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  #1  
Old 09-08-2019, 09:49 AM
Bushleague Bushleague is offline
 
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Default Stillhunting binoculars.

I've finally decided to upgrade my binoculars this year. Being a still hunter my typical needs are not extreme, I basically use them to inspect "stump deer", or verify the presence of antlers, or lack thereof, depending on the tag I'm filling. Usually at fairly close range, and low light capabilities are generally not an issue. My old Bushnell 8x46's do the job quite well, but they are dang heavy, so my main concern is getting something lighter.

I think I'd like them 8x or less, and with lenses in the 32-25mm range. At this point I've been looking at the Nikon pro staffs, and the Steiner Millitary-Marine models, but would welcome suggestions in that general $200-$400 price range. Thanks.
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Old 09-08-2019, 10:07 AM
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blgoodbrand1 blgoodbrand1 is offline
 
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Id go with the best glass you can afford in a 8x42. Anything smaller is an effort in futility


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Old 09-08-2019, 10:15 AM
obsessed1 obsessed1 is offline
 
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For still hunting I love my 10x25 vortex monocular. I attached a clip and wrist strap to it so it can clip on my pack strap or just let it hang on my wrist. My brother has the 8x36 tactical That has built in stadia lines that double as a quick range finder. I find my binos (10x42 and 8x36)are just too big/ heavy and unnecessary for still hunting
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Old 09-08-2019, 10:27 AM
Smoky buck Smoky buck is offline
 
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Might seem like a bit much to some but I like my 10x42 vortex vipers
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Old 09-08-2019, 10:43 AM
Iceberg Iceberg is online now
 
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I just bought the Nikon ProStaff 5 10x50 binos on sale at Cabelas and I love them. Went out for a whitetail hunt just to get out last week up in the 500's. A decent buck came out of the timber 2 minutes before legal light and with those binos I could track him and size him up, where with the naked eye I could not see a thing. I highly recommend Nikon products.
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Old 09-08-2019, 10:49 AM
Bushleague Bushleague is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Smoky buck View Post
Might seem like a bit much to some but I like my 10x42 vortex vipers
I often end up using mine close enough in that even the 8x feels cumbersome. Not interested in more magnification, if I could find 6x binos I would probably go that route.
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Old 09-08-2019, 11:29 AM
Pudelpointer Pudelpointer is offline
 
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I think you are on the right track Bushleague. 7x32 to 8x42 are a good range for still hunting forested areas.
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  #8  
Old 09-08-2019, 11:42 AM
Smoky buck Smoky buck is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushleague View Post
I often end up using mine close enough in that even the 8x feels cumbersome. Not interested in more magnification, if I could find 6x binos I would probably go that route.
Understandable guys got to go with what fits their needs. I would still recommend looking at the vortex vipers in a magnification that fits your needs. I used Bushnell for years but once I switched to vortex vipers they are a nicer glass. Definitely find them clearer and more crisp. Bushnell elites are about equal quality to the vortex diamondbacks which dont compare to the vipers to give you an idea

With glass a guy really needs to check them out firsthand and compare brands and models in my opinion
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Old 09-08-2019, 11:54 AM
FellSwoop FellSwoop is offline
 
