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Best binoculars for hunting

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/06/2011 at 20:24
mightymike View Drop Down
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New to the forum looking forward to learning alot here. I am looking to purchase a new set of binoculars for hunting in the 2-400$ range and wanted to get some opinions from people who use them instead of people paid to write about them! Thanks alot.
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Welcome to OT, Mike!

Without a doubt, in that price range, this is what I would get...
http://swfa.com/Zen-Ray-8x43-Zen-ED2-Binocular-P41884.aspx

They are as good or better than binos costing twice as much.  You'd be very hard pressed to find anything better for $400 or less (new, that is).  Period.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/06/2011 at 21:29
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The 7X36 version and 10X43 are also excellent.  I have the 10X43 ED and they are holding up and performing great!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/07/2011 at 08:04
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Originally posted by mightymike mightymike wrote:

- wanted to get some opinions from people who use them instead of people paid to write about them! Thanks alot.
 
That is a great way to start your search . . .  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/07/2011 at 09:16
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One thing to consider with any optic is exit pupil, which is a major factor in how much light reaches your eye. This is especially important with a fixed magnification optic like binos. Unlike a variable mag scope, once you have them there's no option to increase exit pupil by decreasing magnification.

The 8x43 has an exit pupil of 5.375 mm (43/8), which is more than adequate for most situations and is better than the 10x43 or 7x36. It's in low light when you'll want as much light transmission as possible. There's nothing like sitting in a nice spot as the sky starts to lighten and being able to glass 10-20 minutes before legal shooting light. Another consideration is how steady you can hold an optic. If your hands are moving, 10X can be harder to see through than 8X.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/07/2011 at 12:47
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I purchased the Burris 8x56 from SWFA and just got out for a good test in the mountains of Western Washington state. I was in lots of snow, freezing temperature, and back and forth to my heated vehicle. I was very happy overall. No problems. Sighting thru them was real bright and clear. I am no expert but do know that they are giving me a better view then my old Steiner 9x40 hunting series binoculars. Maybe the new coatings they apply? I purchased the bino-strap with them as I did not think this large of a bino would fit my Badlands bino-bag. I was wrong. They just fit the Badlands bag so I will put the strap on my Steiners for my backup. I am very happy with these but I have alot of friends and relitives who hunt that are interested in new bino's and I let them know to try the ZenRay's. I hope one of them buy a pair so I can see what they are all about. Many forum readers say to buy them. The Burris bino's are still $199.00 and I feel that I got way more then my money's worth. Big Smile    
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/07/2011 at 12:56
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Originally posted by RifleDude RifleDude wrote:

Welcome to OT, Mike!

Without a doubt, in that price range, this is what I would get...
http://swfa.com/Zen-Ray-8x43-Zen-ED2-Binocular-P41884.aspx

They are as good or better than binos costing twice as much.  You'd be very hard pressed to find anything better for $400 or less (new, that is).  Period.
+1..
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/07/2011 at 13:54
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I would hold out and take a look at the Vortex Talon HD's
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/07/2011 at 14:40
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Zenray ED2 is also where I'd look first,  another option would be the vortex viper, but they're getting hard to find.  Another option would be a used bino.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/07/2011 at 16:32
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The Zen Ray is a good deal.  But there is a new player in the mid price optics game that is a whale of a glass.  It is called the Theron Wapti APO-ED.  $389.  It is a SERIOUS glass.  I'll have a Zen Ray- Theron (plus whatever else I can scare up) binocular review up shorthy, as well as adding the Theron MAG 82 ED spotter in with the Kowa-Zen Ray spotter post.

Edited by Klamath - January/07/2011 at 16:36
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/07/2011 at 21:58
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Steve,

I saw Theron while looking at the Mag 82.  The Wapiti ED looks physically similar (nearly identical) to the previous generation Zen Ray Summit HD (that locking diopter is extremely familiar).  The spec list is different from ZRS HD, however (APO objective).  It seems this Chinese optics giant is really putting out some quality products to the specs of the various companies (Zen, Hawke, Atlas, Theron, etc.).

You seem pretty excited about this bin.  I can't wait to hear more.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/07/2011 at 23:14
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Matt,
 
Did you actually look at the MAG 82 spotter?  I just posted that review.
 
Yes there is definite resemblance to the original ZRS.  But it ends at the surface.  APO triplet ED objectives and HD glass and field flatteners in the ocular.  This is Bosma.  It will also show up under the Avian brand.  The ZEN ED 2 is from a different source.
 
Review probably tomorrow.


Edited by Klamath - January/07/2011 at 23:17
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/08/2011 at 00:48
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I am looking forward to it.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/08/2011 at 06:59
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   +1!!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/08/2011 at 18:09
mightymike View Drop Down
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Thanks for the info guys i will start looking at these binos. I am really green in this area as i have previously purchased all mine from local big box stores but i won't be doing that this time! Just wondering and i'll look into mysellf but are any of these something i can get my hands on locally and look through living in MD? Just something i will have to research. Greatly appreciated great forum here.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/08/2011 at 18:50
mightymike View Drop Down
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Really leaning towards the Zenray 10x43ED2 any comments on thise in particular?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/10/2011 at 11:38
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Hi Mike,

What kind of hunting do you have in mind?

