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Posted: 10/24/2013 8:43:35 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/28/2013 2:57:06 PM EST by lizARdman15]
I have been looking for bins in the $2-300 price range.

I notice that site sponsor Vortex has the Diamondback 8x42 and 10x42.

Also, I have held a set of Bushnell Legend Ultra HD binos in the same power, and they were pretty daggum nice.

There are other bins that would be similar, but:

1:Has anyone had experience with Bushnell or this particular model to give me feedback? Does Bushnell have a warranty?
2:Is Vortex just plain out worth it due to its warranty?
3:Am I just not getting something thru my thick skull about binos to make a better decision?
Link Posted: 10/24/2013 9:32:48 AM EST
In my opinion you need to see the glass quality for yourself.

Go to a local place that has several brands, pick them up and test it yourself.

I personally love my Vortex binos however my wife hates the way they focus.
Link Posted: 10/24/2013 9:35:21 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/24/2013 9:38:37 AM EST by ISED8U]
Vortex makes great optics and has excellent customer service. You won't get much glass for $300 in a Vortex binoc.

I have some Nikon Monarch 10x42 camo binocs that have served me well for years. For <$300 they are outstanding for hunting and general use.
Link Posted: 10/24/2013 9:35:42 AM EST
Go Nikon or go home, in that price range.
Link Posted: 10/24/2013 9:38:40 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/24/2013 9:43:35 AM EST by heeler1]
I bought myself a pair of $300 Pentax DCF 8x42 a few years ago and they are much better than my friends Nikon Monarchs.
Very crisp and everyone who has look through them has been impressed.

Edit...they were DCF models not HCR.
Link Posted: 10/24/2013 9:43:07 AM EST
I have a pair of the Bushnell Legend Ultra HD's. I use them mainly for hunting, and they're incredibly good for the price. They do have a limited lifetime warranty, but I don't know the specifics of it as I haven't had the need. When I bought them they were selling for $350, and they outclassed everything else in that price range as far as the specs (prism glass and coatings) are concerned. They're going for $200-250 nowadays, and I think that's a steal.

Vortex makes excellent optics and they're warranty is the best I've seen. I really like the spotting scope of theirs that I have. I don't know how to compare the specs on their optics to anyone else, because they don't use industry standard terms in their product descriptions.

Either way, I'd buy another pair Bushnell Legend binos without hesitation.
Link Posted: 10/24/2013 9:46:09 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/24/2013 9:46:58 AM EST by DoubleTap86]
I have a set of the vortex diamondbacks and I paid 225 for them a few years ago. IMO they are a great deal for the money. No they are not a pair of 1K binoculars, but they work great for me during coyote season here.
Link Posted: 10/24/2013 9:48:37 AM EST
Go to the birdwatching forums if you want to learn about binoculars. I ended up buying a pair of Swifts. I'm not going to claim that they are as good as a pair of Swarovskis or Leicas, but they are damn good and a lot less money.
Link Posted: 10/24/2013 9:51:08 AM EST
Love my Nikon Monarchs. I also have a small pair of Steiners, looked at 4 sets of them and one was just much clearer than the rest. You need to go to Cabelas and demo the set you buy.
Link Posted: 10/24/2013 9:51:37 AM EST
I been looking for budget glass in the same price range....
in the 200-300 dollar range...
Redfields
Nikons
Vortex
all had good clarity....
The Bushnells were a little darker.

Handle a few sets, find some that don't feel too cheap, warranty and service is 2nd to performance.
Link Posted: 10/24/2013 9:53:29 AM EST
Love my Vortex binos (2 pair) I can beat the shit out of them and not worry about them, unlike my Leicas which I take really good care of
Link Posted: 10/24/2013 9:54:23 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/24/2013 9:54:40 AM EST by heeler1]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By thelastgunslinger:
Go to the birdwatching forums if you want to learn about binoculars. I ended up buying a pair of Swifts. I'm not going to claim that they are as good as a pair of Swarovskis or Leicas, but they are damn good and a lot less money.
View Quote


A very good idea.
This is why I chose my Pentax's.
Birders really like crisp bino's for good reason.
Link Posted: 10/24/2013 9:55:27 AM EST
16 x 50 's is a good start
Link Posted: 10/24/2013 9:56:58 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ISED8U:
Vortex makes great optics and has excellent customer service. You won't get much glass for $300 in a Vortex binoc.

