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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/13/2010 at 02:16
Vermin93 View Drop Down
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I'm looking at a particular model in 8.5x43 and 10x43.  Price is basically the same.  Which one would you suggest for an all around hunting binocular?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/13/2010 at 08:18
Bitterroot Bulls View Drop Down
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Which model?

I ask because some models of 8.5X43 have a fairly narrow field of view (Pentax & Minox).

Generally, magnification is a personal preference.  I have always used 10x bins, but have found myself gravitating to the 8 power class lately, for stability issues when on horseback and being physically active. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/13/2010 at 10:20
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I would agree with Matt.  However, some depends on hunting conditions--woods and tight cover?  8 x
open prairies from fixed position? 10 x

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/13/2010 at 11:40
Klamath View Drop Down
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Your question is a largely personal one.  Magnification preference varies as much as people do.  For some sort of intelligent response, we really need to know what kind of hunting.  I agree with Bitteroot in that a narrow fov is a problem with some 8.5x models.
 
Stated from my purely personal perspective, IF and only IF I was in need of ONE binocular for hunting, of your two choices, I'd hit on the 8.5x, unless it is one of the very narrow (too narrow in my view) Minox.  I say Minox because they were the first name to pop to mind in having both 8.5 and 10x in 43mm configuration.  In which case I'd do the 10x which has the same actual fov, but at 10x will have a much larger apparent fov.  I have and use in the following order 7x most often, 8x next and 10x least.  Each has its place.
 
Keep in mind that as magnification increases the steadiness of the user comes significantly into play.  Movements in your arms and hands are magnified by the magnification of the binocular, so the reason many prefer 8x is simply that they are easier to hold steady.  A steady 8x image will show you more that a shaky 10x will.  Another thing to consider is that magnification increases the effects of heat mirage as well.  I have been in conditions where I could actually use my 7x where the 10x was toast.  I'm primarily a high desert Mule deer hunter and personally see no particular disadvantage in 7x.  Sure, sometimes 10x can't be beat.  I have a 8.5x44 Swift Audubon porro binocular and think the 8.5x is a very good choice for a one glass user.  I don't know what the budget is in your case, but Swift also makes a very nice 8.5x44 Audubon model roof prism too.
 
On the other hand there are lots of people who can glass steady enough with a 10x that they prefer the larger image size presented.
 
Where you are is really something that is your call.  However a lower magnification glass will have a wider fov, will be a little brighter, since it has less magnification, there will be a little less eyestrain.  When comparing the same models of different magnifications from the same manufacturer it seems to me the resolution per each 1x of magnification is a little better in the lesser magnification of the two.


Edited by Klamath - October/13/2010 at 11:50
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/13/2010 at 14:05
Vermin93 View Drop Down
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You are correct it is Minox.  I'm looking at the Minox HG 8.5x43 BR ASPH and the HG 10x43 BR ASPH.  I found what appears to be a pretty good deal on the previous "Made in Japan" version of these.   They are both about $500. 

I hunt the wood of East Tennessee, the woods/fields of Missouri, the open terrain of Hawaii, and different parts of Texas.  The diversity of these areas is why I'm looking for the best all-around choice.

I have some 8x42 Cabela's binoculars that are very average and some 12x42 Monarchs that I don't really like and I never should have bought.  I plan to sell them both and just get one new nice pair to use for the next few seasons.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/13/2010 at 14:12
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I would take the 8X as a good all-around power in those situations, but again ... it is personal preference.  Those Minox have a very, very narrow field of view for 8x binos.  I would take the Zenray ZEN ED2 8X42s instead ... they have a monster field of view and are quite sharp.  Another good choice would be the heavily discounted Vortex Razor 8.5X50s, if you can deal with a larger, heavier binocular.  They would be especially good for early morning and late evening.  The field of view is between the Minox and Zen.

Let us know!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/13/2010 at 14:21
Klamath View Drop Down
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I don't have much experience with the Minox.  I do not think an overly wide fov is really necessary, but on the other hand, I prefer some more than the Minox.
 
I second Bittertoot' comment on the ZEN ED.  I have the 7x36 and the 10x43 and they are a combination that leaves little to be desired.  The 7x36 ZEN ED is easily my choice for an all around glass.
 
The Leupold Gold Ring binoculars can now be found at pretty close to the deal on the Minox.  Those are a very, very good binocular as well.
 
I guess if I were you I'd try the 8.5x Minox, provided there is  decent return policy from wherever you found this deal.  For my liking, 10x is too much for woods use.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/13/2010 at 14:24
Vermin93 View Drop Down
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I checked SWFA and I'm not seeing the 8.5x50 Razors.  Can you point me to them?


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/13/2010 at 15:18
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They are apparently sold out of the 8.5x50 razors.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/13/2010 at 15:22
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I can't find them anymore, either. They might not have any left.

Steve,

"bittertoot?"
That doesn't sound comfortable. It is still hard to beat the Zens in this price range, even with the discounts on Minox and leupold GR.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/13/2010 at 15:31
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What discounts on the Leupold GR?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/13/2010 at 16:25
Klamath View Drop Down
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Originally posted by Bitterroot Bulls Bitterroot Bulls wrote:

I can't find them anymore, either. They might not have any left.

