binocular recommendations

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cotton eye's picture
cotton eye
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binocular recommendations

Ive finally decided to upgrade my binos after years of getting by with low end optics. I've decided on vortex vipers but I'm stuck on what size to get. 8x42, 10x42, or 10x50. I will be using them for deer and coyote hunting. For what its worth, when I'm deer hunting, I'm usually glassing longer distances (300-500 yds). I'm not interested in the typical "well if you spend $x extra you can get this brand" responses. I'm just looking for size recommendations. I have always used 10x50 in the past (and probably lean that way since that's what I'm used to) but after reading some reviews have heard some say 10x50 can be a little heavier and "shakier". In this line, it's only 4 oz heavier than the 10x42. Is smaller better due to weight & steadiness? Or is the weight negligible and the added exit pupil worth it? Will I notice a difference between sizes in this optics line? I wear a Bino harness so not sure weight would be noticeable. Which size do you prefer and why?

dbllung's picture
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I personally prefer 10x42, but for the small amount of weight difference, if you're not packing/carrying long distances, the 10x50's might be a good choice for you. The 10x50's do have a larger field fo view i believe and will bring in a bit more light at dawn and dusk. Good choice in Make and model Vortex makes a great product and their warranty is excellent!

 

Pat's Place's picture
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I agree with dbllung. The 8x42 will have virtually the same exit pupil as the 10x50, so they should be somewhat similar in low light, but the 50mm lens might be able to gather a bit more light in extreme situations. If light gathering is your issue, than go with one of those...if ability to see fine detail (judging racks at the end of the shooting light) then go with a 10 power. if weight isn't an issue go with the 10x50. I use a 10x40 with built in range finder so it is probably as heavy or heavier than 10x50 and the weight doesn't bother me. I can just picture scanning for coyotes in very low light...those 10x50 are going to light up the countryside when you look through them, to the point where you can see coyotes through the binocs at 500 yards that you probably can't see with a naked eye...at least that's how my Swaro 10x40 are...

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Don't get the 8x42.  I have a pair and wish I would have gone bigger.  They are great glass don't get me wrong but just wish I could see a little bit more for judging deer.  I hunt the badlands quite a bit and next time I will get the 10x50 binos.  I love the vortex line, I have 3 pairs of their binos and they are all nice glass.  Good luck.

I like to set the cruise so I can play air drums.

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A bit of a tossup between them.  I have the best of two,worlds, an 8 and 10, plus a Leopold spotter.  I tend to grab  the 8 X42 when hunting or birding more in brush than for longer  distances, and the 10’s for more open country, antelope, etc. Usually have the spotter not too far away, though for casual looking at stuff I don’t like to haul it around all that much.  Gettin, too  danger old, though my window mount sees a lot of use from the pickup and UTV!  

A suggestion....someone should start a thread on digiscoping.

What others have posted regarding pupil diameters, light gathering, etc. Is all true, but other than low light conditions you’d be hard pressed to see much practical difference between them.  Picking up smaller stuff, like birds if you do much of,that, is faster with the 8’s, but again all these differences are pretty subjective.  

Good optics are pretty important, though don’t have to be overly expensive, IMHO!  

 

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I like my 10x42 not to big not to small if I see something I want to look at a little closer I use the spotter.

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I sell optics and sell a lot of bino's.  10x42 and 10x50 most common.  I'd say about half and half.  Most guys come looking for 10x42 but if they get a chance to look through them at low light most guys will go with the 50's.  I do a lot of backpack hunting and I will choose the 10x50 all day long.  The weight and size difference isn't enough to give up the light gathering in my opinion.  If you are close to the Cooperstown area contact me and I'll let you look through both at low light. 

Hunt today like there may be no tomorrow!

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Hey Bontop, any advice on digiscoping?  There was a good thread on one of these outdoor websites a year or two ago.  Optics advance so fast these days that you likeley have good up to date info.  Like electronics - hard to keep up! 

