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General Purpose Binoculars

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/25/2008 at 17:51
sholling View Drop Down
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I'm kicking around the idea of picking up some half way good quality general purpose binoculars. I already have a first set of good hunting binoculars - Steiner 10x26 Predator Pro. Now I'm spoiled! I'm sure that they're no great shakes to birders with $1000 optics but to a guy that never owned better than $40 Bushnell it's a whole new world.

Anyway I'm thinking that I'd like something to take to the local stock car races and that means a wider field of view and forgiving depth of field. Also for just general farting around. I'm thinking that something 7-8x with maybe a 42-50mm objective to maximize my field of view. I'm also thinking that Bushnell's Rainguard would be a good idea. I was looking through SWFA's Bushnell legend areas and was sort of wondering if the roof prism models were worth double the money? Most of what I've read didn't seem to think so but I have more faith in this group. I'd like to keep it under $150 but could go more if there were a compelling reason. Am I shooting too high for the races? Or perhaps too low?

Thoughts on these?
Bushnell 8x42 Legend Binocular    $115
  • Rubber Armor
  • BaK-4 Porro Prism
  • Rainguard
  • Twist-Up Eyecups
  • Center Focus
  • Bushnell Free Waterproof Jacket Coupon
Versus

Bushnell 8x42 Legend Binocular     $225
  • Rubber Armor
  • BaK-4 Roof Prism
  • PC-3 Phase Coated
  • Rainguard
  • Long Eye Relief
  • Twist-Up Eyecups
  • Center Focus
  • Bushnell Free Waterproof Jacket Coupon
 And just for grins....

Bushnell 10x50 Legend Binocular    $110
  • Rubber Armor
  • BaK-4 Porro Prism
  • Rainguard
  • Twist-Up Eyecups
  • Center Focus
  • Bushnell Free Waterproof Jacket Coupon
Is there something else I should be looking at? Maybe used Steiners?


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/25/2008 at 19:31
Urimaginaryfrnd View Drop Down
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Binoculars are not really my stong point but here is what I like:
7430 Nikon%208x42%20Monarch%20ATB%20Binocular%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20 Nikon 8x42 Monarch ATB Binocular
  • Roof Prism
  • Phase Coated
SWFA: $289.95
More%20Info... Buy%20Now
Or used off samplelist.com
6836 Steiner 7x50 Rallye 676, Black rubber armored, individual eye focus, stays focused at any distance, porro prisms, factory refurbished, close to new condition. $689.00 $229.95
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/25/2008 at 20:57
silver View Drop Down
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Check the sample list for bargin goodies
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/25/2008 at 21:04
SChunter View Drop Down
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I purchased the ATB from Nikon off of sample list--8x42--great  binos for the money--you can get better, but you will pay alot more!Smile
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/25/2008 at 23:28
Klamath View Drop Down
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I have 8x42 Monarchs.  They are pretty decent binoculars, but they are no better than the Vortex Diamondbacks that I have compared them to.  The Diamondback is available for $200 and have a 420' fov compared to the 330' fov for the Monarch and Legend roofs.  I also have Vortex Vipers and Swift Eaglets which are better than the Monarch. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/25/2008 at 23:48
sholling View Drop Down
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Any thoughts on those Steiner 7x50 Rallye from the sample list? That's a tempting price! Any idea what the warranty is on Steiners off the sample list? How do they compare with the 8x42 Monarch? I assume that the Rallye is HUGE. Is it?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/28/2008 at 14:12
sholling View Drop Down
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I've narrowed it down to the Steiner Rallye/Marine 7x50 - I'm told that they are the same thing, and the Vortex Diamondback 8x42. How does the Steiner Sports focus work? Is it $100 better than the Vortex?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/28/2008 at 18:00
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As far as i know, all Steiner porro prism sports focus binoculars are simply individual focus (IF)binoculars.  You have to adjust each barrel individually to each eye.  That setup has some merit when you are viewing from a moving platform such as a boat.  A wildlife biologist I know likles it for doing waterfowl surveys from a plane.  They also have some application as a vehicle binocular.  The Individual Focus (IF) are usually harder to move off focus by accidental or inadvertent movement, so some people like the idea that they never have to focus.  In real life you always are adjusting focus for the specific object your are looking at.  Personally you could never give me another binocular with that (IF) arrangement.  I have a couple, including one of the Steiner 8x30 models.  You focus on some object with each eye and if you need to focus either nearer or further away from your focused range, then its re focus one eye then the other.  The 7x50 will have a good depth of field, but the IF looses all appeal to me as a general purpose or all around sort of binocular.  The Center Focus (cf) arrangement I believe you will like far better.  IF glasses are about useless for birdwatching for example when you have a whole tree full of little birds flitting around.  Focused up close for that, the IF will need to be refocused to be back in focus for more distant objects.  When focused for distance the IF will always have a dimm fuzzy field from about 40 or so yards on in. WHen focused in close, they will be dim past 100 or so yards.  Much binocular use takes place close if you are at all currious about whats out there.  The center focus is a whale of a lot better.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/07/2008 at 01:12
sholling View Drop Down
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Well I went ahead and bought 8x42 Vortex Diamondbacks and I'm pretty impressed. I think that these will be perfect for their main purpose which will be to take to the semi-local dirt track and for auto racing. I really need the extra wide field of view for that. These will replace an old entry level Bushnell (Falcon?) 10x50ish. I'm impressed enough that I might just have to replace or supplement my field/hunting Steiner 10x26 Predator Pro (once out of the shop) with a 8x42 or 10x42 Vortex Viper in the near future.

Edited by sholling - August/07/2008 at 02:47
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/12/2008 at 13:18
leica man View Drop Down
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If your going to be looking through these binoculars for the majority of the race, you are shooting to low! I have tried alot of these and all have caused considerable eye strain. That means a pounding head ake for days! Spend as much as you can!!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/12/2008 at 13:21
sholling View Drop Down
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Originally posted by leica man leica man wrote:

If your going to be looking through these binoculars for the majority of the race, you are shooting to low! I have tried alot of these and all have caused considerable eye strain. That means a pounding head ake for days! Spend as much as you can!!
It's not that big a track so maybe 10% of the race. It's just for the back stretches when it's a tight race.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/12/2008 at 18:23
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Chris Farris gives some good recomendations for under $400 in this post.

http://www.opticstalk.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=12102
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