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dosghooter's picture
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Location: Wyoming
Joined: 08/23/2003
Posts: 28
High $ Binoculars

After years of ribbing from my hunting buddies about my "cheap" binoculars, I finally decided to get a good, high quality pair of binoculars for this year's hunting season. I actually sold two very nice rifles to get the money together to buy a new pair of Swarovski EL 42 with the new Swarovision lense treatment. I have spent  several days so far just glassing my hunting area and the difference is amazing. I had Pentax, Burris, and Leupold binoculars before and they were all pretty much the same as far as their performance but after buying the Swarovskis I can see why my buddies ribbed me because there is no comparison. I always beleived you should pay more for your scope than you do for your rifle because if you can't see it, you can't shoot it, no matter how good the rifle shoots. It just took me a while to realize you have to FIND it before you can see it before you can shoot it. Thumbs up

GooseHunter Jr's picture
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Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/28/2005
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Yeah a nice set of optics

Yeah a nice set of optics makes all the difference.  But I have to say I like my Burris binocs alot.  I have looked thru Swaroski and they are great but I do not see me spending $1000 for binocs.  I spent $300 or so on my Burris and thwy work awesome.  Even my buddy with his Swaroskis really likes them.  It is like aloy of other things it ia all about your preference.  Congrats on a nioce set of optics that you last you a lifetime.

Ca_Vermonster's picture
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Location: San Diego, CA
Joined: 07/27/2007
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Yeah, i could see spending

Yeah, i could see spending that if it was your business, like being a guide or something.  However, I would spend alot less, and get some great quality glasses.  Don't get me wrong, Swarovski makes some great optics, and if you can afford them, that's great.  More power to you.

I actually only use a $99 pair of Simmons for my local archery and rifle here.  I can't shoot over 300 yards anyway, so I can see just fine out to that distance. Thumbs up

hawkeye270's picture
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Location: Fort Collins, CO
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You are right CA... if you

You are right CA... if you use optics for what you do for a living, than you are going to want good glass. If I would have only had access to cheap optics during my summer internship (working with bighorn sheep in Rocky Mountain National Park) than my eyes would probably be locked in a permenant squint. I can not afford the really high end stuff for myself just yet but if you are going to be glassing for hours and days on end... than there is not really a choice if you do not want to have giant migrains all the time. I am really looking forward to the day when I can get a pair for my own personal enjoyment. Too bad that day is a long way off! Until then I will just keep using what I have always used... optics that fall into that midrange (say $200 to $700 or so maybe). They work well enough for recreational use.

dosghooter's picture
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Location: Wyoming
Joined: 08/23/2003
Posts: 28
Use the best you can afford.

That's the point I was trying to make. For the last 35 years I really didn't know there was that big of a difference. My Leupold, Burris, and Nikons that I had worked just fine for me and they were in the 2 to 500 dollar range. I couldn't really tell a difference between the $200 and the $500 pairs. My hunting buddy got a pair of Swarovskis several years back and I always thought it was a huge waste of money cause mine looked just as clear as his. Well this year, he handed me his and told me to glass the area I had been glassing with my Leupolds and I did see a difference. I had to put the Leupolds down every few minutes and "rest" my eyes. With the Swaros, I could keep them up as long as I wanted and it was no strain at all on my eyes. I liked them so much, I sold a couple of my "safe queens" in order to afford my own pair. When I was younger, I opted for "more guns". Now, as an old f*rt, I'm beginning to lean more toward quality and comfort. There is absolutely nothing wrong with less expensive binoculars. Kind of like my taste in Scotch. As a young man, I liked Johnny Walker Red. Then it was Johnny Walker Black. Now it is a good Single Malt import that costs more than my 1st car. Just some of the perks of getting old that makes up for livin with all the aches and pains, I guess.

WesternHunter's picture
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Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2368
Good investment

I've used a pair of Zeiss Victroy binos for the last 10 years.  They're heavy and can become a pain in the neck literally, but they are high quality, bright, crisp optics.  I need to get me a bino harness at some point.  Back then when I bought mine Zeiss were still offered at a pretty good price (less than $1000).  You could even get their older old-school model binos for around $500 or so.  Not anymore.

I remember when you could still buy Kahles binos (Austrian made sub-brand of Swarovski).  They were pretty high quality binos that sold for around $500-$600.  Nice looking binos too.  Stopped seeing those in stores about 6 to 7 years ago. 

You can't go wrong with Nikon, Pentax, or the higher priced Bushnells.  They're no Swarovski's, but they sure aren't junk either.  I like my Zeiss binos, but if I ever end up needing to replace them due to damage, loss, or theft I'm not sure what I'll replace them with.  Probably go with Leupolds or Steiners.  I don't think I'll pay $1000+ for binos again.  But I plan on having those Zeiss for life.

CVC
CVC's picture
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Joined: 03/04/2006
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I have a $300 pair of Nikons

I have a $300 pair of Nikons that I got from gr8tful doug and they work fine for me.  I've compared them to my buddies high price ones and yes, i can see a little difference, but not enough. Now, with my scopes I try to get the best I can afford.

WesternHunter's picture
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For the money

For the money Nikon offers great optics.

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Joined: 04/21/2010
Posts: 47
HIGH $ BINOS

Does anyone know anything about

Steiner 8x30 Military-Marine lightweight

binos? I see that they were rated high in

one of the hunting mags.

WesternHunter's picture
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Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2368
Steiner

madmax wrote:

Does anyone know anything about

Steiner 8x30 Military-Marine lightweight

binos? I see that they were rated high in

one of the hunting mags.

Steiner makes great glasses and they don't seem all that overpriced either.  The thing about Steiner is that they don't have the agressive marketing campaign or sponsorship that the others like Zeiss, Swarofski, Bushnell, or Nikon do.  But they definitely cater to the sportsman makrket here in the US.

970TBONE's picture
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Location: CO
Joined: 04/01/2010
Posts: 91
Last fall I bought swarovski

Last fall I bought swarovski slc 10X42 for my desert sheep hunt. At first I didn't think they were worth the $ vs my bushnells I could fine tune the focus on the swaro's for a really clear view but It seemed I could see just about as good with my bushnells.

Once it started to get dark I was amazed at how well the swaro's worked. Everything got pretty blurry and dark past 200 yards with the bushnells. With the swaro's I could still see perfectly out to 1000+ yards.

If I was glassing into the sun the bushnells were very hard to see through, lots of glare and they hurt my eyes. Swaro's cut through the glare and did not hurt my eyes one bit.

I now feel they were worth every cent especially because the most productive time to glass is usually at sun up or down. 

They have also helped me out this year finding sheds. I have found 4 elk and 2 deer antlers this spring glassing. One elk antler was about 1000 yards up a mountain side under some oak brush I was able to see the contrast of the long ivory tines in the brush.

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