New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - Advice on Katmai
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

Check GunBroker.com for SWFA's No Reserve and No Minimum bid firearm auctions.

Advice on Katmai

 Post Reply Post Reply   Topic Search Topic Search  Topic Options Topic Options
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/20/2004 at 21:51
GrimJim View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper
Avatar

Joined: July/03/2004
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 2
The Leupold Wind River Katmai 6X30s come close to what I seek for hunting Whitetail deer in the deep woods in Pennsylvania.  I have not read any reviews.  What is the consensus on these binoculars, please?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/21/2004 at 00:23
ranburr View Drop Down
Optics Master
Optics Master


Joined: May/16/2004
Status: Offline
Points: 1082

I don't know a lot about them, but I believe they are a low cost line that has no phase correction.  I think it was Koshkin who had reseached them pretty well and was less than impressed.  You may want to private mail him.  There are some 6x30 Steiners on the Sample List that are in the same general price range.  I assume the Steiners are better optically and they will at least be tougher if nothing else.

ranburr



Edited by ranburr
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/24/2004 at 19:05
koshkin View Drop Down
MODERATOR
MODERATOR
Avatar
Dark Lord of Optics

Joined: June/15/2004
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 10970
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/27/2004 at 10:03
gremlin View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
Optics Apprentice
Avatar

Joined: February/16/2004
Location: left of center
Status: Offline
Points: 115

I'm not sure why folks are down on the Katmai line.  I've used the 6x32's and they are great little binoculars. 

 

They feature the L coating on their prisms, so phase correction isn't a problem, they've got over 16mm of eye relief so eye glass wear isn't a problem, 423 ft field of view at 1000 yards (8.1 degrees) makes them great for outdoor use in close cover like timbers or panning across a lake for activity, they close focus down to 4.9 feet so even back yard birders can get tight and close to the feeder, they're 100% waterproof (unlike the Bushnell Xtrawides) so an unanticipated climactic change doesn't ruin a good afternoon in the woods or a ball game up high in deck 3, fully multi-coated lenses throughout all elements provide a bright picture, the twist up eye cups stay where they're put which makes for a comfortable viewing experience, they're rubber armored in case you get a little rough and tumble with them, and they only weigh 18 ounces so you barely notice them around your neck or in your pocket until you need them.

 

I guess I don't have a very good idea of what to expect from a pair of binoculars that can be bought for less than $250.

 

Regarding the whole Bk-7 prism thing, for the money and the features on this binocular, I'm not put off by it.  The images I see are as clear and as bright as I need them to be when I use this binocular.

 

The best Porro-prism binoculars, those that use the costly high-density/high-transmission BaK4 (barium crown glass) prisms, have circular exit pupils. The less-expensive Porro-prism binoculars use the inexpensive BK7 (borosillicate) glass in their prisms. This glass produces gray areas cutting across the edges of the exit pupils, making them look like square pegs in round holes. In addition, exit pupils may not be vignetted by cheap prisms, but may also have totally cutoff edges due to poor design.

 

However, the Katmai's are roof prism binoculars. Because roof prisms use a different light path than Porro prisms, they do not vignette the image the way Porro prisms do, no matter what type of glass is used. Accordingly, they do not need high-density BaK4 prisms to perform properly. Examining the exit pupils of roof-prism binoculars for the prism cutoff will therefore not reveal the presence (or absense) of the BaK4 glass. The above information are direct quotations from a pamphlet, "How to Pick the Right Birding Binocular & Spotting Scope", available free in the late 1990s from: Christophers, Ltd., 2401 Tee Circle, Suite 105/106, Norman, OK 73069, TEL: (405) 364-4898 for advise and technical help.

 

Whether or not that's the gawds-honest-truth, I don't know.  What I do know is that the 6x32 Katmai's are great for stadium type sporting events, timber hunting, panning across distances for activity prior to dialing in my spotting scope for shore birds, and carrying on long walks.  They work terrific at my boy's freshman football games because the field of view is broad and they don't take you in so close that you lose the view of the entire offensive line.  In the event of a sudden downpour, I don't get fogged out.  They're bright enough with the fully multi coated 32mm lenses that I can easily use them from the balcony at my daughter's dance recitals in low light and not feel conspicuos by their size.

 

I guess I'd classify them as Real Life binoculars.

 

I think Leupold hit a home run.



Edited by gremlin
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/27/2004 at 10:17
koshkin View Drop Down
MODERATOR
MODERATOR
Avatar
Dark Lord of Optics

Joined: June/15/2004
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 10970
As long as they work for your eyes that's all that matters.

I've never looked at 6x32 Katmai, but I've looked at an 8x32 and was not impressed.

Are you sure that L-coating provides phase correction?  I was under an impression that Leupold came up with L-coating because it sounds like P-coating.  Just a way to charge more money without applying  expensive P-coating to the prisms.

Maybe I am wrong though.


