View Full Version : Binoculars for Hunting...

December 12, 2001, 05:35 PM
Just curious if you folks use binoculars, and if you do, what kind?

I see in my Bass Pro Shops sale flyer that they have Nikon Buckmasters binoculars and Nikon Travelite V Binoculars on sale. Both look like pretty good options for a small, pocket-size set of binoculars for hunting. Anybody know much about these Nikon binoculars?

December 12, 2001, 07:44 PM
I purchased 2 pair of Swarovski's a 10x42 and 10x50. I was lucky enough to find them in a second hand store but still paid dearly for them. The 10x50's recently accompanied a buddy of mine on a African Safari and then finished out his hunting season this fall with a Bighorn Sheep hunt he was lucky enough to draw a tag on. He loves them and I will probably never get them back!

I carry the 10x42's with me everywhere I go. I like clarity and bright optics. THERE IS A DIFFERENCE! You won't find cheap optics around the professional hunters neck. I decided to get these after talking to an AZ F&W officer who let me take a peek through his. No eye fatigue, excellent clarity and they really work well in low light.

I broke my 10x42's and sent them in to be repaired. They upgraded the case they were in and repaired them for free. Lifetime guarantee and they stand behind them even if you are not the original owner. If you can afford it buy the best.

Well thats my opinion cause you asked for it! Good luck!

December 12, 2001, 08:47 PM
Buy the best glass you can afford!! You will be glad you did.

I had a pair of Redfield 10x50 that I used for almost 7 years. Then just over a year ago I bought a used pair of Swarovski's a 10x42, and man, what a difference. In low light and at longer distances, you can really tell which pair is better. Since most movement I see when hunting is just at dawn or dusk, these have helped me see things a whole lot better. The 10x42 might be too big for a pocket, but you can check for yourself.

Good luck and happy hunting!


Covert Mission
December 12, 2001, 09:07 PM
Check out pro hunter/guide/writer John Barsness's article in the current (Dec, I think) issue of RIFLE, called "Optics in the Field" iirc. Lots of good info.

My hunting buddy has the Swarovski 10x42's and Leica 8x30's. Both excellent, although his Swarovs are a few years old, and the color balance has that slight "Swarovski Yellow" cast which I've read they'e eliminated in the newest models. They're really super... I've used them for many many hours with no fatigue. Hunting buddy says if he was doing it again, he might buy the Leica 8x42 or 10x42 instead. Try both, and pick the one that feels best... if the budget allows.

I don't have that kind of budget now, and so I bought the Pentax 8x42 DCF-WP (I think that's the model #), for about $479. They are truly excellent imo, and a great value for the dollar (Barsness says the same, and says his Pentax's get used more than any other he owns). I have A-B'd them with the Swarovs over and over, and maybe the Swarovs are 5% better, for over 100% more money. Pentax also has a lifetime warranty. I don't know if they're as rugged as the Leica/Swarovs, but for a $500+ savings, I'm gonna test them! Bargain #2: Minox (another camera legend) makes a binoc (in 8x30, 8x42, and 10x42) that is almost identical to the Pentax, at about the same price. Designed in Germany, and made in Japan. I compared both, and preferred the ergonomics of the Pentax slightly, though I did like the lock-out eyecups of the Minox. I would be very happy with either one, honestly.

If I have the dough in the future, I'll seriously consider the Leica/Swarov option of course ;) FWIW

Al Thompson
December 12, 2001, 09:39 PM
I have a pair of the Diafun 10x30 Ziess binos. Cabela's sells them for $449.00.

Excellent bino's and priced right.

I have never had any luck with cheap binos. Probably the only product where you get what you pay for - in spades.


Art Eatman
December 12, 2001, 10:16 PM
I've always done okay with mid-range pricing on my binoculars. I used to use 7x35s, but my Swift 10x42 is clear enough.

8X to 10X is about all I can hold halfway steadily; anything above a 40mm or so lens gets awful heavy after a few miles.


Fred Hansen
December 12, 2001, 11:38 PM
I use


I have used/borrowed Zeiss and Swarovski's. I like the Fujinons the best. They are the equal of any binoculars that I have tried. And they cost half as much or less.:D

December 12, 2001, 11:44 PM
Old legs, I pack light. Carry a Zeiss 8X30 monocular in shirt pocket. Years ago it had a sister and I called em binoculars but they got mangled so I cut em in half and use the good side. Love it.


Covert Mission
December 12, 2001, 11:58 PM
so I cut em in half and use the good side.


Re: wearing heavier binocs... I started using one of the shoulder harness systems this year. Kinda like a shoulder holster/suspender rig, made of elastic or webbing which goes around each shoulder and crosses in back, and your binocs clip in front on your chest. Takes all the weight off your neck, and holds them close unless needed, so they don't smack anything when bending over. GREAT! :p I can wear my 8x42's all day and night without any discomfort, and even 10x50s wouldn't be too much, I think. Highly recommended.

December 13, 2001, 12:01 AM
I was wondering if there was anthing wrong with the Steiner optics I have been considering a pair, but was wondering if I should hold out for something else.

December 13, 2001, 12:58 AM
I've carried a pair of the Stiener 8x30 mil/marine for several years (~$200). They are light wt, rugged, with better optics than most similarly priced binos. good value IMO.

Bottom Gun
December 13, 2001, 08:37 AM
I also use the Pentax 8x42 DCF binos.I think they're an excellent buy for the money. Mine have held up very well.
My friend broke a pair of 10x42's and Pentax fixed them quickly and for free.

December 13, 2001, 10:02 AM
I use binocs: a $100 pair of compact, long-eye-reliefs from Cabelas. I'm a big fan of good optics, but as I hunt heavy woods in the hills of the Northeast, my use for them is simply to confirm a target before bringing my gun to bear. Given that application, I can't justify the expense of a really good pair. But were I to head west where I would need a pair to glass for hours at a time, I'd certainly buy a top end set of glass.

December 14, 2001, 04:48 PM
For hunting I'm a big fan 50mm objectives, 7x magnification, and as much field-of-view as I can get. There's a lot going on before/after sunrise/sunset that I want to see. Small lenses, 10x magnification, and a claustrophobic FOV are for bird watching in good light.... IMHO. -- Kernel