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Thread: High end binos comparison

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    Default High end binos comparison

    Iade the mistake of stopping by bass pro shop this evening and looking at some swarofski el and Leica ultravid hd 10x42. To me the Leica look a touch more crisp but the guy told me the swaro have better customer service and warranty. My question to you guys is how do you think they compair, at this price range is customer service actually needed? These are both top of the line best of the best glass my money can buy. I've put off buying top of line glass until this point but, I'm hooked now I can't help it. Please only guys who actually own a pair of these, no haters no nonsense about them being too much or blah blah blah. Thanks,

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    Member mossyhorn's Avatar
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    A good one to throw in the mix would be a set of Zeiss binos.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Have you looked through the Vortex Razor HDs? I was going to buy my wife a set of Swarovskis this year, but on the advice of a friend I had her look through some Vortex before making the purchase. She fell in love, and after looking through them, I'm amazed at the quality as well.

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    Member AK-HUNT's Avatar
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    I'm a Swaro guy. However, if I found a set of Leica demo's or other deal I'd be all over it. They are so close in quality, its chev vs ford.

    You won't regret either purchase. After 12 hours behind either, you'll wonder how you owned anything else. Anything will work for an hour. IMO those two are in their own class.

    Pull the trigger!

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    I've got a good friend with the Leica...very nice....very, very nice.

    Are they $2600 better than my Vortex HDs?... not to me they aren't. Plus, I actually hunt with mine and I don't cry every time they get a knock or rained on.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    When I was looking into upgrading my binos asked around to people who know good glass selling leica and swaro and they said the vortex is a very compairble bino. So that is what I went with and they seem really great. I think they are the razor or what ever the top vortex model is called. How ever I did buy a swaro spotting scope

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    I looked at the vortex razors. Swaro and Leica in the $1-1600 range are very very close but the higher end stuff there's no comparison. I hate to drop that kind of coin for binos Heck I've had many a good vehicle for that much money but I've got some extra stuck back for a project I've sort of lost interest in and will get more use out of new binos. I do own a vortex razor spotting scope for the money and warranty it's good but, the low light or really over cast is what gets me. I'll be using mine every weekend up here or back home in ky, if I drop the hammer now I won't be buying new binos every 5-7yrs like I have in the past. I'm just getting spoiled I guess, while Schmidt and bender scopes are still out of my reach I really want one...

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    Member mjm316's Avatar
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    You asked if customer service is actually needed on the high end glass. Yes. My Zeiss spotter had an issue after a scouting trip, I called customer service and told them I have 2 hunts coming up and would need my spotter in 2 weeks. They said not possible since it will be sent to Germany for repair but, we will send you a loaner scope. Sure enough less than a week after I sent mine I had a brand new spotter with a brand new eye piece waiting for me at Fed ex. So customer service IS great when you need it at the most inopportune time. Good luck in your purchase
    Tomorrow isn't promised. "Never delay kissing a pretty girl or opening a bottle of whiskey." E. Hemingway

  9. #9

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    I've just returned from Africa, every PH I met and talked to used Leicas. As my PH said "We make our living with our eyes, so we have the best".

  10. #10

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    I have the Swarovski 8.5X42 EL's. Twice now I have returned them for a full cleaning, once after a hunt in Africa and once after a hunt in New Zealand. Both times they were returned looking brand new, with new updated eye caps and strap, all at n/c. The cost of them means they are a fairly serious investment and the company stands by them 100%. Can't speak for the other brands.

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    So the key like anything else is to be nice to whomever you speak with on the phone...lol the Leica to me look a touch more crisp guess it's a waiting game for a week or so to see where I can find the best deal on both.

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    WOW.......and I thought that most hunters used a Simmons 3 to 9X rifle scope for spotting game. (Intended as sarcastic humor).

    Spend four to five times as much money on Binos as you have invested in your rifle. So a $199.-- rifle owner needs $1,000.00 binos. He will see and harvest more game than the hunter with the $1,478.00 rifle and $319.00 binos.

    You will not see the difference in quality while looking in the store. If you want to see the difference in quality, spend 14 hours on a look-out point, sitting on your arse, trying to find a mouse or red back vole in an alder field a mile away. The quality difference is in how fatigued your eyes are.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogbuster0006 View Post
    So the key like anything else is to be nice to whomever you speak with on the phone...lol the Leica to me look a touch more crisp guess it's a waiting game for a week or so to see where I can find the best deal on both.
    Support the folks who took the time to sell them to you, if customer service really matters.

  14. #14

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    Yes service matters at all price points. Even the best optics can be stepped on by a horse.

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    Member AK Troutbum's Avatar
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    I have a pair of Swaro 10x42 EL range binos and love them, but I've never put them side by side with the Leica's. I've owned Swaro binos and or spotters for over 10 years now and as far as customer service or warranty goes, I can't say as I've never had a problem with any of them.

