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Steiner Binos - help me pick

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/14/2008 at 11:51
Jsimoneaud View Drop Down
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I want a pair of smaller/compact binos. I bought a Nikon Action Extreme 10x50 last year and it worked well stand hunting in Mississippi this year, but I want something smaller and lighter for hunting in the swamp in south Louisiana, something I can leave around my neck while in a ladder/tree stand.

I am considering one of the following from the Sample List, but can't really find detailed specs on these models, whats the difference between these?

1. Steiner 280 8x30 Military/Marine $119.00

2. Steiner 286 8x30 Predator $149.00

3. Steiner 480 8x30 Hunting $279.00

thanks in advance -js

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/14/2008 at 12:25
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J.
 
Haven't heard from you in awhile.
 
Also, you might consider the Leupold Katmai 6x32mm or 8x32mm:
 
 
Have you been to the Steiner web-site?  w w w . s t e i n e r - b i n o c u l a r s . c o m
 
 I sent you a PM.
 
 


Edited by Bird Watcher - January/14/2008 at 12:48
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/14/2008 at 20:36
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Hunting Version.  I have the Night Hawk version.  The hunting version is between the Night Hawk and the Predator.  These are good, but not great.  You may find the Nikons you have clearer. The main differance is the coatings.  A couple of the versions favor the reds and browns to help pick out game.  Minox and IOR also have IF models and I would be tempted to try those also, since you used the key word swamp. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/15/2008 at 11:45
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Originally posted by silver silver wrote:

Minox and IOR also have IF models and I would be tempted to try those also, since you used the key word swamp. 
 
I'm curious; why would the keyword "swamp" cause you to focus (no pun intended) in on an IF mechanism?
 
I would think that since swamps tend to be characterized by dense undergrowth, the CF mechanism's ability to change the depth (for lack of a better term) of its focus, thus allowing you to look past much of the foliage, would seem the more logical choice.


Edited by lucznik - January/15/2008 at 11:46
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/15/2008 at 13:17
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Originally posted by lucznik lucznik wrote:

Originally posted by silver silver wrote:

Minox and IOR also have IF models and I would be tempted to try those also, since you used the key word swamp. 
 
I'm curious; why would the keyword "swamp" cause you to focus (no pun intended) in on an IF mechanism?
 
I would think that since swamps tend to be characterized by dense undergrowth, the CF mechanism's ability to change the depth (for lack of a better term) of its focus, thus allowing you to look past much of the foliage, would seem the more logical choice.
 
Close does not bother me as much. How much refocusing do you do when something is more than 100 feet away? I find I waste more time focusing with CF than I need, because it gets to be a habit. I watch something and focus on it, then bring the glasses down. Then When I pull them back up to watch the same thing, I refocus out of habit.  We refocus because we ge bored.  
 
 It is wet, damp and dark, that concern me.  At some point he and they will get dunked!  Roots you don't see will grab you and splash! It is the extra mosture protection that matters because it is always, always wet.  That's where the Steiners have a lot of protection.  And they have a very comfortable neck strap.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/15/2008 at 16:56
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Another vote here for the Katmai 6X32.  They are outstanding binocs for woods, especially for the money.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/16/2008 at 08:38
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Thanks for all the input Guys!!
 
BirdWatcher - I sent you a PM - I read the forum alot, I just don't post often.
 
I am still looking, haven't made up my mind yet, but kinda leaning toward the Steiner Predator 8x30, I am interested in this feature:
Predator lens coatings help you spot hidden game by blocking the colors of haze and foliage, enhancing the visibility of browns, reds and other wildlife colors.

Wildlife hidden by dense foliage: whatever you need to spot - nothing escapes the Predator´s eyes! The revolutionary Steiner Predator lens coating increases contrast in wooded and camouflaged backgrounds and makes animals much easier to detect with the human eye. Simply put, the green coating blocks out green and blue (the colors of foliage and haze) and boosts browns and reds. The added contrast is impressive.

I am red/green color blind, so I am not sure this feature will help me or not.
thanks again -js
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/16/2008 at 09:59
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Originally posted by Jsimoneaud Jsimoneaud wrote:

I am red/green color blind, so I am not sure this feature [Predator Coatings] will help me or not.
thanks again -js
 
No it will not.  If you can't see reds, then enhancing reds won't help you at all.
 
