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Binoculars what to buy?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/14/2005 at 14:58
birdhunter View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
Optics Apprentice


Joined: November/14/2005
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 92
I am wanting to buy a pair of binoculars for deer hunting/varmit hunting in the Southeast US.  Usually shots or $100 yards are less but never more then 250 yards.  I was wanting a descent pair in either 8x30, 8x40, 7x42, 10x42 range that are well built and waterproof.  I would like to know what the suggestions are in the $200-500 dollar range and the $500-1700 range are far as clarity, warrenty, and dependability.  Below are the binoculars that I have looked at that I am interested in.  Please make any suggestions.  Thanks

Nikon Monarchs
Nikon Action Extreme
Bushnell Legend
Pentax DP
Swarovski SLC
Kahles
Zeiss
Leica Triviods
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/14/2005 at 16:15
lucznik View Drop Down
Optics Master
Optics Master


Joined: November/27/2004
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 1436

From your list and in order of quality it would go something like:

1- Leica

1- Swarovski

1- Zeiss

 

2- Kahles

 

3- Pentax SP

 

4- Nikon Monarch

4- Bushnell Legend

 

5- Nikon Action Extreme

 

Which one is going to be the best for you is a much more subjective question. How often will you really actually use them? (All day or are they just going to be a show-peice hanging on your neck?) Can you actually notice things like chromatic abberation, field curvature, flare, differences in depth of field, etc?  Do you notice if the color rendition is not really exactly true? Will you be trying to see every tiny detail of a deer's rack so that you can properly estimate its trophy quality? Or, when you see through the binocular that the animal in front of you is a good buck will you be immediately dropping your binocular in favor of your gun?

Then of course there are these other (possibly more important questions:) How much money can you spend?  How much money WILL you spend? (Two very different ideas alltogether.)  I know people who make much more money than I do that choke at the notion that I spent $500 for a binocular (and wished I could have spent a bunch more.) In addition to its hunting chores, is your binocular going to act as a status symbol for you (ie. do you need the cache of a particular brand's badge?) Which binocular feels the best in your hands (fits your hand, has controls properly placed and that operate the way you want, etc.?)

It all comes down to you making the ultimate decision yourself.  



Edited by lucznik
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/15/2005 at 08:33
birdhunter View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
Optics Apprentice


Joined: November/14/2005
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 92
I am looking for a binocular that will last and do the job.  I do alot of walking and glassing after the rut is over and I don't really want anything bigger them a 40-42mm.  I want a quality pair of binoculars for deer, turkey and varmit hunting.  As far as what I want to spend I was thinking of up to $1000 dollars and maybe a little more.  I have heard alot of good things about the swarovski, leica, zeiss, pentax, kahles and nikon.  I had a pair of kahles before in 8x42 and liked them alot but a buddy of mine really wanted them so I sold them.  I just thought I would try something different this time and I wanted to get the best binocular for the money.  I really like the small size of the 30-32mm binoculars but wonder if they will do the job for me at dusk and dawn?  Would anyone suggest the 10x over the 8x?  I don't have to spend the $1000 I just want a good quality pair.  I am not buying them for the name alone.  They will be used pretty much year around.  While I take good care of my optics they want just sit in my gun safe.  Thanks for you help. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/15/2005 at 14:30
lucznik View Drop Down
Optics Master
Optics Master


Joined: November/27/2004
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 1436

Since you are willing to spend up to $1000 to get good optics the field is really quite open for you and you will find many good options to choose from.  You should therefore, ignore #s 4 & 5 on the list above as they are at the lower end of the "high quality" spectrum.

 

Personally I don't care for the 30-32 mm objective lens binoculars. They are not enough smaller than their full-size brethren to justify their lower perfomance levels (unlike the mini binoculars which I really think fill an important purpose when size is truly a premium.) However, many people do like them and if that is what you want Cabela's has some 32mm Swarovski SLCs on sale right now for around $800. They would be my choice in this size class.

 

Personally, for hunting I like the 40-42mm class of optics. Were I in your position the choice would be easy. I would throw in an extra $100-$200 and get a Nikon Premier LXL. It is IMO easily one of the very best binoculars on the market today.  It is even better than most (if not all) of the current crop of super-premium glasses costing $400-$1000 more.

 

In general, I have decided that making sure you get a decent FOV is more important than magnification power. I discovered this recently when I used a B&L 10X porro that has a larger FOV than my roof prism Pentax 8X42 DCF WP (which has been my main binocular for about 5 years now.) Assuming I can get an acceptable FOV (preferably something around 320+ft @ 1000 yds,) I would take the 10X binocular as first choice. I will however, gladly sacrifice a little magnification power to ensure I have a good FOV. (In 10X, the Nikon mentioned comes up a little short (314 ft @ 1000 yds.) but its optics are so good I think I might be willing to ignore the 6ft difference. In 8X you get a whopping 367 ft!)

 

If you don't like these then you will certaily find something you like among the many other high quality offerings in this price range.  Examples would be the Zeiss (10X40 ClassiC available through Cabelas,) Pentax DCF SP, Kahles, Minox, Cabela's Alaskan Guide, and even to a lesser extent the Steiner offerings. It truly will come down to you checking out the handling characteristics of as many of these as you can and selecting the one that feels the most comfortable to you.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/16/2005 at 13:37
birdhunter View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
Optics Apprentice


Joined: November/14/2005
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 92
Thanks for all your help.  I hope to make a decision soon.  I previously had a pair of Kalhes 8x42 and loved them but was offered more then I paid for them so I thought I would sell them.  I had a pair of Minox years ago in 8x32 and loved them but wanted to move up in quality.  I liked the Kahles but I like the size of the Minox better.  I am eigher going to by a pair of Swarovski 10x42SLC, 7X42, 8x30, or Leica 8x32.  I haven't looked at the New Zeiss FLs yet and I don't see any on the sample list.  I have hear alot of good things about the Nikon Premier XLX.  I will check them out.  Thanks
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