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Paralysis by Analysis

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/30/2011 at 15:43
Baklash View Drop Down
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I have researched and read a lot of owner reviews but came up confused on binoculars in the $150 range.  I fish on large inland lakes/reservoirs and will use them for spotting flocks of diving/feeding gulls, looking for fish feeding on the surface, and identification of boats, people, etc. over a distance of 100-400 yards, maybe more.  I wear glasses and compared specifications for exit pupil, eye relief, field of vision and weight. 
I finally decided on 8x42 as an all around good compromise. These binos will remain in the console of my boat and thus get bounced around a bit so need to be tough.

At first I was looking primarily at porro prism because my understanding was that cheap roof prisms were sad, and for $150 I could not get the important feature of  phase corrected roof prism.  I had narrowed my choices to Leupold Rogue 8x42 and Nikon Action Extreme 8x40.  They have similar specs, but the Nikons have a much larger f.o.v. (429 vs 341) but heavier weight (30 oz. vs 23.5).   

I was leaning toward the Leupold Rogue 8x42 because of the lighter weight, plus they are fully multicoated optics, but then I found this site and read about the roof prism Zen-Ray Vista.  The specs seem fantastic.  Now I'm thinking maybe I should go with the roof prism.

I am already suffering paralysis by analysis, but at the same time wondering if I have overlooked other quality binos in the $150 range.  I know the specs alone don't tell the entire story, but I can't find a way to compare binos side by side.  I could use some good advice.  Should I go with the Leupold Rogue or the Zen-Ray Vista?  Or something else entirely?  See, I told you I was confused.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/30/2011 at 16:37
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The best thing to do is find a Sporting Goods Store where you can do a side by side comparison of several models.
 
Here's some "rugged" Porro prism binoculars. 
 
 
When viewing out to 400 yds., or more, I prefer MORE MAGNIFICATON than 8x because birds are rather small at such distances.
 
Also, when viewing birds at  L O N G  distances Field of View has never been an issue for me, only MAGNIFICATION.
 
 
Stan


Edited by Bird Watcher - January/31/2011 at 14:15
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/30/2011 at 16:53
Klamath View Drop Down
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You can get very good roof prism binoculars these days for a fair bit less than $200.  These come immediately to mind, the Zen Ray Vista $130, Atlas Radian, $130, Leupold Acadia about 4180, the Vortex Diamondback for about the same.  The very good Vortex Fury is on end of life and some closeout deals are there to be had for these at less than $200 as well.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/30/2011 at 21:57
Baklash View Drop Down
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Klamath, thanks for the recommendations.  Exactly as I expected, I overlooked some good binos in my price range.  I had never heard of the Atlas Radian, Vortex Diamondback or Fury.  I will definitely research these versus the Zen Ray Vista.  As I get more info I'm now leaning toward the roof prisim optics instead of the porro.  I thought I would have to spend some big bucks to get good quality roof prism binos.  Are the roof prisms more resistant to damage from vibrations in my boat console than the porro?  I thought I read that somewhere.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/31/2011 at 10:53
Klamath View Drop Down
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Baklash
 
Welcome to OT by the way Smile.
 
Roof prism binoculars are for the most part easier to make waterproof and generally more rugged.  Porro prisms are generally easier to make because there are fewer pieces of glass to get aligned properly.  The bumps and bangs a binocular may recieve are somewhat magnified by the porro design as any forces are directed around a couple of 90* bends and the porro prisms are much larger and easier for force to dislodge.  The roof prisms are smaller and the force is transferred more or less straight up and down the barrels.  In most porro prisms the focus is external and the eye piece moves visibly up and down as you turn the focus wheel.  The only waterproofing possible there is an o-ring seal somewhere in the assembly.  A notable exception are the Pentax linked by Birdwatcher.  The focus lenses here are internal and waterproofing is far easier to accomplish.
 
Roof prism binoculars have come a long way lately.  The Vista and Diamondback are as good as anything roof even a few years ago that cost much more. SWFA is a dealer for both Vortex and Zen Ray.  Personally I don't think there is a nickle's worth of difference in either one.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/31/2011 at 12:37
Baklash View Drop Down
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Klamath
Thanks again for your response.  Very good info.
I've been reading everything I can find on the Zen-Ray Vista and the Atlas Radian.  They are priced exactly the same.  The Vortex Diamondback and Fury are a little above my budget for my intended use.  I have now definitely eliminated the porro prism Leupold Rogue and Nikon Action Extreme.  I've come a long way and learned a lot since I initially started looking for a good pair of binoculars.

The specs on the Zen Ray Vista and Atlas Radian are very similar.  I'm not sure about the difference in field of vision of Vista 393 ft versus Radian 375 ft.  Is 18 ft considered significant?

However, the one spec I'm really interested in is that the Vista is argon filled and the Radian is nitrogen.  It seems that the higher end binos I've read about have argon.  Is Argon less likely to leak or what is the reason?  If this is a significant difference I may have found my final choice.  Your guidance has been very helpful and much appreciated.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/31/2011 at 13:44
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Originally posted by Baklash Baklash wrote:

Klamath
Thanks again for your response.  Very good info.
I've been reading everything I can find on the Zen-Ray Vista and the Atlas Radian.  They are priced exactly the same.  The Vortex Diamondback and Fury are a little above my budget for my intended use.  I have now definitely eliminated the porro prism Leupold Rogue and Nikon Action Extreme.  I've come a long way and learned a lot since I initially started looking for a good pair of binoculars.

