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#374752 - 08/31/07 11:32 AM BINOCULARS
watchmaker
4 Point


Registered: 06/28/07
Posts: 299
Loc: New York

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BINOCULARS

Hi guys,
The big brown truck and the nice man that brings goodies to the house stopped yesterday with a package from Cabela’s.
I was deprived from sleep for the five days that it took between order and delivery, but finally the Nikon Monarch ATB 8x40 binoculars are here, and I will sleep soundly tonight.



Although I have quite a few binoculars in my safe, I don’t have nearly as many of them as I do flashlights (most of you know me as the crazy guy that owns all those flashlights); but fear not, I am getting there.
So it occurred to me that I should make a post about binoculars for those that are bored of hearing about my lights.
I had owned quite a good amount of binoculars since I bought my first as a 15 year-old with an itch about optics. I even owned an expensive Zeiss when I was single and didn’t had a family to take care of.
And I am here to tell you that the quality, brightness, sharpness, and durability of the new binoculars now on the market; it is better than ever.
Not long ago, if we wanted all these features in a good binocular the choice was between spending a thousand in a Zeiss, Swarosvki, Leica or Minox or looking for good Porro prisms in the Nikon or Pentax lines.
But since a couple of years ago, the Japanese starting coating the roof prisms of their binoculars with Phase Coating, and the sharpness and definition of their roof prism binos had increased to the point to rival the European imports from the big four, and all at very modest cost.

Take, for example, the Nikon Monarch ATB (All terrain binocular) 8x42 I just received, or my Pentax DCF WP 8x42 that I bought last year.




All lenses are fully multicoated (that means all surfaces, not only the glass to air surfaces) prisms are phased-corrected and have mirror-coated lower prisms (not cheap aluminum). They have blackened tubes to avoid reflections and are waterproof and fog proof; they have a nice outer coating of rubber (silent) and very good ergonomics. I particularly like the twist eye cups for eye-glass wearers and the ample eye relief: no problem using it with my glasses and instant acquisition of the picture even with glasses on.



All that can be said for the Nikon Monarch can be said also of my Pentax DCF WP 8x42, except for the weight: the Nikon is lighter at 22 ounces but I don’t know how much my Pentax weighs until I get a new battery for my fish scale.

I like the approach of securing the objective caps to the body of the binocular that the Nikon uses as well. I had to get creative with the Pentax and cook up something home-made to hold the caps to the binocular body.
I did the usual checking for good prisms by holding the binos a few inches away and looking at the light spot in the ocular lens, nice and round without any hint of flattening, just like I was expecting. I checked collimation by holding it a few inches away and pointing them at the yellow line in the road, straight and sharp with not sign of being distorted.
To test the sharpness and resolution most people look from the inside to the outside thru an open window, and most binoculars will perform well under those conditions. I look for a dark corner in the room and try to read some labels or a newspaper print set for the occasion; that is what separates the mediocre from the good or great binoculars.

As the Nikon and the Pentax are so the same in quality I tried to spot any optical differences between them by perching one on top of the other and alternatively looking thru them. After several minutes of this I have to admit that they are both the same optical quality as far as my eyes can tell, without resorting to an optical laboratory.



I have looked thru many Swarovski and Zeiss lenses, (I hunt the stores) superb optical quality in those glasses. I can tell you for sure than the new Nikon and Pentax are almost the equal of those expensive brands; that I only paid just over $300 with shipping for such a superb glass as the Nikon still amazes me.

Kind regards,
Watchmaker

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#383380 - 09/05/07 09:13 PM Re: BINOCULARS [Re: watchmaker]
Carlos Viagra
16 Point


Registered: 11/20/04
Posts: 13819
Loc: Cumberland Plateau

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Cool gear. The binocs I have always fog up as soon as I look thru them. What's a lower priced set that won't fog up so easy?
_________________________
Do not be slothful- for yesterday and tomorrow are thieves of today.

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#383402 - 09/05/07 09:25 PM Re: BINOCULARS [Re: Carlos Viagra]
Hogbear
10 Point


Registered: 07/21/05
Posts: 4034
Loc: Cuba (near Memphis)

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My brother has the Bushnell Legends and i've always been impressed by how good they are for the price. Keep in mind that all Bushnells are not created equal and not made by the same manufacturer or in the same country. Bushnell doesn't actually make anything. They just hire out the maufacturing to different factories all over the world and sell them under the Bushnell name. Pentax and Bushnell are somethimes made on the same factory line. The Legends are the bushnells to get.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/246771-REG/Bushnell_133208_8x32_Legend_Binocular.html

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/190894-REG/Bushnell_134208_8x42_Legend_Binocular.html

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#384859 - 09/06/07 05:25 PM Re: BINOCULARS [Re: Hogbear]
Carlos Viagra
16 Point


Registered: 11/20/04
Posts: 13819
Loc: Cumberland Plateau

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I have a set of Bushnell binocs but they were an aniversary gift from work. Probably a cheaper set but I will look and see what the Legends cost.

