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binocular preferences?

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  • binocular preferences?

    I am looking for reviews of what everyone likes in binos. I am in the market for a good pair, looking for a 10x42 or equiv. I know leica and swarovski are top notch. Just looking for something that won't break the wallet quite so bad. Anybody try the Zeiss Conquests? I also found some Kowas but haven't heard any reports on their binos, just that the spotters are pretty good glass for the money. I could get into the Kowa's for around 650 and am leaning this way if I can get some thumbs up or any info. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and preferences.

  • #2
    You might want to check out the optics forum:


    • #3
      Guess that I just didn't go far enough down the page. I did post on there as well, hopefully somebody will have some feedback for me. thanks again.


      • #4
        Check out Vortex line of optics. You can get yourself some pretty nice glass without getting into quadruple-digit dollar territory.


        • #5
          Check out the Nikon bino's. Sure like mine and they were under $500


          • #6
            I have used a pair of Zeiss Conquest 8x30s for years. Have even fell in the water with them. For my style of hunting the 8x30s are perfect, when I need a closer look I use the spotting scope. You will most likely spend a HUGE amount of time looking through your binos. Get a pair that you like, good glass keeps its value if you ever want to sell.

            Zeiss is outstanding glass and they have great customer service. One of my lens fogged up on my 5 yo binos after I fell in the river with them. I called Zeiss and they said to send them back and offered a loaner pair for a hunt I had coming up. They replaced the binos with a new pair at no charge.

            "I refuse to let the things I can't do stop me from doing the things I can"


            • #7
              PENTAX DCF SP ED's 8x or 10x, take your pic. I have the DCF SP's (non-ED) in 10x43. Excellent glass. I've had em for years. They can be had for around 400+. ED's are more spendy.

              If I were gonna buy new binos tomorrow it would the be the ED's in 8x43.
              A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and donít have one, youíll probably never need one again


              • #8
                I have relied on optics to make my daily bread for more years than I care to admit. I can and have used all of the top end optics; to my eyes Leica has no comparison. What I use for carrying and observation binos are the LEICA ULTRAVID 8 x 32 HD, these offer the best compromise of minimal weight yet maximum optical performance. TS


                JOHN VIII - XXXII


                • #9
                  Thanks for the information guys. I also found out that Barney's is stocking some of the kowa binos. Gonna go and check them out as well. Should be able to figure something out with all the input. Again thanks and hope everyone is having an enjoyable end of winter.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Snyd View Post
                    PENTAX DCF SP ED's 8x or 10x, take your pic. I have the DCF SP's (non-ED) in 10x43. Excellent glass. I've had em for years. They can be had for around 400+. ED's are more spendy.

                    If I were gonna buy new binos tomorrow it would the be the ED's in 8x43.

                    Tough to beat those Pentax binos at that money. I bought that same pair from Cameraland for my wife a few years ago.

                    Vortex is gaining ground too. It's a good time to be an optics fan.
                    Proud to be an American!


                    • #11
                      Much good info on these forums... other sources too...

                      Good advice, for those who want it, abounds here. I bookmark tips/good threads from these forums, which I'll just pass along. AOD (now OSA) members spend a lot of time in the field and their experience is the real foundation here.

                      1. For mid-range optics: +1 for Vortex, but Minox, Pentax, Nikon and recently Zen Ray have had enthusiastic owners. I recently picked up an 8X Vortex model and can see why a lot of guys like them - great optical quality in low light, great price/warranty... and from a US company. I think SW/Wasilla carries Vortex locally.

                      2. Birdwatching forums, recommended by Moderator, Snyd, can be a valuable source for info:
                      Field & Stream has occasional reviews worth a read also.

                      3. If you don't find what you're looking for locally, many satisfied AOD/OSA members have just asked Doug at CameraLand (sponsor of the Outdoor Optics forum) for recommendations. Doug, based on many AOD/OSA reports over the years, seems to find high optical performance for a given price point. CameraLand's best deals seem to come from demos/samples which you can also browse on their website:

                      4. Similar past threads from our forums:
                      Lately, I've had much better luck searching AOD/OSA forums typing "outdoorsdirectory" in with whatever I'm looking for into the search engine, such as: "best binoculars outdoorsdirectory", as suggested by another forums member.

                      Good luck.
                      No habitat, no hunter.


                      • #12
                        +1 Leech. Rep inbound...
                        Proud to be an American!


                        • #13
                          You have stated you're willing to pay $650 for the Kowa's, so you might take a look at a few of the following as well.

                          Pentax DCF ED 10x43
                          Pentax DCF SP 10x43
                          Minox HG 10x42 (non-German, the new German assembled ones are $1K, the discontinued non Germans are $500 if you can find them)
                          Kahles 10x42
                          Promaster Infiinity Elite EXL 10x42 ED
                          Zen Ray Zen ED2 10x43

                          The Pentax ED's and Kahles can be found at times for not much over the $650 mark. The rest of them are under the $650 mark. Watch Cameraland for demo deals on all but the Kahles, which they don't carry.

                          I bought a pair of Pentax DCF SP's four or five years ago from Cameraland and will stand by Pentax's quality. Boondock's usually has a sale on Pentax at the Sportmans Show and may have the SP's. The Pentax ED's would be my next bino if I bought a pair this week.

                          Kowa makes decent spotters, should be decent binos but it's always worth doing the research. Nice to buy from the local guys as well.

                          I haven't picked up a pair of Zeiss Conquest in a few years. At that time my impressions of the Zeiss Conquest binos were they were good but not great. You can't pick up the Conquest and be expecting the same glass as the high end Zeiss Victory. To me the Conquest just didn't feel right in my hands either. I do love Zeiss though and they have upgraded the Conquest bino since then so it could be worth a look.


                          • #14
                            Might be worth your time to check out some of the Minox stuff Doug just posted. Screamin' deals there. Minox is making great stuff too.

                            Just picked up a pair of the BL 10X44 BR's for 40% of cost. ($199.00!) Not ED glass, but for that money...sheesh.
                            My son will love 'em and the excellent lifetime warranty will keep him happy for many years.
                            Proud to be an American!


                            • #15
                              I bought a pair of the Minox HG 10x52 BR a couple years ago from Doug on a demo price and love them.
                              In 1492 Native Americans discovered Columbus lost at sea

                              If I come across as an arrogant, know-it-all jerk, it's because I am


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