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Binocular recommendation #8103530 12/26/20 02:27 AM
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I bought a pair of these a couple weeks ago https://www.cabelas.com/shop/en/vortex-diamondback-hd-binoculars-in-truetimber-strata and while at first I really liked them I just can’t see very well with them in low light. My eyesight isn’t the greatest but not horrible. I normally wear glasses but recently passed the vision test for my drivers license without them.

Using the binocs in the bright of day they seem ok but yesterday morning I was hunting with my son and it was 15 minutes past shooting time and we had three deer at the feeder 100 yards away, my son was hunting, and I was spotting. I couldn’t see them very well at all. They are 10x. Not sure if I need more magnification, better quality that grabs more light, or both.

Budget isn’t too much of a concern but I don’t want to just go buy the most expensive thing out there I just want something where I can see better when hunting with the kids.

Re: Binocular recommendation [Re: Sewer rat] #8103543 12/26/20 02:45 AM
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Vortex optics have a lot of fans due to brilliant marketing and hype but they do not manufacture quality optics - especially in their cheaper lines which are basically junk.

There are lots better choices. IMO optics don’t begin to exhibit good quality until you get in the $700-800 price point. There are guys on here with way more experience than me but I hear really good things about Maven, Nikon, Athlon and some others. Of course anything from the Big 3 (Swarovski, Leica, Zeiss) will serve you well.

Good luck in your search.


Originally Posted By: Russ79
I learned long ago you can't reason someone out of something they don't reason themselves into.


Re: Binocular recommendation [Re: Sewer rat] #8103558 12/26/20 03:05 AM
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Step up to the Viper HD line and you will see a difference

Diamond line is horrendous

Re: Binocular recommendation [Re: Sewer rat] #8103573 12/26/20 03:21 AM
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Viper line is mucho better then diamond back, Vortex is no different then any of the other high volume optics guys like Leopold. They have economy line that should just be dropped. There is no good economy line of bino’s, they all have pain points.

These are inline with viper HD but just a tad cheaper

https://mavenbuilt.com/collections/binoculars/products/c-1-8x42-10x42-12x42


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Re: Binocular recommendation [Re: Brother in-law] #8103616 12/26/20 04:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Brother in-law
Step up to the Viper HD line and you will see a difference

Diamond line is horrendous


Agree with this 100% Viper HDs are fantastic.

Re: Binocular recommendation [Re: Sewer rat] #8103639 12/26/20 05:53 AM
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I prefer the Meopta Meostar (or Cabelas Euro HD) to the Viper HD, and the used Meoptas are around the same price as the new Viper HD.

Re: Binocular recommendation [Re: Sewer rat] #8103661 12/26/20 12:18 PM
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Zeiss

Re: Binocular recommendation [Re: patriot07] #8103972 12/26/20 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by patriot07
I prefer the Meopta Meostar (or Cabelas Euro HD) to the Viper HD, and the used Meoptas are around the same price as the new Viper HD.


A Meopro would be more on par to a Viper HD. The Meostar is closer to a Swarovski SLC in optical quality


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Re: Binocular recommendation [Re: Sewer rat] #8104056 12/26/20 09:56 PM
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Re: Binocular recommendation [Re: Sewer rat] #8104307 12/27/20 02:40 AM
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As has been said. Diamondback line is bottom dollar and the optical experience is also bottom. Years ago i did some checking and bought a pair of their talon HD 10x and have been very happy with them, i may have just gotten a really great pair, as the quality of vision out of them is double their price point. I say that because they were comparable to binos double their price. I do not believe they make the line anymore.

As with everything, the more you spend the more you get. But yes, you should be able to see deer 15 minutes into legal shooting time.

Re: Binocular recommendation [Re: Sewer rat] #8104336 12/27/20 03:27 AM
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Go 8x42 and something in the $500 range like Vortex Viper, Meopta Meopro HD, Zeiss Terra ED, Kowa XD

Any should be a noticeable step up in low light performance.





Re: Binocular recommendation [Re: scottfromdallas] #8104394 12/27/20 04:26 AM
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Originally Posted by scottfromdallas

Go 8x42 and something in the $500 range like Vortex Viper, Meopta Meopro HD, Zeiss Terra ED, Kowa XD

Any should be a noticeable step up in low light performance.

