Binocular suggestions

Discussion in 'Hunting Equipment, Gear & Optics' started by Voodooracer, Feb 1, 2020.

  1. Voodooracer

    Voodooracer BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    Hi all, I apologize if this has been asked before but I haven’t come across a specific thread that I can recall. I’m looking at buying a good pair of binoculars for all around hunting. I predominantly hunt whitetail deer in NW Pennsylvania and have a compact pair of Leupold 8x binos that are nice for the thick woods in which I hunt. I am also currently saving for a much anticipated audad hunt with @gizmo, now that I got the all clear from my doctor post-surgery. And of course Africa will be in my future as well. What would you recommend as a good all around brand/magnification/objective size for these applications? I realize there are pretty big differences in all of these types of hunting but what would be a good compromise (for lack of a better word)? I’m looking at a budget of around $500-$800 or so. As always, I appreciate the input!
    Thanks,
    Travis
     

  2. Tokoloshe Safaris

    Tokoloshe Safaris SPONSOR Since 2017 AH Fanatic

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    Not sure of the price, but I believe that Kahles put out excellent binoculars at a reasonable price. No quality binocular is cheap anymore. I bought my Zeiss 10x40s in Hong Kong is the 70s. I think they were about $400.00. They have had the eye cups replaced once! Best buy I ever made! Buy the best binoculars are rifle scopes and you will never regret it, even if you have to go without something else.
     

  3. JimP

    JimP AH Elite

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    Look at the Vortex Razors 10x42's. That power range is one of the most popular out there and the lifetime warranty isn't bad either
     
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  4. Trogon

    Trogon SILVER SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    I can only speak about one of the Zeiss models at the top end of your price range, the 8x42 Conquest (have used for nearly 10 years), I used to baby it as my it was also my main birding binoculars, replaced with the Zeiss 8x32 TFL model this year so it became my primary hunting model. The difference in the Conquest vs my older beater travel Leupold ($200) is night and day in clarity. The Conquest seems to have held its value very well, as they are currently around $870 vs when I got mine on a sale in 2011 for $900. I believe if you want good glass, spend the $$$. They could last you the remainder of your hunts.
     
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  5. Luvthunt

    Luvthunt AH Enthusiast

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    As written—-Buy the best and only cry about it once—-Zeiss or Lecia 8x30 or 10x 40. Probabely cost twice of what you want to pay but they will give you many more times the service.
     

  6. fourfive8

    fourfive8 AH Elite

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    Yep! Bite the bullet. Get one of the big three and don't look back. Swarovski, Leica or Zeiss. You can even look into the refurb market to save some bucks, just make sure they are OK especially the collimation.
     

  7. Mark Biggerstaff

    Mark Biggerstaff SILVER SUPPORTER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Like others have said. Bite the bullet and buy the best. Swavorski or Leica. Look for refurbished or demo pair to save some money. Euro Optics has some deals at times on Demos.
     
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  8. spike.t

    spike.t AH ENABLER SPONSOR Since 2013 AH Ambassador

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    Check out steiners as well...I have pair of 10x30 that are good and were reasonable price. .in your range I think.....also have/had pair of 10x42 kahles which were also good. ..but seem to have evaporated......
     
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  9. meigsbucks

    meigsbucks AH Fanatic

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    I’ve owned a pair of mini Zeiss 8x20 which are similar to your Leupolds. They have gone with me on EVERY hunt for over 40 years.
    My main go to is a pair of 8x30 Swarovski CL’s.
     

  10. Tony485

    Tony485 AH Senior Member

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    Vortex makes very good Binos IMO plus there prices are very competitive lifetime warranty is good as well. I have a pair of diamondbacks that are a pleasure to use and very affordable. I know that they are not in the same category as Swarovski, Zeiss or most of the European brands but I will say the glass is very clear and they haven’t let me down!
     
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  11. Nyati

    Nyati AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Steiner is great value for the money, you will easily find something within your budget.

    I have an 8x30, 10x42, and 8x22 monocular.
     
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  12. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    Like most others - the best you can afford is the place to start. But I did not start with my Leica HD-B 3000's simply because in those days such quality competed with kids in school and things like the next meal and car payment. Vortex or Steiner would be a good choice in your price range. My issue Steiner binno's never let me down in the military. Though if you can swing a Zeiss Victory, Leica HD, or Swaro, there is a meaningful difference and you will never regret it.
     
