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Best 10x50-ish Roof's under $500?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/22/2012 at 15:24
Jax View Drop Down
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What's your opinion of 10x optics in the near 50mm size?  I like the idea of more light than 42mm as long as the binos are good enough to handle it...
 
Leupold BX-3 Mojave 10x50
Vortex Viper HD 10x50
Vixen 14516 Foresta 10x50 DCF HR
Alpen Teton PXA SHR 10x50
Minox Comfort Bridge BL 10x52 BR
Nikon Monarch X 10x45
Nikon Monark ATB 10x56
Vortex Vulture 10x56
Bruntin Eterna10x51
ZenRay ED3 10x43 - quite a bit smaller than 50mm but good enough to compete?
 
or any others?
 
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/22/2012 at 15:53
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Originally posted by Jax Jax wrote:

Vixen 14516 Foresta 10x50 DCF HR
The Vixen Foresta 10x50 has been discontinued in favor of the 10x42.
 
The Minox now comes in a BL 10x42 BR.  
 
Personally, I would go with the Vortex Viper HD 10x50.
 
 
any others?
 
Stan


Edited by Bird Watcher - February/22/2012 at 17:23
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/22/2012 at 16:27
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The supposed ability of a 50 mm glass to out compete a smaller glass of equal quality is one founded in optical theory, but not so much in actual use, IMHO Smile.  It depends largely on how well the pupil of your eyes can open or close in response to changing light.  It also depends just how far you think you can push that optical envelope without going night vision capable.  In some more or less informal tests I have done with multicolored USAF resolution charts in various twilight scenarios (mostly just to satisfy myself on this very issue), as far as I can really tell there is precious little practical difference seperating good 32, 42 and 50 mm class binoculars.  Notice I said good glass.  It does not have to be uber expensive alpha, just good glass, much like what is on your list.  The only time I can see a difference is when the larger 10x50 is tripod mounted.  There the added steadiness of the view can then show some slight improvement. Most of the time, when out in real world sessions behind our optics, for all practical purposes even a good 8x32 will show sufficient detail to go well past typical legal hunting hours.  Certainly I don't think colors will show up any differently at all in low light, but some black and white type detail...maybe. 
 
Sometimes "conventional wisdom" is not so wise, I think.  We have been whacked in the head so hard by marketers trying to sell (largely successfully) the whole concept of bigger is better, that we somewhere along the line, have swallowed the various spiels hook, line, and sinker.  The supposed superiority of the greater low light ability and greater resolution potential of big objectives is part of this.
 
A lot depends on whether or not you are looking SPECIFICALLY for a low light conventional binocular, or whether you are a more typical user looking for one good binocular to go with your usual grab and go hunting gear.  In that scenario, there is no way I'd opt for a 50mm glass.  Bigger objectives add weight and bulk.  In the added weight is length, which means increased focal lengths, which means typically smaller fields of view, although certain 50mm glass have eye piece designs that expand the fov some.  However, just look at the size and fov specs for yourself.
 
Not only will that ZEN ED 3 compete with the others on the list, It will probably kick some butt in the process.


Edited by Klamath - February/22/2012 at 16:34
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/22/2012 at 19:41
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Originally posted by Klamath Klamath wrote:

Not only will that ZEN ED 3 compete with the others on the list, It will probably kick some butt in the process.
   
There you have it, ladies & gentlemen, in a nut shell. 
No marketing bias in that advertisement. 
 
Thanks Steve. Smile






Edited by Bird Watcher - February/22/2012 at 20:31
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/22/2012 at 20:43
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Originally posted by Klamath Klamath wrote:

The supposed ability of a 50 mm glass to out compete a smaller glass of equal quality is one founded in optical theory, but not so much in actual use, IMHO Smile.  It depends largely on how well the pupil of your eyes can open or close in response to changing light.  It also depends just how far you think you can push that optical envelope without going night vision capable.  In some more or less informal tests I have done with multicolored USAF resolution charts in various twilight scenarios (mostly just to satisfy myself on this very issue), as far as I can really tell there is precious little practical difference seperating good 32, 42 and 50 mm class binoculars.  Notice I said good glass.  It does not have to be uber expensive alpha, just good glass, much like what is on your list.  The only time I can see a difference is when the larger 10x50 is tripod mounted.  There the added steadiness of the view can then show some slight improvement. Most of the time, when out in real world sessions behind our optics, for all practical purposes even a good 8x32 will show sufficient detail to go well past typical legal hunting hours.  Certainly I don't think colors will show up any differently at all in low light, but some black and white type detail...maybe. 
 
