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What Hunters Want

Printed From: OpticsTalk by SWFA, Inc.
Category: Other Optics
Forum Name: Binoculars
Forum Description: Anything that requires two eyes to look through it
URL: http://www.opticstalk.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=43830
Printed Date: October/22/2017 at 05:15


Topic: What Hunters Want
Posted By: Troubador
Subject: What Hunters Want
Date Posted: January/12/2017 at 09:24
As you guys know, I am a newby here and although I have 40 years experience in nature observation I know next to nothing about what hunters want from their bins.

From different sources I have gleaned the following:

Some hunters don't focus much and once they have set the focus, they don't want it to move unintentionally. So a stiff focus and a slow geared one seems necessary for this. I can imagine sitting in a hunting tower overlooking a clearing or waterhole and the hunter focusing the bins while there is still enough light and then just wanting to lift it up now and then as the light gets dimmer in the evening to take a look. At some point focusing becomes impossible in the twilight so I can see where this is coming from.

Other folks say hunters don't need a big FOV but I would think it depends on the sort of hunting being done. Deer stalking in Scotland  (or the Rockies?) would appear to involve scanning big areas of mountain side so I would have thought a big FOV would be useful.

OK guys, put me right. What specifications and features do hunters want from their bins?

Lee



Replies:
Posted By: gunut
Date Posted: January/12/2017 at 10:33
some hunters like slight color enhancements where animals stand out more than they normally would from the foliage around them.... also a good depth of field...



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gunut


Posted By: Troubador
Date Posted: January/12/2017 at 10:56
Originally posted by gunut gunut wrote:

some hunters like slight color enhancements where animals stand out more than they normally would from the foliage around them.... also a good depth of field...



Hi Gunny

What about hunters going after goats and similar stuff on rocky mountain sides. Wouldn't an artificial colour that is useful in scrub and woods/woodland edges be bad for them?

Depth of field is magnification-dependent (and to a certain extent on the observer's accomodation, or the degree to which the oberserver's eye can refocus on different distances for example the far side and near side of the true depth of field) so not much that can be done about that.

Lee


Posted By: WJC
Date Posted: January/12/2017 at 11:37
Hi Lee:

Almost everything in optics is a tradeoff. It is a fact that binoculars with ruby coated lens (if coated at the right thickness) will bring out a brown deer against a green foliage background better than the same bino coated with MgF2. BUT, it will slightly reduce the effective aperture, which some people choose to see as a real bugbear.

And then, if they’re really beneficial (which I have never seen), why do we see that Zeiss, Leica, and Swarovski don’t offer them in their lineups. Is it because their knowledge of optics lags behind the Asian startups that offer them? Or, are they offered by the Asians because they have learned through 80 years of empirical experience that westerners believe everything they read so they don’t have to chip a nail doing their own research?  



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"However elegant the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.—Winston Churchill


Posted By: Troubador
Date Posted: January/12/2017 at 12:03
Originally posted by WJC WJC wrote:

Hi Lee:

Almost everything in optics is a tradeoff. It is a fact that binoculars with ruby coated lens (if coated at the right thickness) will bring out a brown deer against a green foliage background better than the same bino coated with MgF2. BUT, it will slightly reduce the effective aperture, which some people choose to see as a real bugbear.

And then, if they’re really beneficial (which I have never seen), why do we see that Zeiss, Leica, and Swarovski don’t offer them in their lineups. Is it because their knowledge of optics lags behind the Asian startups that offer them? Or, are they offered by the Asians because they have learned through 80 years of empirical experience that westerners believe everything they read so they don’t have to chip a nail doing their own research?  



As you say Bill, optics is a tradeoff. Score a goal over here, lose one over there.

Design your hunting bins for forest work, you hack off those that hunt in different habitats and lose out on the possibillity of birders buying your hunting bins too.

Lee


Posted By: koshkin
Date Posted: January/12/2017 at 12:33
Lee, 

As far as binoculars go, the needs of the hunter are not terribly different from those of a birder.  I've been talkign to hunters about this for the last fifteen years.

Low light performance is critical.  Same for contrast.  Edge performance is not that huge a deal, so I would go for a wider FOV even if it costs some edge performance.

