Seeking Advice on Long-Range, General-Use Binos:

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by Comancheria, Jun 12, 2019.


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  1. Hand Skills

    Hand Skills Well-Known Member

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    I've been really enjoying the Fuji TS1440's the last couple of years. Been finding I can get by with them and a Leica 1600B for the majority of my needs.

    Before that I went back and forth between 8x and 10x binos for years. I prefer the 10x image, but find my eyes fatigue faster. 8x I can look through for longer, especially when handheld without a rest. The Fuji's are 14x and I can glass for hours handheld, or in a vehicle, or aircraft, or boat.

    A spotter is nice when someone else carries it :D
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2019
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  2. Elkkhunter

    Elkkhunter Active Member

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    I’ve packed high quality binos in 10x42, 15x56 for Elk hunting in Rockies, I think 8-10 power are best for packing on the hunt. The 15x56 is awesome for spotting but now wide enough field of view inside 600 yards for me. Objective size? Depends on the weight/size you want to pack vs light gathering for early or late viewing. I am going with high quality 8x56 for my next Elk Hunt. For packing on the hunt I like Rangefinding binos for a back to my 7x rangefinder. If I was only planning to shoot past 600 yards (90%+ kills seem to be inside 300 yards), I would go with a 10 pwr, still giving me field of view if something happened to show up closer.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2019
  3. Rick parks

    Rick parks New Member

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    You should look up mavin optics super clear glass
    I prefer Maven optics super clear and light weight they come in a variety of different magnification and not too hard on the wallet
     
  4. VTbluegrass

    VTbluegrass Member

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    I have cheap Vortex binos 8x42s because my wife wanted a pair of Swarovski EL's 10x32 and I wanted her happy on our anniversary more than I wanted new bino's myself. She wanted 10's because she does some birding I personally like 8's because of the ranges I hunt and ease of picking apart tight brush. Eastern NC hunting not western US so that's a big part of it.
    I would say no matter the pair you end up with a good harness makes all the difference in the world. I tried the Badlands harness but never really liked the set-up. I just stumbled on a company called Marsupial Gear while searching the internet and absolutely love the whole set up and they are even made in the USA. I like the magnet closure and the magnet that holds the flap open too for when I am in my stand. Either way if the weight of the binos you prefer is bothering you a better harness may be the fix.
     
  5. Comancheria

    Comancheria Well-Known Member

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    Interesting Handskills should mention the Fuji 14x40mm stabilized glass, which I bought for use on my boat down here for fishing the south Texas bays—locating feeding birds, etc. had not considered using them for glassing the wide open spaces out west because of the small objective lenses for such a high magnification. (I only use them for getting on birds during the summer in relatively bright sunlight.).

    BUT—now that I think about it, they are reasonably light and would not involve the $2,500–$3,000 outlay for 12x50s or 15x56 glasses

    Handskills: How do the Fujis work for you in relatively low light—say, across a canyon at 1,000 yards near twilight??

    Russ
     
  6. Comancheria

    Comancheria Well-Known Member

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    OK—here is a hypothetical question:

    You will be packing along a good tripod, head, and adapter stud.

    You will NOT be carrying a spotting scope.

    You will be carrying EITHER a Swarovski EL 12 X 50 OR a Swarovski SLC 15 X 56.

    Which do you go with?

    Best regards,

    Russ
     
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  7. Hand Skills

    Hand Skills Well-Known Member

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    Hey Russ,

    Thanks for chiming in on the Fuji's. For me they are "good enough" most of the time. Obviously they are no 85mm spotter, but the contrast is pretty good. Trying to stay in the eyebox is tenuous in low light for sure. Glassing at dusk is fatigue inducing, but for me it's a struggle no matter what the optic! To me a bigger exit pupil just means a comfier eyebox... Usually animals are on the move at that time and are easier to pick out. The TS1440's even work pretty well at night under a good moon - a stable image is way more important than a generous eyebox to me. It's a compromise for sure, but in retrospect, perhaps having a smooth, stable image makes the small exit pupil a lot easier to deal with?

    Optics are a really personal thing, I think many of us have different needs and expectations. For me it's been a great way of simplifying my kit and trimming down some weight.

    As for your second hypothetical, no contest EL 12x50 for the FOV alone!
     
  8. duckhunter175

    duckhunter175 Well-Known Member

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    You go with the 12s-- the EL glass is phenomenal. I went to Outdoorsmans and put them all on tripod next to one another, outside and glassed a trail that was nearly 2 miles away. EL, hands down, every time. It was a terrible comparison because I knew I wouldn't be happy without them.

    They still fit a Marsupial bino harness very well and are comfortable to carry while hiking and hunting. The 15s will not be comfortable, nor will they work for doing the quick 'once over' as you are hunting. They are purely a tripod use bino.
     
    Hand Skills likes this.
  9. JGRJR

    JGRJR Member

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    I have had a pair on Nikon Monarch 10 42 for a few months. I also have first gen Swaro EL's. I have used a lot of top quality binos. These Monarch's are really nice for the dollars.
     