Also, by blocking the green/blue color spectrum, the Predator binoculars become even less useful during any period of low light as it is the blues that our eyes primarily use for night vision. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/20/2008 at 14:14
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Well, here's my 2 cents worth of an opinion.  I have the Steiner 8x30 IF Predator and I do not like them at all.  That is primarily due to the IF feature, which I cannot stand on a binocular, although some folks seem to like them.  Their optics are just a shade above mediocre.  The predator coatings do however seem to work, as these binoculars seem best in the brush in hazy gloomy conditions.  However that is not enough of an advantage for me to recomend them.  For most hunting conditions (I hunt Mule deer in Sage/Juniper habitats) and as a general birding and just general viewing, my usual first choice out the door is a new Swift 7x36 Eaglet with the new CFT coatings.  For me 7x is way plenty untill I get way out there, and if there is a lot of mirage when I'm trying to look way out there 7x can be plenty there as well.  My other go to binocular is a Vortex Viper 10x42.  Both of these glasses offer a far, far better depth of field and are a much better set and forget glass than the Steiners ever thought about being.  Plus you can focus back and forth through the foliage with the CF.  You simply can't do that with a IF glass.  I see the Vortex Fury 6.5x32 are now listed as being in stock at EO for $300.00.  Those would be worth a serious look too.

Steve

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/21/2008 at 08:17
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Thanks again for all the comments. I am not sure what to do now. basically I want a pair of compact Bino's for deer hunting and I don't want to spend more than $200.00
 
I was thinking I wanted something that has IF, I agree with Silver's comments -  that I find myself constantly focusing, especially when it starts getting dark.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/21/2008 at 10:41
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J.,

$200 for a good compact roof prism bino?

$300 is more realistic.

We've had this discussion many times in the past, around IF binoculars.

In the US, there is a small percentage of IF binoculars sold, as the demand for Individual Focusing isn't that great.
 
Myself, I would think that 'alot' of focusing, when it starts getting dark, would be an exercise in futility, due to both a lack of outdoor light and aperture.
 
My wife's Leupold Katmai 6x32mm does well at dawn and dusk, and does not require alot of focusing.
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/21/2008 at 11:01
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oops!! I thought IF meant "instant focus" what I want is auto focus, so I don;t have to focus, sorry for my lack of binos acronyms

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/21/2008 at 12:03
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InstaFocus is sold on.....how do I say it nicely?,
Cheap, plastic binoculars.
 
Such binoculars are not something to be seriously considered for hunting, or much of anything else:


Edited by Bird Watcher - January/21/2008 at 23:27
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/21/2008 at 19:28
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birdwatcher - are you saying that all automatic focus binos are not really good quality bino's?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/21/2008 at 21:04
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Good quality bino's?
How do I say it nicely?
No!


Edited by Bird Watcher - January/21/2008 at 23:10
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/22/2008 at 11:00
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Originally posted by Jsimoneaud Jsimoneaud wrote:

oops!! I thought IF meant "instant focus" what I want is auto focus, so I don;t have to focus, sorry for my lack of binos acronyms
 
It's not a problem - as long as we all eventually understand each other.
 
IF stands for Individual Focus.   It is found on most Steiner binoculars as well as on a few select models from other manufacturers. It is also found on many (most) vintage model binoculars. With such binoculars you (theoretically) set each optical barrel to your eyes individually and then never need to readjust them.  In reality this doesn't work quite as advertised as if you need to look very close or very far you do have to readjust the focus but, for the majority of open glassing, it works fine.
 
CF stands for Central Focus.  It is found on the majority of binoculars today. With these you still set each optical barrel to your individual eyes (though in a somewhat different way.) Focussing near, far, and everywhere in between is then accomplished by the use of the central wheel.
 
Auto Focus, Insta Focus, etc. are acronyms that are used to describe binoculars only on the very cheap end of the spectrum and that basically include no focussing mechanism at all but rather rely on only your eyes to make "natural" adjustments.  There isn't a single one of them worth owning.


