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8X42 choice

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/26/2007 at 11:33
thinkingman View Drop Down
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I've searched and read and read and searched.

I am going to ask those with experience....Which 8X42 for hunting.

I think I've narrowed it to Kahles, Vortex, or Minox HG.

All are available from the SHOT show and all seem like good pieces.

Concerns are...Kahles seems heavy.

Minox looks too pretty to be rugged.

Vortex is an unknown, at least to me and will there be a market or warranty support down the road?

What would you do?

Thanks

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/26/2007 at 12:16
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I have no experience with the Vortex models but I have been impressed with both the Kahles and the Minox models that I have had the privelege to look through. I do not really think you can go wrong with either bin in terms of quality or customer service. There really isn't a wrong decision in this case.

 

Personally, I would like to give the Minoxs a go. I had a pair of their 7x42 BD BRs and was quite impressed with their optics, build quality and design. My only two "gripes" were a stiff focus wheel in cold weather and a particularly narrow field of view. The HG models are a step up from the BD BRs so I would expect better characteristics in both areas.

 

...and since we are talking about 8x42s in this price range I have to ask if you have considering the Meopta Meostar 8x42s. Their specs are more than comparable to the models you listed. Weight might be the only issue working against them. I do not know if they are on the Shot-show list though.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/26/2007 at 12:47
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Vortex is in an interesting little conundrum.

 

They are preported to have optics and build quality that compares favorably with the "best of the best" but, only a very few know who they are and noone knows (or can even give a good, educated guess as to) how long they are going to be around.  In other words, the lack the benefits of even basic name-recognition.

 

I've had individuals in the optics retail business tell me that Vortex is THE force to be reckoned with in optics today (just as their slogan states) and that they are only going to get bigger and better.  These retailers may be absolutely correct but of course, these same people have a vested interest in convincing consumers to buy their onhand stock of these optics so...

 

I think that pricing is where Vortex runs into their biggest challenge.  The prices for their top offerings are certainly favorable as compared to Swarovski, Leica, Zeiss, etc., which is good.  However, they are still in the $800 - $1000 range and for that kind of money, I'm betting most people are going to be more comfortable buying from established, well-known companies like Leupold, Bushnell, Nikon, Minox, Kahles, Pentax, etc. because the consumer will feel more confident that these entities will "undoubtedly" be around for the long haul.  Vortex just feels like a bit of a gamble. In retail sales, offering a good value is only part of the issue.  The biggest part is convincing the consumer that you offer the value they seek. Vortex may indeed be offering the best optics the world has ever seen but, that alone won't gaurantee their continued longevity.

 

Another issue is that Vortex doesn't have much of a presence in the various sporting-goods retail stores so; it can be really hard for anyone to try one out without buying sight-unseen.  I have yet to ever see a Vortex optic in any store anywhere. They also have not been real zealous about getting their products into the hands of the various magazine writers' hands for "testing and evaluation." Many online retailers offer money-back guarantees if you aren't satisfied with your purchase but, that still involves some hassle and still feels like a bit of a gamble.

 

I've been considering buying one of the Vortex Spotting Scopes but, I just can't seem to get over these issues enough to "take the plunge" so to speak.  I have the feeling that I'm not alone in this.

 

 

So, I guess the question you have to ask yourself is, "are ya feelin' lucky?"

 

 



Edited by lucznik
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/26/2007 at 12:59
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Vortex has many grades and prices of 8x42. I would not buy one of those without trying it first. The warranty on them is excellent, but who knows how long the company is going to be around.

 

Kahles and Minox have narrow fields of view. Meopta has a wide field of view. I would get the Meopta.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/26/2007 at 14:15
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Vortex is selling their products through the Wild Birds Unlimited chain of stores, which is obviously geared towards the Bird Watching market.

They also advertise in Bird Watcher's Digest, which comes out bi-monthly.

Their top-of-the-line optics are produced in Japan.



Edited by Bird Watcher
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/26/2007 at 14:36
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I saw a birder with a Stokes DLS 8x42 the other day.  That is very likely to be my next binocular purchase. 

