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Older "new" binoculars. Keep em or boat anchor?

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Older "new" binoculars. Keep em or boat anchor?

Postby Guest on Fri Jun 10, 2005 1:35 pm

First post here, so please be gentle. I will be going on safari in South Africa later this year. I have been trying to assemble the gear I need methodically. So far, for optics, I have accumulated a Swarovski 4x16 PH series rifle scope mounted on a .300 Weatherby Mark Vn (yes I know to keep it dialed down 90% of the time!), a Leupold Wind River 15x45x60mm spotting scope and a pair of Binoculars.

The Binoculars are an older pair of Bushnell Spectator 2 series 7x35 (or at least this is as near as I can identify them from an internt search, they have the number 13-7737 on them). The binoculars are a little older, but they are in the original case and have been stored warm & dry since I received them as a service gift from my company 5 years ago.

Does anyone have any feedback on these binoculars? Good, bad, indifferent--you can't hurt my feelings as I didn't buy them. Should I look for a different pair for the safari or will these compliment what I have O.K?

I'd really appreciate any feedback and I'll take honesty over warm & fuzzies any day.

Thanks to all

Postby ranburr on Fri Jun 10, 2005 5:38 pm

It sounds like this is a once in a lifetime trip. Why risk it with inferior optics? Your scope is good, Wind River Spotters have lots of problems, but your guide will probably have a quality spotter on hand. I really don't know anything about your binos. I would guess that they are in a somewhat lower quality level. I would go ahead and upgrade. If you were just going on your yearly whitetail hunt, I would say give them a try. In this case, do you really want to go all the way to Africa and realize that your binos are not cut out for it?


Postby Guest on Fri Jun 10, 2005 7:10 pm

I'm surprised to hear the negatives about the Wind River Sequoia spotter. I've never had any troubles or complaints with it. I looked at Ziess when I got it, but there just wasn't enough difference in performance to justify the price jump.I usually get compliments from those around it. What type of troubles have you heard or encountered?

Postby ranburr on Wed Jun 15, 2005 2:11 am

The Wind River spotters have the highest % return of any line that Leupold carries. Some are pretty descent some are pretty crappy, some were originally made in Japan, I think they are all now made in China. Under Ideal conditions you probably did not notice a huge difference between the Zeiss and WR. Under actual field conditions, especially low light and even extremely sunny conditions, you will see why the Zeiss cost so much more. We don't even need to get into the ruggedness isues.


Postby on Wed Jun 15, 2005 8:49 am


I agree completely. I don't usually add anything once a discussion begins on our forum, but this time I thought it might be helpful to share.

Since I am in the unique position of being able to actually test all brands and models, both on test charts and the field, I can guarantee there is a huge difference, both optically and mechanically, between a premium grade scope like the Zeiss and a $300 scope like the Sequoia.

At low magnifications, even a modestly priced scope will produce reasonably good image quality. The real test, however, comes as magnification increases. Quality scopes, such as the Zeiss, Leica, Kowa, Swarovski, Nikon Fieldscope will maintain image quality at much higher magnifications. At 60x, only a handful of scopes - those at the very top - will appear nearly as sharp at 60x as they do at 20x. In a spotting scope, if you want the performance at high magnifications, you must pay for it dearly.

Construction is not so easily tested, so you need to rely more on feedback from customers. I can promise, though, that scopes made in Japan and Europe have a much lower failure rate than the lower priced products made in China and Korea.

The Sequoia, of course, doesn't go uo to 60x and it's probably just as well. 45x is about as much as a 60mm objective at this price can reasonably handle. Still, it is a good buy for someone on a budget. The return rate is high for a Leupold product, yes, but compared to other scopes at that price, the return rate for the Sequoia is average.
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Postby Guest on Fri Jun 17, 2005 3:24 pm

I appreciate all the input. So far, I've had no trouble. Most of the time the scope is used at the range for sighting targets at 100,200 & sometimes 300 yards, usually under pretty fair conditions. For the money, it has served me well.