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Binocular recommendations?

Discussion in 'Long Gun Accessories and Optics' started by Sniper66, May 19, 2020.

  1. Sniper66

    Sniper66 Member

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    Can you guys recommend a good pair of binoculars? The primary use will be hunting...some long distance prairie dogs and coyotes, deer both on the prairie and in woods, occasional sight seeing in the mountains with my wife and some birding thrown in. Would like to spend no more than $500. Your thoughts? By the way, a family member can buy Leupold binocs for 55% of MSRP and I've looked at their BX-4 Pro Guide HD. Would like hear from ypu guys out there. You have often helped me with decisions and will appreciate your help.
     
  2. stillquietvoice

    stillquietvoice Member

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    Sniper
    just looked at cameraland. Quite a few options available. They have an 8x Steiner MIL style prism for 249.00 I've looked through Steiner Bino's real clear glass.

    I have a set of 10x42s with field and stream logo, only paid 100 for them. Mostly use them in the woods hunting.

    Midway has Nikon monarch 7 ed glass for 480.
     
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  3. WrongHanded
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    WrongHanded Contributing Member

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    Nikon Monarch 7 in either 8x42 or 10x42.

    My wife prefers the 8x, I prefer the 10x. So we have one pair of each. We spent a long time looking, and then really evaluated the 8x42 in the field before we bought the 10x42 sometime later.

    I don't go into the mountains without them now. Quality binoculars are a pleasure to use.
     
  4. redneck2

    redneck2 Member

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    image.jpg If I could get Leupold at 55% off, that would be the beginning and end of the manufacturer debate.

    I have some Leupold Mojave 3’s that I got maybe 6-8 years ago. Leupold’s best at the time. They are 10x50’s.

    They are a little large for long range carrying, but the optical quality is excellent. I took them on prairie dog and antelope hunts. The other guys thought their 8x mid priced (other brands) were just as good until they used mine. After a while, any time they looked at something, they used my Leupolds.

    If you are doing birding, you’ll see that all hard core birders use bigger binos. They are much steadier than lightweights. I would most strongly suggest getting a really good bino harness. Having them bounce around on a neck strap gets old quick. My harness came from Cabalas and is excellent

    On my Leupolds there is a one piece cap that covers the eye pieces. I could see that getting lost in the field, so I used a zip tie to hook it to the main body. Leave slack in the tie.

    And I ALWAYS keep the lenses covered unless I’m looking through them. Always. And, anybody that cleans lenses with a shirt tail should be beaten with a club. You can buy boxes of disposable Zeiss lens cleaner wipes at Walmart really cheap. I always carry some with the binos. Almost never use them, as the lenses stay covered.

    Buy the most expensive and you’ll only buy one pair in your lifetime. There’s a reason professional guides usually buy the best, bigger binos
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2020
  5. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Yep..........
     
  6. Dibbs

    Dibbs Member

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    I have a set of Leupold Rogues that I swear by, excellent clarity, got them a few years ago. They are very small, IIRC, 10X25, almost opera glass sized. But very light, portable, and rugged. I also have a pair of light Nikons. Both ran about 110$.

    I've got a larger, heavier pair of Nikons, great in the eye, but a hassle to lug around.
     
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  7. Chuck R.

    Chuck R. Member

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    I have an older pair of Swarovski 10x42s and just bought a pair Leupold 10-42 BX5 HDs this past fall.

    The BX5s are pretty awesome, not really a fair comparison to the old Swarovski's, but the BX5s are better. I did compare them to Vortex Razor HDs, and preferred the Leupolds. I also get the Leupold MIL discount and the savings from them direct is really very good.

    I wouldn't hesitate to get the BX4s.

    I also have a set of Leupold 10x25 gold rings that I bought 20+ years ago for still hunting in woods that are still going strong.
     
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  8. rabid wombat

    rabid wombat Member

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    This ^

    The Leuplod’s I own are good glass. That said, most my working glass is Swarovski.
     
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  9. Olon

    Olon Member

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    Well I was gonna say Leupold McKenzies but they are about $149 MSRP so your budget would allow higher quality bonus I guess.

    That said, those work perfectly for me and for me to spend any more than that would be wasteful. The small benefit I might get certainly wouldn't be worth the extra cost.
     
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  10. redneck2

    redneck2 Member

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    Just remember that there is a LOT of difference between occasionally quickly looking for deer in a woods versus scanning for prairie dogs or antelope for hours. That’s where the difference between “good enough” versus the best of a product line shows up.

    That’s the reason birders buy higher end stuff.
     
