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elkhunter
05-24-2011, 11:37 AM
I am looking for some good advice. I am going to get some new 10x42 binoculars this year. I only have $500-$600 to spend. For the money, what would you buy?

Thanks

Drhorsepower
05-24-2011, 11:48 AM
Save your money until you can get a pair of zeiss or Swarovskis. My opinion. I have a pair of leupold golden ring that is in your price range but I wouldnt recommend them unless you were to keep em in your truck. The eye reliefs are not comfortable for long looks and they are always twisting in and out for different reliefs. Kinda heavy also. I wish I would have waited.

twp1224
05-24-2011, 12:07 PM
Vortex has good optics in your price range. I couldn't afford the expensive glass, so I purchased the Vortex Diamondbacks 10x42. They are really good in low light and have not let me down yet. I have looked through them for hours and never had eye fatigue. I'm sure their more expensive $500-$600 range bino's are even better.

JNDEER
05-24-2011, 01:42 PM
Vortex has good optics in your price range. I couldn't afford the expensive glass, so I purchased the Vortex Diamondbacks 10x42. They are really good in low light and have not let me down yet. I have looked through them for hours and never had eye fatigue. I'm sure their more expensive $500-$600 range bino's are even better.

I have Vortex and love them dearly. The Razor's are very good (unless you wear glasses than you have to finagle it a bit).

If I had to do it over again (I baught the Razor's for $550), I would think long and hard about possibley saving the extra $300-$500 to get a pair of Swaro's. I have never looked through a pair, but when EVERYBODY raves about them, that to me says a lot.

If you need a pair of good/decent glass to hold you off for a while why you save for the high end models I would get the Diamondbacks from Vortex (I had these and gave them to my bro when I upgraded) hands down!

dito
05-24-2011, 02:59 PM
I got the Meopta Meostars for $825 shipped. From reading the reviews on Cabelas it sounds like they are pretty close to swaros. I live out in BFN so I've not had the chance to look through swaros. But what I've used of these binos I'm happy with them so far.

griz
05-25-2011, 07:23 AM
I have a set of Brunton 10x42 and really like them. The only thing is they are a little heavy but work very well for long periods of glassing!

RUTTIN
05-25-2011, 07:39 AM
I bought a pair of Nikon Monarchs a few years ago, and really liked them. ($300.00) Until I came into some money, and thought I would buy some good glass. Ended up buying Swarovski EL's and wished all of those years of buying sub par binos I would have saved the money and bought good glass from the start. If you really cannot come up with the extra money for top end, I would suggest going some where you can get all the binos in your price range out and look through all of them outside the store at dusk, to see which pair you like the best.

Bitterroot Bulls
05-25-2011, 09:20 AM
I really love optics. It seems I am always buying, using, or trading some type of optics, especially binoculars. I have owned, or do own many of the binoculars already mentioned in this thread, including Monarchs, Razors, Meostars, and Swaros.

Common advice given in these situations is that one should just save longer and go with an "alpha" European binocular. I agree that the Big Three Euro optics companies are still making the very best of the best.

However, other companies have really closed the gap in performance recently. Particularly, ED binoculars coming out of China, have near-alpha images in a bit less-refined build. I have Zen Ray Zen ED2 binoculars. What I can see through my Swaro SLCneus, I can see through my Zens.

Sometimes saving for years for a $2000 pair of binoculars is impractical, especially when binoculars in the OP's price range are so good. I think $400 to $600 is the "sweet spot" for value with models like the Zens, Vortex Talon HD, Vortex Viper HD, Kruger Caldera, and others available. You pay a lot more for little improvement in performance above this price range.

NDHunter
05-25-2011, 12:44 PM
I think that for a lot of us, it just isn't possible to justify spending $1,000+ on a pair of binoculars. I am young and just starting out trying to accumulate the gear that I will need and already have a long list of stuff. Like a pack, spotting scope and tripod, tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, coolers, clothing, and on and on. I agree 100% with buying quality equipment, but if i bought top of the line equipment for just the stuff that I listed, I would easily be looking at close to five grand. Plus, id hate to lose a $1,000 pair of binoculars or have them stolen. Just my two cents.

