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I’m really confused

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/05/2006 at 19:06
Bill Kimball View Drop Down
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OK, here's where I am. Last night I decided to order my last pair of binoculars. I'm 51, only use them for hunting, and hunt in places that absolutely require that you know what you are pulling the trigger on before you do so. Most shots are less than 200 yards and happen in very low light situations. I have passed on several shots that I felt were animals that made the grade but could not positively count horns in legal but waning light. I have a budget, but am also ready to throw caution to the winds because if I added up the money I've spent on inferior optics I'd already own whatever the best is. I've spent several hours chasing the threads on this site around as well as some others. There appear to be a hard core of posters here that I'm sure can help me with some advice. I'd really appreciate hearing from you.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/05/2006 at 20:35
Bird Watcher View Drop Down
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Do you know what magnification works best for YOU, at this distance, & under those lighting conditions? (7x, 8x or 10x) That might at least give everyone a place to start from. Then from there, everyone can kick around the mm's that will bring you nearest to the light gathering capability you want to achieve, under those conditions.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/05/2006 at 20:55
Bill Kimball View Drop Down
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I think that 8x is the best for me....thanks for the input
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/05/2006 at 21:27
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I was thinking Nikon Monarch 8.5x56mm (around $400.) for starters.

Also on SFWA "The Samplelist" Steiner Nighthunter 8x56 ($400 or $500/take your pick).
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/06/2006 at 01:26
Acenturian View Drop Down
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First I am not any where even close to being an optics expert. There are some people on this forum who are much more "educated" in this field.  I have always used junk binoculars and scopes while growing up.  The last several years I have been throwing out the trash and replacing scopes with better scopes and binoculars.

 

So far here is my experience.  The first step in optics such as binoculars is perhaps the biggest. By that I mean if you look through a $50 pair and a $300 pair you will see a HUGE improvement. As that price goes up the gap gets smaller, meaning looking through that $300 binoculars and now a $500 pair you will see some improvement but not as much as before.

 

I currently hunt with two pairs of binoculars I have a pair of Swift Audubon ED poro's which are AWSOME especially for the money but they are 8.5X and I want a 10x for the hunting I do.  So last year I picked up a pair of Weaver grand Slam 10.5X roofs the list price was around $490 and I got them used in mint condition for $200.  They are very nice (not as nice as my Swifts or my buddies Pentax Sp's) but close.  On a clear nice perfect day they are almost as good as it gets.

 

So last year I am on a hunt using the Weavers and its not a nice perfect day its snowing and cold then the sun breaks so now I am looking at white ground mixed in with dry spots as the sun comes out I get a great deal or chromatic aberration or purple line around the outside of an image due to the way the lens bends light.  My Swifts have ED glass which pretty much eliminates this problem, but again not 10x magnification. On that hunt a friend had a newer pair of Zeiss Classics as well as another friend with Leica Trinovids. On clear nice sunny days I used to think "they spent a lot more money for not much more in performance", on the day in the snow their nicer binoculars really showed what that extra money was for.

 

So long story short, buy the best you can get.  Me, I made up my mind that day,  that the next set of binoculars I get will be "high end" over $1000 mark.  Im not sure which pair till I can check side by side (outside of a store - everything looks good under florecent lights) So if I go with Zeiss or Leica, Swarovski  they will be the last pair of binoculars I will need...my life time investment.

 

You may not want to spend that kind of money, and there are very nice buys out there that will serve you well.  Someone mentioned the Nikon Monarchs, Steiner, also check out Pentax Sp series or Kahles, also dont forget to check the Sample List here on this site at the store you can pick up some very good buys on factory demo's or trade in 's.  Also, since many folks here give GREAT advise if you find a brand or model that your looking at use the search function and see what others have said in the past.

 

good luck and welcome to the forums.

AC 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/06/2006 at 06:00
Bill Kimball View Drop Down
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Wow..just discovered the sample list. Now I am over the edge. Let's get serious. Here's the short list:

Zeiss 8x56 Victory

Swarovski 8.5x42 EL

Leica 8+14x42 Duovid

Leica 8x42 Ultravid BR

Leica 8x42 Geovid BRF

What would you do? My first gun hunt of the year is next weekend so I have to make a move.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/06/2006 at 06:59
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If money is not a problem, get the Swarovski 8.5x42 or the Leica Ultravid 8x42. They are probably the best combination of build quality, optics, and portability. At 51, your pupils are about 5 mm in the dark, so you will not be able to make use of the 8x56 Zeiss, which is bigger and heavier and has more color fringing anyway.

