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Thread: binocs... 6x too low of a magnification?

  1. #1

    Default binocs... 6x too low of a magnification?

    Looking for a pair of binocs... just curious if people felt like 6x was too little for magnification....

    I have used 8x but honestly I just feel as if 6x would be easier to carry all day around my next when I already have a pack and rifle on me.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Member ksaye's Avatar
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    Default

    Depends on where and what you hunt...

    I think if you are just scouting and not field judging, then a 6x may be ok. I use a 8x42 and at times I feel I need just a little more magnification to better judge an animal's antlers; particularly moose or elk hunting. But I also carry a spotting scope (at times) for the detailed work. If I just carried one; I would go for a 10X.

    I have been at both ends of the spectrum; carried pocket size binos (to keep the load down) to binos plus spotting scope. Of course I was hunting different game and in completely different terranes. In heavy timber you may be ok with a 6x. But in open country you may miss a bedded animal with just an ear or antler exposed several hundred yards out. Or may be your on a cow hunt and field judging antlers are not a priority; then a 6x may be ok.

    I have taken some hunters out on new hunting experiences. And I find it very hard to give advice on packs, binos, etc because a lot of it is; what is comfortable or what works for the individual hunter. After a couple times out in the field you may decide a 6x is good or not so good. To me a 6x would not be powerful enough.

  3. #3

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    10x for me. Binos are the last thing I'd try to save weight on.

  4. #4
    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    At least 8x...10x is better. I have a pair of compact Leupold (8x28) which work pretty well for basic glassing, but if I need to seriously look at an animal or at greater distances, I break out the 10x50's. I rarely carry them, but they are usually on my wheeler.
    AKmud
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  5. #5
    Member tyrex13's Avatar
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    6x are great for scanning. Check out the 6x32 and 8x32 Vortex Fury, Doug in the optics forum has them on sale for a great price.

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    Member bnkwnto's Avatar
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    10x for me all the way! I carry binos every time I leave the truck and i feel handicap without them even when I'm bird hunting.

  7. #7
    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
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    theronn,
    Generally speaking....regardless of the increased weight I would bump up your bino power to 10X.
    When I guided mule deer and elk hunters in the western mountain states, I felt very comfortable with 8X glass.
    Sixteen years ago I started guiding here in AK, and I was immediately aware that 10X glass was of value because of the long ranges we typically are faced with. ( I don't do south-east AK rain forests stuff.)
    So for caribou, moose, brown/black bear....I prefer 10 X 40 +- glass.

    For sheep I still use 10X Leicas, which are not light. Some other I know also use the heavy binos for sheep and mountain goat hunts also. But, clearly, other hunters and guides I know prefer the smaller and lighter binos for the mountain hunts with long appraoches. Opinions vary....on personal preferences....smaller and lighter vs larger and heavier. On my mountain hunts I'm always overloaded anyway (I quit weighing my pack many years ago), so I just continue to take the more powerful binoculars.
    dennis

  8. #8
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    Default

    Add the 6x to your collection of binos if the weight is a factor for you. I've used the 7x, 8x, 10x and 12x over my career as a guide and generally have settled on the 10x for all around binos, but don't think the higher power is a necessity, I use my 20-60x spotting scope for judging size and meticulous glassing. I bought my oldest son a pair of Leupold Yosemite 6x last year and used them on one hunt and thought they were great. They are light in weight, easy to hold steady while standing(not as shaky), less visible distortion from heat/cold waves and the greater FOV was a nice bonus allowing for less external movement while glassing which is a definate plus. There's alot to like about the lower power binos.

  9. #9

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    10x42 Swarofski. Get one of those wide padded neck straps and forget about the weight.
    Best of luck
    Joe

  10. #10
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    Default Wear the weight that suits your back; comfortably

    If your binocs give you a backache scale down; I did.

    I've had for a very long time now a VERY durable pair of Steiners that to not break the back. Very clear optics too. Great customer (from the factory) support too. Yeah, they're a little pricey getting in, its true.

  11. #11
    Member oakman's Avatar
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    I've been pretty happy on my last two hunts with a pair of compact 10x binocs and my spotter. I also have a set of 8x42 binocs that have a great field of view, great light gathering, etc...but they are heavier and bulkier. My compact binocs can fit in the breast pocket of my hunting shirt or hang around my neck easily. A quick look to double check what I see with the naked eye is all I need. If it looks interesting, I can get the spotter out. What type of hunt you are doing probably influences this a lot as well.

  12. #12

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    As of now I am leaning towards the 10x... In oregon I generally used 8x for deer and elk also, but I have pretty good vision and was wondering if a 7x would get my by.... however I can see how the extra magnification would help with looking at horns....

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    Talking

    If you go with the lower power, You can look at it this way (pun intended), it will be like hunting with a trad bow, you have to get closer and it will be more of a challenge and more sporting!!

    OK, seriously, I use 10x and love "more power". They are a bit shakey if you can't hold real steady but are great for seeing just a little farther.

    JMHO

  14. #14
    Member GD Yankee's Avatar
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    Unless it is a pair with incredibly good glass (fill in your favorite German company), there are too many good brands that produce good glass in higher magnification to carry 6X. I bought a pair of WWII era Zeiss 6X binos for $100 years ago, I carry them only when I don't have my good glass with me. Good glass overcomes bad glass in higher magnifications. At 6x, the Zeiss are almost better than a cheap pair of Pentax 10X pocket binos. BUT, the old 6X Zeiss's certainly don't compare with a high dollar pair of Swarovski or Zeiss pocket 10X binos.

    Save your money and get the best pair you can afford, you'll never regret it. I would dump weight out of my back pack before I'd look to save weight on my binos. That being said, a good pair of 8x30s will be lighter than 8x40 or 8x50s (huge!). If you can, go to Sportsman's Warehouse and check out the differences.

  15. #15
    Member Marc Taylor's Avatar
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    The only difference between a set of Vortex Razors in 10x42 and a set of Swarovski EL 10x42 is $2,000. Used them side by side this year on a spring brown bear hunt then bought myself a pair of the Vortex.

    Lifetime Guaranteed regardless of the owner.

    Get them before the price jumps through the roof. They are a great value right now at around $750 and worth every penny!

    If there is one piece of gear that will actually make you a more effective hunter it's your glass.

    Taylor

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