Thanks HogBear.
_________________________
Do not be slothful- for yesterday and tomorrow are thieves of today.

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#393285 - 09/12/07 09:53 AM Re: BINOCULARS [Re: Carlos Viagra]
CZ284
8 Point


Registered: 10/30/06
Posts: 1198
Loc: Rossville, Tn

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Guys- try Ebay. I got a brand new Swarovski 8 x 30s a couple years ago for $300, never been used because some guy had gotten them as a gift and already had some. Don't go anywhere without them. Have had Zeiss, Nikon, etc but like these the best. Buy the best you can afford.
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#398782 - 09/15/07 01:22 PM Re: BINOCULARS [Re: CZ284]
watchmaker
4 Point


Registered: 06/28/07
Posts: 299
Loc: New York

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PENTAX PCF 7X BY 35MM
PORRO PRISMS

Six years ago I arrived in Gillete, Wyoming without my gun case and binoculars (the airlines momentarily lost it).
I was able to borrow a gun from the outfitter but the binoculars offered didn’t appeal to me, so I looked for a good one in the store where I purchased my out-of-state license.

I really can’t understand how any serious hunter can spend one grand in a rifle and scope and then turn around and pick up a $39.99 binoculars from the “on sale” rack.
To me the binocular is the “hunt”; I spend most of the time in a hunt glassing for game, looking for that tell-tale piece of fur between the vegetation, that antler sticking out of the bushes or that liquid shine of an eye in the bushes.

For me, glasses that are sharp, bright and have good definition are imperative to the success of the hunt, after all if I see something that appears to be an antler or horn sticking out of the brush, I want enough definition in my optics to tell me that it is really an antler and not a just a weathered branch.

PENTAX PCF 7X 35 mm



Good optics cost money, sometimes a good deal of it. A bargain is not found in the price, but in the quality of the optics that you can get for a predetermined amount of money that you are willing to spend.
For that reason when you are in that store comparing binoculars to each other it is necessary that you know what you are looking for regarding the quality of the glass inside the binoculars.
A good company name will have glasses of different prices; today it seems that even the cheap brands will advertise that they have Barium Crown glass (BAK4) and coated optics.
What you have to look for in the box that comes with the binoculars are those advertisings that say they use fully multicoated lenses. This coating is a bombardment of the glass with anti reflection particles of magnesium fluoride or other similar compound, the deposit will change the color of the glass to a blue hue or ruby or green, and what is does is sharpen the image and eliminate reflections that robs the light entering into them.
Cheap brands will coat once and only the outside of the lenses, what you looking for is fully multicoated lenses (as much as seven coats are applied) in all of the inside and outside surfaces, good brands will advertise the fact in the box or literature that come with the glasses.




Looking through a good glass, you will see that an image is sharp and well-defined, while the image from a cheap binocular will be soft and fuzzy.
Brightness in a binocular when you are in a store has to be checked by looking into dark corners of the store and trying to read some labels. The letters in those boxes will appear dark and fuzzy when looked at through cheap binoculars, while with a good set you will notice how the letters are sharp, lighted and well-defined. Don’t look out of the window to a bright street: it will tell you little about the capabilities of the binocular to perform in poor lighting conditions.

Some brands make waterproof and fog-proof binoculars by using good seals and charging the interior with an inert gas such as nitrogen, as it is more difficult to make a good seal in binoculars that have more parts than rifle scopes, and if waterproofing is important to you, consider a good name brand that will stand behind its warranty.

Look toward the borders of the glass to see if you can find any distortion in the picture. You may find some, as only the very best glasses are free of it, so just consider the brands that have the less of it.
Now that binoculars are designed by an optical computer program, it is rare to see other optical aberrations unless you are looking through a set of very cheap glasses.

That day in the Wyoming store I spend a good hour looking at different binoculars. I walked out with a Porro prisms model from Pentax (Porros are less costly than Roof of the same optical quality). I think I paid about $175.00 for it, and I never have regretted my selection.

It is just a coincidence that I selected a Pentax, as I was looking for optical quality that can be met by many brands: Bushnells, Nikons, etc. It is just that I have used Pentax cameras and I have been awed by the quality optics they have.
This one is a 7x by 35 mm Pentax PCF Porro prisms binocular and at 28 oz. not that heavy, Porros are always more bulky than roof prisms, but this particular model has good ergonomics and at 6” long by 5 ½ “ it is quite compact for a full-size glass.
This particular model have a focus lock on the focus turning wheel, when you have achieved the focus you can lock it in place by sliding the lock into place, very neat,
The right ocular has detent clicks in the diopter adjustment for the eye, another very neat feature that speaks attention to detail and innovation in the design.
While most Porros binoculars have a couple hinges connecting to the center shaft, these are designed with a more solid, all-body mass to center shaft, more like a quality roof prisms. I don’t see this binocular get knocked out of alignment by rough use anytime soon.



