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Thread: Bino's that AK guides use

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    Default Bino's that AK guides use

    I have a hunt booked with Joe Shuster for sept 2011 for moose and was wondering if I could get a head's up on what type of bino's do you recommend for this hunt? I really don't want to spend 2k on them and I'm sure there are some less than 1k that could work? Any suggestions?

    thanks,
    danny

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    Member B&C 04's Avatar
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    I have both, a high end model from Nikon and a pair of Swarovski bino's. IMO you don't NEED to spend the big $$$$ to get a good quality set of bino's BUT you can see the difference between the two I have mentioned. A good set of bino's will really save on your eyeballs when your glassing for hours on end. If this is a once in a lifetime hunt, I would get the best bino's you feel comfortable spending the money on...Good luck on your hunt and look forward to hearing a successful story.

    B&C

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    I would recommend doing a search in the Outdoor Optics thread. There is a ton of information there. Take a look at this thread: http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...-for-your-buck

    I also have to recommend Doug at Camera Land. http://www.cameralandny.com I just ordered a spotter, binos, and scope from him and he was very helpful and has some GREAT deals.

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    Moderator hunt_ak's Avatar
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    Lots of good threads on binos in the optics section.....I'll move this there...

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    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
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    Stands.....
    When I hunted and guided in the mountain west, Utah, Wyoming, New Mexico, I was always satisfied with 8X30s. Most of the other guys I knew used 7 X35s. Twenty-some years ago I relocated to Alaska and immediately realized that I would need slightly more powerfull bino's. I then used my guide-tip-money and purchased a pair of Leica 10 X 50's, and have been satisfied with them for many years. Up here in Alaska we seem to spot much of our game at much farther distances as compared to when I lived "outside". We often spot caribou, sheep, goats and bears as far away as four miles. But frankly, moose hunting is a little different. While I might spot moose at three or four miles away, few of us go that far for the kill. Not unless we have pack horses or an available "flat strip" for a tundra equipped Super Cub aircraft. So while I prefer 10 X 50's, be aware that they are heavy. For your moose hunt you can get by with 8X30's, or even 7X35's, or whatever you already own. But if you are going to make more trips north then I would suggest rthe bigger glass.

    Other may have other preferrences...
    Dennis

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    thank you for the replies. I am really wondering about the water proof differences in the more expensive models vs the less expensive. thanks,

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    First rule of glass: always spend what you can afford.

    I lusted after Leica for 20 years before buying the Leica Trinovid 8x42 BN I have from Doug.

    There are bino's then a huge gap between them and Swarovski, Zeiss and Leica. I spent several years casually reading various bird forums, looking at glass reviews in bird mags; when comparing the top 3, the reviewers usually (but not always), chose Leica.

    It is challenging to find a store that has all the bino's you want to look at to test/compare. I bought Minox and Leica bino's from an online source, then compared them during the day and at night when I worked a split-shift. I brought in Pentax bino's I used during the day to compare too. You really need to take the time to get the focus perfect your eyes, which can be a drag with a salesman breathing over your shoulder. Can't be rushed.

    I made up a sheet of paper with various lines on it using Excel, set the bino's on a stack of books and proceeded to set them up over a period of time, about an hour or so, to allow my eyes to relax between each peek through the lense. Once that was done, I spent time looking at things. Especially differently colored things.

    What set the Leica apart was looking at a gas station sign at night, from a distance of about a quarter mile. The colors remained true, no blurring of edges, and no reflections from within the bino's themselves. I think I spent maybe 5 minutes looking at the Minox before determining there was no comparing them to the Leica. And the Pentax took only a glance.

    I very carefully cleaned the bino's, packed them back up just as they came, and returned them for a refund. I then ordered the Leica's I wanted from Doug. Cost me some shipping, but I felt that was entirely reasonable as I was able to set up and test the different glasses at my leisure.

    I recommend the 8x42 Leica Trinovid if Doug has them. Enough magnification, enough light amplification for your needs, but not weighing any more than necessary. I have used these glasses every summer since '06 practically full-time and am very happy with them. I think you will be too.

    Oh, Leica recommends cleaning their binoculars by filling a sink with warm, soapy water, and washing them. Leica do not leak.
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  8. #8

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    Only have hunted with one guide and he used Cabelas Euro glass.

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    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Default Low light and color resolution...

    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskaTrueAdventure View Post
    Stands..... relocated to Alaska and immediately realized that I would need slightly more powerfull bino's.... Leica 10 X 50's, ... Up here in Alaska we seem to spot much of our game at much farther distances as compared to when I lived "outside"...moose hunting is a little different. While I might spot moose at three or four miles away, few of us go that far for the kill. Not unless we have pack horses or an available "flat strip" for a tundra equipped Super Cub aircraft. So while I prefer 10 X 50's, be aware that they are heavy...Dennis
    Dennis's perspective seems important - knowing the conditions you'll encounter on your hunt. Your guide's input would be valuable too. And your wallet's!

    Low light conditions: I'm pretty inexperienced using binos in the field still, but will add 2 comments from (way) more experienced hunters that also made sense to me. On whether to spend more for glass or not, even among binos by the same manufacturer, Joe Want, in the spring Bear Clinic in Anchorage told a low-light bear hunt story - pointing out that it might take special conditions to see the difference even between very good binos. Differences between 2 binos might be small until you get into a low-light situation; seeing versus not seeing the bear on a mud flat with the better pair. Great pearl of wisdom from Mr. Want, I thought. (Excellent class by the way, and worth considering for many next spring).

    Color resolution in low light: When Bob Hodson mentioned this to me as a Leica advantage compared to other high-end brands, I didn't appreciate it as much as I have since with some field experience. Naturally, opinions and your experience may vary, but testing for color resolution in low light conditions seemed another pearl of wisdom from someone who's paid his dues out there.

    Good luck. Interesting thread.

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