6mm Remington
05-25-2011, 01:38 PM
elkhunter here is my take on this. I personally like the compact binoculars and find that they are so nice to carry that you have them around you neck ALL THE TIME where I've seen my buddy leave his Sworavski 10x42's in the truck just because they were too heavy to carry, even with the nice shoulder harness he has. Instead he would grab his compact binoculars.

Leica Ultravid 10x25 compacts. I love them. They are sharp and clear and I think they work just fine for early morning and late afternoon glassing. I believe I paid just a bit more than $600.00 for mine. Again they are very very good binoculars! Find some in a store and have a salesman go outside with you and look through them for a while. I sure like mine! Good Luck!
David

SDbowhunter
05-25-2011, 10:13 PM
Those are Leica's though and they are right up there with the Swaro's....I used a pair of Simmons 10x50's for years, and got by just fine, but the longer I used them, the harder it got to look through them. I just didn't know better back then, nobody I was around was interested in bino's that cost more than $100. Its nice to talk about how clear of a picture the Bino's have and in a store its REAL hard to distinguish any difference between a pair of sub par cheapos and high end Euro's BUT what I didn't know but learned from Mike Eastman in his books and then on my own was that the high end bino's were easier on your eyes !!!

After looking through my simmon's and even my dad's nikons (10x50) I can't look through them for more than about 5 mins and I start getting a headache, the better glass is better for your eyes.. so when someone says wait to get better bino's take their advice, you're eyes will thank you in ten years. personally I'd rather spend less on a tent and all the other gear one needs. Ask yourself "how much time do I spend behind my glasses?" If your looking at deer for a minute or less every hour from a treestand then a cheap pair is prob all you need, but if you spend hours behind your glass out west picking apart drainages you will want good binoculars ! Just my 2 cents

elkhunter
05-27-2011, 09:51 AM
Thanks everybody for the advice. I'm still not sure what I am going to do. I might wait until I can go to Billings and look at the Cabela's stock. The Zen Rays do look tempting. Does anybody have any more info on them? Thanks again

Bitterroot Bulls
05-27-2011, 11:42 AM
Elkhunter,

I have received quite a few PMs about the Zens, and I think I will put some notes together and start a thread about them in the next few days.

elkhunter
05-29-2011, 01:54 PM
That would be great. Thanks for the help.

packmule
06-22-2011, 10:47 PM
Those are Leica's though and they are right up there with the Swaro's....I used a pair of Simmons 10x50's for years, and got by just fine, but the longer I used them, the harder it got to look through them. I just didn't know better back then, nobody I was around was interested in bino's that cost more than $100. Its nice to talk about how clear of a picture the Bino's have and in a store its REAL hard to distinguish any difference between a pair of sub par cheapos and high end Euro's BUT what I didn't know but learned from Mike Eastman in his books and then on my own was that the high end bino's were easier on your eyes !!!

After looking through my simmon's and even my dad's nikons (10x50) I can't look through them for more than about 5 mins and I start getting a headache, the better glass is better for your eyes.. so when someone says wait to get better bino's take their advice, you're eyes will thank you in ten years. personally I'd rather spend less on a tent and all the other gear one needs. Ask yourself "how much time do I spend behind my glasses?" If your looking at deer for a minute or less every hour from a treestand then a cheap pair is probably all you need, but if you spend hours behind your glass out west picking apart drainages you will want good binoculars ! Just my 2 cents

There's a whole lot of truth in that.

Skybuster1329
06-22-2011, 11:16 PM
I got the Meopta Meostars for $825 shipped. From reading the reviews on Cabelas it sounds like they are pretty close to swaros. I live out in BFN so I've not had the chance to look through swaros. But what I've used of these binos I'm happy with them so far.
I'm really happy with mine !! Cabela's Euro. Same thing.

huntingheritage
06-26-2011, 09:24 AM
Check out Carson Binos. They are soooo clear and bright. And right on for the price. At the Western Classic in May, a rep had the 10x42's for around $300.

shootbrownelk
06-26-2011, 09:49 AM
I saw a photo of Peter Capstick peering through a pair of Leica compacts. That sure is an endorsement!

