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Canon IS VS. Standerd bino's

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/03/2011 at 10:25
Sako7STW View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
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Hello all!  Been a lurker for a while but I am an avid hunter and an avid optics fan.  I am true believer in using top notch optics.  For my spotter, I use in my opinion (and several others) the best spotting scope in the world, the Kowa Prominar 884.  Since I have bought this, my hunting experience has improved significantly and mine and my hunting parties success's have increased 10x!!  It took me a good time to get the money to pay for that one. 

Now it is time to move on to step 2 of my optics upgrading.  I am going to buy me a really good pair of Bino's.  I have been using a pair of 8x Zeiss Diafun bino's.  Great little bino but getting scratched up some and I think they will be the new "kept in the truck glovebox" pair and the "out in the woods" pair. 

So on to the new, A few years back I went to the SHOT show and one of the things that stood out the most to me was the Canon IS (image stabilizing) bino's.  My father and I both have a natural shake and I can definitely see where the IS could be a huge benefit to me.  I just cant decide if I want to go this route or the regular style.  I am wanting these for the more spot & stalk method of hunting so I am thinking in the 12x range.  Something to fall between my 8x Zeiss bino's and my 20x spotting scope.  In the IS bino's I am thinking the 15x50's as with the IS the 15x is made much more useful. I am thinking though I will be using a tri-pod allot so the IS isnt really necessary but I dont want a bino as big as say the Vortex Kaibab 15x's as I think they are hard to use with out a tri-pod.  Thus once again a real advantage in the IS, near tri-pod images without one. I also know they are very popular on boating excursions and cruises. We do alot of boating, fishing, and have been on 2 cruises so I think they will get used there too.

So has anyone here ever used the Canon IS's for an extended period of time?  If I dont go that route, what 10x-12x Binocular would you recommend sub $800.?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/03/2011 at 13:03
Klamath View Drop Down
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I haven't used the IS binoculars for any length of time.  Having said, that I've spent some time with most of the Canon IS binoculars.  First off, they are represent a very unique viewing experience.  You sort of have to see it for yourself how everything just settles in to a nice shake free view.  I'm most impressed with the newer 10x42 L IS.  This one is waterproof and has ED glass (the L in the code ).  It is clearly alpha class before you push the button and it just gets better from there when the IS is engaged.  I had this one side by side with the Swarovision EL, the SLC-HD and the Kowa Genesis.  It is a hard go trying to figure which image is best.
 
OK, that's the good.  For the bad, they are big binoculars, the size of a typical 10x50 and weigh some 37 oz.  They are like a big rubber armored brick and the oculars adjust individually, not on the hinge arrangement we are used to.  We are getting away from single purpose optics here, those that only require the energy present in the ambient light conditions to function.  These need a couple of AAA batteries to power the IS gear.  That means there are things like the physical IS gear, circuit boards and the like that may have the chance to corrode up etc, so the waterproof aspect of the L series is pretty important.  They only have a three year warranty, but by then there will be the next round of US technology available, I'm sure.
 
I'm thinking pretty hard about the 10x42 L IS.  That is one of the more impressive optical experiences I've personally viewed.  I actually like the form factor of the 12x36 best, but it and the 10x30 are not waterproof and don't have the latest glass like the L series.  I'd also think real hard about the 12x36 when it comes out in an L series.  However, it has plenty good enough optics even without the L series refinements.
 
I'd probably go with something like the Badlands Bino case to keep these out of the elements as much as possible.  I have no idea how physically durable they are, but at $1,500 and a three year warranty, I'd be prone to play it safe.
 
The IS will add 2x anyway to the image.  The 10x42 is a lot brighter than the 15x50.  For less $$ the 12x36 is worth a look.
 
If you admit to having some shake anyway, I would not recommend ANY conventional 12x glass.  From your description of yourself, I'd go 8x.  Less magnification with a steadier view will let you see more than a shaking 12x.  I'd recommend you go the ZEN ED 2 or the Theron Wapiti APO-ED.