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/26/2007 at 15:10
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Stokes DLS 8x42

www.vortexoptics.com/binoculars/view/74


Vortex $100 mail-in rebate good until 6-30-07.

Edited by Bird Watcher
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/26/2007 at 16:13
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Hi Guys,

 

 I'd like to respond to Luczniks post. I intend this only to help you guys understand who we are. My name is Paul Neess, I've worked for Dan Hamilton and Vortex Optics for over ten years. I also have long experience as a professional hunting guide in Idaho, and help with sales and as a technical product consultant for hunting.

I would like to address a few of the concerns mentioned, as they are certainly valid points.

 

 First of all, a little company history is in order. Vortex Optics is owned by Dan Hamilton, a man with long experience in the optics business. Dan is also the founder and owner of competitor, a very highly regarded multi-line optics catalog/internet retailer in existence for over 20 years and still going strong. Although owned by the same person, Vortex is a very separate organization and is an optics manufacturer, not a retailer. However, Vortex borrows much experience and knowledge from those many years in the optics biz. Many of us here, such as myself, have experience tracing back to the early days with Eagle. I also feel that it's safe to say the Vortex brand is the future of the organization. There is incredible dedication and experience at work here, and I believe the Vortex name will be VERY well known in the near future. I don't blame anyone for having concerns about a new companies longevity, but in reality Vortex has much more experience than people realize.

 

 Now, Vortex is a new name and we do have plenty of hurdles to overcome. Our dealer network is very rapidly expanding (check the dealer locater on the website) and issues of not being able to see our products will soon be a thing of the past. We do have many products out for evaluations with gun writers, and some have already been very favorably reviewed by experts such as John Barsness and Ron Spomer. Other positive reviews will surface very soon. Vortex Optics are intended primarily for hunting (except the Stokes sub-line), and the old misconceptions about Eagle and birding will take time to overcome. We realize all this, and are committed for the long term.

 

 Lucznick touched on pricing, and I feel that is one of our top strengths. Our products range in price from $50 to over $800, and almost always represent some of the very best values in their price ranges. There isn't a better binocular on the market in the $700 range than our Razor. $200 ? Try to beat our Diamondback series.

 

 Lastly, let me quickly touch on warranty and service. It's simple - we do it better than everyone. This is experience that came from Eagle; if you don't believe it, search out comments from the birders. You can expect exactly the same level of performance from Vortex the manufacturer.

 

 I hope this may help understand Vortex, and I hope everyone can "feel lucky" about us !

 

Sincerely,

Paul Neess

Vortex Optics



Edited by PaulN
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/26/2007 at 16:58
koshkin View Drop Down
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It is great to have you on this forum, Paul!  IMO, it always speaks wellof the manufacturer to be willing to come onto an open forum and represent their products.

Question for you:  as far as optical quality goes, is there a difference between Vortex Razor and Stokes DLS?  Which one is clearer/resolves better?

Thank You
ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/26/2007 at 18:31
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I would like to offer a hardy "Thank You" as well.  I agree with Koshkin that it is commendable for you to come on the board and address various concerns directly. 

 

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/27/2007 at 11:06
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Paul,
Just want you to know I have the Razor 8X42 and I am VERY pleased with it!  I totally agree it is hard to beat for the price... or for that matter 1.5 times the price!  I wish you and your company great success.  Although I haven't seen any of your other products, I believe you have a wonderful bino with the Razor!  I had the same concerns before purchase, but I was impressed with your company's story in a recent issue of Bowhunting magazine and Tim was very helpful and very patient with my many questions before purchase!  I believe as long as you keep customer service and quality at the forefront and get into more retail outlets (I can only hope maybe SWFA), people will quickly begin to associate the name Vortex with quality!


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/27/2007 at 13:53
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Guys,

 

Thanks much for the positive comments ! Rest assured, we will do our absolute best to continue offering quality products and great service at prices the average guy can afford. We also welcome the feedback and observations from knowledgable users such as yourselves. We also would certainly welcome the opportunity to work with SWFA, perhaps after we've been around awhile and earned their trust.

