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binocular experts help me decide

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/07/2007 at 15:40
nohornes View Drop Down
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please rate these for resolution and brightness. i am having trouble deciding what to order. and in the store under the bright lights they all seem good. thanks for the help.
PENTAX 10X43 DCF SP
MINOX 10X42 BR BD ASPH.
BUSHNELL ELITE 10X43
CABELAS 10X42 ALASKAN GUIDE
BUSHNELL DISCOVEROR 10X42
VORTEX BROADWINGS 10X42

or anything else i missed out on. as long as they are 10x waterproof roofs
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/07/2007 at 18:40
Tero View Drop Down
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They are in the same category or somewhat above the Nikon Monarch 10x42. That one I can say is OK, I have one. The Monarch is a good deal for the money. SOme people complain of CA, the chromatic aberration when you look at the edges of things. I do not see it unless I lok for it.

The Bushnell Discoverer looks good on paper, would liketo see one myself.


Edited by Tero
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/08/2007 at 01:31
Acenturian View Drop Down
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Your looking at a pretty broad range in price binoculars. The Bushnell Elites are around $850 + dollars, Pentax DCF SP about $550, the Bushnell Discoverer at $380. Vortex Broadwing $339.99 Cabelas Alaskan Guide $569.00

 

My point is there is a big difference in price so your really not comparing apples to apples.  I have heard great things about Vortex, but I doubt the Broadwing at its price can or was even designed to compete against the 800 + dollar Bushnell Elite. A better comparison would be a Vortex Stokes which is around $895.00.

 

So my questions to help ya out would be:

 

First the obvious how much do you want to spend? I was in the same boat for the last year while saving up money for a good 10x binocular.  I already have a great 8x with the Swift Audubon ED, but my Weaver Grand Slam 10.5 while nice and clear showed considerable CA and are very touchy on the focus wheel (which is not accpetable while hunting for me)   So here was what I was looking at:

 

If I could afford to go over a $1000 I was looking at the BIG 3 (Leica Swarovski, Zeiss and I'd toss in the Nikon Premire LX)

 

Under a grand I was looking at either the Minox HG series, Kahles, and the Pentax SP's. Leupold Golden Ring Of those I had not handled the Minox but I have heard good things about them. The Pentax SP is a great binocular of the money (most average Joe Hunter Bob would be hard pressed to see any real difference between them and a more expensive binocular) I handled the Golden Ring and was not impressed for the money. Then, I handled and really liked the Kahles they were well made (Made in Austria) very good quality and they performed great in low light. All of those above are around the $600 - $900 range.

 

Under $500, there are good binoculars out there from Nikon, Pentax, Vortex and others.

 

. I noticed that you mentioned the Minox BR/BD I think that is the varible power model ??? If so, again personal preference but I would rather have in the same price range the Minox High Grade HG series. I have never fully trusted varible powered binoculars when it comes to a hunting binocular...again personal choice.

 

My experience was a long process of looking, researching ect...  Then I decided to up what I wanted to spend more, then later I raised my limit again. Finally, I thought I had it all figured out then I went and handled the "finalist" and ended up picking up a different pair because they "just felt right" in my hand. So if I can give any advice it would be decide on a price (then add a bit more LOL..there is an old saying when dealing with optics "by the best you can afford..then save or barrow a little more) then research the models that strike your interest use the search function on this site and check other web sites look for reviews in optical and low light performance and finally try to find some information on warranty and customer service. Some of those models cost a great deal of money so if something goes wrong you want a good company backing up the product.

 

Like I said my "quest" was a year long process, but with a lot of research and handling of nocs I think I made the right decision for me.

 

Good Luck

AC

 

Oh in terms of rating what your looking at I'd go in ranking order like this

Bushnell Elites / Minox

Pentax DCF SP

Bushnell Discover

Vortex/Cabelas Alaskan Guide - Personally they look kike the same binocular

 

 

 

 



Edited by Acenturian
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/08/2007 at 07:50
anweis View Drop Down
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If you are looking for a binoculars specifically for hunting, i suggest the Fujinon FMTR SX 8x30 at $420. It is a binocular vastly superior to any of those on your list. It brighter, stronger, sharper, and longer lasting. It will work well before and well after dawn and dusk.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/08/2007 at 08:37
birdhunter View Drop Down
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Nohornes, I am in the same boat.  I started off with the Kahles 8x42 and a friend worried me to death and I finally sold them to him.  Big mistake!  Then I spent all summer looking for another pair and by the time I finally wanted a new pair I had spent some of the money from my Kahles.  I wound up buying a pair of Nikon Monarchs 8x42.  They were great binoculars for the money but they weren't Kahles.  Its hard to go back once you've looked through the best.  I am currently looking at the big three (Leica, Swarovski, Zeiss)  I am trying to stay under $1000 on the sample list.  I have rulled out Zeiss since they are no 10x40 classics out there anymore.  I looked through the binoculars at Bass Pro and a few local gun shops/photo stores.  I really like the Swarovski SLCs and Leica Trivoids in 7x42, 8x42 and 10x42 depends on your preference.  The Trivoids are built like a tank and they are phasing out the Trivoids so you may find a good deal on them.  The Swarovski SLC's are very nice also and have been around for a long time.  I personally like the Swarovski's and they way they feel in my hand.  SWFA has the 7x42 on the samplelist for $900 in like new condition.  Swarvoski has excellent warrenty and they will take care of your binoculars for life other then running over them with a truck or anything you would do to damage them like that.  Let us know what you decide to buy.  I am thinking about the 7x42 Swarovski's myself.  Thanks
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/08/2007 at 08:40
birdhunter View Drop Down
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Buy the way if I as looking at 300-500 range I would go with the Bushnell Discovers or Leupold Pinnacles.  SWFA has a great deal on the Pentax SPs now for around $500 and are outstanding. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/08/2007 at 08:58
birdhunter View Drop Down
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Oops sorry I forgot that you were looking at 10x.  I would look at Kahles 10x42, or Bushnell Eliete 10x42 and possibly the Minox.  I know Kahles has and excellent customer service for their binoculars and so does Bushnell.  Being that I had a pair of Kahles before I might lean towards them.  I know there is someone on this board that has Bushnell Eliete and they really like them.  Good luck
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/08/2007 at 15:31
Acenturian View Drop Down
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BIRDHUNTER:

