It is currently November 24th, 2017, 6:53 pm

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]



Forum locked This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 18 posts ] 
  Print view Previous topic | Next topic 
Author Message
PostPosted: December 19th, 2014, 2:03 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: July 15th, 2013, 10:35 am
Posts: 168
Location: Little Rock, AR
Membership Status: Associate Member
Hey Guys. I'm looking for some imput on binoculars from some of you guys with experience. I currently have a pair of 10x42 Swarovskis that I've use for pretty much everything from Elk and Mule Deer out west to treestand hunting around home for the last 10 years. Of all the great things I can say about my Swaros, being light weight isn't one of them. I'm looking for a more compact, lighter weight binocular, primarily for deer hunting. I'll still use my full Swarovskis out west. Since almost all of my deer hunts involve carrying my stand on my back and setting it up before and carrying it out after each hunt I'm trying to lighten my load. Not lugging around a 2lb set of binos seems like a great place to start. A couple I'm leaning toward are the Swarovski CL 8x25 or 10x25, Leica Ultavid 8x20 or 10x25 and possibly the Vortex Viper 8x28.

A couple of questions I have:

1. What power do you recommend? I'm used to 10 power binos and love them but from everything I've read I should lean toward a lower power when going to a compact. Is that your experience as well?

2. Of the binos I listed, my preference would probably be the Leica 8x20s as it's the lightest and most compact but is a 20mm objective lens so small that the binocular becomes useless?

3. I have experience with all the brands listed except the Vortex. I know you typically get what you pay for, especially in optics and at about 1/3 the cost of the others I worry I won't be getting the quality I want. Does anyone have experience with these? They won't be used for long range or long term glassing just checking antler size or confirming if I'm looking at a leaf blowing in the distance or an ear twitching.

I'd welcome any other input or recommendations you have as well. Thanks


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
PostPosted: December 19th, 2014, 2:44 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: March 15th, 2011, 9:57 am
Posts: 1822
Location: Lake Orion, MI
Membership Status: Regular Member
A-A Ron, once you decide, visit this site... http://cameralandny.com


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
PostPosted: December 19th, 2014, 2:50 pm 
Offline

Joined: June 13th, 2014, 11:07 am
Posts: 129
Membership Status: Associate Member
Aaron,

I know what you mean. I carried a pair of old style Swarovskis for years and though they were 7x42 they were still heavy at the end of the day. Last year I got a pair of Vortex Viper 8x28s for Colorado elk and Newfoundland moose hunting. Very good glass and a no questions warrantee as you would expect. They weight half of what my Swaros weigh and work fine until it starts to get dark and that is a problem you will run into no matter what brand you get. If you divide the objective by the magnification the number you get will give you an idea of how much light is allowed through or putting it another way, how wide your eye opens. IMO that number should be 4 or greater for a good all around bino. My 8x28's are only 3.5 and I have a hard time in very early morning or late evening. I wish I had gone to the 8x32's that my buddy at Vortex had recommended in the first place.

I have sat outside at a buddies house and compared Swarovskis and Vortex Vipers as we both have both and frankly it is very hard to say one is better than the other. As much as I like Swarovski binos, if I buy another pair they will be Vortex Vipers or one of their even better models. I have compared the Vipers to their Diamondbacks and while the DBs are pretty good for the money, I can tell the difference and would still go with the Vipers.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
PostPosted: December 19th, 2014, 9:30 pm 
Offline

Joined: March 13th, 2011, 5:47 pm
Posts: 228
Location: Pennsylvania
Membership Status: Life Member
Aaron, I was in your shoes this year. I've been using Swaro EL 8.5x42's. I decided I needed something a little lighter. I wanted to stay with Swaros because they 'fit' me. I've tried others; Puttings lens quality aside, they feel just right. Anyway, not wanting 'compact', I discounted the CL's as they do not have the same quality lens in order to keep the price down. What I did discover was that the EL 8x32's were the same quality as your 10x42 and my 8.5's, but 1" shorter; .5" narrower but almost 10 oz. lighter. That made up my mind right away. As we know the price for this kind of glass is 'up there'; I traded in my 8.5x42's and laid the 8x32's away. Hope to have them out for next hunting season. I've tried Vortex; had no problem with seeing, but just didn't like the way they handled in my hands and I don't believe the workmanship is up to snuff with your EL's. Just my take on what works for me. Give them a look.
Hope this was helpful.
Shick


