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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/11/2007 at 11:59
chavo View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
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What do you guys think of Carson Binos?  They clain to be as good as Leupold GR 10x42 but only have a $279 price tag. I had never heard of Carson before until I read an add in a huntine Magazine.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/11/2007 at 12:18
FrankD View Drop Down
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I think the advertisement you are referring to compares the light transmission figures for the Leupold Golden Rings and the Carson XM HD series of binos. The Carson's do, reportedly, have a high light transmission number if the advertisement is to be believed.

 

I have yet to try a pair of them but several folks on here speak very highly of them.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/11/2007 at 15:46
lucznik View Drop Down
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Aside from the obvious counsel to be wary of any/all advertising claims (which would include the texts of 95% of all gear tests written up in the various periodicals) the thing that you must be careful about when comparing light transmission figures is to remember that high gross light transmission does not necessarily make for high image quality.

 

A really bright unresolved blob is still just an unresolved blob.

 

I'll take a binocular that only gives 85% light transmission but that has optics of high enough quality to be able to really work with that light over a binocular that offers 95%+ light transmission but has glass that is imperfectly ground and thus useless, anyday of the week (and twice on Sundays.)

 

I have not yet handled any Carson optics so, I don't want to say anything that would sound too definitive but, I have serious doubts as to their comparability to the higher-class glasses they like to mention in their ads.  Tasco, Barska, Simmons, etc. all say they offer "unrivaled optics" in their ads as well.  I don't believe them either.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/11/2007 at 16:44
Bird Watcher View Drop Down
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chavo,

Cornell Lab of Ornithology published, for the winter of 2005, a comprehensive review of 75 binoculars, ranging in price from UNDER $200, all the way up to the OVER $1000 binoculars. For what it is worth, there wasn't a single Carson mentioned in the bunch.

lucznik is right on the money. Using light transmission as the single most important criterion, when comparing binoculars, is nothing more than advertising hype.

I don't know if things have changed over the years, but, one of the books I have read stated, there are NO "industry standards" for light transmission.

"Implying", in their advertisement, that a $280 Carson XM-HD binocular is better than a Leupold Golden Ring binocular is ridiculous.



Edited by Bird Watcher
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/11/2007 at 17:09
Acenturian View Drop Down
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As someone who has owned the Carson XM's (Not the HD) model I will tell you this they will hold their own to more expensive glass. Do I think that they can compete with a $1,000 binocular such as a Golden Ring.  NO.  Do they kick tail over every other binocular I looked at in their price range and even a bit over YES.

 

I'd take a Carson XM over a Nikon Monarch, Bushnell Legened, Pentax DCF HR II and the (Older cant comment on the newer ) Pentax DCF WP. I still think the Pentax SP is better but not by much.  Heck,  I sold mine to a friend (stupid move) to buy the Weaver Grand Slam 10.5x45 binoculars. I love the Weaver G/S scope so I figured lets try the nocs it would be a step up considering the Weavers are around $450...WRONG the Carsons were considerably better optically. I'd give the Weavers the edge on build quality but they are pretty heavy.

 

Carson XM's are a wonderful buy for someone looking into what I consider entry level decent glass ($250 +) in that price range I don't think there is anything close.  They have a great warranty, they are well built, VERY waterproof  and the glass while not a $1,000 binocular still very very nice.

 

Just my 2 cents

 

AC 



Edited by Acenturian
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/11/2007 at 19:04
Zeroman_IR View Drop Down
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I have a pair of Carson XM 8x42s and have been very happy with them. While not as good as my 8x42 Geovids (and they wouldn't want to be!), they are very sharp and clear. The Geovids are a little brighter and offer a clearer view (as a non optics expert the best way I can describe it is that with the Geovids the image is every bit as clear as my own eyesight whereas with the Carsons I can tell I am looking through something. Don't know if that makes sense)

They are not that far off my Swarovski SLC 7x30s, with the extra magnification making up for any deficit in clarity. I would recommend them above many binoculars in the sub $500 category, but as I said, I am no expert.

Edit to say: For those of you with glasses, they have the best eye relief of my 3 pairs. Very easy to get the full FOV, even a little leeway to move them around, which can't be said of the Geovids or SLCs.


Edited by Zeroman_IR
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/02/2007 at 19:01
spf2 View Drop Down
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well, Carson may very well bear the quality they claim. There is such a huge profit to be made in the high end binoculars. When company X OEM their binoculars from overseas, they normally marked up the price 3X and sell it to retailers, which in turn marks up another 3X for retail price.  Hence, a $400 binoculars may only cost $50 to make... Depending on the business model, even if Carson sells a binoculars for 1/3 of competitor's price, they still make a decent profit and offer a good quality product.  Just like Vortex Razor sells for 1/3 of price of european brands..  I am waiting for another company to offer the same product for half of what Razor is selling for..
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