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Leupold Gold Ring 8x42HD vs $1K Binos to Alphas?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/16/2010 at 12:06
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I mainly hunt hardwood bottoms where the light is ether late in the mornings or gone way before sundown. Needing to identify 8 points or better has forced me to replace my 8x42 Nikon Monarchs with something that gathers much more light. Thanks to you all I’m getting close to a decision but I need a bite more help.

Low light ability is my #1 concern but quality and reliability are just as important. Am I correct in thinking that Leupold 8x42 Gold Ring HD is the most bang for the buck at $599? Will I gain anything spending more on Pentax 8x43 DCF ED, Meopta Meostar 8x42 or Vortex 8x42 Razors in low light conditions? I’ve read that Chinese glass is great in low light (Zen Ray & Hawk) but I’m worried about manufactured quality and reliability. I would love to buy alpha glass and be done with it but I also need a scope (Swaro Z6 1.7-10x42) and $ are limited. Are the Gold Rings even close to alpha glass in light gathering?

Thanks to all in advance,

GB
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/16/2010 at 12:23
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Oh no their offering a rebateWhacko
 
Just kidding.
 
My question after reading your post is?  Is it more important to buy a expensive scope and skimp on the binoculars, or would it be more important to buy great binoculars (alpha) for spotting that trophy, then using a mid priced scope to harvest?   I'm not suggesting either is right I'm just posting the question.  I would think the binocular is more important?
 
If you buy the Gold Ring lets us know how they compare to your Nikons.
 
Bill
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/16/2010 at 12:31
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Going from a Monrach 8x42 to a G.R. 8x42 is not going to increase light transmission or illumination to a significant degree.
 
Porro prism binoculars are known for having better light transmission and illumination than roof binoculars. (especially good to know for someone who can't afford Alpha optics)
 
The main problem with increasing light gathering is the fact that you will need a LARGER aperture, which translates into more weight and more bulk in a binocular.
 
To see a significant difference you would need to step up to an 8x56mm and not too many guys here are likely to recommend that kind of size and weight increase.
 
You can still find the discontinued Minox BD 8x44 BP Porro binocular on the internet, the light transmission is comparable to the Fujinon FMT-SX series of binoculars.
 
Please click on the link below:
 
 
You might also consider something in the 7x50mm range. The 7mm exit pupil will give maximum illumination to your eye pupils in low light situations. 
 
 
Stan


Edited by Bird Watcher - August/16/2010 at 19:35
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/16/2010 at 13:33
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I've go the 10x42 GR HD's and they are fantastic.  Slightly better than my trinovids, the neighbor's SLC's, and my Zen Ray ED2.  You won't find a better bino than this for anywhere near $599.  I thought the EL's were ever so slightly brighter, but you won't see things through them that you can't see just as well with the GR HD's.  Preferring them over the meopta would probably differ from person to person, as ergo's come into play.  They are extremely well built, and you get that famous Leupold warranty and service that sets them apart, for me anyways.  The minox are good, but have a relatively narrow FOV by comparison.  You can't go wrong with the GR HD.   
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/16/2010 at 13:50
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Originally posted by JGRaider JGRaider wrote:

The minox are good, but have a relatively narrow FOV by comparison.
The FOV for the Gold Ring 10x42 is 6.5*
The FOV for the Minox BP 8x44 is 6.4*
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/16/2010 at 14:15
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I'm talking roofs, not porros.  Serious hunter's don't carry porros.  

Edited by JGRaider - August/16/2010 at 14:16
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/16/2010 at 15:26
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Originally posted by JGRaider JGRaider wrote:

 Serious hunter's don't carry porros.
Question


Edited by Bird Watcher - August/16/2010 at 18:32
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/16/2010 at 15:53
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I was joking BW.....but I was comparing roofs to roofs only.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/16/2010 at 16:53
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Light Gathering is something that as far as terminology goes should be transferred to the ash heap.  Any 42mm glass has the exact same amount of light fall upon it, in other words the "Light Gathering" ability is equal in a $19.99 bubble wrap special or a $1,995.00 state of the art glass.  It is the quality of materials and coatings that lets the binocular make either good or poor use of the light.
 
The Leupold GR is a brighter binocular than the Monarch.  So is any of the Zen Ray binoculars.  You may wish to look into a good 8.5x50 such as the Vortex Razor. T he 50mm will have more light to work with , but will be heavier and less easy to carry.
 
There is too little to notice practical viewing difference in the Leupold GR and any of the Alphas.


Edited by Klamath - August/16/2010 at 16:56
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/16/2010 at 18:17
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Originally posted by JGRaider JGRaider wrote:

I was joking BW.....but I was comparing roofs to roofs only.  
O.K.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/16/2010 at 18:29
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Originally posted by Klamath Klamath wrote:

Light Gathering is something that as far as terminology goes should be transferred to the ash heap. 

The Complete Optics Guide to Successful Hunting, by John Barsness, printed by Nikon.
 
"Larger binoculars have three big advantages over smaller binoculars: brightness, sharpness and steadiness. The diameter of the front (objective) lenses affects all three. Bigger objective lenses affect how much light enters the binocular (light gathering ability.")
"Bigger lenses have more surface area, allowing additional light to end up in the right palce, so we see the deer's antlers more clearly."  Page 4
 
 
 


Edited by Bird Watcher - August/16/2010 at 21:31
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/17/2010 at 10:34
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It’s a matter of availability. There are many great 8x40mm binos to choose from. That’s why im trying to save money here and still cover my low light need. Personally, I know of only one scope (Swaro Z6 1.7-10x42) that has the FOV I dream of, great glass for low light and will also power up to 10x when needed!  

