Binoculars for low light

Discussion in 'Long Range Scopes and Other Optics' started by trickytune, Jul 30, 2014.

  1. trickytune

    trickytune Well-Known Member

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    I am about to buy some binoculars and am looking at the vortex diamondback 8x42. Low light is important to me and I have calculated exit pupil size etc (I'm 40) and I could probably use 8x50 but they are probably too big. So I probably should buy the 8x42 but want the 10x42. Even though the lower magnification will be brighter does that mean I am better off or could the 10x work as well. example at home lights on glasses off eyesight terrible. Lights off glasses on eyesight better.
     
  2. yobuck

    yobuck Well-Known Member

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    First you should be comparing apples with apples. That is to say you shouldnt compare brand A 8x42 with brand B 8x50s. Generaly speaking, objective size is where the brightness factor comes from. However the difference between a 42 mm
    and a 50mm wont be earth shattering and under normal conditions might not be
    discernable to you. As for power, if you havent used 10x hand glasses i suggest you
    do before buying them. Most people would find the power a bit much for hand helds.
    7 or 8 power would give a clearer view do to a steadier hold. You cant cover all the
    bases with one set of binnocs. For general purpose hunting an 8x42 would be your best choice.
     

  3. Rick Richard

    Rick Richard Well-Known Member

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    I agree as to what was said, however the difference between 8X and a 10X might be the difference in being able to discern the size of antlers at a great distance.

    I know this happened to me on a couple of trips last year while hunting elk in Wyoming. Guide was using 10X and I was using 8X. He could make out antler points and I could not.

    With that said, 10X is more difficult to hold steady which is why I use some type of rest or prop.

    Look at Meopta Meostar. Great great glass!
     
  4. DrillDog

    DrillDog Well-Known Member

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    If concerned about low light performance, you can't expect any decent performance from an optic in the price range of the Vortex Diamondback. Just not gonna happen.

    If you can afford it, you need to step up to at least the Vortex Viper HD or Nikon Monarch X type bino. The sub $300 binos just aren't going to give you what you're looking for. In that price range, low light performance cannot even be expected much at all.

    Then you have to consider how long you think you'll be looking through the glass. Hours on end throughout the day? Days on end with many hours during long hunting trips? Or just quick glances here and there while hunting from a tree stand? The low end optics are only ok for brief glassing sessions because the amount of distortion and color fringing created by the poor glass will cause great strain to your eyes if used too long. Most of the higher end optics with modern HD and APO lenses allow for long glassing sessions that won't leave you with a blinding headache at the end of the day. The Vortex Diamondback is no such optic.

    If you plan on using your binoculars on a regular basis, I highly recommend spending a good bit more money on something like the Vortex Razor HD's, Zeiss Conquest HD's, Meopta Meostar HDs, or perhaps even Swarovski glass if you can afford it. You won't regret it.
     
  5. Sully2

    Sully2 Well-Known Member

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    Only bino's I have are Pentax and Zeiss and BOTH are 10 x 50's. If your in low light you have to have the 50mm objectives
     
  6. Sully2

    Sully2 Well-Known Member

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    BUT were you both using the same brand and model of bino's???
     
  7. trickytune

    trickytune Well-Known Member

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    Well most of the time it will be bright light and only half hour at sunrise, sunset. I want a compact pair as I have had 8x50's I only used in my truck as I found them too bulky when walking. Had means someone decided they needed them more than me and stole everything in it. Might go to town and look at some today I think I will end up with the 8x42 for backpack hunting.
     
  8. lloydsmale

    lloydsmale Well-Known Member

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    Ill argue it this way. I prefer a 10x glass in the daylight. Yes there a bit more shaky but i can deal with it in good light. In low light the 8x not only have a better exit pupil but the shakiness really shows itself when your trying to count antler points ect. the combo of low light and the shakes makes them about non usable for me. Bottom line is if I could have only one set of binoculars for everything it would be a GOOD pair of 8x40s
     
  9. jrsolocam

    jrsolocam Well-Known Member

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    I think for the best all around glass an 8x40, 8x43 etc in a Zeiss Conquest HD or similar glass from Meopta, Vortex, Zen Ray, or Nikon is what you want. Good FOV, brightness, and enough magnification to check out the head gear!