The glasses I have, had been replaced in the Pentax line for the new PCF WP II 8x40, and they are even better as they feature helical adjustment for eyeglass wearers instead of my old style fold down rubber eye guards, and I have noticed that they come with a rain guard for the ocular lenses tethered to the neck strap while my model has the easy-to-lose plastic caps.
As I want my optics dry and clean all the time, I had to rig my glasses with some tethering ribbons for the plastic caps attached to the strap for the oculars lenses and to the center screw cap for the objectives lenses.
And what’s more, the price of the new Porros PCF is still about the same, even lower at internet discount houses.

The exit pupil of an 8x by 40 mm is the same 5 mm as the 7x35, so these glasses should perform very well in low light situations, much better than those toy 8x20 daylight only binoculars that most folks seem to buy these days at the department store.

Good quality binoculars are a joy to use. If you can not afford the quality popular roof prisms that are in the market for about $300.00 USD, you owe yourself to look for a quality Porro prisms that for about half the price will give you just about the same optical quality.

Cheers
Watchmaker

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#400449 - 09/16/07 01:14 PM Re: BINOCULARS [Re: CZ284]
megalomaniac
12 Point


Registered: 10/28/05
Posts: 5055
Loc: Mississippi

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 Originally Posted By: CZ284
Guys- try Ebay. I got a brand new Swarovski 8 x 30s a couple years ago for $300, never been used because some guy had gotten them as a gift and already had some. Don't go anywhere without them. Have had Zeiss, Nikon, etc but like these the best. Buy the best you can afford.


Dayum, you got a great deal... most of the 8x30's sell on ebay for $6-700. I can never find a good deal on ebay.

I've also got a pair, and they are outstanding. CZ, you wanna sell me yours as a backup? I'll give you $400 ;\)

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#424649 - 10/01/07 10:25 AM Re: BINOCULARS [Re: megalomaniac]
CZ284
8 Point


Registered: 10/30/06
Posts: 1198
Loc: Rossville, Tn

Offline
Mega,

Thanks but I've been around long enough to know a bad deal when I see one! I love the glasses and wouldn't hesitate to buy a pair with my next tax return if something happened to these.

Nice try!
Where in MS are you?

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#433827 - 10/06/07 06:41 PM Re: BINOCULARS [Re: CZ284]
watchmaker
4 Point


Registered: 06/28/07
Posts: 299
Loc: New York

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NIGHT OWL 4X NIGHT VISION
COMPACT BINOCULARS

I have owned this night vision binoculars for about seven years. They are made in Russia and feature the first generation of Russian intensifiers tubes that are so popular lately.

It is my understanding that the Russian tubes were not of new manufacturing, but surplus tubes were released into the market. My first unit of these binoculars had a tube that was much dimmer than the other; however the Night Owl Company quickly exchanged them at my request.

As you probably you already know, unlike the older infrared night vision technology, the intensifier tubes do just that: intensify the light that is available (up to 30,000 times according to the instructions) and if ambient light is present, it doesn’t depend on the attached infrared emitter that is placed on top of the binoculars as an extension of the center pivot.

The binoculars enlarge the image transmitted to the oculars by 4 times. Not exactly a long-range pair of binoculars, but really very useful at short distances.




The Infrared emitter has a separate button for its operation. It is not really full infrared (infrared light is invisible) but a good amount of red shows out of the lens of the tube, making the fact that you are watching with them noticeable to humans. For game it really doesn’t matter, as most animals are blind to the red spectrum of light.

When used with a truly blind infrared powerful source (I just rigged a BOREALIS 1050 lumens flashlight ~2 million candlepower~ with a surplus Israeli jeep infrared filter) the binocular can easily “see” 300 yards away in total darkness.

The glasses weigh 31 oz., which isn't bad for a binocular that is 6 ¼ long by 6 ½ wide and 1 ¾ thick. The barrels of the objective adjust for focus individually. The adjustment is very smooth and easy to move; likewise, the ocular also has an adjustment that is individual to each eye, and it is not a center focus adjustment wheel, like in regular binoculars.

The metal screw in caps covering the objectives have a little pin hole to limit the amount of light that will enter if the binoculars are used during the day, which is mostly done to make adjustments for distance and focus previous to the projected night use. Those metal caps are noisy to unscrew or screw them, so if you're using them when game is near, I recommend replacing them with Buttler Creek or similar spring loaded binocular caps.

The power is supplied by a Lithium 123 3 volts battery that is loaded from the rear where the hinge is in the binoculars. These batteries are more popular than ever, thanks to the amount of tactical flashlights that make use of them.

