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Originally Posted by Triggernosis
Originally Posted by JGRaider
For $1000, I'd look at the following and see which one you get the best deal on....

Meopta Meostar HD (pre owned, lifetime warranty)
Nikon MHG
Zeiss Conquest HD
GPO HD (not ED)
Tract Toric UHD
Maven B1
Vortex Razor HD (Cabelas has a killer deal for $600 or so now)
Where are you seeing this? It doesn't show that price when I go to their website.

Looks like that sale is over now. They had them for $699 sale price, use Cabelas card knocked off another $100. If you ordered them on a Monday, they knocked off another 15%. Crazy good deal. Maybe they'll bring it back for Christmas.


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The truth is we know nothing about the OP's western hunting trip intentions. Is it going to be an annual thing, a self guided hunt, horses, mules, ATV or walking, trophy or meat hunt, mountains or prairie, private or public land...? Lots of us are assuming that he will be glassing with a good pair of binoculars, and that is certainly one way to do it. Lots of western guys here hunt elk every year like we hunt deer here in the Midwest. Some of us flatlanders have gone out west hunting and it was culture shock. A big set of binoculars the way I went would have been extra weight either around my neck on a horse or walking up that (expletive) mountain at 2:30 in the morning to be on top first thing in the morning. Any elk with antlers was fair game on public land and I didn't need much more than my rifle scope to see antlers. A little pair of 10x25 Swarovski's in a breast pocket was ample. An extra 2# of weight if I needed to carry it up a 10,000' Colorado mountain was 2# too much. Elk are big animals and pretty easy to see especially if they moved or were out in the open. The OP needs to tell us more about how, where and what he is hunting.


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I still insist that my customer take about four or five different binos outside of the store if they are serious about purchase. I also like to have the customer have their spouse with them. We have a 900ft hill about 1 mile from the store. It has four towers on the top of that hill. We also have a cemetery about 3/4 of a mile away from the store front and a garden of flowers that are in front of a local bank that are about 125 yards away.


I have the customer focus in on one of the towers. There are signs and things in the towers that are identifiable. I have the customer tell me what they see and to continue to focus on the tower for 1 minute and 15 seconds.

Then they shift to the closer cemetery that has a family of cross foxes that run hunting mice up and down the slopes of the hill. They again have to refocus and watch for 1 minute 15 seconds.

Finally, I ask them to look at the flowers, or conversely a small series of rules on the side of the dumpster next to the bank. They have to again refocus and stay on target for 1 minute 15 seconds.


Generally this little exercise will show a lot. People will find binoculars that induce less eyestrain and flaring. It also gives insight on eye relief and the total quality of glass. It might take 25-35 minutes and I might not sell a single binocular to the process. But I have also upsold binoculars on several occasions with people looking closely on the ones that really fill their needs.

Swaro does not mess around. Every aspect of their bino optical design is thought over. The regional and national product reps know the names of their sales people and give us their cell numbers. The other reps might give us a card but you can be sure that they will not answer their phones while they are out hunting. Swaro is different. People will make false equivalences to try to make other binos that they feel are just as good as Swaro. However, if you put a pair of NLs, a pair of Noctivids, a pair of Zeiss FLs, a pair of GPOs, a pair of Kowas, a pair of Meostars, a pair of Vortex UHDs, a pair of Tracts, A pair of Mavens and a pair of Sigs on a counter and ask the person to take the bino that they would like for free- 97% will take the Swaros, 1% Noctivids, 1% Zeiss and the one other might take an oddball. People will come up to the counter and absolutely cry in their beer mourning like they lost a favorite uncle or a good dog if they have lost a pair of swaros. They do this less for other brands.

Swaro reps will talk about the myth of a Swaro virgin. This is that there has never been a person come in and buy a pair of swaros without going out hunting with a buddy or other hunting partner who has them and sees more game than them. It is the process of looking through the Swaro at game while others have different models of binos that do not do as well that prompts people to come in to buy Swaro.


People are likely Sig IS binoculars. Vortex Razor UHD binoculars are large but they are for real. The little Zeiss SFL binos are very good. Leica offers wonderful binoculars but they suck for working off of a tripod.

These are my views.

Last edited by kaboku68; 12/03/23.
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Originally Posted by kaboku68
I still insist that my customer take about four or five different binos outside of the store if they are serious about purchase. I also like to have the customer have their spouse with them. We have a 900ft hill about 1 mile from the store. It has four towers on the top of that hill. We also have a cemetery about 3/4 of a mile away from the store front and a garden of flowers that are in front of a local bank that are about 125 yards away.


