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Bushnell Legend and Pentax DCF SP

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/16/2006 at 11:09
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I have read that the Pentax DCF SP Binos have a hydrophobic coating on their exterior lenses just like the Bushnell legends have Raingaurd. Does this Hydrophobic coating on the Pentax work as well as Bushnells RAINGAURD at preventing the lenses from fogging up? If so I will just go Pentax, but if they are only good at repeling water beading I may go Bushnell legend. Binos always fog up while Im glassing for deer through the woods in the mornings. I would rather have ok optics I can see through than have better optics I cannot. But if Pentax works as well Raingaurd, then I will pay more to get both. Does anyone have experience with the Pentax DCF SP and its fogging up?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/16/2006 at 20:20
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I have owned models from both companies...the 8x32 SPs and the 8x32 Legends. In all honesty I cannot remember a situation where either fogged up to the point where I had an extremely difficult time using them. You can chalk that up to the hydrophobic coating if you like but I did not really notice a difference between those two and any of the other bins I have owned in this regard.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/17/2006 at 14:26
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Thanks for responding FrankD, can you tell me if the Pentax were worth the extra money opticaly speaking? Also, which one was more comfortable to use as far as how they felt in your hands when glassing. Which one had a smoother and easier to turn focus wheel and which one focused faster with less turning of the focus wheel. I also considered the Leupold Pinnacles in 8x42 , I actually had a chance to look through these and they felt good in the hands and were optically nice but had no hydrophobic coating. The Pentax and Leupold are lighter but fogging up is my problem and Ill take extra weight over poor view.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/17/2006 at 18:50
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I definitely think the Pentax was the worth the extra money. The optics are really just a small amount below the top European brands. Edge sharpness wasn't as good but apparent sharpness, contrast, etc... are excellent with the SPs. I chose the 32s because of their smaller overall size and wider field of view. They give up very little in terms of brightness to the 42 mm model.

 

As for physical comfort, they are both about the same size and weight with the Pentax having a more conventional design overall. Focusing on both was extremely precise and both had just the right amount of friction for control. I do not remember focusing speed particularly but with that thought in mind it might have been because there was nothing unusual in that regard. They were neither extremely fast or unusually slow.

 

Given your comments I would opt for the SPs.Their only drawback is their fairly narrow field of view in comparison to the top end roofs. Compared to others in their price range they offer the same level. Optically they are fairly bright with good contrast and perceived sharpness. I do not think you get better optics or build quality until you really step up in price.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/17/2006 at 20:52
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Thanks, that helps a lot. I was going to get the 8x42 but if you cant tell much difference in brightness then I may go with the 8x32 since I like to stalk hunt from time to time. If I was going to just sit in a blind or treestand all day I would go with some porro prism models and save some money. Which porro prism models would you suggest in the $300 and under range for hunting? Also, have you any experience with the Carson roof prisms?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/17/2006 at 21:50
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+1 to what FrankD has already posted. (except that I don't like the 30+mm class of binoculars.)

 

I was contemplating whether or not to make a longer, more detailed post about this issue of the RainGaurd coatings and more pointedly to my experience with the Elite line of products but.... 

The short version is that this year I have had to opportunity to use Bushnell's Elite Binocular (10x43) and Elite Riflescope (3-9x40 3200) right along side other binoculars and scopes from makers such as Nikon, Leupold, Pentax, Burris, and Tasco while hunting deer, elk and antelope.  My hunts have included a wide variety of climate conditions including:

  • temperatures ranging from over 100 degrees to well below freezing.
  • wind speeds from dead still to so strong I could barely stand up.
  • painfully bright sun to totally black overcast skies.
  • pouring rain, driving sleet, and near white-out snow.

During this time, both the Bushnell products performed wonderfully.  They provided bright, clear images and were an absolute joy to use. However, I also observed no advantage whatsoever to the supposed "hydrophobic" coatings. 

  • When other optics fogged, so did the Bushnells. 
  • The Bushnells required an equal amount of time for this fogging to clear.
  • When rained upon the Bushnells did not cause the water to form any larger size of drops, nor did these drops slide off the glass any easier/faster.  Thus the level of distortion caused by the rain was the same.

