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Binoculars for Wildlife View/Hiking

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/31/2007 at 18:34
whorton5 View Drop Down
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Hi,

New to these forums.  Am looking to purchase two binoculars.  I am very interested in Carson's smallest XM833 HD.  On the higher end, I was looking to purchase a Minox HG 8 x 33.  I am interested in birding, wildlife viewing, but need them to be fairly small for packing in the backpacks.

 

Any thoughts on these two brands or others similar.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/31/2007 at 21:43
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As far as I can remember the overall light transmission to your eyes from the Carson binoculars is 85% and less. A loss of 15% and more.

The light transmisson to your eyes for the Minox HG is 92%. A loss of only 8%.

Since you are interested in the more compact 33mm I would suggest that you go with the Minox HG for the very brighest images and the best contrast.

The Minox weighs 21.3 ozs.

If you want something smaller and lighter take a look at the Leupold Katmai 6x32mm compact for around $300. It is also available in the 8x32mm, however, the 6x gives you a much wider Field Of View @ 425 feet.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/31/2007 at 22:10
whorton5 View Drop Down
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Thanks for the reply.  I am looking to purchase two.  One cheaper one for the rest of the family (the Carson) and one for the more discriminating eyes.   

 

Anyone out there own Minox HG 8x33s?  Likes/dislikes?  I have read good things about the Carson, but haven't been able to look through either model since I am stationed in the hinterlands of North Dakota.  I have looked through some Vortex Fury 8x28s.  Good view for about $230, but mushy on the edges and the rubber covering is poor fitting and in my mind would hide moisture against the metal.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/02/2007 at 08:24
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whortpn5: your comments on the Fury 8x28 are very accurate and point to me that you are well informed knowledgeable. I would go for the Carson/Minox, as you suggest, with one precaution: purchase them from a place that will take them back if you don't like them. I would also suggest that you look at Pentax DCF SP 8x32 - It is a very good binocular. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/02/2007 at 12:08
whorton5 View Drop Down
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I don't know if I am well informed - I just have two eyes to see with  .  That's why I wish I could see the two bins I am considering before I buy.  Does SWFA have a good return policy?  Do they charge restocking?  10 -15% of $679 is a lot of cash.  I would trust an informed set of eyes too.  Do you own the Pentax or have you used them recently?  I can't find any Pentax for sale around here - one disadvantage to living so far from a large population center.

 

I looked at Some Swarovskis at competitor yesterday.  Wow...but at $1600 and just a tad larger than I'd like for a backpack...I'll keep looking.  I saw some Nikons Premier 10x30 (I think that was the power/ap) -- nice, but the focus was kind of funky and I really didn't like the 10 power jittery-ness and narrow FOV.  I ordered the Carson XM/HDs 8x32s - I'll let you know what I think on this forum if you want.  Backordered on competitor -- one of the few reputable places that sells them.  Still looking for a good set for my backpack -- leaning toward those Minox HGs smallest model.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/02/2007 at 17:11
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whorton

One glass to add to the discussion is the new Swift Eaglet 7x36 with the CFT coatings.  I have one and I really like it.  It is rapidly becoming my favorite glass.  I don't  see enough difference in 7 or 8x for it to matter personally.  The Eaglet is only about 21 oz and its unique configuration gives it a full 5mm exit pupil in a compact glass.  The optics are really first rate. It has less FOV than some would like but at 374' @ 1000, it is fine for me, but smaller than the Minox.  I've compared my Eaglet at a dealer to the Minox 8x33 HG.  If there is a difference in brightness or resolution, I really don't see it. However that is midday at the store so a better comparison is necessary to determine what difference may exist. The Eaglet is $450.00. It has a very responsive and rapid one full turn focus.  The Eaglet is really good at twilight and dusk.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/14/2007 at 23:47
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Thanks for all the inputs.  I went with Minox HG 8x33 BRs.  I have taken it out on walks in the evening for two of the last three days at around dusk.  So far, one buck whitetail, a turkey vulture migrating, a doe and two yearlings, and some type of swallow, a mourning dove, and a red squirrel have been "glassed".  I like the Minox for their small size, light weight, brightness, and clarity.  I cancelled my Carsons as they went on back-order and may go with one expensive set of Swarovskis, Leicas, or Zeiss.  The premium bino bug has bitten me.  Will probably look at the 8x42 range, but may even try out some 10s to see how much shake and FOV shrinkage I get.  Any premium (but not over $1600) suggestions are welcome.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/15/2007 at 01:28
Acenturian View Drop Down
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OH WOW the premium bug LOL

 

Ok, shared story here.  I bought a pair of Carson XM series first decent binocular compared to really cheap junk I've used.  I sold them to buy a pair of Weaver Grand Slams (Personally, I love their Grand Slam Scopes) but the nocs were good but not worth the $499 the Carsons were nicer.

 

Then I bought a pair of Swift Audubon ED's (Ok they are very nice glass...smoking better then the Weavers in the same price range.  I kept the Swifts and the Weavers. However, I got used to the ED glass of the Swifts which almost eliminates the Chromatic Abberation (or purple fringing when looking at bright contrasting objects) so Im out hunting on a nice wonderful morning and I can't see any difference with the Weavers to my buddies Leica Trinovids at least not a $1000 difference.

 

Fast forward hunting in horrible conditions snow lots and lots of snow and then the sun breaks out. So now we have bright contrasting images with reflection. I didn't bring the Swifts (should have) but now the Weavers compared to the Leica was like day and night. the Chromatic Abberation was driving me crazy.........so I went home and knew I wanted a premium set of nocs roof prism 10x so I started saving.  I was looking like you to stay under $1600 my thought was "wow that is like $600 already over a grand LOL"  so I was looking at the Swaro SLC, Leica Trinovid, Nikon Premiere LX, Leupold Golden Ring, and with a tad more money the Zeiss FL's.  

 

Well, after being able to handle all of them I knocked out the Leica Trinovid (loved the image but egonomics I didn't like the 'feel") the Leupold golden ring I felt was nice but not in the same class as the others. I was leaning to the Zeiss (brightest of the group) but it felt cheap and too light weight for me (hard to hold steady in a parking lot I could only imagine huffing and puffing up/down hills) so the Zeiss was bumped. It came down to the Nikon Premire and the Swaro in the end the Swaro won out. I liked both the Swaro image and the Nikon but the Swaro just felt better in my hand.

 

moral of the story:   try to get some hands on experience with stuff you like, I was really set on the Zeiss prior to going to the store, and wouldnt have dreamed of the Nikon until I handled them. And remember optics are addictive LOL Good luck

Oh side note my friend who only buys Zeiss upgraded from his classics to the FL's and loves them.

 

AC



Edited by Acenturian
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/15/2007 at 09:12
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I don't know what it is about the Swarovski's but they always seem to "fit" very well, and they balance nicely in the hands. Even the 15x56 is a pleasure to hold and to look through.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/25/2007 at 21:26
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My best buy of the year was Bushnell Legend 8x32.
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