Edited by koshkin
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/28/2004 at 20:06
gremlin View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
Optics Apprentice
Avatar

Joined: February/16/2004
Location: left of center
Status: Offline
Points: 115
It's not just that the Katmai's "work for [my] eyes."  That sounds pretty condescending...  I'd like to think we're above that here.

The original inquiry was regarding the hunting of Whitetail deer in the deep woods.  That's close-cover, timber-type use of a binocular that is susceptible to foul weather situations.

I tried to answer the original question from practical experience actually using the pair of binoculars in question.

I believe that I did so.

In addition, I added my personal observations as to the all around capabilities of the Katmai's.

Are they the equal of a pair of binoculars that cost three or four times as much?  Heck no.

Are they functional binoculars that will let you spot and take a White Tail in close cover, low light conditions regardless of any kind of weather?  Absolutely and they'll also do a good deal more than that.

Your dismissal of a perfectly good binocular because it doesn't possess some of the necessary characteristics that "your eye" requires in order to reconcile some greater quality than was originally requested is perhaps lacking in objectivity.

Having searched Google and AltaVista for documentation that L-Coat fails to meet some recognized standard of phase correction and having been unable to find any reference to it's substandard capabilities, I also question your objectivity in that area as well.

My answer stands for what it is--a reasonable answer to a legitimate request based upon personal experience.

It would appear that yours represents something less than that and addresses some personal bias or agenda of your own.

The Katmai's are a great 'value' binocular that will more than meet 99% of most users casual binocular needs and represent an excellent choice for someone trying to find a great White Tail  woods binocular in the 6x variety.

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: August/28/2004 at 20:39
ranburr View Drop Down
Optics Master
Optics Master


Joined: May/16/2004
Status: Offline
Points: 1082

I did not think that Koshkins statements were condescending in the least.  Optics are a thing that can vary from person to person depending on your particular visual acuity.  As far as bias goes, I think we are all biased towards what we have found works for us.  I know that I am biased, but my bias is based on my own experiences.  If I am not mistaken, I believe Koshkin has a masters degree in optical engineering or something along those lines.  At any rate I know I listen up when he has something to say.  Personally, I have not been impressed with the various Wind River lines that I have seen.  Not that they are all that bad, but I can always find better quality in the same price range.  But then again, I am admittedly biased.  All I know is what works for my eyes.

 

ranburr

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/28/2004 at 21:00
koshkin View Drop Down
MODERATOR
MODERATOR
Avatar
Dark Lord of Optics

Joined: June/15/2004
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 10970
All right, to clear a couple of things up: I did not mean to sound consenscending.  When I said "work for your eyes" I meant just that, nothing else.  Everybody's eyes are different.  Any optical instrument you buy has to be compatible with your eyes.  The fact that they work well for you does not mean that they work well for me, and vice versa.  The binoculars that work best for my eyes are porros in the same price range as the Katmai.  So please do not put intent into my words that was not there.

Now, Leupold/Wind River website does not describe what L-coat is.  I do not believe that L-Coating provides any phase correction.  For their Pinnacle and Olympic series Leupold states that they apply phase correction coating.  For L-coat (the name that they trademarked by the way) all they say is that it helps with bright and clear images, nothing about phase correction.  BK7 glass is inferior to BaK4 in more ways than just changing exit pupil shape: scratch/dig, reflective properties, etc.  There is a reason why it is cheaper and why high end optics use BaK4.

I do not have a personal bias in the issue.  I was PMed and asked to give my opinon.  Which I did.  I did not dismiss the Katmai; I did some research and decided that they do not work well for my eyes and that I can find better glass for the money.  In the same price range you can buy Burris Signatue, Bushnell Legend, and a few other binoculars that, in my opinion, are better than the Katmai.  I do not currently own Katmai, Signature or Legend binocular, but I've researched and spent a little time with all three.  Burris Signature looked the best to me, then Bushnell Legend, and then Katmai.  All were 8x32 models.  In that size and price range, I also heard good things about Pentax DCF XP 8x33, but I have not looked at them yet.

If you are looking for a 6x32 glass, your choices are more limited than with a more common 8x magnification.  In a 6x range, birders recommend Eagle Optics 6x32 Ranger Platinum (~$350), but I have no personal experience with them.

If  anything, you seem to be exhibiting some bias here, since you own Katmai's and you do not present any comparison between Katmai and other comparable binoculars.  If you feel you want to post another personal attack at me, feel free to use Private Messenger feature in this forum.  I see no reason why your problem with me and my opinion should contaminate this thread. 

If other users of the forum believe that I am biased and condescending I'll be more than happy to apologize.

Ranburr? You are following this thread.  Am I out of line here?

Respectfully,

Ilya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/28/2004 at 21:15
ranburr View Drop Down
Optics Master
Optics Master


Joined: May/16/2004
Status: Offline
Points: 1082

Not in the least.