This is really good advice. I owned a set of diamondback 10x42 and they're fine, but I have dabbled in some 8x32 and 8x42 binos in the $1000 range and $300-$500 range and I've found the $500-ish binos in the 8x32 or 8x42 to be by far the best value. I like 8x much better than 10x, and the optics in the $400-$500 range are 95% as good as the super-expensive stuff and twice as good as the $150 binos. It's a real sweet spot. Meopro binos are hard to beat, but the Zeiss and Kowa are supposedly right there with them.

Re: Binocular recommendation [Re: Sewer rat] #8104396 12/27/20 04:29 AM
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Then you get to weigh them

Re: Binocular recommendation [Re: Sewer rat] #8104689 12/27/20 04:48 PM
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Zeiss. At low light, you get what you pay for.

Re: Binocular recommendation [Re: Sewer rat] #8104797 12/27/20 07:25 PM
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Sorry man but I do not believe $500 binos are 95% as good as $1000 ones. I do have the experience with both.
For long range glassing , using them for a few hours, the better glass will be easier on your eyes.

Re: Binocular recommendation [Re: Wytex] #8104981 12/27/20 11:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Wytex
Sorry man but I do not believe $500 binos are 95% as good as $1000 ones. I do have the experience with both.
For long range glassing , using them for a few hours, the better glass will be easier on your eyes.



I'll take your word for it. I've never had alpha glass so I don't know what I'm missing. I'm generally not glassing for hours on end. I usually hunt in the woods on my land or with a guide if I'm on a paid hunt. In the woods, I just want something that is good in low light and 8x is plenty magnification.

I can certainly see how it would matter in open spaces and glassing for hours to locate game.





Re: Binocular recommendation [Re: Sewer rat] #8104999 12/27/20 11:47 PM
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Long range glassing calls for high quality 12x-15x binos, and I'd agree to buy the best you can afford For your average hunting glass, which I've been using for 49 years now, the gap narrows considerably IMO. Most any $500 binocular has optics on par with anything made 20 years ago, they're that good. You won't see something through a Swaro SV that you can't see equally as well through a Tract Toric, for example. I've had dozens of binoculars side by side on tripods over the years trying to see the differences and there's not that wide of a gap anymore.

Re: Binocular recommendation [Re: Sewer rat] #8105040 12/28/20 12:28 AM
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Sorry, I pretty much have to disagree with that.

There is not a $500 pair of binoculars made that can touch my 19 year old Swarovski ELs. I’ve had a lot of different outfitters, hunters and spotters verify that over the past 5 years. And that’s just a side-by-side comparison and doesn’t even take into account eye strain over hours of glassing.

And there is a whole lot you can see through a pair of Swarovskis that you would never see through a Tract Toric. A tine in the shadows at 400, counting points at dusk at 100, an elk turn his head at 1000..... the list is endless. There is a reason (almost I guess) every experienced hunter and outfitter will tell you to get the best glass you can afford. Before anything else. Better glass performs better at all ranges, not just long range.


Originally Posted By: Russ79
I learned long ago you can't reason someone out of something they don't reason themselves into.


Re: Binocular recommendation [Re: Sewer rat] #8105081 12/28/20 01:14 AM
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JG has me looking at TRACT 8x42s after that endorsement.


I'm looking for a quality 8x42 for most of my hunting needs. I tend to lean towards Meopta when it comes for bang for the buck.





Re: Binocular recommendation [Re: Sewer rat] #8105095 12/28/20 01:26 AM
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Out of them all I like Zeiss Victory HT in low light. They are my go to binocs but they are pricey.
I also own a pair of Nikon Monarch 7’s for loaners that are pretty decent. They have not seen a lot of hard use so I can’t say how durable they are. I will say they are surprisingly good optically and within your price point. The resolution of detail is not comparable to alpha glass but 15 minutes into legal at 100 yards will not challenge them. I would consider them a good value.

Edit to add: my wife is a bird watcher. Binoculars are birdwatchers only piece of gear and they may be the most informed group when it comes to binocs. Reading up on what serious birdwatchers recommend for value may be the best binocs advice I can give you.

Last edited by Smokey Bear; 12/28/20 01:40 AM.