Most of the time, a binocular is a dangling  nuisance, a dead weight on a strap that catches. Smaller and lighter is better, again imo, so there is no reason to lug a big glass, especially as current optics are noticeably brighter than the leaders 20 years ago. Hunters that used to use 7x50s now use 8x40s and smaller optics.
Of course, hunting at long ranges out in Montana will take a different glass than will deer hunting in PA.
Still, unless you really need high power for very long range glassing, you are better served, at least imo, by a robust and lightweight glass such as the Leupold Yosemite 6x30. It is cheap but good, waterproof and with a decently wide field of view, well suited for the inevitable dings that happen when tramping through the woods. It is a good hunting tool.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/10/2011 at 20:02
mightymike View Drop Down
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I'm not hunting in the midwest i hunt locally in MD. Typically i can be glassing 100-500yds at most. I have never owned a really nice pair of binos. with this said most of the guys i hunt with have slightly better optics and i am basing this on what size i have used of theirs. The ones i use the most of  a buddies are leupold10x50 wind river olympic series. These are not by any means of the caliber i am reading about on here but that's all i have to base my decision on. I have a smaller pair of Bushnell legend 10x26? for bowhunting but looking for a serious upgrade for all around use and the 10x43 range is what i had in mind? Open to options i'm here to learn. Thanks
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/10/2011 at 20:28
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For that, you do not need a lot of magnification.  Look at the ZEN ED 2 7x36.  Some people don't like the edge, but as far as I can see they are a minority.  Look at the Vortex Viper 6x30, or the Swift Eaglet 7x36.  Others I have are the Vortex Fury 6.5x32, the Vortex Raptor 6.5x32 or the Leupold Yosemite 6x30.
 
Upgrade does not automatically mean more magnification as part of the deal.
 
I use the Zen 7X36 far and away the most.  I'd also say take a long hard look at the new Theron 8x42 Wapiti APO-ED 8x42 also.  Really nice binoculars nowadays do not need to cost much over $500, if that.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/11/2011 at 08:47
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10x42 is a more common size. There are alot of great choices out there but without a price range its hard to narrow it down. The Vortex Viper 10x42 is a nice piece of glass and the warrenty is pretty  hard to beat and the price tag won't break the bank.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/12/2011 at 11:41
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My price range is anywhere from 2-400$ but i could go as high as 500$ if i see fit. Thanks
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/12/2011 at 15:02
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I am with Steve on his recommendations as far as the 6x power that I would recommend for what you say is your stated use. The one I would recommend would be the Vortex Viper in the 6x32 format. I have attached a couple of review/comments on them. For your price range the Vortex is very good and especially now since they are in the process of upgrading their viper line, so you can get a Viper 6x32 for around $330, when they use to be over $500 just a couple months ago. The new ones that they are coming out with are going to be about $600 and I doubt that they are worth $300 more.

Give the guys at Vortex (they are very helpful and knowledgeable) a call and ask them about the Viper line and why half of the people that work their use the Viper 6x32. Note the post by "Scott at Vortex" in the 2nd link hat I posted for you. You could certainly call and talk to him about what you are looking for and what he would recommend for your needs. The Vortex customer service is outstanding! They could use anything in their line and the guys like the 6x32-they are that good. I think you would be amazed. Or order a 10x42 and a 6x32 viper and return the one you don't like. I bet you would keep the 6x32.

I know that the Zen Ray's are good also, but I do not have any experience with them.

http://www.opticstalk.com/vortex-viper-6x32-binocular_topic20739.html

http://www.24hourcampfire.com/ubbthreads/ubbthreads.php/ubb/showflat/Number/4757506/Searchpage/2/Main/353707/Words/6x32/Search/true/Re_vortex_6x32Vipers_vs_6_5x32#Post4757506


Originally posted by Klamath Klamath wrote:

For that, you do not need a lot of magnification.  Look at the ZEN ED 2 7x36.  Some people don't like the edge, but as far as I can see they are a minority.  Look at the Vortex Viper 6x30, or the Swift Eaglet 7x36.  Others I have are the Vortex Fury 6.5x32, the Vortex Raptor 6.5x32 or the Leupold Yosemite 6x30.
 
Upgrade does not automatically mean more magnification as part of the deal.
 
I use the Zen 7X36 far and away the most.  I'd also say take a long hard look at the new Theron 8x42 Wapiti APO-ED 8x42 also.  Really nice binoculars nowadays do not need to cost much over $500, if that.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/04/2011 at 08:29
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Hi, Some binoculars and scopes you'll find a good variety.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/04/2011 at 08:37
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Eek
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/04/2011 at 08:38
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