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mcseal2
07-21-2012, 08:42 AM
Just figured I'd post our findings for anyone interested.

Last night my hunting partner brought over his new Vortex Razor HD 20-60x85 spotter and his 10x42 Leupold Gold Ring Binos. We set it up on a truck window mount, and had my Minox BL 13x56 BR binoculars, Vortex Viper 8x42's (non HD), and Minox BV 8x42 binos, as well as my ED50 on my tripod. We compared them for the last hour of daylight, and about 30 minutes of dark looking across a narrow cornfield about 3/4 of a mile long that we just chopped for silage.

The Razor spotter was excellent. At 20x it did very well, and even up to 40x it seemed to gather alot of light. It was usable longer than his Leupold Gold Ring binos.

The little ED50 hung in way better than expected. It was probably due to the 13x low end instead of 20x low end. Still even when turning it up to 20x it did a good job. It definitely wasn't equal to the Razor, but wasn't as far behind as I figured it would be. I think it's title as king of 50mm scopes is well earned.

The Gold Ring binos were disappointing, the worst of anything tested. He is getting rid of them they were noticably heavier than the 8x binos I had and didn't gather as much light. They also cost more than I paid for both of mine combined.

The 13x Minox binos beat everything for seeing detail in low light. They showed more detail later than anything tested. The larger objective and better glass must have more than made up for the higher magnification. It was like turning the clock back 15 minutes when we looked through them compared to everything else we tested.

The 8x binos we rated equal. Both showed more detail than the 10x Leupold's, but not what the 13x minox showed. For the money we were impressed with both. He may trade his gold rings into SWFA on 8x42 Razors, and if he does I'll be real curious to compare again.

We should have had a clock out with us and wrote down times that they became un-usable, but we didn't think that far ahead. It was an unplanned event, we just did it while grilling. Just figured I'd post it, I'm always looking to upgrade optics and read reviews. It seems that there is less low light reviews available than on clarity, color, and other features.

hardstalk
07-21-2012, 09:32 AM
Cool project and thanks for the review!

schoff
07-21-2012, 08:06 PM
Great review thanks for sharing your findings!

6mm Remington
07-21-2012, 10:08 PM
Thanks for sharing your findings with us. Nice test.

NMBowhntr
07-30-2012, 10:58 PM
Yes, but you didn't answer the most important question: How'd the grilling turn out?!

mcseal2
07-31-2012, 12:30 PM
Excellent. Can't beat sharing steaks from a home raised beef and a few cold beers with friends.

boulderbeardog
08-01-2012, 07:37 PM
How can you excpect 10 power to compare to 8 power in low light with the same objective dia? I can't really see this as being a very valid test. You would have to compare the same power magnification ratings to make it a valid test. I have hard time believing that if you used the same magnification with same objective size you would have had the same results. I would tell your hunting partner to hold on to the gold rings and try a pair of vortex setup the same as his gold rings before getting rid of them. Both being a 10x42. As far as the spotting scope goes I would expect it would do good with 85mm objective. But what else do you have to compare it to.

mcseal2
08-02-2012, 12:06 AM
We just tested what we currently have against each other. The reason I would have expected the newer Gold Ring's to keep up with the other binoculars is that they are considerably more expensive. I paid $179 for the Minox 8x off the SWFA sample list and $300 for the Vortex from the same place. He paid over $700 for the Gold Ring's new. I am a big Leupold fan, I have their scopes on nearly all my rifles, but I wasn't impressed with his binoculars. He is also looking at 8x42's on the Razor binoculars so he is going away from the 10x anyway. We are looking to upgrade glass. Since my cheaper Minox 8x binoculars were equal to my Vortex Vipers I traded them off on Minox HG 8x43 binos, their upper end glass. I will see how they compare when they arrive hopefully they will beat anything we have tried so far. I would expect them to at their price.

As for the spotter, we didn't have anything to compare it to except my little ED50 and the binoculars. I would love to compare it to other high end spotters, we just don't have any. Our test was never meant to be a comprehensive test just more of a review of what we have and how it worked to help anyone else looking at purchasing the same glass. I read tons of reviews before purchasing glass, figured others do to.

jay
08-03-2012, 09:21 AM
good info mcseal...

