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Looking for some help #6782444 06/03/17 05:49 AM
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r_mcgee Offline OP
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I have been wanting to get some good optics for awhile, and it's been on my mind a lot recently. So I need some help figuring out what I need. I have only had/used cheap binoculars in the past so I don't have a comparison to mid to high quality optics. I'm planning ahead so I don't have a budget to help limit options. I would like to be able to get the best for my usage without paying extra for something that is more than what I would need.(If that makes sense)

I would like a pair of binoculars, and am also interested in a rangefinder.I know they make combos but with my lack of knowledge I don't know if I should be looking at them or looking for separate products.

I have never used a rangefinder before so while I like the idea of one I don't actually know how much use it would be. Until I can have one in my hand and use it for some time I don't know how much I would use it.

About the only thing I can think of that I would care about is that I don't want to have to treat anything like spun sugar. I don't plan to run over them with a truck or shoot at them mind you, but I don't want something that would get messed up being bounced around in the back seat of the truck or thrown around in a pack. This might not be an issue if all the options would qualify, but my lack of experience and knowledge means I don't even know that much.

I have probably left something out so ask any questions that might help to narrow things down. If there's some good information out there that might help me to understand what I need to look for, great. So far anything I have tried to find and read up on has been pretty bla on helping me to narrow things down.

Re: Looking for some help [Re: r_mcgee] #6782478 06/03/17 12:14 PM
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Range finding binoculars are what I will eventually go to, I refuse to carry two separate handheld optics. In my opinion, money spent on quality glass is not wasted. You said you didn't have a budget, so be prepared for some sticker shock. Lower price, look into Bushnell. They are making some very nice optics, they are not what they were even ten years ago. They're much better!

The next two brands are expensive, and are top of the line, buy once, cry once. Leica, and Swarovski.


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Re: Looking for some help [Re: r_mcgee] #6782563 06/03/17 02:11 PM
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Vortex has started making a Fury line of RF/bino combo units, and Nikon has one as well. They appear to be the same product in different armoring, and cost around $1000. While convenient, the biggest negative in my mind is that rangefinder technology is developing faster than binocular technology nowadays. Also, warranties on these products are only 2-3 yrs on the electronics, the rangefinder portion, leaving you with an oversized, heavier binocular than you'd otherwise have. Vortex is the only one with a lifetime warranty on the electronics as well as binocular.

Re: Looking for some help [Re: Jgraider] #6782577 06/03/17 02:33 PM
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Don't you think binocular technology has peaked? Or is at the apex, maybe with a little more to go, but not much. Make the clearest glass, that produces the clearest image, make it shock and water proof. No moving parts. I used some 20 year old Swarovski binoculars a friend of mine handed me, last July. Stellar clarity, even being 20 years old. Point being, could 2017 binoculars show significant more clarity that 1997 binoculars?

Laser range finders on the other hand, we will see improvements every year with no foreseeable end, in my opinion.


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Re: Looking for some help [Re: r_mcgee] #6782593 06/03/17 02:58 PM
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r_mcgee Offline OP
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Ok so vortex for the warranty on combo unit, but it sounds like I'm looking at separate units for longevity of use for binoculars.

Re: Looking for some help [Re: r_mcgee] #6782601 06/03/17 03:16 PM
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If you're interested in moving to the mid-range, you would probably be better off buying binoculars and a separate rangefinder. There are plenty of great Binos in the mid-range price bracket. That and a $200-300 rangefinder and you're set for 25% of the Swarovski combo. Do you have a budget nailed down?

I think binocular improvement has been slow in the alphas. I personally don't see any reason to spend over $1k with all the options out today. However, consider the lower price points. They're noticeably better. You get allot more for your buck than 20 years ago. I think glass wise some of the better $400-500 binos built today would give a 20 Swarovski tough competition.

Re: Looking for some help [Re: J.G.] #6782640 06/03/17 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted By: FiremanJG
Don't you think binocular technology has peaked? Or is at the apex, maybe with a little more to go, but not much. Make the clearest glass, that produces the clearest image, make it shock and water proof. No moving parts. I used some 20 year old Swarovski binoculars a friend of mine handed me, last July. Stellar clarity, even being 20 years old. Point being, could 2017 binoculars show significant more clarity that 1997 binoculars?

Laser range finders on the other hand, we will see improvements every year with no foreseeable end, in my opinion.


I don't see how the absolute top shelf stuff can get much better. The big difference nowadays is that a $500 binocular today is as good optically as anything made 20 years ago. Also, in the top end Zeiss, Swaro, Leica RF/bino combo units, their very best glass is not used because there's some type of problem with that and the RF compatability .

Agree on the stand alone RF units....they are amazing and getting better all the time. For instance, not much can match the Sig 2000/2400 stuff, except very expensive Vectronix type units.

Re: Looking for some help [Re: r_mcgee] #6783020 06/04/17 01:12 AM
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I prefer separate units. My suggestion with no $ limit is Swarovski EL binos and whatever level of rangefinder you would need. Sig rangefinding units get great reviews.

My personal pieces are Swarovski EL 10x42 and Leica 1600b rangefinder


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Re: Looking for some help [Re: r_mcgee] #6783925 06/05/17 05:25 AM
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Well budget related I kind of had $1,000 in my head as a top limit. But that was more just a round number pulled out of the air. If I can know that the money will be worth it I could go more. My concern is at what point will I personally not notice or care about quality increase with price increase.

What kinds of things should I be looking for with rangefinders?

Re: Looking for some help [Re: r_mcgee] #6783984 06/05/17 11:54 AM
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I prefer separate units. I have had great luck with the Nikon ATB 8X42 , I think these are labeled different now maybe the Prostaff 7 ?? Great optic and lightweight. Gave them to my daughter.

I switched to the Vortex Talon 10X42. They are good but heavy and used in a blind 99% of my hunting time.

I also have had a Leica 1200 scan R.F. with great success.


If money were no object I would take a look at the Swarovski combo. With todays technology, the combo units will start becoming more popular.


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Re: Looking for some help [Re: r_mcgee] #6784042 06/05/17 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted By: r_mcgee
What kinds of things should I be looking for with rangefinders?


Reticle size. Some are too large.

What ever its' rated distance is, count on half of that in bright sunlight. Infrared in the sun spectrum washes out the laser. You will get much farther readings in twilight, or darkness, than you will in bright sunlight. Watch to see if they have a reflective object rating as well as a non-reflective. The non-reflective is what hunters are going to use, i.e. animals, tress, and landscape.


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Re: Looking for some help [Re: J.G.] #6784073 06/05/17 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted By: FiremanJG
Originally Posted By: r_mcgee
What kinds of things should I be looking for with rangefinders?


Reticle size. Some are too large.

What ever its' rated distance is, count on half of that in bright sunlight. Infrared in the sun spectrum washes out the laser. You will get much farther readings in twilight, or darkness, than you will in bright sunlight. Watch to see if they have a reflective object rating as well as a non-reflective. The non-reflective is what hunters are going to use, i.e. animals, tress, and landscape.



very true words^^^^^ up


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