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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/02/2006 at 21:54
AK Hunter View Drop Down
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I have not bought a new pair of binoculars (Leupold 8x32) in 15 years.  The choices today are overwhelming.  They all look plenty clear and bright in the store.  I would prefer advice from those of you that could compare glasses from personal experience in field conditions as opposed to someone that is a "one brand man" and has not actually used any others.

I plan to spend  $500-$800.  My maximum would be about$1000 if needed, but obviously I don't want to spend more than I have to.
Waterproof and ruggedness are musts.
Prefer to avoid heavy glasses.

I have only owned 8x binoculars.  I don't feel a need for more maginfication, but am willing to look at 10x.

I have recently looked at Kahles, Swarovski SLC's and Pentax.  Like I said, they all look good in the store. 

After talking to some locals, I am confused.
One distributor I talked to recommended I consider the Zeiss Conquest 8x30s.  He says he can use anything he wants and uses the Conquests because they are light in weight and most people he has tested can't see the difference between these and the SLCs.
A friend recommened Steiner Peregrines.  After borrowing some, he bought a pair and gave his Swarovski SLC's to his son.
A local retailer tells me that he recommends and personally uses the Pentax glasses.  I compared them to a new pair of Leicas and could see little to no difference.

Help.


 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/03/2006 at 08:20
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About a year ago, I found myself in a similar situation, based on what I've read here, advice I've been given here and numerous trips to Cabela's and other sporting good stores to see the products firsthand.....My advice would be the Kahles. If you wanted to spend a little more money I'd step-up to the Swarovski's or Leica's.

 

Before I plunked down that kind of cash, I'd definately test the ergonomics. I loved the Kahles and Leicas but after I wrapped my hands around a set of Swaro's, there was no doubt which ones I wanted. You'll need to do the same.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/03/2006 at 13:09
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I have owned the Zeiss Conquest 8x30s and would generally agree with the distributor's comments. They are probably the lightest binoculars in their class by a fair margin. Optical quality is indeed at the upper end of the midrange. The sharpness of the image is definitely on par with the $1000+ scopes though the image is not as flat as the more expensive models. More chromatic abberration is also present in them when compared with the high-end units.

 

If I had approximately $800-$900 to spend then I would be looking at the Nikon LX (or LXL) 8x32s. Their image quality is on the same level as the $1000+ Swaro, Leica and Zeiss. I have seen the discontinued LX 8x32s for as low as $700 on the net while the newer LXL version is going for around $900 if memory serves me. You won't find better optics at that price point in a waterproof, phase coated roof prism bin.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/03/2006 at 14:22
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You can buy brand new in the box, with full USA warranty, Nikon 8x32 LXL's.

Edited by Chris
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/03/2006 at 14:31
anweis View Drop Down
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Get the Nikon LXL 8x32. It's worth every penny.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/04/2006 at 06:47
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I'd have to agree with the Nikon LXL recommendation, but according to your user name I'm assuming you're a hunter, possibly big game. For me a 32mm is out of the question for this type of use unless I'm turkey hunting, a bow hunter or a bird watcher (during daylight hours) If you hunt during low-light conditions step-up to a set of 42mm binoculars.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/04/2006 at 12:51
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Originally posted by Stud Duck Stud Duck wrote:

If you hunt during low-light conditions step-up to a set of 42mm binoculars.

 

If all other things are the same, this is true. But i would get a premium 8x32 (and the LX is one) over a mediocre 10x42 or 8x42 anytime. 

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/04/2006 at 16:51
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[/QUOTE] 

If all other things are the same, this is true. But i would get a premium 8x32 (and the LX is one) over a mediocre 10x42 or 8x42 anytime.[/QUOTE]


AMEN!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/05/2006 at 00:43
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From what I have read, middle aged eyes can only use the light of about a 4mm exit pupil.  Wouldn't that would make a quality 8x32 a great choice over 8x40 w/o without unnecessary weight and bulk?  In equal quality binos, isn't an 8x32 just as bright as a 10x40? 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/05/2006 at 07:35
anweis View Drop Down
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Originally posted by AK Hunter AK Hunter wrote:

From what I have read, middle aged eyes can only use the light of about a 4mm exit pupil.  Wouldn't that would make a quality 8x32 a great choice over 8x40 w/o without unnecessary weight and bulk?  In equal quality binos, isn't an 8x32 just as bright as a 10x40? 

 

True.

On top of everything, i read in many places that resolution under dark conditions depends more on magnification than on exit pupil. If i were buying binoculars for hunting, it would not be a two pounder 8x56.   

