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8x Porro reccomendations

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/17/2004 at 21:54
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  Hello All,

   This is my first post here and I'd appreciate your input on 8x Porro models in the $100 - $250 range. They will be used for deer and coyote hunting and just general kicking around. 300yd shots are LONG around here with 150 or less being most common. I don't see the need for much more magnification than 8x in these conditions but would like to hear your opinions. One 9x that looks interesting is the 9x40 Steiner Bighorn. Anybody have hands on experience with them?

                         TIA,

                         SkyChi

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/18/2004 at 02:31
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I looked at a bunch of binoculars a little while ago when I was trying to choose and ended up with IOR 7x40 porros.  Their optical quality is astounding.  THey seem built like a tank as well.

Other good choiced are Pentax PCF WP and Nikon Action Extreme.  I think they are not as good as IOR optically, but also a bit cheaper.  I've looked through a bunch of Steiners and did not like them too much.  I do not recall if I looked at a Big Horn model specifically, though.

In mid-200s you can buy some comparable roof binoculars that will be a bit smaller and handier: Bushnell Legend and Burris Signature.  I think Signature is better than Bushnell here.

Ilya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/19/2004 at 22:55
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I would get a Pentax PCF WP 8x40.  They are pretty good optically for the money, but to me they are one of the most comfortable and compact 8x porro available.  I like the design better than the Nikon and Steiner for comfort reasons.  I have no experience with the IOR.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/20/2004 at 00:11
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I never used the IOR's, but they're supposed to be great glass from everything I've heard.  I'd personally go with the Nikon Action Extreme's over the Pentax.  Just compared them side by side the other day (in 10X50 form) and liked the Nikon better in every aspect (except the rebate from Pentax, but the difference between the two in quality made that irrelevant--at least for me).  As far as the Burris, and Bushnell's, I personally liked the Bushnells better, but you really should look at as many as you can and decide what works for YOUR eyes.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/20/2004 at 18:05
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  I appreciate everyones input on this. I am a little suprised that no one has had anything to say about the various Steiner 8x30 models. Are these seen as unsuitable for the needs I expressed? I know that they have a long history of quality and durability but does the 30mm objectives just limit brightness during low light situations to much?

                 Sky Chi

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/20/2004 at 18:41
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I've owned the Bushnell Legend porros in 8x, Olympus Pathfinders in 8x, and Pentax WP's (I still own the first two but traded the Pentax in last year on a little pair of roofs).  I also own what I feel are the finest binocular value I've ever found--the 8.5x44 Swift 820 Audubons.

 

The Swift have it all--they have almost all the 'goodies' that the Legend's possess (waterproof, pull up eye cups, armor, etc), they give the truly bright colors that the Olympus deliver, and they're as nearly as rugged as the Pentax.  They also deliver a crystaline, sharp, undeniably brilliant center image with a field of view over 400' at 1000 yds.

 

Without spending two or three times more to upgrade to either the Nikon Superior E's or the Bagisch Swarovskis (my spelling's probably off), I can't think of a better 8x porro.  For a $100 or thereabouts, it's tough to beat either the Legends or the Pathfinders (Olympus for birding, Bushnell for hunting).  But if you're going to push that $250 envelope, I couldn't recommend the Swift's any higher.

 

Just my two cents...

 

 

Take the long way home.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/20/2004 at 18:59
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Ditto that.

 

I went on a birding trip with an acquantence and looked through a bunch of binoculars out there.  The view through Swift 8.5x44 is absolutely spectacular.  I think he has the ED version, but I am not sure of that.  It is a pretty bulky piece though still lighter than my IOR 7x40 (I think).

 

Ilya

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/21/2004 at 10:20
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To me the 8x30 Steiners are not very impressive optically.  They are rugged but I think any of the others mentioned will better suit your needs. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/21/2004 at 11:50
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I understand that thre are several flavors of Steiner's 8x30 binoculars.  I've looked through a couple of them: Military/Marine and Navigator (I think), and I was not impressed at all.

