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Can't Decide On Binoculars

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Can't Decide On Binoculars

Postby Baklash on Sat Jan 29, 2011 10:13 pm

Ok, I've searched and studied a lot of specifications and owner reviews for full size binoculars and I'm banging my head against the wall because I can't make a decision. All those making my final list of $150 candidates received very good reviews. All are waterproof and fog proof.
I fish large inland lakes and use binoculars over large distances of 100-200 yards to locate diving birds (indicates bait) and identify boats, people, etc. I wear glasses and looked for good eye relief, exit pupil, field of vision, and also considered weight. I narrowed things down to the roof prism Redfield Rebel 10x42, the porro prism Leupold 8x42 and 10x42, and the porro prism Nikon Action Extreme 8x40. Here are my thoughts:

1. The 8x40 Nikon seems a little heavy at 30 oz., and may be hard to hold steady, but has the highest exit pupil, eye relieve, and F.O.V. But the optics are only multicoated whereas all the others are "fully" multicoated. Plus, I could get a 10x50 Leupold Rogue at about the same weight.

2. The Redfield Rebel is roof prism, but not phase corrected, so I'm guessing at around $150 the optics won't be as clear as the porro prism Leupold and Nikon.

3. I've been leaning toward the Leupolds because of the good all-around specifications and the excellent reviews. The 10x42 is lighter than the 10x42 Redfield. The 8x42 is even lighter and has a better eye relief and exit pupil than the 10x42, but is the higher 10x magnification better for me? Should I go up to a 10x50 or would that open up a whole new can of worms?

These binoculars will stay in my boat console and get bounced around somewhat, so need to be sturdy.
I realize that specifications alone don't tell the whole story, but I have no way to compare these choices side by side. So you can see I now have paralysis by analysis and could use any helpful comments and advice.
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Re: Can't Decide On Binoculars

Postby Guest on Sun Jan 30, 2011 6:14 pm

If you are on shore, use 8x42. On a boat, there is so much movement that you will get seasick easily, use the 7x marine binoculars.
I have not used any so just look at all the 7x50s
http://www.opticsplanet.com/fujinon-nau ... x50ar.html

on the lighter end there are some 7x42 roofs
They get expensive but here is a nice pair
http://www.opticsplanet.com/meopta-bino ... 67760.html
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Re: Can't Decide On Binoculars

Postby Jne_K on Mon Jan 31, 2011 11:34 am

Hi

I would not make an issue of only mutli-coat on the Nikon AE. It is still offers plenty of image brightness. You will not notice any significant loss in image brightness, especially compared to a roof prism and, yes, I would stay with one of these porros for the sake of best optical bang for the buck rather than opt for a non-PC roof prism like the Rebel.

On the boat, I would definitely stay with an 8x or, as mentioned a 7x, though your selection is greatly reduced with a 7x, unless you want to try a marine 7x50. If you opt for an IF marine 7x50, such as the Fujinon Mariner 7x50 you will also be getting a more rugged binoc than a CF porro, in the bargain, since IF is more rugged and less prone to damage than a CF binocular. The larger exit pupil on a 7x50 will also be easier to use in terms of keeping your eyes centered properly behind the eyepieces, though a 7x50 will not necessarily be any brighter during daylight than an 8x40 and so on. As for weight, I would not place a high priority on getting a lightweight model, given that you will be keeping them on a console and a little extra weight does help with steadiness.
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Re: Can't Decide On Binoculars

Postby Baklash on Mon Jan 31, 2011 9:13 pm

Lots of good advice here, but some of the binos are just out of my price range of $150. Continuing my search I came across some phase corrected roof prism binos with very good specs and reviews. The Zen-Ray Vista 8x42 and Atlas Radian 8x42 have very similar specs and both priced at $130. The Z-R is argon filled vs nitrogen in the Atlas. Don't know if that's significant or not. Likewise the Z-R has a field of vision of 393 vs 375 for the Atlas. Again, don't know if 18 ft is significant or even noticeable. These two binos just seem so good that I am eliminating my previous three choices, the Redfield, Leupold, Nikon. Am I on the right track?
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Re: Can't Decide On Binoculars

Postby ET on Tue Feb 01, 2011 7:05 am

The Zen Rays are fine, lots of people have used them. I have several pairs of Bushnell Legend Ultra, similar Chinese ED, but th 8x42 is mostly comfortable with glasses on.

