highest quality, lightest weight binocs?

Discussion in 'Long Range Scopes and Other Optics' started by jmden, Dec 25, 2005.

  1. jmden

    jmden Well-Known Member

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    What are the opinions out there on the highest quality, lightest weight binoculars? Probably looking at 10X, but open to suggestions. Low light transmission will be one of the biggest determining factors, of course. Not worried about cost at the moment--just trying to find out what's out there.

    Thank you.
     
  2. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

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    Best light binos price being no object:

    Swarovski EL, Leica ultravid. In that order.

    You can get 8x32 or 10x32 EL's that weigh about 21 ounces. The 10x42 ELs are about 27.5 ounces. The clarity of these binos coupled with the LARGE FOV makes them near unbeatable.

    Good luck!
     

  3. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I would agree with Meichele too, I have had the Zeiss (10x40's) and now own the Leica 10x50. The Leica model is not light compared to others of the same quality, but this model is not on market and has been replaced by a lighter one.

    I also have packed the Geovid's for many years and any other bino will seem like a feather when carrying them.
     
  4. wapiti13

    wapiti13 Well-Known Member

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    jmden, I have the 10X42 EL for doing a lot of spotting. When I'm walking, I carry a 8X30 SLC. Swarovski is hard to beat overall, especially when you add the doubler to your formula. The new SLC line is excellent, so you need to compare to the EL line. If I only had one binoc to do all, I would probably look at the 8.5X32 EL with a doubler. Still light weight, excellent view, and very versatile. Just my thoughts. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif
     
  5. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

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    A couple other selling points about the EL binos. Swarovski makes a bunch of awesome accessories to better use these awesome optics such as a tripod adapter, and cupped eye cups. Either or both eye cups can be unscrewed and a doubler lense can be screwed into one or both eye peices. The outdoorsmans in Phx makes several cool tripod adapters as well that work on EL's as well as SLC's. They also make one that clamps around either barrel. The lense covers both upper and lower are of good quality and very effective, which to me is important. I believe the best way to clean expensive lenses is to keep the clean in the first place. I paid almost 1800 bucks for my EL's and dont care to scratch my lenses. Swarovski also has INCREADIBLE customer care. If there ever is a problem they will take care of it. They also replace glass that gets scratched over the years for a very affordable price. If you are on a hunt or have one coming up and need your product serviced, they will send you a "loner" pair of whatever you have. For me, their prices arent that bad when you look at what you are getting in return.
     
  6. Archeryelk

    Archeryelk Well-Known Member

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    warovski EL without question. I have owned/used them all.
     
  7. Ian M

    Ian M Well-Known Member

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    EL's, Zeiss and Leica are all good - what is best for one guy is not the choice of another tho. I would look at the top line Nikons, they are right up there with these guys and usually more reasonably priced. I while back I carried all four and loaned them to a lot of hunters, Nikon kicked butt. All four companies have concentrated on lighter binocs with their best possible optics. There is no clear leader, despite the amount of advertising $ spent to make us think there is. Your eyes are different than mine which are different than my son's. Your eyes will make the determination, not what we tell you. Totally agree with Michael, spend the money on the best possible and you will never regret doing so.
    If possible compare models in the poorest, dimmest light available. Look into shadows for instance. Tough to do but not impossible in a big store like Cabela's or Bass Pro.
     
  8. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Your eyes are different than mine which are different than my son's. Your eyes will make the determination, not what we tell you.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    There is more truth to this statment than most would think. I compared several models for some time and I couldnt see anything clearly through a pair of $1000 zeiss's yet other hunters I know swear they are the best they have ever seen.

    If you start with the upper end light weight models, such as what has been mentioned here you will quickly determine what you want. I still think most serious users in the market for the best light bino are going to gravitate twards the EL's or Ultravids for a light weight razor sharp binocular.
     
  9. jmden

    jmden Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the replies, fellas. My father-in-law is looking to upgrade from a 20 yo pair of Zeiss binocs. Funny thing is, none of these mentioned seem to be any lighter than what he currently has.

    I've mentioned that he might as well get the Geovid and combine 2 units into one as he carries the Leica 1200 now. It seems to me that this would be the best overall weight savings in combination with excellent optics. What do you guys think about that idea? I should say he likes the idea of the doubler on the Swaros...
     
  10. tylercleary

    tylercleary Well-Known Member

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    Go with your father-in-law to a place like the Sportsman’s Warehouse - where they carry all of the high end stuff and will let you fondle them and take them out side to really see the difference in sharpness, color contrast and weight.

    I personally would not buy a range finding binocular. Range finders improve every year, and you don't want to get stuck with high end glass and yesteryears old and antiquated rangefinder. I see new features like with Leupold's new range finder and see a real future in combining ballistic software, compass, GPS and stuff like that with the rangefinder instead of high end binoculars.

    For me, the Nikon 8X42 Premier’s were the best all around High end binocular (excellent glass for the pesos). Don't pass them by too quickly.

    Have fun looking… /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif
     
  11. Archeryelk

    Archeryelk Well-Known Member

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    I still feel the EL is hands down better glass.

    Again, everyone is different but I have looked through them all and can't imagine not being able to see the difference between this glass and Nikon.

    Archer
     
  12. jmden

    jmden Well-Known Member

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    I did head to Sportman's Warehouse here in Missoula today and took a look at a few (forgot to look at the Nikon /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif...) binos. I was a little skeptical at first, but came out in clear favor of the Swavorski EL's. Thanks again. I appreciate the feedback.