I have some Nikon Monarch 10x42 camo binocs that have served me well for years. For <$300 they are outstanding for hunting and general use.
View Quote

This is a great deal right here.

http://www.opticsplanet.com/nikon-monarch-3-8x42-realtree.html

Link Posted: 10/24/2013 10:02:29 AM EST
You can find the Stiener Predator 10x44 for under $425 on sale some times..

Fantastic pair binos and you can even have a mil reticle if you like.
Link Posted: 10/24/2013 10:03:17 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By sniper1target:
16 x 50 's is a good start
View Quote

lol. no.
Link Posted: 10/24/2013 10:03:55 AM EST
Link Posted: 10/24/2013 10:05:29 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Matt_Krush:
I been looking for budget glass in the same price range....
in the 200-300 dollar range...
Redfields
Nikons
Vortex
all had good clarity....
The Bushnells were a little darker.

Handle a few sets, find some that don't feel too cheap, warranty and service is 2nd to performance.
View Quote


Which Bushnells were you looking through, because mine actually make everything look brighter, especially in low light situations? Of course, I went from some lousy $25 porro prism binos and haven't had the chance to peep through many other brands.
Link Posted: 10/24/2013 10:08:06 AM EST
Steiner Military Marine 8 x 30 has served me well and is in that price range. I also have a set of Nikon 12 x 50s that also work well.
Link Posted: 10/24/2013 10:14:01 AM EST
Good input here.

I have personally held and looked thru: Bushnell(this pair), Nikon(Monarch ?-$500), Leupold(low end scope-$130), and one other $1k dollar brand. I have not had the opportunity to look thru a Vortex due to no brick & mortar store with them in stock.

One thing that I noticed is that I saw no to little difference between the Bushnell and the Nikon. They were both as clear as I have ever been able to see. I looked across the store(@50-60 yrds) and picked up and read price tags crystal clearly. At 42, I can no longer do that holding one in my hand at arms length with uncorrected vision.

The thing that impressed me, form what I have read so far, about the Bushnell is the use of ED glass. The other binos in this price category do not seem to have this. Again, I don't know what Vortex really will look like and their terminology is different.

From what I have priced, I am looking at being within $25 for either the Bushnell or the Vortex. The Nikon is more $; however, they have some lower priced models available on line as well and I don't know if the Nikon's that were mentioned above are of the better quality($500+) lenses or not. Either way, I can not justify over twice the price for the Nikons I looked thru.
Link Posted: 10/24/2013 10:16:53 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/24/2013 10:18:32 AM EST by john3237]
I have a three pair of 10x42 binos in that price range. The ones I have had the longest are Bushnell Legends. When I had to send them in for warranty work, they replaced them, the only downside was it took about 2 months for them to get me the replacement pair (brand new ones.) While they were in the shop, I needed some glass for an elk hunt so I picked up some Leupold glass, the model escapes me now, but they were about $270 at Cabelas. Good enough glass, but not as good as the Bushnell Legends.

This fall I loaned my Legends to my daughter-in-law and they came back with a busted diopter. No biggie, ltd lifetime warranty. Sent them to Bushnell for repair... while I didn't want to be without back-up on an elk hunt, I bought Vortex Diamondback 10x42s and thought I would use them.

During the elk hunt, I spotted some elk about a mile and a half away... through the Diamond backs, I could not see antlers on a 340 class bull... with the Leupolds, I could see antlers (my son later took that very bull).

So, Bushnells > Leupold > Diamondbacks

My experience, My eyes... Your mileage may vary

Warranty = Bushnell has replaced the first pair and repaired the second, no charge.
Link Posted: 10/24/2013 10:17:16 AM EST
MM,
I am at the exact same place you were in with bino quality. My current 8x20 binos actually have KMart stamped on them!
You make good sense with your review and my experience today with the Bushnells were quite positive.


Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By MotorMouth:


Which Bushnells were you looking through, because mine actually make everything look brighter, especially in low light situations? Of course, I went from some lousy $25 porro prism binos and haven't had the chance to peep through many other brands.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By MotorMouth:
Originally Posted By Matt_Krush:
I been looking for budget glass in the same price range....
in the 200-300 dollar range...
Redfields
Nikons
Vortex
all had good clarity....
The Bushnells were a little darker.

