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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/18/2008 at 20:11
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Is there a listing of Binos done by the group here like the riflescopes (T-Bone) scale?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/19/2008 at 06:11
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No, a bino scale was never done. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/19/2008 at 16:52
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A bino scale would be helpful, but if you do a search you can find many useful ratings.  If you have a price scale in mind, there are many knowledgable people here to help out, just ask.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/19/2008 at 17:51
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I have been a long time reader, but short time poster.  I have noticed the large amounts of discussion of one bino vs another. But the thing that seems to be missing, to me, is the relative value of each when compared.  I have found the TBone scale very useful.  Just thought it would be nice to have a similar list in binos. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/19/2008 at 17:54
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for instance, many like the Nikon Monarch for the money, but rarely is there an o.t. comparison between  the ATB, the Vortex Viper, and the Swaro EL.  Not that those are the three that I would like to compare, but it serves the point.

And again, it's not that I don't like birds, but the hunting bino has a few different hopes from distinquishing the type of feather on the wing of tweety!

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/19/2008 at 18:18
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Personally, I believe the best values are in the $250-$500 range. The binos in this catagory should provide great service for 85% of all hunting situations.  A used bino would also be a great option, many $600-$1000 binos are used only 2-3 weeks a year and can be found in mint condition for less then half price.  Just take your time, ask alot of questions and handle and view as many can and make your descision from there. 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/19/2008 at 18:28
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I currently use a swfa 10x42 NIKON ATB set.  What would you rank as the top 3 in the categories you described?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/19/2008 at 18:52
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I think your nikon is  probably one of the better values in this $350.00 range. If your looking to upgrade, I think your best to look at the vortex vipers @ $500.00 as a starting point. From there, there are many different options from Pentax, vortex, meopta, minox and so on.  I am not and expert on binos, just trying to give you some food for thought until the other more noligable members chime in.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/19/2008 at 22:26
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thanks--I have been looking at the vipers, meoptas, and was moving away from the kahles.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/19/2008 at 23:23
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Originally posted by SChunter SChunter wrote:

...But the thing that seems to be missing, to me, is the relative value of each when compared.  


That's a little like asking a bunch of guys on a truck forum to rank the relative value of 4x4 pickups when compared.  The Chevy lovers will tell you their picks and they'll be pretty adamant that they're right.  The Dodge and Ford lovers however, will both vehemently disagree.  And if you're crazy enough to let the guys (like me) who prefer those dang Japanese trucks to get a word in edge wise well,... Lord help you.

Originally posted by SChunter SChunter wrote:

...it's not that I don't like birds, but the hunting bino has a few different hopes from distinquishing the type of feather on the wing of tweety!
  Birders often say the same kinds of things as well.  Funny thing is though that the top picks for hunters and birders usually end up being pretty much the same makes and models (currently the Leica Ultravid, Zeiss Victory FL, or Swarovski EL).  I don't think there really is nearly as much difference between what birders and hunters look for in binoculars as each group would like to portray.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/20/2008 at 07:36
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SC Hunter, if you give us your price range in the binoculars that your wanting I'm sure the guys on here can be a big help.  I presonally had a pair of Nikon Monarch 8x42 and for the money they were fine binoculars, I also had a pair of Kahles 8x42 that I enjoyed as well and a friend of mine talked me into selling them to him.  I had always wanted a pair of Swarovski SLCs and a guy in my area that deer hunts all over the US always used a pair of Swarovski 8x30 and 7x42s.  He let me try out the 7x42 one day and I fell in love with the view and had to have a pair.  I wished I would of bought them in the first place instead of going through a couple of pair to get what I wanted.  I had to spend more money but these should last me for a long, long time.  Not to mention that Swarovski has the best customer service in the business.  My suggestion to you is try and go to bass pro shop, or a gun shop, sporting good store or anywhere that sells binoculars and try as many out as you can before you actually purchase a pair.  My second choice at the time would of been the Meopta 7x42 or 8x42 they were also a excellent bino.  I also like the Pentax binoculars for the money.  There are alot of good binoculars out there and depending on your price range you should be able to find something you would enjoy.  I'll tell you want an wise older fellow told me once that collected old double barrell shotguns.  "Buy the best most expensive ones you can afford and never look back"  Good luck in your search.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/20/2008 at 09:45
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While I'm not a huge fan of this particular group, you might find this somewhat helpful. At the least, it gives you an idea of what was determined to be good according to price points. As far as comparing bino's from specific price points against each other, say $250 bino's against $1000+ bino's, I haven't seen something like that. I will say that today's bino's in the lower price groups are getting better and better and the large performance difference's that were once easy to see are becoming more difficult to separate. A good example of how good the mid-price group is compared to the alpha bino's from Leica, Zeiss and Swarovski, would be to compare a Minox HG ($700 or so) to one of the alpha bino's costing anywhere from $1500-$2000. There are considerations that are subjective between all bino's such as ergonomics which make comparisons difficult at any price point. Lastly, some bino's have a long track record for durability and function in extreme weather conditions that no short term "test" or casual review could possibly bring to light.
 
