Bino Spec

Stringer

Well-Known Member
#1
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.:lol:

MAny Thanks

S
 

tartinjock

Distinguished Member
#2
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.

TJ
 

Stringer

Well-Known Member
#3
tartinjock said:
It all depends on what you can afford, as has been said, buy once and you will never need to buy another.


TJ
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
 

tartinjock

Distinguished Member
#4
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.

TJ
 

caorach

Well-Known Member
#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.
 

Ballibeg

Well-Known Member
#6
I was looking at the Minox's here.

http://www.cliftoncameras.co.uk/Minox_HG_Series

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.

ADDED-

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???

Dave
 

Monkey Spanker

Well-Known Member
#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'! :eek:
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! :lol:
 

Thar

Well-Known Member
#8
Another vote for Minox's I too have a set of 8.5x43 HG s. :D

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. :rolleyes:

Best rgdss

Tahr
 

IanF

Well-Known Member
#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
 

Muntiacus

Well-Known Member
#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)
Nick
 
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Davie

Guest
#11
**** i had better throw my Bins in the bin ;) Christ i have been using 7 x for 20 years and set my scope at seven and guess what its OK my old shaky hands prefer less mag . ;)
What i will say is bins are a life time purchase in most cases and it is the biggest decision you will make make regards stalking so make sure you try before you buy and not just a wee go through the shop window .
 

W16OEN

Well-Known Member
#12
Hi Stringer.
Have a look on www.foxfirearmsuk.com under the scope section - they sell 8x42s multi coated, nitrogen filled, waterproof etc for around £70. You get what you pay for or so they say but I did read a short article on these in some sporting mag and they did say they were very good value for money?? I have a pair of Leupold 10x50s in the vehicle and stalk with Leica's 8x42, the leica's are more than 3 times the cost - are they 3 times better? I don't think so.
Buy your wife a pair for birthday, if they are good keep them for yourself otherwise try something else.
 
#13
Stringer

Yet another vote for 8x. I use a pair of 8.5x42 Swaro's and they are the best stalking investment I've made. I use them on the hill as well as for my woodland stalking and all they ever need is an occasional wipe down.

My backup pair that I keep in my stalking box are the old 7x40 Zeiss Jena "Checkpoint Charlie" binos. They are - to all intents and purposes - focus-free and tough as old nails, although they do give a strangely yellow-ish cast through the viewfinder. You occasionally find them on eBay (here is a pair in the US: http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Carl-Zeiss-Je...hash=item290288939897&_trksid=p3286.m63.l1177)

I'd give the newer Japanese models a look, also the Leupold if you can find some, but 8x would certainly get my vote.

willie_gunn
 

Stringer

Well-Known Member
#14
W16OEN said:
Hi Stringer.
are they 3 times better? I don't think so.
This is the question I keep asking myself. Surely the difference between a pair of £500 binos & £1000 pair is going to be negligible.

Thanks for the replies, some food for thought. Perhaps I'll win the lottery this weekend and wont need to worry about the odd grand here or there. :lol: :lol:
 

W16OEN

Well-Known Member
#15
You would notice the difference when the light is fading just as you would a good scope, perhaps an extra 10-15mins viewing?. My mate has Swar's 8x56 which beats my Leica's 8x42 hands down but that is to be expected - bigger objective lens, more light gathering and also a lot heavier! Perhaps an obvious point but it helps if your bino's match your rifle scope if being used in conjunction? Would a pair of swar's 8x56 be compatible with a classic stalking scope mag of 6x42 at last light? you would see the quarry through the bino's but the scope?
I don't think you dont need to spend a lot of money to get a decent pair of usable bino's
 

Monkey Spanker

Well-Known Member
#16
W16OEN said:
You would notice the difference when the light is fading just as you would a good scope, perhaps an extra 10-15mins viewing?. My mate has Swar's 8x56 which beats my Leica's 8x42 hands down but that is to be expected - bigger objective lens, more light gathering and also a lot heavier! Perhaps an obvious point but it helps if your bino's match your rifle scope if being used in conjunction? Would a pair of swar's 8x56 be compatible with a classic stalking scope mag of 6x42 at last light? you would see the quarry through the bino's but the scope?
I don't think you dont need to spend a lot of money to get a decent pair of usable bino's
If your Leica's were 7x42 you would find they were the same as your mates when the light was fading. Remember the 'Rule of 7'! His would have x1 more mag which is negligible. It's the light gathering that will let you down if you go for too much mag.
 
D

Davie

Guest
#17
Monkey spankers is correct not only will to much mag cause you to shake a bit.But it will also hinder your eye gathering light.
10 x 42 not being as good as 7x50 etc.
The human eye can let in a certain amount of light cant remember how much but i am sure some one will and it will dispel the myth.
but i think to get maximum light with say 10x mag you would need an objective of 70 mil/
 

ReneZ

Well-Known Member
#18
Age is an issue as well (for this!). The older you get the less flexible your eyes are to adapt themselves to the 'exit pupil' of the glass and therefore the light transmission through your own 'lenses' becomes an issue. So it might be that a 10x42 is great for a 25 year old, but a 50 year old should not go above 7x or 8x. As with everything its all personal!
 

Heym SR20

Well-Known Member
#19
Don't go for more than 7 or 8 power - any more you won't be able to hold steady for any length of time. A 7x42 from Zeiss, Swarovski, Leica will last you and your children's lifetime.

If you can't afford a full size binocular from one of the best brand, do have a serious look though at their pocket binocular ranges. These are approximately half the price of teir full size binns, mainly because it is much cheaper to make top quality 20mm glass than 42mm glass. I would suggest that a pair of 8x20 pockets from Zeiss, Swaro, Leica will outperform a bigger pair from a cheaper brand.

The cheaper brands may be OK, but they will not withsand the use and you will replace them in a few years time.

Unfortunately you do not find them 2nd hand very often - once you have a pair you will never need another.
 

Roebuck270

Well-Known Member
#20
I have a pair of Leica Ultravid 8 x 42 HD, I love them. Would like to share a comment a stalking buddy of mine said to me, If you are spending alot of money on a pair of binos get a 7 power. the binos will last a life time and when you get old anything more than a 7x you will notice shake or wobble. Just gave me something to think about.
 

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