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Binoculars needed

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/04/2011 at 05:22
Mark S. Pannill View Drop Down
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I need a pair of binoculars which will do two things for me; 1) Obviously I need them to view what is in the field when hunting and 2) They need to be powerful enough to use for spotting targets at 100 yards. (I am tired of walking back and forth). I am open for any and all suggestions, simply because I do not know what to look for. Thanks.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/04/2011 at 09:29
Bird Watcher View Drop Down
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What price range?
 
Do you wear eyeglasses?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/04/2011 at 10:33
Mark S. Pannill View Drop Down
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Yes, I wear eye glasses. I do not know what price range to expect, therefore I can not answer that question.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/04/2011 at 11:07
Bitterroot Bulls View Drop Down
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What kind of game?

How far will you be spotting game?

Will you be hiking long distances or sitting in a blind?  Both?

Are these binoculars for evaluating trophy quality or general game identification?

Will you be using them hand-held or tripod mounted?

How much do you want to spend?

How much can you spend?

Do you use Shoot-N-C style targets?

These will help in forming a recommendation.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/04/2011 at 11:26
Mark S. Pannill View Drop Down
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Matt,

What kind of game? Mostly deer.

How far will you be spotting game? Within 100 yards.

Will you be hiking long distances or sitting in a blind?  Both? Mostly sitting in a blind.

Are these binoculars for evaluating trophy quality or general game identification? General game identification.

Will you be using them hand-held or tripod mounted? Hand held.

How much do you want to spend? I do not know at this moment, because I do not know what I need to be getting.

How much can you spend? Whatever is needed to get what I want...or whatever I can slide past the boss...she does not always understand these kinds of things.

Do you use Shoot-N-C style targets? I do not know anything about "Shoot-N-C" targets.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/04/2011 at 11:29
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Mark,

Those requirements can cause some problems. On one hand, glass 8X or under in magnification is good for game spotting (less visible shaking, greater field of view and depth of field - which means less focusing). On the other, depending on your eyes and conditions (shade, overcast, mirage) as well as the caliber you're shooting, it could be hard to spot holes in the target at less than 10X even at 100 yards. Looking through a fixed 4X scope on a rifle that's mounted on a rest, I can't comfortably make out .22 holes and usually use whatever rifle I have next to it (either a 2.5-10 or 3-15) to view them.

8X will probably do the job but you will likely need to spend $400 or more to get something optically clear enough to make that so (starting with the Zen Ray ED2 or Vortex Talon HDs). Some things to keep in mind: Glassing hillsides or cover with lower quality bins is hard on the eyes. Good glass and quality construction make a big difference. Cheaper optics often exhibit distortion or chromatic aberration. It's no fun looking at a white target with purple fringing around anything with contrast. Also, exit pupil (the amount of light transmitted) is very important. This number is expressed in mm and is simply found by dividing the objective size by the magnification, e.g. 43/8 = 5.375. While most eyes can't use over 7mm (and this worsens with age), if you go with an 8x30 you'd find it fine for broad daylight but unusable at dawn or dusk.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/04/2011 at 11:41
Bitterroot Bulls View Drop Down
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Well you have two different needs, neither of which are too demanding of optics.  I would suggest a 8X42 or 8X50 binocular and a spotter.  The binocular for hunting use, and something with a bit more power for the range.  The binocular could work at the range as well (especially with SHoot-N-C targets), but a little more magnification helps when evaluating groups.

Budget combo:

http://swfa.com/Zen-Ray-8x42-ZRS-HD-Binocular-P46910.aspx
http://swfa.com/Burris-12-24x50-Landmark-Compact-Spotter-P3646.aspx

Mid-range combo:

http://swfa.com/Zen-Ray-8x43-Zen-ED2-Binocular-P41884.aspx
http://swfa.com/Pentax-20-60x65-ED-Spotting-Scope-P8182.aspx

Money is no object:

http://swfa.com/Zeiss-8x56-Victory-FL-Binocular-P6579.aspx
http://swfa.com/Kowa-88mm-High-Performance-Spotter-P7249.aspx
http://swfa.com/Kowa-20-60x-Eyepiece-P7254.aspx

edited for redundancy


Edited by Bitterroot Bulls - April/04/2011 at 11:42
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/04/2011 at 12:52
RTA48 View Drop Down
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 WOW Matt, that money is no object group is a dandyBig Smile Its also about 1 semester's tuition at some universitiesWink


Randy
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/04/2011 at 12:53
Bitterroot Bulls View Drop Down
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Originally posted by RTA48 RTA48 wrote:

 WOW Matt, that money is no object group is a dandyBig Smile Its also about 1 semester's tuition at some universitiesWink


Randy


Might be a hair overkill for hunting and shooting at 100 yards.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/04/2011 at 13:56
Klamath View Drop Down
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With today's glass there is no need to spend over $500 for a binocular.  There are three I can easily recommend.
 
Zen Ray ZEN ED 2 either 7x36  ($360)or 8x43 ($400)
Theron Wapiti APO-ED 8x42 ($389)
Kruger Caldera 8x42 ($380)
 
Just got ahold of the Caldera and they might well be the best of the lot.  Review will follow sometime Smile.
 
Binoculars out to 100 yards will probably be OK.  I agree with the previous post that shots even at 100 yards can be difficult to see.  A spotter will be nice there and will certainly save your steps to the target.  The Zen Ray Ridgefield 15-45x65 Spotter really surprised me with how good it is for its price tag, $280 thereabouts.


Edited by Klamath - April/04/2011 at 13:58
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/04/2011 at 22:05
Alan Robertson View Drop Down
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Steve,
The pics I've seen of the Calderas show a curved eye- cup. How will that work for us old- eyed guys with glasses?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/04/2011 at 22:36
Klamath View Drop Down
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The Caldera pictures are pretty deceiving.  The eye cups are equipped with a fold down winged eyecup that rotates easily around the eye cup.  The rainguard fits nicely too.  It will not hinder eye glass wearers.  Personally I prefer the winged eye cup style.  The binocular is also a charcoal gray color with some ribs in the armor, not smooth black.

Edited by Klamath - April/04/2011 at 22:38
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