compact hunting binoculars - Graybeard Outdoors
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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-05-2010, 03:54 PM Thread Starter
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Default compact hunting binoculars

I am interested in first hand experiences from hunters who have used them in the field.
I am interested in something fixed power and anything from say 8x to say 12x binoculars would probably do.
I want COMPLETELY waterproof and COMPLETELY fogproof(not just water resistant and fog resisant)
easy to focus,easy to wear around neck all day long(lightweight)
clear and sharp enough to distinguish whether there is at least 3 points on one side of bucks rack at say half a mile(to see whether it is a legal buck where I hunt in Arkansas and stalk closer) and $200.00 or less /
Does such a binocular exist?
I also wear contact lenses if that matters.
oh and a good warranty.
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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-05-2010, 06:23 PM
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Default Re: compact hunting binoculars

Sounds just like what I was looking for.

My Pentax 8x42 DCF nocs broke, one side eyepiece doesn't retract back like it should, I guess after around 15 yrs, things like that happen. I was ready to "pull the trigger" on either the Nikon travelite 8x22 (or 25 - can't remember) and/or a Steiner Safari Pro 8x22 (or 25 - can't remember). Anyway, either from Binoculars.com or Cabelas, they were 99.99 or 119.99 - which is in my price range (and looked like a great deal). I'm an old fashioned kinda guy & I'd really like to hold them in my hand & look through either before I lay money down for 'em.

I really like 8 power for hunting, cause my hunting scopes are all 3x9 & I can duplicate 8 power easy enough. Once after looking through my dad's 12 power nocs, I couldn't find a target after trying to find it at 9x - things just looked too different.

So, if you were looking for help, too bad - I got the same needs you do. I'm not made of money & there ain't gonna be any Swaroski's (or how ever you spell it) or Leica's or Zeiss's laying around here. I don't think I'll get anything that is even as good as my broken 8x42 Pentax's

Someone help us.
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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-05-2010, 06:41 PM
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Default Re: compact hunting binoculars

I am NOT a fan of compact binoculars or at least not what most folks think of as compact meaning shirt pocket size.

They invariably have a tiny objective lens and way too much magnification so you get a dim dark image in shadows and early/late when the best hunting takes place. I've tried several and so far haven't found one I consider better than no binocular.

If you are dead set on such a bincular however I'd advise you to get nothing but a top quality brand and that $200 price is at least $800 shy of buying that quality level. At the $200 price I know of none that would be useful for much more than a paper weight.

I'd advise you to try to find the lowest magnification range you can with the largest objective you can find. Still in compacts that doesn't offer much as I know of none over 24mm objective size and you can hardly ever find one with less than 8x to 12x. To begin with 12X is way more than most of us can hold steady enough to be useful. These days I find I can't free hold even 10X anymore. Unless I can propt my elbows the image is so jerky I'm not a lot better off than with no binocular.

If you could find a 5x or 6x with a 24mm objective and really high quality lens that would be a useful tool for sure. Unless you are hunting open country you don't need more than 5x or 6x anyway. One of my favorites is a Steiner 6x30. To me a 6x30 binocular makes more sense than any other for a woods hunter. The old used to be common 7x35 size is almost but not quite as handy.

Personally I use an 8x42 for most of my hunting these days tho I'm always on the look out for a quality 6x30 or 7x35 for most of my hunting in the woods.

I'm not saying categorically there isn't a decent compact out there as there might be one that I'm not aware of that would do the job. I've heard of folks using them from the top European makers with total satisfaction. I know at least one or more of them make an 8x32 which isn't truly a compact but comes close and quality is top notch but then so is the price.



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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-05-2010, 07:40 PM
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Default Re: compact hunting binoculars

I'll second the Steiner 6x30, have a pair and loved them...at least until I added bird watching while hunting, they don't have a close focus, so I quit using them and moved up to a Nikon Monarch ATB 8x40, I think the current model is an 8x42 tho, that works well, added a bino harness and the weight just disappears, I've actually forgot I was wearing them many times!! :

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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-05-2010, 07:47 PM
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Default Re: compact hunting binoculars

i haVE a small set of nikons 10 x. they are good but i like my larger set of nikons better.they are light and easy to carry tho.it just seems easier to use the bigger ones. but if i want to travel light ill always take the little ones.
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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-05-2010, 07:50 PM
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Default Re: compact hunting binoculars

The leupold yosemite 6x30 are the only binocular that I hear are good for the money. About$100 or less on sale. They are rated high in the reviews by people I trust.

