binoculars?

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by mathewsz7, Nov 3, 2010.

  1. mathewsz7

    mathewsz7 Newb

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    hey, im new here...great site! I want to get some binoculars to use for both bow and rifle hunting, I was wondering if you all had any suggestions? im looking to spend about $150 to $200...Thanks
     
  2. KodiakArcher

    KodiakArcher Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Here's my honest advice, and I doubt it's what you want to hear. I wouldn't recommend buying anything in that price range. Save your money and wait a year or whatever you have to in order to spend at least twice that amount and get something that'll last you happily for years to come. Everyone I know that has bought cheap binoculars has ended up buying more until, in the end, they end up spending what a good set would have cost in the first place. And then they end up buying a good set on top of that! Just my $0.02 take it for what it's worth.

    To give you recommendations on what would work for you we'd need to know more about what you're using them for and where. In general, the farther west and north you get the more you'll need to spend. You'll be spending more time behind them as spaces open up and you'll be doing it in more inclement weather as you get farther north. Eye fatigue from cheap binos will ruin your hunting experience on a western trip.

    Binoculars is definitely one of those places where you get what you pay for. One thing to keep in mind is that no matter how much you spend, some time will come in their life that they'll need service. Stick to a solid US company (Leupold) and that'll be much less painful than sending them off to Europe.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2010
  3. GABowhunter

    GABowhunter Moderator

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    Great advice and would be the same I'd give. Save up your money and buy high quality optics. I should mention that I have Nikon Monarchs and have been really pleased with them.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2010
  4. Hoythews71

    Hoythews71 Weekend Warrior

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    I'm actually in the market for a pair for bowhunting and turkey hunting too. Same price range. I've been hearing good things about the Vortex optics. Nikon is always a top choice too.

    I'm not a huge advocate for optics. They're invaluable out west in he open country, but I could really go either way on them here in the Midwest.
     
  5. Rick James

    Rick James Grizzled Veteran

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    Kodiak is exactly right. To be useful, decent binocs are going to start in the $250-$300 range. Even in that range, your choices are OK, but not great. Your best bet in the lower price classes are likely Vortex, or Nikon. You can get a REALLY good binocs in the $300-$500 range.

    My new Zen Ray ED2's are literally as good of quality as the Swarovski's and Leica's I've looked through, and cost me roughly $400.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2010
  6. GMMAT

    GMMAT Grizzled Veteran

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    I think I paid $260 for my Nikon Monarchs (8X42 in camo) in 2006. No idea what they run, now. But, I've been and still am pleased w/ my purchase.
     
  7. mathewsz7

    mathewsz7 Newb

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    I hunt in the southeast mainly (deer). I want to get 50mm objective. I will be using it for bowhunting and rifle hunting distances between 30-300 yards. I', willing to spend more to get a "good" pair ($300 or so). I currently have a nikon monarch scope on my rifle, which i absolutely love! hope this helps..thanks
     
  8. KodiakArcher

    KodiakArcher Die Hard Bowhunter

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    I assume you want the 50mm objective because you want light gathering ability. That's good but only if your magnification is 7 power or greater. For a quick trick you take the maximum dilated pupil size (7mm) and multiply that by the magnification of your optics to determine the maximum objective diameter for optimal light gathering. For 7 power it'd be 49mm, 56mm for 8 power and so on.

    For down south I wouldn't go huge on the magnification but I would go huge on light gathering so something with quality glass and coatings in a 7 x50 or 8 x 56 porro prism is going to do you well unless you have to carry them all day long. If you're going to be carrying them a lot you'll want something lighter so you'll either spend more money for a roof prism bino or drop the objective lens size down to get a smaller pair, 8x42 would likely fit the bill here.

    Speaking of roof vs. porro, you're going to get more bang for the buck out of porro prism binoculars. They're heavier and bulkier but the manufacturing tolerances on them allow for a less expensive binocular to have a better quality image through them than a similarly priced roof prism. I wouldn't even think of getting a roof prism if I were going to be spending less than $500.
     
  9. mathewsz7

    mathewsz7 Newb

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    wow! thanks kodiak, i hadn't thought that much into it. Do you have any specific models you think may be good?
     
  10. KodiakArcher

    KodiakArcher Die Hard Bowhunter

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    I've got friends that have had good luck with the Leupold Wind River series. Other friends have had bad luck with Pentax in that price range and went to Steiners at twice the price without looking back. I dropped coin on Leupold Golden Rings nearly 15 years ago and haven't regretted a nickel but because of the country I spend more time in a season behind them glassing game up here than you'll probably spend in a decade down there.
     
  11. Backcountry

    Backcountry Grizzled Veteran

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    I really like my Vortex Diamondback 8x42's. I paid $200 for them. I have spent hours a day behind them and never had headache issues you would from other brands. Super clear and a great warranty
     
  12. Schultzy

    Schultzy Grizzled Veteran

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    x2 on what Kodiak said. I listened to Rob (Kodiak) and bought some Leopold's. Great bino's they are!!
     
  13. OHbowhntr

    OHbowhntr Die Hard Bowhunter

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    There may be some nice ones in that range, but they're gonna be left-overs from previous years. I picked up some nice Vanguard's on a clearance this summer, sold all the sets but one to pay for the set I kept, but those deals don't happen very often. Check different places, and see if you can find some leftovers that may have originally been $400 or so discounted to $200-250 or so, and you may get a great deal. I can't tell any difference between mine bino's and a set of $600 Steiner's my buddy has except mine adjust quicker than his, but clarity is about the same. There is the regular coated vs. the ED glass bino's, that you may look into, as well, lots of options out there, shop around a little research a little, in the end it will pay off.
     
  14. mathewsz7

    mathewsz7 Newb

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    ive been reading some reviews and the vortex diamondback 8.5x50 seem to be pretty good...any one else have any experience with them?
     
  15. KodiakArcher

    KodiakArcher Die Hard Bowhunter

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    8.5x50 isn't really going to gain you anything but weight over an 8x42. Of the two I'd go with the smaller, lighter 8x42's.
     
  16. donut757

    donut757 Weekend Warrior

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    I just picked up a pair of the Bushnell Trophy XLT's at the start of the season..... i got 8x42 and they have been great for me.

    i would definitely recommend these as a great pair in that price range. i was in the same boat as you a few months ago and i didnt want to want til next year and spend $300-400. Im very happy with them and have had them in the rain once and they did pretty well.
     
  17. mathewsz7

    mathewsz7 Newb

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    will i lose much light with the 42 compared to the 50?
     
  18. Tony

    Tony Legendary Woodsman

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    If you have ever looked through a pair of Great binos .... you would NEVER go cheap ... they are unreal ... Kodiak .. right on with your post :tu:
     
  19. KodiakArcher

    KodiakArcher Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Here's the math:
    50mm / 8.5x = 5.88 mm exit pupil size
    42mm / 8x = 5.25 mm exit pupil size

    You'll loose 0.63 mm exit pupil diameter of a total 7 mm possible or 9% of the total possible exit pupil diameter by dropping from the 8.5x50 to the 8x42. The question is how much do you need that extra light gathering compared to how much weight and bulk you're going to be carrying around your neck all day?
     
  20. Tony

    Tony Legendary Woodsman

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    Rob ... you still huntin the hunter?
     

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