HuntWYODon
08-03-2012, 01:02 PM
Great onfo mcseal2,
I've compared my Swaro SL 10x42. Minox 10X42 and 3 different lower end Leupold 10x42 bino's, non were golden rings.
The Minox is just as bright and clear as the Swaro's and in low light no discernable difference. I do think my Swaro's take a beating better though but for the lighter weight and way cheaper cost, you can't beat the Minox bino's.
Sorry I missed the BBQ.

mcseal2
08-03-2012, 06:58 PM
Thanks guys for the replys. I hope to have more optics to compare soon. The Minox HG binos shipped today so I'm anxious to test them in the low light.

I'm getting married in September and registered at Cabelas. If I get enough gift cards to pay part of it I'm going to get a big spotter to use from the truck or on short hikes and keep my ED50 for the backcountry. My fiance is also a hunter and loves to ride with me to scout bucks from the truck, so she is ok with me getting high end optics as long as she gets to look through them too. I figure if I have 2 spotters and 2 good binos at least I'll get to use whichever ones she doesn't like as well. Sometimes when I'm working until after dark she goes alone or sometimes we split up when the days get short to cover more ground the last few minutes of light so extra good glass will help.

I should be sitting pretty good if I get the big spotter. I'll have my cheaper 8x minox to leave in the truck year round, my good HG 8x minox, my 13x minox for big eyes, my ED50 for a light packing spotter, and plans for a 20-60 with at least an 80mm objective for long range scouting/scoring. For my budget, that's a pretty decent line-up a cost of about $2300 plus whatever I spend on a big spotter. The $2300 is figuring like I paid everything in cash, some of that value was in my trades I sent SWFA. I've spent a while watching for deals and used SWFA's price match or Sample List to help afford some items also. Maybe someday I'll trade some of them on Swaro replacements, but I'm not on a Swaro budget now.

ivorytip
08-05-2012, 01:34 PM
dont get married and buy whatever the hell you want:cool:

HuntWYODon
08-05-2012, 01:43 PM
dont get married and buy whatever the hell you want:cool:

LOL ! I've been single for last 16 yrs. and I still can't afford new Swaro's !!!
I bought my SL's many many yrs ago from Mid South Shooters Supply for $745.00 !!!
U can't beat the Minox though !

hoshour
08-06-2012, 10:35 PM
I love my Minox HG 10x43 binos. For the money I think they are the best value out there. Very sharp and clear and do much better than you would think in low light.

mcseal2
08-11-2012, 05:45 PM
Good advice from everyone!

I got the Minox HG's on Tuesday and they are very nice. The eye relief doesn't fit me quite right though, I need a little more eye relief. They low light performance is way better than anything I had tried so far though. I am going to return them and see if I can find something with a little more eye relief. I'm debating between getting another $1200 8x or returning the HG's and also trading in my Minox BL 13x56 get enough $ to afford Leica, Zeiss, or Swaro.

Another binocular that keeps popping up when I ask on the forums is the Steiner Peregrine XP, anyone have any experience with any of these?

hoshour
08-11-2012, 09:27 PM
A buddy of mine uses the Steiners but in the ratings I looked through before I bought my Minox, and I looked through a lot, the Steiners, when I could find them rated they ranked well but not as high as the Minox.

Sorry to hear about your issue with the eye relief. You do know the eye relief is adjustable by rotating the eyepieces, right?

mcseal2
08-12-2012, 12:11 AM
Yeah, I need it to come out one more click than it does on the eyepieces. I have to float them out in front of my face instead of resting them against my brow.

mcseal2
08-14-2012, 07:38 PM
Just another update on the low light testing, and a correction from my earlier post.

