Looking at binoculars

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by stxrus, Jul 30, 2021.

  1. irie

    irie Tele-Holic

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    Leupold Cascades 8x42's are my recommendation.

    I have had two pairs of these over the last decade or so and they are stellar even compared to my high end glass. They are around $300 (although I have seen them on sale for less).

    They are made in Japan not china like most of the junk in this price range. The glass on these is honestly top notch and way beyond their price point.
     
  2. E5RSY

    E5RSY Doctor of Teleocity

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    A pair of glasses has four (at least) lenses. A pair of pants has four legs. And, so it goes...
     
  3. voskarp

    voskarp Tele-Holic

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    I’ve been a birder for some time and tried a bunch of binoculars. I mostly use a pair of Swift Audubon 8,5x44, Opricron 8x32 porro-prism and 8x20 Leicas.

    Nikons are always good budget option, and Vortex has a good reputation. (Zen-Ray seems to be no more.)
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2021
  4. Dano-caster

    Dano-caster Tele-Holic

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    Vortex Diamondback HD 8X42 about $200 from the Audubon store.Really nice glass.Argon filled and sealed.Really rugged unit for that price...
     
  5. stxrus

    stxrus Poster Extraordinaire

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    I’ve been looking at Nikon Monarch 7 and Steiner Predator.
    Being able to look through them with my own eyes is an impossibly.
    My dad (USAF full bird) had a pair of Steiner USN issue that he kept in his bag on the B36 and after he retired and flew for FAA.
    For binoculars made the 50s they were pretty good until a house guest left them outside and it rained. Moisture got inside and they never fully dried out. Needless to say the guest was never invited back
    I’ll be looking into the Leupold (my rifle scopes are all Leupold). I hadn’t thought of them for some silly reason
     
  6. stormsedge

    stormsedge Poster Extraordinaire

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    I purchased a set of Bushnell Sportview 7x50s from the ship's store in mid-'83. They've been great...six ships and numerous hunting trips later---scarred, but completely functional. ((I bought them because the binoculars the Navy was providing at the time were heavy and junk)).
     
  7. noparadise

    noparadise TDPRI Member

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    A "glass" can have multiple elements. A pair of them give binocular vision. It's a fairly simple etymology.
     
  8. stxrus

    stxrus Poster Extraordinaire

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    Looks like the Leupold Cascades are no longer available
     
  9. Boreas

    Boreas Poster Extraordinaire

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    For raptors, get the best 10X50s or 12X50s you can afford. I always go with large objectives, because in the higher powers you need more light. Eagle Optics used to be a good place to shop for them, and their store brand were always a good value.

    I also use a spotting scope on a rifle stock for use during migration flights and such.
     
  10. irie

    irie Tele-Holic

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    Shoot! im sorry I didn't know. I just got our second pair probably a year or two ago. Maybe check ebay?
     
  11. stxrus

    stxrus Poster Extraordinaire

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    It looks like the Nikons are on back order 2-3 months.
    The Steiners are in stock at Optic World. Their shipping is a bit high but not stupid outrageous

    Thanks for the input. I’ll do some more looking but will probably order Sunday or Monday
     
  12. Guitarzan

    Guitarzan Poster Extraordinaire

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    That sum of money will in fact buy some good glass these days.

    Vortex (Viper or Diamondback), Vanguard, Bushnell, and Nikon (Monarch) all offer good value in that range.

    Some Steiner binocs are good value as well.

    Cabela's has produced some good private label binoculars in the past.

    There is such a number of choices that it will be hard to winnow them down.
     
  13. bluzkat

    bluzkat Tele-Holic

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    another thumbs up for Vector.
     
  14. Bluesboy3

    Bluesboy3 Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm sporting Bushnell Trophy X50's. (10 x 50) And a tripod. We had a hawk's nest in the open space when we live in Oakland, CA. It was awesome to see them especially feeding the juvenile.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2021
  15. idjster

    idjster VERY grateful member Silver Supporter

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    My hat is off to you, man. Either the most organized or most ocd person in the world! Good for you!
     
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  16. Texicaster

    Texicaster Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    I went through a LONG bino search a couple years ago. I ended up with Vortex Razors 10x42 (I think.....they're in the truck) BUT the Vortex Vipers were very close quality wise and half the price!

    Sorry but Leupold and Nikons were way back in the pack when I compared. Leupolds had very bad fringing. The Vortex Razors rivaled Swarovski and Leica glass...better than Leica glass!

    Vortex had shifted to China but I think they are back in Japan which are where my Razors are from. Get the MIJ ones!

    Vortex Warranty from web site:
    UNLIMITED LIFETIME WARRANTY
    FULLY TRANSFERABLE
    NO RECEIPT NEEDED
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2021
  17. boneyguy

    boneyguy Doctor of Teleocity

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    :lol:
     
  18. Dave Hicks

    Dave Hicks Friend of Leo's

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    All credit to my wife!

    D.H.
     
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  19. Bob Womack

    Bob Womack Tele-Afflicted

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    And now for your history fun. My father raised me as an optics nerd. I got spoiled early on by his U.S. Army glasses. I later found out that this model represents a landmark in optical history.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This is a pair of US Army Mark 17, 7x50 observation binoculars dating from 1943-44. The Mark 17 was essentially a Mark 15 binocular with the addition of the Mark 17 artillery adjustment reticle in the left eyepiece. There were 53,412 of them built by Westinghouse during the war using Bausch and Lomb or Optical Research Company glass elements. This M17's coated optics place it in a particular time frame in both production and in development of binoculars and optics in general. The Army was looking for a means to allow their binoculars and telescopes to work earlier in the morning and further into twilight than the enemy's. They discovered that a coating of magnesium fluoride film applied under heat and vacuum allowed more light to pass and thus achieved their goals. The Mark 17 was the first binocular to feature coated optics. In the 1970s, the Mark 17 binocular was superseded by the Mark 19, which was developed in an attempt to create a pair of M17s with reduced size, weight, and maintenance requirements as well as increase resistance to moisture. Using modular construction and glued prisms, they were able to reduce the M17's weight by one-half.

    This pair of M17s with their M44 leather case was bought from US Army surplus by my late father in the 1960s for use in his work on the Tennessee River. In the 1980s he discovered that they had developed some moisture problems so we had them rebuilt and collimated by an optical bench that did contract work for the US Navy. While he was at it, the tech modified them to A1 specs, removing the standard rubber eyeshields and eyepiece rings and replacing them with specially-shaped eyepiece rings that allowed an external set of filters to be clipped onto the binoculars. When this was done by the Army, the legend "A1" was typically scribed into the right-hand end cover next to the model name. However, because this pair was modified by a civilian contractor when they were rebuilt, they are unmarked with the mod number.

    These glasses accompanied us on the many canoe camping trips we took on the lakes of East Tennessee and are still going strong. I've got lighter ones, but I still love these.

    Bob
     
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  20. Sequimite

    Sequimite Tele-Meister

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    I use the Celestron 71380 Granite Series 9x33 Roof Prism Binoculars. They've been great for birds and general use. Frankly, I bought them because they were marked down from $300 to $164 in a 2018 Black Friday sale. Around the house we also use a Tele Vue 70mm Pronto telescope on a light tripod, partly because I have so many eyepieces. (we have an amazing variety of birds on our few acres)
     
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