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Posted: 10/9/2004 6:57:30 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/9/2004 7:06:42 PM EST by blackrifle51]
what brand of binoculars do you own? Are the expensive ones really worth the money?

I own a Bushnell. 12x50. Bought if for about 40-50bucks(?)

Link Posted: 10/9/2004 6:58:54 PM EST
Pentax and Steiners.

I also own two monoculars by Minox/Leica. I love good glass.
Link Posted: 10/9/2004 6:59:09 PM EST
Nikons, some of the best for the money.
Link Posted: 10/9/2004 7:04:27 PM EST
With any type of optics, spending money equals quality glass... I have a pair of Nikon Monarchs 10x40s - they generally run around $300 - and have been outstanding though some extreme weather over the course of 4 years... One of my friends has the Zeis Diafuns(about $300, also) - and they're quite good as well... Pentax makes very good glass as well - for more money, Swarovski, Kahles, Steiner, Leupold, and Zeis' better models...


- georgestrings
Link Posted: 10/9/2004 7:06:54 PM EST
Zeiss, Swarovski(sp), Leica
Link Posted: 10/9/2004 7:09:45 PM EST
Nikon Venturer LX.

And yes good glass is worth the money.
Link Posted: 10/9/2004 7:13:55 PM EST
Image stabilized Binos are nice too, I was playing with the Nikons and Canons at work and the IS is very cool They had some Nikons in the Bargain cave cheap, tempting
Link Posted: 10/9/2004 7:14:23 PM EST
Steiners!
Link Posted: 10/9/2004 7:18:02 PM EST
On the subject of binoculars has anyone bought these,
Surplus Zeiss

and what did you think of them.

Brian
Link Posted: 10/9/2004 7:19:47 PM EST

Originally Posted By Brian_in_Pullman:
On the subject of binoculars has anyone bought these,
Surplus Zeiss

and what did you think of them.

Brian




I almost bought those. They ought to be pretty good - just not lightweight. Cold War/WWII German optics was heavy.
Link Posted: 10/10/2004 10:02:52 AM EST

Originally Posted By spm681:
... And yes good glass is worth the money.


+1

Look through a really good piece of glass and you’ll never go back to your Bushnells!

I like Steiners myself, in part since they’re good but not godawfully expensive.


Originally Posted By Brian_in_Pullman:
On the subject of binoculars has anyone bought these,
Surplus Zeiss...


I’ve never looked at them.

However, optics have improved dramatically since WWII. I’ve got a pair of WWII US Navy 7X50’s and they aren’t that good (plus the cement in one of the objective lenses is starting to fail).

They might be a great buy, but I’d defiantly want to look through them first.

FWIW
Link Posted: 10/10/2004 10:06:49 AM EST
Leupold.....
Link Posted: 10/10/2004 10:10:58 AM EST
I don't have the cash to blow on high dollar optics, so I did some research and the best for the money I have found are Nikon.
Go to bird watchers websites, they are tough judges and give good reviews.
Link Posted: 10/10/2004 12:06:26 PM EST
Kowa. i paid about $240.00 for a pair of 8x Kowas. then are 100 times better than any cheaper pair of binos i ever owned.
Link Posted: 10/10/2004 12:23:45 PM EST
Cheap middle of the road crap but, for my use, they fit the bill, Bill.

Link Posted: 10/10/2004 12:33:00 PM EST
Look for the book "Optics for the Hunter" by John Barsness, www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1571571566/qid=1097443817/sr=8-1/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i1_xgl14/103-5895210-8908659?v=glance&s=books&n=507846. It's a good discussion on the principles behind optics, and what you should look for in binocs, spotter scopes, and rifle scopes.
Link Posted: 10/10/2004 1:13:02 PM EST

Originally Posted By Brian_in_Pullman:
On the subject of binoculars has anyone bought these,
Surplus Zeiss

and what did you think of them.

Brian



I have a pair and the optics are stunning, the depth of field needs to be experienced to be believed. Everthing is in focus from 0 to infinity and the image has a 3d effect to it. I'd recommend them without reservation.
Link Posted: 10/10/2004 1:22:28 PM EST
I've have a pair of Steiner for the past 20 years that I wouldn't part with.
Link Posted: 10/10/2004 1:39:31 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/10/2004 1:42:33 PM EST by raf]
Link Posted: 10/10/2004 1:51:07 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/10/2004 2:02:17 PM EST by NewbHunter]
My family owns a binocular company....so I use the ones we make

On the subject of the money you pay for binoculars...yes, the more you pay the better quality you're going to get, but also keep in mind that binoculars have a steep law of diminishing returns. For instance, if you could quanitfy a binocular's quality with percentage, most $100 binoculars would have maybe 50% the quality of a $200 pair. A $200 pair might have 75% the quality of a $400 pair and a $400 pair might have 90% the quality of a $1000 pair and a $1000 pair 98% the quality of a $1500 pair.

Now, those are rather off the cuff percentages, so don't hold me to those exact values, but you get the idea.

