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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/08/2010 at 00:13
robbie View Drop Down
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Yes, cow watching.......... Well sort of.
 
Mom has a farm with 20 or so cows and she often observes from the porch.  Particularly of interest is being able to read the numbers on their ear tags.
 
My question is related to magnification.
 
When researching for my hunting binos, I thought I wanted 10X, but based on my education learned here, I went with 8X (Fujinon CD) and am very happy.
 
So I understand  the benefits to lower magnification.  However, mom isn't glassing for hours, nor is she concerned about low light, weight, etc, etc.  She simply needs magnification to make basic herd observations and read tags.
 
That being said, I assume 10X at least.  What about bigger?  Any other drawbacks to larger?  Inexpensive would be fine I'm sure (not from a budget standpoint, but dont see the need to pay a lot to read tags.)
 
If it existed, a Yosemite 12x36 would be perfect, I'd think.
 
Comments? Answers? Suggestions?
 
Thanks in advance.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/08/2010 at 10:34
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How far away are they? Whats your price range?

Zen Ray makes some quality binos at a price thats hard to beat.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/08/2010 at 10:47
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But you might want to go with  a porro prism. Those tend to be cheaper.
Nikon, Leupold, Pentax all make porro prism style.
 
I have a pair of the ZRS-HD (2010 model) and they are great. So good for the money I wish I had got the ED2.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/08/2010 at 12:39
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This one will work just fine for reading numbers on a cows ear. Bandito
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/08/2010 at 14:28
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Ask yourself how steady is your Mom? Because the higher the magnification the more exaggerated any movement will appear. I have the older version of the Nikon action that Bird Watcher recommended and they are very clear in the center. Good for looking at tags.  You do notice a dishing effect when you pan across the field while glassing but no more than any other similar priced 10X binoculars.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/08/2010 at 17:22
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Originally posted by 3_tens 3_tens wrote:

Ask yourself how steady is your Mom? Because the higher the magnification the more exaggerated any movement will appear.
 
 
Mom will do OK with 10x if she uses the binocular from a comfortable 'sitting' position on the porch.
Also good for quick cat naps. Sleep
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/08/2010 at 17:44
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X = 180 Y = 90 (X+Pyro)+(Y-Pyro) = ?

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Originally posted by robbie robbie wrote:

  However, mom isn't glassing for hours, nor is she concerned about low light, weight, etc, etc.  She simply needs magnification to make basic herd observations and read tags.
 
That being said, I assume 10X at least.  What about bigger?  Any other drawbacks to larger?  Inexpensive would be fine I'm sure (not from a budget standpoint, but dont see the need to pay a lot to read tags.)
 
If it existed, a Yosemite 12x36 would be perfect, I'd think.
 
Comments? Answers? Suggestions?
 
Thanks in advance.
I wouldn't advise higher magnification, low budget optics for the sole reason that the resolution won't be there. I think resolution would be needed to read the numbers on the ear tags. If it were me, I'd opt for better glass before I went for higher magnification. As has been stated, a decent 10x would probably fit the bill. I would opt for something like that before higher magnification, and lower quality glass in the same price range. My opinion is a 10x42 will do a lot of things well, most likely including cow watching.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/08/2010 at 17:59
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Depending on her vantage point, you might want to do what my friends did: Set up a relatively inexpensive spotting scope on a tripod. It will be steadier and easier to control and even a cheap piece o' crap will be good at 15X.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/08/2010 at 19:08
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Magnification is good, but good resolustion is important too.  She has a about a 4" tag to read.  One the better 8x42, 8x30, or 7x50's will work better than a 10x or 12x. My mom had adopted my Nikon 7x50 marine, she does about the samething on her farm.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/08/2010 at 21:56
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I raise registered Angus Cattle and cow watching is a regular daily routine.  Ear tag reading is certainly a part of that.  Pure and simple, you don't read ear tag numbers from very far away.  Our tags are Yellow, Orange, White, Blue, or Red  with black numerals.  They are something like 2'" square on calves and 3" on cows.  A 10x will have an advantage only if the glass is very steady.  I use a 7x mostly or an 8x.  Tag detail is easier to see with a sharp steady image, even if lesser power.  The 10x stays in the pickup and gets used fro a window tripod mount.  On walking inspections I tend to use the ZEN ED 7x36, ZRS 8x42 and Swift Eaglet 7x36 in that order.  6x Yosemites or 6.5x Raptors work about as well.  Kind of hard to read tags much past 300 yards with just about anything.  For one the cow or calf is almost never still.  Even if relaxing they are moving their heads to swat flies, or flipping ears.  The best way is to get their attention and get them in the "who are you and what are you up to" mode, so they are looking at you and you have their attention. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/08/2010 at 22:30
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/08/2010 at 22:38
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Sorry, not my mom......

Edited by robbie - April/08/2010 at 22:38
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/08/2010 at 22:57
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Rob, please check your PM....





Edited by mike650 - April/15/2010 at 21:25
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/08/2010 at 23:34
robbie View Drop Down
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All is good.  I chuckled when I saw your post.  I was trying to be dead pan dry funny back at ya.
 