 

On your question Koshkin - I'd be very hard pressed to give either the Razor or the DLS the nod for optical superiority. Both are terrific, high quality binos made in Japan. Other than the obvious difference in chassis design, to me the deciding factor is the rate of focus. The DLS was designed with birders in mind, and has a very quick focus. As a hunter, I prefer the slightly slower focus found in the Razor. It allows me to feel that I have found the absolute perfect point of focus so necessary for long distance glassing.  

 

I enjoy reading this board and hope to continue offering product details to you guys !

 

Sincerely,

 

Paul Neess

Vortex Optics      

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/27/2007 at 13:57
koshkin View Drop Down
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Thanks, Paul.  I was very impressed with the optical quality of Stokes DLS that I saw, but the field of view of 8x42 Razor had me intrigued.  I'll need to find a place where I can hold both to check out the ergonomics.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/27/2007 at 14:15
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ILya,

 

 Yes, in the 8x42 size the Razor has a distinct advantage in FOV. It's quite mpressive to look through. Ergos of course will be your personal preference. If you've got bigger hands, you'll probably prefer the Razor.

 

 PM me or call me at Vortex if you have any problem locating these, and I'll assist you in getting ahold of models for comparison. Have a great weekend; I'll check this thread next week !

 

Paul  

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/29/2007 at 07:22
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It always impresses me as well when representatives from the various optics' manufacturers step forth for their product and post on the various internet optics messageboards. My hat is off to you Paul.

 

I have to admit that the 8x42 Razor has me a bit interested as well. The field of view being the key spark to that interest. My current bin of choice is a Meopta Meostar 8x42. Its field of view is identical to that of the Razor. The huge field of view, both apparent and true, coupled with the large area free of distortion is what I find most appealing about this binocular. If the Razor has that same combination then I think you will sell quite a few of them. I am a bit tempted to order one to see just how good it is. Did you work out the issue with the focusing mechanism?

 

A potential customer,

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/29/2007 at 07:44
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Call me impulsive. I have a pair of the Razors on order and look forward to putting them up against my Meoptas. I will let you guys know shortly.

 

...and just so that it doesn't appear as if I am too biased, I did sell my favorite Nikon Venturer LXs after picking up the Meoptas...as well as two pairs of Leica Trinovids.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/29/2007 at 09:19
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Frank,

I did the same thing.  I ordered on blind faith based on a couple good online reviews, and the very helpful input I got from Vortex via email prior to purchase.  In addition, I was inspired by the company founders' story where they took significant risk to do what they enjoy, knowing they had a difficult battle competing with serious big name competition.  I feel good about supporting companies that provide an honest value, great quality, and good service and who also support various hunting organizations.  I have not regretted my impulse purchase!

 

I haven't seen the Meopta bino outside of stores, but they did look very good compared to others inside stores.  I too like the widest usable FOV I can get, which the Meoptas offer, and which is one of the main reasons for my purchase of the Razor 8X42.



Edited by RifleDude
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/29/2007 at 10:47
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Frank,

 

 Thanks for giving the Razor a shot ! The Meostars are also a very nice bino at a reasonable price, but I think you'll find the Razors to be a bit nicer and at a lower price. The issue with a slightly stiff focus was resolved long ago, and I hope you'll find the "feel" to be just right.

 

Paul @ Vortex 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/29/2007 at 10:51
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Paul,

 

Thanks for the information.  I can't emphasize enough how important warranty service is to me in optics.  I have had a couple of scopes made by well regarded manufacturers where they ignored major problems in their scopes, indicating that the scopes were within spec's. One could not be focused at 7X to resolve a standard 100 yard sight-in target. I got multiple lines on the target.  Another one had so much flare that it was unusable if you looked in the general direction of the sun on a sunny day in the woods. Again, within specs.  On this one I compared it side by side with several scopes including cheap bushnells, tascos and Leupold's.  It was amazing.  Everything was clear through all those scopes and you couldn't see a thing except flare in the problem scope.

 

That's why warranty means nothing to me unless the company has a reputation for actually standing behind their optics like yours does- as well as some others like Leupold and Swarovski. I am rooting for your Company!

