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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/29/2010 at 21:58
montanaoffroader View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
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Joined: March/29/2010
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The last time I bought a pair of binos was ~1985 or so, and my ancient Tasco 7x35's are finally falling apart.  I've been shopping around for a replacement, and after poking around the swfa site I've narrowed it down to a half dozen or so models:

Leupold Yosemite (both 6x30 and 8x30 models)
Nikon 7x35 Action Extreme ATB
Sightron 8x42 SII
Burris 10x42 Landmark
Yukon 8x42 Rambler
Vortex 6.5x32 Raptor
Vortex 8x32 Crossfire
 
I have gotten a look through the Leupolds (6x30) and was pretty impressed, loads better than my old Tascos. Of course most binos I've looked throught lately have been better than my old ones.  Don't get me wrong, my old pair has been through a lot and held up quite well for a budget unit, but it's time for something new.
 
My primary use will be hunting, both archery in heavy timber and rifle in more open country.  I will also use them while hiking/backpacking. I wear glasses, so I need something with decent eye relief.
 
Any and all input on the above-mentioned models/brands would be appreciated.
 
Thanks, Mike
 
 
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/30/2010 at 06:57
bird_hunter66 View Drop Down
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Leupold Yosemite (both 6x30 and 8x30 models) and I hear the vortex are pretty nice as well but I haven't had the chance to view any of them.

I bought my wife a pair of Yosemite 8x30 for Christmas and she loves them.  I have a pair of Swarovski SLC 7x42 and I often borrow her Yosemite to view wildlife from inside the house.  I compared both the Swarovski and the Leupold during the day and at dusk and the only real time I can see where the Swarovski out shine the Leupolds is at Dusk and Dawn.  THe Yosemite's are and excellent buy for the money and I highly recommend them.  Best of luck!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/30/2010 at 07:25
anweis View Drop Down
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The Yosemite 6x30 is sharper and brighter and optically better than the Vortex Raptor 6.5x32.  I have been comparing them for a week now, and i can tell you that everything about the Raptor seems nicer (design, mechanics, etc), except optics.
I also think that the Yosemite 6x30 is a nicer and shaper glass than the Nikon 7x35.
The Sightron is really impressive, and may be the best optically from your list, but there are several on the list that i have never looked through. 
 


Edited by anweis - March/30/2010 at 07:28
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/30/2010 at 09:16
mwyates View Drop Down
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That's quite a wide range.  I've only owned the Leupolds and highly recommend the 6X30's as everybody else does.  I'd stay away from 10X in the lower price range, but I'd recommend that in higher price ranges, too Smile.  I've also heard good things about the Sightron if you need 8X.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/30/2010 at 14:28
Klamath View Drop Down
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Just goes to show how different eyes can be different.  I am pretty much counter to anewis's opinion.  I have both, for at least six months with the Rapror, longer with the Yosemite.  I would say that with my samples, the Raptor is a bit brighter and sharper and has a better edge.  I also find that for me personally, there is a break at the 6 to 6.5 step where I can see a little larger image with the 6.5x.  This may be where I gain my preference
 
I prefer either one to the Nikon 7x35 because of size.  However the Nikon is a good bet at that price too.
 
AT $130 the Zen Ray Vista and Atlas Radian are pretty much the roof counterparts of the Yosemite as far as bang for the buck goes.
 
Everything on the list (except the Sightron) is below $150, so I don't know where your limit is but, if you can go up to $200-$225 you will be tickled pink with the Zen Ray ZRS HD or the Bushnell Legend Ultra HD.  Both of those play well with $500 competition.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/30/2010 at 21:04
montanaoffroader View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
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Actually, the Sightron I was looking at is the 8x42 porro, listed on SWFA for $105 + shipping.   I am trying to keep the price to ~ $150 more or less, but I do have a bit of flexibility.  The Zen-Ray ZRS HD's do look pretty good, though.  I'll put them on the short list, and prob forget the Burris.  I really don't need 10x, but a friend has pair and he recommended them. 
 
I'm not really up on what binocular brands are good these days. I did come across a set of Pentax gameseekers packaged with a scope for a reasonable price, but one has to wonder about the quality of the pieces in those package deals.
 
I'm not tied to any particular brand/style, just trying to get a reasonable bang for my buck.  I didn't realize when I started looking around how many options there are nowadays. Lots of different models out there, kind of tough to slim them down.
 
I appreciate all of your opinions, it's really helping me narrow the field.
 
Mike
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/31/2010 at 12:10
mwyates View Drop Down
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The good thing is, any of them will be significantly better than your old pair.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/02/2010 at 21:00
montanaoffroader View Drop Down
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You are correct, any of these would be an improvement over my old binoculars.  I've pretty much narrowed it down to either the Yosemite or the Sightron SII.  It sounds like the Yosemite and the Raptor are pretty much even in terms of optic quality, with the Yosemite going for fewer $$.  I would like to get a peek through a pair of Sightrons before I decide, but I haven't seen any in stores around here.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/10/2010 at 13:35
montanaoffroader View Drop Down
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Just got a peek through a pair of Sigtron SII 8x42's in the store, seems like a decent view, not that I have a lot of basis for comparison.  I was able to pick up more detail than I could with the Yosemite, but I still haven't found a pair of 6.5 Raptors to look through.  The local Vortex dealer didn't have any on hand when I stopped in.
 
I tried a couple in pairs in 10x (Leupold, Redfield), but had a bit of trouble with shake, so it looks like 8x is the upper limit for me in the field.
 
I would really like to see a pair of ZR's, been seeing lots of good reviews and not many negative ones, but I'm pretty sure no one around here carries them.
 
 
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