The last pair of binoculars

redriverjake

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Hello hunters,
I’m in the market for what is the last set of binoculars I hopefully ever need to buy. In 2019 I was attempting to do this very thing and was regretfully talked into buying a pair of Vortex Razor 10x42. Halfway through my season in Zambia they completely came apart on me and were utterly useless, luckily I had a backup pair on hand. I’ve just about settled on the Swarovski SLC 10x42 as I believe it’s the best balance between ruggedness and glass quality I’ve found but I’m wanting to hear your valued opinions. I’m not intentionally abusive on my equipment and try to take good care of everything I use but I’m also inherently quite hard on things. That being said build quality and strength is at the top of the list, then comes optical clarity and light gathering ability. No rangefinder required. In this rare circumstance, money is no consideration. Keep in mind that these are for professional use, say over 250 days a year in the field and widely varied conditions. I hope this finds everyone well, cheers.
 

CoElkHunter

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Hello hunters,
I’m in the market for what is the last set of binoculars I hopefully ever need to buy. In 2019 I was attempting to do this very thing and was regretfully talked into buying a pair of Vortex Razor 10x42. Halfway through my season in Zambia they completely came apart on me and were utterly useless, luckily I had a backup pair on hand. I’ve just about settled on the Swarovski SLC 10x42 as I believe it’s the best balance between ruggedness and glass quality I’ve found but I’m wanting to hear your valued opinions. I’m not intentionally abusive on my equipment and try to take good care of everything I use but I’m also inherently quite hard on things. That being said build quality and strength is at the top of the list, then comes optical clarity and light gathering ability. No rangefinder required. In this rare circumstance, money is no consideration. Keep in mind that these are for professional use, say over 250 days a year in the field and widely varied conditions. I hope this finds everyone well, cheers.
Wow! That's not a good report for Vortex, as their Razor model is their top of the line. I actually was considering those to replace my mid '70s Bushnell 7x35s, which I have used and sometimes abused over 30+ years of hunting big game in the U.S. with NO issues whatsoever? Some of the expert hunters on here with high dollar binocs will chime in shortly I'm sure? I refuse to pay more for optics than I did for my rifle, so I guess I'll be looking here in the U.S. or west to the "Land of the rising sun" (Japan, not China!) for mine? Good luck on your quest!
 

redriverjake

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I bought my forever pair of Swarovski SLC 10x42 in 1991. No regrets!!
I’m glad to hear that. Thank you for your reply.
Wow! That's not a good report for Vortex, as their Razor model is their top of the line. I actually was considering those to replace my mid '70s Bushnell 7x35s, which I have used and sometimes abused over 30+ years of hunting big game in the U.S. with NO issues whatsoever? Some of the expert hunters on here with high dollar binocs will chime in shortly I'm sure? I refuse to pay more for optics than I did for my rifle, so I guess I'll be looking here in the U.S. or west to the "Land of the rising sun" (Japan, not China!) for mine? Good luck on your quest!
Thank you for your reply. Unfortunately, that is a true account of my experience with the Vortex Razors. I’ve actually had to send the same pair back twice for repairs. Their warranty is their strong point but I believe it’s because they need it. I wish I had better things to say about them. I also wish you the best of look finding what you’re looking for.
 

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I'm guilty of being a optics snob, so I look thru everybody's glass I can. I bought 10x42 Leica Geovids.
They served extraordinarily well until I feel off a mountain two seasons back they been for repair for 10 months now. I don't blame Leica for the damage to the binoculars , just wish the repair service was a bit more efficient. Still the best glass I have every look thru.

Regards
Pat
 

redriverjake

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Curious, Why no rangefinder function?
For that I have a three part answer. Firstly, The ranges at which I normally hunt are quite easy to judge with practice, typically well inside 300 yards. Secondly, I usually carry along a stand alone rangefinder for when absolute known distance is preferable, ie leopard hunting or I’m setting up a target to get a rifle zeroed. Third, the additional expense and weight of having an integrated system is unappealing. Just a preference thing.
 