 

bontop2's picture
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I do a lot of digiscoping.  I recently switched to an Athlon spotter.  I use an Iphone 6s and a phoneskope..  It works great!  I have got it down so I can be taking pics or video now in seconds.  It has gotten so my phone goes on my spotter as soon as I set up and I just watch everything through the screen of the phone and its much easier on the eyes also.

Hunt today like there may be no tomorrow!

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I take it the phoneskope is a device rpthat holds the spotter and I phone together?

Athlon spotter? I have a Leopold, can’t recall the model but it’s the high end compact model. Does phoneskipe fit most of them?  What brands of optics do you sell.  Yeah, I know, you probably can’t sell them on a blog site, but you could mention some good quality suggestions for us mortals.  LOL

Just saw a small herd of beautiful desert bighorns a couple hours ago - definitely perked up my digiscoping appetite! 

 

Davis Schmidt's picture
Davis Schmidt
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bobkat wrote:

 

 

I take it the phoneskope is a device rpthat holds the spotter and I phone together?

Athlon spotter? I have a Leopold, can’t recall the model but it’s the high end compact model. Does phoneskipe fit most of them?  What brands of optics do you sell.  Yeah, I know, you probably can’t sell them on a blog site, but you could mention some good quality suggestions for us mortals.  LOL

Just saw a small herd of beautiful desert bighorns a couple hours ago - definitely perked up my digiscoping appetite! 

 

He sells Athlon optics, and they rock! I picked up a pair of binos from him some months ago and I love them. 

Don't practice until you get it right, practice until you can't get it wrong.

bobkat's picture
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Wow!  Just looking at the Athlon website and the specs and features on their optics!   Look really great!  Dunno how I’ve missed Athlon so long.  Always been more or,less a Leo guy, but like Davis says, these optics look like they really are good high quality stuff at reasonable prices, not like some of the two arms and a leg and your firstborn priced stuff.  Next optic I need (or want.....LOL) look out Bontop, here I come!  

U sell phonescope, too? 

 

bobkat's picture
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Reading on some website about optics, light gathering, pupil size, etc.  These authors seemed to think that the lens coating, lenses manufacturing, etc. like the quality features listed on the Athlon website (not trying to advertise for Bontop here ) were as important and probably more important than the actual theoretical light gathering math/physics width pupil diameter, etc.  All those things are important, but as one wag put it “for practical purposes, the best thing the average user can do is clean off his lenses more often, and clean them properly without scratching them and grinding off the coatings, etc. “

 When I went to look,at an egret this am with my mid priced Leo’s, I looked at my lenses, and GUILTY!  Crappy dirty lenses!  My Bad!  I resisted the temptation to clean them with my dirty fish blood and coffe stained shirt!  Better clean them properly........Bontop may have some wise advice on quick field cleaning lenses when better stuff is not,available.

Ive never been impressed with those little whisk broom thingys. 

 

cotton eye's picture
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Thanks for the input everyone. I decided to go with the 10x50s. In the end, it's only 4 oz heavier than 10x42, a little larger, but had I gone with the 10x42 I think I would've wished I had gone bigger. Better to have more binocular and not need it than need it and not have it. I haven't had a chance to use them in the field yet but gonna chase after some yotes this weekend. I think i'll be happy with my purchase.

Get up at 5 in the morning, walk through miles of cattails, sit in a stand all day in the cold, come back home in the dark, get up the next day and do it all over again. I'd do that for a buck!

bobkat's picture
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Good choice, Cotton Eye. Whenever I look at optics these days I feel like the proverbial kids in the candy shop! So many darned good choices out there and prices for great optics  when adjusted for inflation are relatively dirt cheap compared to when I was a beginner hunter. Hard to make a bad choice these days.

 

Another side topic.......what does everyone use for lense cleaning for scopes, binos, cameras!?!  Are those little cleaning packages for glasses cleaning you can buy cheap by the hundreds at Wal Marts and lookalikes, any good, particularly are they safe as far as not removing coatings from lenses, etc.  When opened they smell like rubbing alcohol saturating a small soft cloth. 

I’ve used them, but when I look at the lenses of my well worn optics I can see some of,the center parts of the coatings have been removed.  Cant be any good for light transmission, etc.  

Any better ideas for lense cleaning?