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Leica, Minox, and Steiner brands

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/21/2006 at 12:26
plastic2steel View Drop Down
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I want to buy a pair of binoculars for general use (sightseeing, hiking, hunting, ...). The seller showed me some products from the following brands:

 

Leica
Minox
Steiner

 

He said all binocs from the above brands where all top of the market. What do I choose from them?

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/21/2006 at 12:44
Chris in NorCal View Drop Down
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How much do you plan to spend?

What will be the primary purpose?

 

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/21/2006 at 15:17
lucznik View Drop Down
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You need to be more specific about what exactly he has shown you.  (Power?, Objective Lens size?, Model?, New/Used?, Asking Price?, Your budget?, etc.)

 

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/21/2006 at 15:25
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Originally posted by plastic2steel plastic2steel wrote:

 

Leica
Minox
Steiner

 

He said all binocs from the above brands where all top of the market. What do I choose from them?

 

They are not all top. Top is Leica, the other two are middle.

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/21/2006 at 21:24
Acenturian View Drop Down
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Again model plays a key role here. But generally the "TOP" brands are Leica, Swarovski, Zeiss are consider the best.  The others listed are mid grade. 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/22/2006 at 10:34
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I would tend to agree with the others. Leica is top tier in terms of optical and build quality. Minox is a tier below them overall though they have been putting out some very good lines for the price. I have no experience with Steiner so I cannot comment on them.

 

I believe all of them would tend to be considered a higher grade of quality compared to some entry level binoculars like the Bushnell Powerview, Simmons, Tasco, etc.... Maybe that is what the gentleman was referring to.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/22/2006 at 11:30
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I want something for all-time use. 7 to 8 power. I want to be able to use them at dusk. I have a tight budged. I'm looking for something not exceeding $700. Oh, I'm bespectacled. :S
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/22/2006 at 12:42
lucznik View Drop Down
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Again, you need to be more specific about what you are being offered.

 

What exact models are you comparing here?

What specifications (magnification, objective lens size, etc.?)

Are they new or used?

If used, are they in good repair?  Have they been abused?  Is anything peeling off?  Are there any scratches on the lenses? etc. etc.

 

IN GENERAL:

  1. If you can find a full-size, non-abused, reasonably late-model Leica for under $700, you've either found yourself a serious steal or a total scam.  You decide which. (Leica's top-end compact, the 10x25 Ultravid, sells new for $650 so, beware if this is what you are being offered.)
  2. 8x (actually 8.5x) full size Minox binoculars can easily be found new for around your $700 limit.  SWFA has the 8.5x52 BD BR for $650.  Their top-of-the-line 8.5x43 HG is somewhat more expensive at $750. Because of this, you definately should not spend more than $400 on a similar used model. These are very good binoculars. Most people probably couldn't honestly see the difference between them and the Leica Ultravid.  Their only real liability is that they do seem to all have somewhat restrictive fields of view - at least when compared to other, similar manufacturers' offerings.
  3. Steiner is a definite step down from both of these other companies.  They are not very well liked by birders as their IF mechanism is difficult (if not impossible) to quickly adjust for varying distances. You should be able to find just about any Steiner binocular for considerably less than your $700 budget.

 

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/23/2006 at 07:01
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I want to buy new. The seller just gave me catalogs from all those three brands. He said I should go home pick up a model or a few models and come back to the store to compare between them. He didn't gave me any prices so far. It's hard to decide for one model because reading what the catalogs say about their own binocs is the same for all the choices.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/23/2006 at 09:05
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Steiner models that come in center focus:
Merlin (8)
Peregrine (3)
Predator (8)
Wildlife (2)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/23/2006 at 12:58
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Plastic2Steel

 

If my budget was around $700 dollars and I wanted to buy new (again just one guys opinion here) I would look at Kahles, Minox , Docter Optics, and the Pentax SP's   (In that order) all are very very nice binoculars that will provide you with great optical performance.

 

Good luck, welcome to the forums and keep us posted on what you get.

 

AC

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/23/2006 at 16:46
lucznik View Drop Down
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Originally posted by plastic2steel plastic2steel wrote:

I want to buy new. The seller just gave me catalogs from all those three brands. He said I should go home pick up a model or a few models and come back to the store to compare between them. He didn't gave me any prices so far. It's hard to decide for one model because reading what the catalogs say about their own binocs is the same for all the choices.


In that case, I think it is unlikely that with your $700 budget you are going to be buying a Leica (except perhaps the aforementioned compact Ultravid.)  From your short-list, the Minox would be my personal preference. Even if you focus on just their CF models, I don't think Steiner offers a sufficient quality to cost ratio to be worthy of serious consideration.  That is, of course, just my opinion and others would (vehemently) disagree.

Ah, the joys of the free marketplace...
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/04/2006 at 18:36
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For your $700 you can get some smaller Zeiss Conquests, 8x. Also for $870 some 8x40 Conquests. But most of us spend some $300 and get fairly good roof prism Nikons or Pentaxes, 8x42 or so. Unfortunately there are no similar 7x if that is your preferred power. I have looked at Steiners from time to time but have not been that impressed.

There are Leupold fans here, so the 8x42 roofs for under $500 should have come up somewhere. Have not seen them, but the brand may have more appeal to some.

The prices jump from 300 quite fast. Vortex has introduced some models of in between price. Howver, people have had issues with the focus knob in a few models.

Marine binoculars in 7x50s are available in various brands for under 200. Never tried them as I do not use 7x.

Get the 8x42 Nikons, save up a few years for the Leicas.
-birder newbie
-hi Frank

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