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Bino's with anti-fog - lower end

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/12/2010 at 15:49
PhilinAK View Drop Down
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First I'd like to say hello and thanks for a very nice looking and helpful site. 
 
I have used the search feature, but it didn't really return what I was looking for.  If my question has already been asked, a link to the topic would really be appreciated.
 
I am looking for comments / suggestions on a good pair of lower end bino that have very good anti-fog properties.  I color this post to highlight the direction I am going.  I have read numerous posts about great cheap bino's, but none of the reviews seemed to metion anti-fog.
 
My situation - I live and hunt in Alaska.  I am in a small town and there is no hunting stores, with good selections, within a 4 hour drive.  It seems that 90% of my hunting is done while the air temps are cool and the dew point is high.  Thus within moments of moving the bino's to my hot eyeballs, the eyepiece fogs like the mirror after a hot shower.
 
I have used several friends Swaro's and Leica's, so I know that effective anti-fog is possible, but I simply can't afford that level right now.  As is obvious, the quality of sight through binoculars matter none if you cant get past the moisture on the outside.  I had been using a pair of Leupold Olympic's until they disappeared and I was always frustrated with them.  So I am now in the market for something in the 8 power mid-size/weight range and $300 - $500 (preferably on the lower end).
 
I'd really apprecaite any thoughts and/or personal experience others may have in this area.
 
Thanks in advance.
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/12/2010 at 16:29
Bird Watcher View Drop Down
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Here's a couple that are Waterproof/Fogproof (lower end) 
 
 
I own three different Pentax PCF WP binoculars, excellent low cost binoculars.
 
 
Here's something for the exterior of the eyepiece lenses.
 
 
Try to keep a little space between your eyes and the eyecups, if possible.
Also, your breath can fog up the exterior of the eyepiece lenses if you are not careful.
 
 


Edited by Bird Watcher - August/12/2010 at 17:09
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/12/2010 at 19:28
PhilinAK View Drop Down
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Thanks for your reply BW.  I had looked at both those based on a different low cost post (I think it was your recommendation then also), but they both see to be more of a large-frame/large size bino.  At least larger than I was looking for.

Space between the eyes works when possible. Of course that usually makes it harder to keep a still and full picture.  Have you had any experience with the lens wipes?

Since my first post, I noticed I could search the SWFA site with specific criteria, so I looked for sub$500 fogproof and came up with several pages.  It looks like Vortex makes several mid-sized sets that are listed as fogproof.  My question - is this fogproof on the outside or fogproof on the inside (i.e. argon filled).?  Any ideas? 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/12/2010 at 19:57
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http://swfa.com/Parkers-Perfect-Accessories-C1021.aspx
Use this stuff to clean your lenses. It really does prevent exterior fogging. When you see fogproof it is generally interior fogging.
The Zen's have a water repellant coating on the exterior surface of the lenses which really helps as well. I have the 10x43ED2 and they fog verry little on the exterior lenses. Not to mention these are an outstanding bino for the price.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/12/2010 at 20:01
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Phil:
There really is nothing such as fogproof.  As far as I know that is nothing that anyone
"can" advertise.  Now there is waterproof, and many fit that need here.  There are wipes
to use on the ocular lens for that purpose, and like Bird Watcher mentioned, just keep
your distance and use common sense.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/12/2010 at 21:56
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Originally posted by PhilinAK PhilinAK wrote:

  My question - is this fogproof on the outside or fogproof on the inside (i.e. argon filled).?  Any ideas? 
 
Binoculars rated as Fogproof are referring to internal fogging, thus the argon & other types of gas used.
 
No experience with the Nikon fogproof cloths, I normally use Zeiss lens cloths for cleaning, as I am NOT plagued with high humidity.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/12/2010 at 23:22
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Originally posted by PhilinAK PhilinAK wrote:

I am looking for comments / suggestions on a good pair of lower end bino that have very good anti-fog properties.  I color this post to highlight the direction I am going.  I have read numerous posts about great cheap bino's, but none of the reviews seemed to metion anti-fog. 
 
