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Best 10x binocs in ~$800 range for hunting?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/09/2011 at 15:31
green-grizzly View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
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I am looking for a new pair of binoculars for hunting.  I'd like to get 10x and spend less than $1,000.  Brightness and resolution are key.
 
I had a pair of 8x Pentax DCF WPs and loved them.  Then I ruined them.Bucky  I got a pair of 8x Fujinon ED binocs as a replacement when they were on clearance.  They are pretty good, but heavy and they have some pretty bad ergonomic issues.  And they just do not seem to have quite enough resolution for examining antlers at a distance.  The Fujinons are just not cutting it.
 
Right now I am leaning towards the Pentax 10x43 DCF EDs, mostly because I liked my prior Pentaxes.  I think other good binocs in that price range are the Zeiss Conquest ABKs and Meopta Meostars.
 
Should I go with the Pentaxes, or are one of these other two brands clearly better?  Is there some other brand I should be looking at?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/09/2011 at 15:42
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Of your choices, I really like the Meopta Meostars.  They are an excellent binocular overall.  They have a nice, wide, relaxed, and sharp image.  They have a slightly warm color bias and excellent depth of field.  the Meostars have a 15 foot wider field of view than the Pentax.  Their one flaw is they show some Chromatic Aberration, but it is not too bothersome.
 
You will likely see a lot of recommendations for Zen Ray and other "Chinese ED" binoculars, and for good reason.  They are outstanding values and have excellent optical performance.  I own the Zen Ray 10X43 ED2m and it is a very good binocular.  They also have very good build quality for their price segment. 
 
However, the build quality of the Meostars is noticeably better than the Zens in fit and finish.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/09/2011 at 16:37
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I would go with the Meopta Meostar or the same binocular in the Cabela's Euro badge.
 
However, there is a new binocular on the horizon for which I have high hopes.  That is the Zen Prime HD.  It will be $600-650 and should be better than the previous ZEN ED series (ED, ED2, and ED 3).  The ED series are great optics for a very reasonable price, and the Prime should bump the bar up a notch or two (I think...it's going to have to for me to keep it).  I should have a review sample in somewhat over a week.  While I will not recommend it straight off as I have not even seen it,  I think it is worth waiting to see what happens when this comes out, unless you have to have it quickly.
 
Personally, I think the Pentax DCF ED are very good and may suit you since you liked the others you had.  However, they never interested me a lot because for the money they cost, they better deliver more fov than they do  The 10x seem better in this regard, so they may do you a good job.
 
I'd also see if I could find a Leupold Gold Ring.  There is one on the sample list here at SWFA.
 
Also anything from Minox in that price range will be good IMO.
 
Depending on what you need from antler examination and what distance you are looking, even 10x may not be the panacea.  I always have found that if I can't get what detail I need from 8x, I need to get closer or get the spotter.  But everyone's eyes are different.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/09/2011 at 18:05
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Originally posted by green-grizzly green-grizzly wrote:

I got a pair of 8x Fujinon ED binocs as a replacement when they were on clearance.  They are pretty good, but heavy and they have some pretty bad ergonomic issues.  And they just do not seem to have quite enough resolution for examining antlers at a distance.  The Fujinons are just not cutting it.
 
I have owned a couple of Fujinon binoculars over the years; right now I am down to the Fujinon 7x50 FMTR-SX.
Previously I had a Fujinon 7x42CD in my collection.
I also have a Fujinon catalog dated back to 1998.
I have never seen or heard of a handheld Fujinon 8x ED.
The only ED binoculars from Fujinons that I am aware of are the 25x150ED-SX and the 40x150ED-SX.
Are you referring to the Fujinon 8x42CD? 
 
Stan


Edited by Bird Watcher - November/09/2011 at 18:07
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/09/2011 at 19:28
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I have the 8x42 CD
I really like them.  Yes a bit heavy, but not a problem at all.
Best part - paid $209 new....
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/09/2011 at 22:14
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Originally posted by Bird Watcher Bird Watcher wrote:

Are you referring to the Fujinon 8x42CD? 
 
Stan
Right, CD.  Sorry about the confusion.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/10/2011 at 06:49
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+1 for the Meopta Meostars
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/10/2011 at 09:23
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Are the Bushnell Elite binocs in the same league?  I see that one of the birding sites rated them very highly in 2008, but the design seems to have changed in the interim.
 
Love that Rainguard.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/10/2011 at 20:16
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Originally posted by green-grizzly green-grizzly wrote:

Are the Bushnell Elite binocs in the same league?  I see that one of the birding sites rated them very highly in 2008, but the design seems to have changed in the interim.
 
Love that Rainguard.
From my research, the 10x43mm (open bridge design) are, but the new models are lacking.
 
I found a set of them at a decent price and was considering them, but I stumbled onto a deal that put me into a set of Swaro SLC's for < $1000.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/11/2011 at 15:04
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Originally posted by green-grizzly green-grizzly wrote:

Are the Bushnell Elite binocs in the same league?  I see that one of the birding sites rated them very highly in 2008, but the design seems to have changed in the interim.
 
Love that Rainguard.
The open bridge Elites are very good binoculars.  I assume that is what yoy mean.  Bushnell went and screwed up their name once again when they came up with the ELite  e2, a mid range glass.  So it depends on which you mean.  Additionally, I do not think the Elite survived.  Good glass, but Bushnell's insistence on having a bunch of cheap garbage in their inventory, which people have come to associate with Bushnell in general I think torpedoed their own very good binocular. 
 
Bushnell is not the only game in town with water repellent coatings.  Zen Ray for sure has them and they work.  Don't know about Meopta.  Pentax I think has water repellent coatings too, but I'm not really sure there.


Edited by Klamath - November/11/2011 at 15:06
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