Which would you buy first... Rangefinder or Binoculars?

Discussion in 'Long Range Scopes and Other Optics' started by CleanShot, Aug 6, 2013.

  1. CleanShot

    CleanShot Well-Known Member

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    Hello

    I'm new to the forum (and hunting really). I'm trying to gear up and as you well know there is a lot of cost associated with getting everything you need from your weapon of choice, to camo, to stands, etc. I'd like to buy either a rangefinder or a pair of binoculars this year and probably go for the other next season.

    If you had to choose *one* and only one to begin with, which would it be? Also, what would you consider an entry level budget for the one you choose? Prices seem to range dramatically and it seems a lot of people dismiss the lower end/cost models so I have no idea where it starts getting into the decent models.

    Thanks very much
    Sam
     
  2. dromsky

    dromsky Member

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    Binos, if you can't find it you don't need to range it. May need to close the gap before you range a target. You should be able to find decent glass for around $300 new. Nikon is what I like at that price range.
    Cheers gun)
     

  3. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

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    Depends on where and what you plan on hunting. If you hunt in northern NJ, I'd get the rangefinder first. You are like me in Michigan, a long shot is a tad over 100 yards and rangefinders have limited magnification as well. I've found that cheaper bino's work quite well. I have a pair of Bushnell's that were about a hundred bucks and to my eyes, look (distance wise) as good as my buddy's Zeiss, but thats just me.
     
  4. C.O. Shooter

    C.O. Shooter Well-Known Member

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    Sam,

    I would go for the range finder first! What is your budget? Not dismissing the lower price ones, just trying to get an idea where you are coming from. I bought a leica 1600 used and practically new conditions and it is great. I used my cousins old leica 800 and it was very nice. I would say save a little more and try to find a leica on sale or slightly used! They have a new 1000R model which is supposed to be really nice. I would look at camerlandny.com , who is also a site sponsor, who runs some great sales on the leica models. Leica - Camera Land NY.
    If you don't care this one is white http://www.cameralandny.com/optics/site.pl?page=leica40532

    Good luck on your search!
     
  5. CleanShot

    CleanShot Well-Known Member

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    Any specific model?
     
  6. CleanShot

    CleanShot Well-Known Member

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    I was thinking rangefinder as well as I can probably use it right away in NJ/NY hunting but I don't want to limit myself to a rangefinder just for this area. I might go out of state at some point.... far away.
     
  7. CleanShot

    CleanShot Well-Known Member

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    My budget is a tough question. I was looking the Vortex Diamondback HD and my brother laughed at me at looking at such a low end pair. I'd like to hit the sweet point of what I actually need without overspending. I"m not interested in the flashy glass that I don't fully utilize.

    I was looking at trying to find a demo or lightly used Leica CRF 1600 specifically.

    I was hoping to get at of this under $500 but if that means I get something I'll have to upgrade later I'd be willing to swing some extra cash. But as I said there is a lot of other stuff I have to buy and all at once sets off the lightbulb when the wife sees all the stuff coming in.
     
  8. dromsky

    dromsky Member

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    I have Nikon Monarch ATB 10-42, paid around $300 for them.
     
  9. bruce_ventura

    bruce_ventura Well-Known Member

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    You can save money by buying a porro prism bino instead of a roof prism. Good porro prisms are much cheaper to make than good roof prisms, but they are bulkier. For example, you can get a good porro prism bino for $150 or less. An example is the Pentax PCF WP II 8x40. I have the 10x50 model and it is a solid, waterproof bino with high transmission, good resolution and high contrast.

    By comparison, a roof prism bino below about $300 will not have a good phase coating on the prism, which significantly increases transmission and resolution. You may find an exception in a close out model priced at around $250. However, a roof prism bino priced at $150 is going to be junk.
     
  10. nateisw

    nateisw Well-Known Member

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    I bought my optics in the following order:
    1. Rifle scope (duh)
    2. Rangefinder
    3. Binoculars
    4. Spotting scope (literally just came in the mail yesterday)

    I don't shoot past 300 yards, so I don't even REALLY need a rangefinder or binos for hunting. I can spot game with my bare eyes and confirm with my rifle scope. The reason I needed a rangefinder was because I don't have access to a real range and wanted to know how far away to set up my target for zeroing. The binos come in handy and I use them every time I hunt, but I don't really need it. The spotting scope isn't for hunting; it's just so I can see bullet holes in paper from further away.
    None of my optics would be considered "high-end", but all serve adequately for my purposes.
    Anyways, your situation may be different from mine and you might decide that a pair of binos should come first, but I went with a rangefinder first.
     
  11. Nimrod

    Nimrod Well-Known Member

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    This is what I did too but I screwed up when I bought the rangefinder so I sold it bought the Leica 1600B last year. I still don't have a great binocular for western hunting but I use my spotter to make up for it.

    Bob
     
  12. Sully2

    Sully2 Well-Known Member

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    Bino's without a doubt
     
  13. Hondo64d

    Hondo64d Well-Known Member

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    Bushnell fusions can be had very reasonable, if you shop around, and then you have both bases covered. The glass, while not Leica, is pretty darned good, and the rangefinder portion is second to none. I have ranged highly reflective objects at 1600+ meters and deer at 700+ meters. Even ranged a dove on a power line at 396m. I am VERY pleased with my Bushnell Fusions.

    John
     
  14. Gene

    Gene Well-Known Member

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    Why buy two units when one combo will do just as well? Good many years ago, I bought the Bushnell 8x bino/ rangefinder, but it was a POS. One side would not focus. Returned it under warranty and they said nothing wrong. Called them on phone and again they turned me down. I no longer support or recommend Bushnell anything, and I have a good many of their optics.

    Then I bought the same thing in a Leupold VX something. 8 power binoc and 1000 yd rangefinder. Its a little beefy, but works well and has a shoulder harness to reduce weight on the neck. Paid about $700, but like it a lot.