Sometimes "conventional wisdom" is not so wise, I think.  We have been whacked in the head so hard by marketers trying to sell (largely successfully) the whole concept of bigger is better, that we somewhere along the line, have swallowed the various spiels hook, line, and sinker.  The supposed superiority of the greater low light ability and greater resolution potential of big objectives is part of this.
 
A lot depends on whether or not you are looking SPECIFICALLY for a low light conventional binocular, or whether you are a more typical user looking for one good binocular to go with your usual grab and go hunting gear.  In that scenario, there is no way I'd opt for a 50mm glass.  Bigger objectives add weight and bulk.  In the added weight is length, which means increased focal lengths, which means typically smaller fields of view, although certain 50mm glass have eye piece designs that expand the fov some.  However, just look at the size and fov specs for yourself.
 
Not only will that ZEN ED 3 compete with the others on the list, It will probably kick some butt in the process.

I just happened to read this great article on the very thing you refer to today. 
http://betterviewdesired.com/Complete-February-1998-Issue.php#Is%20Bigger%20Better?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/22/2012 at 21:06
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Originally posted by black crow black crow wrote:

I just happened to read this great article on the very thing you refer to today. 
http://betterviewdesired.com/Complete-February-1998-Issue.php#Is%20Bigger%20Better?
 
I enjoyed reading that comparison.  Thanks for sharing it with us.


Edited by Bird Watcher - February/22/2012 at 21:11
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/22/2012 at 21:42
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Originally posted by black crow black crow wrote:

 
I just happened to read this great article on the very thing you refer to today. 
http://betterviewdesired.com/Complete-February-1998-Issue.php#Is%20Bigger%20Better?
Oddly enough I read that just now myself from the link on Bird Forum.  I found Better View Desired a long time ago and it was my initial guide to optics and reviews.  I repeated some thing Steve Ingraham did...well just because I wanted to see if I saw some of the same things and because he made it sound easy enough.  I think I first read that issue in about 2001 which was when I started looking for a good modern roof prism binocular.
 
I have indeed posted a lot about Zen Ray stuff.  Not because I'm part of the company.  I'm just a satisfied customer who, after spending more $$$ and time than I care to think about on optics,  led me to the conclusion ZR is the best bang for the buck in all their price categories, no more than that.  Roofs I think have gotten about as good as the eye can use, even at less than the alpha class $$.  That is part of what prompted my interest in vintage porros.
 
Now I will point out I said the ED 3 will "probably" kick "some" butt... Smile  It was also in the initial OP list too.
 
I might as well have said that any of the x50's on the list has a x42 sibling that will perform nearly as well in comparison to their bigger brother.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/22/2012 at 22:11
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Good stuff here.  Now let me share my situation with you guys to see what else you may come up with.  I do already have a handy little pair of 6 year old Nikon ATB 8x36's.  I really like using them to ID ducks, as thier size works well with my back harness and their wide field of view makes flying birds easy to track.  I can almost instantly ID a duck flying 200 yards away with these, especially with the sun to my back.
 
What I'm looking for now is the perfect bino for me to take into the field to glass wide, distant rolling terrain for big game for the first and last few hours of daylight from a stationary seated position.  This allows for elbows on knees but requires lots of panning back and forth and up and down for literally hours.  They will likely stay in my pack until I am seated so ease on the eye is more imortant to me than ease of carry.  When reading the above article I noted how many times the author said "it was easier to see" with the 10x and the bigger glass.  This little bit of easier to see adds up in my opinion while looking through an instrument for 3 hours straight.
 
I did use my Nikons for this a couple years back and I greatly appreciated the large field of view to reduce the panning effort, and I did spot many deer and elk with them, but I wished for a bit more zoom and detail without sacrificing field of view.  This means a flat, low-distortion image is important to keep from getting a head-ache from long use.
 