The focusing knob does not need to do anything terribly extravagant, setting the gears for mid-to-slightly fast speed is your best bet.

Coatings that help pick out certain colors are useful, but other than Steienr nobody has really done all that much with that concept and if the binocular has good microcontrast, I would not worry about it too much.

ILya


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http://www.opticsthoughts.com - www.opticsthoughts.com
http://www.opticsthoughts.com - opticsthoughts.smugmug.com
Those who are merciful to the cruel, are cruel to the merciful.


Posted By: WJC
Date Posted: January/12/2017 at 12:57

Lee:

With optics, perception and the power of suggestion rule—pity, really. People talk so much about depth of field as if it is a nebulous thing often related to brands; it’s not at all. Mathematically, it deals with focal length and distance to the target—period. Ah, but physiologically. Well, that’s a different ball game. One observer might talk about his bino's great depth of field while his friend finds it’s not that good.

Observer #1 has a dioptric accommodation of 4. Observer #2 has one of 1.5. People spend SO much time quibbling over mechanical things, when the problem might have nothing to do with mechanics.

Following is a snippet from my vignette on that “auto-focus” bull that started in the 90s and still haunts the more cranially challenged.

Despite what you have read or been told, there are no non-electronic auto-focus binoculars.

“But how can that be; I saw it myself?” Answer: The power of suggestion.

Years ago I made a bent-nail puzzle and gave it to a friend to tinker with while we talked. Figuring it out in short order, I grabbed the puzzle, turned my back, put it back together, and gave it to him again saying, “Okay, hotdog, let’s see you get this one apart as fast; I put it together backwards.” Although we continued talking for quite a while, he couldn’t figure it out.

The puzzle only worked one way. Thus it couldn’t have been put together “backwards.” Yet, the power of suggestion caused him to flounder.



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"However elegant the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.—Winston Churchill


Posted By: RifleDude
Date Posted: January/12/2017 at 16:25
All I can tell you is what I like, and I'm definitely an avid hunter.

I tend to lean more towards compact, light, moderate power optics, which seems to go against the "more is better" trend I see.

To me, my Leica Ultravid HD 8x32 bino defines perfection. It has excellent image quality, with outstanding resolution, and my eyes prefer Leica's design philosophy as it pertains to contrast. It really excels at flare suppression, among the best I've seen, even when viewing toward sunlight at dusk. Leica made some welcome improvements in focused smoothness from the original HD models on, and I've got no complaints there. I really like Leica's approach to setting barrel diopters too.

The size and weight are perfect. I'm willing to trade a slight reduction in ultimate low light performance for the reduced size and weight, so 32mm objectives are a good compromise in 8x. Still, I don't sacrifice much low light performance, as the UV 8x32 still takes me past the limits of legal shooting hours where I hunt. 8x is my favored magnification, because it provides just enough detail with generous FOV, with fairly expansive depth of field that I don't need to change focus as much as with 10x. It also minimizes hand tremor, which is beneficial in a midsize 32mm roof prism bino. I just think 8x32 is an ideal compromise of everything. I think you really need 42mm or larger objectives to get the full benefit from 10x.

The hydrophobic lens coating is frosting on an already delicious cake! I've found that extremely useful in keeping my lenses clear in rainy weather.

The ONLY thing I would change about my 8x32 UV HD bino is the price tag. With the significant advances in $1k class binos, in spite of how much I love it, I'm not sure I'd spend Leica $ if I was shopping for new binos today.

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Ted


Money can't buy happiness... but it's much more comfortable to cry in a Porsche than on a bicycle.


Posted By: JGRaider
Date Posted: January/12/2017 at 16:49
I can only speak for me, and like Rifledude, I am an avid hunter.  My dad took me mule deer hunting when I was 11 (1971) and I've been hooked on them, and various big game ever since.

My criteria is:
Optical excellence, especially sharpness. I do not get carried away with a wide FOV, nice feature tough.  
Glare/flare control mandatory.
Slow focus allows me to really "nail" a very sharp view easily without passing back and forth.
Preferrably have a built in tripod adaptor.
No eye relief issues.  Eyecups that stay put wherever you set them.  I do not wear glasses.
No sloppy rubber armoring that "moves around", or fits poorly
High build quality.  Everthing that is supposed to move should do so very smoothly.
Lifetime transferrable warranty, excellent customer service.  Stuff happens in the field and I do not
     want to worry about getting screwed by the manufacturer.  

