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Brunton Epoch MD

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/23/2014 at 15:53
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Found a seemingly good deal on the Epoch MDs marked (80% off). I've found little/no chatter about them on the net. Doesn't look like Brunton even sells them anymore (are they even still in business?).

Anybody looked through these things before? How about the spotting scopes?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/23/2014 at 17:12
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Sorry


Edited by Bird Watcher - September/23/2014 at 18:11
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/23/2014 at 17:26
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I don't think the Epoch is the same thing as the Epoch MD.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/26/2014 at 08:30
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These seem to be the same as the Icons. Went ahead and ordered a pair. At $540, figured it was worth a shot. Ordered the 11x44. Thinking I probably should have ordered the 8x44s.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/26/2014 at 14:11
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The MD does look like a remake, or make that a rename, of the Icon.  I have never seen one.  The big downside of the Icon was a pretty narrow fov, especially considering the Icon original msrp was about $2,300.

I have some experience with the original Epoch.  It was also hampered with a somewhat narrow fov.  It also had a pretty steep price tag.  It also has alpha class image quality and the best focus humans ever put on any binocular.  I do not know if that focus goes over to the new MD however.  My Google search yielded a status of unavailable and a price tag of $799.  The link did not give any technical specs, so i do not know about the fov on the MD.  I'd look long and hard at $800, not so much at $2k+.  Since you ordered one, I for one would be interested in your opinion.

Brunton has been around for a long time and made its name in surveying instruments.  They are still in business.  They sell quite a bit of interesting stuff.

EDIT:  I went back and looked closer.  The fov specs are the same as the Icon.  Remains to be seen whether Brunton is facing the fact they need to make some chops in better glass before they seriously challenge top end stuff, or whether they simplified some things and reduced cost, or just what.  I have no idea Big Smile


Edited by Klamath - September/26/2014 at 14:18
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/26/2014 at 14:23
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Need to get my hands on some other binos to compare. Only have a Nitrex Tr1 right now. Also have an Epoch MD spotter on the way. Have a Razor HD to compare to. Will report back.

I don't know what's going on with Brunton. Even with the Icons, there's very little about them on the net. Did they just never ship/launch this line?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/26/2014 at 14:25
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I'm curious about the FOV thing. Something you probably can't appreciate until actually looking through binos.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/26/2014 at 19:15
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Each binocular design has, by nature of its design, what is called an angular field of view.  Think of this is a cone extending forward to infinity from the objectives.  For each angular degree of field we get 52.5 feet in the view.  So if the angular field is 8*, then the total fov is 8x52.5=420'.  So if we have a fov width and want to know how many angular degrees, simply reverse the process.  In the case of the 11x44 Icon MD, listed at 315', divide that by 52.5 and we get  6*.  A somewhat generally accepted rule of thumb for a wide field binocular is an apparent fov (afov) of 60*+.  The old fashioned way to figure afov is to multiply the angular degrees of view by the magnification, in the case of the Icon MD 11x, 11x6=66*, so there we have what most would consider a wide field binocular.  In the case of the 8x Icon MD at 357' we get an angular field of 6.8*.  This would not make the widefield cut as 6.8x8=54.4* afov.  There is no real industry standard definition of wide field so  take what I just said with that in mind Big Smile.  I better edit to add that the size of the objective lens has NOTHING to do with fov.  That is strictly a function of the eye piece design.

What people do or do not prefer with regard to magnification or field of view varies with the person doing the looking.  Keep it simple and just remember YOU are tho only guy who has to be impressed with the new Icon MD...nobody else.

I think it likely you will find you bought a really good binocular.  I was always impressed with the original Epoch.  Brunton never seemed to make any real effort at marketing their line, and I have no earthly idea why that would be.


Edited by Klamath - September/27/2014 at 14:36
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/05/2014 at 08:11
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Where did you find them for that price?

I just won a pair of the Epoch MD 11x44 on the auction site for $565.

I'm interested in the spotting scope.  

Brunton's website has the binoculars for $800 and the 20-60X version of the spotting scope for $1100 (formerly $4000).
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/06/2014 at 13:30
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I ordered a pair of 8x44 Epoch MD's and an angled Epoch MD spotting scope from the Brunton website. They may not be worth $2600 and $4000 respectively, but at $799 and $1099, it's worth a chance. Brunton is getting out of the optics business which is why they are clearances out. I will post again with my impressions when I receive the items.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/07/2014 at 18:50
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I received by new Brunton Epoch 8x44 MD binoculars today, direct from Brunton.  My initial impressions are that these are very high quality binoculars.  The image is crystal clear, bright, and with no discernable color change from real life.  The focus is silky smooth and fast.  The eyecup adjustment functions great, with stops at 3 different heights.   The rubber lens protectors are well designed, with the objective lens caps able to be flipped down out of the way or totally removed.  The eyepiece protectors are a one-piece rubber protector that covers both.  The binoculars came with a nice padded case, a neck strap and a packstrap/harness, foam stretchover protectors, and a lens cleaning cloth.
 