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/05/2006 at 08:30
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A 10X40 will appear brighter than an 8X32.  Twilight factor takes magnification into account.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/06/2006 at 08:00
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I would take a pair of premium 32mm bins over a medicore 42's anyday, but there's more to be considered.

 

Usually glass and coatings will win in low-light viewing provided that all else is equal....to an extent.

 

I done a low-light/resolution test at twilight with two sets of binoculars I own. The first was a set of Zeiss Victory 8x20mm. The view through these are razor sharp, especially during the day. The second was a set of cheap Nikon Action 7-15x35mm. The view through these binoculars are nothing to brag about, but decent binoculars as long as you don't go past 10x on the power ring, after that the view is horrible. 

 

During low-light conditions, with the Nikon's set on 8x (to keep things on an even keel) the Nikon's with the 35mm objectives out-perfomed the Zeiss with the 20mm objectives. It was easier to see metal fence posts with white tops, tombstones and deer at appx 300yds (they were brighter) & they had greater resolving power while reading a resolution chart at appx. 50 yds. Objective size does matter as does power.

 

During daylight hours the Zeiss will smoke the Nikon's like a cheap cigar, but when it counts for us hunters the larger objective size won out. Also, if you're middle-aged and possibly getting a little shakier in the hands than you once were, the larger objectives are easier to hold steady and they have a greater field of view.

 

If I can be of anymore help, let me know.....Best of luck.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/06/2006 at 08:05
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Originally posted by anweis anweis wrote:

Originally posted by Stud Duck Stud Duck wrote:

If you hunt during low-light conditions step-up to a set of 42mm binoculars.

 

If all other things are the same, this is true. But i would get a premium 8x32 (and the LX is one) over a mediocre 10x42 or 8x42 anytime. 

 

 

From what he has listed and from what I've talked about,  I'd like to know which binoculars you're calling mediocre? The Swaro's, Leica or Kahles?

 

I don't recall suggesting a mediocre brand of 42's, just a set of 42mm's. The brand in my opinion, is up to him.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/07/2006 at 02:06
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I understand that quality binos beat poor quality ones.  But I guess I am confused on a couple of issues:

1) All else being equal- same quality optics, coatings, etc.- can I expect 8x32's to be as bright as 10x40's?

2) If my eyes can only make use of the light equivalent to a 4mm exit pupil, why would an 8x40 be brighter than an 8x32?

3) Most of the comments seem to be about the Nikons.  Can I assume that means you guys are steering me away from those glasses like the Kahles, top of the line Pentax, etc?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/07/2006 at 07:27
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1) No, the 10x will appear brighter and give you greater resolving power.

 

2)I guess it wouldn't as long as you're 100% sure that you have a perfect 4mm exit pupil and you're optometrist has examined your eyes with a witness and has signed a legal statement verifying that your have only a 4mm exit pupil.  All jokes aside, that is a rule of thumb, it's a good guide-line but it's not law and there are exceptions.

 

3)The Nikon LX's are good binos from what I've read (User reviews not advertising hype) But I sure wouldn't try to steer you away from Kahles, Zeiss, Swarovski or Leica's.....I've never used Pentex, it's personal, they've just never enthused me. Again, as I stated before, the brand should be up to you, you're on the right path, check out which ones feel better in your hands. Let us know how things turn out.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/09/2006 at 16:04
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1.  The 8x32's probably won't seem as bright as the  10x40s.  They will be plenty bright enough for most purposes, though.   My 20-year-old Zeiss 8x30 classics showed me deer at twilight that I couldn't see well enough to shoot through my Leupold Vari-X III scope!  

 

Leupold now has a brighter scope in their VXIII.  However, Zeiss binoculars have also improved!

 

2.  Don't pay too much attention to the "shrinking exit pupil," folks. Through my 60+ year-old eyes, the 8x40 gives a slightly better view (whether through brightness or sharpness) than the 8x32, probably due to the larger lens.   The 10x40 gives a significantly better view than either the 8x32 or the 8x40.  (These results are from comparing Zeiss FL's.)

 

The real trade-offs are in terms of handiness and field of view.  The 8x32's are relatively small and light.  With a soft case (or lens protection), they can be carried in the pocket of a hunting jacket, parka or overcoat.  You can wear them around your neck for a day at the races or at a football game without feeling like you are pulling a plow!  (A padded strap helps!)   This is not so true with respect to 8x40 or 10x40 binoculars.   Sometimes you will find yourself thinking that they are just too heavy or too bulky to fool with.  (An 8x32 in the hand beats an 8x40 or 10x40 left at home or in the truck.  (The same rules also apply to self-defense guns!) 

