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Optics for backpacking...

 
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  #1  
Old 12-31-2007, 12:17 PM
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Optics for backpacking...

Be interested in what other's have found in this regard. I just posted the below on Long Range Optics, but thought it might be the start to possibly helpful thread to those of us who are putting on the wilderness miles and packing meat and camp on our own two legs. :p

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I'm not saying this is the best, but this was the best compromise of price (for my budget at the time) and packability (size, shape). Check out the size. The straight, tapered shape makes it very packable.

Bushnell | Elite 60mm with 15-45x Zoom | 781548P | B&H Photo

Sportman's Warehouse had the Nikon (virtual twin in size and shape) for $499 and the Bushnell Elite for $399. Bushnell was made in Japan and the Nikon in China, much to the salespersons surprise and mine. Glass in Bushnell seemed slightly better in side by side comparisons on a tripod. I got mine online for about $280 somewhere, I think.

My main goal was to be able to count points at 1K plus and it's done that. I can easily determine if I'm looking at a branch antlered bull at 2 miles+. It's not the best for low light conditions, that's for sure. And, it's not like looking through a Swarovski or Leica, but my budget won't allow a spotting scope from those guys and even if it did, their large size and weight make them very unappealing to me when it's time to put them in my backpack.

I also bought this Manfrotto tripod as its size, packability, weight, price and many great features won me over.

Bogen / Manfrotto | 785B Modo Mini Tripod | 785SHB | B&H Photo

At the same price, here's it slightly larger and heavier brother:

Bogen / Manfrotto | 785B Modo Maxi Tripod | 785B | B&H Photo

These tripods have an amazing array of features given their price, size and weight. Just what I settled on. Good luck.
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Old 12-31-2007, 11:21 PM
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Price sucks, i know, but from my limited experince in backpacking and fair to decent experince in optics i'll tell you this, Swaro Swaro Swaro.

As far as binos and spotting scopes go nothing i have seen compares to swaros. From what backpacking i have done most of the time we are trying to pick out very small details of partially to completely hidden animals at very long distances. when thats the task I just cant short sight myself. there are lots of good optics out there for less but when it comes to the chance of a lifetime I am reminded of a quote i read in a Eastmans Hunting journel "dont buy the best optics you can afford, just buy the best!!!"


take it easy
steve
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  #3  
Old 01-01-2008, 03:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lerch View Post
Price sucks, i know, but from my limited experince in backpacking and fair to decent experince in optics i'll tell you this, Swaro Swaro Swaro.

As far as binos and spotting scopes go nothing i have seen compares to swaros. From what backpacking i have done most of the time we are trying to pick out very small details of partially to completely hidden animals at very long distances. when thats the task I just cant short sight myself. there are lots of good optics out there for less but when it comes to the chance of a lifetime I am reminded of a quote i read in a Eastmans Hunting journel "dont buy the best optics you can afford, just buy the best!!!"


take it easy
steve
Yep, no doubt on the Swaro advice. If Swaro had a model shaped a little more compact like this new US Optics scope, I might think a bit harder about the investment:

http://www.usoptics.com/index.php?page=spottingscope

USO Spotting Scope(Pics) - Sniper's Hide Forums

Sure would like to see some reviews from folks in the know about this scope. It may be the best compromise between good optics, size and weight out there at the moment.
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In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1

"And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God?" Thomas Jefferson - Notes on the State of Virginia

www.wildsidesystems.com - Shelter for Your WildSide - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYwgo...&feature=g-upl
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  #4  
Old 01-01-2008, 03:36 PM
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We have used the standard fixed leupold's, leupold's new compact and then I have carried the 12-40 Leupy variable when they first brought it out in the late 80's or early 90's (Can't remember). Incredible fov and its eye relief is awesome on all powers for guys like me who wear glasses. I just upgraded to the HD version this past year.
Not compact (not heavy for its size either) but it is geat for extended glassing for long periods of time.
sscoyote and myself have found a lot of bedded elk and deer through the years at stalkable and beyond stalking range with it.
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  #5  
Old 01-02-2008, 03:07 PM
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US Optics

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmden View Post
Yep, no doubt on the Swaro advice. If Swaro had a model shaped a little more compact like this new US Optics scope, I might think a bit harder about the investment:

http://www.usoptics.com/index.php?page=spottingscope

USO Spotting Scope(Pics) - Sniper's Hide Forums

Sure would like to see some reviews from folks in the know about this scope. It may be the best compromise between good optics, size and weight out there at the moment.
Jmden,

The US Optics looks VERRRRY interesting. The problem is we don't know what sort of resolution it will give. I would think being a US Optics glass, it would be fantastic but......we don't know for sure yet.

I asked this type of question over on the Sniper's Hide Forum w/o any response to date. Still waiting.
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  #6  
Old 01-03-2008, 10:11 AM
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My wife and son bought me a pair of Buckmasters Nikon 8x25 binos from Gary Olen about ten yrs ago. Those are the BEST and lightest binos I have used in 40 years of hunting. I need to find 3 more pair of them on eBay so we quit fighting about whose going to carry/use them. They weigh nothing.

These are similar/same:

NIKON 8X25 TRAVELITE V SERIES BINOCULARS - eBay (item 180136296409 end time Jan-29-08 12:23:04 PST)
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Last edited by silvertip-co; 01-03-2008 at 10:28 AM.
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  #7  
Old 02-05-2008, 12:22 PM
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Any of Swaro, Zeiss or Leica in a 10X42 bin and lose weight by not carrying spotting glass. A lot of guys like the top end Zeiss better than Swaro.
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