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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/13/2004 at 22:13
apdb90 View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper

Joined: September/13/2004
Status: Offline
Points: 11

Hey guys, my first post here.  Been lurking for a while during my quest for binoculars, but I finally decided to join.  I had an interesting evening that may or may not be useful for other members who had some of the same questions I did.  I decided before buying anything from SWFA, I would compare as many binoculars as I could at Cabelas.


The list included:

Khales 8X32 (because several are available on SWFA's Sample List in this $ range)

Zeiss Conquest 8X30

Bushnell Legend 10X42

Pentax DCF HRII 10X42

Nikon Monarch 10X42

Leupold Wind River Pinnacle 10X42

Burris Signature 10X50

Weaver 10.5X45

Steiner Military/Marine 7X50


OK, for the sake of argument, any glass looks decent in flourescent light.  I did several things when comparing these.  First, there was a map on the wall that had printing on the bottom of it.  While none of these binoculars allowed me to read it, some allowed me to make out individual characters while others were a blur.  I also found several spots under displays that allowed me to check low light resolution.  Finally, I looked at mounts on the wall, and under them (set back quite a distance) to the far wall in the fishing dept. for depth of field.  Also keep in mind that all these conclusions were to MY EYES.  That doesn't mean anything here wouldn't work better for you.


I was unimpressed with the Nikons.  They were not bright at all, and the resolution was really lacking.  I know there are plenty of people who love these.  I can only guess that they didn't compare them to other models, or they just didn't work for my eyes.  This wasn't the only surprise of the visit.  The BIG one is coming.


The Steiner (yes, I know it was only 7 power), Burris, and Weaver were mediocre at best.  They seemed fairly bright, but I wasn't terribly impressed by the resolution.  I know Chris likes the Weavers, but they just didn't work for me.


The Khales and Zeiss were pretty close optically, with a slight edge to the Khales.  They also seemed to be head and shoulders above the Zeiss in construction and quality "feel".  Maybe I was expecting too much from a 30 or 32 mm objective, but I expected a little more from these.  I have to tell you that they ranked no where near the top of the models tested in my opinion.  That being said, the DID get really close to the 10X42 models tested out of an 8X32.  If you're looking for a top notch compact, look no further than the Khales.


Now the Bushnell, Pentax and Leupold.  I must have been there for an hour going back and forth between them.  They were that close.  I won't waste time here.  I liked the Leupolds the best.  Not so much for optical quality, but for feel.  Optically, I would rank the Pentax last (barely) and the Bushnell and Leupold equal.  I just liked the feel of the Leupolds better.  But feel isn't everything.  I'm not done shopping yet, but if I had to make a choice right now (and I will make one within the next month or so--hell, I may just end up buying a pair of Leica's--the wife will get over it eventually) I think you'd be surprised given how good all of these contenders was.  I'd have to give the nod to the Bushnell Legend 10X42's.  Whoever said in another post that they are one of the best kept secrets in binoculars hit the nail right on the head.  Optically, they were right on par or better than everything I looked at.  In fact, I had to go to the top end Zeiss, or any Leica or Swarovski to put them down.  I wasn't really hot on the feel of the armor, but it wasn't bad either.  And for a hunting glass, the Rainguard is HUGE.  The other factor that gives them the nod over the Leupolds in my book is the fact that SWFA is selling them for around $140 less than the Pinnacles.


Obviously, this is all just my opinion.  I spent alot of time today comparing these.  The Bushnells just really amazed me.  Best thing going for the money (or alot more).



Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/14/2004 at 10:21
ranburr View Drop Down
Optics Master
Optics Master

Joined: May/16/2004
Status: Offline
Points: 1082

Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe the Bushnells and Pinnacles share a lot of the same guts and the only real differences are coatings and the housing.



Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/14/2004 at 10:33
apdb90 View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper

Joined: September/13/2004
Status: Offline
Points: 11

I'm really not sure, but that could very well be.  As I said, optically, they were VERY close--in fact, I couldn't notice any real difference at all.  I liked the feel of the exterior of the Leupolds better, but I'm not sure that would be enough given the Rainguard and the $140 savings in the Bushnells.  It just really blew my mind that I walked out of there liking the CHEAPEST binocs I looked at!  As a side note to all of this, prices:


Leupold Pinnacles:  $509 at Cabelas, $399 at SWFA!!!!

Bushnell Legends:   $309 at Cabelas, $259.95 at SWFA!!!!


Guess where I'll be buying them????? 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/14/2004 at 13:08
Rusty View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
Optics Apprentice

Joined: April/12/2004
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 147
The Legends I have looked through (8X32 & 8X42) are very bright.  They do show more color fringing than the Pentax DCF WP's though.  The Legends are a good deal for the money.
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