Need advice on hunting binoculars


PDA






redneck2
July 8, 2008, 05:37 PM
I have a set of small bino's for deer hunting. What I'm looking for is something bigger that I can use to glass a PD town for multiple hours in a day. Size and weight are not an issue. In fact, I suspect bigger size and weight would tend to be more steady. I'll be able to rest my elbows on the shooting table, so they should be steady.

Right now, I'm looking at Leupold Olympic in 12x50 and Zeiss Conquest. Leica's and Swarovski are a little steep unless I could find a screaming deal. I'm looking at the $350-500 range.

If you enjoyed reading about "Need advice on hunting binoculars" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Harve Curry
July 8, 2008, 07:36 PM
Go to a sporting goods that will let you look outside just before dark. Dim light is one way to seperate good glass from bad. Don't just look through the center of the lenses but around the whole pictur, outside edges included. Bright day will make cheap lenses look good. Like your thinking, look at 50mm objective lenses and 10+ power.

Shawnee
July 8, 2008, 08:55 PM
Personally, I would probably not go above 10x, but might be tempted by the Leupold 12s. Methinks the 50mm objective lens is the right decision - IF - the overall quality is there.

As "Harve" said - and this is an Absolute - carefully study the clarity of the entire picture - especially around the edges. Very slight imperfections - after even an hour's worth of glassing - can give you a headache that would kill a locomotive.

Good Luck !!

:cool:

skinewmexico
July 8, 2008, 11:50 PM
I got some 10x50 Pentaxs, and they are great.

dakotasin
July 9, 2008, 12:38 AM
bushnell, pentax, and brunton all make good glass in that price range. of course, there are dozens of other options as well, but those 3 i have experience with.

be careful with swift - they have great glass for the money, but i find them to be exceedingly fragile (but, i am hard on stuff).

nikon, of course, is always a contender, but i think better buys are available.

the leupold-badged glass are pretty good, but again, i think better buys are available.

good luck - a binocular hunt is about as frustrating as things get. wait until you start spotter shopping...

speaking of spotters, if the primary use for this glass is a dog town, why even mess w/ binoculars? i think you'll get greater utility out of a spotter. look to nikon's ed or cabela's ed glass for good buys in spotters.

huntershooter
July 9, 2008, 06:34 AM
CDNN has/had 8X32 Kahles for 450.00 +-.
They are my favorite "hunting" bino's.
My 10X42 Steiner and Zeiss are substantially heavier/too bulky for all day carry.

Shawnee
July 9, 2008, 06:39 AM
I would agree with "Dakotasin" about Swift binoculars. I bought one pair and there are some good things to say about them but I won't buy Swift again.

:cool:

Geno
July 9, 2008, 07:35 AM
I have the Minolta Classic 10X50W Wide angle 6.5. The lenses are crystal clear, rugged, and wow do they work well in low-light. I'm not certain if Minolta still makes his model. I didn't like too much magnification in binoculars. If I ever decide to go over 10X, I'll move over to a spotting scope. I hear Leupold is good for the money.

redneck2
July 9, 2008, 07:05 PM
Well, I've come to a couple of conclusions. I found out that probably the best place to get advice is from bird watchers. Now, I have a few bird feeders but going out in the woods for days on end in the hopes of seeing some exotic feathered critter doesn't light me up. However, those people are hard core and use binoculars for hours on end.

From the reviews I read, the best mid-range models are close enough to the really high end ones that it's about impossible for most people to tell the difference. I was originally thinking Leica, Swarovski, or Zeiss. I've talked to a few guys that have them, and there is apparently little difference between them and the very high end Bushnell and Leo's with the exception of price.

Thanks for all the help.

Harve Curry
July 9, 2008, 07:30 PM
Let us know what you get.

justice4all
July 10, 2008, 12:35 AM
All my optics, from now on, will be some variety of Leupold. In terms of price per performance, they are exceptional, IMHO.

redneck2
July 10, 2008, 04:57 AM
One name that keeps cropping up is Brunton. Not the first name I would have thought of, but they seem to have a strong following. Brunton Eterna's seem to be the product of choice.

I'd agree with the Leupold thing also. The 12x50 ones that I tried were extremely clear. I could very easily pick out mortar lines in bricks over 400 yards away.

Shawnee
July 10, 2008, 08:08 AM
I took up birding as a means to hone my obsevation skills for hunting, and am glad I did. A few years after getting seriously into the birding thing I spotted half the face of a mountain lion watching me from cover about 50-60-yds. away. Turned out there were two half-grown lions there trying to figure out what I was. Absolutely Great moment !

But to the point - birders, especially those on birding forums, get on brand name gigs just like hunters so you would do well to check several birding sites to get a wider picture of what birders are using. Be aware, too, that many birders are just as willing to buy expensive equipment just so they crow about it as some hunters are to buy expensive stuff just so they can strut about how much they paid for their gear. And of course those members of both groups always talk like everything less expensive is junk and bought only by scum birders or scum hunters.

You can't go wrong with Leupold, and Nikon, Bushnell and a couple others produce some really nice binoculars too. Zeiss is Nice - but NOT necessary.

:cool:

Pilot
July 10, 2008, 08:13 AM
I use Steiner Predator Pro 8x32 for hunting. They're clear, good in low light and fairly inexpensive. I think I paid $179 at Sportsmen's Warehouse.