Edited by Klamath - March/03/2011 at 13:04
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/03/2011 at 20:13
Sako7STW View Drop Down
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Thank you Steve! That is an excellent review and suggestions.  I read several reviews and am yet to find a bad review of any of thier binoculars. The upper ones starting with the 12x36 and on up seam to get nothing but rave reviews.  I have also read a few on the "L" series 10x42 and pretty much the words were nothing short of "Amazing".  I would get the "L" 10x42's if I had the money but I just don't right now.  I have however found a brand new pair of the 15x50's for $720.00. That is flat out hard to pass up.  The 15x50 and the 18x50 were upgraded 2 years ago with better optics and stuff that put them in the very good but not ED/HD class. 

About a month ago I went to Cabela's and they had their Euro's (Meopta) in a 10X and they had the 12x36 Canon's. We went out after dark to see how they would compare and yes the Euro's were brighter but I could still see more detail at any distance with the Canon's.  My Dad was with as well as the sales rep and they both agreed.  Sharpness wise, the Canon's were every bit as sharp.

I left out in my previous post that I also have a pair of Vortex 10x42 Vipers that are my wifes i can use anytime I want. So I think between the Vortex and Zeiss I already have I think I am good to go with something higher powered. For that price I dont think I can go wrong. I can sell them and probably break even if I don't like them. I think I am going to order them.  Maybe in a year I can upgrade them to the "L" series if they come out with a 12x or 15x????

Ohhhh yah, I already have the Badlands pack.  Best optics pack you can buy period.  I would never buy a set of bino-buddies over one of these NOWAY!  Next year I plan on getting a badlands back pack and having it retro fitted to the bino case as well.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/04/2011 at 20:48
Sako7STW View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
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Well I just bought my Bino's!  15x50's brand new for $699 shipped!  I had a 10% off coupon from Ebay and won a auction for $760.  Applied the coupon and WALLA!!  I cant wait till I get these and I will do a review on here.  It is a shame SWFA doesn't carry these!  Nitche product but I am not seeing many other places like SWFA carrying them so they may be missing out on some good sales???  (it sounds like this could be the case with the Theron as well)
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/04/2011 at 21:20
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Sako:
Most hunters do not want something that requires batteries, and has such a short term warranty.
SWFA knows what products to handle, and I bet they are not missing many sales with those here.
Let us know how they turn out.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/06/2011 at 00:04
Sako7STW View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
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Originally posted by NDhunter NDhunter wrote:

Sako:
Most hunters do not want something that requires batteries, and has such a short term warranty.
SWFA knows what products to handle, and I bet they are not missing many sales with those here.
Let us know how they turn out.


Do you use a range finder?  I think they use batteries the last time I checked.  I dont think most rangefinders have a much better warranty but maybe I am wrong, havent looked into them for a long time.  I would have maybe went with a Bino/rangefinder combo if I could find one I could afford I actually liked (leica, Zeiss).  I am a diehard avid hunter and anything I can find to swing the odds my way, I am going to give a try.  Remember I have a natural shake I am trying to fight.

Anyways, there is a rather specific time i will be using these.  I do alot of pre-season glassing for the elk hunt and I think these will prove more than valuable during that time.  During the hunt and in the action I will be using a lighter weight bino, either my Votex Vipers or the new Theron APO's I should be reviewing very soon.  I will also use these while traveling as we do alot of that and these babies are supposed to be the cat's meow on cruises.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/06/2011 at 08:24
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I got a Canon 8x IS binocular for my wife.  She absolutely love it.  Said it was the first binocular she had ever used that did not give her a headache.  I like the Canon IS, as well, though I am not a great binocular "fan".  I've given up using my Nikon and use the Canon whenever SHE will let me (which is not often, but I sneak around some).  I actually took the Canon into the woods with me a couple of times without HER knowledge.  The image stabilization is really a wonderful feature and the battery lasts a REALLY long time.  IS eliminates/reduces the need for other stabilization and when used in conjunction with a tripod, etc, creates a very enjoyable viewing platform.  Best praise you will ever see from on a binocular... I wouldn't shoot it with the .458. 
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