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
PostPosted: December 19th, 2014, 11:47 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: March 12th, 2011, 11:02 am
Posts: 1121
Location: Michigan
Membership Status: Regular Member
I took my 8x32 Ultravids and my 8x20 Ultravids to Africa specifically to compare. The little ones are good enough I could get by without the 32s. Like you I will never be without my 10 x 42s. I did not like either of the Zeiss or Swarovski 20s as the focus knob is way different than everything else. Those little Ultravids are hard to beat.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
PostPosted: December 20th, 2014, 1:22 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: March 13th, 2011, 2:26 pm
Posts: 600
Location: Lake Mills, WI
I'm another with a pair of 8.5x42 Swarovskis that I love. But they are a bit much for local whitetail hunts. A couple of years ago I bought a pair of Vortex 6x32s and absolutely love them for hunting thick areas like I do around home. 6x is plenty of power and they are fantastic at penetrating dusk and dawn shadows. Not as compact as a 20mm objective would be, but a nice small package that fits my needs perfectly.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
PostPosted: December 20th, 2014, 1:38 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: January 16th, 2012, 1:46 pm
Posts: 532
Location: Knoxville TN
Membership Status: Associate Member
I have the Vortex Viper HD in the 8x32. Pretty compact and light. I think the 6x32 would be even better and lighter for use in the thick stuff. They are hard to beat for the money.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
PostPosted: December 20th, 2014, 8:32 pm 
Offline

Joined: March 13th, 2011, 5:20 pm
Posts: 1223
Location: cumberland plateau, tennessee
Membership Status: Regular Member
I agree with Joe and Bobby whole heartedly! I have a pair of Leica 10 X 42's that I use when hunting out west or glassing long periods. But just like you, I wanted something a bit lighter and more compact for stand hunting white tails. I use the Vortex 6X32 and I love them as well. Like I said, I originally got them to save on my Leica's but now that I've used them for a while I really do prefer them for whitetail around home.

_________________
"The mountains are calling, and I must go". John Muir


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
PostPosted: December 21st, 2014, 9:58 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: March 13th, 2011, 10:03 pm
Posts: 66
Location: Houston / Miami Beach
Membership Status: Associate Member
I got the Leica 8x32s the approx. weight is about 22oz & love mine


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
PostPosted: December 21st, 2014, 9:13 pm 
Offline

Joined: December 21st, 2014, 3:07 am
Posts: 5
Location: Idaho
Membership Status: Associate Member
You might want to check out the vortex diamondback 10x32 still very compact. Makes a good short to medium range binoc


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
PostPosted: December 21st, 2014, 10:28 pm 
Offline

Joined: October 5th, 2011, 1:30 pm
Posts: 35
Location: Roanoke, VA
Membership Status: Associate Member
Another vote for the Vortex 6x32. They're tough to beat in the woods for deer


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
PostPosted: December 22nd, 2014, 12:32 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: March 13th, 2011, 2:27 pm
Posts: 437
Location: Enterprise, Oregon
Membership Status: Regular Member
My choice -- for over 35 years now is Zeiss 10X25's, My original pair made it 34 years then had to be replaced -- which Zeiss did for free! These fit in my pocket and I'm rarely outside without them. They are super clear and quick to use. I used them for a career's worth of wildlife work, and hundreds of hunts...Alaska, New Zealand, several western states. As a rule, I don't believe in bulky optics and you rarely need a wider field of view. You can find them for about $500.00 if you shop around.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
PostPosted: December 22nd, 2014, 7:31 am 
Offline

Joined: March 13th, 2011, 5:21 pm
Posts: 2674
Membership Status: Regular Member
Aaron...I went through the same process a few years back. I owned a pair of Zeiss Classic 10x40s, and got tired of their weight and size for whitetail use. I bought a pair of Leica compacts and carried them. For some reason I never really enjoyed handling and using the small optic, even though the quality was great and their weight was perfect. I recall not liking the smaller fov and exit pupil, plus the tiny size was just awkward for me. After a few years of use I sold them, plus my 10x40s. I bought the latest generation of Zeiss 10x32 Discovery, and have been entirely satisfied with them. They aren't heavy at all, nor are they very large. Big enough to handle nicely with gloves, but small enough to not be in the way. Large focal adjustment ring is great for hunters, integral objective caps, twist-up/down eye relief...full featured.

