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Binocular power?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/19/2006 at 16:25
Baylian View Drop Down
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Hey guys,

 

I live out west where we have a variety of conditions (glassing from hill tops to black timber) and long walks to get to the game.  Which power do you think would be the best for these kinds of situations: 6x30, 7x35, 8x32, 8x42, or 10x42?  Please state why you think so.  If I left off a significant power group please feel free to add it and comment on it.

 

Thanks in advance,  TJ

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/19/2006 at 19:27
silver View Drop Down
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7x50?  'cause it is normally crappy weather when I get time off.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/19/2006 at 20:11
Roy Finn View Drop Down
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My favorite for all around use is a 8x42. Some folks find the 10x42 right at the point of being more difficult to hold steady. The 8x42 will be the best balance between magnification, brightness and  easy to carry. The 8x42 will offer all the brightness you will need for any legal hunting situation. Most important is to buy the absolute best you can afford. Think of it as the last bino you will ever need. Depending on your budget, in the $350 range I would get the Bushnell Discoverer roof prism 8x42's and in the $600 range it would be the the 8x Pentax SP's. Over that is where it starts to get very subjective. Hope this helps.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/20/2006 at 09:46
anweis View Drop Down
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Roy Finn is right: get the best that you can afford. No, top that by 10%!

After 30 years of working with binoculars, hunting, birding, etc, - i've used or owned over 30 models - i can tell you that optics quality matters more than numbers such as 7x42 or 10x50. A 7x30 Swarovski will show you more than a 10x50 Alpen, anytime.  

I save on my vehicles, on my energy bill, and i cut back on eating out or i buy my shirts at the Goodwill store. I never ask how much does the best binocular cost. I just get it.

If you can hold a 10x steady, and if you get a high quality model, and if that model may be mounted on a stick or light tripod, it may be what you are looking for trophy hunting in the West.

That being said, i spent 3 weeks this spring looking particularly for sparrows in the brush, grasslands, and deserts out west. I used a 8x32 and it worked great in all sorts of conditions. I don't see why it wouldn't work for spotting elk. But it was a $1500 8x32.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/20/2006 at 16:12
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Another vote for the 8X42, or if you don't really need waterproof, Nikon 8X32 SE, as they will blow away the huge majority of 8X42's.  I can't use 10X binocs without putting them on a tripod.  If I'm going to do that, I'll use a spotting scope.  How much do you plan to spend?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/20/2006 at 18:06
koshkin View Drop Down
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A decent 8x32 or 8x42 is the way to go.  If you anticipate low light use, go with an 8x42.  Otherwise, get whichever one has better glass for the money.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/20/2006 at 18:24
lucznik View Drop Down
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Assuming you are buying high-quality optics, (which will require you to spend at least $350 and up) my vote goes to the 10x42 configuration.  10x50 is also nice, if you don't mind the extra weight. I hunt in in the wide open spaces of Wyoming and Utah and have found the extra magnification afforded by the 10x models is a true blessing. I also never have felt handicapped when going through the dark timber looking for elk. I personally do not find that the handshake in a 10x is unmanageable, certainly not any more so than with an 8x. Some of my personal favorites are (in more-or-less order of cost) the Bushnell Discoverer, Pentax DCF WP (now the DCF WPII,) Leupold Pinnacles, Leupold Gold Ring, Bushnell Elite, and Nikon Premier LXL.  I personally would not buy a Zeiss, Leica, or Swarovski.  Not because there is anything wrong with them but, the image and build quality offered from the Nikon Premier LXL is at least their equal and it costs significantly less.

 

If your budget necessitates scrimping (meaning you will spend less than $350,) go for a 7x or an 8x as low-cost 10x models all seem to suffer from poor image quality. I don't know why this is (maybe it's just harder to make quality 10x+ eyepeices) but, it is so common as to be basically a rule.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/28/2006 at 01:46
Baylian View Drop Down
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Thanks for all the great replys.

 

My son and I drew out for Cow Elk this fall.  We are excited!!!