The cheaper Chinese models may not have the mechanical strength of the 500 dollar plus pairs. So look for the best warranty and a company that will stay in business. Binocular repair is only practical by warranty.

You still did not say if you are on a boat, so I am still suggesting 7x if that is the case. A 400 dollar pair here
http://www.opticsplanet.com/swift-7x36- ... ulars.html
and a 7x42 Leupold pretty much like this 8x42 is available
http://www.opticsplanet.com/leupold-win ... cular.html
ET
 

Re: Can't Decide On Binoculars

Postby ET on Tue Feb 01, 2011 7:11 am

OK I see, boat console. Go for 7x, it will be more pleasant. Even 6.5X can work.
ET
 

Re: Can't Decide On Binoculars

Postby Jne_K on Tue Feb 01, 2011 11:20 am

Hi

Don't have experience with those brands, but there are plenty of 7x50 Marine binos in that $150 range, though I do think it's worth squeezing a bit more and getting that Fujinon I listed. Try a Bushnell Marine 7x50, for instance.
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Re: Can't Decide On Binoculars

Postby Baklash on Thu Feb 03, 2011 8:39 pm

Well, I've definitely decided on the roof prism and I'm now leaning toward the Zen-Ray ZRS 8x42 even though they are $55 more than my original $150 budget. I'm hoping the hand movement issue won't be bad, but I have a pair of cheapo 10x50 and those are a problem for me even on land. Will a 8x42 be similar to my 10x50 cheapos in this regard? I took a look at marine bins 7x50 and I don't like the idea of a compass and range gridwork in my view since I won't be using those features. Plus a 50mm objective lens makes for bins that are a little big for my boat console glovebox.
I appreciate all the help. Thanks.
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Re: Can't Decide On Binoculars

Postby bearclawthedonut on Wed Feb 16, 2011 6:16 pm

Baklash:

The Zen-Ray ZRS 8x42's are outstanding binoculars for the money. They are well built and deliver excellent brightness, contrast and resolution. They are easily the equal of binoculars that cost twice as much. However, they are not specifically made to bounce around in a center console when heading back to shore after the wind has picked up. Additionally, higher magnification is more difficult to hold steady under the best of circumstances. 10x requires a steadier hand than 8x and 8x requires a steadier hand than 7x. Combine that with a rocking, rolling boat and life becomes a bit more complex. The Nikon Action Extreme line is built for abuse. Yes, they are heavey. On land, I would certainly prefer the ZRS 8x42 over the Nikon Action Extreme 7x35. However, in a small (10' to 25') boat, where my chief concerns are getting to where the fish are bighting (under diving birds) and not having to replace the binoculars after each trip, the the 7x Nikon Action Extremes shine. But, I'd also get a pair of the ZRS 8x42's for everyday use on dry land. Oh, and I agree - stay away from binoculars that have builtin compasses and nightlights as they will fail. If you want a compas get a good compass, not a cheap binocular add on that will fail after the first trip a point to the east when it says north.

bearclawthedonut
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Re: Can't Decide On Binoculars

Postby Jne_K on Thu Feb 17, 2011 11:08 am

Thanks for the feedback on Zen-Ray. Would like to see OP add that brand to our mix.
Thanks for posting with us
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Re: Can't Decide On Binoculars

Postby bman940 on Thu Mar 03, 2011 8:52 am

Back, Nikon is coming out with a brand new for 2011 ProStaff 7 series bino. I have had the chance to check them out twice now and I was very impressed. Excellent glass and under $200 retail . Plus, 23 oz!
If you can hold out a month or 2 I think these would be perfect for your needs.
My name is Bart, I am a longtime hunter and I am here to answer any questions on Nikon hunting optics you may have. I will also be sharing new products and specials on occasion.
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Re: Can't Decide On Binoculars

Postby Jne_K on Thu Mar 03, 2011 11:11 am

Bart to the rescue! Thanks, as always, Bart
Thanks for posting with us
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Re: Can't Decide On Binoculars