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I have used a set of Leupold gold ring binoculars for nearly a decade. They are tough and well made (they no longer make them) and had very good glass. My ph in 2012lijed them better than his older leica model (don’t remember what that was). I attempted to upgrade this winter and ended up with Swarovski EL 10x42. They blow the really good leupolds out of the proverbial water (got a good deal at bear basin online but they are expensive)! I chose them over the Leica geovid due to customer service. I did not choose the range version because both leica and swaro don’t warranty the electronics as well as the glass!
 

redriverjake

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I'm guilty of being a optics snob, so I look thru everybody's glass I can. I bought 10x42 Leica Geovids.
They served extraordinarily well until I feel off a mountain two seasons back they been for repair for 10 months now. I don't blame Leica for the damage to the binoculars , just wish the repair service was a bit more efficient. Still the best glass I have every look thru.

Regards
Pat
Thank your for your reply. I can certainly say that I’ve seen more Leicas in the field than any other brand and they have all been high quality. Unfortunately, the pairs that I’ve had the opportunity to use for any length of time have all had a slight tent to the glass and for whatever reason have given me a bit of eye fatigue after prolonged viewing. Admittedly, these were mostly older pairs. The newer Noctovid and the Ultravid HDs have got my attention and are both on my short list of prospects.
 

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SLC was the right choice for me, although in 8 power. I have had at least 25 pair of binocs during my adult life. They are the best I have owned. But if money is no object, I know of no downside to the EL's. Best of luck in whatever you choose...............FWB
 

redriverjake

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I have used a set of Leupold gold ring binoculars for nearly a decade. They are tough and well made (they no longer make them) and had very good glass. My ph in 2012lijed them better than his older leica model (don’t remember what that was). I attempted to upgrade this winter and ended up with Swarovski EL 10x42. They blow the really good leupolds out of the proverbial water (got a good deal at bear basin online but they are expensive)! I chose them over the Leica geovid due to customer service. I did not choose the range version because both leica and swaro don’t warranty the electronics as well as the glass!
Thank you for sharing your experience. That is a good report. My only reserve with the EL and other double bridge options is the durability. I’m not sure how they hold up in comparison to the single bridge. Thank you again.
 

CoElkHunter

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I'm guilty of being a optics snob, so I look thru everybody's glass I can. I bought 10x42 Leica Geovids.
They served extraordinarily well until I feel off a mountain two seasons back they been for repair for 10 months now. I don't blame Leica for the damage to the binoculars , just wish the repair service was a bit more efficient. Still the best glass I have every look thru.

Regards
Pat
10 months! For the price of Leicas! Really! I'll sell you my Bushnells cheap. Ha! Ha!
 

DHH45

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Hello hunters,
I’m in the market for what is the last set of binoculars I hopefully ever need to buy. In 2019 I was attempting to do this very thing and was regretfully talked into buying a pair of Vortex Razor 10x42. Halfway through my season in Zambia they completely came apart on me and were utterly useless, luckily I had a backup pair on hand. I’ve just about settled on the Swarovski SLC 10x42 as I believe it’s the best balance between ruggedness and glass quality I’ve found but I’m wanting to hear your valued opinions. I’m not intentionally abusive on my equipment and try to take good care of everything I use but I’m also inherently quite hard on things. That being said build quality and strength is at the top of the list, then comes optical clarity and light gathering ability. No rangefinder required. In this rare circumstance, money is no consideration. Keep in mind that these are for professional use, say over 250 days a year in the field and widely varied conditions. I hope this finds everyone well, cheers.
I've been through numerous binoculars over the years. I purchased MINOX BL 10 x 44 Binocular – High Grade HD a few years ago And really like them. Also have the zoom model but they are extra heavy.
 