I'd consider these also. I have the full size 10x50's and they're great, but too big and heavy for hunting. Check out their compact models.

http://www.valdada.com/catalog/2dc81f54-6d20-479e-8552-c6831ae04543.aspx

redneck2
July 10, 2008, 05:56 PM
I have a small pair for deer hunting. These are for a prairie dog hunt. Staying in one spot. No (or little) carrying. I need to see itty bitty varmints at 400 yards+.

K3
July 10, 2008, 06:47 PM
I've got a pair of Steiner Predators 8X32s that I really like. Excellent in low light and I have no problem watching deer a LONG way off out in West Texas canyon country.

22-rimfire
July 10, 2008, 09:10 PM
I'd go with the Nikon Monarch line in what ever power you prefer and I wouldn't go above 10x. I'm quite pleased with mine.

I use 6x Leupolds (Yosemite Model) for woods hunting. They are medium sized, inexpensive, and a real value. They stay in my truck and go with me if I'm boating for wildlife viewing. They're waterpoof.

Harve Curry
July 10, 2008, 10:22 PM
Depends on where you hunt or live. In the SW mountains you can be looking very far away and see things, later wish you hadn't seen. I wish I could get buy with a smaller pair then the Steiner Predator 12x40, 10x50 would be better. But when I bought them these were new hot set up. They are light weight, some kind of polymer body. Individual eye focus I tend to like. For whatever you get put the suspenders on them, like from Crooked Horn or Cabelas.

dakotasin
July 10, 2008, 11:29 PM
These are for a prairie dog hunt. Staying in one spot. No (or little) carrying. I need to see itty bitty varmints at 400 yards+.


again... it really sounds like a spotter w/ a top end of 45 - 60 is what you are after. if you go fixed, stick around 30-35x... the wind can make a spotter difficult to use at high magnification.

koja48
July 10, 2008, 11:38 PM
My Nikon 10x Monarchs work well for me, but as said above . . . sounds like a spotting scope would serve your needs better.

X-Rap
July 11, 2008, 12:50 AM
I have a pair of 10 x 50 Swarovski's and they are 20 yrs old. At about 15 yrs and miles and hours of hard service I sent them in for factory rebuild. It cost $350.00 including shipping. I always ask myself how many other pairs I would have bought of lesser quality in that time. I know that I have had little eye fatigue and headaches even when they were scratched and in need of repair.
Its well worth consideration to look at what brand can and will at an affordable price, totally rehab their product. They came back literally as new with replaced lenses.

Steel Talon
July 11, 2008, 12:53 AM
Pentax 12X50

redneck2
July 11, 2008, 03:57 PM
This was my original post...

I have a set of small bino's for deer hunting. What I'm looking for is something bigger that I can use to glass a PD town for multiple hours in a day. Size and weight are not an issue. In fact, I suspect bigger size and weight would tend to be more steady. I'll be able to rest my elbows on the shooting table, so they should be steady.

I have a Bushnell 20-60x spotting scope.

I have ordered a set of these http://www.snipershide.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=594030&page=1

They're provided by one of the members here.

I have a friend that used to have some. He said they were exceptional. He sold them to someone else and has regretted it ever since. If they're not what I believe they are, he will buy them and think I'll get the 12x50 Leupolds (unless something better comes along first).

Harve Curry
July 11, 2008, 05:46 PM
So your getting the 12x50's. Tempting!
Do you know what low light filters are? (Besides cigarettes).

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
July 11, 2008, 08:16 PM
You need a tripod and this dude:

http://www.opticsplanet.net/ci-skymaster-25x100-gab.html

I've got other ideas in the same vein in that price range - PM me if you want more details...

slabuda
July 11, 2008, 08:49 PM
I would get no more than 10X....At 12X I find them hard to hold steady. I got these from B&H at the best price I have seen online.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/327020-USA/Leupold_56315_10x50_Wind_River_Olympic.html

To say they are good is an understatement!!! Loads of light transmission and clear as normal vision. I spot whistle pigs (6-7" tall) in the sage brush at up to 150 yds (lots of sage to see through) with no issues at all. And have used cattle as a replacement for large game at VERY long distances and they fill the view up nicely so dont worry about 10X.

T.R.
July 12, 2008, 10:38 AM
My binoculars are BUSHNELL H20 in 10X. They're BEST I've ever owned and cost less than $150. from Natchez Shooting Supplies. Excellent clarity and brightness!

TR

redneck2
July 18, 2008, 07:26 AM
Got my new binoculars yesterday. I ordered these from one of the members here. http://www.snipershide.com/forum/ubb...=594030&page=1

As one would expect, they are a little large and somewhat heavier than my compacts. Actually that's what I wanted as I'm not carrying them. The size and weight should make them steadier. They appear new and unissued.

Quality of the glass appears quite acceptable. I can read the 1" letters on a sign about 100 yards away. Weather here is very hot and muggy, so everything looks hazy. I am going to take them to the local gun shop next week and check them side by side against $489 Leupolds. They are notiicably clearer than my $129 Pentax that I carry for deer hunting.

Focus is individual for each eye. I was uncertain about that, but it's actually very nice. Once you use them for a few minutes, it's real easy to focus both at once. The focus is extremely smooth.

Service was superb. I got them in about a week, Priority Mail insured.

If you enjoyed reading about "Need advice on hunting binoculars" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!