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/17/2010 at 10:42
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Originally posted by Hitthespot Hitthespot wrote:

Oh no their offering a rebateWhacko
 
Just kidding.
 
My question after reading your post is?  Is it more important to buy a expensive scope and skimp on the binoculars, or would it be more important to buy great binoculars (alpha) for spotting that trophy, then using a mid priced scope to harvest?   I'm not suggesting either is right I'm just posting the question.  I would think the binocular is more important?
 
If you buy the Gold Ring lets us know how they compare to your Nikons.
 
Bill
(Sorry, my first time replying)
It’s a matter of availability. There are many great 8x40mm binos to choose from. That’s why im trying to save money here and still cover my low light need. Personally, I know of only one scope (Swaro Z6 1.7-10x42) that has the FOV I dream of, great glass for low light and will also power up to 10x when needed!  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/17/2010 at 10:52
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Originally posted by Bird Watcher Bird Watcher wrote:

Going from a Monrach 8x42 to a G.R. 8x42 is not going to increase light transmission or illumination to a significant degree.
 
Porro prism binoculars are known for having better light transmission and illumination than roof binoculars. (especially good to know for someone who can't afford Alpha optics)
 
The main problem with increasing light gathering is the fact that you will need a LARGER aperture, which translates into more weight and more bulk in a binocular.
 
To see a significant difference you would need to step up to an 8x56mm and not too many guys here are likely to recommend that kind of size and weight increase.
 Stan

Thanks for all the info, but I guess I should have also mentioned size as being an important factor. I really don’t want anything larger than a 43mm objective and roofs aren’t so wide.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/17/2010 at 11:20
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Originally posted by JGRaider JGRaider wrote:

I've go the 10x42 GR HD's and they are fantastic.  Slightly better than my trinovids, the neighbor's SLC's, and my Zen Ray ED2.  You won't find a better bino than this for anywhere near $599.  I thought the EL's were ever so slightly brighter, but you won't see things through them that you can't see just as well with the GR HD's.  Preferring them over the meopta would probably differ from person to person, as ergo's come into play.  They are extremely well built, and you get that famous Leupold warranty and service that sets them apart, for me anyways.  The minox are good, but have a relatively narrow FOV by comparison.  You can't go wrong with the GR HD.   
 
Thanks much for the comparison and recommendation. It’s very helpful to someone who doesn’t have access or past experience with these products.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/17/2010 at 18:38
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Bird Watcher,
 
You seem to have missed the point.  There is no difference in "Light Gathering Ability" in optics with the SAME SIZE objectives.  I full well realize that a larger glass will have more light to work with than a smaller one.  Why do you think I recommended an 8.5x50 in the first place?
 
Many people use "Light Gathering" as if it is an active phenomena.  The optic has no ability to gather any light beyond whatever ambient conditions allow to fall on the objective lens.  Hence it is a passive phenomena, not an active one.  So if one wishes a brighter image on a 42mm binocular, one has to get better glass and coatings.  The better optics still has the same inherent "Light Gathering" ability as the lesser instrument it will replace.  It simply makes better use of the light they both have to work with.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/17/2010 at 19:01
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Originally posted by Klamath Klamath wrote:

Bird Watcher,
 
You seem to have missed the point.  There is no difference in "Light Gathering Ability" in optics with the SAME SIZE objectives. 
 
Steve,
 
I'm not sure which part of my response you read, but you obviously glossed over some of it.
I recommended 7x50, 8x44, and 8x56.
Both the 7x50 and the 8x44 are Porros, with LARGER apertures/objectives, which give better illumination in low light.
 
Seems to me you missed the first sentence competely.
"Going from a Monrach 8x42 to a G.R. 8x42 is not going to increase light transmission or illumination to a significant degree".
 
 


Edited by Bird Watcher - August/18/2010 at 15:25
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/17/2010 at 19:10
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Maybe I can share some input on Gold Rings. I went thru (5) different binocs recently at home and after viewing the Bushnell Excursion EX 7x36, a Vortex Fury 8x28, Leupold Yosemite 6x30, and the Zen Ray 7x36 EDII. I returned them all and kept the Leupold 8x32 Gold Ring non-HD for $340.
 
I was on the deck earlier today comparing them once again with my Leica 8x0 BC Trinovids and Zeiss Victory T* FL 8x42.  Viewing a license plate on a vehicle 147 yards away (rangefinder verified), the Zeiss blows everything away - like looking at the Better Homes and Garden magazine. The Leupolds give a very nice clear view - a better view than could be expected for $340. I can make out the license plate very well and they will serve me fine. But the clarity of the view from those darn little Leica 8x20 is a bit better than the Leupy, but the Leupy are still great and I'm happy with them.
 
I'll start bow season with the Leica, move to the Leupolds when the foilage drops and the fields get harvested, and move to the Zeiss for firearms and muzzleloader season - that's how I justify them.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/17/2010 at 19:24
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tpcollins,
 
Thanks for sharing that info.
 
If the opportunity presents itself again, you might try that same exercise, one more time, at dawn or at dusk, and see what you think.
 
Good hunting


Edited by Bird Watcher - August/17/2010 at 19:53
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/17/2010 at 20:59
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I got the Zeiss recently but I'm sure they'll be the best in low light. I've had the Leica for years and already know their 2.5mm exit pupil doesn't work well in low light. I would imagine the Gold Rings will be somewhere in between but early moring scouting is coming so I'll know for sure soon enough.
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