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I have just gone through the binoculars conundrum myself. I had a pair of Steiner Preditor 10x42 for about 3 years and have been really happy with them. These are a mid range bino that retail just over $500 when I bought them. However, when I was on a hunting trip in August, I gave them away. I would like to move up to ED glass, but cant really afford this right now and I have a moose and whitetail hunt coming up in November. I do have a pair of 10x50s for the truck and some low price 8x40s that I use for duck hunting, but I prefer 10x42 for big game.
Optics Planet has some great prices, and it looks like some non name brands have moved into the ED glass space at much better prices than the name brands. In the end I have opted to buy some entry level 10x42 binos for this season and possibly next that can hopefully be backup units or for guests who sometimes join me. The I can save up for some good ones.
I saw that Cabelas has a sale on Bushnell "General Purpose Binoculars " for $59, regularly $119. Yesterday afternoon, I stopped by the Calgary store to see them. The sales guy understandably wanted to talk me up to some better stuff that was also on sale. In the end, I did up buy slightly and got the Nikon Prostaff 3, 10x42s on sale for $170 which is only $18 off list price. But I also bought the Bushnells to compare them.
I wanted to bring both of them and see the difference in optics between them when walking the dog this morning, but it is misty and foggy in Calgary today, so that test will have to wait. I can say the the Bushnells have better lens caps than the Nikons and are slightly lighter. I will test them both in November, and possibly get out for some whitetail day hunts in October. I am still on the fence over weather higher end binos give me any advantage over cheapies for most of the hunting I do. Then again, it is a pleasure to spot the racks of deer poking up on the trees edge of a field.....
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  #10  
Old 09-08-2019, 12:05 PM
cowmanbob cowmanbob is offline
 
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Id go with Swarovski 8x30 slc. Youd have add an extra zero to your budget.
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  #11  
Old 09-08-2019, 12:07 PM
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MK2750 MK2750 is offline
 
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I have a few pairs kicking around but 99% of the time I grab my Bushnell Legend HD 8x26. I mostly still hunt bush and they fit perfectly in my inside coat pocket. I grabbed them for cheap at a yards sale and was fully intending to give them to a young person. I seldom leave home without them as they are idea for carrying when fly fishing as well.

I also have them in 8X36 L series and they would be an awesome choice as well. Inside of 500 yards they are all I need in any legal light conditions.
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  #12  
Old 09-08-2019, 12:15 PM
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Dean2 Dean2 is online now
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushleague View Post
I've finally decided to upgrade my binoculars this year. Being a still hunter my typical needs are not extreme, I basically use them to inspect "stump deer", or verify the presence of antlers, or lack thereof, depending on the tag I'm filling. Usually at fairly close range, and low light capabilities are generally not an issue. My old Bushnell 8x46's do the job quite well, but they are dang heavy, so my main concern is getting something lighter.

I think I'd like them 8x or less, and with lenses in the 32-25mm range. At this point I've been looking at the Nikon pro staffs, and the Steiner Millitary-Marine models, but would welcome suggestions in that general $200-$400 price range. Thanks.
Try the Leica CRF range finding monocular. It is all I now carry, and have for about 15 years, for most spot and stalk hunting. Get a range finder and great glass, 7x24, all in one. Fits in a shirt pocket, weighs less than 16 ounces. About $700.
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Old 09-08-2019, 12:17 PM
dave99 dave99 is offline
 
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I would suggest any quality offering in the 8x30mm range. I use a set of Monarch 7s for that purpose.


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  #14  
Old 09-08-2019, 12:31 PM
Bushleague Bushleague is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smoky buck View Post
Understandable guys got to go with what fits their needs. I would still recommend looking at the vortex vipers in a magnification that fits your needs. I used Bushnell for years but once I switched to vortex vipers they are a nicer glass. Definitely find them clearer and more crisp. Bushnell elites are about equal quality to the vortex diamondbacks which dont compare to the vipers to give you an idea