I don't have a set of zeiss or swaro binoculars, but I may take the Epochs to our local Cabelas for a quick side-by-side comparison.  Overall these binoculars appear to be well-engineered, with world class optics.  Well worth the price for me!
 
The spotting scope should arrive tomorrow.  Stay tuned.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/08/2014 at 21:10
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Ok, I received the 20-60 X 80mm Brunton Epoch spotter today.  Two issues that I noticed right away during the first use:  I need to clean my windows and get some hardware for my tripod, lol.  The scope itself is first quality.  The optics are great and the focus is extremely smooth, just a little more touchy than the amazing binocular focus.  It comes with push-on eye-piece protector, screw-on objective lens protector, elastic/foam sheath, and lens cloth.  I'm anxoius to put it through its paces.  Overall, I am very happy with the binoculars and spotting scope, especially for the price.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/09/2014 at 06:03
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Glad you like your new gear.  My Epoch MD 11x44 arrived yesterday.  The optics are spectacular.  Definitely alpha quality.  Right up there with  Zeiss, Leica and Swarovski.

How is the eye relief on the scope?  I wear glasses and with the Zeiss Diascope I can see the entire field of view at low and high magnifications, but at medium magnifications I can't.  Brunton says that the eye relief is 17mm, but they don't say if it varies as you zoom.

If you're going to upgrade your tripod, a fluid head is the best way to go.  Bogen/Manfroto and Gitzo both make  them.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/09/2014 at 13:38
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I didn't post the website in deference to SWFA. Picked up a spotter for $800 in addition to the binos. Are we allowed to post other websites here?

I made the mistake of ordering the straight eye piece scope. Definitely prefer the angled. Oh well. haven't had a chance to spend much time behind it yet. It is a very nice scope though.

My impression of binoculars is also that they are very good. Without a side by side comparison to a known alpha, I couldn't say how good they are. They are a little harder to hold steady than I'd care for. Don't know if this is due to the magnification and or the field of view. The magnification is on the high side.

Fluid heads are wear it's at. 2 way video heads seems to work nicely for scopes. I've got a ball head on one tripod, and it's just miserable for spotting scope use. That's actually hampering my comparison to my Razor HD. One tripod is on a sweet manfrotto/bogen setup with a video fluid head, and the other is on an el cheapo ball mount.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/09/2014 at 13:39
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The spotting scope eye relief most definitely varies with zoom.

Did anybody get paperwork with their scopes/binos? Both mine came with no documentation or warranty card or anything.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/09/2014 at 17:35
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My 11x44s were advertised as new, but they came with no paperwork of any kind.  Brunton appears to have a really good warranty.  

Do you think someone wearing glasses could see the whole field of view at all magnifications?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/09/2014 at 18:22
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I E-mailed Brunton about warranty before I purchased.  At 75% off, they are not providing the waranty.  They have made a corporate decision to get out of the optics business, which is too bad, but its hard to develop a name to be able to compete with the big boys I guess.
 
I take great care of my optics so Idecided to take the risk without the waranty.  As long as you don't have a habit of using your binoculars for things like wheel chocks when changing tires, you should be good to go.  it's a personal decision, $2600 and $4000 with warranty, $800 and $1100 without. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/09/2014 at 18:25
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Thanks for the advice about a fluid head for the spotter.  I have an older Linhof tripod, which is well built, just not the latest head.  It had a loose screw where the threaded stud came up out of the center post.  I snugged that up and it seems pretty solid.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/12/2014 at 15:47
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I finally got around to comparing the Epoch MD Spotter to my Vortex Razor HD.  I can say with out a doubt the Epoch MD is optically better. My main point of comparison was the ability to read text on signs. Text at distances that I could barely read with the Razor was noticeably easier to read with the Epoch MD.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/01/2015 at 12:59
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Which razor scope did you compare it to?
Thanks
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/09/2015 at 15:22
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The 85 mm
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/10/2015 at 11:07
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Thanks. I just received a Icon 25x50x80 spotter and I will be comparing it to my Zeiss Victory 85 T FL and will report back.

I also have a pair of the 8x44 Icon binoculars on the way.
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