This is better than the present problem I have of trying to find a number 1 battery for my Israeli surplus infrared night vision goggle (and by the way, if one of you readers know a source for such battery, please let me know).

For a first generation unit, the Night Owl 4x Compact is a very good binocular, well thought-out in its design and construction, with rubber covering to make gripping easier and to deaden game spooking noises. When I first bought them my son was 10 years old and interested in watching game, so we spent a few enjoyable nights watching deer eating apples at the tree and watching over a bear bait in upper Maine, just to see what was showing up.

To all you fathers out there, those kinds of memories can last a lifetime and tend to be the greatest ones, especially when that same son is now a college student and interested in watching other types of game. ;\) So cherish them well.
Best regards,

Watchmaker

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#434436 - 10/07/07 09:19 AM Re: BINOCULARS [Re: watchmaker]
.444 Marlin
16 Point


Registered: 08/10/02
Posts: 15394
Loc: Benton, Polk Co. Tenn.

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I really like nikon's and wouldnt mind paying the $ for them but I bought a set of bushnell 10x42s at walmart last year for $30 and they are clearer than some of the higher end bino's Ive used.
_________________________
Spike bucks come with their own meat skewers.


Alright, I'm here now who wants my autograph??

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#506723 - 11/25/07 06:48 PM Re: BINOCULARS [Re: .444 Marlin]
watchmaker
4 Point


Registered: 06/28/07
Posts: 299
Loc: New York

Offline
LEUPOLD YOSEMITE 6X 30MM
PORRO PRISMS BINOCULARS

Hi Guys:
Some things are changing in the world of optics. It uses to be that you had to spend a good chunk of money to get good optics; after all, it is difficult and requires expensive lenses, expensive anti-reflection treatment, some quality components, and precise work to mount it all and to get the optics to perform as they should.

Some optical aberrations and distortions can only be corrected the best possible. It is difficult to make good glasses to deliver a flat picture of good quality when the light ray has to pass through curved lenses.

But the new computerized optics programs than the optical engineer is using these days has brought a solution to the trial-and-error and time-consuming work that was needed to produce decent binocular blueprints in the old days.
They are several factors, beside objective size, that will determine how good the image quality in binoculars will be.
They include optical coating, quality of optics, distortions and aberrations, optical alignment, and manufacturer tolerances.

THE LEUPOLD 6X30MM YOSEMITE



Back in 1970, I came back from the jungles of South America in one piece, but minus my good Zeiss binoculars. In seventy-one, freshly married and planning a trip, I was in need of a binocular, but my budget was $25.00 (you bought a lot of gasoline with $25 in the seventies).
After looking at several on that price range, I selected a 7x35 Porro prisms Sunset (Japanese). It says in big white letters that it is an extra-wide angle (10 degrees), which, at the time, didn’t affect me since my young eyes in those days didn’t need prescription glasses (wide angle will reduce the eye relief, an important consideration to eyeglass wearers). But poor eye relief means that you have to get your eye very close to the lens to see the whole picture, which can put a drop of perspiration on the glass in hot days or fog them in the cold climate.

It also makes it impossible to focus the edges of the glass. The center will be in focus, but the edges will be blurry: this distortion is called “curvature of field,” so keep in mind to stay away from wide field-of-view glasses if you want your picture to be relatively sharp all around.
It also says that it has coated optics, which means (and I can see it) that only the exterior lenses have been coated on the outside, and that translates that a good amount of light is going to be lost throughout reflection, making them inferior to glasses that used multi-coating lenses to see in deep shadows and at dusk .

LEUPOLD YOSEMITE AND SUNSET BINOCULARS




So brightness and sharpness are affected by the amount and quality of the coating that are used in binoculars- the more the better (as much as seven coats for glass surfaces are been used now). When you think that as much as 4 % of light is lost through reflection from uncoated surfaces and that a binocular uses a total of 14 or more optical glass inside them, you will understand why multi-coats are so important for light transmission.

YOU CAN SEE THE DIFFERENCE IN THE COATING BETWEEN THEM





I can see that the lenses in the Sunset haven’t been corrected for chromatic aberrations, which means that the colors will be more muddled if I were looking at birds. Of course, correcting for color needs a set of different glass, all keyed to a certain spectrum on the color scale, which makes binoculars more expensive and will have taken me out of my $25.00 budget in those days.

Be careful of cheap binoculars with big lenses (50 to 60 or more mm of objective), as the bigger the lenses are, the more intense the chromatic aberration will be, unless it is corrected by low dispersion glass that will make the binoculars much more expensive.

