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luzcnik evaluation

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/07/2006 at 22:44
Baylian View Drop Down
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Hey Lucznik,

 

You did an excellent job evaluating the 8x42 line for "thhollis".  Could you do the same thing for the 10x42?  Anyone else who wants to contribute can chime right in.  I can only afford about $300 to $350.  But I might stretch it to more if I got the right recommendations.  I recently went to Cabela's where I handled the Nikon Monarch, the Leopold Windriver Cacade and Mesa,  the Bushnell Legend, the Cabela Alaskan Guide, and the Pentax DCF SP.  All in 8x42.  I live in Utah.  Would 8 or 10 power be better?  I really couldn't tell the difference looking across the store at a eye chart.  Which would be the best for a variety of situations?

 

Thanks in advance!!!   TJ 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/09/2006 at 09:54
lucznik View Drop Down
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  Thank you very much for your kind words.  That is very nice of you. I apologize for the delay in responding to you.  I have been involved in a bit of a crisis at work.

 

The short answer to your question really is to simply take my answer about 8x binoculars and substitute "10x" where appropriate. I believe all of the manufacturers I listed make both 8x, 10x, (and occasionally even 12x) models of the binoculars I have listed.  The one caveat I would make however, is that when you go to the lower priced end of the spectrum (under say $400) it becomes increasingly important to be extra careful about the particular unit you are buying. I have commented before that there seems to be something about 10x and higher magnifications that creates greater difficulty in their manufacture.  The result is that high-magnification/low-cost binoculars are pretty much a "hit-and-miss" affair with some performing stunningly well and others being terrible disappointments.  Thus you need to try to examine the actual unit you are going to walk out the door with (as opposed to just the store's demo model) or at least to be sure the dealer is willing to exchange the binocular for an identical model should you find when you open the box that your example is one of those that are  "optically-challenged."  The higher you go up the price/quality list, the less you need to be worried about this as higher end stuff is built to sufficiently higher standards that this issue rarely (if ever) rears its ugly head. 

 

Keeping the above in mind, let me tell you that I grew up in Utah and currently live in Wyoming so, I am quite familiar with the terrain you are dealing with. I have often stated my preference for 10x and I stand by those statements 100%. Part of this admittedly is strictly a personal set of biases I have about wanting to see the animals as close as possible and reasonable and you may not share those same biases.  Other people in the same exact same hunting situations (my dad being a prime example) adamantly swear by the virtuese of lower magnifications and they have good reasoning to back up their choices. You will have to make this decision on your own. 

 

For ease of reference I am including the same list of binoculars I did for the question about 8x binoculars referenced above.  Please note that this answer was dealing with non-European/under $1000 binoculars so, my ommission of the "Top 3" from the list was/is deliberate and does not suggest that these makers are not worthy of your consideration (though in truth, you'll pay out the nose for their products and won't get much for your additional investment.) Please note that the prices listed are estimates.  Actual prices may vary for you depending on where you make your purchases.

 

Bushnell Elite  $ 990.00 As good or better than any binocular made, anywhere. Period.

Leupold Gold Ring 

 

 $ 990.00

 

 

You can nit-pick on styling but, this one is also nearly as good as anything else on the market.

 

Kahles  $ 800.00

You don't see these much but, those who have them, swear by them - and with good reason.

Pentax DCF SP 

 

 $ 650.00

 

 

Very few people can honestly tell the difference between this binocular and those of the "Big 3."

 

Leupold Pinnacle  $ 520.00 Often referred to as the "poor man's Zeiss."
Pentax DCF WP II  $ 420.00

 

The brother of the one that started today's trend of high-quality at reasonable prices.  A great binocular.

Bushnell Discoverer

 

 $ 400.00

 

 

Possibly the best mid-priced binocular availiable to

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/09/2006 at 18:42
Baylian View Drop Down
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Lucznik,

 

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!!

 

   The guy at Cabela's said the warranty of the Monarch was the tipping point in his choice between that binocular and the Legend.  Since then I've read about problems with Nikon customer service on this site.  Would you get the Legend or Monarch?  The Monarchs are a lot lighter than the Legends.  The other binocular I was impressed with was the Leupold Cascade.  I think you should check them out and see how they stack up.  I hope everything at work is okay.

 

Thanks again for your help .  Anyone else who wants to respone, please do.

Good Hunting!!  TJ   

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/09/2006 at 20:47
Roy Finn View Drop Down
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I have to harshly disagree with lucznik's recommendation on the $400 Bushnell Discoverer. You can get them for $350.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/10/2006 at 14:49
lucznik View Drop Down
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Thanks Roy, it's good to know you're still there keeping me honest...

 

The 8x Discoverer does in fact sell for just over $350.  The 10x however, (which was the model in question) sells here for $383. I've seen it for something like $379 and the Sportsman's Warehouse in Salt Lake had them for right at $419.  So, I wasn't totally wrong.  I did say I was estimating and that prices might vary.

 

Baylian,

 

As long as you check to make sure that the Leupold Cascade you buy is one of new manufacture, you should be fine.  Earlier this year Leupold upgraded the Cascade to include phase-correction coatings on the prisms and you definately do not want to get stuck with one of the units that were produced before this.  It's really easy to tell if you are getting the right one as the box they come in is clearly marked as having been upgraded with these coatings.

