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What Binos for long range hunting?

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Unread 05-18-2001, 12:10 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Sask. Canada
Posts: 2,410
Re: What Binos for long range hunting?

Last year I had the opportunity to hunt with four sets of premium binocs. I hauled all four sets out to several big game hunts, including a couple of mountain hunts and some real wide-open western hunts. The binocs had similar specs, all 8 by 40mm or close.

During the hunts I got a wide variety of guides and hunters to use a different set each day or for a couple of days, ensuring that everyone used each pair. I also took them to shooting ranges and asked anyone there to rate them as per their personal preferance. I had dozens of guys look through all four sets.

The binocs were made by Zeiss, Leica, Swarovski and Nikon - they were all top-end models, fairly even in price.

Results - it gets down to comparing superb against superb. Ergonomics becomes a big factor because most eyeballs cannot discern any significant difference. We used them in poor light, rain, bright sun - you name it and although the results varied a bit I was interested that the Nikons got the most points.

This was despite the fact that many viewers had very strong brand-loyalty - seems if a person owns Leica or Zeiss or whatever they do so because they are convinced that is the best brand period.

I own a set of Zeiss 8-56 Nightowls that are superb for long range spotting but they are too heavy to carry in the field (we call them truckbinocs). I do take them a lot but usually in a packsack. My son uses Swarovskis, I use the Nikons a lot or a set of 8-45 Nightowls.

I use the Crooked Horn Outfitter bino flex carrying system that is sort of like a shoulder harness - it is the only way to carry any binocs, large or small.

Seems like really good binocs give the impression of being stronger than they really are - for example top-end 8 power binocs are frequently mistaken as being 10 power. Of course the biggest difference (compared to cheap glass) is how easy they are on your eyes at the end of the day, how long they stand up to rugged use and how they feel in your hands. Plus you can define things with good glass that you can not see with cheap glass, in good light and particularly in poor light.

Brightness, sharpness and color trueness are so hard to quantify that most guys form opinions that are very hard to verify - since everyone has different eyeballs and accuity.

Good glass, whether in binocs, scopes or spotters is worth having.
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Unread 05-18-2001, 11:03 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Elkhart KS 67950
Posts: 16
What Binos for long range hunting?

What power and which brand type etc. Do long range hunter employ. Give us your opinion?
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Unread 05-24-2001, 07:46 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 128
Re: What Binos for long range hunting?


I have a set of Minox 8.5x42's that I love!
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Unread 05-26-2001, 05:31 PM
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 6,508
Re: What Binos for long range hunting?

I own a few nice pairs of binocs. I have a 10x42 Zeiss and a 10x56 Zeiss Nightowl. Both are superb. I also own a Swarovski 15x56. This is the glass I used the most last hunting season on long range critters. I have a tripod mount for it and that makes a big difference in clarity.

Just after the season ended I received my back-ordered Swarovski 10x42 EL. This is Swarovski's brand new design and I love the ergonomics. My favorite of all.

In bright daylight, many other brands of less expensive binoculars work well but for low-light use only the premium brands excel.
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Unread 05-28-2001, 09:39 AM
Bronze Member
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Texas
Posts: 63
Re: What Binos for long range hunting?

I can't justify the price of these just yet.
Got other toys on the wish list right now
but Mead and Celestron both make astronomical
binos. They are basically two telescopes
mounted side by side. I've looked though
both and they are unreal. They also will run
you 2-4K depending on the model.

If your wallet can handle it they are worth looking into.
Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils.
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Unread 06-12-2001, 01:55 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Palmer, Alaska
Posts: 2,539
Re: What Binos for long range hunting?

I bought the Lieca 10x42`s and love `em for the lack of eye strain, clear etc. I`m using them for all my glassing in the range of up to a mile or so. I just wish they came with a cover for the objectives.
Brent Moffitt
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Unread 06-12-2001, 07:09 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,757
Re: What Binos for long range hunting?

We use the large bigeyes for the Ultra longrange hunting.
We have several styles. Some are two Bushnell 60MM Spacemasters in an adjustable bracket where we can interchange the eyepieces for the power we need. The normal power we like is 20X to 22X wide angle.
I have put at least 35 sets of these together for hunters over the years. The price for them runs about $700.00 and I have a set here brand new for sale.

Some are with Kowa 77mm or 82 MM in a bracket and some are military ship glasses or German flak and spotting glasses.
For longrange work, you need power and/or large objective lens units that's easy on the eye strain and also something that is tripod mountable.

When we backpack our equipment in, we wrap the glasses in bubble wrap and then wrap our down pants or coat around them and put them in the back pack. We then take a small tripod and all lighter equipment for a day out on a far ridge point.

Darryl Cassel
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