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I need a good pair of scouting binoculars. Don't know much about them, so what is the best dollar to quality ratio??
 

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Leica Geovid 10X42's. They have an accurate 1300 yard range finder built in. I'd say the best quality optics money can buy. They are sweet.

But you have to spend $2000 to get them.


Mike
 

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I have a pair of Nikon 10X42 Monarch ATB's. They are water proof and fog proof. The optics compare well with my buddies high end Swarovski binoculars. Cost runs about $300.00 give or take. I got mine on E-Bay for around $270.00.
 

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On the high end, it is hard to beat Swarovski or Leica. I think a great value is the Pentax DCF HRII 8x42. Once you get over 8x, it is tough to keep it steady enough to prevent jitter w/o help.
 
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W/o a doubt the glass on Swar. or Leica is amazing. It also very expensive. I am one who usually buys "the best". That said, my Nikon Monarch 8X42s are all I ever need. If your use does not usually include low light situations (early morn or dusk), then you can buy quality glass such as Nikon or Pentax and be just fine.

Also, as someone said, any power over 8 and steadiness becomes an issue.
 

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No doubt Zeiss or Swar. are the top of the line but Steiner binos are not far behind at a lower price. For scouting, if walking is involved, 10x42 is a good size.

Also, you need to shop for pricing once you decide what you want. Optics pricing varies widely, check the internet.
 

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I have a pair of Swarovski's and yes I have never seen any better, but for the money Windriver made by Leupold are a great deal.
 

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kjrice said:
On the high end, it is hard to beat Swarovski or Leica. I think a great value is the Pentax DCF HRII 8x42. Once you get over 8x, it is tough to keep it steady enough to prevent jitter w/o help.
I have a pair of Swarovski SLC's that I wouldn't trade for the world. They are amazing and handle hard use. As I've also told the story here before....They stand 110% behind their products!!!

That said, I agree with Kevin as well. Pentax makes a VERY nice binocular for the money. I had several biologist I wouk with buy them on my reccomendation and everyone loves them....great optics as well.

John
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Buy the best ones you can afford. That being said, I have a pair of Leopold Windriver 10 x 42's that cost me right at $200 and are very nice.
 

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I sold upper end binos for 10 years. Without a doubt swaro EL's are the best money can buy. Leica makes nice binos as well. The thing with them is that they are heavy. It is hard to put a price tag on a pair of binos that you will have the rest of your life. My advise would be to bite the bullet and buy the best you can afford.

I own a pair of pentax 8X32's as well. When I bought them they were really nice for the $. I think I paid around $400 for them. They are not made like Swaros, Leica however. Right now the prisms are a little out of wack. Things happen. We'll have to see how there customer service is.
 

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It is hard to put a price tag on a pair of binos that you will have the rest of your life.
I spent $700 on a really nice pair a couple of years ago. They were stollen within 2 weeks.
 

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Bino's

Before you buy check out the Pentax DCF WP, when thay came out several years ago they where selling upwards of $700. Bino experts where hard pressed to tell the difference between them and Binos costing twice as much. They came in 8x42 and 10 x 43 ands 10 x 50 power wit. The 10 X50 are unbelievable but are a little big for everyday use. I believe the new replacement models are called DCF SP
You can find the WP meaning waterproof for 200 to 300 used
I was in Alaska with a friend and he had the 50's and I had a pair of Steiner 8x30 and when I got home sold the steiners and picked up a pair of 8x42 . The 50's even did a better job than a spotting scope, clarity and brightness is unbelievable.
 

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Buy the best pair you CAN'T afford. Swarovski is the best there is and I have owned a pair of each of the big three. The Zeiss classic are very good glass but the ergonomics suck and Leica are great as well but heavy as someone else already stated. You will never regret spending the extra for the best.
 

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Good point spend what you can aford to lose without going bankrupt.
On that Alaska trip I had a back pack on with my steiner looped over my neck. I stopped to take a rest so off came the binos and backpack, Now the steiners where drab green but after loosing gear in the past I always put a strip of orange surveyors tape on everything. Well make a long story short I took off and after a 1/2 hour of hiking remebered I left the binos behind, the tundra is like the desert every thing looks the same but I got lucky and spotted the tape blowing in the wind. A $2000 bino lost would still be giving me nightmares.
 

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After buying a good pair a couple years ago my advice is to go to retailer that has a range of binocular qualities on display. I went to Cabelas and spent an hour+ looking through all of them that were in my price range. I picked the ones that seemed to work best for me. I was not too concerned about their bulk so I got better optics in a larger pair for the same price of a sweet compact pair that was not as bright. The compact pair with as good a quality of optics was several hundred dollars more.

You may also want to search these forums. I think this discussion has taken place at least once before.
 

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Buy all you can afford, price for the most part dictates quality. The Swarvo ELs are very nice. For the money Minox are good. Do a google for Better View Desired. It is a bird watching site that does reviews on optics. And bird watchers are very knowledgeable when it comes to optics.
 

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I have a Leica binocular, which was given to me by my late Father, and cost well over $1000.00. They are extremely durable, very, very bright in low light, pretty doggone heavy for their size, and expensive. (In 20+ years of regular field use, they have never fogged or failed me in any way.) Still, they are obscenely expensive.

If that is not in your budget, I suggest considering the Bushnell Elite ($500-700) or Discover ($350-450) range. They have gotten excellent reviews, handle very well, have very smooth adjustment, and the RainGuard technology is supposed to be quite good.

Leupold also makes a Wind River line that is pretty good for the money, $280 and up from Cabelas.

The less expensive would not satisfy a hard core bird watcher, but may be all you need to get started.
Best of luck.

Regards-Mawgie
 
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