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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/06/2005 at 19:49
carolinaflats View Drop Down
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Looking for some binos for deer hunting with most use between 50-200 yards.  What magnification is best for this type of viewing? My hope is to be able to clearly see detail in low light.  Thanks!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/07/2005 at 16:25
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By far the most popular hunting binocular magnification are the 10X models.  Just about every supposed expert writing up review in the various hunting, optics, etc. publications seem to be really enamoured by these binoculars. And certainly, millions of consumers cannot be totally wrong and few people I know are real anxious to get rid of their 10X binocular

 

I however, have noticed that almost all of the "experts" giving the great write-ups make their evaluations on guided hunts. There is nothing wrong with this except that, because they are being guided, they are not required to see the animals themselves first. Usually the guide points the animals out to them and they then look at what they are shown. Under such conditions the higher power binocular is bound to shine. I have wondered if the average consumer is thus sold a bill of goods that might not be the truly best option.

 

Personally I find that an 8X binocular seems to be a bit better for three reasons.  First, they inevitably have a higher exit pupil rating which means they are brighter in low light and I have never felt that using the slightly lower power required me to give up anything in my ability to distinguish detail.  When I need a closer look I use a spotting scope at powers far in excess of the 10X binocular. Second, the lower power also does not exhibit the shake that the 10X will, especially when winded after climbing a mountain or sprinting to get to a clear shooting lane. This means seeing better despite the lower overall magnification. Finally, the 8X models have larger fields of view than the 10Xs which makes glassing for animals easier as you see more area at all times.

 

You won't be making  a mistake to buy a 10X, but you might just be better served with the 8X. 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/11/2005 at 20:25
carolinaflats View Drop Down
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thanks lucznik for the info! Should I be looking for a set with 40mm objectives for good lowlight performance or 50mm. Also it seems from reading this forum that porro prisms are better all around in less expensive binos, but what do you have to spend to get a good weatherproof set of roof prism binos? I'd like to get roof prisms if possible, any recommendations? Not sure what I'm willing to spend quite yet so I'll welcome suggestions from all price ranges, thanks!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/11/2005 at 20:27
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oh yeah, weatherproof is a pretty big deal since these binos will be performing double duty, both for hunting and going to work with me on tugboats. Thanks again for all recommendations!

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/11/2005 at 23:16
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You really need to decide how much you want to spend and how much weight you are willing to carry (some porros are pretty heavy).  Ones you have some idea of that it will be easier to come up with a few options.

 Generally 200 yds is pretty close distance for quality binoculars.  Low light though necessitates fairly large objective lenses.  40mm and up would probably be the way to go with 7x or 8x magnification.

Generally speaking, if you price range is well below $500 I'd go with porros.  At right around $500 you can buy a Pentax DCF SP roofs that as good as 99% of people out there will ever need.  If you want to save some money go with porros. 

After doing a lot of research the binocular that I use is an IOR 7x40 porro (~$350).  It is pretty heavy so I use a bino carrying system from Crooked Horn Outfitters.  It works beatifully in moonlight even when the moon is partially obstructed by the clouds.

For a little less money Nikon Action Extreme with Eco glass is also good (at ~$180).  Pentax PCF WP is not bad either. Steiner makes some porros, but I would stay away from their lower priced models. 

If your budget allows for higher (more than $500) price tag there are many quality roofs available all the way up to $1800 (Kahles, Swarowski, Zeiss, Minox, Nikon Venturer LX, etc).

Ilya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/11/2005 at 23:54
lucznik View Drop Down
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Koshkin makes good points and I agree with everything he has said. 40 mm on a 8X binocular is good 50 would be a little excessive for most uses.  Brightness is calculated by the binoculars "exit pupil" which is calculated by the size of the objective lens (in mm) divided by the power of the binocular.

 

40 mm / 8 = 5

40 mm / 10 = 4

 

The higher the number the brighter the binocular and so higher = better, to a point.  Your pupils (if you are a normal adult) will not dilate much past 5 mm so any exit pupil # above what your eyes can dilate to is wasted light.  Thus a 8X56 binocular (I think Minox makes one) with its exit pupil of 7 is just extra unusable weight to carry around. Get a binocular with and exit pupil between 5 and 6 and you will be doing fine.  Some people like their 10X40s (exit pupil of 4) which I find a little too dim, but lots of people like them so they can't be all wrong.

