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Best 15x56 binoculars

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/24/2011 at 16:20
mcseal2 View Drop Down
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The guy I hunt with and I have decided to get a really good spotting scope and 15x binocular to take on our western hunts.  He has a scope all picked out, so I will be purchasing the binoculars.  I've been reading reviews and these look like the best options I've found.  I wanted to get some opinions if anyone has experience with them.  I haven't looked through any of them, just going from what I've read.  I'm trying to decide if the difference in clarity and low-light perfomance justify the differences in price. 

Swarovski 15x56 SLC $1900
Vortex 15x56 Kaibab $1200
Minox BL 15x56BR $600
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/24/2011 at 20:43
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/25/2011 at 06:13
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I recommend Swarovski SLC 15x56 WB-Excellent optics.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/25/2011 at 06:22
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koshkin
...........
  • price: Vortex is cheaper by about 30% or so.
  • Eyeglasses: if you wear glasses, go for the Vortex.
  • Resolution: Swaro is slightly better

If you can afford the Swaro, and do not wear glasses, the SLC is still King of the Hill, albeit by a nose.  Does the performance edge justify the price difference? That is between you and your wallet.
............
 



Edited by koshkin - October/25/2011 at 14:26
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/25/2011 at 07:20
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Are you sure you want 15x? It's basically like a spotting scope though less power. I used to have Steiner 15x56 but sold them after a couple of years and bought a spotting scope. Some of the things I didn't like were the FOV and shake. Having a tripod would address the shake but not the FOV. Out west we usually use 10x or 12x.




Edited by mike650 - October/25/2011 at 11:49
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/25/2011 at 19:44
mcseal2 View Drop Down
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I really like the 15x.  I carry a tripod to use for long glassing sessions, and find that I can hold them well enough to identify game.  If I need a better look I can brace up for it.  My guide on a trip this fall had 10-15x50 Leica's and the outfitter loaned me his Swaro 15x56's to try for the trip also.  I was impressed with both, but really liked the Swaro's best.
 
Thanks for the replys so far. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/25/2011 at 22:05
lucznik View Drop Down
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My boss has the Swaro 15x56s.  He uses them primarily for judging pronghorn antelope.  They are definitely too heavy to pack around and they need a tripod or a window mount to get any real benefit but, having the ability to use both eyes sure can help during long glassing sessions. 
 
He loves them, but after trying them, I found Koshkin's comment (quoted above) about the poor eye relief for eyeglass wearers to be spot on.  As a result, I can't really use them very well.
 
My dad just bought a 20x60 Pentax. I am looking forward to giving those a try.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/26/2011 at 19:13
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Originally posted by lucznik lucznik wrote:

My dad just bought a 20x60 Pentax. I am looking forward to giving those a try.
I have both the older Pentax 20x60 PCF WP & the newer PCF WP II.
 
Always fun Big Grin to use, I hope your dad gets a good one.
 
When it comes to a 20x binocular, having the stiffest  metal tripod adapter is very important in minimizing vibrations.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/26/2011 at 19:27
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I like 15x binoculars, and think they provide tremendous usefulness when tripod mounted and glassing for extended periods of time.
 
Unless I could find a great deal on the Swaros, I would spring for the Vortex.
 
A less expensive option would be the Oberwerk Ultra porros, but you would have to deal with individual focus eyepieces.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/26/2011 at 19:37
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Originally posted by Bird Watcher Bird Watcher wrote:

Originally posted by lucznik lucznik wrote:

My dad just bought a 20x60 Pentax. I am looking forward to giving those a try.
I have both the older Pentax 20x60 PCF WP & the newer PCF WP II.
 
Always fun Big Grin to use, I hope your dad gets a good one.
 
When it comes to a 20x binocular, having the stiffest  metal tripod adapter is very important in minimizing vibrations.
 