In my experience you get the most for your money in a binocular that sells in the $300-$400 range. Don't get me wrong though, there's definitely a noticable difference between a $400 pair and a $1500 pair, but basically what I'm saying is that there certainly isn't a $1100 difference between the two. If you have the money and you want the best, then sure, go for the $1500 pair, but the right $400 pair of binoculars will still be excellent binos.
Link Posted: 10/10/2004 1:52:15 PM EST
Leopold Wind River Mesa 10x23. My then-fiancee, now-wife got them for me for my birthday this year. They are CRISP!
Link Posted: 10/10/2004 1:52:23 PM EST
Nothing can replace good glass.

If you don't have the money for good glass, then don't even compare with anything else.


I have a pair of Nikon's 10x42, and i love them. Hold those up next to a set of swavorski's, and you will find me crying.
Link Posted: 10/10/2004 2:27:12 PM EST
8-24x50 baush&lomb.............cheap....if I can look at the roof of a house 400yds away and can still Id. the tiny specks on the roof that it's pigeon shit.....that's good enough for me
Link Posted: 10/10/2004 2:40:25 PM EST
With most goods there's a law of diminshing returns. In other words, spending three times the money doesn't get you three times the product/value/whatever.

Binoculars do not follow this rule.

I'll say three words: Zeiss, Leica, Swarovski.

Accept no substitutes.

Sam
Link Posted: 10/10/2004 3:36:05 PM EST
Some good advice in this thread. Best bang for the buck: Nikon & Pentax. More money: Steiner. High zoot: Zeiss, Leica and Swarovsky.

FWIW, if you are using these for hunting, I recommend that you get models that you must focus. The pre-focused models are sometimes lighter, but with the focus models, you can locate game in brush/woods much easier. Also, unless you get fairly expensive pre-focused models, their resolution is not as good as comparable "focus" models.
Link Posted: 10/10/2004 3:38:01 PM EST
Steiner...


Link Posted: 10/11/2004 5:44:05 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/11/2004 5:50:31 AM EST by NewbHunter]

Originally Posted By Samuel_Hoggson:
With most goods there's a law of diminshing returns. In other words, spending three times the money doesn't get you three times the product/value/whatever.

Binoculars do not follow this rule.

I'll say three words: Zeiss, Leica, Swarovski.

Accept no substitutes.

Sam



Yes, they do follow this rule. While Swarovski, Leica, and Zeiss are excellent binos they certainly are not 3-4 times better than a $400 binocular.

I think it's rediculous to spend $1300-$1500 on a binocular unless you have the money to throw around and you spend lots of time looking through them. For people who don't use binoculars constantly and/or can't afford $1500, you can certianly get excellent quality, probably 85-90% of what a Swarovski, Leica, or Zeiss will give you for $400.

And this is coming from a guy that sells all three of the above mentioned brands. I certainly like it when customers spend a lot of money with us, but I'm certainly not going to try and make them think that they have to spend that much to get good quality and be happy with their purchase.

I've seen the "auto focus" binoculars mentioned a couple of times here too. Those are great for the family that will be sharing one set of binoculars at a sporting event or something, but other than that I wouldn't touch them. "Auto-focus" is a gimmick name. In reality there is nothing inside the binocular that automatically focuses them for you. They basically just take the focusing mechanism out of the binocualr and pre-set it at a specified focus. The binocular relies on your eyes to do the rest of the work in focusing. If you've ever looked through a pair, try focusing on anything closer than 50 feet. I bet you can't because they are set at a focus that allows them to be generally in focus from about 50ft to infinity. Because it relies on your eyes to do the fine tuning, if you spend any amount of time behind the glass you're going to get lots of eye fatigue. A binocular with an actual focus wheel will strain your eyes far less.
Link Posted: 10/11/2004 5:46:37 AM EST
Steiner Predator
Link Posted: 10/11/2004 8:35:41 AM EST

Originally Posted By NewbHunter:

Originally Posted By Samuel_Hoggson:
With most goods there's a law of diminshing returns. In other words, spending three times the money doesn't get you three times the product/value/whatever.

Binoculars do not follow this rule.

I'll say three words: Zeiss, Leica, Swarovski.

Accept no substitutes.

Sam



Yes, they do follow this rule. While Swarovski, Leica, and Zeiss are excellent binos they certainly are not 3-4 times better than a $400 binocular.

I think it's rediculous to spend $1300-$1500 on a binocular unless you have the money to throw around and you spend lots of time looking through them. For people who don't use binoculars constantly and/or can't afford $1500, you can certianly get excellent quality, probably 85-90% of what a Swarovski, Leica, or Zeiss will give you for $400.

And this is coming from a guy that sells all three of the above mentioned brands. I certainly like it when customers spend a lot of money with us, but I'm certainly not going to try and make them think that they have to spend that much to get good quality and be happy with their purchase.