I have the customer focus in on one of the towers. There are signs and things in the towers that are identifiable. I have the customer tell me what they see and to continue to focus on the tower for 1 minute and 15 seconds.

Then they shift to the closer cemetery that has a family of cross foxes that run hunting mice up and down the slopes of the hill. They again have to refocus and watch for 1 minute 15 seconds.

Finally, I ask them to look at the flowers, or conversely a small series of rules on the side of the dumpster next to the bank. They have to again refocus and stay on target for 1 minute 15 seconds.


Generally this little exercise will show a lot. People will find binoculars that induce less eyestrain and flaring. It also gives insight on eye relief and the total quality of glass. It might take 25-35 minutes and I might not sell a single binocular to the process. But I have also upsold binoculars on several occasions with people looking closely on the ones that really fill their needs.

Swaro does not mess around. Every aspect of their bino optical design is thought over. The regional and national product reps know the names of their sales people and give us their cell numbers. The other reps might give us a card but you can be sure that they will not answer their phones while they are out hunting. Swaro is different. People will make false equivalences to try to make other binos that they feel are just as good as Swaro. However, if you put a pair of NLs, a pair of Noctivids, a pair of Zeiss FLs, a pair of GPOs, a pair of Kowas, a pair of Meostars, a pair of Vortex UHDs, a pair of Tracts, A pair of Mavens and a pair of Sigs on a counter and ask the person to take the bino that they would like for free- 97% will take the Swaros, 1% Noctivids, 1% Zeiss and the one other might take an oddball. People will come up to the counter and absolutely cry in their beer mourning like they lost a favorite uncle or a good dog if they have lost a pair of swaros. They do this less for other brands.

Swaro reps will talk about the myth of a Swaro virgin. This is that there has never been a person come in and buy a pair of swaros without going out hunting with a buddy or other hunting partner who has them and sees more game than them. It is the process of looking through the Swaro at game while others have different models of binos that do not do as well that prompts people to come in to buy Swaro.


People are likely Sig IS binoculars. Vortex Razor UHD binoculars are large but they are for real. The little Zeiss SFL binos are very good. Leica offers wonderful binoculars but they suck for working off of a tripod.

These are my views.

That's a nice writeup, but did you read the OP.......$1000 budget?


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Find a deal on a SFL Zeiss or used ELs and send them in.

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All very interesting. Swarovski glass is excellent, I have been using Swaro binoculars since around 1990, through several generations--and have several later binoculars as well as spotting scopes.

But some of the binoculars from Japan are at least as good, and I know this due to doing many "blind tests" over the decades, with the brand names covered. These were handed to various people of varying binocular experience, in varying light conditions. Other brands were chosen just as often as Swarovski. (Same deal with spotting scopes, and the brands also often included Leica and Zeiss as well as Swarovski.)

But whatever....


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Vortex.....

I don't even want a free sticker


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I am not sure where they fall in quality wise compared to the others, but for the last 15+ years I've been happily using a set of Minox 8.5x43 HG binos. On a whim I purchased a set of Zeiss 10x40 Classics, after reading reviews about how great they were.... I did not keep them long, but I got back what I paid for them. The Minox HG pair I have blew them away, no question.

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About the best I can think of. Leica trinovids from Doug. My sons are excellent.

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I just finished comparing the Swarovski 8 x 42 NL Pure, Leica Trinovid HD and the Kowa Genesis 10.5 x 44 HD. A couple of observations: The Swaro 8 x 42 NL Pure is the clearest, sharpest brightest glass I've ever looked through. It also costs $3200.00. The Trinovid HD and the Genesis HD can both be had for about a thousand. When trying to resolve the tiniest printed letters on an eye chart at the maximum limit of resolving power, the NL Pure is superior, but the difference is incredibly slight. I can still read the tiniest print on the eye chart with the other two glasses even when I can read it a little easier with the NL Pure. When viewing trees and rocks and whatever at 2000-3000 yards, the Swaro offers a clearer, sharper, brighter image but for me, the ever so slightly clearer, sharper, brighter view is not worth the extra $2200. It just isn't. My .02 worth


P.S. Do not sleep on the Kowa Genesis, specially the 8 x 33. Very nice glass and very compact.

Last edited by Tarquin; 12/04/23.

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Those Zeiss SFLs can be had for 1399-1599 or much less through demo programs or insider Expertvoice memberships. They are pretty freaking tight.

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Did either of you two clowns bother to read the OP? $1000 budget?


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Originally Posted by JGRaider
Did either of you two clowns bother to read the OP? $1000 budget?