  11. taliv

    taliv Moderator Staff Member

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    I bought demo binos off sample list. Not sure if they’re still around.
     
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  12. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    I have seen Swaro and Vortex “demos” for sale which I know were really a set of loaners used by RO’s at PRS matches. Only a couple dozen pairs available each year, and the outlet wasn’t necessarily widely publicized, but they were significantly discounted.
     
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  13. taliv

    taliv Moderator Staff Member

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  14. BigBL87

    BigBL87 Member

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    One thing to check, in case you have head on the larger or smaller end, is the IPD (interpupilary distance) of the pairs you're looking at. For most people it won't be an issue, but in my case I'm a big dude with a proportionately large noggin. My IPD is between 76 and 77 mm, which eliminates the vast majority of binos for me.

    Probably not an issue for you based on statistics, but wanted to bring it up just in case to save you headaches if you're in the same boat.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2020
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  15. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    IMO $500 even at MSRP is going to get you a decent binocular. If you can get a $500 pair for closer to $300 then even better. Or are you talking about $1000 bino's for $550? Leupold may not be the best, but they are rarely a bad choice.

    I won't recommend anything specific, mainly because all of my go-to binoculars are no longer in production and I haven't looked at anything new in a few years. I'm not exactly sure what is out there anymore. In my experience most all of them with similar MSRP have very comparable glass. It comes down to which features you like best. But a few things to keep in mind.

    For low light use you'll be best buying something with an objective 5X greater than the magnification. For example 6X30, 7X35, 8X40, or 10X50. At that point you're getting enough light to see. A set of 8X32's will be more compact and lighter than 8X40's, but will not work as well in poor light. Especially with mid to low end glass. Some of the alpha glass in the $1000+ range will help offset this somewhat but that is a general rule to go by. Some of the 8X25's etc. can work well for a lot of uses in good light. But I'd avoid them for hunting where you need to see in poor light.

    If I wanted a smaller, lighter pair of binoculars I'd rather go with a 6X or 7X. To be honest above 8X to me is too much and I've never felt handicapped with a 6X binocular.
     
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  16. cdb1

    cdb1 Member

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  17. MCFLYFYTER

    MCFLYFYTER Member

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    I agree with jmr40. Go with 8x unless you have a specific reason to do different. I went 10x50, and they are too much if you use them a lot. I dont even use mine much and this became apparent.
     
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  18. doubleh

    doubleh Member

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    I took a chance and bought a pair of Wingspan binoculars from Amazon last year. Don’t like them, just send them back. No way I would send these back. Very good optics at a very good price and I use them quite a bit in the warm months watching our feathered friends.
     
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  19. skeeterfogger

    skeeterfogger Member

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    I just bought a monoocular (sp) with pix, video and IR. Find I like it because of those features plus it is not at all cumbersome. The binoculars have been replaced.
     
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  20. Skylerbone

    Skylerbone Member

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    I have a pair of Nikon Monarchs in 10x(42 I think) but more frequently use a pair of Vortex 6.5x Fury. The Vortex seem to need more adjustment for yardage changes but they resolve image very well. I’ve spent hours behind them with only short breaks and never a headache.

    If I could get a $1,000 pair of Leupold for $500 I might take that risk but like @cdb1 I don’t care for the Leupolds I’ve looked through.
     
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  21. LoonWulf
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    LoonWulf Contributing Member

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    what brand of monocular, that would be nice to have for just shoving in a pocket. I cant spend much time behind a single eye piece, but i use my RF a lot of the time even tho i now have binos.
     
  22. skeeterfogger

    skeeterfogger Member

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    Not a high end but works. Found on ebay. $100, Boblov.
    15906700396211104114907.jpg
     
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  23. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    I bought nikon monarch 10x42 for son #3. They are really clear, we use them on the rifle range as short distance spotting scope.
    I think they're really good for the $$.
    If my old Bushnell 10x42 would ever die, I'll get my own pair of Nikon
     
  24. Nature Boy

    Nature Boy Member

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  25. IdahoSkies

    IdahoSkies Member

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    I like Vortex glass a lot, and I think the Diamond back HD models are very good glass for the money.

    I hunt a lot of open country and if I want more than my 8x, I want my spotting scope. The 8x will give you a wider field of view, and make more of the light you have in low light conditions. The diamond back 8x42 HD would be my choice. They are comparable to the Nikon Monarch, but have a slightly larger field of view. Both come in around 1/2 of your budget.

    Vortex also has a fantastic warranty if you ever needed to use it. I haven't yet.
     
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