Struggling w/bino purchase


Jul 20, 2001
My buddy and I have set up a longrange blind in S. Tx where I have been exposed to the best binos I have ever seen (Zeiss ClassiC 10x 40) I have always put my money in scopes (Nightforce) but now I see that good glasses are really a help, espicially in early morning spotting and managing of our herd. I have my purchase narrowed down to three binos: Zeiss 10 x40 ClassiC $650
Zeiss 10 X 40 Victory $800
Pentax 10 X 40 DCF/WP $$400
Does anyone have experience with two or more of these? Main concerns are light gathering and clarity. Love the price of the Pentax and the fact that they come with tripod mount ($120 from Zeiss) but not if they don't gather light. Also wondering if there is a $150 difference between the ClassiCs and Victory Thanks guys
I have used the Zeiss 10-40 classics extensively and also a couple of pairs of NightOwls, which are a somewhat newer design. Have not used the Victories, they have come out after the NightOwls - I believe they are lighter.

Zeiss optics are not going to disapoint you, the difference will probably become more related to ergonomics and handling. I would have to doubt that the Pentax binos would perform as well as the Zeiss in extreme situations. You generally get what you paid for in optics these days as the field is very competitive.

Is the difference in cost really there - I have no doubt. We traded our 10-40's off as newer models clearly performed better. The classics are wonderful binocs and are used by some of the most serious hunters that I have met - but. Tough choice, I suggest that you wait until after the SHOT show in Feb. as there will be more choices for you to consider.
I'll answer a question you didn't ask...

I have had both Zeiss and Leica bino's, and I prefer the Leica's. If you haven't compared them, I would suggest you do. Some of the little things like the locking diopter adjustment, the way the eyecups adjust for when you've got glasses on, etc. The big Euro three--Zeiss, Leica ans Swaroski are sorta like Ford/Dodge/Chevy arguments..very personal preferences come into play..but they're all close in price, and I'd encourage you to look at all three. After all, they will last you a lifetime!

Good advise, only I would suggest adding the Nikon Venturer LX to the list, might suprise a bunch. I am not on Nikon's payroll, they are very good binocs and deserve to be tested with the other brands you mention.

Optimum would be to go to a place like Cabela's where you could sit all of them on the counter, handle them a bunch and look into the darkest, poorest lit corner of the store and compare details.
If you want a real good pair of glasses-hurry up and get two pairs of Bushnell Spacemaster Bodies while a few are still around (they quit making them) and get them put together (or do it yourself) on a bracket, I don't believe even the highest quality short length binoculars will equal them, especially with WA eyepieces. Of course two Kowas in a bracket are better. That old saying "you get what you pay for" in my opinion doesn't hold water in viewing optics after looking thru a lot of them I,ve seen where a much cheaper set of glasses spotted bullet holes at certain distances when the great named ones couldn't. The way optics are made today-different people grinding lenses (Japan, etc) for different companies all over the world things like this happen. It held true probably 30 years ago. Just an opinion though.
I just put a set of spacemaster's together with 22 power WA's in a bracket for $500.00.My 20x60 Pentax's or my 20x80 Swift's don't even come close.
Thanks all for the good info. Boyd and Dan you guys hit on something that I have also debated about doing with the Spacemasters (or equivelent) I have seen Daryls pics of his assembled big-eyes.
Who do you buy the best bracketry from?
Will they strictly be limited to tripod use?
(I'm 6'4", 280 but steady is another matter I suppose)
Any user/potential buyer of optics would be well advised to check the excellent info available on 'Better View Desired' here:

Although geared somewhat to birdwatching pursuits, the author's expertise in optics cannot be questioned. FYI, he rates the Nikon Venturer LX as the very best roof prism bino available. Keep in mind that this bino is a bit heavy.

Best value in a carryable bino? The Pentax DCF/WP. He rates it a best buy, which is a very rare thing for him, and having bought a pair, I can see how they merit such praise.

Snob appeal is one thing, but value, i.e. performance for dollars spent, is another that many of us must consider.

Good luck gents, in all of your shooting and hunting endeavors.
The Kahles 10 X 42 are hard to beat as a long range bino. I have used these now for two years in Old Mexico whitetail hunting and really have enjoyed them. If I see something that warrants a closer look, I get on them with the Swarovski ST 80. The Kahles have good eye cups and I can look through them for hours without any eye strain at all. They are great at dusk and dawn both and are worth a look.
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