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Thread: Binoculars - which ones?

  1. #1

    Binoculars - which ones?

    I was lucky enough to be at a shooting fair on Saturday and handle most of he market leading binoculars.

    Lecia 8x42 rangefindes + Lecia 10x42 rangefinders
    Swarovski 8x42 + 10x42 rangefinders
    Zeiss 8x42 rangefinders

    Zeiss conquest 8x42 + 10x42
    swarovski 8x42 + 10x42

    As you may have quessed, Im after a 8x42 or 10x42. All the fair has done is confused me even more. I have come to the conclusion that all are good glass however I think the Zeiss may be the best for my eyes? The 10x42 seems to add more rattle in to the binoculars which in turn makes it hard to accurately judge a distance free hand.

    So so would you go for 8x42 or 10x42?

    Is is a rangefinder an expensive electronic gimic to go wrong?

    Cheers

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Cawdor118 View Post
    I was lucky enough to be at a shooting fair on Saturday and handle most of he market leading binoculars.

    Lecia 8x42 rangefindes + Lecia 10x42 rangefinders
    Swarovski 8x42 + 10x42 rangefinders
    Zeiss 8x42 rangefinders

    Zeiss conquest 8x42 + 10x42
    swarovski 8x42 + 10x42

    As you may have quessed, Im after a 8x42 or 10x42. All the fair has done is confused me even more. I have come to the conclusion that all are good glass however I think the Zeiss may be the best for my eyes? The 10x42 seems to add more rattle in to the binoculars which in turn makes it hard to accurately judge a distance free hand.

    So so would you go for 8x42 or 10x42?

    Is is a rangefinder an expensive electronic gimic to go wrong?

    Cheers
    I couldn't live without a rangefinder in my binos after having lived with one... I tried as I thought it was an expensive gimmick and sold my zeiss to get some minox HGs but sold them to buy another pair of Zeiss RFs.. then sold them and got the new Leicas.. so far I have had the original Leica Geovid HDs, 2 x Zeiss RFs and the Leica HD-Bs... as far as electronics go, the Leicas beat everything out there hands down.. as for glass... there is so little in it you would in reality not be able to tell the difference if you had them all lined up in front of you in daylight... going from stand to stand at the game fair with a break in between, under differing lighting conditions and with different targets to view, you will never be able to be truly objective..

    As for me.. I find the new leicas much more comfy to hold than the zeiss and they feel less cumbersome in the hand.. The zeiss are good but it is old technology in there now and the laser receiver matting in the right barell sucks so much light away at dusk and dawn it is unbelievable... on paper I'm pretty sure they now have the poorest transmission numbers.. in use it is much, much worse..

    The only ones I haven't owned are the swaros and that is only because I don't like the way they feel in the hand with the lumps sticking out of the barrel bottoms.. The image is as good as the rest and they sure are compact in comparison but on the pairs I have tried the ranging computer was a tad slow... having to wait a while for a solution unlike the other 2 where it is instant.. don't know if that has improved with the newer model.

    So, in conclusion.. My preference would be Leica HD-B (or the HD-R if you don't want the full electronics package) then Swaro then Zeiss.. Personally it would be in an 8X configuration as 10x gives just a tad too much wobble for me when ranging at any distance..

  3. #3
    it depends what you will be using them for. if woodland stalking then perhaps the 8x42 is best and it can be said they will give slightly better results at last light. I prefer the 10x42 and although you are right about them having more of a rattle, I always carry sticks with me and can use them to rest the binos on when I need to and that for me does the trick.

    my spare / old binos are 10x42 Lecia and they are great binos with great glass. I didn't really have good reason to change but bought a second hand pair of 10x42 Swaro EL range. I find that I use the range finder quite a lot and although in a lot of cases its more to be nosy, I find on hilly ground or places with valleys you get some surprise readings.

    for me the swaros give better contrast than zeiss and leica but that's my eyes and you may be totally different. all the binos you mention are top quality so it will come down to personal preference. you have taken the best first step and looked through them all. if you wait a few months you will be able to go to a shop and look through them before closing time when its getting dark outside and assess the low light performance.