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  13. Travis2282

    Travis2282 AH Enthusiast

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    I’m with the buy once cry once crowd. I like Swarovski 10x42 slc for my all around binos. They are on sale right now at most places for 1599.00 and can get 10% off that with the right discount code. I have heard swaro is discontinuing this model and will introdue a higher price model than the EL.
     
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  14. thi9elsp

    thi9elsp GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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  15. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    The size and power required can be very different depending on where and what you hunt. An example: I went to Kodiak Island to hunt bear and took my usual dark timber 8x32 binos, big mistake! Every bear we saw started out over at least a mile away. I couldn’t tell much about them. Next trip I had a pair of Swarovski 10x42. Vastly better! They work great for hunting the open West and probably the Eastern Cape and Namibia long distance areas. But, they are heavy and can wear a guy down over a long day of stalking.
    For Africa bushveld, my 8x30 binos work excellent, IMO! Light, easy to carry in lot as of positions using a Rick Young strap. 10x or more is the PH’s problem. Until we get close enough (in practical range) where my 8x is plenty. JMO&E

    Best of luck in your decision! Just get the best you can with your budget and compare (by looking through them) a lot.
     
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  16. Jeffrey

    Jeffrey AH Veteran

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    The most versatile power and objective combo is probaraby 8X42. Those ARE a compromise. 30mm binos are far lighter and handier. 50mm binos are best for low light. 10 power binos see further, but 8 power binos have a wider field of view and provide a “steadier image” by not magnifying shakes of the hand or bumps of a vehicle. 6X and 7X binos are better at this still.

    Generally, for a safari, 8X30s are probrably best. A western or mountain hunt might call for 10 power binos paired with a spotting scope.

    Don’t discount older Porro prism designs, one can sometimes find good value there. I like Roof prism binos as good as anyone else, but you’ll generally pay a bit more.

    The “big three” brands (Swarovski, Zeiss, and Leica) still are the best. But one can be surprised at the quality of some mid tier and budget models. Mid tier Steiners can be very high quality. I have a pair of $99 Leupold Yosemite 6X30s that are my go-to woods binos because of their excellent field of view. Lower power generally works better from a moving, sometimes bumpy vehicle.

    For light and handy 30mm binos, I strongly prefer the Rick Young Outdoors harness. Simple and effective.
     

  17. Voodooracer

    Voodooracer BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    Thanks for all the responses, I’m currently scouring my usual retailers and looking at different models. I tend to be in the same camp of buy once cry once. I remember my younger years, going for cheaper options and that never worked out in my favor long term. I’m looking at eurooptic as well, they always have good deals going on. I’m still torn between the 8x and 10x. Decisions decisions.....
     
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  18. JimP

    JimP AH Elite

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    Almost 100% of my hunting and viewing through binoculars is out west here. That is where I have the 10x42's. The field of view is good enough that you don't have to worry about missing much. You also have to figure that when you are looking through a pair of binoculars you are usually focused on what is in the center of the view and could care less what is out on the edges.

    One of the best pair that I have purchased were a pair of Leupold 10x42's, they compared to the high end Cabela's binoculars. I can't remember just who Cabela's had making them at the time. Since then I purchased a pair of Swarovski's 10x42's EL's and to tell you the truth I couldn't tell that much difference between the two either at distance or low light conditions. But that is where I suggested the Vortex brand in my first post. They are a very good optic for a very good price.
     
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  19. Jeffrey

    Jeffrey AH Veteran

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    I forgot to mention: try and go by a good store as the sun is going down (low light performance is part of the equation of what you’re paying $$$ for). Look through several models outside - everyone’s eyes are a little different, and yours might like Zeiss over Swarovski or vice versa.

    I’d suggest 10X if you live and/or hunt out west or anywhere wide open where you can see for miles. 8X is a little better in the woods or out in most African bush scenarios. Again compare different models by looking through them - that’ll help you best decide.

    Matter of fact, just read this article. I pretty much agree with everything in it: https://ronspomeroutdoors.com/blog/best-safari-binocular-explained/
     

  20. ActionBob

    ActionBob AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    For your budget, grab those Zeiss 10x42 Conquest HD's. Best you'll get for that price in that size. You have a set of 8x, go for the 10x for what you described as your intended use.

    8x compact sized binos are great for DG hunts where the quary is big and close. And you may be tracking all day.
     
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