With glass a guy really needs to check them out firsthand and compare brands and models in my opinion
Glad you like your Vipers, I will look into them. I'm not informed enough to challenge you're opinion as far as rifle scopes go, but my wife has a pair of 8x42 Diamondbacks and the glass is noticeably inferior to my humble Bushnell Trophy's in the same dimensions, circa 2002ish. Maybe this is atypical but its the main reason I haven't looked at Vortex yet.
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Old 09-08-2019, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushleague View Post
Glad you like your Vipers, I will look into them. I'm not informed enough to challenge you're opinion as far as rifle scopes go, but my wife has a pair of 8x42 Diamondbacks and the glass is noticeably inferior to my humble Bushnell Trophy's in the same dimensions, circa 2002ish. Maybe this is atypical but its the main reason I haven't looked at Vortex yet.
It's not atypical. In the low to mid price range Bushnell is as good as any and better than most. I found the Legend HD with the Prime ED glass superior to anything under $1000 on the the market. Everyone's eyes are a little different however so you should try as many as you can.
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Old 09-08-2019, 01:07 PM
Smoky buck Smoky buck is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushleague View Post
Glad you like your Vipers, I will look into them. I'm not informed enough to challenge you're opinion as far as rifle scopes go, but my wife has a pair of 8x42 Diamondbacks and the glass is noticeably inferior to my humble Bushnell Trophy's in the same dimensions, circa 2002ish. Maybe this is atypical but its the main reason I haven't looked at Vortex yet.
Can only compare between my Bushnell elites never looked through the trophies to judge them. Still own/use some Bushnell glass(scope/binoculars/spotter)and got nothing against them.

Only suggested a model to check out to see if it meets your needs. Not a fanboy of any brand.like I said with glass a guy really needs to check out the different options firsthand and pick what works for them

Good luck with your search
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  #17  
Old 09-08-2019, 01:21 PM
Prairiekid Prairiekid is offline
 
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I have a pair of Viper HD 8*42mm and I love them. The glass I was using before was a very cheap pair of Bushnell 8*30mm, so apples to oranges. I was shocked at the difference it made though. With the Viper I find deer I had no idea were filtering their way through the bush. I was fortunate as they were a gift from my wife, probably the best gift I have ever received. She went with Vortex because a good friend recommended them to her because of the warranty. You might just have to look through mine!
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Old 09-08-2019, 02:19 PM
Bushleague Bushleague is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Prairiekid View Post
I have a pair of Viper HD 8*42mm and I love them. The glass I was using before was a very cheap pair of Bushnell 8*30mm, so apples to oranges. I was shocked at the difference it made though. With the Viper I find deer I had no idea were filtering their way through the bush. I was fortunate as they were a gift from my wife, probably the best gift I have ever received. She went with Vortex because a good friend recommended them to her because of the warranty. You might just have to look through mine!
Yeah, maybe I will. By then I will probably have bought a pair though! Price range is a tough one for me, because I will go many seasons without them really playing any roll in my success. I've got pretty good "game eyes" at woods ranges, and usually a decision has to be made without giving the headgear a detailed glassing... that said, I can think of more than a few instances where they were vital. Basically, if I'm going to be packing them a hundred kilometers or so between situations where they are actually important, then I think the emphasis should be on portability more than anything else.

At this point I am sort of leaning towards the 8x32 Prostaffs, the glass seems good for the price and I found them to be very light and compact, even for 8x32's.
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Last edited by Bushleague; 09-08-2019 at 02:27 PM.
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  #19  
Old 09-08-2019, 02:28 PM
obsessed1 obsessed1 is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushleague View Post
Yeah, maybe I will. By then I will probably have bought a pair though! Price range is a tough one for me, because I will go many seasons without them really playing any roll in my success. I've got pretty good "game eyes" at woods ranges, and usually a decision has to be made without giving the headgear a detailed glassing... that said, I can think of more than a few instances where they were vital. Basically, if I'm going to be packing them a hundred kilometers or so between situations where they are actually important, then I think the emphasis should be on portability more than anything else.
I like the idea of a rangefinder as a one and done. Like you said for that type of hunting size/ weight is a big consideration. I like to keep my monocular in my left hand attached around my wrist then when shooting I just drop it and let it hang while I grip the forestock. How do you typically carry your binos? Recently I started using a bino bag( mostly to protect the binos...not sure how much I love it yet) but I used to strap them on my right shoulder and let them hang under my left arm. I also have a diy ultra light harness I made with elastic cord that works great.
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Old 09-08-2019, 06:41 PM
Bushleague Bushleague is offline
 
