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Help. 3 needs. $2,000 budget.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/30/2012 at 18:07
RAG View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper


Joined: September/30/2012
Location: San Diego
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I really have 3 needs/uses for good quality bins. One is high-desert "extreme" Chukar hunting where weight is critical, another is all-around deer and pig hunting where where a good blend of weight and function is needed and the third is squirrel shooting off a table where comfort and quality (not weight) is important. So I can't decide if I want one compact/semi compact and one top-quality mid-size for all around use...or if I want one compact, one mid-size and one full size.
I haven't been able to look through any of them.
 
For the compact, I am leaning toward a couple semi-compact offerings because teh pocket binoculars just seem too hard to hold steady (expecially when out of breath). I like the idea Vortex Viper 8x28s which are only 11.8oz and the Seiner Wildlife Pro 8.5x26 which are under 10 oz....both for about $300 with solid reviews. (alternatively the Leica and Zeiss 8x20s could be a viable option)
 
If I am just going to get 2 bins, I could probably stretch just a little bitout of budget for some alpha glass and get the Zeiss Victory 8x32s or MAYBE even Leica Ultravid 8x32s, both are under 20 oz and would be nice for regular hunting and all around use. In addition to the compact, maybe this would be the only binocular I would need and would be a better option than getting two other pairs of "near-alpha" glass. Thoughts anyone?
 
If I go with the 3 bins options, for the mid-size, the reviews on Meopta MeoStar 8x32 ($900) and Vortex Viper HD 8x32 ($560) seem very good, and both are priced such that I could afford another full-size pair. Not sure how close these bins really are to alpha glass? Then for full size, depending on the other models I purchase, I could afford 8x42 vortex Viper HDs ($600), Meopta Meostar 8x42 ($1,000) Zen Rays', or even Zeiss Conquest, Steigner Nighthunter XP or even go large with some Meostar 8x56s.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/30/2012 at 18:10
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Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper


Joined: September/30/2012
Location: San Diego
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Points: 34
Without yet getting any feedback, and based upon reviews I have read, I am leaning toward 3 bins...1) vortex Viper 8x28, Vortex Viper 8x32, and the Meopta Meostar 8x42...would come in just under $2,000.
 
OR, 2 bin option might be Vortex Viper 8x28s and Zeiss victory FL LT 8x32s, which would put me just over $2,000...but I'd have a pair of "alphas" for all-around use.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/30/2012 at 18:28
Bitterroot Bulls View Drop Down
Optics Master Extraordinaire
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Interesting question.
 
If it were me, I would get a qaulity all-around roof, and a table-top porro for your squirrel hunting.
 
Zeiss FL 8X42 and Pentax WP 8x or 10x would be a nice combo, but you would have to "put up" with the Zeiss while chukar hunting.  A good bino pouch would help with the weight though.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/30/2012 at 19:18
gulf1263 View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
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IMHO a perfect bino for Chukar hunting would be a top quality glass such as the Kowa HD 8x25, Leica 8x20 Ultravid or Nikon 8x20 LXL (Premier) or the 10x25 versions.
The Leica and Nikon fit in a shirt or vest pocket.
Under decent lighting conditions I have been amazed by what I can see.
The Leica, Swarovski and Zeiss 8x32's are great glass, the Kowa 8x33 is close and the Meopta 8x32 is nice.
The Europeans use the 8x32's as an all around glass for most of their hunting, except night use or very dark (and I mean very dark) forest and have great success.
Check SWFA's Sample List...I do and have spent a fortune on Demo optics priced well below MSRP.
Be patient and you will be able to get a pair of the alpha 8x32's at a very nice price.
You will have to buy the 8x20's or 10x25's at regular price, they very rarely come up on the Sample List.
You should be able to hit your $2,000.00 price point with some careful shopping and have some great glass.
Going for the top end never is wrong and will give you a set of tools that will enhance your ability to hunt successfully.
Art
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/30/2012 at 23:16
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Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper


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Thanks Matt. What are the advantages of the Poro Prism for the bench use...guessing it is good optics and the bulk/weight doesn't matter?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/30/2012 at 23:34
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Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper


Joined: September/30/2012
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Okay, I could certainly go for that. Alpha compact and then the best 8x32 for all-around I can afford. I can watch for a demo deal, but I'm wondering if you have compared the Meopta with the Kowa (mid-size)? Also, my only concern with the pocket size is that I have tried a couple cheap pair in my day, and it really seemed hard to hold steady, so I was leaning toward the 25-28mm barrels for that reason, and I could tolerate 12 ounces for the Chukar hunting, but now more than that. The Kowa 8x25 might be the ticket, but I couldn't find the HD, only the BD, and from the reviews I found, this would be comparable to the Viper 8x28, but I don't know. Or do you think the alpha 8x20s would outperform the Kowa 8x25s or Vortex Viper 8x28s, optically-speaking?
Originally posted by gulf1263 gulf1263 wrote:

IMHO a perfect bino for Chukar hunting would be a top quality glass such as the Kowa HD 8x25, Leica 8x20 Ultravid or Nikon 8x20 LXL (Premier) or the 10x25 versions.
The Leica and Nikon fit in a shirt or vest pocket.
Under decent lighting conditions I have been amazed by what I can see.
The Leica, Swarovski and Zeiss 8x32's are great glass, the Kowa 8x33 is close and the Meopta 8x32 is nice.
The Europeans use the 8x32's as an all around glass for most of their hunting, except night use or very dark (and I mean very dark) forest and have great success.
Check SWFA's Sample List...I do and have spent a fortune on Demo optics priced well below MSRP.
Be patient and you will be able to get a pair of the alpha 8x32's at a very nice price.
You will have to buy the 8x20's or 10x25's at regular price, they very rarely come up on the Sample List.
You should be able to hit your $2,000.00 price point with some careful shopping and have some great glass.
Going for the top end never is wrong and will give you a set of tools that will enhance your ability to hunt successfully.
Art
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/01/2012 at 05:48
gulf1263 View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
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IMHO the Kowa 8x25 BD's outperform any other glass their size, the Leica and Nikon 10x25's outperform the Kowa 10x25's.
I bought several pair of the Kowa's to give as gifts and some Nikon 10x25 LXL Premier's...everyone loves them.
I can hold the Leica or Nikon 8x20's steady, eight power is my maximum and my shakes make ten power unusable...for that reason I use seven and eight power glass, YMMV.
The Sample List has some great deals on Swarovski and Zeiss 8x32's, these will be snapped up quickly by birders getting ready for the Christmas/New Year bird count.
The Kowa 8x33's are slightly better optically than the Meopta's, slightly heavier and about $350.00+ more expensive.
I would seriously look at the Demo 8x32 Swaro and Zeiss.
Swaro's customer service on their bino's is amazing, some people have sent in bino's and had them rebuilt with newer coatings even added for a nominal fee...last I heard it cost $300.00 plus shipping.
I would not, repeat not buy the new 8x30 Swaro's, they are in my opinion overpriced and not equal to the Meopta 8x32's optically..I bought a pair, I like them much less now that I have compared them to my other glass.
The Zeiss 8x32's are small and light and have the best eye relief, great little glasses.
Two really good quality bino's should be more than adequate, that is until you want another pair.
My advice is to buy the best quality you can afford even if it hurts, as a guide friend says "You can't hunt them if you can't see them".
Good luck.
Art
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/01/2012 at 08:54
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Optics Master Extraordinaire
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RAG,

Exactly.  Porros offer a lot of performance for the money, but they are big and bulky.
 
I don't care for compacts, because they are almost useless in low light.  The Zeiss 8X32s are so compact and light, you might just take them over the compacts, especially since their performance is so far ahead of even the best compacts, IMO.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/01/2012 at 08:58
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Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper


Joined: September/30/2012
Location: San Diego
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Points: 34
So, if I want 8x in the 25mm size, you like the Kowas? But if 10x is desired, go with the Nikon or Leicas?
 
Also, what's the deal with the sample list? Should I be leery of Demo-Bs? Where did these come from typically?
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