My binocs of choice that fit:  Swaro 10x50 SV,  Leupold Gold Ring HD, Meopta Meostar HD,
     Swaro SLC HD, Tract Toric HD.  


Just got this 37" buck yesterday BTW.....Luck trumps skill any day. 



Posted By: WJC
Date Posted: January/12/2017 at 17:05
I once dropped a 12-point, in a heavy wind, at 800 yards, with a single shot from my Marlin 336. But, just as I was about to reach my trophy, the alarm went off and I had to get up and get ready for ... work!


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"However elegant the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.—Winston Churchill


Posted By: RifleDude
Date Posted: January/12/2017 at 17:22
Damn nice buck JG! As it so happens, I'm sitting in a blind, using the aforementioned Leica 8x32, whitetail hunting in south TX, SW of Falfurrias right now as I type this. Which means I'm shutting my phone down now.

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Ted


Money can't buy happiness... but it's much more comfortable to cry in a Porsche than on a bicycle.


Posted By: 3_tens
Date Posted: January/12/2017 at 17:58
Good luck.


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Folks ain't got a sense of humor no more. They don't laugh they just get sore.

Need to follow the rules. Just hard to determine which set of rules to follow
Now the rules have changed again.


Posted By: Peddler
Date Posted: January/12/2017 at 18:28
👍🍸Ted!

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When you are dead, you don't know you are dead.It is difficult only for others.

It is the same when you are stupid.


Posted By: Whitefire
Date Posted: January/12/2017 at 20:10
Originally posted by RifleDude RifleDude wrote:

Damn nice buck JG! As it so happens, I'm sitting in a blind, using the aforementioned Leica 8x32, whitetail hunting in south TX, SW of Falfurrias right now as I type this. Which means I'm shutting my phone down now.


South Texas... Got a really nice nilgai in Kennedy County a few years ago. Must go back.

Excellent buck JG.

Lee, good thread. I'm as much a nature observer as a hunter...
Birds, squirrels, bobcats, coyotes and leaves of different shapes, sizes and colors keep me entertained until deer emerge. Such observation has yielded an appreciation for good glass, in rifle scopes., absolutely but even more so with my binocular.

I value low light capabilities above all else, however, excellent color rendition and a sharp image are a close second.
Wf

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May His face shine upon you and give you peace.


Posted By: JGRaider
Date Posted: January/13/2017 at 05:33
Good luck Ted.  Great country you're in down there, that's for sure.  


Posted By: Troubador
Date Posted: January/13/2017 at 06:00
Thanks you guys, please keep posting.
I am sure there are plenty more opinions and points of view out there.

Lee


Posted By: RifleDude
Date Posted: January/13/2017 at 06:32
Thanks for the Good Luck Wishes, fellas. I didn't score yesterday eve. Best buck I saw was a main frame 8 that might have gone 120, not what I'm after in this country. I'm here until mid day Sun, so the hunt is still young.

Back to the bino feature wishlist, I agree with JG on the focusing speed. I want sufficiently fine thread that I can easily hit a precise focus without overshooting the focus. It doesn't necessarily have to be a super fine pitch focuser, I just don't like the fast focus where half a turn takes you from 10 yds to infinity. Too easy to overshoot crisp focus with that, especially if wearing gloves. One of the reasons I like 8x so much is that the hyperfocal distance is close enough that I can set focus for a fairly short distance and objects out to infinity are still reasonably focused enough that I don't have to do much focus adjustment throughout the hunt.

It also has to be tough. It's gonna get dropped and bumped many times.

Daylight is nearly here on morning 2, so gonna shut 'er down again. Send more cyber wishes my way!

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Ted


Money can't buy happiness... but it's much more comfortable to cry in a Porsche than on a bicycle.


Posted By: Peddler
Date Posted: January/13/2017 at 07:03
👍👍👍💥💥💥

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When you are dead, you don't know you are dead.It is difficult only for others.