 
Roy
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/20/2008 at 09:58
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Just from researching and looking through bino's before I bought mine, I think it is pretty tough to beat the bino's in the $700 to $900 range.  Are the ones that cost twice as much or more going to be better?  Probably, but how much better.  Are you willing to pay $1600 for a pair of bino's that may have 5% better glass?  I know I wasn't, when I compared I went with the Meoptas because to my eyes I honestly could not see that the $1200 to $1600 bino's were any better.  They may have been if I done some actual optical tests with them, but for just my viewing I just could not see it.  So I ended up getting my Meopta 10x42s for the steal price of $700 even though I planned on $1500 for Swaro's.  Unless you are one of the pickiest viewers out there and need near perfection in your glass, I think the $700 to $900 range is pretty tough to beat.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/20/2008 at 12:37
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/20/2008 at 13:22
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Thanks--I have been seeing and hearing alot about the Razors.  Roy, what do you have as a principal hunting bino?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/20/2008 at 13:34
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/20/2008 at 13:51
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thanks for the quick reply!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/20/2008 at 14:09
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I agree with supertool.  As a class, the $700- $900 binos are tough to beat because they offer almost the image quality of the alpha class bins at half the price.  I think the best deal available in this class is the Vortex Razor, followed closely by the Meopta Meostar.  I own an 8X42 Razor, and spent a fair amount of time comparing it to the Meostar.  The Razor and Meostar are pretty much equal optically, and opinions differ on which is "better."  I would give the Razor the edge (no pun intended) simply because it is less expensive, lighter, has a better warranty, and I prefer the eyecups.  I also prefer the way it feels, but those two are close enough in quality that if I preferred the feel of the Meostar, I would go with it without hesitation.
 
The Leica Ultravid, Zeiss Victory FL, and Swarovski EL are technically better, but not significantly so and certainly not proportional in price.
 
If you can give us a list of bins you are considering, we'll be happy to rank them as best we can.  But, though you might get some consensus, I would expect each of our rankings would be different.  When you get to the better $700 class bins and up, there are almost no bad choices and which one is better is a matter of opinion.  Different people rank different optical, mechanical, and ergonomic qualities of bins in varying orders of importance.  So, you see, there is no right and wrong answers and never will be as long as you're talking about bins in similar price and quality classes.
 
My binoculars, ranked in order from best to still quite good are:  Leica 8X32 Ultravid HD, Vortex 8X42 Razor, Leica 8X50 Trinovid, and Kahles 10X42. 


Edited by RifleDude - June/20/2008 at 14:12
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/20/2008 at 14:14
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You're probably right.  However, 1500-2000 bucks to get better glass could be a hard sell from the 5-800 market unless some of the more edge discussions or color hues come into play.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/20/2008 at 14:16
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I have not narrowed the list entirely.  However, the Razors are high on the list, as are the Meoptas.  Earlier posts removed (I think) the Kahles from the short list.  I am open to suggestions.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/20/2008 at 14:17
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How would you compare, Rifle Dude, the qualities of the Razor vs the Kahles, and do you have any experience with the Meoptas?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/20/2008 at 14:22
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I got to test drive the Razors from SWFA a while back and I spent a lot of time comparing them to my Meopta's.  There were things I like better about both of them.  Eyecups are better on the Razors, I liked the feel and more compactness of the Meopta's.  But the Razors were lighter.  Image wise they were both excellent in my book.  I would just go to a store and check them both out and see what feels best to you.  Also check out the others in that same price range, you may find one that you like the feel of better.  If you are not set on buying a $1500+ pair I can guarantee you will love either pair of those.  They are both excellent quality bino's at a affordable price.  Plus with the money you save over the highest end you could buy a really nice scope with excellent glass to go with your bino's so when you pull up to make your shots you are not let down and disappointed every time you look through it compared to the bino's.   It's win win.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/20/2008 at 14:31
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I am assuming you didn't trade in your Meopta?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/20/2008 at 14:34
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No I still have them.  If I were to choose all over again I would still pick the Meopta's over the Razor.  I like the feel of them better and they are not quite as tall which I liked.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/20/2008 at 14:46
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Originally posted by SChunter SChunter wrote:

How would you compare, Rifle Dude, the qualities of the Razor vs the Kahles, and do you have any experience with the Meoptas?
 
I have very little experience with the Meoptas, but I did compare them to the Razor.  As supertool said, they are both fantastic, and I don't know which is better optically.  To me, the Meopta has more of a yellowish color bias, but I could be imagining things, as I'm not the best at determining subtle color bias.  The Vortex Razor and the Meopta Meostar are very evenly matched binoculars.  They both have similar FOV, with a slight edge to the Meopta by only a couple feet, but both have among the widest FOV available in the 8X42 roof prism class.  Both have very sharp, bright, high contrast images, with resolution not far behind the alpha class bins.  Supertool prefers the Meopta's ergonomics and shorter height.  I prefer the Razor's lower price, eyecups, and what I feel is a more neutral color bias.  You are unlikely to be disappointed with either.
 
Comparing the Kahles with the Razor, the Razor blows the Kahles away in my opinion.  The Razor produces sharper images, has much less CA, less flare when looking toward sunlight, and much wider FOV, yet it's less expensive and has a better warranty.  The Kahles is a good binocular, but it's completely outclassed by the Vortex Razor in almost every respect.  The only thing I prefer about the Kahles is it's lighter and more compact than the Razor.
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