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  10. Hiking300ultra

    Hiking300ultra New Member

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    The best advice I ever got for optics is to bye the best you can afford. I use Swarovski 10x40's! But I bought mine almost 20 years ago. They are still very good binoculars, but with technology you can now get 10x50's that are the same size. But it still comes down to glass! The better the glass the clearer and more crisp the view. Which makes all the difference when looking at animals that are at a distance.
     
  11. crawdad3

    crawdad3 Member

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    You say long range hunting . What do you plan to range with? The more power you have the better you can see in shadows. Thats where that big buck is going to lay. I would suggest you take a good light weight spotting scope or 15 power binos. You will be surprised how much more game you will see. I personally carry Leica 10x42 with range finder The 2200's a Swarovski 65 mm spotting scope with outdoorsman carbon fiber tripod and the Outdoorsmans micro-pan head. If you are worried about weight leave something else at home.Optics make the hunt. You would be worn out spotting with your rifle. Are you hunting on your own or with a guide? Take a kid along they can help with some weight.
     
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  12. Comancheria

    Comancheria Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the additional information, Guys.

    Crawdad: At times I’ll be Hunting with a guide, at times with one other backpacker, and at times solo. Due to not being a youngster anymore, I will probably limit my solo trips to careful, relatively short sorties out of my truck—maybe with a daypack and enough survival gear to get through one night if caught out. I

    My backpack hunting partner is considerably younger than I, and an accomplished mountaineer and hunter. When he is along, I can whine and moan and he takes on some of my load—while calling me every dirty name in the book.j

    I understand what you are saying about the importance of quality optics—and believe me, I have trimmed weight down to make way for the same tripod of which you speak—but with the slightly heavier head—for use with a hog saddle and for when I am insane enough to carry my 13 pound RUM!

    Oh, and to answer your question about ranging, I have “invested” in the Swarovski dS—with built-in rangefinder, pressure, and inclination measurement and ballistic solver. Basically, you sight in, then feed your load information into a cell phone app, upload that dope into the scope—then in the field, you just point, push the ranging button—and shoot! That’s the theory, anyway.

    The main downside is the thing is heavy as Thor’s war club and you do lose some of the brightness for which all Swaros are justly famous.

    With all respect (and I mean that!) for your recommendation, I am now leaning pretty heavily to the advice Duckhunter is giving me on the el glasses—Gust can’t handle the weight you young studs do—assaulting Everest solo with 200 poking packs and shooting Yetis at two miles!

    Best regards,

    Russ
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2019
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  13. Comancheria

    Comancheria Well-Known Member

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    OK, Folks, I am of the opinion that when someone starts a thread with his betters, asking for an then receiving guidance, he should conclude that thread by letting those who have come to his aid know whether and how he took their advice--what he decided--and why. It's a simple courtesy--especially in my case, given how often I seek help as compared to how often I can give any.

    Everyone on this thread offered good advice in my opinion. I would love to be able to carry a couple of pair of hand-held binos, a big pair, and a spotting scope. With me, it's a simple matter of not being able to carry what I used to. So the only optics I will be carrying in the West will be (1) The dS scope on my rifle--and (2) (drumroll), I have decided on the Swarovski el 12 x 50mm as my one glass.

    I reached this decision based on the following:

    First, while I respect positive opinions on the 15 X 56mm, and was very tempted, I was blown away by the reviews--not only on this thread, but on several other web sites--as to the clarity of the 12 x 50s.

    Second, if I am only going to carry one optic other than my rifle scope, the 12, while not ideal as a hand-held glass, can serve both as that and even better on a tripod.

    So, say I come to a new area, I will glass that area with the binocular. It will be fitted with a stud by The Outdoorsman, their binoculars adapter, and an Arca Swiss adapter plate. I can then slap it onto the Outdoorsman's tripod with fluid head to pick apart the cover.

    When I spot something the 12-powers convince me is the right critter, I can then disconnect the binos, slap on the Hog Saddle, (also in an Arca Swiss), to make the shot. Conversely, if I still have any question that could not be resolved by the 12x, I will then be in position to crank up to 25 power on the dS and use it as a spotter. Of course, with the 25mm objective on the scope won't provide the light or detail of one of the big 80 or 90mmms--but an old fart like me, who is either unwilling or unale lto man up like I used to even 30 years ago, is going to have to cut some corners weight wise.

    As far as all the expense, no, I am most certainly not wealthy, but when I check my life-expectancy against the insurance charts, I figure I can either spend what I have for toys and fun or leave it to my 2 children and/or 5 grandchildren, Of the seven, only one grandson thoroughly approves of my politics and life style--and two tell me that, while I am a lovable old codger, they are convinced I am basically a Nazi.

    So I intend to be the first Nazi ever to own a dS and el Binos!

    Thanks again for all your help and best regards!

    Russ
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2019
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  14. duckhunter175

    duckhunter175 Well-Known Member

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    Glad to hear follow up on your decision. I don't think you will be disappointed at all!

    If I may make an additional recommendation. The marsupial bino harness (size large) is phenomenal and made to fit this model of glass. USA made small business in Arizona. Shoot them a message with your binos and they will tell you what rig you need. I love mine and trust it completely after being through S4 gear, Kuiu and seeing two buddies have terrible experience with muley freak.