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Multi-Duty Help Please

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/01/2008 at 09:10
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Optics GrassHopper
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Hi folks, thanks to all for the insights and experience you share on this forum.  You've infected me and I've decided to take the plunge into the world of bins.  (tired of birding with my rifle scopes - doesn't work too well).

I'd like to ask for your opinions, assistance on my purchase decision.  Criteria:
- looking for a one size fits all solution
- willing to buy good and buy once, but also value conscious
- portability is nice to have
- clarity / color / resolution is king
- can live with a compromise on low light ability
- eyeglasses not an issue, yet
- not hung up on the big 3 names
- needs to be waterproof, rubber armored, CF (too lazy for IF)
My two candidates at present:  Nikon 8x32 Premier LXL.  Pentax 8x32 DCF ED (or the SP - quite a bit cheaper). 
My selection of the 32mm is driven by field of view considerations, as well as weight - portability factor.  Not opposed to the 42-43mm thing, but don't really see the advantage in low light vs size and field of view sacrifice. 
Your input is appreciated.  Thanks.  Excellent
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/01/2008 at 09:46
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Throw the Minox HG's into that mix and you could drive yourself crazy.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/01/2008 at 09:48
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Optics GrassHopper
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It would be a short trip.
 
Nice bike, I miss my superhawk.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/01/2008 at 10:05
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Is that Brian Griffin on your avatar?

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/01/2008 at 11:22
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Optics Master
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Olympus Magellan EXWP I. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/01/2008 at 16:30
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In this price range (~$1000), keep in mind that Meopta just came out with a new Meostar 8x32 binocular that has improved eyecups.  I think it can definitely give the above binoculars a run for the money.

Ultimately, if this is a "once in a lifetime" type purchase and you can afford the best, you should get the best (in no particular order):

Nikon EDG 8x32
Leica Ultravid HD 8x32
Zeiss VIctory FL 8x32

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/04/2008 at 10:13
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I also think that 8x32 is the best multipurpose configuration. 
I believe that the new Meopta 8x32 should be the best <$1,000 binoculars, but there is also the Swarovski SLC 8x30 out there, and they are awesome. 
Nikon LX, Leica Trinovid,  and Swarovski EL should also be on your list. 
Buy a great one and be done with it for very many years.
I've recently looked through the Nikon Monarch 8x36, Minox HG 8x33, Kahles 8x32, and Pentax DCF SP 8x32. They are all nice, but they are not close to being top quality. They are dimmer, colors are not vivid, they have visible color fringing, and they have poorly controlled stray light and internal reflections. Considering how much they cost, and how far they are from top quality, they actually seemed expensive to me.
But that's just me. I'd rather wait longer and spend more, but get better products. That will save money on the long run.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/04/2008 at 10:39
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There are Nikon  LX Premiers in the classifieds right now.
I think they're as clear and bright as my Kahles 8X42's.
Make an offer.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/04/2008 at 13:46
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MY EXPERIENCE--- I just purchased a new pair of Bino's....Olympus Magellan EXWP-I for under 200.00. Not being familiar with bino's and what makes a good pair vs bad pair( glass) I did alot of reading on this and other web sites concerning anything with bino's. I know you can spent thousands of dollars on binos. With that in mind I decided that I would start out low and go from there. On one of the opinions that I read concerning glass quality a person made a reference between this particular pair and another higher dollar pair. He stated the novice person such as myself would not be able to really pick up on the difference in glass quality. However, with that being said, this is my opinion only. I own 14 scoped rifles. I own Leupold's, Nikon, Bushnell, Trijicon, Zeiss and others. Each gun has a particular purpose and is scoped that way. I know that the OLYMPUS Magellan EXWP-I is not the most expensive binoculars out there and maybe not the best, but for the price I have found that these are exceptional in what I was use to. They are CRISP,CLEAR and have a fast focus. The edge to edge clarity is GOOD. I took these out and watched deer late in the evenings, right up to dark and was amazed at how well I could still see with them. The one thing I will say is that they are the best that I've had the pleasure to use so far. So if you have a limited budget of 200.00 or less I would give these serious consideration. AGAIN this is my personal experience and opinion.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/04/2008 at 13:56
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I see a definite advantage in low light performance by going with a 42mm objective when looking at 8x binoculars. The Vortex Razor is an excellent pair for the money and compact.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/05/2008 at 07:19
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Optics GrassHopper
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Thanks Everyone, very much appreciate the feedback.  I've found a "demo" Pentax ED 8x43 for less than 500.  No opportunity yet to really test it - but have taken it "on approval".  ... A Deal I couldn't refuse ... 
 
In my experience with scope glass , which I presume has some analogy to bins, there is a bit of limiting return.  An asymptotic curve that one can travel by paying increasingly larger portions of one's wealth.  Everyone has to find their optimum on this curve.  Hopefully I've found mine with the above purchase.  Will let you know my impressions.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/08/2008 at 08:18
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Optics GrassHopper
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Ok, So I have had a couple days with these.  Early morning, sunset, evening, mid-day, overcast, and "Carolina blue".  Recalling that this is a subjective single sample test, here's my impression for what it is worth.  (I think my next pair will be the Olympus that several have recommended here - I took a peak - and while not quite the Pentax, really nice for the $$ ).
 
So what's bad first:
 
1.  the eyepiece cover / rain shield is pathetic.
2.  eye piece fit and comfort is fair at best
3.  to me, the bins are susceptible to black out, more so than most.  feel that I am always adjusting barrel spacing and eye placement to get the full field picture.  Settle down after a few days, but still have to be calm with head placement.  not a lot of extra room for movement.
4.  the field of view really is narrow.  this is not a terminal fault, but it feels like a luxury to pick up one of the higher dollar bins with the 400 ft field vs this narrow view (330 or so if I recall)
5. CA - in very high contrast - is manifest as a bluish hue around the perimeter of the viewing field.  Having said that - it really is the far perimeter and is quite hard for me to notice.  I have very good peripheral vision, so I can see it, but I have to think about it and try to see it.  Otherwise, CA in centerfield objects can be forced out , ever so slighly - but you have to put a dark tree limb up against a white cloud illuminated directly by sunlight from a broken sky - extreme high contrast.
6.  Depth of field - seems a bit on the shallow side.  Can create some sort of cool 3D effects , but the sweet spot for focus is a fairly finely tuned touch on the focus wheel.
 
The pretty good:
 
1. I think the brightness on these is pretty darn competitive with the best.  My very first immediate impression - wow, these are bright.
2.  resolution - strong.  Not perfect, but extremely good.  I can get very fine details.  The Cardinals comb can be seen as being composed of feathers from a distance of 35 yards.
3.  weight balance stuff - solid, I like the heavy feel.  balance quite well, feel good in the hands.
4. focus is quite smoooth and easily accessed from a mounted bins position
5.  the carry case is actually pretty nice , although the carry strap is outrageously crappy for a higher priced bin like this.
 
So - these stack up with the Razor in price point.  Unfortunately, I have never handled razor so can't help you there.  However, at the $500 I paid - I am ecstatic.  Value for the dollar, I found it.  Had I paid the $900 or $800 asking price , hmm.  That's a bit tougher questions.  As always, YMMV.
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