Binoculars

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Bambi Basher

Guest
It is time to up grade my old binoculars, but I am in a Dilemma it was going to be a striaght fight between some Leica rangefiners and the Swarovski ELs but now I notice that Kahles have some 8X42 bino’s for only £545. these look a bargain for top German optics.

Has anybody “traded up” to Leica rangefinders from a set of ELs what are your thoughts, also has anybody got a set of Kahles.

Thanks all.

B-b
 

Watermain

Active Member
I looked at the Geovids, and was tempted. The problem is that they are very heavy, and I just didn't want to haul them about. My bins have to double up on duty for bird-watching, and trudging along the Solent sea wall for hours makes all bins wear quite heavily on the neck.

If you're sitting in a high seat I guess the weight is no problem, but if you are sitting in a high seat, you probably know most of the sight-line distances anyway.

I went for the little 8x32 Leica Ultravids, which are as bright as can be, and very light. They also sit in my pocket easily. They are rotten expensive, but my Trinovids lasted for a generation with me, and I sold them for more than I paid for them. I reckon the Ultravids will do even better. I have to say, I MUCH prefer them to the Swarovski bins, which are highly fashionable at the moment.
 

stag1933

Well-Known Member
For dawn and dusk work I have used German OPTOLYTH 8x56mm now for many years of faultless service.
A few years ago I had a trip to Africa and bought a pair of German made Eschenbach 7x42B to take with me.[trophy AS/D allweather.]
Weight is about 800grams so it is not too much on the neck.I cannot remember the price but it must have been a fraction of Swarovski,Leitz etc. as otherwise I would not have bought them.
They have been excellent and for general purpose use they are spot on.
 

john.d.m

Well-Known Member
Swarovski, buy the best and buy it once.Just had mine repaired by Swarovski, they were in a vehicle fire 5 yrs ago,and I was more than happy using them, but now their repaired, back to being the best !
 

Willie

Well-Known Member
Hi BB,

Got to agree with John.d.m - buy the best and buy it once. Swarovski 10x42 for me - slightly on the heavy side but can't beat them for clarity.

I also sent an old set of Swarovski 8x20B back to the manufacturers (managed to fall on them and twist the frame). Swarovski returned them as good as new - no charge. Says a lot for their after sales service.

Willie
 

Jason

Well-Known Member
Buy the best you can afford.

I've got a pair of Zeiss night Owl's (10x50 I think) second hand on the heavy side but good have had them for a good 6 years now. They'll probably get replaced when/if they break.
 

beechessam

Well-Known Member
I recently purchased a new pair of Swarovski 10x42 SLC for £600. They are fantastic but as has been said maybe a bit heavy, but as most of my stalking is woodland rides or a high seat it is not an issue.
 

WAYNE DAVIES

Distinguished Member
Bino's

I have used a pair of Swarovski 8x32EL's for a few years, very light and compact great for one handed woodland scanning, love them, fantastic image and light gathering for their size. Used to have a pair of Swarovski 10x50SLC's which were very heavy but had the edge on last light. I use a pair of Zeiss 7x42 dialyt for WildBoar but will probably change these for some Swarovski 8x56SLC's at some point.
WD
 
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Bambi Basher

Guest
Jason said:
Buy the best you can afford.
I think I can just about afford the best but is that the Leica’s rangerfinding or Swarovski ELs,, I am looking at a set of Kahles tomorrow but a bit difficult to judge without a set of the others beside them.

Thanks for the input keep it coming.

B-B
 

john.d.m

Well-Known Member
It would be great if we could compare all our optics side by side when we are buying,but thats never the case,shame..
Always makes me smile when people are @ game fairs trying out binos and scopes,alot of them like to see how far they can see, I prefer to look into the oak trees and see how the definition is and the focussing etc.when the wifes there, but there are usually other nice things to look at or so the swarovski blokes say ;) also i`d prefer to try the scopes and binos out @ dusk or dawn,which is completley not possible, as by dusk, swarovski blokes and myself are usually @ a party by then, and @ dawn it`s a complete no no (unless the party was crap ) :lol: :lol: :lol:
Realy speaking though it`s mainly down to budget and preference.
But I try and instill into youngsters buy the best they can afford, and if its not one of the top 3, try and work up to them as experience nd funds allow.
 

unclebuck

Member
I have used Leica, Zeiss and Swarovski Bins,For me the Leica have the best definition and are fantastically bright, and win by a short head against the Swarovski though the Swarovski have better field characteristics in term of attached objective lens covers etc. In my opinion nothing touches German or Austrian lenses ,you only buy them once spend till it hurts then spend some more, I have a pair of 8x42 trinovids that I wouldnt swap for any other optic.
 

andypage

Member
Binos

I'm with you on this Uncle Buck I own a pair of Swarovski's and they seem to work for me, I have tried others but believe I see better with them than the other brands.Personal choice I reckon.
 

