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View Full Version : Looking for feedback on the Leupold Pinnacle 8x42 Binocular



thunderdan
12-30-2005, 08:42 PM
I am thinking of getting a pair of these for all around use to include Ft blinds. Has anyone used these?

meleagris
12-31-2005, 06:14 PM
Dan:

I've spent A LOT of time behind binoculars and have a pretty good feel for some of the different brands...I helped Ted find a new pair of handling binocs. Keep in mind, that I am extremely critical of binoculars as they are something I use a lot and depend on. I am a Swarovski believer. The optics are phenominal, they're durable, and when you have problems...the company stands behind their products and fixes them no questions asked. Now I realize not everyone is up for the expense of Swarovski...so I've played with some of the others. I have not played with the specific model of Leopolds you mention, but my past experiences with other models was not a great one. They're relatively expensive but the quality and optics are not what I feel they should be. If you're not going to go top end....I have found the Pentax DCF binoculars to combine an excellent price and optics. We bought my dad a pair before we went to Costa Rica last year and I was consistentaly impressed with their performance. Birders are very picky about their binoculars...and the Pentaxes have become very popular with them.

So I hope this helps. I personally would not buy Leopold based on my past experience...it's not to say they haven't improved. The best thing I can tell you is to look through a couple different pairs and see what you like. Ted cussed me for weeks after I had him look through the Swarovski binoculars.

John
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Howard N
12-31-2005, 07:31 PM
John, for handling on a blind, what power and size would you suggest? I have the Bushnell Xtra Wide 4 X 21, which I think is a big help on some blinds. What do you suggest that's clearer and gives a good field of view?

I'm kinda thinking towards a pair of 7x 50's like the pair of binocs we used on the boat when I was a kid.

meleagris
01-01-2006, 10:09 AM
John, for handling on a blind, what power and size would you suggest? I have the Bushnell Xtra Wide 4 X 21, which I think is a big help on some blinds. What do you suggest that's clearer and gives a good field of view?

I'm kinda thinking towards a pair of 7x 50's like the pair of binocs we used on the boat when I was a kid.

Howard:

The Bushnell's were the same thing Ted was using. They have a very wide field of view...which he really liked for handling. Unfortunately the optic quality was horrible and they were badly misaligned...making for an unpleasant viewing experience. Forgive me if you already know all this (maybe someone else will not), but the best place to start is to briefly describe some of the terms associated with binoculars:

Field of view: (the one I've already mentioned) It is roughly how wide an area you will see while looking through the binoculars at a set distance (always 1000yds). Imagine the FOV is a cone going out to that 1000yd distance...the closer you get to an object...the narrower that cone is going to be. Take Dan's binoculars he was asking about...the FOV is 341 ft at 1000yds which means at the end of a 300 yd water blind the width you could see is 102 feet. Your Bushnells have a 900 ft FOV which means at 300yds you can see ~270 feet. For many, the FOV is the most important part of a handling binocular. Someone who has trouble finding things in binoculars (you have to put the binocs up and search around for the item) needs a wider FOV.

Magnification: (this is the 7 in the 7x50): Is what it says...how magnified or large the image is versus what you would see with the naked eye. Magnification is generally a personal preference thing (Coke vs Pepsi). In theory a lower magnification should give a wider FOV...but this rarely seems to happen. It seems 8x is the most popular magnification. It can be kind of hard to find good 7x binoculars (there certainly are some but a lot fewer than 8x). 10x is also very popular (what I prefer) but if you do not use binoculars a lot many people have trouble finding things in them and steadying them...for handling I would stick with 7 or 8.

Objective lens: This is the 50 in 7x50. I will not belabor this much other than to say this is the light gathering ability of the binoculars (all other things being equal). In low light, a 50 will be brighter than a 42. The trade off is that 50 means you have larger glass which equates to more $$$ and more weight. Now back to my all other things being equal comment above. This depends on the optics and their coatings. A cheap pair of 7x50's may not be as bright as an expensive pair of 7x42's or even 7x32's. Use this really only as a comparison within a brand.

Roof Prisim versus Porro Prisim Binoculars: There are folks who will argue the merrits of the porro prisim but for me personally the roof prisim binoc is the ONLY way to go. The 7x50's you are remembering are most likely Porro prism binocs. In Porros...light enters the objective lens and then bounces on mirrors (that crooked part) and is sent to the eye. In theory(physics of light thing way over my head), Porros should have a brighter and better image. The reality is that these mirrors are VERY subject lose their alignment in any kind of bang. They just do not hold up to much use (again there are always exceptions...I'm talking generally). Also, very important to me is porros are rarely waterproof...getting rained on with them has ruined many a pair of porros. One pair of Porros that has been pretty good over the years is the Swift Audubon 8.5x44 and I see that they are now waterproof and have a huge 440ft FOV. In the past there were good binoculars...I don't know what the current standards are. They might be what you are looking for.