 

Another thing is that Steiner and IOR have individual eye focusing rather than a central knob for focus.  I know that some people do not like that way of adjusting focus.  If you are OK with it and want a tough waterproof porro, IOR is hard to beat.  They also have an 8x30 model, that, IMO, is superior to Steiner.

 

Ilya

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/27/2004 at 11:25
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Steiner's top of the line 8x30 NightHunter XP are really nice.  I can't comment on how they compare to the Swift or IOR because we do not stock either but they are better than any of the Pentax except the SP.  We will be putting a lot of high end Steiner binos on the SampleList.com site soon and many will be in your price range.

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/17/2005 at 13:38
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I would also check out the Audubon Equinox HP in this price range.

 

http://www.optics4birding.com/RevAudubonEquinoxHP.aspx

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/22/2005 at 18:38
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I wrestled with the choice last year and bought the IOR's. They are wonderfully sharp.
They're a little heavy but that steadies my hand which is good during long scans varmint
hunting. The individual focus is less of a problem than I had thought it would be. I like the
IOR's and would buy them again in an instant.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/25/2005 at 08:25
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holzauge:

 

What size & power did yot from IOR.  They make an 8X30 that sounds pretty good, and only weighs 18 ozs.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/25/2005 at 16:36
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I bought the 7X42's at 32 oz. Glass and rubber coating are heavy, and they seem to have
steel frames.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/09/2005 at 11:52
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Has anyone tried the IOR's in the 8x30 configuration?  I have a pair of the 7x40's and they are great but am looking to replace my Steiner Predator 8x30 with a better glass. I use the Steiners for still hunting with a longbow so distances aren't an issue and weight is.....they are "ok" but not in a league with the other, heavier, glasses I have.

Edited by Tom Koenig
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/17/2005 at 16:25
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Hi,

I have the IOR 8x30.  In my opinion, they are as good as any of the other military style 8x30s that I have:  Swarovski porro, Fujinon FMTR, and Steiner Hunting (now given away as a gift, but I considered to be excellent also).  Performance, particularly, I felt were equal to these.  The eyecups did not extend very far beyond the ocular, so the eye relief is not long (but I had no problem with it).  The attached objective lens covers, while good, needed to be wiggled a bit to ensure that they would stay "plugged" in.  Solid and excellent performers that are worth their price, I think.

 

If roof prism types are under consideration, I think that SWFA has Minoxes that are also very good.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/17/2005 at 17:31
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SteveSF,

 

How do you IOR 8x30 compare to the Fujinon FMTR optically?

 

Thanks,

Ilya

 

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/17/2005 at 19:42
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Ilya,

I don't usually do side-by-side comparisons, so I'm going by memories of usage.  Optically, I'd say that that the IOR and Fujinon are very close, nearly identical, but with the Fujinon just a touch better possibly in resolution.  In my view, the 30 mm objective size keeps me from noticing much difference; when I look through 40 mm binoculars, it seems easier to notice differences.  Since I'm only a casual user, and you're tagged as an optics professional (according to the forum page), I think that you would be a better judge than me.  Optically, though, I have a Nikon 8x30E (not the newer EII) that I've felt to have the best image, and that includes resolution, contrast, and color intensity.  By reputation, the 8x30EII have the same or better optics and are also durably constructed.  They are not waterproof, if that is a concern in this discussion.

 

From a handling/usage standpoint, I think that I should mention that the IOR is larger than the other porro binoculars that I listed.  They are not considerably larger, but between the usual 8x30 and a 8x40 porro.  The IOR's finish is more utilitarian, because of the military styling.  The Swarovski IF porro, Fujinon, and Steiner Hunting have better fit and finish.  The IOR's construction, however, is beefier and very rugged.  I would not worry about them not surviving knocks.  The IOR's eye-relief is not long, but seems comparable to older designs (12-14 mm, I guess).  Since the IOR's price is lower than these units, I think that they're a good buy. 

 

I hope that I've been helpful. 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/17/2005 at 21:12
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That optics professional moniker refers strictly to how much I've posted and has nothing to do with expertise of any sort.