Handle a few sets, find some that don't feel too cheap, warranty and service is 2nd to performance.


Which Bushnells were you looking through, because mine actually make everything look brighter, especially in low light situations? Of course, I went from some lousy $25 porro prism binos and haven't had the chance to peep through many other brands.

Link Posted: 10/24/2013 10:20:16 AM EST
I went through a bunch at the local Academy recently and nothing beat the Nikon for both price and clarity. It makes sense since they have been quality lens makers for decades.

You're just going to have to look through them to see what you like best. That's why there are lots of different types/brands out there.

I would suggest to stay away from variable power ones, but you may like them. I just hate the field of view they give.
Link Posted: 10/24/2013 10:23:37 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Ameshawki:
Steiner Military Marine 8 x 30 has served me well...
View Quote


Add me to that list. Steiner is solid gear that has been tested time and again.


Link Posted: 10/24/2013 10:33:03 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/24/2013 10:35:22 AM EST by beaverpelt]
http://swfa.com/Redfield-10x50-Renegade-Binocular-P44476.aspx

$109 and comparable to binoculars twice the price or more.

Nikons are good too. Can't go wrong there
Link Posted: 10/24/2013 10:40:51 AM EST
If you can spend a bit more, go with the Steiner binoculars. I had a set of the military/police 10x50, they absolutely blew away everything I had ever used before. Build and glass quality was outstanding, light and clarity was amazing. You really get what you pay for in glass quality, it's no different than buying lenses for a camera. I'm sure the Vortex and Bushnell binos aren't bad, but they won't be anywhere near the same class as the Steiners. If it's within your budget, or if you have to save a bit more, it's definitely worth it.
Link Posted: 10/24/2013 10:42:36 AM EST
http://swfa.com/Zen-Ray-Zen-ED-Binoculars-C3454.aspx

For the money, nothing will beat the Zen-Ray EDs.

Made in China, but they are great binoculars.

I have owned the ZRS model (gave to my mom), and currently have 2 of the ED2 models, as well as Vortex Razor 10x50 binos.

The ED2 models are crisper and have a better image compared to the Razor.

The ZRS (non HD model, btw) was significantly brighter and crisper than the Nikon Monarchs I had picked up previously at Cabelas. The EDs will be a step up from there.


Link Posted: 10/24/2013 10:44:01 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/24/2013 10:44:24 AM EST by Drakich]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Durka-Durka:
I went through a bunch at the local Academy recently and nothing beat the Nikon for both price and clarity. It makes sense since they have been quality lens makers for decades.
View Quote


More than likely, you are going to have trash binoculars at Academy.

I was not impressed..at all...with Nikon Monarchs.

Zen-Ray ZRS binos were half the price, had a crisper and brighter image.

The Zen-Ray ED2s blow them out of the water for the same price.

I would get Bushnells before the Nikons.
Link Posted: 10/24/2013 3:30:37 PM EST
As suggested, I went to a birdwatchers forum. Boy, I thought GD was a whiny, bitchy place. Talk about first world problems blown way out of proportion!!

I found a couple reviews of the Bushnell, and of course they frowned on them; however, most said that there could hardly be a better pair of binos for that kind of price range. The only thing that concerns me is the 2 yr limited "lifetime" warranty. Vortex basically has a replacement guarantee even if you are the one responsible for the damage.

I am thinking very serious about holding out for a Vortex Viper HD. I hope to get by PSA soon so I can try a pair out. Maybe I can find a pair on sale somewhere in the $500 range.
Link Posted: 10/24/2013 3:41:33 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By lizARdman15:
As suggested, I went to a birdwatchers forum. Boy, I thought GD was a whiny, bitchy place. Talk about first world problems blown way out of proportion!!

I found a couple reviews of the Bushnell, and of course they frowned on them; however, most said that there could hardly be a better pair of binos for that kind of price range. The only thing that concerns me is the 2 yr limited "lifetime" warranty. Vortex basically has a replacement guarantee even if you are the one responsible for the damage.