I own a lot of gear but I've not been able to justify or need more than one pair of good glass for what I do. I hit it right (for me) with the Zeiss 10x32. I've considered what a 10x40 or 42 would do for me, but can't justify the nearly $2k or more for the additional improvements in brightness and clarity which are not that significant to my eyes.

I have seen that Swaro added a 8x30mm objective model to their compact lineup and believe it sells in the area of $900 or so. Reviews are excellent.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: December 23rd, 2014, 10:33 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: July 15th, 2013, 10:35 am
Posts: 168
Location: Little Rock, AR
Membership Status: Associate Member
Thanks for all the input guys! I really think we are talking about two separate categories of binoculars here. Those with 20-25mm objective lenses being compacts and those with 30-32mm being more of a mid sized. With the compacts weighing between 8-12 ounces and the mid size weighing 18-21 ounces there's quite a difference in weight between the two. I guess the question I now have to ask myself is if the 10-12 ounces in savings worth what I'll give up. I realize there are no free lunches and I will be giving up something to save the weight.

Kevin..I was able to put my hands on the Swarovski 8x30 Companions you're talking about last weekend and they are a very nice set of glass. With a weight of 17 oz they are as close of a compromise between compacts and mid sized as I've found and I've strongly considered them. I may end up doing exactly what you've done and trying a set of true compacts and if I find they're not for me settle in the middle with a mid size. One benifit of buying quality optics is they hold their value so well you can sell them used without taking much of a haircut.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
PostPosted: December 23rd, 2014, 8:54 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: March 13th, 2011, 5:12 pm
Posts: 175
Location: Bozeman, Montana
Membership Status: Regular Member
I have ran the whole field of glass over they past thirty years; Minolta (don't laugh, the 10x50 were a really good set of glass for the money), Leopold, Steiner, Zeiss, Swarovski, and Leica, in all sorts of sizes and configurations from 8x25 to 10x50. In my old age, I use my Leica 10x25's 90% of the time. I always have a set of 10x40 Leopold or Vortex (forgot to mention those) in the vehicle's for glassing from the roads. I might loose a little in low light conditions with the 10x25's, but they are always with me in the field, the others were not because of the weight.

_________________
The broadhead used, regardless of how sharp, is nowhere as important as being able to place it in the correct spot.

Walt Francis


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
PostPosted: December 24th, 2014, 7:07 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: September 17th, 2012, 12:55 pm
Posts: 22
Location: Russell PA
Membership Status: Associate Member
Like you I have a pair of SLC 10x40 which I love for out west and checking out fields at dusk at home. I picked up a pair of Minox 8x32 from CameraLand. IMHO, they are as good at the Swarovski's yet small and light. Don't know how they'd be out west though in the big country. That said I believe Kevin's idea on one set of glass to have merit.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
PostPosted: December 27th, 2014, 1:38 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: July 9th, 2013, 2:34 pm
Posts: 87
Membership Status: Associate Member
Aaron, I've got a set of Leica 8x32's that I absolutely love. In fact I cannot stand to be in the whitetail woods without them. They are on me every single time I go into the woods no matter what I am doing. Works for me!


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
PostPosted: December 27th, 2014, 8:45 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: March 13th, 2011, 2:38 pm
Posts: 388
Location: Wayne City,IL
Membership Status: Regular Member
I have a set of Swarovski 8X32 that I have owned for years. Unless I am doing a lot of glassing such as in the mountains, I leave them at home because of the weight. I also have some Swarovski 10X25's and Leica 8X20's. The 10X25's are a little too powerful for treestand hunting so the Leica's are my favorites. If buying another set for whitetails, I would opt for even less power such as 6 or 7. 10 power in a small binocular is just too much in my mind.

_________________
Time spent alone in the woods puts you closer to God.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Forum locked This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 18 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Yahoo [Bot] and 13 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron



Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group
greenmiles v1.1 designed by CodeMiles Team -TemplatesDragon-.