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Hunting Binoculars

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Hunting Binoculars

Postby scarville on Mon Mar 01, 2010 12:41 am

I am looking for a good binocular for hunting. I currently use an 8X22 compact but they have a very short eye relief and the FOV is halved if I use them with my glasses on. I like that they are light fit in a vest pocket but I really need something I can use without having to remove my glasses. Some that look good to me and are in the right price range:

Leupold Green Ring Acadia 8x42mm
http://www.opticsplanet.com/leupold-gre ... ulars.html

Bushnell Legend 8x42 Roof Prism
http://www.opticsplanet.com/bushnell-8x ... guard.html

Nikon 8x25 Prostaff Waterproof Binoculars
http://www.opticsplanet.com/nikon-8x25- ... ulars.html

Leupold Rogue 8x25mm Compact Black Binocular
http://www.opticsplanet.com/leupold-bin ... 59220.html

I'm leaning toward Leupold because of my experience with the quality of their rifle scopes. However I don't know that much about binoculars so I'm open to suggestions.
scarville
 
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Re: Hunting Binoculars

Postby Jne_K on Mon Mar 01, 2010 8:58 am

Hi

First thing you need to decide is whether to go with one of the compacts or the full size binoculars on your list. There is quite a difference in packing an 8x25 versus an 8x42 in terms of not only size and weight, but also in terms of performance and ease of use and also in terms of suitability for your type of hunting. For instance, there is a huge difference in a binocular suited for bowhunting from a tree stand, back in the woods, and a binocular used to scan for game out in the open country of the west. Your style of hunting is very important when choosing a binocular, too.

I love compact binoculars, but they have some drawbacks and there are times when I would rather have a full size binocular. For long observing sessions, as when scanning open country for game out west, compacts, with their small exit pupils, are harder to use than full size binoculars and will cause more eye fatigue over long observing sessions and, in this country, you will be using binoculars for hours, each day. Compacts are out of place, here, unless you are packing into the high country and every pounce counts. I strongly recommend a full size, 8x42 or 10x42 for this type of work and the very best you can afford. If that is too much weight, at least go with an 8x30 or 8x32. In terms of importance, a binocular, for this type of hunting, is as important or even more important than your choice of rifle and scope.

Compact binoculars do have a place in hunting and are popular with archery hunters in a tree stand, for instance. Binoculars, for this type of work, are a quick look tool; all the binocular does is get you a quick look at an approaching buck to check a rack or distinguish a deer from the background brush. Bowhunters, in particular, have enough gear to pack and a compact binocular makes sense in terms of the trade-offs. On the other hand, a lot of stand hunters using a rifle still opt for a full size binocular to get that added bit of performance, in low light, early and late in the day, when game is moving and these hunters often will be taking long shots across pastures and openings.

Overall, when in doubt, I would opt for a full size bino, say an 8x42. This is definitely a more universal choice than a compact 8x25 and better suited to a wide variety of hunting.

As to the Leupold, yes, they do make good binoculars, but, as always, price is your best guide. Leupold, as with so many other manufacturers, makes everything from budget to premium class binoculars. The Acadia is a good value - my only concern is that it is not a phase-corrected roof prism and to get the most out of the roof prism design, a roof should be phase corrected. I would try to step up to the Leupold Olympic to get this feature or opt for a different roof prism in this general price range that does have phase-correction, such as the Bushnell Excursion EX or the Legend.
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Re: Hunting Binoculars

Postby scarville on Mon Mar 01, 2010 9:46 pm

Thank you for your reply. Looks like I'll be getting the Bushnell Legend.
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Re: Hunting Binoculars

Postby Jne_K on Tue Mar 02, 2010 8:12 am

Good choice for the money
Thanks for posting with us
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Blog: http://blog.opticsplanet.com/
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Re: Hunting Binoculars

Postby jerryo on Fri Mar 05, 2010 6:10 pm

scarville wrote:Thank you for your reply. Looks like I'll be getting the Bushnell Legend.


I hope your sales person told you about the newest Bushnell Lengend Ultra HD model. Reviews I've seen
are very good. That would be your best choice, better than the older Legend.
jerryo
 

Re: Hunting Binoculars

Postby ET on Sun Mar 07, 2010 8:49 am

I now have the 8x42 Legend Ultras, and I have to say they will not work for all. I also have the 10x42s and much prefer them, but will use both.

The problem with the 8x42s is that the eye cups only come out some 5mm, not enough to prevent blackouts for all. If you use glasses, then they work fine with the eye cups in.

So the optics are fine, ergonomics are less than ideal. Good light weight, though, would not mind them on my neck all day.
ET
 

Re: Hunting Binoculars

Postby Jne_K on Mon Mar 08, 2010 9:49 am

You can see more on the Legend Ultra on my Binoculars blog.
Thanks for posting with us
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Re: Hunting Binoculars

Postby ET on Mon Mar 08, 2010 9:06 pm

I have the old Legends in 8x32. Though the eye cups and eye relief are not a problem for me, one of the eye cups ran off track once when I stored them in a bag for travel, with hasty packing. I bent them slightly and it popped back. So with under 900 spent, I think we will always have some eye cup issues.

But they really are fine for 8x, and so are the 8x42. At 10x, I prefer the Ultras, and without glasses they work fine.

I will link our review to Birdforum. Thanks.
ET
 

Re: Hunting Binoculars

Postby Jne_K on Tue Mar 09, 2010 8:57 am

Thanks, as always, ET
Thanks for posting with us
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