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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/24/2006 at 07:48
birdhunter View Drop Down
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I bought a new pair of Nikon Monarch 8x42 binoculars from Bass Pro in May and they have yet to go out of my house.  I recently decided to sell off some of my guns and reorganize what I have and since I have the extra $$ I want to upgrade my binoculars.  There is nothing wrong with my new Nikon's I just thought while I had the money I would make a once in a lifetime investment.  I am looking for a pair to deer hunt, turkey hunt and varmit hunt in the Southeasten US.  I am interested in either a 30mm,32 mm, 42mm in 7x or 8x.  I really have a hard time holding a 10x steady.  I really like the 32mm for size, weight and for stalking abilities.  I do know sometimes you could get a top name brand in 32mm and their better then a 10x42mm in a lower class binocular.  I am not totally against a pair of 42mm binoculars either if this is really what I need to get the job done. I am looking to make a once in a lifetime purchase or to have a pair that would last for 20yrs.  I have had Kahles and currently Nikon.  I would like to hear from you on both or these angles. 1.)Best pair of binoculars for the money if your money is and issue.  Saying spending no more then $600 either sample list of buying new.  2.)If money were no problem spening as much as $1800 for a pair of binoculars either a pair from the sample list of new binoculars.  I just thought I would as you guys that have experience with them and what you thought about each brand and what your suggestion would be for me to purchase.  Thanks

 

Pentax DCFSP 8x32, 8x42mm

Nikon Premier 8x32, 42mm

Bushnell Discover 7x42, 8x42mm

Bushnell Elite 8x32, 42mm

Kahles 8x32, 8x42mm

Leica Trivoid 8x32, 7x42, 8x42mm

Swarovski 8x30, 7x42mm

Zeiss FL 8x32, 7x42, 8x42mm

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/24/2006 at 09:10
FrankD View Drop Down
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Out of that list of bins you posted the Zeiss FL is the most cutting edge in terms of optics design because of their use of Fl glass in their objectives. It is also by far the most expensive.The least you would pay, new, for any of those configurations would be about $1400.

 

The Swaro SLC, Nikon Premier and Leica Trinovids would be next on the list in terms of both price and overall optical performance (though some folks like myself actually prefer this optical package level to that of the newer FL or Leica Ultravid designs). It is in this price class where you can find superb optical performance and durability and a decent price tag as many of these models (old Swaro SLC, Trinovids and original Nikon LX) are on clearance at a variety of online retailers. You can now find $1000+ bins for under $1000. Their only drawback compared to the newest designs (FLs, Ultravids and ELs) is that they are just a tad less bright and they typically have a heavier physical weight (3-4 ounces on average compared to the newer offerings).

 

I would classify the Elites, SPs and Kahles models in roughly the same optical performance range. All offer above average optics for very reasonable prices. If you don't want to spend just below or just about $1000 then this group is what you are looking for. The optics only lack one or two small differences with that of the much more expensive models and yet the price can easily be 1/2 to 1/3 less expensive.

 

The Discoverers also offer excellent image quality overall and, again, offer great price vs. performance for their respective price range. Though optically quite good they do not look quite as sharp or offer as little distortion as the previous three bins mentioned but are still probably better than other bins in the $300-$400 price range.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/24/2006 at 14:37
birdhunter View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
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Originally posted by birdhunter birdhunter wrote:

I bought a new pair of Nikon Monarch 8x42 binoculars from Bass Pro in May and they have yet to go out of my house and I would like to sell them and buy a once in a lifetime pair of binos.  I recently decided to sell off some of my guns and reorganize what I have and since I have the extra $$ I want to upgrade my binoculars.  There is nothing wrong with my new Nikon's I just thought while I had the money I would make a once in a lifetime investment.  I am looking for a pair to deer hunt, turkey hunt and varmit hunt in the Southeasten US.  I am interested in either a 30mm,32 mm, 42mm in 7x or 8x.  I really have a hard time holding a 10x steady.  I really like the 32mm for size, weight and for stalking abilities.  I do know sometimes you could get a top name brand in 32mm and their better then a 10x42mm in a lower class binocular.  I am not totally against a pair of 42mm binoculars either if this is really what I need to get the job done. I am looking to make a once in a lifetime purchase or to have a pair that would last for 20yrs.  I have had Kahles and currently Nikon.  I would like to hear from you on both or these angles. 1.)Best pair of binoculars for the money if your money is and issue.  Saying spending no more then $600 either sample list of buying new.  2.)If money were no problem spening as much as $1800 for a pair of binoculars either a pair from the sample list of new binoculars.  I just thought I would as you guys that have experience with them and what you thought about each brand and what your suggestion would be for me to purchase.  Thanks

 

Pentax DCFSP 8x32, 8x42mm

Nikon Premier 8x32, 42mm

Bushnell Discover 7x42, 8x42mm

Bushnell Elite 8x32, 42mm

Kahles 8x32, 8x42mm

Leica Trivoid 8x32, 7x42, 8x42mm

Swarovski 8x30, 7x42mm

Zeiss FL 8x32, 7x42, 8x42mm

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/25/2006 at 12:06
FrankD View Drop Down
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Not sure why you quoted your original post unless you want me to specifically recommend one model over the others. If that is the case then it is tough to do as the respective price ranges are so different.

 

If price is an issue then there is nothing wrong with the Discoverers though you can find the Pentax SPs (either 8x43 or 8x32) for under $500 a few places (SWFA is having a sale right now for example). They offer 90% of the optical performance of the $1000 bins and are my personal favorites for handling, ruggedness and optical performance in their price range.

 

Given no price ceiling I would opt for the Leica Trinovids and have done just that. Optically they are superb and their build quality is often commented on as being the best in the industry. I would choose the Trinovids over the Ultravids because there is a huge price difference for only a very slight amount of increase in optical performance....namely brightness.

 

My next choice probably be the Nikon LXs as, again, they are a few hundred less than the FLs and Ultravids and yet really don't give much up, except for a slightly narrower field of view, to the most expensive of models.

 

Lastly, I thought I might mention the Meopta Meostar 8x42s. On sale now at a few spots for under $900 and they are very comparable optically and mechanically to the Leica Trinovids and Swaro SLCs of similar configurations. The one area that they really excel in is the field of view. At 411 feet with the 8x model they are the widest 8x roof prism on the market beating out even the Zeiss FL's 405 feet.

 

Hope that is what you were looking for.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/25/2006 at 13:08
birdhunter View Drop Down
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Thanks Frank.  Sorry I didn't mean to repost my origional post I just went in and changed the first few sentences a little is all.  I do have a couple of questions for you if you don't mind?

 

1.) What kind of warrenty does Pentax have?  Are they that much better then my Nikon Monarchs and is it worth spending extra $$?

 

2.) do you perfer 7x or 8x?  I know in some of the 42MM in Swarovski SLC, Lieca Trivoids I can get a 7x.

 

3.) Which brand do you perfer in the 30-32mm?  Swarovski SLC, Leica Trivoids in the $1,000 range?

Kahles, Pentax or Zeiss Conquest in the $500-700 range?

 

I have been watching the sample list and I haven't seen a Leica 8x32 pair on there in a while but there are some 7x42 and there are lots of Swarovski 8x30, 7x42s.  I am trying to get the best I can for my money.  Hope you understand.  Thanks

 

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/25/2006 at 19:09
Acenturian View Drop Down
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Birdhunter:

I am in a similar situation.  I have a couple very nice pairs of binoculars. I have a set of Weaver Grand Slam 10.5x45 and a pair of Swift Audubon ED 8.5x44 poro's.  The Weavers are close (not quite there) but very close to a friends pair of Pentax SP's  The Swifts are definitly better glass, then both the Pentax or the Weavers and are very close to some $1000 binoculars. But the poro design has a bulky feeling, they say water proof BUT most poro's are not as durable as a roof. Plus, while I love the glass of the Swift ED they are 8.5 power and I want 10x for a hunting bino.

