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Chinese ED's compared to Alaskan Guides?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/07/2011 at 19:24
jason miller View Drop Down
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So I have a pair of the Cabela's Alaskan Guide 8x42's.  To my eyes they offer an amazing view.  The difference over a set of Monarch 8x36's I have is noticeable.  But I haven't really looked through much else and my eyes aren't that good at picking up differences in glass anyway.  Basically, I'm just wondering if any of the new class of Chinese ED binos would offer a noticeable increase in image quality.  My thinking was always that the big 3 were tops, several $500-$700 models come within 90% of them for way less money, and then you have $250-$300 binos that serve as the minimum for decent hunting glass.  When I bought the Alaskan Guides my intent was to get into the mid-class that would give me everything I'd ever need without completely destroying my bank account.  Now I'm wondering if I should think about selling them and getting some Zens, Krugers, or Therons to serve as my nice pair.

Klamath?  I know you have lots of experience with the Chinese binos.  Any chance you've ever looked through the Alaskan Guides?  How about other mid-range glass?


Edited by jason miller - May/07/2011 at 19:25
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/07/2011 at 20:55
Klamath View Drop Down
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Well, since you asked, no I don't have any experience with the Alaskan Guide biniculars.  I had 8x42 Monarchs for quite a while and what you describe in the difference is similar to the difference I saw in the Monarch vs the Chinese ED's,  it is noticeable.  So unless you want another binocular for whatever reason, I'd advise you stick with the Alaskan Guides.  Kind of hard to improve on an amazing view I think Big Smile.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/08/2011 at 00:55
FrankD View Drop Down
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I have owned the 8x42 Alaskan Guides. I would agree that they are great glass for the money. Maybe I should say that they "were" in one sense. Go back 5 or 6 years ago and they certainly were one of the best optical performers for the price. They come very close to matching the Alpha glass from back at that time. The difference now though is that you have glass that equals their optical performance and betters it by a fair margin for significantly less money. I would certainly rate any of the Chinese EDs higher optically than the Alaskan Guides. Color fringing is more well controlled in the Zen Ray ED2s, for example, plus the image appears sharper and brighter. You cannot discount field of view either. The Zen Rays have a noticeably wider field of view plus better edge performance in my experience.
 
...and for what it is worth I could never warm up to the click-stop focus adjustment on the Alaskan Guides.
 
Just my two cents.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/08/2011 at 02:44
jason miller View Drop Down
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Yeah, for some reason the click stop focus doesn't bother me.  I kind of like the fact that it won't move around once I get it somewhere, and I haven't had a problem with not being able to focus on something in between clicks.

I'll probably just keep the things, since I got a decent deal on them and my untrained eyes probably won't see much difference anyway.  Mostly I was just wondering if the new Chinese ED glass would be enough improvement to warrant making the switch before the price on new Chinese glass goes up.  It just seems like they are too good of a deal to pass up and maybe this deal won't last long.  It will be interesting to see if their prices do go up in the future.  Maybe since there are a few companies putting out similar product, though, they will have to compete at that price point for awhile.

Thanks for the input guys.  And I would more than welcome anyone else chiming in.
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