So which glass would you choose for this and why?  Thanks for the reponses keep 'em coming.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/22/2012 at 22:18
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Originally posted by Klamath Klamath wrote:

I have indeed posted a lot about Zen Ray stuff.  Not because I'm part of the company.  I'm just a satisfied customer who, after spending more $$$ and time than I care to think about on optics,  led me to the conclusion ZR is the best bang for the buck in all their price categories, no more than that.  Roofs I think have gotten about as good as the eye can use, even at less than the alpha class $$.  That is part of what prompted my interest in vintage porros.
I still like you because you finally discovered vintage "Porro" prism binoculars. Wink
 
 
I might as well have said that any of the x50's on the list has a x42 sibling that will perform nearly as well in comparison to their bigger brother.
 
 
"Nearly as well" just means that it is in a close 2nd place.
 Some of us fools just have to have 1st place when it comes to certain things in our imaginations.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/22/2012 at 22:28
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Originally posted by Jax Jax wrote:

When reading the above article I noted how many times the author said "it was easier to see" with the 10x and the bigger glass.  This little bit of easier to see adds up in my opinion while looking through an instrument for 3 hours straight.
 
So which glass would you choose for this and why?  Thanks for the reponses keep 'em coming.
O.K.  I changed my mind just a little. Clown
 
 
This one is less expensive, lighter, and has a wider FOV than its bigger brother the 10x50.
 
Stan
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/23/2012 at 06:55
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Originally posted by Jax Jax wrote:

Good stuff here.  Now let me share my situation with you guys to see what else you may come up with.  I do already have a handy little pair of 6 year old Nikon ATB 8x36's.  I really like using them to ID ducks, as thier size works well with my back harness and their wide field of view makes flying birds easy to track.  I can almost instantly ID a duck flying 200 yards away with these, especially with the sun to my back.
 
What I'm looking for now is the perfect bino for me to take into the field to glass wide, distant rolling terrain for big game for the first and last few hours of daylight from a stationary seated position.  This allows for elbows on knees but requires lots of panning back and forth and up and down for literally hours.  They will likely stay in my pack until I am seated so ease on the eye is more imortant to me than ease of carry.  When reading the above article I noted how many times the author said "it was easier to see" with the 10x and the bigger glass.  This little bit of easier to see adds up in my opinion while looking through an instrument for 3 hours straight.
 
I did use my Nikons for this a couple years back and I greatly appreciated the large field of view to reduce the panning effort, and I did spot many deer and elk with them, but I wished for a bit more zoom and detail without sacrificing field of view.  This means a flat, low-distortion image is important to keep from getting a head-ache from long use.
 
So which glass would you choose for this and why?  Thanks for the reponses keep 'em coming.


Well if you want to cover wide expanses at a glance and see distance too that is a tall order.   But I live in a land of great expanse and often spot elk off my back deck on an open grassy mountain side about 3+ miles away.  I use a large FOV bin of 7x (Zen Ray 7x36 with a 477ft Fov) to see tiny images that I think are elk and then use a spotting scope to really see them for what they are and get a good look at individual animals. 

What you are saying makes me think a small spotting scope and a small portable tripod would be the ticket.  Along with those 8x36 you'd have the perfect set up IMO.  All could be easily carried in a small pack. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/23/2012 at 07:01
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Originally posted by Bird Watcher Bird Watcher wrote:

Originally posted by Jax Jax wrote:

When reading the above article I noted how many times the author said "it was easier to see" with the 10x and the bigger glass.  This little bit of easier to see adds up in my opinion while looking through an instrument for 3 hours straight.
 
So which glass would you choose for this and why?  Thanks for the reponses keep 'em coming.
O.K.  I changed my mind just a little. Clown
 
 
This one is less expensive, lighter, and has a wider FOV than its bigger brother the 10x50.
 
Stan

I love most Vortex bins and that is a great choice along with the Zen Ray which has a larger FOV. 
I own many pair of very nice bins and usually am out every day for at least a couple of hours. These days they all stay home but the Zen Rays.  While they are not perfect that center optical quality and amazing FOV has got me hooked. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/02/2012 at 02:13
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I recently bought vortex 10x42.  I was looking to buy the steiner(miss spelled been drinking lol), predator pros.  I didn't want to buy the floor model, so I looked through leupold, nikon,votes and even swarkasi(miss spelled lol) 8x 32.  I really liked those but not for 1000$.  I took the vortex diamond,  250$ and they seem very clear and the warranty is really nice.  I dont know about the hd, but I can only see so good, not sure how the hd will really do for the price difference.  
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