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Help Choosing sub-$400 Hunting Binoculars

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/03/2015 at 18:53
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Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper


Joined: December/03/2015
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With a few hunting seasons under my belt now, and plans to try bowhunting next season, I've decided to buy a solid pair of binoculars to take out with me next year after being stuck with a cheap, heavy pair of $50 10x42 Bushnell's. I mainly hunt whitetail and may try coyote hunting next year.

I've set aside $400 to spend on this pair and I want to stick around the 8x32 range. I know some people prefer 8x42 for dawn/dusk performance, but those extra 5-10 minutes of hunting aren't the end of the world for me and I tend to take multi-day trips with lots of gear, and also plan to take these on 3-5 day backpacking trips as well for general nature viewing and trail finding, so the more compact size and lower weight of 8x32's seems like the best compromise for me.

I've narrowed it down to what I see as the 3 best options I've found through my research, if there's anything else under $400 you'd recommend over these definitely let me know! This is my first step into anything above low quality optics (beyond my scope), so I want to make a good investment for the long-term.

Options:

1. Zeiss Terra ED 8x32
2. Nikon Monarch 7 8x30
3. Leupold BX-3 Mojave 8x32

Opinions? Cheers guys!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/04/2015 at 08:06
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Chief Sackscratch

Joined: December/17/2009
Location: NorthCackalacky
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Just a thought -
 
and save some money off the $400 budget.
 
I'm no bino guy.... I got a set of closeout sightron Siii binos and I couldn't even tell you the power... I think 8x42 but not sure. 
 
I like your though process on the compactness especially when talking about trips.  Maybe even more compact? 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/04/2015 at 12:36
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Optics Apprentice
Optics Apprentice


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Of the three binos you listed, the M7 is typically the most expensive. However, it is also the best -- by a little over the Mojave, and by a lot over the Terra. Compared to the Terra, the M7 has a sharper and brighter view, along with less weight and a much better focus wheel. The Terra really falls flat when compared to the M7, and in no particular characteristic is it better than the M7.

The Mojave is a better bino than the Terra, and therefore comes much closer to the M7. However, the M7's view is sharper and brighter. Not by a lot, and in reality not enough of a difference to make a difference. But the difference is there when compared side-by-side. Whether the difference in view is worth the difference in price is up to you, but IMO the M7 is worth the slight amount of extra money. The M7 is also smaller in footprint and lighter in weight, and has a focus wheel that is more smooth and easier to turn. Again, the Mojave isn't bad at all, but the M7 is slightly better in pretty much all aspects except neckstrap. The Leupold's neckstraps are better than many other makes.

Even compared to the more expensive Vanguard Endeavor EDII, the M7 comes out on top.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/04/2015 at 20:23
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Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper


Joined: December/03/2015
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Thanks for the answers guys.

I read up on the Maven B3, which exceeds my initial budget buuutttt the customizability factor and rave reviews it's getting as competing with top of the line binoculars has me tempted.

Anyone with experience with Maven that can back up those claims? Is it worth dropping the extra $100-$150?
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