Yeti

Bino glass

Muskeez

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Aug 21, 2012
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I just need an education here. I have decided on 10x42, my dilemma is which model. I'm sure everyone has their favorite and it will kind of be a ford/chevy/dodge type topic, so what I really need to know is what type of glass or other specifics should I be looking for to get the best bang for my buck? $1000-2000 Swaro and Zeiss are out, 2 kids in college and 1 to go, so not happening. I have set the limit at $600. One thought is, if I can't afford the really good stuff am I better off just getting the $200 line and saving for the $1500 ones later and handing the $200 ones down to the kids? Is the $500 glass that much better than $200 glass? The closest big retailer to look at multiple pairs at the same time is 150+ miles away. I did look at some on my last trip through but it was after dark so indoor viewing was all I could do. Thanks for any lessons on glass types!
 

npaden

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Lubbock, Texas
I personally think you can still see a noticeable difference in the $200- $300 glass and the $600 glass.

For that price point I would get the Zen Ray Primes. I guess that's what I did anyway. They are very clear edge to edge. VERY clear.

The only thing they don't really excel at is low light. When you really think about it though most glassing is really done during the day. With that said they are still plenty good through shooting hours. They get super good reviews on the birding forums.

http://www.cameralandny.com/optics2/zenray.pl?page=zenray-primehd10x42

My 2 cents. Probably not worth that much.
 

ashersdad

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Feb 8, 2007
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Happy Valley, OR
Agree with npaden. When it comes to glass, you typically get what you pay for.

I know it's a little off of your price limit but if you shop around you can get the Zeiss Conquest 10X42's in the $800-900 range.
 

NoWiser

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Minnesota
For a hair more you could get the Zeiss Conquest HDs. I think my demo models were $750.00 with no shipping or tax. I am very, very happy with them.

This past weekend I was bowhunting whitetails and had a forkhorn about 40 yards away from me. It was dark enough (shooting hours were over) that I literally could not see the deer at all with my naked eye. With the binos I could see every detail on him. In fact, I was sure I saw an arrow wound from my buddy's kid who was hunting 200 yards away, but it was just a bur on his side. I was very impressed and can't say I could have seen that well with my old Nikons.

You could look for a good deal on something like that and just sell them when you are ready to upgrade. Good luck.

My buddy does have those Zen Ray Primes and is pleased with them. I haven't spent much time behind them to compare to the Zeiss.
 

Schaaf

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Glasgow, MT
My buddy recently got a pair of Maven 11x45's. I've compared them quite a bit to my Leupold Gold Rings. I've never been as impressed with a pair of Binos like I was after looking through those Maven's in low light conditions. Rather new company but I don't feel like you could go wrong with buying from them.
 

----

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Doesn't Theron have a new set out at that price point? The $200 Theron spotter I've used beat the crap out of others I've used in the same price bracket.
 

dainer

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I'm not sure if it's an option, but you could try to sell some stuff to get the binos you truly want. A duplicate frame pack, gun, rangefinder etc. I went through 5 pairs of binos to get where I finally wanted to be. Each time the price doubled. I also found out low to mid range binos don't hold their value like a pair of swaros etc would. Determine what will make you happy and find a way to get it done.

Premium glass isn't going to get any cheaper. My spotting scope price has gone up 37% in 8 years. Buy once, cry once IMO...
 

TimeOnTarget

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I'm not sure if it's an option, but you could try to sell some stuff to get the binos you truly want. A duplicate frame pack, gun, rangefinder etc. I went through 5 pairs of binos to get where I finally wanted to be. Each time the price doubled. I also found out low to mid range binos don't hold their value like a pair of swaros etc would. Determine what will make you happy and find a way to get it done.

Premium glass isn't going to get any cheaper. My spotting scope price has gone up 37% in 8 years. Buy once, cry once IMO...



Excellent advice.
 

rfishbone

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Sep 17, 2014
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Oklahoma
People can say what they want but I have a pair of Nikon Monarchs that have treated me well for 8+ years. I think Nikon makes a very good product. And I think I paid ~$400 for them. just my two cents
 

Tradewind

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Aug 19, 2015
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I think Nikon makes very good glass for a guy on a budget. I have a compact pair that I keep for a backup. I would stop at a store with some selection. Usually the smaller shops will let you take a pair or two outside to compare.
 

schmalts

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Aug 22, 2002
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Yes there is a big difference between $200 and $500. I would also say the difference is bigger between the 200vs500 price than the $500vs1500 price range. Once you get over the 450-500 range you really need to look hard to find differences on a lot of models, mostly because the biggest difference is the price! Marketing costs money, and consumers pay for that cost in the end.
I have a proosal for you, I will send you a pair of binos to take and compare to other brands if you report back to me. Let me know if interested.
 

C17loadclear

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Aug 5, 2014
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Sandpoint Idaho
I just pulled the trigger on a pair of 2000 dollar glass and I can say that it hurt a bit in the pocket book but how about looking for a used pair of really good glass. I had started my search that way but just decided to bite the bullet and get what I really wanted.
 

Muskeez

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Aug 21, 2012
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NW Iowa
Thanks to everyone for your thoughts on particular brands/models. I still need to educate myself on ED glass vs. this or that glass, it all seems like Greek to me. In the end I understand that you get what you pay for in general. I can appreciate those that say, just spend the wad and get what you want. That is my exact theory on my fishing boat electronics which get used MANY times a year and can honestly be credited with finding fish often when other lower end electronics can not give the details needed. I can only guess that good glass will do the same for finding game in some situations. The difference for me is I only get to spend about 2 weeks a year glassing for game out west. The rest is close quarters hunting here in Iowa, where a pair of Tasco can do the trick most of the time. Schmalts, I will send you a PM, very kind offer.
ps. This year I will be glassing for mule deer with my daughter in western SD. Definitely my toughest glassing task to date. Finding bedded bucks in some very broken country will be challenging. I was able to find some on a recent scouting trip so I'm excited to find a shooter for her and get after it. Most of my past glassing has been in WY for antelope and they stick out like chit on a white horse most of the time.
 
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whiskeydog

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Oct 17, 2011
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Billings, MT
How has nobody mentioned Vortex yet? You can get the Viper 10x42's for right at $600... Other models for less
 

Muskeez

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Aug 21, 2012
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NW Iowa
Ya, I have looked at Vortex Viper and Diamondback, Leupold BX2 and BX3, and Cabelas. My brother has the Diamondbacks and likes them but had to send them in once also.
 

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