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Hunting binocs choices...Opinions??

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/26/2005 at 14:07
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Optics GrassHopper
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I'm looking for some new hunting binocs for $500 or less - roof prism, 8 or 10 x 42...

I think I've narrowed it down to:

Leupold Wind River Pinnacle (are these phase coated?)
Pentax DCF HR II
Nikon Monarch ATB


Opinions?  Experiences?  Or any other suggestions...

Thanks.


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/27/2005 at 08:13
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Busnell Legends or Pentax DCF SP.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/27/2005 at 10:24
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Dark Lord of Optics

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Wind River Pinnacles are phase-coated.

 

Pentax DCF SP is the best roof prism bino under $500. 

 

Nikon Monarch ATBs are a bit of a let down coming from NIkon. 

 

If you want something cheaper than Pentax DCF SP, Bushnell Legend roofs are decent (and better than Nikons).  Sightron S3 are better than Legend but not as good as SPs and between the two in price as well.

 

Ilya

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/27/2005 at 10:39
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The only one of the bins I have experience with are the Leupold Wind River Pinnacles (10x42mm) I used them during a whitetail hunting trip in West Texas a few months ago.

 

Glassed with them for a couple of days from daylight till dark before tagging out. They were very comfortable to hold for extended periods. I experienced no eye strain or fatigue, images and clarity were good. The binoculars would give me appx 5-10 minutes of additional viewing time of a feeder site after I could no longer see it with my naked eyes. Distance was approximately 150yds.

I could tell if the animal had large or small antlers at this point, but the detail of the rack was hard to make out at this point.

 

For the money I think they're great for a mid-priced binocular, but please remember this is the only set I have experience with, there may be better out there for the money.  I hope this helps. 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/27/2005 at 11:41
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Pinnacles are good binos.  I'd rank them about similar to Sightron S3.  I've also heard that Wind River Pinnacle and Celestron Noble are pretty much the same bino but rebadged.  You may be interested in looking into that.

 

Ilya

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/27/2005 at 14:06
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Here is a pair you can look in two as well you can get them from the Samplelist @ S.W.F.A.

But if you are going to stick with those three GO with the PENTAX... Leupold has great scope but are lacking in there bino department!

 




8x56 Nighthunter
The Nighthunter  8 x 56 the gives you the advantage of a more powerful glass combined with spectacular low-light performance. Perfect for finding winter deer or other game in the pre-dawn darkness – or extending your day into the dusk.

Specifications
8 x 56 – Item no. 595
Weight: 41 oz
Field of view: 333 feet @ 1000 yards
Eye relief: 21 mm

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/27/2005 at 19:25
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The best hunting binocular for under $500.00 is the Pentax DCF SP, hands down!!!

I have some info you might like to hear. Send me an e-mail at kortneyhealey@hotmail.com
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/27/2005 at 23:10
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Optics GrassHopper
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I have the Pentax SP, I can honestly say its a good buy for the price. I had the Nikon Monarchs ATB, I thought they were ok but If you can save an extra $150-$200 the Pentax SP will be well worth it.  Now that I have the Pentax SP and tried some of the top euro's, seems like its the closest you can get without breaking the bank. But if you have the money, the Euro's are an excellent buy.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/28/2005 at 16:12
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We're selling a pair of 10X42 Steiner predators on ebay at no reserve. Right now it's less than $500. For what you are looking for it looks perfect. It would be a steal to get it less than 600.

 

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=71646 84917&rd=1&sspagename=STRK%3AMESE%3AIT&rd=1

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/29/2005 at 07:28
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Where are the Pentax SP's manufactured? I've read that the quality of the Pentax models in this price range is hit and miss.....can anyone elaborate on that?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/29/2005 at 09:40
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I was under an impression that SPs were manufactured in Japan, but I never bothered to confirm that. 

I am surprised with the quality comment though.  I have never, ever, heard the quality of SPs (or WPs before them) questioned.

 

Ilya

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/30/2005 at 10:42
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Since their introduction a couple years ago, I've never heard or read one negative thing about the Pentax DCF SP's. I've owned a couple pairs, and while I consider them to be slightly behind my Leicas and Nikon LX's, I think they're fantastic binoculars for the money. Again, just my opinion, but I think the SP's offer somewhere between 93% and 97% of the optical quality of the top four, which I consider to be Leica, Zeiss, Swarovski, and Nikon Venturer/LX's, but the SP's are 1/3 (or less) the cost. Only the individual buyer can decide if that additional 3% to 7% is worth an extra $1k.

 

The questions I always ask people who are trying to decide whether to spend the extra $$$ is; how much time do you spend in the field per year and do you make a living off your glass? If the answer is more than 2 weeks and/or they do some guiding, I'd say it's well worth it to spend the extra $$$. If not, then most guys would be perfectly happy with the SP's. If you have to have the very best equipment, then by all means buy one of the top four.

 

I just bought my Father-in-law a pair 10x43 SP's for Father's Day, and he was absolutely thrilled with them. He had been using 40 year old B&L 7x35's, so the SP's were a big improvement.

 

In short, my opinion is, unless you find a smokin' deal on a used Leica, Zeiss, Swarovski, or Nikon LX, you won't find better glass (roof prisms) for under $500.00 than the Pentax SP's.

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