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Best 10x power binoculars

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/01/2011 at 16:57
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I'm looking for professional opinions on the best 10x power binoculars available so far I've narrowed down a few models I'm considering:
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/01/2011 at 17:07
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You should add Zeiss Victory FLs and Leica Ultravid HD and Swaro EL.  Those 3 are considered the best you can get.  

Edited by supertool73 - February/01/2011 at 17:14
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/01/2011 at 17:31
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My Leica 10X has never let me down. I've seen some good stuff (Swaro, Zeiss FL, etc) but nothing has summarily beaten my Leicas.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/01/2011 at 18:05
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/01/2011 at 18:19
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When you're talking "best available" with no cost qualifiers included, you can remove all of the first 6 except the SLCnew from your list.  Granted, the gulf between the "best" and the "very good" is much narrower these days, but the very best is still the very best.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/01/2011 at 19:41
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I think before you go into selecting a specific brand, you need to figure out the exact configuration you want.

Your list jumps all over the place from 10x42 to 10x56 binos.  There is a world of difference between them both in terms of handling and usage.

What is the application you have in mind?

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/02/2011 at 19:15
mmpoeth View Drop Down
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just curious, what would be the positives vs. negatives for choosing the 42, vs, 50, vs, 56 in the 10x power models (e.g. greater light intake, etc.)
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/02/2011 at 19:49
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The Swaro 10x50's are outstanding but they weight around 2.5 pounds (40.9oz). My buddy has a pair that he uses to guide and spot pigs from his jeep. I would have bought a set too until I researched how heavy their were so I opted for a 10x42 configuration 'cause most of my hunting isn't in a jeep.


What are you going to use them for and what are your needs? 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/03/2011 at 09:34
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Originally posted by mmpoeth mmpoeth wrote:

just curious, what would be the positives vs. negatives for choosing the 42, vs, 50, vs, 56 in the 10x power models (e.g. greater light intake, etc.)

Before I get into that, could you shed some light on your intended usage? 

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/08/2011 at 13:52
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The Vortex Viper R/T's are the ranging/tactical models with a reticle.... Check out Vortex's website and take a look at the new Razor HD or Viper HD's if you think about going with them.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/14/2011 at 18:28
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The Canon 10x42ISL should be on your list.
The extra reach and detail view made possible by the image stabilization is remarkable.
Any other glass would need a tripod mount to match it and you would lose the flexibility of the hand held Canons.
It is fully waterproof and rugged, in my experience.
A steal imo at half the price of the similar sized but not comparable Zeiss or Swaro offerings.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/17/2011 at 22:38
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If you want some "affordable" and high quality brand, consider meopta, and try them, if it is not enough for you, go directly to  swaro HD 10x42, or zeiss victory fl 10x42...  50mm are very bulky and heavy in my opinion..... but it depends on what are you going to use them for...

I have zeiss victory 8x42 fl, and I have just tryed the new swaro hd 10x42, and I think they are better.....  I am even  thinking to change my zeiss some day....

Unfortunately nobody wants to say or state that the new swarovski hd binculars are better than the current zeiss victory line...  I just think that if they are priced so much higher than the zeiss, its for some good reason... and people pay for them

regards

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/18/2011 at 08:28
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When looking at Optics, I ask myself if the difference that i'm seeing between binos is worth the price difference. For me personally, I was able to get my hands on one of the Vortex Viper closeout binoculars, and let me tell you that I'm happy with my choice and so is my wallet.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/05/2011 at 17:26
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The Steiner 10x50's would be my only choice.  My fellow DEVGRU team members swear by them as well.

  1. They are absolutely and completely waterproof.
  2. At night they are very bright.  They pierce the shadows and bring hidden objects into view.
  3. During the day, they allow you to see into dark areas that you cannot with the naked eye (caves, blinds, dark rooms, tents, etc.).
  4. The field of view is wide.
  5. Each eye is individually adjustable.  Most people have eyes with differing prescriptions, so this is really important!
  6. Their warranty is bulletproof.
  7. They are available on-line for around $300.  The optics are better that any $1500+ Leicas that I've used.