Edited by lucznik - January/22/2008 at 17:15
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/22/2008 at 11:39
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lucznik,
 
Since Jason is looking for something small, lightweight, and compact, would? you 'recommend' a reverse porro in his price range?
 
Nikon ProStaff ATB 8x25?
Pentax UCF WP 8x25?


Edited by Bird Watcher - January/22/2008 at 12:05
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/22/2008 at 17:10
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Originally posted by Bird Watcher Bird Watcher wrote:

lucznik,
would you 'recommend' a reverse porro in his price range?
 
No.
 
I'm afraid I don't see a lot of advantage to the reverse-porro compacts. 
  • First, they really aren't that compact; certainly not small enough to fit into a front trouser pocket.  So, since you don't get a useful size advantage, why limit yourself to such small objective lens sizes?
  • Second, their design actually reduces "3-D" perception because their objective lenses are  set in ultra close, closer even than in normal roof prisms.
 
I also wouldn't favor the Steiner offerings that were initially listed.  This is, I readily admit, due largely to my personal bias against anything by Steiner.  I just have never been impressed by any of their products that I have seen.  I also have a well-documented distaste for the IF mechanism.
 
Personally, I would tend to steer a prospective buyer into something more like:
  • Leupold Yosemite.  I would probably opt for the 8x30 but, I hear nice things about the 6x30 as well.
  • Leupold Katmai.  Again, I would choose 8x but, the 6x has it's proponents.  In budget class glass I have decided that 10x entails too much of a risk.
  • Pentax DCF MP. 8x28 
  • Nikon Monarch PC.  8x36
  • Bushnell Legend (porro prism.) The 8x42 would offer the optimal size/performance/cost package.
  • Pentax PCF WP II.  8x42
 
 
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/22/2008 at 20:08
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Thanks for the clarification!
 
I looked thru the Katmai 8x, but, they are so small and lightweight that I couldn't keep the 8x from shaking.


Edited by Bird Watcher - January/22/2008 at 20:13
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/23/2008 at 09:16
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Thanks to both of you Birdwatcher and Lucznik, I don’t see some of the models Lucznik mentioned on SWFA's site, so I will look around on other sites today. The Leupolds are a little to expensive for me. With a 200.00 budget this has become not so easy.

 

Since my budget has me on the low end of quality, I am concerned about eye strain. With my Nikon action extreme 10x50, I find I get some eye strain and have to take a break every so often.

At what price point or quality level does eye strain get reduced?

 

Thanks again -js



Edited by Jsimoneaud - January/23/2008 at 09:17
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/23/2008 at 10:40
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The Nikon Action Extreme is a quality binocular.  You should not be getting eyestrain from it.  I would suspect your problem lies in one of two areas:
 
1. If you have ever dropped your binocular or otherwise bumped it up against something solid, it could have been knocked out of collimation.  If this is the case, a quick trip to Nikon's service center should resolve the problem
2. Assuming you've not bumped the binocular, the most likely culprit is that you don't have the diopter adjustment properly set for your right eye.  This is an incredibly important (and very often neglected) step in setting up your binocular for your use.  Even a slight adjustment problem here will give you terrible eyestrain.  Make sure you know how to do this correctly and that you really take the time to do it right.
 
As far as prices are concerned, you should expect to find:
  • Leupold Yosemite - No more than $110
  • Leupold Katmai - Somewhere around $330
  • Pentax DCF MP - Under $200
  • Nikon Monarch PC - Right around $250
  • Bushnell Legend (porro prism) - About $120 
  • Pentax PCF WP II - Under $150

Only the Monarch and the Katmai would require you to stretch your budget.   For what it's worth, although I have not compared them myself, my understanding is that the Yosemite is every bit as good a binocular as the Katmai.  The difference in price is due to the Yosemite's porro prism design as opposed to the Katmai's roof prism design.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/23/2008 at 11:45
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Lucznik is right about the eyestrain, wish you had mentioned it earlier on.
 
One comment about the Leupold Yosemite, some have remarked about the softness around the edges.
 
 
 
 


Edited by Bird Watcher - January/23/2008 at 21:59
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/23/2008 at 18:31
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ok guys, thanks a bunch for all the info, I will update ya'll as to what I do
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