If price is no object the get the leica's compact. A friend uses these and they are the best compact I know of.

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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-05-2010, 10:41 PM
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Default Re: compact hunting binoculars

I have a pr. of the Leica Trinovids in 8x. This is the very compact shirt pocket size glass. Bought it about 8 years ago for $400. less $50. coupon. More than I ever spent for glass. I could gather in more detail with these, even at dusk, than my Chinese Pentax 12x 50 which were near $200. I eventually gave the Pentax to my son. I still like the Leicas so much I fascinate about getting their full-size binoculars.

Lately I've bought a couple older 8x30 Asahi Pentax Jap binoculars from the 1950s, I suppose. They were 50-100 bucks off ebay and I'm sure not waterproof, but easy to look through and they work smoothly.

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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-05-2010, 11:09 PM
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Default Re: compact hunting binoculars

I have used a pair of Nikon Travelite for about 24 yrs. They have proven to be pretty good for what they are. These are 9x I think. About ten yrs. ago I picked up a pair of the Steiner Military / Marine. These are a vast improvement, and honestly not much larger. I'm guessing they will run about $235 now days. Honestly they are worth waiting and saving for, over the little Nikons.

Good bino's are going to last a long time, longer than your eyesight. My eyes can't really make up for what the Nikons lack any longer. The closer you are to 50 the sooner you are gonna wish you bought once and cried once.

I guess it boils down to this , the Nikons aren't too bad the Steiners are way better for just $30 something over your budget.

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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-06-2010, 05:24 AM
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Default Re: compact hunting binoculars

Go to a bird watching site of someone who sells/supplies Binoculars to them as even those who are just startign out birdwatching are often more critical about their binos performance that most hunters it seems. In the UK we have an organisation called the RSPB who have reserves for bird watching and a lot of these have shops on site so i went to oen fo thos and tried a few different types out int eh reserve before buying my 8x44 Viking Roof prism binos. Nope I had never heard of them either but they have served me well for over a dozen years now.

I have some others as I like optics and have collected up a few pairs of older one and a pair od 8x21 Olympus binos. I keep an old pair of 8x28 German Wetztlar in the glove box of the car that are probably about 60 years old. For $200 your going to get pretty basic lenses and mediorce quality which will lead to eye strain if you tyry to use them much. However it's your money and your choice.
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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-06-2010, 07:06 AM
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Default Re: compact hunting binoculars

the correct answer
Quote:
Originally Posted by Graybeard
I am NOT a fan of compact binoculars or at least not what most folks think of as compact meaning shirt pocket size.

They invariably have a tiny objective lens and way too much magnification so you get a dim dark image in shadows and early/late when the best hunting takes place. I've tried several and so far haven't found one I consider better than no binocular.

If you are dead set on such a bincular however I'd advise you to get nothing but a top quality brand and that $200 price is at least $800 shy of buying that quality level. At the $200 price I know of none that would be useful for much more than a paper weight.

I'd advise you to try to find the lowest magnification range you can with the largest objective you can find. Still in compacts that doesn't offer much as I know of none over 24mm objective size and you can hardly ever find one with less than 8x to 12x. To begin with 12X is way more than most of us can hold steady enough to be useful. These days I find I can't free hold even 10X anymore. Unless I can propt my elbows the image is so jerky I'm not a lot better off than with no binocular.

If you could find a 5x or 6x with a 24mm objective and really high quality lens that would be a useful tool for sure. Unless you are hunting open country you don't need more than 5x or 6x anyway. One of my favorites is a Steiner 6x30. To me a 6x30 binocular makes more sense than any other for a woods hunter. The old used to be common 7x35 size is almost but not quite as handy.

Personally I use an 8x42 for most of my hunting these days tho I'm always on the look out for a quality 6x30 or 7x35 for most of my hunting in the woods.

I'm not saying categorically there isn't a decent compact out there as there might be one that I'm not aware of that would do the job. I've heard of folks using them from the top European makers with total satisfaction. I know at least one or more of them make an 8x32 which isn't truly a compact but comes close and quality is top notch but then so is the price.

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