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Help - Light binos for boy's first hunt

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/19/2010 at 10:23
WestOfPecos View Drop Down
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I am taking my 12-year old boy hunting this fall for the first time. I want to give him a pair of binoculars to go with. The boy is small, experienced with firearms and a good shot. I am looking for a LIGHT and compact pair of binoculars, in the 15-20 oz range, optimized for low light (we hunt in heavy brush/ woods, and best sightings are at dawn and dusk), around $300, although I am ready to go higher for a great price/quality point. Robustness is as important to me as optics. I am hoping to find a pair that is good enough that he will keep them for a good while and enjoy them, not just a  "kid's pair of binoculars." I am thinking something around 32mm, not much bigger or much smaller.

FYI, I use Steiners 7x50 Commanders with compass and analog range finder, the first pair of which has been with me for the past 20+ years through thick and thin and survived unscathed.

I have done quite a bit of research, but, before making a decision, I was hoping to get your opinions - they would make a big difference to me. Thanks!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/19/2010 at 10:47
Klamath View Drop Down
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To my way of thinking, you are in the ideal position for a Leupold 6x30 Yosemite.  Another equally decent option is the Vortex Raptor/Eagle Optics Raven in 6.5x32.  The latter are a bit bigger (still at your limit), a bit more magnification, and perhaps a bit brighter.  Both have the ability to compensate for narrow set eyes and this, along with very good depth of field and excellent optics make tham a good all around choice for a first young person binocular.  These are alos inexpensive enough, but the optics are good enough to let your son have a useable binocular (dad will like them too) to let him see what suits him as he get better with optics. 
 
In roof Prism binoculars look at the the Vortex Fury in 6.5x32, the Swift Eaglet 7x36, or the Vortex Viper in 6x32  Also the Leupold Katmai 6x32 is a good glass as well.  The Zen Ray ZEN ED2 7x36 is nice but maybe a bit above your price and size limits.


Edited by Klamath - September/19/2010 at 10:53
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/20/2010 at 10:21
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Thanks a lot Frank - that is !! input:-) I'd be ready to wing for the ZR ED2 $$-wise - but I figure it is just too big for the boy. I might buy a pair for me:-)

Other suggestions anybody?

Does anyone have a strong opinion on the Kahles 32mm? They can be found for abt $350 on the samplelist, but all the reviews I have read so far are so-so. I can't understand how their binoculars are so much worse than their scopes.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/20/2010 at 12:19
Bird Watcher View Drop Down
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Originally posted by WestOfPecos WestOfPecos wrote:


Other suggestions anybody?
The Leupold Yosemite was designed with kids in mind.
The 6x30 will not shake as much as the 8x and will give a larger exit pupil for low light.
The narrower IPD of the Yosemite was built with the smaller faces of kids in mind. (50-70mm)
The body of the Yosemite is also smaller to fit kids hands more comfortably.
At 17 ounces it is very light weight.
 
 
 


Edited by Bird Watcher - September/20/2010 at 15:08
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/20/2010 at 13:00
WestOfPecos View Drop Down
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Steve- I have never handled the Swift Eaglet. How do you compare it with the Zen ED2, for glass and robustness?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/20/2010 at 13:01
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Birdwatcher - thanks a lot -  thanks to you and Steve it is my #1 candidate.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/20/2010 at 18:51
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The Eaglet is a lot smaller than the ZEN ED.  The glass is not quite as good, but it is nevertheless one of my all time favorite binoculars.  It is very light at about 21 oz and very compact to boot.  Even with the 36mm objectives it is no bigger than a typical 32mm glass.  The build quality is very good.  It should be as tough as any use normal users will put it to, and then some.  Has a very fast smooth focus and a somewhat smaller fov, but I get along just fine with the 374'. 
 
I encourage you to look at the members tests and reviews section here and look over Ilya Koshkin's review of the ZEN ED 7x36.  He has an Eaglet in the mix for comparison.
 
I would be surprised if the 7x36 ZEN ED is too big for your son, but you are obviously the best judge of that.  It is about the same size as a Nikon Monarch and only checks in at 24 oz or so.


Edited by Klamath - September/20/2010 at 18:53
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/21/2010 at 08:50
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Steve: thanks a lot for the detailed info. I had read all of Ilya's reviews on Opticthoughts as one of my first steps in researching this, but had neglected to write notes on the Eaglet... Thanks for reminding me! The pics you published on your review of the ZRS also helped a lot. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/23/2010 at 14:12
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I've had the Yosemites 6x30 for a couple months now. I would think these bins would be ideal for your needs. I hear good things about the Vortex Raptors in 6.5x32 as well.
 
Josh
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/04/2010 at 21:01
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I have a pair of the Yosemites in 6x30.  I like them and they are perfect for my kids when hunting.  They are 12 and 15.  Good glass and a great price.  Light weight and durable.  Read some reviews on them and you will be sold.  Kids are tough on stuff.

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