Good glasses should be corrected for another aberration called “astigmatism,” which is the effect of the light at the edges of the glass that is elongated into an oval that points toward the center. This together with the “curvature of field” tends to make glasses fuzzy toward the edges. I believe my Sunset 7x35 glasses shows a good degree of astigmatism.
Of course, my 38 year-old glasses also show a good deal of spherical aberration. There is no way that ray of light passing trough the center of a normal glass can be in the same focus as the ones passing through the edges. This makes the image loss detail. Newer binoculars are now using an aspheric lens (usually in the oculars) that corrects the focus by bringing the center light rays to the same focus as edges rays of light, making the glass brightest and with increased contrast.

My Sunset glasses show some “barrel distortion.” Were a straight line placed on the edge of the field of view, it will bow outwards at the center. If that line will bow inwards at the center, it will be called “pin cushion distortion.” Good glasses correct for this distortion with quality glass, although you can still find just a little of it even in expensive glasses.

AT LEFT IS A REGULAR OPTICAL GLASS WITH CURVED SURFACES, AT RIGHT IS THE NEW AESPHERICAL LENS



My Sunset 7x35 binoculars did fine for a few years (I didn’t use them much in low light) until I replaced them in my neck for a Bushnell Custom Compact 6x 25 CF in 1974, which then started my love affair with 6x lenses.
The Bushnell Custom Compact are beautiful binoculars; light, small, and highly good optics that still sells today and is highly sought after by those that don’t want to carry full binoculars when birding or hunting.

The street price on the Custom Compact is around $250.00, and it is well worth it. I have used mine for years in hikes into the high peaks of the Adirondacks. I think so highly of them that I had bought a pair for my wife in 1976.

The only thing I always wondered was how it would perform in poor light if the objectives were as big as 30 mm instead of 25mm.
Now, after so many years, another 6x binocular has fallen into my hands, thanks to the advice of FirstFreedom, a member of TFL forum.
The Leupold Yosemite Porro prisms 6x30 is in my hands now and a beauty it is, both physically and optically.
This Leupold is miles ahead of my Sunset 7x35, the comparisons I made in low light gives a great edge to the Leupold even than the objectives are 5mm smaller in the Leupold, and the numbers for exit pupil gives both the same 5mm value (35 mm divided by 7x = 5mm and 30 mm divided by 6x = 5mm of exit pupil). The Leupold outperforms my Sunset glasses, due to better coating and better optics.

I was surprised when I put both in my fish scale because both weigh 1 lb. 1 oz., but the Leupold feels much lighter. The rubber covering and the twist up eye-piece guards are a big asset for the Leupold, as the Sunset doesn’t have any eye-piece guards at all. The Leupold Yosemite comes with a rain guard that is tethered to the elastic strap and regular caps in the objectives. That is one thing I would like to see changed; objectives should be protected with covers, such as the ones find in my Nikon Monarch, that are attached to the binocular body and not by caps that are easily lost.

Optically, the Leupold Yosemite is very superior to the Sunset glass. Some aberrations and distortions are still in the glasses, but only in a reduced amount and in the edge of the field of view, and it is okay, because only very high quality glasses like the Swarovski and Zeiss can make those defects disappear almost completely, and after all, most of us look through the center of the field anyway, and not through the edges.

Color seems to be fully corrected in the Yosemite, although I have yet to find a proper test medium to judge it (hummingbirds or woodpeckers).

Sharpness and definition are well up in the scale, leaving the Sunset glasses in the dust. That all this optical quality is attained at the cost of only less than a hundred USD is a miracle of new manufacturing techniques. I am well pleased with the new Yosemite binoculars by Leupold, I took a calculated risk when I bought them, based on the Leupold name in others optics and I am well satisfied with what I got and for the little money I got them.

Cheers
Watchmaker

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#513763 - 12/02/07 08:13 AM Re: BINOCULARS [Re: watchmaker]
Hogbear
10 Point


Registered: 07/21/05
Posts: 4034
Loc: Cuba (near Memphis)

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Nice review of the Yosemites. In the 2005 big bino test by Cornell Lab or Ornithology, they were pleasantly surprised at the quality of some of the lower priced binos available these days. They commented that in the past, testing under $200 binos required a bottle of ibuprofen for the eye strain they would cause but now there are some pretty decent units in that range. Their top budget pick in '05 was the Nikon Action EX 7x35 that sells for about $115 at Walmart. The Yosemites weren't included in the test; probably not available back then.

The Nikon Monarch 8x42 was their top pick of 8x in the $200-$500 range. The Celestron Noble 8x42 was ranked 5 out of 27 in that range, which is impressive considering they cost about $270. The $400 Steiner Merlins finished near the bottom at 26 of 27.

According to Leupold, the Yosemites were designed primarily for children or women whose eyes are closer together but they will adjust wide enough for most men too. They are getting good reviews on the birding forums and those guys are as picky as they come about their optics. Walmart has them for $93.68.