It may be listed on some binocular somewhere but I have never read a specification that said Fog Proof on any binocular.  I think there is some confusion about water resistant and fogproof.    Most binoculars for outdoor use will be listed as water resistant. Not all.   (Some say water PROOF but there is no such thing. My Rolex is water resistant to 1000 feet but it isn't waterproof.)   Water resistant means that water will not enter the inside of the binocular and introduce dust and dirt to the inside of the glass, prism, and mechanics, where you cannot clean it.   Fogging is almost always on the outside of the binoculars glass.  This is caused by a sudden change in temperature between the binocular and the temperature of the atmosphere your moving the binoculars to.  When I took  my expensive Swarovski's from my air conditioned house at 72 to the outside when it was 90 the other day, it took 5 minutes for the condensation on outside of the glass to disapate.  This is why you don't see binoculars listed as fogproof.  I don't think there is such a thing, regardless of cost.
 
Bill
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/13/2010 at 09:20
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I am guessing you are referring to the outside of the binoculars lenses becoming fogged. If it is the internal elements you are worrying about then I would say a good 90% of all binoculars these days are waterproof/fogproof internally. They are typically purged and/or filled with nitrogen or argon gas to prevent internal fogging.
 
Externally I do know that Bushnell seems to coat most of their lenses with their "Rainguard" coating. This does not totally eliminate fogging but it does create a situation where the fogging is easier to look through. When you mentioned "low end" then it was the Bushnell models that were the first I thought of with the external coating.
 
Having seen what price range you are considering though I would second the Zen Ray ED2 suggestions. The 8x43 ED2s aren't what I would call "compact" but they certainly fit your criteria and the optics are absolutely superb. They have a slightly smaller 7x36 ED2 which would also fit your criteria quite nicely.
 
If neither is what you are looking for then I would suggest the Bushnell Legend Ultra. The 8x42 is fairly compact for a full-sized bin, has their Rainguard lens coating, is fogproof, waterproof internally and can be had for under $300. Optics are excellent for this price point.
 
For what it is worth there isn't a binocular that I am aware of which truly is externally fogproof....even the $2000 ones. Some just fog up externally more so than others.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/13/2010 at 09:34
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Great stuff FrankD....as usual, right on the money.  Two great choices for him.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/13/2010 at 11:49
PhilinAK View Drop Down
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Thanks to everyone that posted; I appreciate your time.

I now understand there is no sure-fire cure to my moisture problems.  Since there is no magical anti-fog rating for the outside of the glass, it would be nice to know what difference the Swaro and Leica used to make such a difference.  On serveral occassions I was able to completly cup my eyes with them and have no external fogging, but within moments of bringing the Leupold's to my eyes the fog started to form.  Maybe there was something on the Luepold that was causing the problems, as neither friend had "done anything" to their expensive binos.

The Zen's look like a good fit, but after reading Vortex's warranty.... it is hard to beat their sales pitch.  Anyone have experience using them in 10 to 35 deg F temps?  And how would the Fury 8x42 compare with the Zen ED2's?  Do I need to step to the Viper if I am comparing with the Zen ED2?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/13/2010 at 16:50
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Neither the Fury nor the Viper are going to compare with the Zen ED2s optically. The Vortex Razor would be the closest match but it costs significantly more and doesn't match the Zen ED2s optically.
 
The Zen ZRS HD would be the closest match to the Vipers and it sells for $205. The Zen Vista would match the Fury and it goes for $130.
 
I certainly have had good experiences with Vortex's warranty service but Zen Ray has been equally good.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/13/2010 at 17:42
PhilinAK View Drop Down
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Thanks very much for the informative info Frank.  It looks like I should be eye-balling (pun intended) the ED2's pretty closely.
 
The best quality (and highest priced) binoculars I can find locally (that I can actually look through) are Nikon Monarch.  Anyone have an idea how these compare with the ED2.  It sounds like I have nothing to worry about if I jump for the Zen's, I'm just leery about buying without touching first...  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/13/2010 at 17:49
PhilinAK View Drop Down
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Nevermind that.  I asked before using the search button...It seems the Zens and Monarchs have been compared more than once Wink I will just have to convice myself to spend the money.  Hunting season starts in a week, I guess I better get moving.  Thanks again to everyone that took the time to post, both here and all the reviews I have read.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/15/2010 at 23:28
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You won't be sorry if you go for the Zen's. I find it impossible to replace mine simply because something better costs almost 3x as much.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/16/2010 at 18:54
PhilinAK View Drop Down
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Thanks for the boost in confidence boost Biggreen.  I ordered them from SWFA on Saturday, it appears they may ship today, so hopefully I will get them before I leave this Thursday.
 
My hunting buddy will be using Monarch X's, so it will be nice to compare in the field.
 
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