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help with binocular purchase please

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/14/2015 at 20:34
billiam13 View Drop Down
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I am ready to purchase what will probably be my last pair of hunting binoculars. I don't want to skimp, but don't want to waste money paying for something that I can't even tell the difference in something cheaper...lol
 I live in ND and don't have anywhere that I can try these side by side, so thats out. I will have to try to make a decision and then just be happy with whatever I buy. Here are the deals I am trying to chose from..

Swarovski Demo 10x42 el in perfect condition and couple month old......................................$2000.00
Lecia Ultravid HD'S  (standard hd, NOT hd pluss) 10x42 with green armor  BRAND NEW...........$1600.00
Swarovski  SLC 10x42    Used but look brand new Only two months old..................................$1200.00
Zeiss Victory HT 8x42     used but look brand new ALSO only about a month old.......................$1250.00

Thanks for any help on this situation
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/14/2015 at 21:41
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Buy the one you like best. That's what I would do.   
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/14/2015 at 21:50
billiam13 View Drop Down
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I live in BFE North Dakota and can't try them first hand, hence the reason for asking opinions on here...lol
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/14/2015 at 22:30
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No one is going to be able to say one is better than the other. When u get to the upper level of binos they are all excellent. Each will excel at one area slight better than another, but they are all awesome.

I have had Leica HDs and zeiss victories. The leicas had better resolution, but the zeiss seemed brighter to me, which i like for low light viewing. But both were wonderful.

Some of the other more knowledgeable guys will be able to help point out the slight difference one may hold over another.

Another to consider is a Meopta meostar hd. They are right there with the big boys but will save u some coin.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/14/2015 at 22:51
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I recently looked through the Trijicon HD 8x42 (the Trijicon rep wasthere and he said Meopta made them) and I compared them to some very good glass. To my eyes they are gonna be hard to beat, especially when you can get them in the $600 range.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/15/2015 at 04:59
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As ST said, the ones you have listed are all excellent with nuances in difference that are mostly unnoticed by the general population... AND... " a difference that makes no difference is no difference". 

I would evaluate Meopta, drive from BFE ND to a store that has at least some of the ones you have mentioned, and take them outside and look around a bit.  If this is truly "the last hunting binocular" you will ever buy, don't leave the choice to an online forum... use the forum suggestions as a guide, but not as the final determinant.  First, everyone here has differing opinions on what qualifies as "best" or "worst" features... you will get a generalization, in the end.  Sometimes there is complete agreement among all the commentators, but that is still not "you".  All the experts can give you is the best suggestions they can make based upon their experiences and their likes/dislikes.  No one looks through your eyes but you.  Now, the OT has personnel who are both technically and physically qualified to make outstanding suggestions, but I would still want to see for myself before making a "final" purchase. 

For hunting, I prefer 8x, occasionally 10x.  Some people think 10x is too high magnification, but I don't notice the "jump" they describe.  However, let it be fully understood, I don't use a binocular very often when I hunt, anyway.  Never been a big fan.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/15/2015 at 09:05
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Those are all outstanding binos, billiam.

If this is to be the "last hunting binocular you will ever buy," you really owe it to yourself to drive to the nearest store that has all of these lines in stock and handle them. You won't likely find a significant advantage in one over another optically, so ergonomics, eye relief, and eyecup comfort to your eye sockets often becomes the deciding factor. You will be using these binos for years to come and spend a lot of time glassing with them, so you might as well pick one that feels best in your hands and against your face.

As for the optical differences between those, they each have their own subtle nuances that make each very nice, but only you can decide which you prefer. There is no clear-cut, consensus answer to which is "best." If one was significantly better than the others, everyone would unanimously choose it, and the others wouldn't sell. Swarovski tends to have a larger center field "sweet spot" than the other two, which means they will maintain sharpness further out toward the field edge. To my eyes, they have a "cooler" color rendition. Leica emphasizes slightly enhanced contrast and a "warmer" color bias to my eyes, and I find colors "pop" more through a Leica. Zeiss tends to have more neutral color rendition to my eyes, with great resolution and light transmission. The Zeiss uses Abbe Koenig prisms, which theoretically transmits light better with less loss. However, with modern prism coatings, you aren't likely to notice much, if any difference in low light (when comparing the same magnification and objective size). I find that Zeiss Victory binos exhibit less chromatic aberration (CA) to my eyes than Swaro and Leica, but all 3 are very good at handling CA. I think the Leica Ultravid HD does the best job of the 3 at suppressing veiling flare.

Everyone's eyes are different and perceive colors and contrast different, so what works best for me may not work best for you.

In general, I like the view through Leica Ultravid HD slightly better than the other "alpha" level binos, but I'd be ecstatic with any of those. Throw Meopta in the mix as well. Their stuff competes very well against Swaro, Zeiss, and Leica, but is considerably less expensive. I have a very slight color blindness in parts of the red spectrum, and Leica's optical recipe works better for my eyes, which makes game animals contrast better against the surroundings.

All that being said, I much prefer 8X42 over 10X42, so limiting myself to those choices, I'd probably go with the Zeiss HT based on that alone, assuming all were in the same condition. I find that 8X still gives me all the magnification and detail I need, yet it also provides greater field of view and deeper depth of field than 10X, so I'm able to take in more real estate with less scanning and less refocusing.


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/15/2015 at 17:09
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Well, I'm with KB and RD here.  Especially if you live in BFE anywhere.  You will have to try them.  Use a dealer with a good return policy where you can send it back for full refund after a 30 day period.  It is likely worth a couple of extra bucks to be able to do that.  The thing is you probably only need to look at one anyway.  Those are all pretty good prices.