 

In porro prism models you can get a good, weatherproof binocular for around $200 (cheaper depending on where you shop.) Bushnell Legends, Bausch and Lomb Discoverers, Pentax PCF series I and II, etc are all good options. (My personal favorite is the B&L model)

 

In roof prism you will have to put out somewhere in the $350-500 range to start with. (Again, cheaper is possible depending on where you shop) Bushnell Legends, Bushnell Discoverers, Pentax DCF SP, Nikon Monarch, some Leupold WindRivers, etc. all have followers.

 

If you can spend $700, you can get the Zeiss 10X40 ClassiC from Cabelas, which is a fantastic binocular.  My personal binocular is a Pentax DCF WP 8X42 (the forerunner to the DCF SP models.) I spent $450 on mine and have been thoroughly pleased. 

 

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/12/2005 at 23:27
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I'd prefer roof prisms if possible. I don't need them to be bombproof but they will be used in a saltwater environment when I'm at work.  I'm not against spending more money but I would like to get a decent set as cheaply as possible.

Here are a few I'm considering...

Bushnell Legend 8x42 w/rainguard

Pentax DCF HR II  8x42                 

Nikon Monarch 8x42         

Leo Wind River Cascade 8x42     

Leo Wind River Olympic 8x42   

Leo Wind River Pinnacle 8x42    

Burris Signature 8x42  

Weaver Grand Slam 8.5x45

All are between $220 and $350 which I guess will be my tenative budget.          ; ;       

If anyone has suggestions for 8x40 roof prisms that they like I would love to hear about them!



Edited by carolinaflats
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/13/2005 at 00:03
koshkin View Drop Down
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Roofs in this price range are not the best choice for low light, but inside 200yds they shoudl work just fine. 

Bushnell Legend seem to work well and Rainguard is quite useful.
Pentax DCF HR II have received some bad rep for image quality, but I thought they were equal to the Legends (without Rainguard though)
Stay away from Monarch binoculars
In Wind River line-up I'd stay from Cascades.  I like Pinnacle and I think they are better than Olympic, but both are decent (Olympic was Wind River's top bino before Pinnacle came along, I think)
Burris Signature:  I've been asking around about these but it does not seem like there are two many of them around.  The few reviews I've seen are very positive and my few minutes with them left a good impression (I have more time with their 8x32 model which I liked very much)
Weaver Grand Slam: same story as Burris; not a lot of info on these.

Some other binoculars that I've been impressed with are Alpen Apex 8x42.  I think these are better than anything above.  Eagle Ranger Platinum binos are quite good and have some nice features for the money.  If you like Wind River Pinnacle you can also do some price checking on Celestron Regal: it is the same binocular with a different badge.  Swift makes a couple of nice roofs: 8.5x44HHS (excellent optics but big and heavy) and 8x42 Ultra-Lite (these have just been redesigned and I have not handled them yet).

Ilya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/17/2005 at 13:36
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You should check out the seifts.  The swift 828 HHS 8.5x44 isn't that big or heavy.  5.75 inches long and 23 ozs.

http://www.betterviewdesired.com/march02/index.html

http://www.eagleoptics.com/index.asp?dept=1&type=19& purch=1&pid=1156

 

I am leaning toward these now.  I have tried the 820 porro swift and the BVD review rate them pretty good. 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/17/2005 at 17:01
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820 Swifts have better glass than 828HHS.  Both are good for the money though.  Swift has a reputaion for waterproofing problems though.  If waterproofing is a major concern, stay away from Swifts.  Otherwise, excellent glass.

Ilya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/17/2005 at 23:06
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Carolinaflats, The IOR porro prisms probably would be your best choice optically speaking. Individual eye focus porro prizms like the IOR pass military specs. for water proofing. Price wise you probably would have to spend in excess of $500 easily to beat them out with a roof prism bino. I disagree with anything over 5 exit pupil being a waste. I am 44 and can easily tell a difference from up into the mid 6's in exit pupil but everybody is different. On a cheaper note the B&L 8x42 would be my second choice though they are rated as water proof I would say they are more like water resistant, they can still be found if you search around, matter of fact their is a set on Ebay now.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/22/2005 at 10:12
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Carolins flats,

 

What did you end up getting?

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/23/2005 at 03:00
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I like the 10x for my binos. 8x is also good but I can hold the 10 power steady so that is what I use. The extra magnification is worth the small amount of exit pupil you give up by going with the 10x IMO.
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