redriverjake

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T
SLC was the right choice for me, although in 8 power. I have had at least 25 pair of binocs during my adult life. They are the best I have owned. But if money is no object, I know of no downside to the EL's. Best of luck in whatever you choose...............FWB
Thank you bwana. How do you figure the EL compare to the SLC in terms of ruggedness ? The double bridge seems less stout when put beside the solid single bridge. I’m willing to give up a little in the glass department for more durable construction.
 

redriverjake

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I've been through numerous binoculars over the years. I purchased MINOX BL 10 x 44 Binocular – High Grade HD a few years ago And really like them. Also have the zoom model but they are extra heavy.
I will certainly have a look at them. While weight isn’t the most important aspect of my hunt at some point it is a consideration. One of the reasons I don’t want a rangefinder incorporated. Thank you for your reply.
 

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Hi Jake. I think SLC is a good choice but I prefer Swarovski EL. They just feel better in my hands and the optical quality is second to none. I have been running EL since 2002 and upgraded to EL Field Pro a couple years back. These binos have served me well all these years.

I know you aren’t looking for a range finding binos BUT IF you’re then consider EL Range TA. Swarovski just released these in January and they are fantastic. I have tried Zeiss RF binos last year and didn’t care for them. I gave another try with RF binos when Swarovski came out with their latest version. I think these EL Range TA are keepers.

Regards,
 

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I have a pair of Zeiss 10x42 armored that I have used for over 40yrs. I wore out one set of eye cups. Zeiss replaced and cleaned at no charge. I have a new old set in reserve the only way I will need to go to them is if my old ones are stolen.I would not buy their current ones, just do not like them.

Both my wife and I are currently using Swarovski el 8 X? She had a constant problem with one of her eye pieces coming off, this started after one year of use. I have had no problem. If we make it to the states this year I will leave her pair there for repairs and buy her a new pair.

We allow no one but ourselves to touch our binoculars!!!

If a rangefinder is needed we need to get the client closer!
 

flatwater bill

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rdjake...........I don't know about any differences in ruggedness. But a great question. All Swaro's have a great rep, but have only had mine 6 years now.......FWB
 

redriverjake

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Hi Jake. I think SLC is a good choice but I prefer Swarovski EL. They just feel better in my hands and the optical quality is second to none. I have been running EL since 2002 and upgraded to EL Field Pro a couple years back. These binos have served me well all these years.

I know you aren’t looking for a range finding binos BUT IF you’re then consider EL Range TA. Swarovski just released these in January and they are fantastic. I have tried Zeiss RF binos last year and didn’t care for them. I gave another try with RF binos when Swarovski came out with their latest version. I think these EL Range TA are keepers.

Regards,
Thank you for your reply. I appreciate that rock solid field report. Cheers
I have a pair of Zeiss 10x42 armored that I have used for over 40yrs. I wore out one set of eye cups. Zeiss replaced and cleaned at no charge. I have a new old set in reserve the only way I will need to go to them is if my old ones are stolen.I would not buy their current ones, just do not like them.

Both my wife and I are currently using Swarovski el 8 X? She had a constant problem with one of her eye pieces coming off, this started after one year of use. I have had no problem. If we make it to the states this year I will leave her pair there for repairs and buy her a new pair.

We allow no one but ourselves to touch our binoculars!!!

If a rangefinder is needed we need to get the client closer!
That’s exactly right shamwari, I much prefer working in close. I used 8x for a long time for their field of view but found that I prefer the 10x so I can better look for and see horn tips and leopard jewels. Thank you for sharing your experience.
 

redriverjake

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rdjake...........I don't know about any differences in ruggedness. But a great question. All Swaro's have a great rep, but have only had mine 6 years now.......FWB
May they serve you many more my friend. I haven’t been able to get more than two years out of anything I’ve had yet so anything over that would be an improvement. I’m now putting some serious effort to put together a lifetime kit as I’m tired of replacing things every so often.
 

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