 

Last year I was hunting in the snow and the sun broke out and I was using the Weavers with the snow reflection there was quite abit of chrmoatic abberation or purple fringing caused by the way the light enters the lens.  I tend to be more sensative to this then some of my friends.  However, two hunting companions had some top end Euro's one Zeiss the other Leica.  No comparison when the weather was less than ideal. On normal sunny perfect days there was very little differenct between my $400 Weavers and the high end stuff, but when things go bad or less then ideal that is what your paying for.

 

I really like th Zeiss FL's. there are top glass, and still pretty light weight.  However, they cost a lot.  So for me I am either going to go with the Swarovski SLC or the Leica Trinovid..still a toss up till I can do a side by side comparison.  That would be my two choices for the $1000 +

 

Under $1000 no question the Kahles.  I think they are noticably better then the Pentax SP's debatable if it is $200 better but I think better none the less, not knocking Pentax but the Kahles are not much more and they are made in Austria from one of the oldest optics companies.   The pair I looked at were well built and darn close the big three.  Plus weight is still pretty good.  Infact, I have not totally ruled out the Kahles myself. I'd toss the Zeiss Conquest out. I think the Pextax and definitly the Kahles are better glass. While I love the Conquest scopes I was not overly impressed with the binoculars especially for the money. Plus the Conquests are not made by Zeiss Germany they are made in Hungary. Again, that may not be a bad thing BUT I'd perfer that it came out of Germany for the money.

 

All of the binoculars you listed are very good glass so I am sure you will not be disappointed. Myself, I (now) tend to believe buy the best that you can afford.

 

Good luck and keep us posted on what you decide.

 

AC

 

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/25/2006 at 20:18
Roy Finn View Drop Down
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Not to add any confusion, but in the same price arena as the Kahles are the new Minox HG's. They are said to be VERY close to Trinovids optically and weigh much less. As much as I think that Leica builds a great bino, I cannot warm up to the Trinovids (8x42) due to their weight. The Minox HG weigh about 10 oz.'s less than the porky Trinovids. I'm a little confused as to your request due to the very broad range of makes and models your are inquiring about.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/26/2006 at 07:24
FrankD View Drop Down
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Quote

Thanks Frank.  Sorry I didn't mean to repost my origional post I just went in and changed the first few sentences a little is all.  I do have a couple of questions for you if you don't mind?

 

1.) What kind of warrenty does Pentax have?  Are they that much better then my Nikon Monarchs and is it worth spending extra $$?

 

2.) do you perfer 7x or 8x?  I know in some of the 42MM in Swarovski SLC, Lieca Trivoids I can get a 7x.

 

3.) Which brand do you perfer in the 30-32mm?  Swarovski SLC, Leica Trivoids in the $1,000 range?

Kahles, Pentax or Zeiss Conquest in the $500-700 range?

 

I have been watching the sample list and I haven't seen a Leica 8x32 pair on there in a while but there are some 7x42 and there are lots of Swarovski 8x30, 7x42s.  I am trying to get the best I can for my money.  Hope you understand.  Thanks

 

1) They have basically the same "No Fault" warranty as the Nikons though I believe the cost goes from $10 (Nikons) to $20(Pentax) but that covers just about anything if memory serves me correctly.

 

As for overall quality, I think the Pentax SPs are built just a bit more durable. I have no specific technical info to back this up but am rather just going by personal experience with each bin. The Pentaxs feel more rugged. Optically the Pentaxs have a slightly flatter field (more of the field of view is in focus) and they have less chromatic aberration (color fringing on high contrast objects).