 

Well, Utah is a land of many different landscapes.  We have red rock and box canyons in the South.  Mountains with black forest in the North and East.  Desert in the West.  Cedars and open forest in the middle.  That is an over simplification because it seems you can be walking in sage brush in the morning, looking down off a large hill in the afternoon, and stalking the black timber at dusk.  I've had some guys suggest 8x42's for such a diverse senario.  My dentist, who is a great elk hunter, swears by 10x42's.

 

I went to Cabela's and tried a bunch of binoculars.  Nikon Monarchs, Leupold Cascades and Mesas, Bushnell Legends, Alaskan Guides, Pentax DCF SP.  Unfortunantly, I can only afford about $300 (+$50 maybe).  I really couldn't tell the difference until I got up to the $500+ range.  Do you have any thoughts on any of these binos?

 

Pardon the spelling, it's late.  Thanks again,  TJ 

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/31/2006 at 23:18
lucznik View Drop Down
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Baylian,

 

I grew up in Salt Lake City and have spent many, many days in the Utah wilds.  Where did you draw out for cow elk, and when?  My dad and uncle, as well as my brother-in-law and his dad all drew out for cow elk in the Nine Mile-Range Creek area.  They will be hunting in late December and early January.  It should prove a great hunt as long as they get some snow.

 

Generally speaking, Utah's varied landscapes tend to involve a lot more open territory than dense, dark forest. Because of this, I started out with 8x binoculars and have found myself gravitating toward 10x because the extra magnification is a real benefit when looking across long distances. However, I don't think you can really do wrong either way. I know lots of people who own the Nikon Monarchs (in both 8x and 10x) and most of them really like this binocular.  My brother owns a Bushnell Legend (in 8x.) My dad and I own Pentax DCF WPs in 8x and I also have one in 10x. I know a guy who owns a 10x Alaskan Guide and have spent some time with both the Leupold Cascades and the Pentax DCF SPs. In the lower priced options you listed, the 10x variety seems to suffer from an increased number of problems relating to image quality.  This is not an across-the-board problem as I have seen some budget 10x binoculars that were fantastic.  Others have been pretty abysmal. This is more hit-and-miss than anything else and the 8x varieties don't seem to have this problem nearly as much.   The higher priced binoculars on your list (specifically the Pentax DCF SPs as well as other higher end binoculars that are not on your list) do not seem to suffer from this problem at all, regardless of magnification.  This is why I suspect there is something about the 10x configuration that is more difficult to manufacture than 8x.

 

BTW, the Pentax DCF SP binocular really is in a totally different class than any of the others on your list. If you can find a way to afford them, don't waste your time with the others.  Also in this better class range (if you want some variety from which to choose) you will find the Bushnell Discoverer and Leupold WindRiver Pinnacles as well as some offerings by both Kahles and Minox.  (For what it's worth, the Bushnell Discoverers are much less expensive than these others -well under $400- and are superb. They also have super-wide fields of view. They would be my top choice.)

 

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/01/2006 at 12:45
anweis View Drop Down
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Originally posted by lucznik lucznik wrote:

This is why I suspect there is something about the 10x configuration that is more difficult to manufacture than 8x.

 

In the roof prism binoculars, that would be one extra lens element in the eyepiece - for most models. 

To begin with, 10x shows more detail than 8x, including imperfections in the optics.

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/08/2006 at 19:48
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Well, when you mentioned elk, I'm immediately thinking 7x50 or 8x42.  Elk hunting for me always happened right at dawn and binocuolar use was mostly pre-dawn.  The trouble with 10x binoculars and elk hunting for me is that I usually can't see the elk in the dark as I'm moving to where I think I need to be.  I've been seen pushing elk, I couldn't see!!!urrgh!  I think with a 7x50, I may have seen them. 

 

8x56 or something like that would be nice, but who can carry them.

 

Also, for glassing from ridge to ridge, looking for elk on the next mountain, you may consider a spotting scope.  I know my Leupold Wind River Spotting scope will be in my pack for this, the next time I go for elk.

 

I would even consider a 6x, but at what point is just straining your eyes better?

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/08/2006 at 20:03
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I think a 8x42 quality pair of binoculars should do nicely.  Best for all around viewing.  If you are thinking of a spotting scope, forget the Leupold Wind River 15x 45, I had one and got rid of it.  Never could get a clear view of anything.

I do like SWFA, they took it in on trade and some other poor guy bought it. 

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