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Old 06-15-2024, 08:26 AM
jayquiver jayquiver is offline
 
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Default Bino Upgrade - hunting.

Currently own a pair of Nikon Monarch HG 10x42. Like them a lot, but not sure if I love them. I think they are great value...probably the best value out there for the price.

Use to own a pair of Leica Ultravids a number of years ago. Sold them to "upgrade" to the Geovids. That was a mistake. Sold the geovids when back to a stand alone range finder.

Never had a chance to do a side by side comparison with my Leica's and Nikons.

Couple of questions for you guys, as I am considering upgrading my bino's.

- what are you running for bino's for hunting?
- Would the Swarovski EL or Leica's Ultravids be a substantial upgrade over the Nikon's ? Anything else I should look at?
- Keep the Nikon's and upgrade something else?

Thanks
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  #2  
Old 06-15-2024, 09:13 AM
Smoky buck Smoky buck is online now
 
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Nikon is mid range glass and Swarovski is high end glass. There will definitely be a difference but the question is if it is worth it for your style of hunting. Personally I prefer some of the other mid range options over Nikon even

If I am doing long range spotting in open country or mountains I completely appreciate Swarovski and them as worthwhile. For tight quarters bush where you are glassing things at less than 100yards mid range glass is more than enough

When it comes to glass itís best to just go test them out at a store to see what you think fits your needs
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  #3  
Old 06-15-2024, 09:27 AM
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https://www.digitalcameraworld.com/b...est-binoculars


For years I've used plain Jane Bushnell Trophy 8x32, 10x40. Edit: both of these are like 20+ years old.

I 'upgraded' to Pentax DCF 10x50. I think most would consider them as entry level binos.

I seldom hunt open country. In the bush most of the time binos aren't needed as the game is so close.
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Old 06-15-2024, 10:09 AM
Bushleague Bushleague is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Demonical View Post
https://www.digitalcameraworld.com/b...est-binoculars


For years I've used plain Jane Bushnell Trophy 8x32, 10x40. Edit: both of these are like 20+ years old.

I 'upgraded' to Pentax DCF 10x50. I think most would consider them as entry level binos.

I seldom hunt open country. In the bush most of the time binos aren't needed as the game is so close.
I've got a set of Bushnell Trophy's of about the same vintage, mine are 8x42. I did some mountain hunting with a guy that owned some 10x42 Leica's and while his were more enjoyable to look through, on a practical level I wasnt picking out any extra elk for all the extra expense. Couple factors; I dont know that the new Bushnells are as good, and I think part of the reason mine seem to punch above their price is the lower magnification combined with the big lenses makes them pretty bright. If you think you really need that extra 2X YMMV.

That said, I went to 8x30 Monarchs for the bush hunting that I usually do just for the weight savings. I mostly just use them to check out headgear if time permits, or to confirm/ discount anything that looks out of place. In this roll I dont think spending extra money would gain me anything.
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  #5  
Old 06-15-2024, 10:17 AM
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My boys and I use Steiners. 10x42.

Always a good product and definitely a consideration.
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  #6  
Old 06-15-2024, 10:25 AM
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Own or have owned.

Celestron x1
Bushnell x2
Vortex x2
Stiener x1
Nikon x3
Pentax x2
Minolta x1
Leupold x1
Zeiss x2
Swaro x2
Leica x5

I always buy the higher end models in any brand.

Lots of guys say they can't see a difference between inexpensive and Alpha glass. Either their eyes are really really bad, or really good. The older I get the more I can see the difference, especially in low light or at long distance.

For my eyes, I like the color rendition of Leica best. Use a Leica 2700 CRF range finder and use it as a close range binocular as it is 7x and great glass. After trying other RFs, all my hunting partners now use Leica CRF. I use a pair of Leica Duovid 8x12x50 for the truck. Had Geovids in 10x50 but the range only shows in the right eye and I am heavily left eye dominant. Sold them and bought the Duovids. You can buy used Alpha glass for very good prices. Buy really good gear when you are young, you get many more years to enjoy the superior performance.

