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All Purpose Binos (mostly hunting) ~$200US

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/04/2012 at 21:01
jrmy_1 View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
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I'm looking for an all purpose binocular (will be used mostly for hunting - bow and rifle, primarily MidWest but also West and South on occassion).  Bowhunting will mostly be glassing less than 200yds.  Rifle hunting will be glassing at a max. of around 400-500yds primarily with the potential for excursions here and there but I won't focus on those chances.
Looking to spend around $200 range.  I am looking for good low light/clarity first, water proof and rugged second, FOV 3rd.  I'm not as worried about size or weight as I'm usually using a quad and will include a bino harness.  Was primarily looking at a 10x50 for the magnification and minimum 5mm exit pupil, but some don't seem to have this option, so I can probably go to the 4.2mm exit pupil if clarity makes up for exit pupil.
Here's what I was considering.  Looking for recommendations and input.  I was originally leaning toward the Vortex but I'm now leaning more toward the Zen HD due to other posts and recommendations I've read.  Please add any I may have missed or that may be considered better than those below in the price range.  Thanks!
J
 
ZR HD 10x42
 
Vortex Diamondback 10x50
 
Alpen Apex XP 697 10x50
 
Alpen 388 Shasta Ridge 10x50
 
Minox BV either 10x42 or 8x56
 
Any others to consider????
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/04/2012 at 21:45
RotoReuter_DM View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
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The Diamondbacks are very good. Especially for $219. I can't speak for the others but personally like the Vortex.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/05/2012 at 08:42
jrmy_1 View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
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I'm really torn up between the vortex diamondbacks and the zrs hd.  I also threw the minox in there due to reviews and a friend of mine has some Alpens that he said he paid around $170 for them and a guy with swaros said the alpens seemed clearer and brighter than his glass.
 
IDK, still up in the air.  Seems like the Zens get pretty good reviews for the price......
 
Any other input for best ~$200 binos for hunting/low light/rugged conditions?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/05/2012 at 15:48
motts View Drop Down
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Probably a bit over $200, but you could also check out the Nikon Monarch 3 and Bushnell Legend Ultra HD.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/05/2012 at 19:25
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I've got some like new ZRS HD 8x42 I'd sell for a good price. PM me if you're interested.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/05/2012 at 20:51
FrankD View Drop Down
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Sightron Blue Sky SII should also be on your list in my opinion. Less expensive than the others, just as durable and very good optical performance.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/06/2012 at 09:14
motts View Drop Down
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I haven't tried those particular Sightron binoculars, but I've had a couple of their rifle scopes and have seen other models of their binos. I've always been impressed with them for offering great optics at their respective price points.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/06/2012 at 09:46
jrmy_1 View Drop Down
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I don't have much experience with the Sightron, but I heard that a reviewer compare the Sightron to the Vortex PST and said the Vortex was significantly better.  Kinda put me off on Sightron compared to Vortex....
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/06/2012 at 11:22
Klamath View Drop Down
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Originally posted by jrmy_1 jrmy_1 wrote:

I don't have much experience with the Sightron, but I heard that a reviewer compare the Sightron to the Vortex PST and said the Vortex was significantly better.  Kinda put me off on Sightron compared to Vortex....
No matter how you cut it, comparison of products regarding companies rifle scopes of different price and quality levels, to binoculars, does not even begin to get to the closeness of apples vs oranges.
Wink
 
The Sightron Blue Sky 8x32 are a lot closer to the Vortex Viper optically than any other Vortex product.  The Theron Wapiti LT 8x32 and the Sightron are so close optically it may not be possible to seperate them.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/06/2012 at 15:13
Skylar McMahon View Drop Down
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Normally I'm a hardcore Vortex guy, especially with thier binoculars, but I was thoroghly impressed by Zen Ray. Great binocs for the money.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/07/2012 at 17:09
jrmy_1 View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
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Thanks for all the input guys.  I think I'm going to give the Zen Rays a try!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/07/2012 at 17:46
Alan Robertson View Drop Down
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I've been very happy with these Pentax in 8x40.
Koshkin, et al, have good things to say about them, also.

I must confess, I'd originally planned on some Zen Ray's but these came my way at a significantly low price and I've seen no reason to look further.

http://swfa.com/Pentax-PCF-WP-II-Binoculars-C3442.aspx
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