I've seen the "auto focus" binoculars mentioned a couple of times here too. Those are great for the family that will be sharing one set of binoculars at a sporting event or something, but other than that I wouldn't touch them. "Auto-focus" is a gimmick name. In reality there is nothing inside the binocular that automatically focuses them for you. They basically just take the focusing mechanism out of the binocualr and pre-set it at a specified focus. The binocular relies on your eyes to do the rest of the work in focusing. If you've ever looked through a pair, try focusing on anything closer than 50 feet. I bet you can't because they are set at a focus that allows them to be generally in focus from about 50ft to infinity. Because it relies on your eyes to do the fine tuning, if you spend any amount of time behind the glass you're going to get lots of eye fatigue. A binocular with an actual focus wheel will strain your eyes far less.



a big "+1"
Link Posted: 10/11/2004 8:44:08 AM EST
Swarovski 8x30 go everywhere with me. Swarovski 8x50 slc are my low light binocs. I'm young (33) and just prefer to make such purchases so that I never want for something "better".

I drive old trucks. No auto payments (or credit card...) means more disposible income for investing or wise purchases.
Link Posted: 10/11/2004 8:53:05 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/11/2004 9:14:42 AM EST by Samuel_Hoggson]
I had been satisfied, or so I thought, for years with my Steiners. Then I had the good fortune to be proven completely wrong. On a WY horseback hunt my guide finally became so frustrated with me that he handed me his binoculars. Leica. Geez, those were mule deer about 1.5 miles distant. How could this be? They were the exact same power and objective diameter as my binocs. I switched back to my Steiners and the deer disappeared into the sage. Put the Leicas up again and there were the deer. Later I used his glass to see an entire herd of elk in timber about 800 yards distant. All I saw was fallen logs with the Steiners.

Later it dawned on me that there was a world of things I'd been missing all those years. How many whitetail racks did I pass off as brush? How many chucks heads were just rocks to my eyes?

Sorry, good glass are worth every single penny. Some environments are simply not a test of resolution. Looking around inside a sporting goods store is not a fair test. But when you figure on spending between 5 and 10 thou on a hunting trip the difference in price between "just OK" and "really great" pales. BTW, $1300 to $1500? Sounds like full retail. Try www.eagleoptics.com. Ebay is another option.

But let's face it, most binoculars are used at sporting events. Most people cannot be convinced to see the light (pun intended) until they are in a situation that places demands on resolution and clarity.

Sam
Link Posted: 10/11/2004 8:56:28 AM EST

Originally Posted By 1shott:
Leupold.....



+1

When I grow up I want a pair of Swarovski.
Link Posted: 10/11/2004 8:58:05 AM EST
I own a pair of genuine World War II Zeiss Wehrmacht 7x50's… the best binoculars I have ever owned, by far! Bulit up to a standard… not down to a price.

ANdy
Link Posted: 10/11/2004 9:26:06 AM EST

Originally Posted By Samuel_Hoggson:

Sorry, good glass are worth every single penny. Some environments are simply not a test of resolution. Looking around inside a sporting goods store is not a fair test. But when you figure on spending between 5 and 10 thou on a hunting trip the difference in price between "just OK" and "really great" pales. BTW, $1300 to $1500? Sounds like full retail. Try www.eagleoptics.com. Ebay is another option.




Sorry, didn't mean to bag on you about the price. I was more refering to people that are buying binoculars for general use.

I certainly agree with you that if you're going to spend several thousand on a hunt, to get top quality binos. In that case they definitely are worth every penny. One of the guys I work with is a guide in Idaho part of the year and he says you wouldn't believe the number of people that show up for a muli-thousand dollar hunt and have some crappy pair of compact binoculars hanging around their neck. If you've got the money for a hunt like that, then you've got the money for Swarovski, Leica, and Zeiss and it's worth it for sure.

And funny that you mention Eagle Optics... Yes, those prices are full retail, but we're not allowed to advertize lower than that without breaking MAP, so you have to call to get our price.

I'd be wary about ebay as there are lots of gray market items out there.
Link Posted: 10/11/2004 12:05:47 PM EST
NBH,

Hmmm. Are you with Eagle Optics? About the best prices and selection going. I lived in WI for a few years (Milwaukee, though I suppose that doesn't count) in the late '70s. Haven't been out since, but still miss alot of good friends.

Sam
Link Posted: 10/11/2004 12:28:16 PM EST

Originally Posted By Samuel_Hoggson:
NBH,

Hmmm. Are you with Eagle Optics? About the best prices and selection going. I lived in WI for a few years (Milwaukee, though I suppose that doesn't count) in the late '70s. Haven't been out since, but still miss alot of good friends.

Sam



Yes, my dad actually owns the company. He started it over 20 years ago and now that I'm out of college I'm continuing in his footsteps. Right now I do a lot of binocular design actually because we also have a lot of our own product as well as carry pretty much all the major brands.

Thanks for the compliments. We always strive for customer service and also try to have very good prices for our customers as well.

Link Posted: 10/11/2004 12:43:47 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/11/2004 12:54:18 PM EST
NBH,

Your participation and interest in this site is the best endorsement of your company I could imagine. Bravo!

Sam
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