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Binoculars for Hunting

Not sure what brand or model of binoculars is right for you? We're happy to help! Discuss and review your latest binocular purchase, share your experience and help others.

Binoculars for Hunting

Postby RiverRatMatt on Sun Aug 07, 2011 8:35 pm

I've been researching hunting binos for a while now, and am still a bit torn.

I'm big on optical quality and can appreciate good and great glass. I've been an amateur film photographer for years.

My budget MAX is $500. I almost pulled the trigger on a Pentax 8x42mm DSc the other day. The only things I don't like about it are that they're a hair big (though I could live with that) and they're made in the Philippines.
I've been looking at the Steiner 10x26mm Pro Predator binos and they seem like a great option but I'm a little concerned with the 2.6mm pupil diameter and the lack of light gathering during dawn and dusk. Is this a reasonable concern? What else should I look at?

The one stipulation I have is I refuse to buy binos made in China. I'd prefer Japan/USA/Germany etc, because I do not support off-shore production.

Thanks!
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Re: Binoculars for Hunting

Postby Jne_K on Mon Aug 08, 2011 8:40 am

Hi

I personally prefer made in Japan, too, and for probably the same reasons, but your options are a bit limited under $500. My favorites for made in Japan under $500 are the Swift Audubon 828 HCH (excellent handling) and the Bushnell Elite E2 (great optics). In the Pentax, you'll need to go up to the SP to get made in Japan, but if you can drop down in a size a bit, the Pentax 8x32SP will get you a superb binocular at still under $600. You will not be disappointed with this one. As far as 8x32s go, I switched to this size many years, ago, and have never missed the bigger stuff.

Compact like the 10x26 are another story, though. You will take a hit with that smaller exit pupil, not so much for image brightness as for viewing comfort over long observing sessions, especially if you are new to compacts. See my article, Buy Compact Binoculars for more on the trade-offs.
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Re: Binoculars for Hunting

Postby RiverRatMatt on Tue Aug 09, 2011 2:26 am

Awesome suggestions, thank you for the quick reply!

I'll check those out, could you recommend some compact binos too, just to muddy the waters a bit? :p
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Re: Binoculars for Hunting

Postby Jne_K on Tue Aug 09, 2011 8:19 am

Hi

Sure, love to help on compacts. if we're still talking under $500, my hands down favorite is the Nikon Premier LX 10x25. Belongs right up there with the even more expensive Euro premium compacts, I promise you. Not as compact due to its reverse porro design, but every bit a premium compact binocular in the optics department is the Bushnell Elite 7x26.
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Re: Binoculars for Hunting

Postby RiverRatMatt on Thu Aug 11, 2011 11:36 pm

Thank you for your insights! I ended up going with a pair of Zeiss Conquest 8x30mm. I am extremely happy with them, they literally blow every other bino I've put eyes through out of the water! I did have to up my price cap (they were $650), but it was WELL worth it.

One question though, it seems that they don't include front objective caps. Where can I get some and why do they not include them? :x
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Re: Binoculars for Hunting

Postby Jne_K on Fri Aug 12, 2011 8:08 am

Hi

No, not included, but, to be honest, in forty years of using binoculars and using them almost daily, I've never used objective caps and have yet to scratch an objective. In my option, they are just in the way when you need that binocular in a hurry. Rainguards/eyepiece covers you will need, though, as most of what's out there will nail your eyepieces. It's the eyepieces you need to protect, not the objectives.
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Re: Binoculars for Hunting

Postby bucksnortinted on Tue Aug 16, 2011 10:25 pm

[quote="RiverRatMatt"]I've been researching hunting binos for a while now, and am still a bit torn.

I'm big on optical quality and can appreciate good and great glass. I've been an amateur film photographer for years.

My budget MAX is $500. I almost pulled the trigger on a Pentax 8x42mm DSc the other day. The only things I don't like about it are that they're a hair big (though I could live with that) and they're made in the Philippines.
I've been looking at the Steiner 10x26mm Pro Predator binos and they seem like a great option but I'm a little concerned with the 2.6mm pupil diameter and the lack of light gathering during dawn and dusk. Is this a reasonable concern? What else should I look at?

The one stipulation I have is I refuse to buy binos made in China. I'd prefer Japan/USA/Germany etc, because I do not support off-shore production.

Thanks![/quote you shoul seriously look at the Zen Ray ED3 8x43 these are alpha class binos i just up graded from the ED2 and these things are so clear and bright and super in low light,i am a hunter also and have used swaros and liecas and these are right there with them yes they are that good,lifetime transferable waranty theres a 30day money back guarantee what have you got to lose,go on birdforum and check out the reviews
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Re: Binoculars for Hunting

Postby rodcat on Fri Sep 16, 2011 2:39 pm

headin to montanna mid oct. for diy mule deer.Gonna be plenty of glassin. What do you think about the [link=http://www.opticsplanet.com/nikon-brand.html]Nikon[/link] 12 x 42 atb for my trip ?
rodcat
 

Re: Binoculars for Hunting

Postby Jne_K on Sat Sep 17, 2011 9:00 am

Hi

Not a big fan of 12x, unless you can sit and brace them on your knees or some convenient object like a rock, tree, etc. For pure handholding, what little you gain in extra detail, you more than loose to unsteadiness. 10x will be just as effective. Otherwise, the Monarch is always a solid choice.
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Re: Binoculars for Hunting

Postby dougedwards on Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:40 pm

I am looking at a compact Weaver Grand Slam 10.5x25mm binoculars for hunting and wanted to know if the 25mm will be clear enough for my 57 yr old eyes?

Doug
but you brethren are not of the flesh but of the Spirit if indeed the Spirit of Christ dwells within you........Romans 8
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Re: Binoculars for Hunting

Postby Jne_K on Tue Sep 20, 2011 6:04 am

HI

Certainly be clear enough, but there are other issues with compacts. Small exit pupils make it tough to keep the eyepieces properly centered over the eyes. This can lead to eye fatigue over long viewing sessions. If you plan to use the binoculars to find game, scanning the brush and hillsides, your eyes will be happier with a larger glass. If you just need a binocular for a quick peek to tell a bush from a rack, a compact is fine. Small exit pupils also make for less than ideal image brightness in low light hunting situations. Lastly, compacts, because of their small size and light weight, are harder to steady for a given magnification than full size binoculars. My advice on compacts is to go, slowly, unless you have plenty of experience with them, if you plan to make them your primary use glass. As for quality, though, the Grand Slam is certainly worthy.

For more on compacts, see my article on Compact Binoculars.
Thanks for posting with us
Joanie K - Your personal optics expert

Forum: http://www.opticsplanet.com/msgboard
Blog: http://blog.opticsplanet.com/
Store: http://www.opticsplanet.com/

Phone: (800) 504-5897
Fax: (847) 919-3003
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