 

I own IOR 7x40 binos which I like very much, and recently I was exposed to Fijinon porros which I was very impressed with.  I have also seen IOR 8x30, but rather briefly.  I have had more time with Nikon Superior E and they are better (optically) than anything that I've eever seen in this format (~8x30).  They are also rather pricey and not waterproof.

 

I thought that IOR and Fujinon would be direct competitors based on my brief experience with them, but I have not had a chance to look at them side by side, so I thought that you might.  I am attracted by an available range finding reticle of the IOR (and the fact that it is ~$90 cheaper), but those Fujinons were impressive as well.

 

I have more or less been monitoring Ebay and SWFA's sample list to see what I can get a good deal on.  I am leaning toward an IOR, since I like my 7x40 very much, but it is tough call.

 

Ilya

 

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/18/2005 at 00:23
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Ilya,

 

Your comments reveal your keen eye.  I also have the 7x40 IOR, and my 8x30 IOR has the reticle.  I have the 10x42 Nikon SE, and I can easily believe that the 8x32 SE is oustanding.  I agree with your impressions of those binoculars.  The SE's, in my opinion, have a drawback that is often discussed in forums:  eye-position-sensitive blackouts.  It causes considerable discomfort.  Because the EII's are said to not have this problem, like the earlier 8x30E's (due to short eye relief, I guess), I would recommend them. 

 

I suspect that you are aware of Dr. Holger Merlitz's website, which contains excellent binocular reviews.  If you're not, I strongly recommend it.  (Search for his name.) I find Dr. Merlitz' observations very accurate (e.g., flare susceptibility in the 7x40 IOR).

 

Back to the main thread:  I recommend the Nikon 8x30EII, if waterproofing is not critical.  They're also center-focusing, which I think is a plus.

 

I'd like to hear others' recommendations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/18/2005 at 00:54
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I have not seen his website before, but it looks pretty interesting.  I have some experience with a lot of glass that he reviewed (all of the Russina binos, for example and some others) and I am not sure that I always agree with him.  However, I should spend a little more time with his reviews.  It would be intersting to repeat his "star test".  Also, I have a newer version of IOR 7x40 than what he tested and it sounds like it is a little different.

As for the Nikon 8x30 porros. Great glass, certainly, but expensive and not waterproof.  Besides, I do not mind individual eye focusing at all.

Ilya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/18/2005 at 10:06
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SteveSF,

Thanks for the heads up on the Merlitz pages. Very interesting reading for a optics
fan/buff. How did I miss it?

Sei Wach.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/18/2005 at 12:04
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Ilya, Sei Wach, and others,

 

You are all very welcome.  Glad to be of service.

 

Ilya, I was not aware of a newer version of the 7x40 IOR.  I just visited the IOR website, but the image of that binocular looks the same as mine.  In any case, I agree with you that it's a fine-performing binocular.  It's bulky and heavy, though, and I suppose it's modeled after the East German Zeiss NVA that is now very common in the surplus market.  I think it performs better than the NVA; the NVA's I've seen tend to be somewhat murky in one of the barrels (the side with reticle/illuminator).  I also have seen the Russian Baigish 10x42 BPO, and it performs well, but its bluish image tint and long, bulky body could use improvement.  I don't mean to start off a discussion of those here, though.

 

Let's hear more of your 8x recommendations!

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/18/2005 at 12:34
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IOR has been changing their products somewhat to target the western market.  They do not always announce it though.  I have seen several of their binoculars, for example, where an older model had a yellowish tint, but a current one has a very slight yellow tint, if any.  Externally, they looked the same.  I am a little confused with their model designations as I've seen them called (in IOR paperwork) B/DF, B/GA and 2B/GA depending on when they were produced.  On top of that, the paper they put in the box does not always match the binocular since they are usually a bit slow to update their papers.

 

From this guys reviews I got an impression that a Fujinon 8x30 is a fair bit better optically than the IOR 8x30 and nearly equal to Nikon SUperior E.  That's something to consider.

 

Ilya

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/18/2005 at 12:35
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Also, interestingly, IOR 8x30 is no longer listed on Valdada website.
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