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Bushnell Elites, Steiner, Japan

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/18/2007 at 09:57
Fishinado View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper

Joined: September/09/2006
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 35

A friend of mine came over last night with a pair of Bushnell Elite 10x43 that he just bought.  We went outside at 9PM, and compared my 10x42 Steiner Predators, and (don't laugh) my 8x42 Tasco EXP (I really like these!).  The Bushnells were brighter, and sharper than the Steiners and surprisingly compact in size for a 10x, the focusing was slower with the Bushnells, something that I would have to get used to.


I would like to replace my Steiners with a 10x in the sub $1000 range.  I really liked the Elites, especially their size, and the optical performance was as good as I've seen anywhere( I still like my EXPs!).  My question is this, it seems as though many of these Japanese made binos look the same with similar sizes, and features.  My EXPs came with the exact ocular lens covers as the Elites.  Could it be that many of these binos are made by the same company in Japan, and are just marked with different skins and name brands?  It kind of looks that way to me.  Since many of these brands don't make their own product, how many different firms in Japan can manufacture for them?


I would appreciate any suggestions in the sub $1000 catagory, and any further comments on the Elites, as I was really impressed with the size and performance.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/18/2007 at 11:27
ND2000 View Drop Down
Optics Journeyman
Optics Journeyman

Joined: January/29/2007
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 308

Fishinado -


My top recommendations for 10x in the sub $1,000 category would be the following:


1) Minox HGs (cost about $800-$900 depending on the objective size) -- they have a FOV that is generally narrower than the rest but they make up for it in edge sharpness and size of the sweet spot.  I own the 8.5x43 HGs and love them. They are my favorite pair in the sub $1,000 class.


2) A demo/used pair of Swarovski SLCs.  10x can be had for right at $1,000.


Good luck and enjoy the process in finding your new bins!



Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/18/2007 at 11:39
lucznik View Drop Down
Optics Master
Optics Master

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



The Elites are a fantastic binocular.  I've had the 10x43 for awhile now and have no desire to change or "upgrade" at all.  Different people like different things in a binocular which will dramatically effect their final choice but, I truly don't believe you can get a "better" binocular for under $1000 - in fact you can't even necessarily get a "better" binocular even if you spend a lot more.


The ocular lens covers for you Tasco are possibly the same because Tasco is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bushnell Sporting Optics.  Thus, these and other accoutrements very likely could have been purchased in bulk from a single supplier.  That is not an indication that the optics are comparable as the Tasco line is definately firmly planted at the lowest end of the quality scale.


To answer you last question; Yes, many of the imported names in optics are buying their stuff from Japan (and China) from the same few manufacturing plants. However, just like when you go buy a car, there are lots of options (Bak 7 or Bak 4 prisms, what coatings and how many, phase corrected or not, ED glass or not, etc. etc.) that the purchasing company can specify that will dramatically alter the performance of the optics - even if they look very similar to others coming from the same plant.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/18/2007 at 21:12
Chris in NorCal View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
Optics Apprentice

Joined: November/16/2005
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 56
Inspect your Demos carefully. I bought then returned a Zeiss monocular that had a crack about 1\64" wide that ran the length of it.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/20/2007 at 23:51
Acenturian View Drop Down
Optics Journeyman
Optics Journeyman

Joined: September/07/2004
Status: Offline
Points: 543

In the sub $1000 range I would look really hard at the Minox HG series. They appear to be very good optics as well as very light weight which is another consideration if your going to be hiking/hunting for miles.


Also, I am a big fan of Kahles while not quite up there with the BIG three they are very close behind.  A very soild product with a great reputation.



Good Luck  

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