Have $150 to spend on a pair of 8x hunting binoculars...


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Macchina
November 10, 2009, 10:47 AM
As the title states, I have exactly $150 to spend on a decent pair of compact binoculars for hunting. I have my eye on these Steiners (http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templates/links/link.jsp;jsessionid=MJY5RD1LARMHFLAQBBKSCONMCAEFAIWE?id=0057563713041a&type=product&cmCat=froogle&cm_ven=data_feed&cm_cat=froogle&cm_pla=1700102&cm_ite=0057563713041a&_requestid=35720). Any other pairs I should be looking at? I like a lot of the bigger ones, but I feel I won't carry them if they are too big. Am I missing a lot by not going with large objective lens like these Nikons (http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templates/links/link.jsp?id=0050212712870a&type=product&cmCat=SEARCH_all&returnPage=search-results1.jsp&Ntt=nikon+binocular&Ntk=Products&sort=all&Go.y=0&_D%3AhasJS=+&N=0&_D%3Asort=+&Nty=1&hasJS=true&_DARGS=%2Fcabelas%2Fen%2Fcommon%2Fsearch%2Fsearch-box.jsp.form1&Go.x=0&_dyncharset=ISO-8859-1)?

I've been researching Binoculars for a while now, so feel free to get technical...

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highorder
November 10, 2009, 11:37 AM
Here's the deal of the day. (http://www.sierratradingpost.com/Product.aspx?baseno=88050&plp=Steiner_Predator_Binoculars_-_8x30_Waterproof&utm_source=GoogleBase&utm_medium=PaidShopping&utm_term=Steiner_Predator_Binoculars_-_8x30_Waterproof&utm_campaign=PCGOOGLEBASE9&codesProcessed=true)

These Steiners are great, especially with their Auto-Focus system. Light, compact, but hand filling.

Keb
November 11, 2009, 12:34 PM
I spend about 140 hours a season looking through a set of Pentax 8x UCF G Binocs. I own Bushnell Customs, Nikons, Fujinons, Alpens, Canon Stabilized, and maybe 5 other old Japanese collectibles....nothing compares to the ease of scanning and depth of field in the UCF G set.

http://www.terratech.net/product.asp?specific=jpcrqqh4

Avenger29
November 11, 2009, 04:44 PM
I don't know much about Binos...other than don't go cheap.

You may want to keep an eye on Camofire (it's like Woot for hunting stuff) and see if something pops up. They had Burris Eurodiamonds that normally retail for over $1K for a smidgen under $400 yesterday, IIRC.

rcmodel
November 11, 2009, 05:05 PM
You will suffer brightness issues in the deep dark woods with any of the small objective lens bino's due to the small exit pupal.
(Exit pupal = objective lens dia / power)

Why does the diameter of the exit pupil matter?
It doesn't as long as there is enough ambient light so that the pupils of your eyes are smaller than the exit pupils of your binoculars. Ideally, human eyes in excellent condition can achieve about a 7mm pupil opening, so a small exit pupil from your binoculars can be quite limiting in dim light. You can probably see more without your binoculars. 7x50 binoculars have 7.1mm exit pupils, as large as young, fully dark-adapted human eyes, so they never limit what you can see, even at night.

Something like these 8x30's (3.75mm exit pupal) will be far better for early morning / late evening hunting then the 8x22 ones you linked too. (2.75mm exit pupal) But still only half as bright as 7x50's.

http://www.opticsplanet.net/steiner-8x30-safari-pro-compact-binoculars-444.html

I know weight is a trade-off, but no matter how light weight they are, they are dead weight if it's to dark to see through them.

rc

Speedo66
November 12, 2009, 11:11 AM
RCModel's perfectly correct: bigger objective lens=better light, also about the weight tradeoff.

That being said, I also wanted a small, light, high quality set of binoculars. Wanted to be able to use them for other than hunting too.

I wound up with the 8x22 Steiners and I'm happy with them. They literally fit in a shirt pocket, so I wind up using them in many instances where I wouldn't want to carry a larger, heavy pair. This includes sight seeing, theater, and sports events.

They work well enough for me hunting, and I don't notice the weight at all in my jacket pocket.

aubie515
November 14, 2009, 01:30 PM
Take a look at Vortex Optics. The glass they use is very good for the the price you pay for their products. Cannot beat their CS and lifetime warranty.

ms6852
November 14, 2009, 06:28 PM
Last year I was going to pluck big $$$ on steiners. This clerk at academy insisted I check out the Yosemite 8x30 by Leupold. I reluctanctly agreed as they were only $99. I compared them to the steiners and walked away with 4 of them for my brothers as well. Since then then they have send me money from their friends so that I can purchase it for them since there is no Academy where they live.

http://www.leupold.com/observation/products/binoculars/yosemite-series/yosemite-8x30mm/

http://www.opticsplanet.com/reviews/reviews-leupold-yosemite-8x30-black-red-natural-binoculars.html

Sunray
November 15, 2009, 01:47 AM
Any pawn shops where you are? Good places to buy stuff like that.

TEAM101
November 15, 2009, 02:58 PM
I have owned binos from several manufacturers. They ranged in price from $10--$1100. Today, I find myself using a pair of 8X30 Bruntons and a pair of 10X30 Nikons. Remarkable as it seems, the Bruntons are as clear as the best I have owned, yet cost a fraction of the price.

Sebastian the Ibis
November 15, 2009, 06:27 PM
I have eagle optics and love them. Vortex is also very good but pricey.

http://www.eagleoptics.com/binoculars/eagle-optics/eagle-optics-denali-8x42-roof-prism-binocular

These ones look great for $159

If you are hunting I assume that means dawn and dusk. The 8x42 will be much better in low light than x22.

Check out the bird watcher websites. Bino's to them are like a rifle to a hunter. They know the absolute best stuff.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
November 18, 2009, 09:17 AM
Last year I was going to pluck big $$$ on steiners. This clerk at academy insisted I check out the Yosemite 8x30 by Leupold. I reluctanctly agreed as they were only $99.

The Leupold Yosemite 6x30 blows away, easily, the Steiner 8x30s I had, for a lot less $$. I don't know if the 8x30 Yosemites are quite as good, but if they're even close, they're a smokin deal.

Also, +1 on the Bruntons - even the cheap "Echo" Brunton 8x30s I have (roofies), for around $120, are very very clear. Almost as good as the $90 Yosemites. :)

The Bushnell "Legend" 8x42 Porros are pretty darned good too at around $115, but bigger/heavier.

Eagle Optics, Vortex, Pentax, and Audubon also offer good values in low- and moderately-priced binos. Nikons are always a good call too (any line), but not quite the value there as these others.

I do recommend strongly getting porros over roofies for *woods/stalking* type hunting, for the greater depth of field. In more dry/open areas, either roofies or porros are fine, and roofies are a bit more compact.

There is a lot to be said for small & light, so the *x30s or *x32s are a good way to fly, IMO, for hunting, when you've got so much other gear to take along, too. I'd just get the Yosemites and be done with it, if you want excellent quality & features, and $50 left over. :)

Team 101, which Brunton line are you using there?

ms6852
November 19, 2009, 02:01 PM
The Leupold Yosemite 6x30 blows away, easily, the Steiner 8x30s I had, for a lot less $$. I don't know if the 8x30 Yosemites are quite as good, but if they're even close, they're a smokin deal.

They are just as great, you can't go wrong, unless you do not buy them and spend $400.

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