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Best Binocular Under $1000 for Low Light Hunting

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/03/2011 at 23:36
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Most of my shots are made at the very last light of day. I'm looking to upgrade from my 8 X 42 Vortex Viper binocular to one with better low-light capabilties while staying under a $1000. Certainly there are better glasses out there in the $1500-$2500 range, but I'm not ready to mortgage the farm for one. Any suggestions?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/04/2011 at 09:19
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Meopta makes great binos for under 1000
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/04/2011 at 09:52
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Luckily there are many binos nowadays that will do what you want to do for under $1000.  Of the ones I've personally looked through I can wholeheartedly recommend these:  Leupold Gold Ring HD, Meopta/Cabelas Euro, Bushnell Elite (not E2), Zen Ray ED2, Pentax SP, Pentax ED, Kowa Genesis.  You may be able to find an older model SLC or Trinovid in your price range too.  

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/04/2011 at 12:44
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What do you need from an upgrade?  Sounds like it is maybe just low light performance.  If so, and you are happy enough with the daylight optics of the Viper you have, then I'd suggest a look at the new Viper HD 8.5x50.  Have not seen one yet, but should be able to get a good look between Feb 18-20.

Edited by Klamath - February/04/2011 at 12:45
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/04/2011 at 13:45
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Thanks, Steve. I talked with the Vortex people today and they tell me the upgraded Viper HD 8 X 42 and the Razor HD 8.5 X 50 will both be out March or April. The Razor will carry a $1269 MSRP with the Viper in the $800+ range.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/04/2011 at 17:56
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Originally posted by Outrider Outrider wrote:

Thanks, Steve. I talked with the Vortex people today and they tell me the upgraded Viper HD 8 X 42 and the Razor HD 8.5 X 50 will both be out March or April. The Razor will carry a $1269 MSRP with the Viper in the $800+ range.

Our information is different.  Vortex expected the first of the HD stuff to get to them by Feb 1 or 2.  This is about when the big storm snarled things up.  The dealer coming here has been assured he'd have the HD stuff for this conference.  Some places list a little lower prices than what you posted, SWFA for instance is $100 or so less money.  So anyway, it comes down to just who knows?  Smile I think it unlikely for a dealer wide delivery to be complete much before you stated.  I suppose certain dealers who have committments to conferences or workshops and the like may get theirs first.  I sure hope the HD stuff shows up here.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/08/2011 at 13:36
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Originally posted by Klamath Klamath wrote:

I'd suggest a look at the new Viper HD 8.5x50.
The Viper HD's are going to be a great bino, but I was just on Vortex's website and they don't have a 8.5x50 model coming out. Also I heard they will only be in the $600 to $700 price range. I just may have to get myself a pair of the 8x32's Wink
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/08/2011 at 15:20
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Originally posted by Midwest_Hunter Midwest_Hunter wrote:

Originally posted by Klamath Klamath wrote:

I'd suggest a look at the new Viper HD 8.5x50.
The Viper HD's are going to be a great bino, but I was just on Vortex's website and they don't have a 8.5x50 model coming out. Also I heard they will only be in the $600 to $700 price range. I just may have to get myself a pair of the 8x32's Wink
 
They might be a great glass.  They may miss that cut because the new HD makeover leaves the Viper weakness intact.  That is fov.  While 347' is OK for 8x (and that's all it is is OK), my eyes tell me they really like from 360-390' a lot better, 400 or more in 8x really does not do much extra for me either.   If all they are is a little brighter, that may or may not help them all that much.  The Vipers would be a better sell with a wider fov and a brighter image.  Vortex reps initially told me the HD upgrade would widen out the fov, but now they give me pretty definite word that the fov is the same.  They do not show the 8.5x50 Viper, but early on whoever it was I talked to at Vortex said they would be back in the HD.
 
At any rate I'll get to see the whole HD series for myself Feb 18-20.  I am really looking forward to seeing the Razor HD binoculars as I think that is where the real potential for a positive change for Vortex might well lay.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/08/2011 at 16:43
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For better low light performance, I suggest you both go to a slightly large configuration and to a higher grade glass.

One of the better options would be the recently discontinued Vortex Razor 8.5x50 (non-HD).  I thought it was the best binocular out of the Razor line-up.  You may be able to find one lightly used or on close-out somewhere.

Out of the currently available options in the ~$1k range, I would strongly recommend Meopta Meostar.  If you can swing the 8x56 model that would be about as good as it gets, but 7x42 and 8x42 are very good as well.

Lastly, Minox BL BR series does not quite get the recognition it deserves, in my opinion.  There is a BL 8x56BR model there that would work well for you for about $800.

ILya


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/10/2011 at 18:40
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The Docter 8x56 Nobilem is within your budget and is about the sharpest and brightest glass available.
It is weatherproof, with rubber armor and is built like a tank. It is a glass for a lifetime, imo.
The only glitch is that it is brutally heavy,  about three and a half pounds.
You will want to wear a harness when you carry it.
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