  4. #4
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    I've copied what I posted from the other thread on binoculars:

    I have owned and used everything from my late father's war issue 7x50 through cheap and cheerfuls to Zeiss 10x40 BGAT*P* to Leica 7x42 and 8x42. I also have a Gray's telescope.

    My opinion is that for practical woodland stalking that 7x42 are better than 8x42. As the 8x is no better than 7x but you do lose both width of view and depth of field by going to an 8x over a 7x.

    The Zeiss 10x were sold once I bought, used, the Gray's telescope as on the hill a good telescope beats the best binocular and I'd say that these Zeiss BGAT*P* were the last of the best of the Zeiss leaded glass binoculars.

    Now, unfortunately, only Leica now offer a 7x42 but I'd still search one out as to being for woodland stalking the best of the best marriage of magnification plus lens size plus weight. The Trinovid BA FWIW is better (for us) that the Trinovid BN as the BA hasn't been adjusted for "birders" and in the process losing its longer ranging ability.

    However if you were sitting up in a high seat at dusk or before dawn then I'd suggest the extra weight of the 8x50 trumps the handiness of the 7x42.
    I have a separate rangefinder, also a Leica, as it swaps from yards to metres. Be aware...some of the current Leica rangefinders don't swap. Why do I have both? Because I want binoculars separate from my rangefinder so that I won't lose the use of the one if the other has to be serviced. And it also means someone else can play about with it whilst I am playing about with the binoculars.

    Or...you can play games and challenge each other to "guess the distance" when things get quiet and boring...
    Last edited by enfieldspares; 09-08-2015 at 19:26.

  5. #5
    In the very few quantative tests I've seen of glass Zeiss always comes out tops so if you want the best glass it is simply the way to go. On the other hand people see other things in the packages offered by the other companies. Most people neither need, want nor buy the best glass but go for other aspects or features.

    one thing to bear in mind is that all of them, including most of the "2nd" tier companies make glass which is more than adequate for stalking. So you could buy something much less expensive, or even second hand, and spend the cash left over on going stalking. Despite what you read in the magazine adverts buying a certain make of binos will probably not shoot you more deer or get you out stalking more, but spending the cash on going stalking will.
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  6. #6
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    I am still puzzled as to why anybody needs a rangefinder to shoot a deer?
    “Man surprised me most about humanity. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money.Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”........Dalai Lama

  7. #7
    I have had a pair of Swarovski binoculars 8x42 for almost 20years. They are as good now as the day I bought them. I have used 10x binoculars in the past but much prefer the 8x with its better depth of field and easier to hold keep steady.

    I often wonder about RF binoculars for stalking. Since the large majority of deer are shot in woodland and adjoining areas at ranges of 100 meters or less why pay so much for something that for most of the time will be of little use. A properly zeroed centre fire deer caliber will be practically flat for the first 175 meters. The RF function is also another thing to go wrong and I suspect the first thing to break if the binoculars are dropped.

  8. #8
    Considering what you guys have said I think it may be a better idea to save the money and go for something non rangefinding. I just don't know if I would be able to justify it to the missus or myself haha! I really did like he Zeiss Conquest's however I did notice I almost had the focus at maximum turns clockwise (don't know the technical term). Would this be a problem if my eyes deteriorate as I get older?

    Cheers

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by teyhan1 View Post
    I am still puzzled as to why anybody needs a rangefinder to shoot a deer?
    Once you have had bins with built in RF it is very difficult to go back... paradoxically, the RF is rarely used to range the actual deer! The most important function (apart from knowing your arc of fire) is ranging a dropped beast.. knowing EXACTLY how far it is to the point of impact makes finding a dead deer or blood trail much easier in thick cover... guestimating distances can lead to potentially hours or wandering round in circles looking for clues!

    What's really funny is when out with someone who doesn't believe in the whole range finding thing... they tend to constantly ask how far things are away!!!!!
    Last edited by Vipa; 10-08-2015 at 09:36.

  10. #10
    Think of the weight issue as well, RF binoculars are heavy, recently swapped my Conquest 8x40 for new Conquest HD 8x32 and much prefer the reduced size and weight. I carry a small RF in my pocket if it's needed (not often).

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