Harry in SC
July 22, 2007, 01:25 PM
Does anyone on here have any suggestions about some reasonably priced binoculars and range finders to purchase? I was doing some more research on optics and was curious about what will get the job done versus what would be considered overkill when deer hunting. Also, give me some ideas about power when looking for binoculars and rangefinders. What will get the job done efficiently without breaking the bank? Thanks!



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July 22, 2007, 01:50 PM
leupold olimpics or cascades are a good start. 8x or 10x are a good start I prefer 8x

July 22, 2007, 01:56 PM
For me, 42-43mm objectives in 8x power are the ticket. There are times that I wish I had 10x, but I have difficulty holding 10x steady enough these days. I personally use a pair of Pentax SP's in 8x43 and couldn't be happier. They have great glass, are fairly light and reasonably priced at $400-$500 when you consider that their performance is truly in the ballpark with the Zeiss/Swarovski folks.

Of course, "reasonably priced" is a highly subjective term. In my experience, where optics are concerned, you very much get what you pay for.


July 22, 2007, 01:59 PM
Kind of depends on what you consider affordable, but Cabela's sells all kinds of relatively inexpensive binoculars. Starting at around $30.
4X Range finders start at $150 from them.
I'd be thinking of spending about $100 for binoculars. And buying a compact pair in 8X to 10X or so. Mind you, the terrain you hunt in will have a lot to do with your choice. Thick bush doesn't require the same magnification as open fields. Also the higher the magnification you go, the smaller the field of view and the heavier the binoculars. Weight matters at the end of the day.
Cabelas has Nikon Travelite binoculars on sale right now, according to their site for $89 to $170.

July 22, 2007, 02:52 PM
Send a PM to user USSR and see if he has any of his Russian military binoculars left, they get great reviews over at snipershide.

July 22, 2007, 04:31 PM
PM back at ya, Harry. Thanks for the referral, waterhouse.


July 22, 2007, 04:52 PM
Couple of years ago I bought a pair of Nikon Monarch 8x42 binoculars. I looked at the 10s but the 8s actually had a better field of view. And they were cheeper. I rember paying about $210 for them at a local camera shop. As far a quality, I took them to the NASCAR race at Talladega, AL. and I loved them. The track is 2.66 miles around so when they were across the track from me they were about 1 mile from me and I could see all the action and easily make out the numbers on the cars. I could also easly follow the cars traveling at nearly 200 m.p.h.
Hope this helps.

Vern Humphrey
July 22, 2007, 05:46 PM
Aside from optical quality, there are three things you need to look for in binoculars:

1. Portability. I have a wonderful pair of marine binoculars, but carrying them 12,000 feet up a mountain is a chore. A pair of shirt-pocket binoculars is often more useful -- because you'll have them when you need them, instead of leaving them back home because they're too heavy and bulky.

2. Resolution. Making something appear bigger doesn't make it clearer. In general, with binoculars of equal qualty, the one with the highest ratio of magnification to objective lens diameter will have the best resolution. You can take a pair of good 7X50s and read a license plate a block away. Try it with 10X40s and while the license plate will look bigger, you may not be able to read the numbers.

3. Performance in twilight. This, again (assuming equal quality and coatings) is a function of magnification to objective lens diameter. Your 10X40s will have a 4mm exit pupil (the spot of light projected into the eye.) But in dim light, the eye will dialate to about 7mm. So your 7X50s would be a better choice -- that would give you an exit pupil of about 7.1mm, slightly more light than you can use.

As you can see, I lean toward lower magnification -- it gives more resolution and low-light performance in a binocular that's easy to carry.

I also like center focus -- many times you need to refocus your binoculars, and individual focus binos are difficult to use when they need to be continually re-focussed.

I recently bought a pair of Brunton 8X32s that were remaindered out -- they fit in the breast pocked of my hunting coat, and are of decent optical quality. But I'd like them better if they were 6X32.

Harry in SC
July 22, 2007, 06:06 PM
I appreciate all of the advice. Thanks!


July 22, 2007, 07:14 PM
For those of you who want to take a look at the Russian binos I spoke to Harry about, I have listed them under Buy, Sell and Trade: Accessories. Thanks for looking.


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