Depending on the color you want you can get the black police (#648) or the military OD green (#210) version. 

They are the same binoculars, except that the #210 can accept the optional anti-glare honeycomb baffles (that will reduce light transmission by 15-20%).
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/05/2011 at 17:46
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Really, you and your seal buddies huh.  Forgive me if I have a hard time with that one.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/05/2011 at 17:53
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Originally posted by urdeadb4uhearit urdeadb4uhearit wrote:

The Steiner 10x50's would be my only choice.  My fellow DEVGRU team members swear by them as well.

  1. They are absolutely and completely waterproof.
  2. At night they are very bright.  They pierce the shadows and bring hidden objects into view.
  3. During the day, they allow you to see into dark areas that you cannot with the naked eye (caves, blinds, dark rooms, tents, etc.).
  4. The field of view is wide.
  5. Each eye is individually adjustable.  Most people have eyes with differing prescriptions, so this is really important!
  6. Their warranty is bulletproof.
  7. They are available on-line for around $300.  The optics are better that any $1500+ Leicas that I've used.


Depending on the color you want you can get the black police (#648) or the military OD green (#210) version. 

They are the same binoculars, except that the #210 can accept the optional anti-glare honeycomb baffles (that will reduce light transmission by 15-20%).

Interesting.  Which particular Steiner model are you referring to?  Based on the price, I am guessing you mean Steiner Police 10x50, but it would be good to know.

As for your comments, well, I am afraid we disagree a bit.  Steiner Police is a serviceable binocular for the money, but no more than that.

Porro prism binos are a little easier to build, so I expect them to be better than comparably priced roof binoculars, but the penalty for that is greater size and weight.  

Besides, the individual focus that you refer to makes them a bit clumsy to use for varying distances.  As far as correcting for the difference in eyesight, EVERY decent binocular gives you that capability whether it is a center focus design, or individual focus.  The reason Steiner uses that focusing method is simply because it is cheaper to make and easier to waterproof.

As far as image quality goes, similarly configured Meoptas are definitely better as are the more expensive models.

Between 10x50 porros and 10x50 roofs the optical quality thse days will be roughly similar on $300 porros and $400-$500 roofs.  More expensive roof binoculars will typically be better as would be more expensive porros.

Generally, for people who like individual focus porros, the best currently available mode is probably Fujinon FMTR-SX 10x50 which is available for around $650 or so.  It is optically better than Steiner Police and Military porro binoculars, plus it offers both wider field of view and longer eye relief.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/05/2011 at 19:37
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Originally posted by koshkin koshkin wrote:

As for your comments, well, I am afraid we disagree a bit.  

Besides, the individual focus that you refer to makes them a bit clumsy to use for varying distances.  
ILya
 
ILya,
 
I think that you are being very kind when you say that Individual Focus is "a bit clumsy".
 
For me, Individual Focus is a REAL PAIN, for daytime use, where refocusing is necessary for targets that are continually changing distance. 
 
Perhaps Individual Focus, using lower magnifications such as 6x or 7x, where the depth of focus is great, might not be quite as annoying.
 
However, at 10x, where the depth of focus is shallower, Individual Focus can be very, very tedious and frustrating. 
When seconds count, IF is not the way to go.  Thumbs Down
 
Stan
 
 


Edited by Bird Watcher - July/05/2011 at 20:24
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/05/2011 at 23:28
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Originally posted by urdeadb4uhearit urdeadb4uhearit wrote:

Each eye is individually adjustable.  Most people have eyes with differing prescriptions, so this is really important!


I wish I could somehow figure out how to adjust my center-focus binoculars for each eye.

I certainly believe their optics are better than any Leicas the poster has actually used.

