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Thread: Bino Spec

  1. #1

    Bino Spec

    Starting to save the pennies for some decent binos and would appreciate some advice. 8)

    Not looking for recomendations on manufacturers as everyone has their own favourite but what is your preference with regard to magnification & lense size.

    Most of my stalking is in fairly enclosed countryside but would like the versatility to use them on open ground occasionally.

    Once I hve decided on a spec. I can then try a few pairs and then see what I prefer.

    MAny Thanks


  2. #2
    Distinguished Member tartinjock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Nairn, Inverness-shire
    I would go for a x8 mag miminum, but don't go to high, the greater the magnification, the less steady they are to look through and when breathing heavy after a good tab up a hill side, you will struggle to hold them steady enough to get a good image picture through them.

    Objective lens? Depends on how much you are willing to spend and how much light you want to gather with them, so stalking times will influence this.

    I have Swarovski 10x42 EL's, very very good binos, in my opinion, I have compaired them to the 8x30 SLC range, and there is a very noticable difference to light gathering at dusk.

    Size is another issue, Although I really like the feel and the qualities, I think they are just a tad to large certinally for woodland stalking as they don't fit into a pocket so remain round my neck. So this would then bring into effect the plus of a pocket set, say 8x20 or 10x25 Binos.

    It all depends on what you can afford, as has been said, buy once and you will never need to buy another.

    Good luck with your quest, not an easy decision to make, try to compaire them at last light, easier this time of year, as it gets dark while the shops are still open.


  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by tartinjock

    It all depends on what you can afford, as has been said, buy once and you will never need to buy another.

    Thanks, that why I'm saving, want to decide what I want then go get them without feeling I have compomised. Given your observations re magnification, I asume if you were in the market now you would go for the 8x42's

    Thanks again

  4. #4
    Distinguished Member tartinjock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Nairn, Inverness-shire
    The 10x42's are fine, I do sometimes find that they are a bit unsteday to hold with one hand, but such is life, I am very happy with them and don't feel I made a mistake getting them.


  5. #5
    Stringer I've been using 8.5X43 (They are Minox and they have that slightly strange size) and have found them to work well both in woodland stalking and on the hill. I guess it comes down to personal taste to some extent but all of the stalkers I've been out with have been using 8 times magnification. It must be said that most of the pro stalkers I've been out with, perhaps all of them on reflection, have been using Swaros but the stalker I was out with last week had his Swaros "run out" of light a while before my Minox which amazed me, he resorted (it was perfectly safe) to using the S&B scope on my rifle to watch the deer. I was still able to positively identify the little spike stags from the hinds when he could no longer manage it.

    I use a S&B 8X56 scope and I think it may also be an advantage, if only a small one, to have the scope and binos show a very similar picture. I would also guess that there is little point having binos that can see in the dark but a scope that can't as even if you can see the deer in the binos you are not going to be able to take the shot.

    All of these are small details if you don't actually have the binos with you and so weight and size also have to be a factor as they need to be easy to carry. The Swaros get a reputation for being easy to handle/use and seem impossible to fault in this area. The Minox that I have are also very light and I find them well suited to my hands and mode of use but this will be a personal thing. With this in mind I think the 8X42 (ish) size seems about optimal in terms of light gathering against physical size.

    The big thing is money. I brought the Minox in from the US when the pound was strong and had them in my hands with tax etc. paid for £400. As I don't use them every day of the week and so couldn't justify the huge costs of the Swaros I feel they are a good deal but your situation my be different. If money is an issue it might be worth mentioning that I bought my S&B scope 2nd hand for not much money and am very happy with it. With that in mind it might be worth considering that route for binos as well and I would bet that something in the 8X42 range will probably be readily available whereas the more specialized sizes are likely to be a little harder to find.

    It was with all these points in mind that I went for the 8.5X43 and so far I haven't found myself in a situation where I felt they were unsuitable. I'm far from an experienced stalker but I've stalked hill reds and woodland roe and sika with the binos, often from complete darkness in the morning through to complete darkness in the evening, and have never had a complaint.

  6. #6
    I was looking at the Minox's here.

    I looked yesterday and today the prices are up by £60 a pair! I also heard that new rifles, manily the Tikka's I was looking at, are going up massivley. I guess its the weak pound.

    So waiting until today to decide on the Minox has cost me £60 on a £550 set of binos. I wonder if soon the top 3 will go up 10% as well.


    Tikka T3 at Macleod's of Tain, yesterday listed at £750 (seen elsewhere for £650) and today in Tain £950!!!

    Who said inflation was low???


  7. #7

    Rule of 7mm!!

    There is a rule of '7' when it comes to optics. Most of the common sizes will give a value of 7 if you divide the width by the mag. ie. 6x42, 8x56. This is because the human eye cannot deal with more than a 7mm aperture. Too much mag will reduce the amount of light than you can perceivably gather and is therefore a disadvantage. It will also 'tunnel' your vision. You think you would see more, but in reality you see less! Personally I would not go above x8 mag. I used to use x10 but not any more. I now use a pair of Leica Trinovids in 7x42 which I got off Evilbay for about £470. In poor light they are like 'Night vision goggles'!
    If you get a good pair they will last a lifetime if looked after and you spend a lot more time looking through them than you do your scope! There is an old saying - 'Buy cheap, buy twice'. I'm now on my 5th pair but now I have the Leica's I don't think I'll need any more.
    I would go for either Leica, Swarovski or Zeiss and you won't be disappointed. Some of the newer Jap stuff like Minox or Nikon seem to be getting some good reviews but will they stand the test of time??
    Time will tell!

  8. #8
    Another vote for Minox's I too have a set of 8.5x43 HG s.

    Since buying mine 3 other guys in my syndicate have brought them too.

    One thing I find that if you have too much mag’ (10x plus) that when using them in the rain that you loose out, because it magnifies the rain drops the image looses clarity. That said when hunting in the NZ mountains my mates 10 powers were better than my 8.5s, but I hunt a lot more in the UK than in foreign mountains.

    Best rgdss


  9. #9
    Another vote for the 8x mag - a good compromise for the sort of ground you describe.

    High enough to give plenty of detail, but at a level where excessive shake will not affect the resolution.

    Objective around the 42mm range will provide adequate light transmission for stalking in the UK.

    You can decide on brand for yourself - but do try Nikon and Minox, as well as the big boys. You owe it to yourself to pay a bit for the binos. As has been said already - it is one area where you will never regret buying quality.

    Rgds Ian

  10. #10
    Hi Stringer
    I use 8 x 32 Zeiss Victory's most of my stalking is in woodland, these offer fantastic light transmission and will see things beyond what I can see through the scope, that said I would love a pair of Zeiss 8 x 56, with a little bit of moon light you can go all night.
    PS: I sell Zeiss (pm me if your interested)

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