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#526220 - 12/12/07 01:52 PM Re: BINOCULARS [Re: Hogbear]
Wes Parrish
16 Point


Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 19298
Loc: Knoxville-Dover-Union City, TN

Offline
Has anyone tried the new Steiner Nighthunter XP's in 8 x 30?
They look just like the very popular Steiner Predator 8 x 30's, only the Nighthunters supposedly are a much better glass.

I like the auto-focus feature of these 8 x 30's, and that may have been a big factor in the good TN buck I took in November --- as I located him on his bed using these binoculars (I have the Predator 8 x 30, not the Nighthunter). Had it not been for the great depth-of-field of these porro-prisms, I might not have seen that buck.

Steiner Nighthunter XP 8 x 30
http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templa...1553&hasJS=true

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#526625 - 12/12/07 06:47 PM Re: BINOCULARS [Re: watchmaker]
jakeway
TnDeer Old Timer
10 Point


Registered: 11/22/99
Posts: 3588
Loc: Hendersonville, TN, USA

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Thanks, Watchmaker! I came to this post to see if anyone had a review of the Yosemite, since I was just looking at a pair last weekend. And here's your detailed post.

I'm looking for a lightweight pair of binoculars. I currently have the Leupold Wind River 8X42 porroprisms. (Don't know the model number; I bought them a few years ago, and I think they only had one Wind River back then.) They perform well enough for me, but at 25 oz I sometimes leave them home when my backpack gets too full, or when I'm also carrying my treestand. But I just don't like the little 21mm models out there.

With light weight being a big factor, and with the performance for the price, would you recommend the Yosemite ove rthe Nikon Monarch ATB in the smaller size?

Also, for deer hunting in woods where you seldom see over 150 yards, would you get the 6X30 over the 8X30?
_________________________
It's not rocket surgery, for crying outside!

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#527336 - 12/13/07 10:41 AM Re: BINOCULARS [Re: jakeway]
Hogbear
10 Point


Registered: 07/21/05
Posts: 4034
Loc: Cuba (near Memphis)

Offline
Another small/light bino to consider is the Leupold Katmai 6x32. It was Cornell Ornithology Lab's top pick in the $200-$500 range, the only one ahead of the Nikon Monarchs. They are quite a bit smaller than the Yosemite because of the roof prism design but are one ounce heavier. In Cornell's chart, the image quality of the Katmai's were not only rated highest in the $200-$500 range but also higher than any bino in the $500-$1000 range. Eagle Optics has them for $288 no tax and free shipping. They also have the Yosemite for $89.

http://www.birds.cornell.edu/Publications/LivingBird/Winter2005/Age_Binos.html

http://www.eagleoptics.com/index.asp?dept=1&type=19&subtype=272&mfg=39&purch=1


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#582588 - 01/26/08 09:03 AM Re: BINOCULARS [Re: Hogbear]
watchmaker
4 Point


Registered: 06/28/07
Posts: 299
Loc: New York

Offline
No wonder I like them soo much


LEUPOLD KATMAI 6X32
BINOCULARS

I must be off my rocker. I have binoculars coming out of my ears and I just went out and ordered another.

This time the culprit that captured my heart is the Leupold Wind River Katmai binoculars, a roof prism model that is quite compact and light but offers superior viewing compared to full sized premium binoculars.

I had seen them before in catalogues such as Cabela’s and Red Head, but I never got interested because I thought they were only available in 8x32.
Having recently bought the Leupold Yosemite 6x30 binoculars, I became interested in seeing what others models they offered and discovered that the Katmai were also available in 6x32.

The reason that I am particular about the six power binoculars is that they offer a perfect magnification for the kind of close woods hunting I do.
When available in the 32 mm sized objectives, I am getting a 5.33 mm of exit pupil, giving good quality optics; the right pupil opening for the low light condition that I often glass under. I never saw any reason to own them in 8x32, as I will be getting only a 4 mm of eye pupil: no doubt good for daylight, but no good for the use I put binoculars through.
If I am going to use an eight power, then it will have to have 42 mm objectives to give me 5.25 mm of eye pupil. I already have two great pairs of glasses in that size (the Pentax and the Nikon) and I use them often, but the new Leupold Katmai is going to fulfill the same task, using less bulk and weight, which is important for me in certain instances.

Here is a picture of them together so you can appreciate the size difference. From left to right: the Leupold Yosemite 6x30 Porro prisms, the Leuopold Katmai 6x32, the Nikon Monarch 8x42, and the Pentax DCF 8x42.



I am fifty miles from New York City, so it is not possible for me to go to check binoculars every time I have a whim for them (and it happens often), so I ordered the Katmai over the mail knowing that you will not always get something over the mail that will fulfill your expectations. No such problem occurred with the Katmai binoculars, though: they are great and exactly what I expected them to be for a glass of this price and more.