 

The other advantage to 8x32 binoculars is the wider field of view.  This is very helpful if you are hunting in the woods, or at less than 200 yards.

 

If you are hunting in the "wide open spaces", however, then you might be better served with 10x40s (if you can hold them steady).

 

 

 

 

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/12/2006 at 12:02
FrankD View Drop Down
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For me a 32mm is out of the question for this type of use unless I'm turkey hunting, a bow hunter or a bird watcher (during daylight hours) If you hunt during low-light conditions step-up to a set of 42mm binoculars.

 

To an extent I agree with this, however, I wonder if anyone has actually done a comparison between 42 mm and 32 mm models of the same brand in low light conditions. How many minutes does the larger objective diameter actually give you?  I primarily bowhunt and haven't really found a situation where a larger glass would have given me a significant advantage....comparing my Zeiss 8x30 Conquests against the 8x42 Monarch for example.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/13/2006 at 07:11
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AK Hunter, I have had the 8x32 Minox and the Kahles 8x42.  I liked the size, weight and ease to cary of the Minox.  The Kahles did give me excellent low light viewing by seeing deer and being able to count the points on a buck at duck and dawn.  I am in the same delima as you now that I am thinking of buying a pair of binoculars for the upcoming season.  I am considering one of the big three Leica, Swarovski and Zeiss.  I think if your hunting over 200 yards you definately want a 42mm or 50mm binocular.  If you do alot of walking, stalking, bow hunting, turkey hunting etc you would want a 32mm for the weight factor and easy to cary around.  I liked the 42mm and it did give me more visability hear duck and dawn where the 32mm didn't. It mainly comes down to what you want to use it for, distance, cost and weight.  Look at the last two post carefully!  These guys know what their talking about.  I liked the Nikons too but the resale value isn't there.  Stick with the big three.  I personally am leaning towards the Leica Trivoids and Swarovski SLC's for price and brightness.  Check out the Sample List and save yourself some money.  I think you will be very satisfied.  Thanks, Bird_Hunter66
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/18/2006 at 07:06
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I just puchase Leupold's Wind River RB800C binoculars.  They are 8x32 and a combo unit of laser range finder and digital compass.  Cabella's has them on sale for $400.00!!!!!!!!

 

Very clear and very accurate range finder and compass.

 

Check them out.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/20/2006 at 14:35
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Originally posted by AK Hunter AK Hunter wrote:


1) All else being equal- same quality optics, coatings, etc.- can I expect 8x32's to be as bright as 10x40's?

 

During bright daylight hours, yes. But then again, most mini binoculars can claim the same.  When you deal with early morning or late evening hours or anytime you have overcast skies or are beneath a heavy forest canopy, the 10x will perform better.  This is because of its greater twilight factor, which considers the effect of magnification, or "getting closer" as you look at things.

Originally posted by AK Hunter AK Hunter wrote:

2) If my eyes can only make use of the light equivalent to a 4mm exit pupil, why would an 8x40 be brighter than an 8x32?


Assuming your claim here is correct, the 8x40 would not be brighter.  However, it will provide better resolution than the the 8x32.  Resolving power is directly and profoundly affected by objective lens size.

 

Originally posted by AK Hunter AK Hunter wrote:


3) Most of the comments seem to be about the Nikons.  Can I assume that means you guys are steering me away from those glasses like the Kahles, top of the line Pentax, etc?

 

I don't think anyone was trying to "steer you away" from anything.  It's just that the Nikon LXLs (and for that matter the Leupold Gold Rings and Bushnell Elites) are great binoculars that perform equally to the "top 3" while costing hundreds of dollars less.  If you prefer the others then, by all means, get one and enjoy.  But, don't be tricked into thinking that they are the only premium offerings or that their higher price tags are buying you any real added benefit. You are basically paying for their "name brand" badge to be stamped on the side and for the "prestige" of carrying a European brand.

 

Other manufacturers like Kahles, Minox, Pentax, etc. also offer binoculars that give up very little to the "premium" glass.  So little in fact that, I doubt many casual users could recognize the differences. My Pentax DCF WP is great, and has been lauded by many "experts" as being a fabulous hunting glass - an assessment with which  I wholeheartedly agree. Image quality is superb, build quality is excellent, and its price was fully 2/3 less that of similar binoculars offered by the "top 3." Its one weakness is that its FOV is a bit narrow for a full size 8x (330 ft @1000 yds - which is more on par with the FOV of the premium manufacturers' 10x models.) The currently offered Pentax DCF SP shares this same weakness.

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