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Originally Posted by obsessed1 View Post
I like the idea of a rangefinder as a one and done. Like you said for that type of hunting size/ weight is a big consideration. I like to keep my monocular in my left hand attached around my wrist then when shooting I just drop it and let it hang while I grip the forestock. How do you typically carry your binos? Recently I started using a bino bag( mostly to protect the binos...not sure how much I love it yet) but I used to strap them on my right shoulder and let them hang under my left arm. I also have a diy ultra light harness I made with elastic cord that works great.
Right now I use a Vortex harness with mine, I usually wear them under my hunting vest to keep the snow off them. The harness makes carrying the heavy bino's easyer but I find using actually using the bino's to be less convenient. With lighter binoculars I will probably go back to using a neck strap.

I don't think I'd like a bino bag most of the time, I pretty much need my binoculars convenient, and glassing is generally done in short sporadic bursts. Usually with the rifle in one hand and the glass in the other.
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Old 09-08-2019, 07:03 PM
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I see zeiss makes a terraED compact in 8x25. They weigh around 11 oz so should fit the bill of compact and lightweight. I don’t have any first hand with them but they sound good and would come in just under your max budget of 400
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  #22  
Old 09-08-2019, 07:29 PM
OL_JR OL_JR is offline
 
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For the style of hunting you do, shrinking the objective for the sake of weight savings is a mistake. If you aren't having issues with eye strain or detail I would suggest putting your hard earned dollars elsewhere.
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Old 09-08-2019, 07:36 PM
propliner propliner is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dave99 View Post
I would suggest any quality offering in the 8x30mm range. I use a set of Monarch 7s for that purpose.


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I agree. I've used larger and smaller and this is the ideal size. Mine are Zeiss Victory 8x32FL's, pure heaven.
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Old 09-08-2019, 07:39 PM
Prewar Prewar is offline
 
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Id go with Swarovski 8x30 slc. Youd have add an extra zero to your budget.
These are the pair I use the most. Got Swaro 10x42WB's as well which are brighter but way too heavy for my liking. I find the bigger 10x are OK for specific hunting scenarios(blind,tree stand etc) but not for higher mobility hunts. If I could only own 1 pair for it all it would be an 8x30 or 32...
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Old 09-08-2019, 08:08 PM
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Id go with Swarovski 8x30 slc. Youd have add an extra zero to your budget.
These are what I use. Everything from sheep to woods whitetails.
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  #26  
Old 09-10-2019, 07:30 AM
beauvalkid beauvalkid is offline
 
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Originally Posted by cowmanbob View Post
Id go with Swarovski 8x30 slc. Youd have add an extra zero to your budget.
I use these as well (8x30WB) and according to the date code they were made in 2000. An old bino that still works ok and l doubt that they still make this model as they may have a newer and upgraded version. Good luck with whatever you decide.
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  #27  
Old 09-10-2019, 08:56 AM
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CMichaud CMichaud is offline
 
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Ultimately I think you really need to go into a store and try them out to see what feels right.

I have some Bushnell Legend 10x42 that I use (and love) but for $60 I might pick up a set of these just to try out on spec!

https://www.cabelas.ca/product/78515...ose-binoculars
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  #28  
Old 09-10-2019, 09:47 AM
6.5 shooter 6.5 shooter is offline
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Remember your eye can only handle so much light the rest is wasted...take your objective lens and divide by the power..EG: 10x50= 5mm of light the max your eye can use IF your young and have 20/20 eye sight.... My personal Bino's are 10x42 Nixon Monarchs...probably the best $350 dollars I ever spent.
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  #29  
Old 09-15-2019, 11:25 AM
Bushleague Bushleague is offline
 
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After handling a few different models I ended up going with the Nikon Prostaff 8x30, and am pretty impressed with them. The optics compare pretty favorably with my 8x42's making, they are super light, and they work really well with glasses which seems to be sort of a hit and miss type thing with binoculars in my experience.

Thanks for the suggestions.
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