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Re: Binocular recommendation [Re: Nogalus Prairie] #8105109 12/28/20 01:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Nogalus Prairie
Sorry, I pretty much have to disagree with that.

There is not a $500 pair of binoculars made that can touch my 19 year old Swarovski ELs. I’ve had a lot of different outfitters, hunters and spotters verify that over the past 5 years. And that’s just a side-by-side comparison and doesn’t even take into account eye strain over hours of glassing.

And there is a whole lot you can see through a pair of Swarovskis that you would never see through a Tract Toric. A tine in the shadows at 400, counting points at dusk at 100, an elk turn his head at 1000..... the list is endless. There is a reason (almost I guess) every experienced hunter and outfitter will tell you to get the best glass you can afford. Before anything else. Better glass performs better at all ranges, not just long range.



Then we'll just agree to disagree than. I own a couple of Swaros....10x50ELSV and a 10x42 SLC HD, and several others including the Meostar Nikon MHG, and Toric. I've glassed for deer countless times with these and many others that hunters brought into camp over the past 15 years. When I say "there's nothing you will see through a Swaro that you can't see as well through a Toric", of course the Swaro is sharper and a little brighter. The price point will clue you in to that fact. BUT, if you can see it through my Swaros, you CAN see it with the Meostar, GR HD, Toric, etc. I use a spotter to judge game after I've found it with binos. The only spotter made that's better than the Meostar S2 is the new modular Swaro system. As a matter of fact you could use a Swarovision and I'd use the Tract and I'd routinely find deer you'd never see.

Last edited by Jgraider; 12/28/20 01:39 AM.
Re: Binocular recommendation [Re: scottfromdallas] #8105112 12/28/20 01:36 AM
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Originally Posted by scottfromdallas
JG has me looking at TRACT 8x42s after that endorsement.


I'm looking for a quality 8x42 for most of my hunting needs. I tend to lean towards Meopta when it comes for bang for the buck.


That 8x42 Toric, when side by side with the SLC HD and Meostar HD, is so close optically you have to look for any meaningful difference. If they're not side by side you'll never notice what your missing optically, it's miniscule.

Under $1500 the Toric will hold it's own with anything made, regardless of manufacturer.

Last edited by Jgraider; 12/28/20 01:36 AM.
Re: Binocular recommendation [Re: Jgraider] #8105114 12/28/20 01:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Jgraider
Long range glassing calls for high quality 12x-15x binos, and I'd agree to buy the best you can afford For your average hunting glass, which I've been using for 49 years now, the gap narrows considerably IMO. Most any $500 binocular has optics on par with anything made 20 years ago, they're that good. You won't see something through a Swaro SV that you can't see equally as well through a Tract Toric, for example. I've had dozens of binoculars side by side on tripods over the years trying to see the differences and there's not that wide of a gap anymore.



There has been a huge jump, I think a lot of the higher end mid grade like upper end Maven, GPO, Meopta have caught the original SLC’s(&HD) and even the original release EL’s(not the post revisions of 10’&15’). I’m not sure you can find an old alpha competitior in the $500 category but I'm not as well versed as I normally skip them for one's mentioned above(900-1200). With that said I wouldn't be surprised if some caught the SLC’s for sure, especially with the direct to consumor companies.

I've always had a preference to the SLC HD over EL’s, but its more ergonomics then glass.


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Re: Binocular recommendation [Re: Sewer rat] #8105116 12/28/20 01:40 AM
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Right on Bobo.

Re: Binocular recommendation [Re: Sewer rat] #8105126 12/28/20 01:53 AM
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https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1113174-REG/pentax_62721_8x43_zd_wp_binocular.html

Pentax 8 x 43 ZD is a pretty damn good set for around $500.00

They are all the average hunter (using within 300-400 yds) will need.

I have a pair of these and a pair of Pentax 8 X 42 DCF HR II and some older 8 X 56 (for really low light). Pentax are excellent glass for the money.

Any pair of decent binoculars are fine in bright daylight, but in low-light....you'll appreciate a better pair and the money spent, is WELL spent.

Also, if you glass for long periods of time, be sure you have good glass. 'Good' glass starts at $500.00 and up, period. Buy 'used' if you have to, but buy a decent pair (of which there are many).


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