It is the same when you are stupid.


Posted By: budperm
Date Posted: January/13/2017 at 07:15
may a 240+ walk into your crosshairs...  Howdy

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"Peace is that brief glorious moment in history when everybody stands around reloading".
--Thomas Jefferson





Posted By: Rancid Coolaid
Date Posted: January/13/2017 at 07:30
I want binos like Luke had in Star Wars, they zoom in on my target, have perfect clarity, show azimuth at the bottom, and have lots of electronic swirls and circles and distracting crap to draw my attention away from the actual thing I want to see.

Rifledude, good luck. I love south Texas hunting, should be there now, but alas, life gets in the way.

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The plural of "anecdote" is not "data."


Posted By: Troubador
Date Posted: January/13/2017 at 08:34
OK guys, the question of focus speed is getting interesting.

Slow to medium / medium fast is the vote so far.
Nobody wants to be overshooting focus and the focus needs to work with gloves too.

We have one vote for the setting of the focus and then wanting to not have to touch it again during the hunt.

Sounds like Conquest HD 8x32 would be too fast at from 2.5 miles to 3 yds in half a turn.
Zeiss SF does the same in just one turn so its a mite faster than Zeiss's HT which takes 1.2 turns.

Something around the SF or HT speed sounds about right for you guys and I'm guessing a fairly large focus wheel is good when wearing gloves. I find it gives greater control even without gloves.

Lee


Posted By: Canuck Bob
Date Posted: January/14/2017 at 13:30
I'm no expert on binos and just bought a pair of 8X30 porro cf to get into wildlife viewing please note tis in regards to my opinions.

I was a very good hunter who preferred peep sights in the boreal forest, open prairie and badlands, and the Rockie's east face and my favorite the bush in the foothills.  I bought some cheap 7X35 years ago, first of three binoculars.  They were porroos with a plate on the focus adjuster to make focusing easier, not my favorite feature.  They supplied a need as it became necessary to judge antlers later in my hunting to decide if game was legal at a distance.

My opinion since researching and buying a 8X30 porro for general use.  Fine focus makes things jump out of the bush so normal focal depth is ok.  8X is my max.  If I still hunted I would prefer a 7X35 or 6X30 for the 5MM exit pupil.  A decent field of view is a requirement for hunting IMO.  Hunting stuff to look at happens in low light.  I shake too much for anything higher than 8X.  My old 7X35 met my hunting needs perfectly.  I once stalked and followed a grizzly and two cubs across a wide ravine for an afternoon in a high mountain saddle.  Still my fondest hunting memory even though no way I would shoot her.  The bidget 7X35s worked for my needs.

They matched my needs. I suggest this as the main decision driving any hunter.  A pair fine tuned to work in three different African nations, a possible Antelope hunt in Colorado, a coastal bear hunt in BC, etc, seems to be dubius economy.  Specially if I hunt often every year in upper Michigan for deer and coyotes.


Posted By: Klamath
Date Posted: January/18/2017 at 20:45
Lee,

Been away from here for a few days, nice to see a familiar name show up.  Welcome to OT.  You will not find Dennis here.

I have said on BF several times that I see no basic difference between a birding and a hunting binocular.  Note I agree with Bill about perceptions. 

Good low light performance comes in handy.  I may not use it a lot, but it can be a deal maker.  If in denser stuff, I tend to like a bit of a warm color balance.  Otherwise I like color neutral with proper color rendition and excellent contrast.  Dedicated hunting binoculars can be slower on focus than birding ones.  We tend to look at that pile of brush patch over there a lot and the idea is to sort out the buck that may or may not be there.  Slow focus can let you roll through the different depths somewhat easier.  However the key is to use a binocular you are familiar with.   I could care less about the flat field, but don't want excessive curvature or distortion at the edge either.  I do a lot of birding when I'm hunting.  Actions of other animals can tell quite a tale if one is observant about what is going on.

You are well aware of the idea of the overall size differences of a larger vs a smaller field, and peripheral vision is pretty useful.  I don't need a particularly wide field, but it is something I will take when choosing between two glasses. I want one that fits my hands and face, particularly around the eyes and one that carries well and does not weigh a lot.  Weight is more important to a hunter as we tend to have more gear than a birder, or at least some birders.