I do know a game warden that loves his 10X50 Steiner M&Ms.  They are certainly tough, but aberrations are not well controlled.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/07/2011 at 04:19
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The top tier glass are the Leica Ultravid HD, Nikon Edge, Swarovski El and Zeiss Victory.
Each one has their own "view" and ergonomics which you really have to try for yourself.
What one person likes another may hate.
Iliya has tried them all I imagine and knows many of the strengths and weakness's.
You are paying for lifetime warranties and usually outstanding customer service.
The sample list has some Nikon, Swaro and Zeiss glass at decent prices.
Once you spend some time with some of the top tier optics they can become addicting.
Tier 2 optics include Nikon LXL, Meopta, Minox, Pentax ED, Swaro SLC and some of the better quality Chinese ED glass.
SWFA has a great selection...you have to decide what is best suited for you.
Most people decide they want something cheaper, go to Walmart and buy a bubble pack pair with plastic lens!
Steiner Military poro's are disposable, most of the time the optical bench people don't bother to repair them and throw them away, the military gets such a good deal that it doesn't pay to repair them.
Baker Marine repair people have told me that some of the models are sealed and can't be repaired.
Art Cool



Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/07/2011 at 09:00
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gulf1263, just a heads up......when you're stating "facts" about top tier and tie 2 glass, you need to start with IMO (in my opinion), which is exactly what you stated, your opinion (that's fine, but it is your opinion). 

The first thing I'd ask you is what testing/comparisons you've made between all the glass you listed in order to come up with these facts?  No big deal, just curious.  There are a couple of changes I'd make to your list, IMO.   
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/07/2011 at 18:23
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Hi JG Raider:
I have owned, used and compared the listed glass under very difficult conditions in the field.
Not used the 10x42 format that is being referred to but have tried the 8x32, 7x42 and 8x42 formats.
You are right, it is my opinion and I apologize for not stating that.
Tests among co-workers through 2008 showed what were called the top tier glass was chosen consistently over others, most people hadn't yet been educated about optics at all so they did not have preconceived notions over which brands were supposed to perform the best, used black tape over the names (some brands have their name everywhere) so no one would know what brand was what.
We only tested fog proof/water proof, center focus roofs.
Ergonomics also played a role.
Used macbeth color chart and airforce targets...folks actually enjoyed doing it.
So yes it was IMO, however the four listed brands were always at the top four slots.
You are right we all have our likes and dislikes.
Thanks for keeping me on the straight and narrow.
All the best.
Art



Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/07/2011 at 20:29
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Well I guess we will have to disagree about SLC (and SLC HD?) being second-tier.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/08/2011 at 00:08
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Yeah, that is a pretty broad spectrum for second tier definition.  The non current alphas, such as the Swarovski EL and SLC probably do not fit the second tier labeling, or maybe even the Nikon LXL.  I have made arguments myself for the inclusion of the ZEN ED stuff as second tier on another forum and the scorching was rampant Big Smile.  But then again there is an advancing increase in the quality of the upper mid class stuff so maybe second tier classification will necessarily have to broaden a bit, but I think by adding stuff from the lower price level instead of demoting something truly alpha, like the SLC.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/08/2011 at 00:36
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Hi Bitterroot Bulls:
You may be right IMO because we only compared the SLCs in 8x30 and 7x42 format.
I really like the 8x30 SLC neu and have kept my pair, they handle better IMO than the 8x32 EL I have.
My Kahles 8x32 are really nice and the price could not be beat, got them off the Sample List.
The 7x42 SLC was much heavier than the Leica or Zeiss glasses and I don't think it was the neu series.
Except for the 8x30 SLC neu most of the SLC series seemed to be very heavy.
A friend has a pair of 10x40 Habicht porro's so it will be interesting to see how they perform.
The Meopta 7x42 is a little lighter, almost as sharp and much cheaper than the 7x42 SLC.
Have not been able to compare the SLC HD's.
My test target and color checker disappeared during my move.
The Kowa Genesis 8x33 is really nice but I find the bigger glasses (8.5x44 and 10x44) to be to heavy for me, neck hurts.
We learn from each other here and that is what makes it interesting.
I feel lucky to be among such a distinguished group so please forgive my mistakes or miscues.
Thanks,
Art



Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/29/2011 at 04:07
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Edited by koshkin - July/29/2011 at 09:55
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