I performed the usual checks and was amply satisfied with the optical quality and mechanical precision of the glasses. The ergonomics are also great for a glass of this size, and I was well pleased with my purchase.
One aspect of this purchase is worth mentioning: when looking at the Katmai 8x32 that Cabela's and Red Head have in their catalogues, the price for them was hovering around $400 to $420. I bought the Katmai 6x32 over the web for $289 shipped.
Now the question is how they compare optically with the lower priced ($98) Porro prism Leupold Yosemite binoculars, and if the $200 difference is noticeable in the optical quality.
If that difference is there, I can’t notice it! Both glasses performed well in my low light test and both are sharp and with enough resolution to satisfy the most rabid birdie.
We all know that roof prisms are more expensive and difficult to make well, so part of the money goes toward that end, perhaps of influence in the price is the fact that the Katmai are made in Japan and the Yosemite in China; we know that our money buys more Yuan than Yen.



So what is going to happen to the Yosemite 6x32 now that my new love is the Katmai? No problem on that end, since my son already declared ownership of the Yosemite, as he recently took them on a trip to Florida’s Everglades, using them in the Aninha trail and in the Flamingo point.
He came back saying, “Dad, you will never these back; they are great glasses!” Now if I can just hide the Katmai from him until he goes to college in September, I will be fine.

For those that don’t understand the obsession that possesses me, I am here to tell you that there is nothing better than to look through quality glasses. I am just in a rush to finish typing this to go and sit in my patio and look for the red-tailed hawk that has been visiting us here lately.

Cheers,

Watchmaker

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#587588 - 01/29/08 07:27 AM Re: BINOCULARS [Re: watchmaker]
Winchester
Non-Typical


Registered: 12/05/03
Posts: 27608
Loc: TN

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I have a pair of Burris Bino's that I really like.
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#588346 - 01/29/08 02:09 PM Re: BINOCULARS [Re: Winchester]
CZ284
8 Point


Registered: 10/30/06
Posts: 1198
Loc: Rossville, Tn

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Thanks Watchmaker. I have a pair of Swarovskis that I refuse to let my son take. I've been looking for something less expensive. Sounds like I'll get him a pair of the Yosemities.
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#597440 - 02/03/08 07:13 PM Re: BINOCULARS [Re: CZ284]
jakeway
TnDeer Old Timer
10 Point


Registered: 11/22/99
Posts: 3588
Loc: Hendersonville, TN, USA

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I bought the Yosemites partly on this post; I wanted the Katmai's but can't afford them. Very pleased.

And my 8 yr granddaughter can use them when she visits.
_________________________
It's not rocket surgery, for crying outside!

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#597842 - 02/03/08 10:43 PM Re: BINOCULARS [Re: jakeway]
Mossygoose
8 Point


Registered: 10/02/06
Posts: 1065
Loc: Greenfield,TN

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I have a pair of Pentax DCF 10X50 and love them.
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#612321 - 02/13/08 10:05 AM Re: BINOCULARS [Re: Mossygoose]
ChippewaPartners
10 Point


Registered: 08/25/01
Posts: 3037
Loc: Pamelot, my farm near Catoosa

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It is another amazing fact that so FEW hunters, sports spectators, concert-goers, etc feel that they don't NEED a great binocular to enhance their experience. I can't believe so many people spend so much money on tickets for their sports, sporting events, bird watching, watching the neighbors, watching wildlife, at the beach for real "eye-candy" watching, etc. without bringing their viewing up close and personal. Buy quality optics and use them. They pay for themselves in viewing enjoyment!!!!
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#612331 - 02/13/08 10:09 AM Re: BINOCULARS [Re: ChippewaPartners]
jakeway
TnDeer Old Timer
10 Point


Registered: 11/22/99
Posts: 3588
Loc: Hendersonville, TN, USA

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Last summer I was hiking in the Smokies. I came to a little stream, sat on a rock in the middle of the stream, and spent about 20 minutes with my binocs, just viewing the water going around the rocks. I wasn't looking more than 20 yards away, but the binocs really enhanced the experience. Very relaxing.
_________________________
It's not rocket surgery, for crying outside!

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#612644 - 02/13/08 01:13 PM Re: BINOCULARS [Re: jakeway]
kholmes
4 Point


Registered: 06/05/07
Posts: 280
Loc: Nashville

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I have the 8x42 Nikon Monarchs and could not be happier.
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Theodore Roosevelt


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#612864 - 02/13/08 03:42 PM Re: BINOCULARS [Re: kholmes]
Monsterman
Button


Registered: 01/29/08
Posts: 6
Loc: chester co.