Colorado Cowboy
06-27-2011, 07:41 AM
I have a pair of Nicon 10x35 that are good.....but last year I made the decision to buy a Swaro combo monocular/range finder. I love it. I now only carry one set of optics, not 2 as before. The mono is 8x and crystal clear. The RF goes out to 1000 yds and does a great job too. I only see well out of one eye so it really makes sense for me. The only thing I have found that is a concern is that it uses batteries up pretty fast. I always have spares with me. I am totally satisfied.

elkhunter
06-30-2011, 10:20 PM
I went with the Zen Ray ED2's and so far I am really impressed.

Bitterroot Bulls
06-30-2011, 10:27 PM
I went with the Zen Ray ED2's and so far I am really impressed.

:D

I'm glad you like them, elkhunter. I would like to hear how they hold up, and how your experience compares to mine.

Drhorsepower
06-30-2011, 11:36 PM
What binos do you guys take into the back country when packing in? I really want to sell my leupold golden rings and get something lighter. My neck can't take another hunt.

Bitterroot Bulls
07-01-2011, 07:02 AM
Drhorsepower,

I bet if you start a thread with that question, you are going to get a wide variety of answers. I would be interested to hear. Personally, I don't skimp on the glass, even on deep backcountry hunts. It is a full-size 10X42 that I take (currently SLCs, although it has been, and will be others, including the mentioned ED2s). A good bino harness, and I don't really notice the weight.

It will be an interesting thread.

338ultra
07-01-2011, 09:06 AM
Look at the Steiner line. They have excellent quality glass and I can look through mine all day long and never strain. They don't break the bank and for the money I think are hard to beat. I have the Steiner Merlin 10x42's. They cost me around $800 when I bought them 4.5 years ago. I think they're in the $500 - $600 range now.

elkhunter
07-08-2011, 10:04 PM
I shipped the Zen ED2's back today. They are nice glass but they allowed me to send them back in exchange for the ED3'S. I let you know what I think when I get them.

Bitterroot Bulls
07-08-2011, 11:22 PM
I recently heard about the ED3s myself.

I will be waiting for your impressions, elkhunter.

brooks
08-03-2011, 09:30 AM
In your price range I would look at Minox. Go to .....www.cameralandny.com... they are sponsers on a lot of hunting sites and they know optics. They will answer any questions you have, I have never heard a bad word about them and I have been seeing guys post up a lot of good things and good prices about camera land for a long time on a lot of hunting sites.

toadbrown
10-02-2011, 05:48 PM
I am looking for some good advice. I am going to get some new 10x42 binoculars this year. I only have $500-$600 to spend. For the money, what would you buy?

Thanks

Nikon Monarchs 12x42 $300-$350, awesome set of binoculars and saves you a couple hundred dollars for beer!

toadbrown
10-02-2011, 05:52 PM
Nikon Monarchs 12x42 $300-$350, awesome set of binoculars and saves you a couple hundred dollars for beer!

My hunting buddy and I have been using the 12x42 monarchs for four years in Wyoming, for antelope and mule deer and this will be our fith year.

Elkoholic307
10-03-2011, 08:29 AM
Nikon Monarchs 12x42 $300-$350, awesome set of binoculars and saves you a couple hundred dollars for beer!

Possibly the worst advice I've ever heard lol

Bitterroot Bulls
10-03-2011, 09:01 AM
12x is a lot of magnification to hold steady. Some people can do it just fine, but most people are more comfortable with 10x or especially 8x. If you glass from a tripod a lot, 12x can be beneficial. The other issue is field of view, as it gets constricted with most high-magnification binocular models, especially the 12x Monarchs (262 ft. @ 1000 yards). In comparison, The Zen ED3 10X43 FOV is 340 ft. @ 1000yards, while the ED3 8X43 has a whopping 426 ft. @ 1000 yards. It is like the difference between looking through a picture window and a porthole.