I gave him a spare Vortex tripod adapter that I had.  I hope that will prove adequate.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/26/2011 at 19:41
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I would say Vortex as well.  Those are pretty good glass, and they have very good edge performance, which is nice for tripod mounted use, where it is harder to keep everything centered.  Before I bought, I'd want to do a side by side with the Minox 15x.  I have never seen the 15x Minox, but the 13x are pretty awesome.  If you don't use the 15x a lot, I see no point in the extra money for the Swaro.  I think the Swaro is better, but...money is money.  You will never regret the Swaro if you can afford them, and won't miss them if you can't afford them and get the Vortex.  The thing I'd need to see for myself in the Minox is if their lack of ED glass would cause any color fringing in hazy far off objects. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/08/2012 at 14:38
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Lucznik,
A friend of mine has a pair of 20 x 60 Pentax and seems to like them just fine. However this years 2012 hunt in southern AZ for whitetail where not only big glass but big guns are needed for that trophy buck we found out that they don't compare to the big name sellers. You/we all know the ones and I have a pair of Docter 15x60, by the way I wear glasses. We were glassing a ridge 1200 yards away when we spotted two deer walking. He thought he could see horns on one of the deer when I could not see any (mine are on tripod). I suggested he look though mine and he's first reaction was to say "WOW" the second was "yep no horns". We glassed up 9 doe during that time and my friend would now just ask "horns"? The Docter's like the Warski's (with 4 oz differences in weight between them) are heavy and not only need a tripod but also a backpack to get them to those long walk locations. Having a pair of good glass is a pleasure that not everyone can enjoy/afford but if you can by all means do so.
happy glassing.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/08/2012 at 18:42
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Originally posted by drsal1527 drsal1527 wrote:

Lucznik,
A friend of mine has a pair of 20 x 60 Pentax and seems to like them just fine. However this years 2012 hunt in southern AZ for whitetail where not only big glass but big guns are needed for that trophy buck we found out that they don't compare to the big name sellers. You/we all know the ones and I have a pair of Docter 15x60, by the way I wear glasses. We were glassing a ridge 1200 yards away when we spotted two deer walking. He thought he could see horns on one of the deer when I could not see any (mine are on tripod). I suggested he look though mine and he's first reaction was to say "WOW" the second was "yep no horns". We glassed up 9 doe during that time and my friend would now just ask "horns"? The Docter's like the Warski's (with 4 oz differences in weight between them) are heavy and not only need a tripod but also a backpack to get them to those long walk locations. Having a pair of good glass is a pleasure that not everyone can enjoy/afford but if you can by all means do so.
happy glassing.
Welcome to the OT!
 
Did your friend have the Pentax also on a tripod?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/08/2012 at 19:29
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no he did not
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/08/2012 at 19:53
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The lack of stabilization could have accounted for his inability to resolve detail.

While undoubtedly the Docter is the superior optic, a decent sample of the 20x Pentax should have handled the task, if tripod supported.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/09/2012 at 00:06
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IMHO you should also look at the Steiner 15x80's, the Fujinon 16x70's and the Nikon Astro 18x70's.
These are large, heavy glasses and require a tripod.
I have used the Nikon Astro 10x70 for surveillance, window mounted and tripod mounted and have looked through the Nikon Astro 18x70 mounted on a tripod along with the Steiner's.
The Docter 15x60's are in this league, you will need a tripod to make use of the extra magnification.
Saw a demo with the Steiner's, sitting braced and with a tripod, everyone saw a lot more with the tripod mounted glasses.
I think for the money the Docter's are a bargain.
Art
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/09/2012 at 11:28
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very true and have at one point mentioned that to him. He did break out a shooting stick and used it as a mono-pod, but still a tripod is called for in such a situation. maybe nest year he will or better yet show up with some major big glass. :>)
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/10/2012 at 18:18
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The Pentax 20x60 PCF WP II binocular is a very good Porro prism binocular for the price tag.

For glassing at long distances a sturdy tripod, with pan head, is a must.

A very stiff metal tripod adapter is also necessary to minimize vibrations at 20x.

I own several 20x binoculars and they are alot of fun to glass with. Cowboy

Stan



Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/12/2012 at 09:56
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I recently acquired a set of Kaibab HD. Very close optically to the Swarovski, and fit my face better and had more eye relief which was welcomed as I wear glasses.
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