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Anyone tried the Vortex line of binocs?
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http://goodmanranch.com/

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#617272 - 02/16/08 01:52 AM Re: BINOCULARS [Re: watchmaker]
rogvegas
4 Point


Registered: 09/19/07
Posts: 335
Loc: Rogersville, TN

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Got a new pair of nikon monarch 10x36's. They are the dream season version(mossy oak obsession) $180 bucks on ebay(sell for $279 in cabelas) couldnt pass em up.
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#636490 - 02/27/08 07:38 PM Re: BINOCULARS [Re: .444 Marlin]
Boone 58
16 Point


Registered: 06/23/04
Posts: 14874
Loc: Food Plot

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I have the Merlins by steiner and for the 400 bucks i paid for them they are well worth the money. Another good brand for a bout 100 bucks less is the Alpen and they are worth every penny as they have burris glass i believe?
they are crisp and clear.
wouldnt take anything for the merlins.
_________________________
The problem in America is not that ungodly people have said yes to ungodly things, but rather that Godly people have refused to say "no" to ungodly things.
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#791982 - 06/23/08 01:06 PM Re: BINOCULARS [Re: .444 Marlin]
easy45
Non-Typical


Registered: 11/06/07
Posts: 29402
Loc: Chester County

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I just realized I've never had a good pair of binocs
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#792886 - 06/23/08 10:06 PM Re: BINOCULARS [Re: .444 Marlin]
Boone 58
16 Point


Registered: 06/23/04
Posts: 14874
Loc: Food Plot

Offline
I love my Steiners....8x42 ....awesome!!
I believe the U.S. Military uses them also..
_________________________
The problem in America is not that ungodly people have said yes to ungodly things, but rather that Godly people have refused to say "no" to ungodly things.
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#911488 - 09/12/08 09:05 AM Re: BINOCULARS [Re: watchmaker]
BlueMarlin
4 Point


Registered: 06/04/07
Posts: 131
Loc: East TN

Offline
Thanks watchmaker. I learned a thing or two about flashlights and now binoculars from you. I placed my order for the 8x42 Nikon ATB Monarch today. Should be here by the season. \:\)
_________________________
Sieze The Day!

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#911966 - 09/12/08 01:07 PM Re: BINOCULARS [Re: BlueMarlin]
MFBAB
10 Point


Registered: 01/08/08
Posts: 2983
Loc: Memphis, TN

Offline
I have a couple of binocs on classifieds right now, a compact Steiner Merlin and a Cabela's Euro(By Meopta). The Euro's are excellent, not to knock the Nikon Monarchs which I also have but looking through both of those simultaneously there is no comparison, the Euro's blow them away-brighter and sharper by far. Here's the link to my classified:

http://www.tndeer.com/tndeertalk/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=898096&page=1#Post898096
_________________________
Missed it by that much....

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#917728 - 09/16/08 05:43 AM Re: BINOCULARS [Re: MFBAB]
WindedAgain
Spike


Registered: 07/23/08
Posts: 34
Loc: East TN

Offline
I have a pair of Nikon Monarch 10x42's. I learned the hard way scouting ducks. Great eye relief and crystal clear image. Nitrogen filled. Fantastic eye relief for those of us with 4 eyes.

We hunted Mulie's out west which required endlesss hours of glassing canyons and huge draws. I was the only guy in our party that didn't have a headache. I liked them so much that I hawked my butt again and bought a Nikon spotting scope.

Regardless of the brand you choose, buy the best pair you can possibly afford.

Save money somewhere else, but dont cheat on binos. They are a critical piece of gear for any hunter.


Edited by WindedAgain (09/16/08 05:43 AM)

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#918651 - 09/16/08 03:25 PM Re: BINOCULARS [Re: WindedAgain]
Headhunter
10 Point


Registered: 11/14/00
Posts: 3968
Loc: LaVergne, TN USA

Offline
If you can afford better, Nikon is Japan junk.
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Patron Lifetime NRA member

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#932762 - 09/24/08 06:48 PM Re: BINOCULARS [Re: Headhunter]
REN
Good ol' Boys "Team Grizzly"
12 Point


Registered: 10/24/07
Posts: 5341
Loc: Wilson County, TN

Offline
can anyone recommend a decent set of binos in the $100 range...i know that is not much but that is about all i got at the moment...
_________________________
RollTide

John 3:16



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#932986 - 09/24/08 08:23 PM Re: BINOCULARS [Re: REN]
Hogbear
10 Point


Registered: 07/21/05
Posts: 4034
Loc: Cuba (near Memphis)

Offline
 Originally Posted By: BamaBoy N Sumner CO
can anyone recommend a decent set of binos in the $100 range...i know that is not much but that is about all i got at the moment...


Check page 2 of this thread for a description of the Leupold Yosemite binos. http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=5672831

Also my nephew has had the Oberwerk 8x32 for a few years and he really likes them. Made in China by a former Chinese military supplier but pretty decent quality lenses. The focus mechanism isn't as smooth as some of the pricier binos and the fit and finish isn't as nice, but the image is pretty good. http://www.bigbinoculars.com/srpseries.htm

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