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porro vs. roof question

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/21/2007 at 12:55
kevro View Drop Down
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Hello,

I own a pair of Nikon Action Extreme 10x50's that I am looking to replace. Optically, they have been great but mechanically, I have been disappointed. The twist-up eyecups have become so difficult to twist up that they usually start to unscrew the entire eyepiece from the body of the bino. That being said, I ordered a pair of Vortex Vultures in 10x50 and did a side-by-side comparison. It took about 10 minutes to decide that the Nikons were sharper and had greater depth of field. This was a bummer because I really liked the overall feel of the Vultures.

So, do all roof prism binos have such a shallow depth of field? I am strictly hunting with mine and using them out west at long distances so it's nice to be able to set the focus and scan instead of tinkering with the focus wheel with the slightest motion. I have been looking at the leupold pinnacles 10x50 boone and crockett online but haven't been able to look through them yet. I once read that you'll get better optical quality from a good pair of porros ($150-300) than you will from a decent pair of roofs ($300-500). Is this really the case?

I thought the nikons would be with me forever, now I'm not sure what to get.

Sorry for the long-winded first post.

Thanks for any help.

Kevro


Edited by kevro
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/21/2007 at 16:24
ND2000 View Drop Down
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Kevro -

 

At a similar price point, porros will be noticably better optically than roofs.  I would disagree that you can get a decent pair of roofs for $300 however, particularly in 10x power.  As magnification increases, it gets harder and harder to maintain optical quality, particularly on the low end.

 

If you really want a good pair of roofs at 10x magnification, I think you'll need to spend $700+ to be happy with thim hunting out west.

 

ND2000

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/21/2007 at 17:05
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kevro,

Also you are probably noting a characteristic of porro prism binos in general in that they produce a somewhat "3D effect" due to the fact the objective lenses are spaced wider than the ocular lenses because of the dogleg shape. 

 

As ND2000 stated, a high quality roof prism will always cost quite a bit more than a porro of equivalent optical quality due to greater mechanical complexity and the fact the prisms must be phase coated and silver or dialectric coated to improve resolution and bring the colors into phase.  The really high end roofs will produce an equivalent image as the best porros, but at twice or more the price.  To get a really good roof prism bino comparing favorably with the better porros, you'll have to spend $500 - $600 minimum.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/21/2007 at 17:28
kevro View Drop Down
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Thanks for the info.

So is there a particularly great porro bino that can be had for $300-500? I really feel like $500 is the most I can afford at this point, maybe $600 if I don't mind investing a few nights on the couch.

I was looking at some of the Swift porros but don't know anything about them.

Also, will a higher end 10x42 necessarily be brighter than a somewhat lower end 10x50? I really liked the magnification of the 10x50's and the low light performance was great. Fewer companies make the 10x50's though, I see a lot of 8x42's and 10x42's.

Thanks again!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/22/2007 at 10:46
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Kevro -

Yes, a higher end 10x42 will be brighter than a lower end 10x50, due to better lens coatings being applied.  Exit pupil (objective lens size divided by magnification) is only one crude measure of brightness.

You mentioned that mechanically, you have been disappointed with your porros.  I think this is a common theme.  Also understand that porro prism binoculars generally are not waterproof.  As a result, if you think you'll be hunting at times in poor weather, you should strongly consider a good pair of roofs. 

ND2000
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/22/2007 at 17:14
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Thanks ND!

What roofs would you recommend in the $400-600 range? The leupold pinnacles sound good but I haven't been able to look through any of them yet. One of the downsides about living where I do is that the nearest place to get a decent selection of optics is 3.5 hours drive one direction. Soon that 3.5 hours will take me to a brand spankin' new competitor (Don't worry Chris, I will still buy my optics here).

I really like the 10x mag so maybe I should get off the 50mm objective and start looking at 42mm's. The 10x has been quite handy at finding coyote sized objects at nearly a mile away (ideal conditions, standing in the snow with no cover).

Thanks again for all of the insight!

Kevro
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/22/2007 at 18:18
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Kevro -

I would recommend the following in that price range:

From the Samplelist:

Kahles 10x42 at $600
Pentax DSF 10x50 at $600

You should feel like you can purchase from the Samplelist with confidence.

If you'd prefer a new pair, I'd recommend the Minox BD/BL, which you can get for $400.

ND20000
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/24/2007 at 06:58
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Minox BD 10x44 BP and Leupold Cascades 10x42 - internal focus porro prism binoculars offer the advantages of both porro prism binoculars and roof prism binoculars. They have internal focus and are fully waterproof. They offer much better optical performance than similarly priced roof prism models. They do have a somewhat narrower field of view than other 10x42s, but i don't think that this would be of any consequence for hunting in the open spaces in the western states. I have not looked through any of these two models. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/24/2007 at 14:14
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Thanks anweis! I looked at the minox 10x44 online and they look like they'd be good performers.

What about the burris sig selects? For the price, they seem to offer a lot of high dollar features. I've heard a lot of good things about burris optics but I've never heard anything specific about their upper end stuff like the sig selects or euro diamonds
Why is it that roofs are so popular when they cost so much more to do what a cheaper pair of porros will do. I understand the weight, durability and waterproofing differences and I guess if you're hard on your equipment then that would be a concern. I mean,  those minox 10x44's only weigh 24/25 ounces and can be had for less than $500. What would I really gain by spending another $1000?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/24/2007 at 16:13
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Originally posted by kevro kevro wrote:

What would I really gain by spending another $1000?

 

Not much. Some ergonomics, some field of view, and a fancy passport warranty. Not necessarily a better view.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/24/2007 at 17:45
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Kevro -

 

Another big advantage to more expensive binoculars is you can actually look through them for extended periods of time without developing eyestrain and/or headaches, due to the overall image quality.  That is a big problem with cheap binoculars, particularly at higher powers...

 

ND2000

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/24/2007 at 22:20
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kevro,

Take a look at Vortex Viper's 10x42.

If you still want 3D/depth of focus/depth of field look at the Minox BD 10x44 BP porro prism binocular.

My one and only complaint about these is the diopter adjustment inside the center focus wheel. However, once they are set for "your" eyes, at hunting distances, you shouldn't have to fiddle around with them again.

They also offer exceptional light transmission of 94.5% to your eyes. Very bright, very sharp, very clear and excellent low light binoculars.






Edited by Bird Watcher
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/24/2007 at 22:36
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I havent found a pair of VORTEX VIPERS to look through yet but I have heard they are better or a least as good as PENTAX DCF SP for less $$$.I may order a pair and just hope I can trust the reviews. I was also considering a pair of Kahles 8x42 but have heard they arent any better than VORTEX.
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