In short, while I really, really like these Bushnells, the RainGaurd portion of their design has proven to be nothing but an advertising gimick. 

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/18/2006 at 06:57
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"Thanks, that helps a lot. I was going to get the 8x42 but if you cant tell much difference in brightness then I may go with the 8x32 since I like to stalk hunt from time to time. If I was going to just sit in a blind or treestand all day I would go with some porro prism models and save some money. Which porro prism models would you suggest in the $300 and under range for hunting? Also, have you any experience with the Carson roof prisms? "

 

I have a somewhat difficult time suggesting porro prism binoculars at that price point because of a general lack of experience in that regard. I have owned a variety of porro prism binoculars but I am not sure any of them would totally suit someone else's preferences for hunting. My $300 and under porro list includes:

 

Nikon 7x35 Action ($60)

Nikon 7x35 Action EX ($120)

Nikon 7x35 E  ($100)

Nikon 8x30 EII ($250)

Nikon 10x35 EII ($260)

Leupold Cascade 8x42 Porro ($299)

Leupold Yosemite 6x30 ($90)

 

Out of that group only the Action EX and Cascade are waterproof and nitrogen purged. I chose the Nikon because it is fairly small compared to the 8x40 configuration, has an exceptionally wide field of view and a very crisp image over the central 1/2 of the image. However it is a bit heavy and the 7x magnification will not please everyone. I would have no hesitation in using it for hunting though.

 

The Leupolds are both excellent bins. Right now I actually have the little 6x30 Yosemite in my pack for bowhunting. When one considers the relative short distance that most bowhunting shots are taken from and my state's current antler restrictions the 6x30 makes alot of sense. It is an extremely sharp and bright glass if you can get over the 6x magnification. Even if it isn't someone's primary glass it makes an excellent backup.

 

The 8x42 Cascade could be the next step in the porro prism design's evolution. It uses an internal focusing mechanism just like that of most roof prisms. My only two reservations with it are that the field of view is only average (around 330 feet at 8x....with the porro design this gives me somewhat of a tunnel effect) and because of the shape of the bin and the shape of my nose I can just barely get the correct interpupilary distance setting. The latter might not affect everyone though as it is something specific to my facial dimensions. The former might also not be an issue especially when you consider what a wonderfully bright and flat image these bins provide. They are noticeably brighter and sharper in my opinion compared to the 8x42 Cascade roof prisms.

 

I have no experience with the Carson XM series of roof prism glasses but they are fairly highly regarded on this forum for roofs in this price range.

 

Hope this helps.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/18/2006 at 11:50
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Thanks, Frank, for mentioning the 7x. I had something in mind but I was waiting to see what others had to say first. I was thinking about the Steiner 7x50 Police #6375 in the Samplelist at $269.95. This is similar to the model they make for the U.S. Army & U.S. Navy Seals. It is slightly over 2 lbs. which makes it comfortable for extended use. Once set for 20 yds. no further adjustment is necessary. FOV is 354ft. @ 1000yds. Eye relief is 22mm. Exit pupil is 7.1mm.

The Carson XM-HD 8x42 roof prism advertises 84.7% light transmission, which to me is average or alittle above.(for myself, 85% usable light transmission is a starting point.) They also put in the disclaimer that the listed percentages are AVERAGES, etc.

The Steiner 7x50's light transmission is between 90-92%.

The Nikon Action 7x35 is not waterproof or fogproof.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/18/2006 at 13:41
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"The Nikon Action 7x35 is not waterproof or fogproof."

 

No, it isn't but the EX model is. However, I think one has to question whether the O-ring style seals utilized on external focus porro prism models are as effective as a true internal focus model like the Leupold Cascade porro. Eventually they have to wear out with extended usage.

 

I have no experience with the Steiners but I do find your comments about light transmission interesting. I read over on Birdforum where the Leica Trinovids were in the low 80's in terms of light transmission. I find it interesting that the Carson XM series is actually advertised at a higher level but then you could be right and it could be the way they are measuring or listing the percentages.

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