I am going to throw in a word of caution here about the Swarovski EL Swarovision.  Speaking from hard learned personal experience, that SV flat field may cause some problems.  There is not much data here, but there is some that indicates maybe 30% of users will be affected by rolling ball. That is a phenomena where the lack of distortion on the edge of the view is insufficient to mask the effects of the rapid acceleration of the view as new area comes under magnification when you are panning (moving) the binocular.  Low distortion in the binocular coupled with low distortion in your eyes (my problem), and the edges of the image appear to speed up and rush inward causing the image to appear to be rolling, hence the name.  Do NOT be afraid of them because of me, but beware you had better have a plan B for BFE North Dakota if this hits you after you have had them a few weeks.  I'm sort of unusual in that it usually happens right the first thing when you look.  That is what happened to me with the 8.5x42 SV when they came out in 2010.

I have a 10x50 SV EL that I simply cannot use because of the rolling ball.  It hit me about two to three weeks after I got it.  Those are terrific binoculars and RB will not be a widespread problem, but I have a $2,500 binocular that is of no use to me.  I will resell it, and be OK, but talk about a pain in the butt...Smile.  Did I say those are terrific binoculars, well aside from my RB, I'd not put much argument for them not being the best binocular you can buy.

The key to ultimate satisfaction here is how well the binocular fits your hands and face.  For me, the eye relief on the Leica is too short, the eye cups don't extend far enough.  I have not seen the Zeiss HT or SF yet.  I would however tend to start with the Swarovski SLC-HD.  Your first choice may well do just fine if everything fits.  If for instance you get the SLC and it suits you, be fine with it.  If you get the Leica and it suits you, be fine with it.  Comparing optical quality at that level is kind of like judging a beauty contest, kind of hard at times.  Whichever one fits you will work just fine.

I might look at 8x vs 10x.  If this is your last glass, remember you will not get steadier as you get older.  An 8x you can hold steady will be of way more use that a 10x you can't.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/15/2015 at 17:40
billiam13 View Drop Down
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ok I was able to look at the swarovski line at Scheels today as well as the Lecia Trinivoids. They didn't have the ultravids, but did have the trinivoids and I honestly liked them better than the swro slc's. I have ruled out the EL's do to something looking funny about the image that I just can't put my finger on. I can't say that it reminded me of a ball rolling, but while panning around, something seemed different than all of the other models, and it seemed to bug me. ( maybe it was my imagination).  They where VERY bright, but TO ME, not worth the extra money since something about the image seemed to bug me.
I REALLY wish they would have had the ultravids as they are high on my list. I have read that some people don't like the lines or something on the bottom side, and wonder if they are the same lines that are on the trinivoids. I didn't mind the lines on the trinivoids at all. At least the company that I would buy the ultravids from will let me return them if I don't like them. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/15/2015 at 18:08
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You have three alphas there, at 2k, 1.6k and 1.25k and a second tier that's at the same price with the brightest binocular. And it will cost you as much as my Conquest costs in Europe. I don't know which one is the best but the best buy is obvious.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/15/2015 at 20:06
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OK, that is how my SV EL's were acting.  Started around the edge of the view, expanded to the center of the view and when I moved the glass upward everything in the image jumped away from my eye.  After it moved to the center of the image it drug my eye sight with it.  Nobody at Swarovski thought there was anything wrong with the binocular.  I agree with them I don't think there is anything wrong with it either.

I'd try the SLC next then the Zeiss HT.  Actually in reverse order since I have not seen the HT yet. And especially since you like the Trinovids better than the Zeiss HT.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/16/2015 at 15:09
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This might be helpful in your search.

http://www.greatestbinoculars.com/index.html

This is a German review site run by German film maker Tobias Menlele
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/16/2015 at 17:40
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Done Deal......I bought the leica ultravid HD's!!!Excellent
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/16/2015 at 19:00
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Man those are going to suck. ;).


Just kidding, they should be great. Enjoy
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/16/2015 at 19:45
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/17/2015 at 02:27
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Originally posted by billiam13 billiam13 wrote:

Done Deal......I bought the leica ultravid HD's!!!Excellent

Congrats! Nice binos.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/17/2015 at 11:38
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As mentioned already in this thread, the "rolling ball effect" is a deal breaker, for me. I have also found the effect in a riflescope at the lowest power. I generally liked the scope otherwise, but returned it to the online retailer. Other people may not be affected by it.

Good job billiam13. Be sure and let us know what you think after you've wrung 'em out.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/18/2015 at 08:00
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It's good that you took the necessary steps to try before you made your decision.  Nothing like hands on testing in this world of technology.  Great optics,  and yes,  they will serve you and your posterity well. 
Wf
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/18/2015 at 18:24
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For the money you are talking about on the top end and a once in a lifetime purchase  a trip to Scheel's Sporting Goods in Fargo would be worth the time and cost to finalize your choice.  They will most likely have one of everything you are considering.  Just a thought. (Lived there for a year but not sure where BFE is located.)
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/24/2015 at 16:36
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I can not imagine hunting without binoculars. Never had no one from your list . Now use ATN BinoX-HD 4-16H from. I am extremely glad to have it. It is also expensive ,but high-quality and it's worth money!

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/24/2015 at 17:03
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Those atn bions look pretty neat. But gotta wonder how they are putting all that in a $500 bino.
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