Caribou Gear Tarp

Buying binos sucks

I made the big suck in 2004/5 when I coughed up the cash for my swaro ELs. Sucked then but has been a great experience owning them since and never spending or thinking about another set of binos since. I’m sure the update versions are better but I been 100 % satisfied the last 18 years with mine. While my buddies chased every new midrange that promised to be almost as good a swaros for less money.
I may upgrade to a newer version . If I do decide to upgrade I will probably consider used. Or not. LOL.
I did similar and bought ELs around 2007. ELs went through servicing this winter by Swaro to fix coating and I paid for new lenses. $250 cost. They look like new glass.

I bought NLs last year. I’m still undecided if they are better than the ELs. Both sons say No. I’m agreeing so far. I hunted last fall with them. We’ll do more side by side testing on bears this spring. I think the NLs are technically better but looking out the ELs is easier, or more familiar to me. The technical variance isn’t dramatic.
 
I did similar and bought ELs around 2007. ELs went through servicing this winter by Swaro to fix coating and I paid for new lenses. $250 cost. They look like new glass.

I bought NLs last year. I’m still undecided if they are better than the ELs. Both sons say No. I’m agreeing so far. I hunted last fall with them. We’ll do more side by side testing on bears this spring. I think the NLs are technically better but looking out the ELs is easier, or more familiar to me. The technical variance isn’t dramatic.
I'm sorta there with you, but since Jr. has the EL's now I'mma stick with the NL's being better even if I know it's confirmation bias.
 
I noticed a huge difference in the NL's while I was in NM this year. It amazed me the clarity, and the ability to look for miles and miles.
I previously had the EL's and the SLC's, and I am more impressed by the NL's
 
Depends on your style of hunt. If you're sitting in one location for more than an hour, alpha glass on a tripod is better.

However, many people like me rarely sit still that long. I'm driving around in my SXS or hiking through wooded ridges. With the Zulus you get 90% of the benefit as alphas on a tripod immediately.

Come around a corner - pop out the Sigs and glass at 16X completely steady within 2 seconds. Boom, clear. I would be 5 minutes into glassing by the time my partner got his BDX setup ready.

At the margins of performance his Swaro 95mm BTX setup was only marginally more effective than my 16X Zulu HDs. I spotted a goat shaped cactus at around 1100-1400yds. Couldn't quite tell if it was an animal or not. With the BTX setup you could just BARELY tell it was a cactus. Not exactly worth $5k more imo when I was doing that freehand.

Caveats: low light isn't great and field of view is limited with Zulus. Also my buddy gets motion sickness and the image stabilization did not agree with him. He was weirdly rocking back and forth when looking through them and couldn't get used to them. YMMV

I would have bet $1000 that Alpha glass on a tripod would mop the floor with these sub $1k binos. They don't.
This is super interesting. I want to get my hands on some and try it out.

Lot of hunts especially morning/evening - bringing only these in lieu of both tripod/bins/spotter would be really nice.

Do you know of a good place to buy? How good is the stabilzation? Good enough to be riding down the road looking? Good enough to be steady at 16x after being winded?
 
This is super interesting. I want to get my hands on some and try it out.

Lot of hunts especially morning/evening - bringing only these in lieu of both tripod/bins/spotter would be really nice.

Do you know of a good place to buy? How good is the stabilzation? Good enough to be riding down the road looking? Good enough to be steady at 16x after being winded?
To be clear, the low light performance drop off only costs you about 2 minutes at each end of daylight, maybe less.

I paid less than $900 shipped from cameralandny as they were on sale.

The stabilization is very good. Good enough to glass while driving on a decent dirt road, but not as comfortable. Being winded would be no challenge, especially in target mode.

I ran these all day for almost a week. Same basic AA battery going strong.
 
To be clear, the low light performance drop off only costs you about 2 minutes at each end of daylight, maybe less.

I paid less than $900 shipped from cameralandny as they were on sale.

The stabilization is very good. Good enough to glass while driving on a decent dirt road, but not as comfortable. Being winded would be no challenge, especially in target mode.

I ran these all day for almost a week. Same basic AA battery going strong.
I really want to try them now...
 
I don't want to oversell glassing while driving. If it's smooth and/or you're going slow you can definitely glass effectively. But in reality you're hitting rocks and bumps and it's not great.

80mph on smooth interstate? Worked for my 12 year old son. Slow on a fire road? Just ok
 
I got maven 11x45 and their big and small spotters. Doublers for all as well. They are great. Lots of guys around here have looked thru them and pretty soon they have a set too. Can’t beat their service and warranty.
 
In a good way, there's too many options these days. Trying to narrow down which brands alone is daunting, much less picking out a specific model. Unless you're dead set on the best glass out there, picking out a mid level pair in the $500-1000 range is tricky, for every 5 good reviews on a pair, there's 5 bad reviews. Its almost as difficult as picking a single beer out of 200 at a local brewery
Buy a $1500 pair used in the price range you are looking at. Used glass is a FAR better deal. Ebay and time are your friends.
 
Buy a $1500 pair used in the price range you are looking at. Used glass is a FAR better deal. Ebay and time are your friends.
Do manufacturer warranties transfer with ownership? Or are they specific to the first time buyer?
 
I'll be honest with you I own three Binoculars my oldest pair a set to Bushnell 10x50 cost $200 then I wanted a nice set and I bought Vortex Razor 8x42 and Vortex Diamond 8x32. My take is buy only what you can afford and I think all of mine are great, they each serve a different purpose.
I will say nice Binoculars are nice but not necessary.
I use my 10x50 Antelope hunting and Caribou hunting.
My Razor 8x42 for all my other hunting
My 8x32 for Iowa Blackpowder Deer hunting and I carry them hiking.
Yes I took a $200 pair of Binoculars on a fly in DIY Caribou hunt in Alaska why because they are nice Binoculars and work better than my Brother and his friend Binoculars costing over $500 I could see and spot game further.
 
The optic continuum, what to buy.

It has been mentioned and is still sound advice, the best money spent is used Alpha glass. “Almost as good as” never is and comes up short every time.

Swarovski makes exceptional hunting optics and I have never been sorry to get them. There is a reason that so many brands are compared to Swarovski for quality and CS.

If money was not a component in buying optics, there would be only 3 brands in the hands of the hunter, Swarovski, Leica or Zeiss…
 
The optic continuum, what to buy.

It has been mentioned and is still sound advice, the best money spent is used Alpha glass. “Almost as good as” never is and comes up short every time.

Swarovski makes exceptional hunting optics and I have never been sorry to get them. There is a reason that so many brands are compared to Swarovski for quality and CS.

If money was not a component in buying optics, there would be only 3 brands in the hands of the hunter, Swarovski, Leica or Zeiss…
The best glass is the most usable glass. I've always thought I would end up with Swaro NL Pures and a 115mm BTX setup. However, after seeing how darn useful my Sigs were, I never thought to reach for my partner's Swaro EL's or BTX setup. Those stayed put away and I used my Sigs exclusively pretty much, and he went back and forth between my Maven 15's on a tripod and his BTX (but only if we were going to glass a spot for a long time).

At one point I was trying to ID a Barbary Sheep/Cactus and couldn't do it with my Sigs. Couldn't do it either with my Mavens on a tripod, nor the Swaro ELs. The 95mm BTX *BARELY* was able to ID it. I think I paid under $900 shipped for my light and fast Zulus vs. the $6k BTX setup?

Alpha glass is only worth it if it's easier to use. And this image stabilization has changed the paradigm.
 
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