Last edited by Dean2; 06-15-2024 at 10:49 AM.
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  #7  
Old 06-15-2024, 10:38 AM
stob stob is offline
 
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I could never get a zeiss to work for me...the ergo of the swaro's works for me...I use SLC and they are more than enough glass for me...I have mid range nikon's which are good enough as well for the kids or as a loner ..lol...I side with a previous poster and use a stand alone range finder when/if needed...I have tried leica and like them but have never owned one to date
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  #8  
Old 06-15-2024, 11:36 AM
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I love my Swarovski 8x56 SLC'S, I have owned many brands over the years, if you can find someone that has several brands, so you can compare them, in terms of optical viewing and clarity.Take them out at dusk, and compare. Buy once, cry once! They have a great warranty, mine are life time. I bought them in 2000. My previous ones were Redfield 10x50, they were also good. Buy the best glass you can afford!
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  #9  
Old 06-15-2024, 11:41 AM
elkhunter11 elkhunter11 is online now
 
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I went from 10x40Zeiss to 10x42 Leica Geovid HD, and both are excellent. The high end glass is most beneficial, where you glass continuously for long periods, and eye strain can be a factor. If you just scan an area now and then, the advantage is less.
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Old 06-15-2024, 11:55 AM
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Had a promo pair of nikon ultra lights i took on sheep hunt in nwt. Very compact amd light. Guide commented using them he could see lamb tips at a mile away which was great.
Upgraded to regular geovids to avoid carrying range finder and binos. Found glass was great but they were a bit heavy. Sold to a friend of mine when i once again upgraded to the new improved hd geovids. Solved the weight issue with proper alaskan guide bino pack for my rino gps and binos. Havent tried in mountains but hopeful for antelope this year
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  #11  
Old 06-15-2024, 12:34 PM
Smokinyotes Smokinyotes is offline
 
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I really like my Geovids but as Dean said they are not great for ranging if you are left eye dominant. Some times if I have a rest I will use my left eye on the right eye piece to range. Us lefties are always discriminated against.
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  #12  
Old 06-15-2024, 03:53 PM
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Vortex viper HD 8x40 (Japanese manufacture)

Yes those will be an upgrade. Swarovski, Zeiss, leica are all significantly higher quality. Which one of the three is ďbestĒ depends on your eyes.

Itís worth it if you spend a lot of time glassing from a tripod. Without stability, I donít think you will realize much benefit. I donít sit and glass much, so Iíve never gone to top level glass. However I upgraded my rangefinder to a Leica 2400 for better low light performance, both the glass and the display. So I guess that was my answer with my money.
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  #13  
Old 06-15-2024, 04:16 PM
Lostinthewoods Lostinthewoods is offline
 
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Depends on your hunting. If youíre hunting thick bush thereís no need to go above 10x42ís. Lately Iíve found the 12x50 vipers to be great if I want to leave my spotter at home for those mid range hunts. Otherwise I use 10x42 bx2ís and they are clear and great for the price.
Obviously if you can afford swaros thatís the best route. But the leupold glass is excellent for the price.
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  #14  
Old 06-15-2024, 04:56 PM
Rio56 Rio56 is offline
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I have all 3 top dogs Leica, Swaro and Zeiss

Settled on the swaro 8x30 .. to my eyes are perfect for low light , carrying and steady ...
10 x makes me dizzy
Leica are nice at 10x but I need a rest to actually focus with them ..The zeiss are nice with the 8 power as well ...

My choice is the swaro 8x30 cl companion .. clarity is the best
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Old 06-15-2024, 05:33 PM
Bushleague Bushleague is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lostinthewoods View Post
Depends on your hunting. If youíre hunting thick bush thereís no need to go above 10x42ís. Lately Iíve found the 12x50 vipers to be great if I want to leave my spotter at home for those mid range hunts. Otherwise I use 10x42 bx2ís and they are clear and great for the price.
Obviously if you can afford swaros thatís the best route. But the leupold glass is excellent for the price.
As far as I'm concerned, less is more for bush hunting. The increased FOV is WAY more important than any posible benifit from more magnification. I use 8x but would happily make the jump down to 7 or even 6 if I could find them.

