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upgrading hunting binoculars

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upgrading hunting binoculars

Postby muddy on Sun Jan 09, 2011 1:52 pm

Hi all, first post.

I'm in the process of upgrading binoculars for hunting. I primarily hunt here in Iowa where I get pretty good light transmission wherever I'm hunting and have been using Nikon Monarch ATB 8x42s for the past 5 or 6 years? Anyway, they're beat up and now that I've "grown up" so to say I'm wanting to get my last pair of binoculars.

In the future I will likely be hunting much more open terrain like Nebraska, South Dakota, Wyoming, Kansas so I'm going to keep my old 8x42s and get some 10x42s for the upgrade. At the moment I've pretty much whittled it down to Swarovski 10x42 EL's. I have a buddy who has a pair that are 3 years old, mint condition, and still has an open warranty card that can be sent in. He will unload them for $1300, which I've heard is a steal. Anyway, I'm torn because if I spend that much why not go "whole hog" and just get the High Def glass EL's?

Any optics gurus out there is there much/any difference between the two in clarity, light transmission, eye relief, etc? For whatever reason I am able to tell the difference between every bino I look thru and thus far NOTHING stands close to the EL's.

That being said, I've heard absolutely fantastic reviews on Zen Ray ED2 series and how for $425 I could get a 10x43 bino that will stand side by side with EL's. Is this true?

Also, if there is another website that has excellent information responses I'd be open to them as I've done a lot of research and I don't want to spend my hard earned money and be mad I made the wrong decision. Thus far the best response I've gotten from someone is...

"Buy Swarovski, in 25 years you will look back and say, Thank God I spend the money on these"

Thanks in advance.
muddy
 
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Re: upgrading hunting binoculars

Postby Jne_K on Mon Jan 10, 2011 10:23 am

Hi

The new ELs are fabulous, no doubt about it. You'll be getting more than just HD optics, too. That new flat field eyepiece design will give you a real "picture window" effect and I also like some of the improvements in the body design.

That said, will you spot any more mule deer, elk and so on with the new model vs the old model? I doubt it. It's mostly going to be the luxury of a nicer view with the new model. That's certainly enough to justify the new model if you are an optics nut like me, but if you are watching those dollars as most of us are these days, I would certainly go for the old model at that price.

Hey, I have no doubt the Zen Ray EDs are a good buy for the dollar, but, no, they are not a Swarovski.
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Re: upgrading hunting binoculars

Postby muddy on Mon Jan 10, 2011 1:09 pm

Thanks for the response. I'm not an optic nut but realize you get what you pay for in a lot of things, optics being one of them. Not sure how I'll convince my wife that I "need" the HD ELs, but it could happen if I save up for a couple years.
muddy
 
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Re: upgrading hunting binoculars

Postby ET on Tue Jan 11, 2011 7:47 am

The optics are nice in these new Chinese ED pairs, but it will be the moving parts and such that give up before the parts on the Swaro show wear. Possibly also the water seal.

So to go with the cheap stuff, you want to pack 2 pair ona trip, at least a spare in the car.
ET
 

Re: upgrading hunting binoculars

Postby Jne_K on Tue Jan 11, 2011 11:19 am

Good point. We tend to focus on the optics that you get with the premium grade models, but you are also paying for long-term durability. Also, "need" is such a strange word, isn't it? Best of luck, though.
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