Roof prisim binoculars are the ones that look like two straight tubes joined in the center. Roof prisims are generally lighter, much more durable, and waterproof (a feature you want...make sure you get!!!). Because they are the most popular type of binoculars among birdwatchers, these are the models companies are putting the most effort into.

Now to answer your question...it all depends on what you want (and how much you're willing to spend). I would recommend a pair of 8x42 roof prisms. Of course I highly reccomend the Swarovski 8.5X42 EL. Thy are the finest binoculars ever made...bar none (the Leicas are also exceptional Binocular as well...can't go wrong with them either). Unfortunately as Ted pointed out...they're $1700. They also have a 7x50 pair of SLCs that are only $1500. In a more reasonable price range, I found the Pentax 8x42s DCF HR II to be an exceptional value (eagle optics has them for $259.00). If I remember correctly, Ted ended up going with a pair of 8x42 Eagle Optics roof prisims and has been very happy with them. He showed them to me at a trial this spring and they seemed very nice.

In a quick search of Eagle Optics (a vendor I have found to be excellent) there are only a few pairs of 7x50's out there. There are very expensive pairs (>$500) from Fuginon and Steiner and then very cheap pairs from Bushnell and Eagle Optics. Nikon has a few pairs....my experience with Nikon binocs has not been a good one (I love the cameras but hate the binocs). So I can't see one I would reccomend in 7x50 other than the Fujinons... but for that much...that's not what I would buy.

Again the best thing is to go look through some to see what YOU like. It looks like there is a Swarovski dealer in Anchorage...usually they will have a number of different brands you can try to get a feel how different models will work for you. That dealer is : MT VIEW SPORTS CENTER, 3838 OLD SEWARD HWY, ANCHORAGE, AK 99503-6024 US

I hope this helps...if not I can try to add some more.

John
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thunderdan
01-01-2006, 06:39 PM
great response, thanks...

meleagris
01-01-2006, 08:18 PM
No problem Dan...I hope it helps.

One feature in binoculars some might need to consider is eye relief. If you are a glasses wearer, it is very important to be able to use the binoculars with your glasses. You want to make sure a particular model is compatible with glasses if you wear them. Most modern binocs have no problem with this, but some of the less expensive models are bad with glasses. This is where trying different models can help and/or buying from somwhere which has people who know binoculars (an Eagle Optics versus a NY Camera Shop).

Good Luck

John
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MC Boulais
01-02-2006, 10:40 AM
I have heard nothing but good things about the Nikon Monarch 8x42. I personally have a pair of Pentax 8x42 and my brother has the Nikons. I prefer his over mine as they are lighter and have slightly better clarity to me.

LLJ
01-04-2006, 01:35 AM
I'd get the Nikon Monarch 8x42 over the Bushnell Xtra Wide 4 X 21. But everyone I know that has the Bushness Xtra Wide is happy with it.

Lawrence Jeur

jeff t.
05-26-2007, 10:29 AM
Deleted

kjrice
05-26-2007, 11:51 AM
Dan:

I've spent A LOT of time behind binoculars and have a pretty good feel for some of the different brands...I helped Ted find a new pair of handling binocs. Keep in mind, that I am extremely critical of binoculars as they are something I use a lot and depend on. I am a Swarovski believer. The optics are phenominal, they're durable, and when you have problems...the company stands behind their products and fixes them no questions asked. Now I realize not everyone is up for the expense of Swarovski...so I've played with some of the others. I have not played with the specific model of Leopolds you mention, but my past experiences with other models was not a great one. They're relatively expensive but the quality and optics are not what I feel they should be. If you're not going to go top end....I have found the Pentax DCF binoculars to combine an excellent price and optics. We bought my dad a pair before we went to Costa Rica last year and I was consistentaly impressed with their performance. Birders are very picky about their binoculars...and the Pentaxes have become very popular with them.

So I hope this helps. I personally would not buy Leopold based on my past experience...it's not to say they haven't improved. The best thing I can tell you is to look through a couple different pairs and see what you like. Ted cussed me for weeks after I had him look through the Swarovski binoculars.

John

Ditto.