The Geovid 8x42 is for rangefinding, and on the heavy side. You don't need rangefinding for 200 yard shots, do you?

The Duovid is again very good, but you will notice that you don't need the higher magnification, so why pay for a dual power binocular?

Probably the Ultravid 8x42 is the best choice for what you describe. The coatings on the Ultravid binoculars seem to enhance contrast and shadows in low light; they are extremely good for showing detail in low light. I've had my Ultravid for more than a year, and i am still amazed at how well they work in impossible light. They have no stray light to speak of. I was able to see amazing detail when looking against the sun into dark shades (dusk or dawn). In the same situation, my friends' Zeiss Victory just blacked out.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/06/2006 at 10:15
lucznik View Drop Down
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Originally posted by Bill Kimball Bill Kimball wrote:

...[ I ]hunt in places that absolutely require that you know what you are pulling the trigger on before you do so. Most shots are less than 200 yards and happen in very low light situations. I have passed on several shots that I felt were animals that made the grade but could not positively count horns in legal but waning light...

 

Based on your story and looking at your short-list, I would recommend the Leica Duovid.  You may never need that extra magnification but, who knows?  Find the deer at 8x and then dial it up to really examine the antlers. 

 

There are a lot of low-magnification proponents around but personally, the older I get the better I like having high magnification options available. 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/06/2006 at 13:46
Roy Finn View Drop Down
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One thing that should be noted regarding "exit pupil" that I feel is important is that even though the person in question here may not be able to utilize a 6-7mm exit pupil for the purposes of light transmission, I believe that a larger exit pupil gives the person behind the bino much more flexibility in eye placement which leads to less eye fatigue.

 

   All the bino's mentioned are great, but, of the ones mentioned, my first choice would be the 8x42 Ultravids followed by the Swaro EL's. I don't care for the weight of the other bino's mentioned for hunting all day. May not seem like much, but the 30oz+ bino's start to give my neck strain by the end of the day and I have not found a bino harness system that worked well for me that needs to go over a heavy hunting parka/jacket. Even though the Duovids are a wonderful bino, I cannot justify the cost given the difficulty to be able to hold a 12x bino steady enough by hand. Most folks, myself included, find a 10x bino to be the most they can handle without some sort of a rest.

 

     Lastly, I don't like electronic devices in my bino's. Wonderful idea, I'm sure, but I don't know how the range-finder warranty coincides with the rest of the bino especially if one is considering a previously owned bino. When/if it quits, you invested alot of extra money in the bino that is going to be very costly to repair. If your hellbent on a range-finder, get one separately.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/06/2006 at 14:26
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from my experience with hunting binoculars -

 

i would go with the steiner nighthunter 8x56 or the fujinon (top of the line) 7x50's -

the 7x50's are a rock solid stable image

 

anything over 7power seems 'jumpy' to me - could just be my nerves looking at a deer - hehe

 

if you can afford them, sure, buy the leica's or swaro's -

but you won't notice a huge difference, if at all, with the steiners or the fujinons.

 

i compared my fujinons to swaro EL's and there wasn't much difference at all - both 7x 50's -

 

good luck.

 

J

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/06/2006 at 14:39
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The Steiner Nighthunter XP 8x56, is the brightest hunting bino I have ever looked through, period. I've been known to say nice things about Steiner bino's from time to time.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/06/2006 at 15:23
Bill Kimball View Drop Down
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Well, I pulled the trigger on a pair of Leica Duovid 8+12x42. I know they are heavy, but just couldn't find anyone to say anything negative about them. I doubt I'll really use the 12x capability in hunting, but it might be handy at the range. I sometimes hunt from the front seat of my Polaris Ranger looking down pine rows or clearcuts and will fashion a mount so that I won't have to hold those rascals. I really want to thank those of you who offered advice. I considered it all before making a decision that I hope will be the right one...actually, what is pretty clear is that when you get into this caliber of glass, there may not be a wrong decision. I'm going on a Florida black powder deer hunt next weekend and hope to put them to the test....
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/09/2006 at 00:18
Acenturian View Drop Down
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Bill

Im jealous  I think the Leica's will be awsome for you. Yes, I have to agree once you get to that level you really cant go wrong.

 

Let us know how they work out and good luck on the black powder hunt.

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