Last night I spent an hour watching a group of whitetail feed across a soybean field with my fiance. They ranged from 1/2 to 3/4 of a mile from us, and there was a really tall mature 8pt and a 10pt that needs a year in the group. We had my Minox BVII 8x42 binos, my Minox BL 13x56 BR binos, and my Nikon ED50 spotter with the 13-30 zoom. Earlier in my original post I was impressed with the detail shown by the 13x Minox at low light looking out across the cornfield. I was less impressed last night trying to identify and evaluate antlers in the low light. It seemed like I was seeing plenty of detail when scanning the treeline etc, but when I really tried to focus on something specific like an antler it just didn't seem to show the detail I thought it would. It was difficult to tell the difference between the 2 larger bucks with them for me. The 8x cheaper Minox were good for spotting deer and I could tell if a deer was one of the larger bucks, but not which one. The little ED50 was amazing I thought. At 13x it showed more detail right up to the end of light than the 13x binos. The higher powers also stayed usable right up until about 8:30. At 13x I could still identify antlers until 8:49 but it was pretty much done by then. That little spotter continues to impress me each time I use it. I returned my Minox HG binos due to the eye relief issue I had with them and am replacing them with 8x56 Zeiss Victory binos I found used. I'm curious to see how they do in low light.

These are just my observations on what worked best for my eyes looking at actual animals. Figured since I changed my opinions from my earlier post I should update them.

mcseal2
08-14-2012, 07:41 PM
Just another update on the low light testing, and a correction from my earlier post.

Last night I spent an hour watching a group of whitetail feed across a soybean field with my fiance. They ranged from 1/2 to 3/4 of a mile from us, and there was a really tall mature 8pt and a 10pt that needs a year in the group. We had my Minox BVII 8x42 binos, my Minox BL 13x56 BR binos, and my Nikon ED50 spotter with the 13-30 zoom. Earlier in my original post I was impressed with the detail shown by the 13x Minox at low light looking out across the cornfield. I was less impressed last night trying to identify and evaluate antlers in the low light. It seemed like I was seeing plenty of detail when scanning the treeline etc, but when I really tried to focus on something specific like an antler it just didn't seem to show the detail I thought it would. It was difficult to tell the difference between the 2 larger bucks with them for me. The 8x cheaper Minox were good for spotting deer and I could tell if a deer was one of the larger bucks, but not which one. The little ED50 was amazing I thought. At 13x it showed more detail right up to the end of light than the 13x binos. The higher powers also stayed usable right up until about 8:30. At 13x I could still identify antlers until 8:49 but it was pretty much done by then. That little spotter continues to impress me each time I use it. I returned my Minox HG binos due to the eye relief issue I had with them and am replacing them with 8x56 Zeiss Victory binos I found used. I'm curious to see how they do in low light.

These are just my observations on what worked best for my eyes looking at actual animals. Figured since I changed my opinions from my earlier post I should update them.

Here is a pic of the 8pt I was talking about.

mcseal2
08-14-2012, 07:43 PM
Oops posted it twice, sorry.

mcseal2
08-27-2012, 06:59 PM
One more update. I got to try the Zeiss Victory FL 8x56 binos last night on deer in the same field, they are superb in low light. They worked extremely well and kept a bright image right up to 1/2hr past sunset when a shower rolled in. On a normal night they would likely have given me another 15 minutes or so, they hadn't lost much of anything yet when the rain came in.

mcseal2
09-11-2012, 10:20 PM
Another low light test update. Got to compare 10x42 Zeiss Victory FL binos to 8x42 Zen Ray Prime binos last night watching deer feed in corn stubble and standing soybeans until dark last night. The Zen Ray Prime's are very good, especially for $610, but fell about 5 minutes short of the 10x Zeiss on indentifying antlers on deer at 850yds. Zeiss 8x56 were still picking out racks when I left 10 minutes after the 10x Zeiss became to dim.

5575gb
10-12-2012, 05:41 AM
Another low light test update. Got to compare 10x42 Zeiss Victory FL binos to 8x42 Zen Ray Prime binos last night watching deer feed in corn stubble and standing soybeans until dark last night. The Zen Ray Prime's are very good, especially for $610, but fell about 5 minutes short of the 10x Zeiss on indentifying antlers on deer at 850yds. Zeiss 8x56 were still picking out racks when I left 10 minutes after the 10x Zeiss became to dim.



Bought my 8x56 Zeiss FL T from Doug at cameraland for 1299 last month.
I don't even want to spot with my 80mm swaro sts spotting scope any more these binos are so much more clear.
So glad I bought them!

mcseal2
10-12-2012, 05:21 PM
Me to, they are great when the sun gets low.