I wanted a nice pair of 10x nocs for hunting and wanted to stay under $1000 I was really tempted to go with the Kahles a family friend has a pair and I think for the money they are hard to beat.

 

I finally decided to save a bit longer and decided I would max it at $1,600 and go with the Zeiss FL. I guess I really expected something more than what I saw. Don't get me wrong they are very nice nocs but they felt "cheap" to me as far as how light weight they were and at 10x standing in a parking lot they were hard to hold steady I can imaging my out of shape rear holding them steady after huffing and puffing canyons.

 

Plus they were still above my $1,000 cut off point by $600 which is a pretty big jump after already spending a grand.  SO I was going to comprimise with myself and go around $1,300 that put me in the Nikon Premire LX (Very very nice binocular) or the Swarovski SLC, Leica Trinovid, Leupold Golden Ring.  Leupold was out,  nice but out classed by the others.  The Leica and the Swaro SLC are about the same depends on someones eyes as to what looks better. I sort of like the view on the Trinovid but they didn't feel nearly as nice in my hands. Hats off to Swarovski the "ergonomics" as they apply to binoculars are second to none...felt great in my hand.

 

Long story short after a year of saving researching, praying, pleading and handling I went with the SLC model. For me, it was a perfect match. Great glass, a bit heavy but with a harness still not bad and very comfortable in your hand.  The Nikon Premire was top notch and could hold its own with the BIG 3 it was about the same price a bit less then the Swarovski (by bit I talking within $50.00) and it was a big suprise that binocular comes highly recommended here on the forums and is definitly worth a look.

 

I still liked the feel of the SCL and I really couldn't see any difference in optics standing for almost two hours looking out over a parking lot down streets and up into the mountains (poor salesman) It finally came down to feel for me and as bad as I hate to admit it name. Nikon makes a very good product but the BIG 3 are known for a great products and they really hold their value if I every wanted to sell them off down the road.   You know a new Z06 Corvette might be able to beat a Ferrari but "it still is NOT a Ferarri"   .

 

Good luck on your optics quest.

 

AC

 

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/08/2007 at 18:36
nohornes View Drop Down
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well, i have narowed my chioces down ot pentex dcf sp 10x43, or minox 10x42 bd aspherical or the cablas alaskan guides. i think LOL.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/08/2007 at 20:13
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I was able to compare the Bushnell Elite 10x43 to the Swarovski EL 10x42 head to head and (for me at least) the Elite was the clearly superior binocular. I have been using this binocular for all of my hunting this year and it has proven a truly excellent optic.

 

Although it shares styling very similar to the Swarovski, it is as small and light as a 10x32 EL but, with the obvious benefits of being a full-size glass. The full size EL is a truly enormous and cumbersome optic by comparison. 

 

Although it has a slightly narrower FOV than the Swarovski, the Elite maintains better edge clarity.

 

The careful observer can see a small degree of chromatic abberation in the Elite but, no more than can be observed in the EL.  In this respect they are equals.

 

The Elite costs basically 1/2 the price of the EL (if not a bit less.) 

 

To say that I am pleased with the Elite would be a gross understatment. It does not share the same cache or snob-appeal as the Swarovski but, that's not what I was looking for in a binocular.  If your optics purchases must serve to stroke your ego, the Elite will likely not suffice.  If on the other hand, you simply want superior optics at a good price, the Elite will serve in spades.

 

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/09/2007 at 08:01
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Acenturian, I really like the Nikons as well.  I can't find any Bushnell Elites locally but I will check those out as well.  It is a tough decision when your talking about spending a $1000 on binoculars for me.  I had a pair of Kahles 8x42 before but a friend of mine talked me into selling them to him after hunting season a couple of years ago.  They are very binoculars for the money.  Thanks 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/09/2007 at 11:36
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Quote well, i have narowed my chioces down ot pentex dcf sp 10x43, or minox 10x42 bd aspherical or the cablas alaskan guides. i think LOL.

 

Is there a price limit here? The Elites you originally mentioned were close to $1000 while the three you have listed above typically sell for at or below the $500 price point.

 

I think it is fairly obvious lately that I have become a big fan of the Meopta brand of products. They offer image quality comparable to the "Big Three" at a significantly less expensive price. I see you have the Alaskan Guides on your list...have you considered the EuroBinoculars from the same retailer? They are basically a rebadged Meopta Meostar 10x42 but at a significant price discount ($950 vs $800). Field of view is the same as its more expensive counterparts and it sports a very nice sized sweet spot in terms of a flat, in focus image. I watched the video on their website and was quite impressed with what they put the binoculars through.

 

Out of the others, the Pentax and Minox are quite sharp and probably my picks for that feature out of the original list. The Elites were/are probably the brightest of the bunch though. The Alaskan Guides are well worth what they sell them for but I could not stand the "click stop" focus adjustment on them.

 

Hope this helps.

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