Raider, your expectations are adorable!

This is the Campfire! We don't need no stinkin' reading!


I do not entertain hypotheticals. The world itself is vexing enough. -- Col. Stonehill
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Originally Posted by Tarquin
When viewing trees and rocks and whatever at 2000-3000 yards, the Swaro offers a clearer, sharper, brighter image but for me, the ever so slightly clearer, sharper, brighter view is not worth the extra $2200. It just isn't. My .02 worth

And that's the crux of it for me.

Further, putting price aside, I need to consider WHERE I'd have to go to see that ever-so-slight difference. Even on most Western hunts I've been on (Canadian Rockies, Bighorn Mtns in WY, Talkeetnas in Alaska), the distances involved weren't really enough to truly let my alpha binocs show their capabilities over some costing much less.

The one time I noticed a difference, was glassing 2 ridges away in the Austrian Alps. Both in our party could see chamois frolicking about with the alphas, but not with the mid-tier binos. When glassing within our immediate drainage, however, both binocs showed us everything there was to see.

In other words, the difference was shown at a day-and-a-half+ hiking distance, on a hunt I'm unlikely ever to get to repeat.

That's not to say don't get the alphas if you can afford 'em: if you've got the scratch for a new unit, or can find a great deal on a used or demo set, you're unlikely to regret it. I'm just suggesting you take some time to consider what "best" means.

Let us know which set you end up with!

FC

Last edited by Folically_Challenged; 12/04/23.

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Used pair of Zeiss SFL 8 or 10x40. They can be had for $1000, ask me how I know.


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I have used a LOT of different binoculars to glass for big game over the decades. On this autumn Alaska bear hunt I brought two, already well-tested on other hunts, a 10x40 made in Asia and marketed here by the now defunct company Zen-Ray--which were pretty popular back then. Per usuall I also brought a smaller back-up binocular.

It was initially supposed to be only a black bear hunt, but after getting my black bear I found the company I was hunting with had a grizzly cancellation, so I took it. (Had hunted grizzly for 11 days on a spring hunt a few years before--and the only two grizzlies seen were a sow and her cub emerging from their snow-den over a mile away.)

On the black bear hunt my guide had a 10x40 Zeiss, a slightly lower-priced Conquest model they offered back then, which he'd recently purchased. He was somewhat dismayed that I was sometimes seeing stuff he didn't, and after comparing his Zeiss with the Zen-Ray he could see why. So I gave him the Zen-Ray as a tip, and was still using it a few years later.

That left me with my back-up binocular for the grizzly hunt, with a different guide. Ten days later we glassed one close to a mile away, moving slowly while feeding around a drying pond, often totally hidden by tall grass. After an hour-long stalk we got within 65-70 yards and I killed the boar. The back-up binocular hanging around my neck is a 6x30 Leupold Yosemite porro-prism, which was also very popular back then--and worked fine. Of course, a boar grizzly in fairly open country isn't as hard to spot as some other big game....

[Linked Image]


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Originally Posted by SBTCO
Originally Posted by Mule Deer
Another comment: Have found many of today's better, lower-priced binoculars have superior optics to older, used "alpha" binoculars, and are often just as rugged.



And why I went with the Burris Signatures after reading your positive comments about them. I haven't gotten a hold of any "alpha" glass to compare but doubt it would change my mind. Even my cheap Kowa 6x30 porro's are amazingly good, especially at their price pt..

Love those Leupold/Kowa porro 6x's. I've got a new pair but my first pair - the hinge got so floppy I couldn't use them one handed so I put a sheet metal screw in the hinge which made them non adjustable for eye spacing. I couldn't share them because my eyes are pretty far apart. Also, broke both neck strap attachments and had to drill through the meaty part of the housing to get a harness on them. At this point the glass is so bad they're almost not worth using. But I still do! Do I win the Rattiest Binos Award?

[Linked Image]

And, before they were ratty and there was alot less white in this dude's beard!

[Linked Image]


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Originally Posted by Talus_in_Arizona
Originally Posted by JGRaider
Did either of you two clowns bother to read the OP? $1000 budget?

Raider, your expectations are adorable!

This is the Campfire! We don't need no stinkin' reading!

Good point!!!


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oneeyedmule,

That's a pretty darn ratty binocular....

But apparently it still works!


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I personally have never been impressed with Swaro….
They’re clear no doubt but their reliability in foggy, wet areas and extreme cold has left me less than impressed. SLCs and ELs, of a few different powers and vintages.

I have not tried the Pures though.



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