 

Assuming you do this, the differences between the Legend, Monarch, and Cascade are all essentially cosmetic and ergonomic and you will have to pick which one you prefer.  I know people who own (and love) their Legends (including my younger brother) and others who feel the same about their Monarchs (My best friend, my boss, and the CFO of my hosptital among them.)  All three of these binocular models would sit firmly under the admonition I gave concerning the need to be careful about buying them in 10x magnification. At about this same price point you could also look at the Pentax DCF WP II.  I have owned their predecessor (the DCF WP) in both 8x and 10x and while the 10x was not quite as good optically as the 8x, they were both quite good.  I haven't had a chance to look through these newer DCF WP IIs but, I'm confident they will prove to be worthy successors. Personally, I recently upgraded to a 10x Bushnell Elite and it is fantastic.

 

Take any anecdotes about bad customer service that you hear with a grain of salt.  I've never had any trouble getting reasonable service work done by any major company.  Sports Optics are too competitive of a market for manufacturers to risk their reputation by being unreasonable about warranty work.  Sure, there are the odd really bad experiences but, these tend to be the exceptions to the rule and most of the time the person telling the story isn't necessarily sharing all of the relevant details. It's like when you have people complain that SWFA excludes from their price match gaurantee the various Grey-Market dealers that can be found on the web selling things at ridiculously low prices.  Such complainers are choosing to ignore the realities of the nature of these products, the questionable nature of their sources, their lack of warranty coverage, their omision of accessories, and other problems associated with their purchase. When I hear bad stories about warranty service from major manufacturers, a little "red flag" pops up in my mind and I start asking more detailed questions.  Usually I find that the story-teller is choosing to omit certain details from their account or that they are repeating a story they received 3rd or 4th hand and don't really know much about the circumstances. I'm not saying they're being dishonest, just that the stories require a closer look.

 

 

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/10/2006 at 22:14
Baylian View Drop Down
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Lucznik,

 

If I took that $350 and used it on a porro prism glass, which would be best?  I would still be looking for the same qualities as the roof prisms including being waterproof and light weight. 

 

Thanks again for all the help!  TJ  

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/11/2006 at 11:57
lucznik View Drop Down
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The last porro prism glass that I bought was a 10x42 Bausch and Lomb Discoverer.  This binocuar originally retailed for right around $400 but was discontinued right about the same time that B&L chose not to renew the licensing of their name to Bushnell for Sports Optics.  Bushnell has subsequently not reintroduced this model under their badge (which they have done for the roof prism Discoverers as well as the entire Elite line of optics.)  Cabela's had a fairly large stock of these and were selling them at a closeout price of just under $200 - which was too good of a deal to pass up. This is one of my favorite binoculars and if you can find one somewhere (which will be a challenge) it would be my first recomendation. You should know that while porro prism binoculars like these can be made waterproof, they will (by their very nature) tend to be somwhat larger and heavier than comparable roof prism binoculars. This is just one of the trade-offs you must accept with the choice to buy a porro prism binocular.

 

I have always heard good things about Swift binoculars but, I have actually never seen one.  I don't know of any store in Utah or Wyoming that carries this brand.  SWFA does carry them and I'm sure Chris, Brady, Stephanie, or one of the others can weigh in here as too their relative quality. 

The Bushnell Legend line has a few porros that are pretty good and will cost you only around $100-$150 depending on which unit you choose.  Nikon makes the Action Extremes, Pentax has their PCF series, and Leupold has the WindRiver Mesa line which all are pretty dang good and cost somewhere in the $200 range.  Of course, if you can tolerate an Individual Focus mechanism (which I personally cannot,) then Steiner has a really wide selection of porro prism models from which to choose.

 

Porros seem to pose a bit of a problem because, with the possible exception of the Swifts and also the Minox BD BP (neither of which I know enough about to give a recommendation,) there really isn't much available in the mid-range $350 to $500 price category.  There are the budget binoculars like the ones I've listed which will give reasonably good service for somewhat under $200 and then there are some super-high end porros like the Nikon Premier SE and the Swarovski Habicht, which will cost you between $700 and $900.  This takes care of the people who want a reasonably good, yet cheap binocular as well as the people who insist on having the absolute best quality image, bar none.  In the middle however, it's just too hard to convince enough people to buy porros over roofs to make them very profitable. 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/12/2006 at 06:21
FrankD View Drop Down
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lucznik,

 

Once again you provided an extremely accurate representation of sub $1000 binoculars out there available to most folks. I felt this particular quote was important enough to want to include it again as a reminder to folks......

 

Quote The one caveat I would make however, is that when you go to the lower priced end of the spectrum (under say $400) it becomes increasingly important to be extra careful about the particular unit you are buying. I have commented before that there seems to be something about 10x and higher magnifications that creates greater difficulty in their manufacture.  The result is that high-magnification/low-cost binoculars are pretty much a "hit-and-miss" affair with some performing stunningly well and others being terrible disappointments. 

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