 

ranburr

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/28/2004 at 22:06
GrimJim View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper
Avatar

Joined: July/03/2004
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 2
I learned a lot from this, but I am sort of sorry I asked.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/28/2004 at 22:36
koshkin View Drop Down
MODERATOR
MODERATOR
Avatar
Dark Lord of Optics

Joined: June/15/2004
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 10970
Thanks, ranburr.  I appreciate your support.  I have a bachelors in Applied Physics from Caltech.  Most of my work has been done with optical waveguides, fiber communications, and microptics (birefringent crystals, thin films, etc).  Right now I work for Raytheon with optical detections systems (astronomy, missile launch detection, in-flight tracking and interception ,etc).  Truth be told, I have pretty strong optical background, but not enough real life experience with sporting optics.  That's why I am very careful not to make any unfounded statements.  I try my best to combine technical specifications with real life performance.  Whereas technical specifications are quite precise, real life performance is very subjective.  Hence, I believe, it is only a good product when it works well for your eyes.

GrimJim, no worries.  This is generally a very polite and civilized forum.  Gremlin and I, in most likelyhood, just did not understand each other well enough.  It happens occasionally, it's no big deal.  Don't be sorry about asking questioins.  Ths forum has been a learning tool for all of us.  How can we learn if we don't ask questions?

Ilya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/29/2004 at 09:45
gremlin View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
Optics Apprentice
Avatar

Joined: February/16/2004
Location: left of center
Status: Offline
Points: 115

So... for the record, the Katmai is a 6 power waterproof binocular with coated prisms that offers both a broad field of view and a generous eye relief that at least one user on this forum finds to be very practical for not just the purpose of the original inquiry but also in other situations in which a larger or less protected binocular would prove impractical.

 

That seems to answer the original question.

 

Amongst those with no practical usage of the binocular in question, there is a concensus opinion that it is insufficient to meet the stated purpose based upon interpretations of the specifications.

 

It works for my eyes.  It doesn't work for theirs.

 

I have no degree in an optically related field.  I have only the twenty-plus years of getting wet and muddy chasing white tails, double crested cormorants, and various varmints around rough, open, and timbered terrain.  I've used every kind of optic that I could lay my hands upon. 

 

You could classify me as an "opti-holic" with dozens of different binoculars and spotting and rifle scopes.  I come from the school-of-hard-knocks department of optical classification.  If I could, I'd stock my collection with Leicas, Zeiss, and Steiners.  Birds look better through them.  Deer are easier to find with them.  There's a reason they cost more.

 

I've also been blessed throughout my life with a shortage of funds to spend on top-end glass--I've always had to scrape for the top value items for the money.  I feel this experience allows me to address the inquiries based simply upon their original question from the perspective of somebody who always feels cheated when the advice of others always begins with a version of spending more money--sometimes the cash 'just ain't there'...  I try to answer with a suggestion in the price range identical to both the original inquiry and the spirit of the forum.

 

I promise to continue to provide a real life response to the questions asked here.

 

I also promise not to look for offense where none is intended.

 

All I ask of you guys is not to dismiss my opinion when it pops up around here just because I don't tell someone to automatically spend more money.  I've recommended the Eagle Optics Rangers on other posts on this forum.  I own a pair--although not the six powers.  I also own the Katmai's. 

 

The Katmai's will do well for GrimJim.

 

I apologize for bristling at an unintended slight.  I've been posting here for quite a while although not with the frequency of either of you two.  Look for me around here... I will continue to offer my type of observations and look forward to reading your respective reviews as well.

 

I'm smart enough to know how much I don't know.  I come here in order to read posts by people like yourselves that are smarter than me in certain aspects of the optical spectrum.  While I'm here I try and reply to those posts that I feel I can offer some real life insight to.

 

I'm lookin' forward to reading your future posts on other questions, but for my part, I'm done with this topic and moving on to another one.

 

Thanks for your consideration...

 

Take the long way home.

 Post Reply Post Reply
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Similar Threads: "Advice on Katmai"
Subject Author Forum Replies Last Post
Leupold Katmai binos 8x32 vmaxpro Binoculars 1
leupold katmai 6x32 Robster80 Binoculars 5
Leupold Katmai Quality Rusty Binoculars 6 8/12/2005 7:57:41 AM
Leupold Wind River Katmai 10x32 and 8x Tero Binoculars 10 12/22/2006 7:41:42 PM
Leupold 6X32 Katmai mwyates Binoculars 5 3/12/2006 8:31:32 AM
Leupold Katmai mini14gb Binoculars 8
Leupold Katmai question watchmaker Binoculars 5 9/1/2007 10:32:57 PM
First time buyer advice Commander72 Spotting Scopes 9
Need Some Advice TCB Rifle Scopes 4
Need some advice Georgeh1ll Rifle Scopes 3


This page was generated in 0.328 seconds.