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In the market for new binos, need advice

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/06/2004 at 21:35
murftj View Drop Down
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I am in the market for a good set of binos.  I need a 10x and other than that, I'm open to suggestions.  Price range is 300-500 or thereabouts.  I have been looking intently at Nikon Monarch ATB 10x42.  I live in SD and there's quite a lot of wide open country here.  Hunting partner uses Swaro 10x50, and they are awesome, but not in my budget.  I really like my Nikon Monarch 5.5-16.5x44 scope on my deer rifle, which is one reason I am looking at the Nikon Binos.  If anyone can offer any advice or input, I'd really appreciate it.  Need a set that works well in all weather conditions, can take some abuse, has a good warranty, etc...  Thank you in advance and hope to hear from you soon.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/07/2004 at 00:55
Roy Finn View Drop Down
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The Nikons you mentioned are very good bino's for the money. If you can swing the 500, go with the Pentax SP's in 10x43. I am not aware of anything on the market at this time that can compare to the SP's. Binoculars should be the most valuable tool in your box. Binoculars are an investment, so don't cut corners in this department. Good luck with your decision.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/07/2004 at 11:14
Chris Farris View Drop Down
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The Monarch binocular is not in the same league as the Monarch scopes.

 

Pentax 10x42 DCF/HR II.....$298.99

Leupold WIndRiver Olympic 10x50.....$344.95

Weaver 10.5x45 Grand Slam.....$374.95

Leupold WindRiver Pinnacle 10x42....$399.95

Pentax 10x43 DCF/SP.....$648.99

 

Also check the samplelist.com site.  We will be adding to it this week.

 

 

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/10/2004 at 07:00
gremlin View Drop Down
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I agree with Chris' comment on the Nikon Monarch not being comparable in Binoculars to what they are in Rifle Scopes.  They're not bad, but the bino's make their living off of the Scopes' reputation.

 

I know you're looking at 10x power because of the open country, but I've got to say in the $350 range an 8x32 Kahles off of the Sample List is probably as good as it gets.  Being an avid bird watcher AND a rabid opti-halic, I have NEVER once seen a bird at long distance that could be identified with a 10x bino that couldn't be identified with an 8x glass GIVEN QUALITY GLASS.

 

A superior 8x glass will allow you to identify and grasp the detail nearly equal to a lesser quality 10x.  And I'm not talking about comparing a Top grade 8x to a WalMart 10x--I'm talking about superior Austrian/German quality 8x glass against Leupold Olympic 10x or Bushnell Legend 10x or Pentax DCF 10x or the like.  My Audubon Society group has tried this test dozens of times in the field and 8x Swaro's, Leica's, Zeiss, and Kahles have always been up to the test.

 

Plus, the 8x32 glass will most likely weigh less as well as match brightness levels for the same number of hours.  The field of view on a Kahles 8x32 stretches out to near 400' at 1000 yards which would have to come in handy in open country as well as in close cover--that's 25% more viewing area than most 10x42's.

 

I think I'm on record on this forum in at least a couple places testifying to the sturdiness of the Kahles product along with the reliabilty of SWFA to get you a quality glass at a great price.

 

Just my two cents.

 

Take the long way home...

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/10/2004 at 21:50
murftj View Drop Down
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In that case, what is the best for say, less than a grand?  I have been looking a little bit at Kahles 10x42, what do you think about those?  Says the glass is Austrian, is it up to par with the Swaros, and what is their warranty like?  Thanks for all your help.

Edited by murftj
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/11/2004 at 15:11
gremlin View Drop Down
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"Kahles 10x42...is it up to par with the Swaros, and what is their warranty like? "

 

I own a pair of Kahles 8x42's and am thrilled with their performance.  Bright with excellent contrast and firm, solid controls.  I can set the length of eye relief for those times when I'm wearing glasses and they stay pretty much where I set them.  At other times when I'm not wearing my glasses, I can quickly set the ocular distance and enjoy them as well.

 

Their warranty is for the life of the binocular for the original owner.  I've talked with their customer service department about obtaining a warranty card, buying a bag, getting a Kahles brand baseball cap, etc.  and they've always been quick to respond and true to their word.

 

Are they as good as the Swarovski's?  Good question... I've only used the 8x30 SLC's and thought that the Swarovski's were fabulous quality, lightweight, and bright--but not noticeably brighter than the Kahles 8x42.  It could be that comparing a 30mm objective with a 42mm objective at the same power gave an unfair advantage to the Kahles, but for double the money, I wasn't sold on the upgrade.

 

The only binoculars that I've picked up and used for any length of time that I immediately felt were better than my Kahles were a pair of 10X40 Zeiss Victory II's.

 

That glass is B-R-I-G-H-T!!!  To my eyes, I could easily distinguish a gain in light with the Zeiss; having said that, I also felt like the Victory's tended to add a blue-ish hue to everything that I looked at.  It's probably just me, but when I picked up my Kahles, I felt I had returned to a more true color tone than the hour or two I used the Victory's.

 

I've tried Bausch & Lomb Elite's (fine glass, exceptional sharpness, but the controls felt more 'finicky' than the Kahles), Bushnell Legend's (good glass but not in the same image class as the Kahles), Pentax DCF SP's (brighter than the Bushnell's and good value for the money, but not as sharp as the Kahles), the aforementioned Zeiss Victory's, Eagle Optics Platinum Rangers (very compact, quality glass, didn't care for the handling or the controls), Leupold Pinnacle's (not as bright as the Kahles, but a good binocular--didn't like the way my glasses 'klinked' against the ocular lenses), and Smith & Wesson's Premium Optics (very similar to the Leupold's and the Eagles) during 'bird walks' with my Audubon Society group.  I've used all of those binoculars in the 8x configurations (that seems to be the favored magnification of birdwatchers everywhere) and have to say, the only ones I'd consider trading my Kahles for are the Zeiss.

 

Of course, the Zeiss cost a thousand bucks. 

 

One of our members is in the process of purchasing a Nikon Venturer LX so I have high hopes of being able to 'swap' for an hour at our August walk--I've heard great things about that glass and price-wise they fall between the Kahles and the Zeiss in 'street' cost.  If I get a chance, I'll leave a comparison here as well...

 

"...is Kahles up to par with the Swaro's?"  I'll try one more stab at an answer--the Swarovski's might win a side by side comparison of equal size versus equal size but my experience would say that the margin of victory would be less than most Swarovski owners might be willing to admit to.

 

Just my two cents.

 

Take the long way home...

 

 

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