Invariably if you do have an animal you want to harvest in front of you (often you are just trying to confirm this) time is of the essence, and you'd better have your rifle in hand. So... when things are getting critical I'm usually glassing one handed, trying to find pieces of a mostly obscured target, at relatively close range, as quickly as possible... 10x is not going to do you any favors here.
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  #16  
Old 06-15-2024, 05:52 PM
Smoky buck Smoky buck is online now
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushleague View Post
As far as I'm concerned, less is more for bush hunting. The increased FOV is WAY more important than any posible benifit from more magnification. I use 8x but would happily make the jump down to 7 or even 6 if I could find them.

Invariably if you do have an animal you want to harvest in front of you (often you are just trying to confirm this) time is of the essence and you'd better have your rifle in hand. So... when things are most critical I'm usually glassing one handed, trying to find a partially obscured target at relatively close range, as quickly as possible... 10x is not going to do you any favors here.
Pretty much the same here

I carry binoculars but rarely use them in the bush. Even in a tree stand I rarely reach for binoculars as things are close and happen fast. I use them slightly more still hunting but even that depends on the terrain.

I carry 10x42 leupoldís but itís because they were bought for spot & stalk and I donít use binoculars enough in the bush to justify spending money on a smaller pair
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Old 06-15-2024, 06:03 PM
Bushleague Bushleague is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smoky buck View Post
Pretty much the same here

I carry binoculars but rarely use them in the bush. Even in a tree stand I rarely reach for binoculars as things are close and happen fast. I use them slightly more still hunting but even that depends on the terrain.

I carry 10x42 leupoldís but itís because they were bought for spot & stalk and I donít use binoculars enough in the bush to justify spending money on a smaller pair
My wife uses a pair of Nikon Prostaf 7s binos. They are lighter than my Monarch's, slightly less FOV, entirely adequate glass for bush hunting, and I think we got them on sale for around $150.

I carry mine a long ways regardless of how much I use them, and for a number of valid reasons I like to use a simple neck strap rather than more complicated carying systems, so for me lighter binoculars were one of the better purchases I've made... obviously everyones situation is different, but I'd consider those Prostaffs $150 well spent for any bush hunter.
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Old 06-15-2024, 06:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushleague View Post
My wife uses a pair of Nikon Prostaf 7s binos. They are lighter than my Monarch's, slightly less FOV, entirely adequate glass for bush hunting, and I think we got them on sale for around $150.

I carry mine a long ways regardless of how much I use them, and for a number of valid reasons I like to use a simple neck strap rather than more complicated carying systems, so for me lighter binoculars were one of the better purchases I've made... obviously everyones situation is different, but I'd consider those Prostaffs $150 well spent for any bush hunter.
Itís that cheap Ukrainian in me that canít justify buying another set so I just stick with what I have lol

I should just warranty(eye reliefs screwed up)my vortex vipers and sell or trade them for a smaller set
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Old 06-15-2024, 07:32 PM
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I've used Nikon Monarch 5 10x42 for almost 15 years now ,and am ready for a new pair of glasses ...my choice is the Zeiss conquest 10 x42s and from I have noticed when looking thru a pair from a friend it is definitely a major upgrade and won't break the bank ...I'm told their low light capability is great and I look forward to having a set of my own . Nikons were good ,but these will be better.

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Old 06-15-2024, 07:46 PM
Rio56 Rio56 is offline
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before you buy and spend maybe big money on 10x and 42 or 56
.. just try a 8 x 30

Have a look out the front door and hold steady looking at 300 yards ..
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Old 06-15-2024, 08:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rio56 View Post
before you buy and spend maybe big money on 10x and 42 or 56
.. just try a 8 x 30

Have a look out the front door and hold steady looking at 300 yards ..
You make a great point. 300 yards versus 3000 yards is a vey big difference. You will see the difference in Alpha glas when close but you will really see the difference at 800 yarda plus and at more than a mile, the difference is VERY clear. Pun intended.
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Old 06-15-2024, 08:11 PM
jayquiver jayquiver is offline
 
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thanks for the input everyone.

I hunt with the bow and rifle and in bush and open country, so I kind of need a "do all " bino.

I am leaning towards 8X in the Leica or 8.5x in the Swarovski's, and if I am on a open country hunt I could use a spotter also.