Steve,

"bittertoot?"
That doesn't sound comfortable. It is still hard to beat the Zens in this price range, even with the discounts on Minox and leupold GR.
 
Sorry about that Smile.  Was just too lazy to type it all out... that and really look my spelling over Shocked.  Bitterroot Bulls is is.  You are right in that it is nearly impossible to believe how good those ZEN ED binoculars are for what you pay for them.
 
There are discounts currently available at competitor dealears to SWFA, so you will have to fire up goolgle and go looking, or for that matter check SWFA and see what they have.  I admit that is something I have not done for awhile at SWFA or anyplace else seeing as how I am not really in the market for more glass.  Except I may get ahold of Charles at ZEN RAY and see about a $$ difference in a swap for the 10x 43 for the 9x36 ZEN ED 2.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/13/2010 at 19:48
Vermin93 View Drop Down
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Moving on from Minox......if the Vortex Razor 8.5x50, 10x50 and 12x50 were basically the same price, then what do you think would be the best choice for an all-around hunting binocular?

Also, how do the ZENs manage to have such a much larger field of view than other similar options?  I don't understand that at all.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/13/2010 at 21:40
Klamath View Drop Down
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For all practical purposes when you move past 10x, you also move past the ability to hold the binocular steady enough by hand, hence you really need a tripod.  Just make your choice between 8x and 10x for your stated purpose.  More magnification is not necessarily a criteria for an "upgrade" in optics.  Lots of people think more is better.  More is different and the more you have the more specialized the binocular becomes. 
 
The field of view is determined mainly by eyepiece designs and to some extent by focal length.  Some designs limit fov by their nature and some expand fov by their nature.  It is something designed in to the binocular and you really can't tell anything about fov by reading specs, other than read the fov from the spec sheet.    Wide fov was likely a design goal for the ZEN ED while the  Minox design accepts a somewhat narrower fov for other design reasons.  It is design specific, and truth be told I really don't understand it enough to say much more.


Edited by Klamath - October/13/2010 at 21:48
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/14/2010 at 03:32
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After a pair of hunting binos???...and no mention of price range??? If you're on a budget, i'd suggest a pair of Leupold Yosemites in whatever magnification and colour you like. I've got the 8x mossy oak blaze model and i'm blown away by them.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/14/2010 at 10:15
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I've never warmed up to Minox because of the narrow FOV issues pointed out here.  I've got the Gold Ring HD and they are fantastic, and my Zend ED2 is fantastic as well, but the edge in build quality goes to Leupold easily.  The GR HD is on par with my SLCneu at about 1/2 the cost.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/14/2010 at 13:00
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FOV is important to me as a hunter.  How many times have you been glassing one animal and noticed another at the edge of the field?  If you're like me, it happens a lot.

I just can't see getting an 8x binocular that has a narrower FOV than most 10x binoculars. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/14/2010 at 20:07
Vermin93 View Drop Down
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I've done some more looking and thinking and asking and now I'm completely torn between these 3 options -

Minox HG 10x43 BR ASPH for $500
Vorter Razor 8.5x50 for $480
Leupold Gold Ring HD 8x42 for $580

I'm not really interested in the ZEN.

I might write each one a piece of paper and draw the winner out of a hat....
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/14/2010 at 20:11
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I've always found it difficult to hunt with any brand of binocular... my own personal experience has been that they tend to come apart before you have completed the kill.  I try to use a rifle most of the time now...
hunting with a binocular is just too much work for me...



Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/14/2010 at 20:19
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Vermin,

Of your three choices I see it this way:

Low light:  Vortex
lightweight:  Minox
multi-use:  Leupy

I would take the Vortex (I  have one on order) for the superior performance under challenging lighting.   However, I realized they are a bigger and heavier instrument.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/14/2010 at 22:29
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From your list, I'd get the Leupold 8x42 and be done with it.  One thing to be wary of is getting too much into the  "one binocular vs a couple of others" comparisons.  You can easily drive yourself nuts.  The Leupold is a fairly heavy glass, but well balanced with great optics, and built like a tank.  Leupold has great customer service.  There is actually probably very little practical optical difference in any of the three.
 
I don't think there are any more 8.5x50 Razors, in fact there seems to be some signs that both the Viper and Razor may be at the end of life and Vortex may well have some replacement lines upcoming.
 
Since the bulk of your stated use is woods type hunting, I can't see you liking 10x much.
 
SWFA is a dealer for all three brands.  Their return policy seems to have leeway to let you buy the Leupold and then exchange for one of the others.  Kind of a hassle if you don't like the first choice, but you can exchange it and not have it as a permanent fixture.  So, again, I'd order the Leupold.  If you like it and chances are pretty high you will like it, just forget about "what if" comparisons, get to using the Leupold and just enjoy it (or whichever one you get first).
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/15/2010 at 10:37
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Question...where exactly are you seeing the Leupy Gold Rings for $580?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/15/2010 at 14:44
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I found them on sale for $679 and then Leupold has a $100 rebate on them through the end of they year.  So it's $579 after the rebate for the 8x42's.  The 10x42's would be $599 after rebate.
 
I haven't asked SWFA to price match because I haven't decided if those are the ones I want.
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