The specs on the Zen Ray Vista and Atlas Radian are very similar.  I'm not sure about the difference in field of vision of Vista 393 ft versus Radian 375 ft.  Is 18 ft considered significant?

However, the one spec I'm really interested in is that the Vista is argon filled and the Radian is nitrogen.  It seems that the higher end binos I've read about have argon.  Is Argon less likely to leak or what is the reason?  If this is a significant difference I may have found my final choice.  Your guidance has been very helpful and much appreciated.



I don't want to jump in front of Steve, but there is little to no difference in using Nitrogen or Argon gases.  Both work similarly to prevent internal fogging.

The Vista and Radian are extremely similar.  The field of view difference is minor, but probably noticeable.  One major advantage of the Vista is you can purchase it for SWFA, the sponsor for this site.  They have a price-match gaurantee, and some of the best customer service in the industry.  Plus, your business will help them keep this site going ... so more people like you and me can get the quality help we need.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/31/2011 at 22:40
Klamath View Drop Down
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Originally posted by Bitterroot Bulls Bitterroot Bulls wrote:

[QUOTE=Baklash]I don't want to jump in front of Steve, but there is little to no difference in using Nitrogen or Argon gases.  Both work similarly to prevent internal fogging.

The Vista and Radian are extremely similar.  The field of view difference is minor, but probably noticeable.  One major advantage of the Vista is you can purchase it for SWFA, the sponsor for this site.  They have a price-match gaurantee, and some of the best customer service in the industry.  Plus, your business will help them keep this site going ... so more people like you and me can get the quality help we need.
Don't worry about jumping in front of me.  The point is to answer questions.Big Smile
 
There is a point to using Argon instead of Nitrogen.  It may be real, it may be insignificant, or it may be some marketing, some combination , or maybe something else.  They are both inert gasses and serve to keep moisture out of the interior of ths binocular.  As a practical matter, there likely is no real difference.  The thing is that Argon is chemically heavier than Nitrogen and the thought (whether real or percieved) to using Argon is that being heavier than Nitrogen it will stay longer in the optic.  All seals wear and/or age and the Argon "may" be a little more persistent.
 
Personally, I think  it may have little to no effect on a glass of the Vista price point.  I had a Vista and sold it to somebody who needed an entry level binocular.  I was very well satisfied with it and never felt a particular disadvantage if I had it along as the only binocular I had.  If you are willing to go to the ZRS HD at a bit over $200, that is where I'd go.  That glass plays well with the stuff at the $500 level.
 
FWIW, the first brand new Leupold Rogue I ever saw, whiuch was at a Leupold booth at the Northwest Sportsn's show...the eye cup fell off in my hand, new right out of the box.


Edited by Klamath - January/31/2011 at 22:44
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/03/2011 at 20:24
Baklash View Drop Down
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Klamath, I'm convinced.  After reading more I have definitely decided on the roof prism Zen-Ray ZRS HD.  I think they will be worth the $75 jump from the Vista, although at that rate I could very soon be looking at some $500 Leica's.....if they even make something that cheap.  All kidding aside, the more I learn, the more I want the ZRS and my wife has given me the green light. Yippee, but that's because she has been looking at this new ring........! 
I'm hoping the 8x42 will have the power I need on the water, but not too bad on the hand trembling thing.  I see where most marine bins are 7x50 for that reason.  I have a pair of cheapo 10x50 and I do have a problem with those.  What is your opinion on the 8x42? 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/03/2011 at 21:37
Klamath View Drop Down
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Originally posted by Baklash Baklash wrote:

Klamath, I'm convinced.  After reading more I have definitely decided on the roof prism Zen-Ray ZRS HD.  I think they will be worth the $75 jump from the Vista, although at that rate I could very soon be looking at some $500 Leica's.....if they even make something that cheap.  All kidding aside, the more I learn, the more I want the ZRS and my wife has given me the green light. Yippee, but that's because she has been looking at this new ring........! 
I'm hoping the 8x42 will have the power I need on the water, but not too bad on the hand trembling thing.  I see where most marine bins are 7x50 for that reason.  I have a pair of cheapo 10x50 and I do have a problem with those.  What is your opinion on the 8x42? 

Ahha, so now we know the origin of your handle.  As in backlash from the other half Big Smile.  Well, we've all BTDT.
 
The ZRS is the best $200 binocular, along with the Theron HQ, I could point anybody at.  Trust me you won't see $500 Leicas.  But you won't better the ZRS much for $500 either.  Just use them and enjoy them.  I think 8x42 is by far the best overall, all around binocular magnification.  10x certainly has its time and place, as do 6-7x.  But you have a good starting point.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/03/2011 at 22:43
Bitterroot Bulls View Drop Down
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Should be a good one, Baklash.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/04/2011 at 09:54
Baklash View Drop Down
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Thanks for all the help.  I think I've been had on the ring thing.  But it's just payback for the time I bought a new BIGGER boat while convincing my wife our  Ford Ranger would pull it just fine.  Then on the way home the little Ranger was really struggling up a long hill.  That's when I said, "Well honey, I guess you were right all along.  We will have to get a bigger truck."


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