, in the store, when comparing the Nikon Action Extreme ATB side-by-side with the Pentax PCF WP II.

The Pentax was brighter, clearer and sharper out to the edge.

Some of the reasons might be:

1) Pentax has FMC/Fully Multi-Coated vs. Nikons MC/Multi-Coated.

2) Pentax offers the PentaBright Technology which also includes the SMC/Super-Multi-Layer Coating on ALL optical elements.

3) Pentax offers the aspherical eyepiece lenses which makes them sharper out towards the edges. According to the 2007 Nikon catalog, aspherical eyepiece elements are only offered in the less expensive Action Series, and not the Action Extreme ATB's.

A good reason to go with 8x in the Pentax line is, they are notoriously narrower in their FOV/Field Of View compared to most of the competition.

If the narrow FOV does not bother you, then 10x will increase contrast and more detail will be seen during twilight.

The Pentax DCF SP in either 8x43 or 10x43 is an excellent binocular.

The Pentax PCF WP II only comes in 8x40 or 10x50, it is not available in the 42mm or 43mm.

The Pentax HD II is an older, discontinued model, and is rated below the DCF SP series.

Edited by Bird Watcher
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/13/2007 at 11:33
encoreguy View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
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Thanks for the information guys, I have the 8 power now, but the guy offered to switch it for a 10 power if I chose.  This weekend I was camping with my family and had the Pentax in the truck.  I located a raccoon in the top of a hollow tree at about 50 yards and I was amazed how much detail I could see.  I could see every hair and wisker with very sharp detail.  Now they are not $800 bino's but I don't know if I could see much better with higher priced ones.  These are the DCF HR II's.  I still wonder if I should switch them out for the 10X's. 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/20/2007 at 19:26
CWPINST View Drop Down
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If low light performance is what you are after, you will be very pleased with the Monarch 10x56.  Yes they are big and heavy, but man do they work in low light.  If your style of hunting allows the use of binoculars with these physical dimensions you will be very happy with their performance.  I couldn't be more satisfied with mine.
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