Postby JGRaider on Tue Mar 08, 2011 8:58 am

Hey Bart, I do have a question for you about the Nikon EDG binos. I've been looking at some demo EDG 10x42's. As you know there were many problems associated with the early release EDG and the diopter adjustment that wouldn't stay locked, and sometimes was just in a free spin mode. Nikon did fix this on the later releases. So I call Nikon and give them the serial # on the two EDG binos I'm looking at, trying to find out the date of manufacture to determine if this is the older problematic model, or the newer one (not the 2011 redesign). Nikon customer service doesn't have a clue as to when they're made, if they're fixed, if they're the newer revised EDG, or what. No clue. I'll ask you.....how do I go about getting my question answered? Does Nikon really expect people to spend euro type $$$ for this? FYI, I can give Swaro a call and they can tell me within 5 seconds the manufacture date. I'd appreciate your input.
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Re: Can't Decide On Binoculars

Postby JGRaider on Thu Mar 10, 2011 11:01 am

These Nikon guys have a way of disappearing when asked a question about their questionable customer service, don't they.
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Re: Can't Decide On Binoculars

Postby Jne_K on Thu Mar 10, 2011 12:08 pm

I'll see if I can get a response for us.
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Re: Can't Decide On Binoculars

Postby bman940 on Fri Mar 11, 2011 12:20 pm

JGRaider, You and I have been around this block before on another Forum. Exact same question and I offered to get you answers, then just a month ago you had the exact same question on a birding forum. The gentleman there went out of his way to help you as well, but apparently it was not enough. We have fixed the EDG bino's. If there is ever a problem with them NIKON WILL FIX IT.
As far as disappearing when a question of Customer Service comes up, it has been one day, what can I do for you? As I told you six months ago, Nikon has and is working very hard to make sure our Sport Optics Customer Service is second to none. If you or someone you know has a problem with a product of ours, please put them in contact with me and I will walk them through the Customer Service process. Simple and painless.

Here is your reply to me after our last discussion on this subject. Unfortunately not many folks saw it as you deleted it less then 12 hours after posting it. I did appreciate the kind words though.
Bart
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bman940 went above and beyond with Nikon's CS to try an get me the info I needed on the Nikon EDG serial #'s. Even though he wasn't able to get them for me, he is an honest and hard working guy that spent a lot of time trying. Thanks to you bman for your efforts.
_________________________
Fame and money can take you places your character doesn't want to go.
My name is Bart, I am a longtime hunter and I am here to answer any questions on Nikon hunting optics you may have. I will also be sharing new products and specials on occasion.
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Re: Can't Decide On Binoculars

Postby JGRaider on Mon Mar 14, 2011 8:20 am

You have about as good of a memory as Nikon CS does. There were several UNANSWERED posts from me, to you with specific questions about the two EDG binos. I was considering, TWO. You chose to ignore them and the copy and past job you posted was far from the last time I tried to contact you, so I'll give you another chance and we'll see.

1. Can Nikon, provided with serial #'s, tell me when an EDG bino was manufactured? The reason for this, once again, is because the early models had a faulty diopter. I wanted to know if the two serial #'s I provided were pre-problem, post-problem or what......no answer.

2. I wanted to know if the warranty on Nikon EDG binos would transfer, to me who is obviously not the original owner if I purchased one of these binos that was faulty. No Answer. I didn't want to spend $1200 in hopes of finding out.

3. I don't think you found out anything from Nikon CS that I didn't already know, which is why I asked you. Why you chose to ignore my questions is a mystery, so I'll give you another chance.
JG
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Re: Can't Decide On Binoculars

Postby renbe on Mon Mar 14, 2011 8:37 pm

Hey JGRaider, take your complaints elsewhere. Leave us and Optics Planet out of your ongoing feud with Nikon. We don't want to hear about it.
John
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Re: Can't Decide On Binoculars

Postby JGRaider on Tue Mar 15, 2011 8:40 am

No feud here, bud. In case you haven't noticed there's been no further answers here.....just like before. I'm not expecting any answers form bman or Nikon on my very simple questions because they don't have any answers. Pretty sad when Nikon expects consumers to pay $2k for an EDG bino. Too much good glass nowadays to "feud" over one maker. Feel free to mind your own business though.
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Re: Can't Decide On Binoculars

Postby Jne_K on Tue Mar 15, 2011 10:22 am

I think we have stretched this thread to the breaking point and beyond, guys, so let's move on to another topic. Thank-you all for your comments, though.
Thanks for posting with us
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