 

2) I prefer both in truth but 7x is more versatile in my opinion. My 7x Trinovids are now my favorite all around bins for any situation. I do not mind the 7x mag. in comparison to 8x or 10x. With a high quality bin my experiences lead me to believe that you do not see any more detail with an 8x or 10x bin handheld as the bins are already delivering more detail than our eyes can make use of. 8x is my second favorite. It still provides a bright image with a wide field of view though somewhat less depth of field. I would probably have more 7x than 8x bins if 7x was offered in more models and sizes.

 

3. I like both the Swaro and the Leica in the 8x30-32 mm size. The Swaros have a somewhat more relaxed image probably because of their slightly warm color bias and their slightly larger sweet spot. I own the Leica 8x32s because of their very sharp center of field image along with a moderately wide sweet spot and exceptionally wide field of view (442 feet at 1000 yards). Price is an issue here though as the Leicas are typically going in the $1100-$1200 range while the Swaros are typically around $1000 new. You can find both though for a bit less if you do a little digging.

 

I prefer the Pentax out of the three less expensive models you listed but, as mentioned, I have little experience with the Kahles. However, I have seen the Pentax 32s listed at between $350 and $375 while the 42s can go as low as $450. That is a big price difference with the Kahles especially if there is only a slight difference in optical quality. The Zeiss Conquests have beautiful colors and an exceptionally sharp center field image. However, the outer edge distortion is noticeable and takes away from the relaxed feeling of the image in my opinion. Add to that the fact that the field of view is a good 30 feet narrower in the 30 mm model in comparison to either the Kahles or Pentax.

 

If there is a 7x42 Leica Trinovid on the Samplelist then I would grab it. Provided it isn't a lemon I think you will be more than satisfied with the image and the build quality. They provide such a wide, in focus image with such sharpness and depth of field that it makes the image extremely relaxed. Add to that the 6 mm exit pupil and you have probably one of the most relaxed, highly detailed images you will ever see. It is a pity in my opinion that Leica has now discontinued this configuration entirely.

 

Hope this helps.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/26/2006 at 12:17
birdhunter View Drop Down
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Thanks for the info Roy, FrankD, and Acenturian you have helped me to narrow my search.  I don't know alot about optics other then what I have red in magazines and online.  I had a pair of Kahles once in 8x42 and I let a friend of mine talk me out of them.  Bad mistake as I got a great deal in them when I bought them on the Samplelist on SWFA.  Before that I had a pair of Minox 8x32 and they were great but I kept reading on here and I decided I needed a pair of 42mm.  I loved the size, weight and no neck pain with the 32mm.  I have always used Leupold scopes on my rifles and I didn't know how good their gold ring bino's are and the Bushnell Elites?  Are they worth taking a look at for the $$?  Also if you guys could only have one pair of binos would it be 30/32MM or 42/43MM?  Or it is just a personal preference with weight and use?

 

Here's my shortlist now:

Pentax 8x32, 8x43

Kahles 8x32, 8x42

Swarovski SLC 8x30, 7x42

Leica Trivoids 8x32 or 7x42

 

Acenturian, by the way I could kick myself for ever selling the Kahles.  They were awsome binos for what I gave for them which is about what the Pentax are going for now.  For under $100 they are hard to beat.  For under $1000 I am looking at the sample list at the 8x30, 7x42 SLC Swarovski's, Leica Trivoids 7x42, only wished they had a used pair of 8x32s, and the Kahles 8x32's, 8x42 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/26/2006 at 12:55
FrankD View Drop Down
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A 42 mm objective bino would be better as an "all around glass" as the larger objective gives it more flexibility in lower light situations. However, when one considers the quality of coatings and glass on the current crop of high end 32 mm models you are only losing about 5-10 minutes of light gathering ability in my experience.

 

I have owned the 8x43 Bushnell Elites (refurbs) and have looked at and through the Golden Rings. The Elites are very bright and have great ergonomics but they lack the tack sharpness of other bins at this price point. At $900 I would opt for the Meoptas over the Elites. I was not impressed whatsoever with the Golden Rings optically and they felt heavier than other glasses of this weight...if that makes any sense...plus the eyepieces seemed unusually large and uncomfortable.

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