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Good Low Light Binoculars

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Unread 12-09-2003, 07:24 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: East Tennessee
Posts: 124
Good Low Light Binoculars

I'm trying to figure out which route to go with a new pair of binoculars. I need a pair that will provide the brightest picture at dusk and dawn. I will be hunting from a blind and glassing an area that will offer shots to approx. 800 yards. Size of binos doesn't matter. I'm hoping that I can learn from many of you here.

I've heard good things about Leupold, Nikon, Pentax & Steiner. A friend also tells me that the binos from Sightron and Leatherwood are great. What do you think?

I want a good pair that will last for many years to come, so I expect them to be a little pricey. But, if a less expensive pair is equal or better than a more expensive model, well that's even better.

What do you think?

Take care,

Just another beautiful day in paradise!
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  •   #2  
    Unread 12-09-2003, 07:41 PM
    Silver Member
    Join Date: Jan 2002
    Location: Richmond Va
    Posts: 267
    Re: Good Low Light Binoculars

    In my opinion, if you want to cover the full 800, you should get the very best binocs (50-56mm objectives)or a pretty good spotting scope if hunting from a blind. I presume you would like to count points, etc before firing.

    Normal binocs at that distance will likely define a cow from an antelope. Decide and state the actual definition you want and I will try another stab!
    Still playing King of the Hill
    Beware the high ground
    [Reaching for wallet] You wouldn't happen to be a betting man would you?
    Impossible means not done YET!
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    Unread 12-09-2003, 10:04 PM
    Silver Member
    Join Date: Dec 2001
    Location: occupied, USA
    Posts: 189
    Re: Good Low Light Binoculars

    RT, the exit pupil of binoculars will have a significant affect on their usefulness in low light situations. You calculate the EP by dividing the magnification into the objective lens diameter. Keep in mind that the human eye has a maximum ability (in general, for a youthful person in good health) to dilate to about 7mm. That equates to an 8x56 binocular.

    NOTE: The big objective glasses are significantly heavier than their smaller cousins. Example, the superb Swarovski SLC in 8x56 weighs just a tad under 3 pounds. My neck hurts just thinking about it, but your mileage may vary.

    IMHO, the best value, bar none, in very high quality binoculars right now, is the Pentax DCF WP and new DCF SP series. According to the website link below, the best at any price is the Nikon Venturer LX stuff. But there are several excellent choices, and you might have a look to see what matches your needs:

    Good luck, whichever you pick, and eat your carrots. [img]images/icons/cool.gif[/img]
    it's not about need in the USA -- it's about WANT
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    Unread 12-09-2003, 10:27 PM
    Gold Member
    Join Date: Sep 2002
    Location: Illinois
    Posts: 837
    Re: Good Low Light Binoculars

    Just picked up a pair of Steiner 12X56 Nighthunters. Very pleased. I can look into the night shadows easily @ 1K after sunset and a full moonlit night is almost like daylight. If you're glassing 800yds you need power and for my location 10X and up is a necessity.
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    Unread 12-09-2003, 10:31 PM
    Platinum Member
    Join Date: May 2001
    Location: Sask. Canada
    Posts: 2,410
    Re: Good Low Light Binoculars

    A few years ago I asked a very good authority on optics a similar question. He told me to buy 8x56 Zeiss Night Owls, even tho he was a consultant for two other competitive companies.
    I am fortunate to use a wide variety of topend binocs on a continuous basis - would not trade the Night Owls for poor light conditions.
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    Unread 12-09-2003, 10:51 PM
    Platinum Member
    Join Date: Jan 2003
    Location: The rifle range, or archery range or behind the computer in Alaska
    Posts: 3,819
    Re: Good Low Light Binoculars

    Just my opinion, but if you want the very best Swarovski EL series are top notch but 1500 bucks. If you want to spend around 1/2 that the normal Swarovskies or Zeiss will work very well. I use a pair of 10x50 Alpen "Apex" That for the moeney (350-425) are outstanding. I have yet to tell the difference in any condition between my buddies Zeiss classic or another buddies Swarovskies. The only thing about the German optics is I think they might be constructed a little better. The glass is VERY good. This summer I spotted the ram I got at over 2 air miles and could discern that he was in fact a ram, which led to my imeadiate pursuit and harvesting him. The best part is that their 1/2 the cost of the German optics and also have a lifetime warrenty. These binos have undergone very rough sheep hunts and caribou and moose hunts and have performed flawlessly.
    Long range shooting is a process that ends with a result. Once you start to focus on the result (how bad your last shot was, how big the group is going to be, what your buck will score, what your match score is, what place you are in...) then you loose the capacity to focus on the process.
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    Unread 12-10-2003, 06:57 AM
    Posts: n/a
    Re: Good Low Light Binoculars

    I have used a pair for the past 3 years .. I havn't found any other air in its price range that can compare!

    Steiner Nighhunter.. any model! get them and don't look back..

    I have the 12X56.. and the nice thing about them is once you have them adjusted to your eyes they are always in focus from 10' ti infinity! They are also rubber armor coated!

    They arn't high priced like the others but still have the renouned European optical qualities!
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