  16. #16

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    Many years ago my lovely wife gifted me with a pair of Zeiss 10x40 Classic binoculars. I still use them and they are a good glass. I doubt they are the best though. I have looked through my wife's 8x40 Vortex Vipers and my daughters 8x30 Zeiss Conquests and my old 10x40 Zeiss at dusk and could not tell much difference. Of the Big 3, Zeiss, Leica and Swaro, who makes the best in 10x40, 8x40 or 8x30? Ya got me. I know many of them cost 2 to 3 times more then my old Zeiss Classics and none of them are 2 or 3 times the glass. So we pay a bunch more for small improvements and the price of some of those high end binoculars is ridiculous unless you are wealthy or hunting for a living. One of the problems is not all of us see the same and none of us get to have all 3 makers models in our hands for a few hours in different light conditions so how can we really tell? Usually we are in a well lighted store looking through the binoculars and think they look clear as all get out. I do believe a serious hunter. should spend more money on their binoculars then they do on their rifle scope. If I ever "upgrade", I will probably get a pair of 8x30 Leica's.

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    Many years ago a friend from GA was hunting with me out of Kotz and we were looking at 2 big group of caribou about 3 & 4 miles away. We were trying to decide which group to get inf ront of and each had some very nice bulls. My buddy handed me his Zeiss and I was sold on good glass right there.

    For the money I wold choose Zeiss over the other top end glass. Good stuff!

    Walt
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  18. #18

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    I know where there is a pair of 10 X 40 Zeiss Classic binoculars.......In excellent condition for about 1/2 of original cost: http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...lent-Condition

  19. #19

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    It's important to compare whichever you are thinking of purchasing side by side. I started my decision by asking for Vortex, Zeiss, Leica, and Swaro 10x42's. I looked through them all in that order. I quickly informed the clerk he could put the vortex and zeiss back. To me the leica and swaro were significantly better. I then spent the next 30-45 minutes going back and forth with the leica and swaros. I had always heard that swaros were the best and found I was trying to convince myself of just that. But, the leica's just "popped" better to my eyes. I think you have to find the binos that work for your eyes. Either way though....you can't go wrong and it is nice to know I won't need to by any more binos.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogbuster0006 View Post
    I do own a vortex razor spotting scope for the money and warranty it's good but, the low light or really over cast is what gets me..
    One thing to think about when you are concerned about low light, overcast, or light gathering abilities is..... when purchasing binos, to achieve the highest light gathering ability you take the object lens size and divide it by the magnification. When doing so you want at least a number of 5. For instance 10x50=5. 7x42=6 etc... Again this is for optimum light gathering ability. The less the number, 4, 3, etc, the less the light gathering ability. When I started guiding I did some research before buying glass and decided on the Swaro 7x42. All I can say is they are amazing. I also found out that almost all the guides in Sask that hunt those big whitetails over corn fields that have about 1/2 hour to pick out a trophy all use 7x42s.

    When I first bought my glasses I was looking out the front door of my house down the driveway at o'darkthirty. It wasn't far to the road out front and I didn't see anything, but when I brought up the glasses I easily saw that my small chocolate lab was walking around out there. I quickly dropped the glasses from my eyes and she was gone to my naked eye. Brought them up again and could see her plainly. Again this was only a little over 50 yards away.

    Once while guiding for sheep in the Kenai Mts. at first light I was using my 7x42s to look down into some dark draws for white spots hidden in the rocks. A dark overhang caught my eye as a likely spot for a sheep to hide. At first sight it was pitch black. But as I held my gaze there, as if by magic a ewe and lamb laying there just appeared to materialize before my eyes. The hunter I was guiding could not see them with his "good" glasses. I can't say enough about light gathering ability of (the right) good glass to find game.

    The other plus on the higher objective/mag factor of 5 is the larger field of view. At first I didn't think this would matter much, but it didn't take long for me to change my mind. When you look through glass you tend to look in the center of the sight picture. With a larger field of view I noticed that without moving the glasses, many times I would detect movement, or see something towards the outer edge of the sight picture where, with a smaller field of view, I probably would have had to move the glass, or may have missed the flicker of a moose's ear entirely had I not had as large a field of view. Simply put, it's much easier to see more, and move less, with a larger field of view.

    Lastly, I always had my spotter with me at all times when guiding. If not I have a 9 power scope on my rifle while hunting for myself. So in my personal opinion you have to find the game first before determining if it's worth going after or not. So why not use every available option that (again, the right) good glass can provide to find the game, and then just use the spotter to zoom in for the details. Lets face it, the best hunting is early and late when the animals are on the move. So with that in mind it's easy to understand why light gathering ability and field of view is what's most important......of course this is only my "humble" opinion.
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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