Drew

Well-Known Member
For a slightly cheaper option try Steiner. I had a pair of 7x50's which fell off the back of a Marine. Impressive. Sadly lost them. My 'car bins' are a pair of Steiner Rallye 8x30's which I love. Not so easy to come by but can be had from Cabelas at very reasonable prices.
 

monarman

Well-Known Member
I've had the opportunity to test the top makes side by side for handling and optical comparison( although not able to compare all at dawn and dusk, but that depends on the individuals eyesight anyway so it doesn't really count).
These included swarovski E.Ls , leica ultravid , zeiss dialyt , zeiss night owls, kahles, meopta , nikon , and minox high grade. All were around the same magnification spec. ie 7 or 8 power and with 42ish objective.

To answer the question regarding the kahles; They are as good optically as the swarovskis( they should be as they use the same lenses) and the leicas, they come with the same warranty too.They are shorter in length too which is handier for tucking into your jacket before that last 50 yard crawl. Also bear in mind that they are around 400 quid cheaper.

The other ones worth thinking about are the minox HG series. These are easily on par with the swarovskis on optical quality and are about the same weight, they are are shorter so again easier to slip into your coat, carry the same warranty, AND are over 400 quid cheaper.

If weight is not an issue then i can seriously recommend the zeiss night owls, i have had the opportunity to compare these at low light with leicas and swarovskis and believe me...night owls won hands down. They were the 7x45 version.

Just think.. that 400 quid can get you a rangefinder and still have change to spend on the missus :eek:
 

caleiderscope

Active Member
Spend on the missus? Are you mad, save for another toy you mean. :evil:

I like the Minox range of bins, best ive seen for the money, might even buy myself a a pair for spares. ;)
 
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Bambi Basher

Guest
Stephen thanks for the advice

I compared a set of Minox’s (not sure which ones was told they were about £250) with a pair of Kahles both 8X42’s, the thing is in good day light the Minox’s seemed slightly brighter. :eek: The Kahles were quite a bit heavier as well.

I have used a rangefinder for a few years now, Swarvo EL look to be in the front running a the minute.



B-B
 

monarman

Well-Known Member
B-B
The minox i tried were th 8.5x43 HG (high grade). They were honestly on par with the sworo 8.5 x42 ELs, they were less bulky and around the same weight. They also have a little rangefinding feature which works upto 50 yards, although i found this feature more useful in the fact that a quick glance at the focussing wheel with the distance(upto 50 yards)written on it, would give an indication as to how much wheel twiddling you had to do to get focussed, something that got on my nerves with my ELs was too much twiddling hence why i just flogged em to a mate for 475 quid. The leica trinovids posess a great feature in the way of an arrow on the focussing wheel that when aligned with tha circle on the body of the binos means they are focussed from20 yards to almost infinity. NO twiddling needed! unless you wanted examine the strange looking beetle that's crawling over your foot when sat in a highseat that is. :lol:

If you do buy th ELs can i suggest you try and aquire an eye piece rainguard from the old slc models, they fit better than the new ones and don't keep popping off when the binos bounce off your chest. Also don't get over zealous whilst twisting the eyecups cos they tend to break easy, replacements are free from swaro main dealers but its a hassle none the less.

Go to a bino specialist like ACE or london camera exchange(Branches in different areas, check web) ignore what it say on the binos and the price, and pick the ones which handle comfortably and most importantly suit your eyesight. You may be suprised.
 

Thar

Well-Known Member
Cal and Steve

Thanks for the heads up on Minox HG series of binoculars :D and they do look very good, ScHott lens, Magnesium body and only $750 in the US about £400……….. but over here £650. :confused:

They look like they are aimed at the Swavoski EL range by the spec’ of them, they are a bit lighter, can’t see much use for the range finding bit I would stick with my laser for that.

Now 8.5X43 or 8.5X52 that is the next question, I have always had 42mmm’s before.

Thanks

Thar

(Formally known as Bambi Basher)
 

monarman

Well-Known Member
I would go for the 8.5x52's for that little bit better light gathering factor but its down to you really, the 43's are slightly more compact and that bit cheaper. My local bino and camera shop sells the 43's for £579 and if i remember the 52's were £659 (still £300 cheaper than EL's)This is at york by the way. :D

steve
 

Thar

Well-Known Member
To late Stephen brought a set of 8.5X43 on US e-bay, $590 plus $40 shipping equals £319 bargain :lol: :lol: :lol: even if I have to pay import tax and VAT it should still be £450.

I Hope there will be no hassle getting them here, and thanks again for the advice.

Thar

(Formally known as Bambi Basher)
 

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