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Thread: Binos

  1. #1


    Want some good binoculars, thinking if 8x42. Didn't win the lottery so choices are;
    1. Zeiss conquest
    2. Minox hg
    3. Second hand pair of Swarovski/Leica

    is there much between them ? Is it a case if looking through them and seeing what suits.

    any help would be very useful.


  2. #2
    Hi big ears,

    I just bought a set of minox hg 8.5x43 and they are excellent, haven't seen through swaros or zeiss so all I can say is the hg's are really bright and clear for the money I got them second hand for a nice price so really impressed

  3. #3
    As with scopes I think there are a number of ways to look at this.

    I have Minox HGs and have been very pleased and impressed with them. At the time I bought them new from the USA for 400 which I thought was good value. I have looked through the top end glass and I don't see that it would give me any advantage over the Minox bins, though I don't dispute that it might give an image that feels nicer. So, there is a lot to be said for going down the route of something like the Minox and if buying new you should have peace of mind and a good warranty, I would certainly recommend them.

    On the other hand buying something second hand from one of the big names (for glass I think Zeiss has an edge) lets you stalk with the knowledge that you are using the best glass you can buy while someone else takes the big hit. The other advantage is that it is likely if you keep a pair of second hand Zeiss, Swaro etc. binos for a while then you will be able to sell them for around what you paid for them. So, total cost of ownership of a pair of second hand binos might be close to zero but you don't have the reassurance of knowing their history and I guess there is always going to be a small element of concern about buying a forgery or something like that. The other thing is that when I bought my Minox even a second hand pair of the big name glass would have cost me a lot more money and my view is that the money is always better spend on stalking than equipment providing that the equipment you have or get is adequate to do your job.
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  4. #4
    This is probably something that has been done to death on here, but as a new member (but experienced stalker) I'd say that most binos are fine in the middle of the day looking down the high street. Clear, bright and sharp. However, where the extra and significant cash difference comes in is the extremes of the day. If all you stalk is roe, who let's face it come out whenever the feeling takes them, then less is probably fine. But if you are stalking the tree-line for that elusive red last thing as the light is fading, those extra few minutes are everything. If you can't find it, you can't shoot it. I have found that lesser scopes will out perform (generally) better binos. So if you can see it and define it as a legitimate target, you will be able to get a shot. (This does exclude 39.99 Nikko Stirlings btw). I have a pair of SLC 7x 42 a pair of EL 10 x 40 and the CT 75 draw scope. I would not stalk with anything less having tried. But not everyone can run to those things. That's the truth of it. I have stalked with friends who simply stop seeing what I am seeing as much as 15 mins before me. They all now have Swarovski. OK they are no longer married, their children work in the Gulag and they wear their n**s in a bag around their necks, but they can see deer. It's a small price in my view.

    So really the answer is, in relation to any optics, stretch yourself to buy the absolute best that you can afford. Every penny spent will get you some gain somewhere.

    Chris (other answers are available, may contain traces of nuts)

  5. #5
    i started stalking on a budget and baught a pair of minox and have been very pleased i always managed roe or reds at any time with my burris scope and minox bins until i left my bins on top of the roof of my van and set off down the road. when i realised i went back to find a set of minox abit worse for wear but still functional until i got run off the road by another car and they ended up down the road for a second time. I was convinced that i needed a better pair of glass so went for zeiss and i can honestly say they are no better or worse but cost alot more so for me i spent more money for no difference i used my minox at night for foxing not just in daylight i shoot roe and other species at last light in fact i like the contrast of the glass with minox the coating gave certain pop of colour unlike the ziess . i am not saying there is anything wrong with the zeiss but there is definately not a distinct advantage either . atb wayne
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  6. #6
    Leica, Swaros, Leupold, Steiner, Bushnell and a stupid expensive pair of canon binos....tried them all.
    They have all been used alongside zeiss, snb and meopta glass up to last knockings and in every case (even the 8x36 bushnell rangefinder pro's) the binos have been able to see what the scope could not. My favourites where the leupolds, just felt right in the hand and at 8x42 where very good glass at 350.
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  7. #7
    Thanks guys this has been really useful.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by limulus View Post
    in every case (even the 8x36 bushnell rangefinder pro's) the binos have been able to see what the scope could not.
    I believe that there is a good physical or psychological reason for this relating to how human eye sight works - an image presented at both eyes will always seem brighter than if it were only to be presented at one eye. I don't have much understanding of how eyesight works but it seems that you'd have to make a scope a lot brighter than a pair of binos before your brain would "see" the image as being brighter.

    Good luck with the decision big ears and remember that everyone has slightly different priorities and so on which means that there is rarely a wrong answer and there is a very good reason for different people coming to different conclusions. In the end only you actually know precisely what you need.
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  9. #9
    I use a set of Bushnell 10x42 which I bought new for 60 including postage. They serve me fine even in last light, yes the big boys are that little bit crisper around the edges but I feel don't warrant the 600+ tag as I'm sure most if not all of us have dropped a pair or left them on the roof of a vehicle

  10. #10
    While we're on the subject, may I ask, again, optics retailers who trade at gamefairs to keep their stalls open until dark. As Chris J says, any new bins look good in bright daylight, especially when there's lots of detail and colour to look at, its monotones and deep dusk that sorts the men from the boys. Gamefairs are the best opportunity to compare many brands in low light. So forget the spiel, just stay open till the lights go out and we can see for ourselves.

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