Cheers

Steve C


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Steve
"Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted". William Bruce Cameron



Posted By: urbaneruralite
Date Posted: January/19/2017 at 08:06
Wide FOV is the first spec. I look for. Movement when sitting in a stand needs to be kept to a minimum. Second is weight. If I am carrying a pack, a climbing stand and a rifle, I am concerned about weight. Third is low light capability as good as or slightly better than my scope. 

Always have liked the idea of integral lens caps.


Posted By: Troubador
Date Posted: January/19/2017 at 09:58
Originally posted by Klamath Klamath wrote:

Lee,

Been away from here for a few days, nice to see a familiar name show up.  Welcome to OT.  You will not find Dennis here.

I have said on BF several times that I see no basic difference between a birding and a hunting binocular.  Note I agree with Bill about perceptions. 

Good low light performance comes in handy.  I may not use it a lot, but it can be a deal maker.  If in denser stuff, I tend to like a bit of a warm color balance.  Otherwise I like color neutral with proper color rendition and excellent contrast.  Dedicated hunting binoculars can be slower on focus than birding ones.  We tend to look at that pile of brush patch over there a lot and the idea is to sort out the buck that may or may not be there.  Slow focus can let you roll through the different depths somewhat easier.  However the key is to use a binocular you are familiar with.   I could care less about the flat field, but don't want excessive curvature or distortion at the edge either.  I do a lot of birding when I'm hunting.  Actions of other animals can tell quite a tale if one is observant about what is going on.

You are well aware of the idea of the overall size differences of a larger vs a smaller field, and peripheral vision is pretty useful.  I don't need a particularly wide field, but it is something I will take when choosing between two glasses. I want one that fits my hands and face, particularly around the eyes and one that carries well and does not weigh a lot.  Weight is more important to a hunter as we tend to have more gear than a birder, or at least some birders.

Cheers

Steve C



Hi Steve, great to meet you on here too. The main difference that seems to emerge concerns focusing speed. Based on this very small sample of replies, a modest speed of focus is definitely on the hunter's wish-list.  I can understand the wish for light weight. I don't carry a scope and tripod much but often have a DSLR and three lenses as well as food and drink and wet weather gear. It all adds up so you trim it where you can.

Lee


Posted By: Troubador
Date Posted: January/19/2017 at 10:00
Originally posted by urbaneruralite urbaneruralite wrote:

Wide FOV is the first spec. I look for. Movement when sitting in a stand needs to be kept to a minimum. Second is weight. If I am carrying a pack, a climbing stand and a rifle, I am concerned about weight. Third is low light capability as good as or slightly better than my scope. 

Always have liked the idea of integral lens caps.


Short, sweet and to the point. Great. Thanks for your input UR.

Lee


Posted By: budperm
Date Posted: January/19/2017 at 10:43
Man.... first the lottery then look out mulies here I come!

Nice Buck!


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"Peace is that brief glorious moment in history when everybody stands around reloading".
--Thomas Jefferson





Posted By: Kickboxer
Date Posted: January/20/2017 at 05:03
JG always seems to find some pretty nice deer.  I don't much believe in luck. 

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Opinion,untempered by fact,is ignorance.

There are some who do not fear death... for they are more afraid of not really living


Posted By: RifleDude
Date Posted: January/20/2017 at 10:28
Yeah when history repeats itself multiple times, you gotta kinda rule out luck from the equation. JG has a bad habit of stumbling onto some reallly exceptional mulies, time and time again...damn his hide... so I'm gonna say he not only knows where to find them, but makes his own "luck" once he gets there! It's uncanny how much luckier one gets the harder they work!

I had no such luck on my south TX hunt. I saw a few deer and a couple "decent" bucks that I might have shot in my usual NE TX stomping grounds, but none met the standards of an above average mature buck for that region, so I passed on them. The weather didn't cooperate either, staying in the low 80's with high winds the whole time I was there.

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Ted


Money can't buy happiness... but it's much more comfortable to cry in a Porsche than on a bicycle.



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