I am thinking very serious about holding out for a Vortex Viper HD. I hope to get by PSA soon so I can try a pair out. Maybe I can find a pair on sale somewhere in the $500 range.
View Quote


Please understand this about warranties on Asian optics...They might give you something comparable five years away if they are no longer producing that model and if not good luck.
One of the main reasons I like Leopold rifle scopes is they can rebuild a thirty year old scope you send back.
Link Posted: 10/24/2013 3:47:39 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By DOW:


Add me to that list. Steiner is solid gear that has been tested time and again.


View Quote View All Quotes
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By DOW:
Originally Posted By Ameshawki:
Steiner Military Marine 8 x 30 has served me well...


Add me to that list. Steiner is solid gear that has been tested time and again.





Yep for the money the are hard to beat.
Link Posted: 10/24/2013 4:19:11 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/24/2013 4:20:42 PM EST by Matt_Krush]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History


Which Bushnells were you looking through, because mine actually make everything look brighter, especially in low light situations? Of course, I went from some lousy $25 porro prism binos and haven't had the chance to peep through many other brands.
View Quote


Trophy, Excursion and H2O series....which I found disappointing...I have 2 Bushnell Trophy XLT scopes that are very bright and work great....hoped the binos would have been the same.
Comparing the Vortex, Redfields and Nikons in the same price category as the Bushnells...those 3 were about equal, Bushnells...not so much.
Link Posted: 10/24/2013 4:33:48 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Matt_Krush:


Trophy, Excursion and H2O series....which I found disappointing...I have 2 Bushnell Trophy XLT scopes that are very bright and work great....hoped the binos would have been the same.
Comparing the Vortex, Redfields and Nikons in the same price category as the Bushnells...those 3 were about equal, Bushnells...not so much.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Matt_Krush:


Which Bushnells were you looking through, because mine actually make everything look brighter, especially in low light situations? Of course, I went from some lousy $25 porro prism binos and haven't had the chance to peep through many other brands.


Trophy, Excursion and H2O series....which I found disappointing...I have 2 Bushnell Trophy XLT scopes that are very bright and work great....hoped the binos would have been the same.
Comparing the Vortex, Redfields and Nikons in the same price category as the Bushnells...those 3 were about equal, Bushnells...not so much.


Check out the specs on the Bushnell Legend HD binos, and compare them to the other manufacturers specs. I have had experience with other Bushnell optics that left em unimpressed, but the quality of the Legend HD binos is head and tails above all the other things they make I took a chance that the described specs of those binos would perform as I expected of something with those specs, and was not disappointed. The fact that you can get them for $200-250 is completely amazing. If you're in the market for another pair of binos, I'd encourage anyone to give them serious consideration.
Link Posted: 10/28/2013 3:10:29 PM EST
I realize I am bringin my own dead thread back to life, but I want to ask another couple questions.

I have gone to a couple places and looked at a few binos head to head. I narrowed the choice down from the Bushnells to the Nikon Monarch 7 and the Vortex Viper HD.
H2H the Vortex won hands down.

In the process of finalizing my decision, I have discovered two other models. The Meopta MeoPro and the Zeiss Terra HD

I was able to put the Vortex directly against the Meopta, and the Meopta actually seemed somewhat superior to the Viper HD.
I have not even tried the Zeiss, and that is part of my reason for posting.

Part of my decision will be based on the warranty. So far Vortex has everyone beat hands down as Nikon and Meopta appear to have some limitation to their warranty; however, I cant find any info on the Zeiss warranty except that it appears to have some limitation as well.
Warranty is somewhat important to me as these binos are pretty much an investment to me. A buy once, cry once type thing.

So, my questions are:
Any feedback on the Zeiss Terra HD? Other than having the name Zeiss wrote on it, how does it really stack up to the Vipers?
Warranties. What is the deal with the Meopta and Zeiss warranties?

I am very near buying, but I want some extra confidence that I am making the right decision.
Link Posted: 10/29/2013 4:57:15 AM EST
TTT for the day crew.

After some more research, it appears that the Zeiss model is actually made in China, but is still rated well by the birdwatchers.

If no input, I will just go with my gut even though my gut is the most expensive of the options - Vortex Viper HD: They rate well, I have personally seen them, they are easily available, the warranty, and they are arfcom site sponsors. To be honest, I don't even know why this is such a hard decision(except that I am a tightwad).


Link Posted: 10/29/2013 5:00:42 AM EST
Here is a guy selling a demo pair of the Zeiss at a good price. Zeiss Terra
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