 

Also, I would like to put a plug in for a quality roof prism compact offering in 6X or 7X with a 26 to 28mm objective. As far as I am concerned, the only excuse for a roof prism is that it enables manufacture of a compact binocular.  The present standard 8X21 and 10X25 compacts are impractical for hunting, and, in my view probably for birding as well.   The 6X30 models aren't really compact enough to be conveniently carried in a pocket.  Anyway my vote goes for something like a 6X26 high quality roof prism with a 450' @1000 yard field of view.

 

My B&L Discoverer porro's are all I will ever need or want in a standard sized binocular, so my only need is for a really good compact.  Maybe there are others in like circumstances.

 

Don

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/29/2007 at 11:21
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dclarck, Fujinon has 7x22 and 7x28 binoculars. I've heard that they are very good. 

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/29/2007 at 14:09
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Hijack alert!

Any other insights re 8X42's for hunting?

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/29/2007 at 14:41
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It is alot easier to travel the information highway when you know what "direction" you are going in.

Why don't you be more "specific" about what it is that you are wanting to know.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/29/2007 at 15:25
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Originally posted by thinkingman thinkingman wrote:

I've searched and read and read and searched.

I am going to ask those with experience....Which 8X42 for hunting.

I think I've narrowed it to Kahles, Vortex, or Minox HG.

All are available from the SHOT show and all seem like good pieces.

Concerns are...Kahles seems heavy.

Minox looks too pretty to be rugged.

Vortex is an unknown, at least to me and will there be a market or warranty support down the road?

What would you do?

Thanks

This was the original post and there may be others with insights or opinions.

Thanks for additional info.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/29/2007 at 15:58
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You sound like a thinkingman to me.

I am sure that you have already discovered that there is no shortage of advice. Sometimes we can think ourselves into a brain cramp.

If you feel that the Kahles are too heavy, that is a good gut feeling to pay attention to, as they won't get any lighter carrying them around for hours on end.

I have never heard anything about the Minox being too fragile, or too delicate, just the opposite. Others have made the statement that they are built like a "tank".

If you are "worried" that the Vortex are too new on the market, why don't you pass on them, and watch and see how they do in the coming months.

There is "no shortage" of binocular companies to choose from. Rather than have someone talk you into purchasing a product based on what they like, or, what they think is a sound investment, I would suggest that you go to the SHOOT Show and invest in the product that appeals to "you" the most.

The three brand names that you have already mentioned all have had good reviews from those that own them. The Minox, and the Vortex top-of-the-line binoculars, are all made in Japan, and are very high quality.

If you want us to cast our votes, I would vote for the Minox.
For those who are weight conscious, Minox offers optics that are compact in size.

p.s. I prefer a company that also offers high-quality porro prism binoculars in their product line.






Edited by Bird Watcher
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/29/2007 at 15:59
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To answer your original ?s:

 

I have both the Kahles and Vortex Razor, but I have the 10X42 version of the Kahles.  I haven't seen the Minox HG outside of a store, but I got the overall impression it has superb optics.  I have heard elsewhere it and the Razor are very close to each other optically, but can't confirm that.

 

The Kahles is lighter than the Vortex.  I think the Vortex has better optics than the Kahles, in fact noticeably better -- in my opinion.  Not to say the Kahles isn't good -- it is -- I just think the Razor is brighter, sharper across the field, more color neutral, and has much less chromatic aberration.  Between those two, I think the Razor is a better binocular and a better value overall, if you like the ergonomics of an open hinge design, but I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the Kahles either. 

 

The Vortex 8X42 has wider FOV than any of the 3 you mentioned by a considerable margin.

 

The Kahles and Minox have better name recognition, so if you think you might ever sell the bino later, they may have better resale value, depending on how well the Vortex name gains acceptance down the road.

 

I would look at and handle all 3 in a store and see which one you like best.  The Kahles and Minox can be found in many retail outlets carrying fine optics; the Vortex isn't found in too many stores at present, but that may soon change.  Some distributors will let you try it and send it back if you aren't satisfied with it.

 

Of those 3, I'd personally go with the Razor 8X42 even though I haven't used the Minox outside of a store.  I just place a lot of value on wide FOV.  But, if the Minox felt better in my hands and had other qualities I liked better than the other 2, I wouldn't hesitate to buy it due to its excellent reputation. 

 

Hope this helps.

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