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need som help with new Binos

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cancarver View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper

Joined: August/11/2011
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    Posted: August/11/2011 at 11:55
I am new here but have lurked here and there looking for some advice.  First I am not an optics conisuer, I have gotten by for the last 7 years with a pair of 10x42 Bushnell Buckhorns(cabelas exclusives).  They dropped and broke the other day and now I am in need of a new pair ASAP but want to know that I am getting the best my money can buy.  Unforuntaely I live in the boondocks and can't physically touch any models so internet reports are the best I can do.  I am primarily a bird hunter, most of that being duck hunting, so my binos get wet, bounce around in a boat, get stepped on by the dogs and they also get used for scouting from the truck.  I'd prefer to stick with 10x42's and my budget is under $150 unless going $50 more is going to be drastic improvement.  So far after reading past posts these are the models I trying to decide between.
Bushnell Excursions ED (because I had a pair of bushnells) they will discount these to $140 for a new set, but don't seemed to be liked very much by people
Bushnell trophy ( same deal) can get for $107
Zen ray Vistas
Atlas Radians
Unless there is a drastic difference the Zen Ray ZRS has been mentioned numerous times but I really don't want to go that high. Then If I get to that price point some of the higher end bushnells might be discounted to that price as well.
Whats important to me
1a. Waterproof/fogproof
1b. durability/warranty
2. optics- I was ok with mine, but would like a noticable improvement.
3. size
any I am not looking at?  Any one of these stands out for my needs?
Thank you
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FrankD View Drop Down
Optics Journeyman
Optics Journeyman

Joined: November/11/2005
Location: United States
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FrankD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/11/2011 at 14:10
Out of your list either the Atlas Optics Radians or the Zen Ray Vistas would fit the bill. I have tried/owned both at one point or another and have been very happy with them. Others I have tried recently that you may want to consider....
Pro Optic 10x42 - $155 - ED glass objectives, fully-multicoated-silver and phase coated prisms, water-repellent coating, 368 foot field of view
Dakota Elite 10x42 - $49.99 (no, that is not a typo...on everyone's favorite auction site for a brand new unit) - fully-multicoated, silver and phase coated prsms, water/dirt repellent coating
Bushnell Legend 10x42 - $149.99 - (original version can be found for this price on the same site as above) - all the same features as listed for the previous suggestion
Those are the best deals on 10x42s that I can think of...for the moment. Someone may chime in with a deal or two on something like the Vortex Diamondback or something similar. 25 year warranty on the Dakotas..only a 1 year warranty on the Pro Optics...not sure of the Bushnell warranty.
All are going to offer noticeable optical improvement over your Buckhorns. The primary reason for that is the Buckhorns are not phase coated. Phasecoating provides a sharper, brighter and more contrasty image. I purchased the Buckhorns for my former father-in-law several years ago and he was very happy with them. Eventually the ended up the same way that yours did so I picked him a little inexpensive Celestron Nature 8x30 porro and he has been very happy with it as well.
Hope this helps.
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