Will try to find both brands and get a hands on feel for both.
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Old 06-15-2024, 08:14 PM
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I have been using 10x Geovids for many years with absolutely no issues in deep cover or open fields .
I consider them my most important piece of geR next to my rifle .
Cat
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Old 06-15-2024, 10:33 PM
Prairiekid Prairiekid is offline
 
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I have a pair of Vortex Viper HD 10*42, I mostly still hunt and stand hunt pretty thick bush. Iím pretty proficient with them, but have considered getting something 8* and lighter. Itís a tough one I use them a lot between hunting and scouting and just know what to expect of them. But Iím the guy that will be tucked behind a tree staring at a nice buck through the binos when I really should be watching him through my scope. Let us know what you get.
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Old 06-16-2024, 09:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rio56 View Post
before you buy and spend maybe big money on 10x and 42 or 56

.. just try a 8 x 30



Have a look out the front door and hold steady looking at 300 yards ..
Great idea on the outside look ...On a recent trip across the line ,the owner of the Army Navy store let me take both Conquest and Terra binos outside the store so no glass would hamper our vision ..Conquest was clear winner .

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  #26  
Old 06-16-2024, 11:38 AM
Bushleague Bushleague is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jayquiver View Post
thanks for the input everyone.

I hunt with the bow and rifle and in bush and open country, so I kind of need a "do all " bino.

I am leaning towards 8X in the Leica or 8.5x in the Swarovski's, and if I am on a open country hunt I could use a spotter also.

Will try to find both brands and get a hands on feel for both.
I think that will work for you. I use my 8x binos on river hunts, where glassing at ranges up to a kilometer becomes common as well as the usual bush use. JMO but I like 8x binos at longer ranges a whole lot more than I like 10x binos in the bush, and as Rio Mentioned they feel much less twitchy if your glassing from an unsteady position.
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Old 06-16-2024, 12:33 PM
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Default NWT guides taught me some tricks

Never climb a mountain until you clearly see something worth climbing after.

Spotting scopes only help if they are stable enough to use the high power. Mine are fixed 30 Leupolds. High end binocs are easier on eye fatique for long hours of use (mine were Nikon/Leica his were Swaro)

For both scanning and spotting rest your binocs on top of spotter on tripod at a comfortable sitting level for hours of scanning and then spotting the details once located.
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Last edited by wwbirds; 06-16-2024 at 12:39 PM.
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Old 06-17-2024, 08:56 AM
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I own mavens and nikon monarchs. I like the mavens better and wife and kid like the nikon's better. I did look through a buddies vortex higher end model cant remember and they were unreal clear and good, but I just cant justify spending that much for binos when I live and hunt mostly bush, mixed farmland plus I'd never own a vortex product.
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  #29  
Old 06-17-2024, 10:23 AM
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I run swaro EL's 10x42's and a swaro spotter. If I didn't hunt sheep I wouldn't need the swaro spotter.
Binos on the other hand will always be high end glass. Binos are my most valuable tool. I trophy hunt so lucky if the trigger is pulled on my rifle once a year but I spend a huge amount of time looking thru optics no matter the type of hunting conditions.

While walking out of a store and looking thru glass isn't a bad idea it really doesn't tell you a lot. Real life low light conditions are where the high end optics shine. Buddy bought a new set of vortex rangefinding binos couple years ago. First time I looked thru them was a bright sunny day. I was impressed with how far they ranged and clarity was really good. Later that year was with him hunting out east. Was looking at an animal in pretty low light conditions with mine. Grabbed his out of curiosity.....money well spent buying high end optics.

Again, all depends on the type of hunting you are into. Just out to plug a sausage deer every year cheap binos are fine
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  #30  
Old 06-17-2024, 02:17 PM
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When growing up I ran a set of pentax 10x42. These were great for what I could afford at the time.

Years latter I went to the swaro EL range, the previous model before the tracking and ballistics.

Once the integrated ballistics hit the bino world I decided I needed those, and have an all in one bino that does everything that I need.

I ended up getting a great deal on the leica pro, and went 10x32. No regrets, and enjoy using them always. The full AB download was not even a question, and use them with the full ballistics capability.

I looked at the new sig 1000, and the swaro EL's and decided my eyes like the leica pro better. I have a pair of the sig 3000 series that my wife uses with the sig scope, and there is just no comparison to the leica pro, but they work for what she needs.

I carry a spotter when I need to see distances beyond the bino.
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