No need to fret it at all.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/09/2010 at 00:21
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Thanks Robbie.... Thunbs     Up    Thunbs     Up   


Mom's are forever "off limits"!!!! Angel
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/15/2010 at 10:55
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Klamath has it right I have 10x Bushnell legends for checking cattle my one son has 8x Minox seem to be better glass and I find my self using his when out checking for problems with my cattle. I'm looking forward to trying out the Bushy Legend Ultras in 8x36 or at least hearing how thy perform once available.I guess my point is get better 8x or like others have said spotting scope but my cows seem to be on the move too much for a spotter.
 
Alan
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/15/2010 at 13:31
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Originally posted by Klamath Klamath wrote:

I raise registered Angus Cattle and cow watching is a regular daily routine.  Ear tag reading is certainly a part of that.  Pure and simple, you don't read ear tag numbers from very far away.  Our tags are Yellow, Orange, White, Blue, or Red  with black numerals.  They are something like 2'" square on calves and 3" on cows.  A 10x will have an advantage only if the glass is very steady.  I use a 7x mostly or an 8x.  Tag detail is easier to see with a sharp steady image, even if lesser power.  The 10x stays in the pickup and gets used fro a window tripod mount.  On walking inspections I tend to use the ZEN ED 7x36, ZRS 8x42 and Swift Eaglet 7x36 in that order.  6x Yosemites or 6.5x Raptors work about as well.  Kind of hard to read tags much past 300 yards with just about anything.  For one the cow or calf is almost never still.  Even if relaxing they are moving their heads to swat flies, or flipping ears.  The best way is to get their attention and get them in the "who are you and what are you up to" mode, so they are looking at you and you have their attention. 
 
Steve,  this is an interesting discussion. On my way to the office this morning, I was listening to OPB (Oregon Public Broadcast)'s Think Out Loud program. They were discussing cow rustling and how to keep track of cows in the vast open country.
 
 
check it out.
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/15/2010 at 16:30
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Charles,
 
This is my idea of the Ultimate Cow-Watching binocular,
the Zen Ray  Neptune 20x80mm CF  Shocked Bandito
 
 
Stan
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/15/2010 at 23:49
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i look at cow tags every day i have tried several different powers .right now i like 8x42 pentax dcf wp.i looked at more expensive binoculars but i could not justify the increased cost.they have been really tough.i have had them nearly 10 yrs . they look so bad i am sure no one would even steal them out of the truck but are plenty clear enough to read tags.i tried higher powers but could not see as good as the 8 power.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/16/2010 at 13:44
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Originally posted by Bird Watcher Bird Watcher wrote:

Charles,
 
This is my idea of the Ultimate Cow-Watching binocular,
the Zen Ray  Neptune 20x80mm CF  Shocked Bandito
 
 
Stan
 
 
 
Stan, I will reserve one for you. Big Smile
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/16/2010 at 14:44
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Originally posted by Zen-Ray Zen-Ray wrote:

Originally posted by Bird Watcher Bird Watcher wrote:

Charles,
 
This is my idea of the Ultimate Cow-Watching binocular,
the Zen Ray  Neptune 20x80mm CF  Shocked Bandito
 
 
Stan
 
Stan, I will reserve one for you. Big Smile
Charles, the Key Words to take into consideration, from my response to this post, are "Ultimate Cow-Watching binocular".
 
In all honesty, and in all fairness, I do not have a farm, or a ranch, and in real life I do not watch cows. But IF I did...............
 
Now, as far as the type of Neptune binocular that I would PREFER for myself as a stargazer, I would pick the 25x100mm. 
 
Point number two, to take into consideration, would be the fact that I am unemployed at the moment.
Nonetheless, I would enjoy owning the Neptune 25x100mm at some time in the future. 
 
Stan Big Grin


Edited by Bird Watcher - April/16/2010 at 14:51
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/16/2010 at 22:03
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Originally posted by Bird Watcher Bird Watcher wrote:

 
Now, as far as the type of Neptune binocular that I would PREFER for myself as a stargazer, I would pick the 25x100mm. 
 
 
Yes, 25x100 is my stargazing binoculars of choice too. With the wooden tripod, it weighs close to 50lb. 
 
Have a good weekend!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/16/2010 at 22:26
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Charles,
 
The issue of keeping track of one's cattle can get WAAAAY beyond what can be done with binoculars.  The NAIS (National Animal Identification System) is something that I hope is dead and gone.  There is just too much potential intrusion there for me.  The ultimate solution will likely revolve around satellite readable tags or implants.  Some years ago, the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) was working on such a system.  However the costs at that time were about $200 a cow.  It was a special transmitting ear tag readable by satellite.  Not only were tags expensive, but they were cheap compared to the cost of satellite access.  It would be nice to get on the computer and to be able to see where your cows are.  This was originally designed to monitor position on US government grazing leases to get a better handle on where and how cows used the allotments.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/17/2010 at 09:47
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Steve, thanks a lot for the insight. It is fascinating to learn this topic that is completely new to me. $200 is a lot of money.  From what I heard on the radio, a $40 RFID system (mainly for branding tracking and theft prevention) is too costly for ranchers considering its margin. 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/17/2010 at 23:50
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[/QUOTE]
 
Yes, 25x100 is my stargazing binoculars of choice too. With the wooden tripod, it weighs close to 50lb. 
 
[/QUOTE]
Fortunately for me, my Manfrotto 3246 tripod and 501 head only weigh 12.5 lbs.  Wink
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