Mountain Buzz banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
983 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone have a recommendations for a good set of binoculars that are well suited for the river? I'm wondering if there is a sweet spot for the fov or other specs that people find work well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,208 Posts
it should go without saying but water proof is a must... If they're always buried in a dry box they'll never get used. I can't speak for just boating but good quality optics make a huge difference. You'll see more detail with zeiss 8 powers than 12 power tasco's...

I like 8 to 10 power, 40ish mm objectives. If I were buying new binoc's I'd be hard pressed to not buy a pair of Vortex. They have an unlimited lifetime replacement warranty and are really good optics for the money. I have a scope that I'm blown away with. As far as model get the most your budget can handle, you will not be disappointed. Diamondback 10x42, Talon 8 or 10x42 or viper 10x42. If you want smaller you could go down to the 8x32's (wouldn't do 10x32) but you'll loose a lot of field of view. Since they're not around your neck all day the 42 is just about right, good light gathering ability, can go higher mag and keep decent FOV. The bigger 50mm objectives just get huge and cumbersome. Vortex is also an American company if that's your thing... Leupolds are also great optics, add 20% for the name, similar warranty though not quite as good. Nikon - overrated poorly designed. Bushnell generally suck, thought they do make a few high end glasses that are awesome and fairly priced. Tasco's - don't waste your money. Zeiss, Swarovsky, Leica if your budget is big! Leica Geovid rangefinding binoc's are the shit. If I ever had 2400 to waste on opitics that's what I'd get in a heartbeat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
140 Posts
What is your budget and what do you think you want to look at?

Here is a decent article I found that might answer some questions for you.

Buying Binoculars - Animals and Wildlife - About.com



I have several pairs and I rarely use more that the 8 power. Don't get those zoom binos that are in sporting goods stores. They generally aren't that high of quality and it is hard to free hand them above 10x. Using binos in the boat is challenging as the target is moving and the boat may be spinning and bobbing.

When you try out binos, see how they fit in your hands and how does the focus work with your hands. Lighter can be better if you get serious about bird or wildlife viewing.

If you have a big budget, I have been told by some knowledgeable people that HD glass is a waste of money for men. Somehow the cones in our eyes are different than women. But not sure if that is a wives tale or not.

I agree with Elkhaven that expensive binos are nice. It is amazing the detail they can pick up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
983 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Budget is flexible. I'm a buy it once kind of person. That being said I'm not looking in the $1000+ range either. Most of their use will be from land to view animals and other features of the canyon walls and such.


Sent from my iPad using Mountain Buzz
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,208 Posts
In general there is a big jump from mid to high end (~$600 upper mid level to $1K+ for lower high end) so Id guess your looking in the $400-600 range. If you've got time look at some in the store, check 'em out and find something that fits your face well and is intuitive to adjust - fit will be different for everyone as will eye relief needs. Check them with and without glasses (even sunglasses if you don't wear prescription)

It's a little thing but being able to use them with or without sunglasses is really nice, especially on the river, looking at bright cliff walls, sky, water glare, etc. Since it sounds like your OK with spending the money, I'd look at Vortex Talons at minimum, maybe a Viper HD. Vipers are honestly as clear as mid level Zeiss and low end Swarovski and cost half to a third as much. They really are great optics.

There are several other brands with similar pricing, I believe all make good optics, but I've had several Nikons that failed and both had bad eye cups that broke after a few years. They did warranty them both times, the second time with a new pair that I traded for my current pair (as the eye cups were the exact same design).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
506 Posts
I have owned a pair of Leitz since 1987 and they are still amazing. I bought them from a camera shop that was going to stop carrying high end binoculars so they were like 75% off. I remember I still put them on layaway and made weekly payments. I have 7 x 35 mm as I wanted to be able to focus on closer objects. My eye cups broke or wore out also but Leica sent new ones at no charge. You can't go wrong with great optics but you sure pay the price.


Jim
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
572 Posts
We had a gift card from Cabelas and bought Redfield Rebel 10 x 42 for ( I think) about $150. Lifetime warranty. The center pivot got a little loose. I called them and they said send them back and they would take care of it. They have really good focus & POV as far as we're concerned. FWIW, Redfield is the lower end brand for Leopold & Stevens.

We don't baby them and we all know the abuse and sand that our gear on the river takes. FYI, don't leave your binoculars on the trailer on a long dirt take out road. :(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
579 Posts
i have went to the Vortex monocular for everything (the 'Solo 10 X 36'). its way more compact (think 1/2 the size of a decent binocular), is plenty bright (you do loose a small bit of clarity on the edges), water proof and fog proof AND Vortex's warranty simply states "if it breaks for any reason we will fix it or replace it"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
296 Posts
I'm a bit of a binocular buff. In the last few years there have been a ton of very nice binoculars that come out of china. Vortex is one, and the most well known but others exist. For rafting You don't need low light performance super sharp images outside of the middle 70% of the field of view. Or a flat viewing field. which is where the $2000 glass pulls away from the cheaper stuff. This fact allows you to go cheaper as well

Best bang for the buck is the sightron blue sky Sii 8x32 or a zen ray hd or ed2 in 8x30 or 7x32 respectively. On forums like optics talk they are well respected and well tested.

I have a ZR 7x32 ed2 and it is optically on par with a
10 yr old Swarovski's I have. (Well close enough where there is no obvious difference. Plus they are 1000 cheaper so a drop in the drink ain't so bad.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,148 Posts
Be sure to get a good pelican case dedicated to protecting them

Sent from my SM-N900V using Mountain Buzz mobile app
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
983 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Be sure to get a good pelican case dedicated to protecting them

Sent from my SM-N900V using Mountain Buzz mobile app
That's self defeating. I want something I don't have to protect from the water.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,208 Posts
That's self defeating. I want something I don't have to protect from the water.
My thoughts exactly... If its in a box, its of little use.

Sent from my DROID RAZR using Mountain Buzz mobile app
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
983 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Plus they are 1000 cheaper so a drop in the drink ain't so bad.
So - do I need to start over here? The first requirement of any option would be water resistance/proofness. What options are still on the table?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,208 Posts
So - do I need to start over here? The first requirement of any option would be water resistance/proofness. What options are still on the table?
Most good binoc's are waterproof to some level. I would discuss the details with sales people or search by model on the internet reviews. Vortex, Nikon, Bushnell, Leupold for sure market as waterproof, but I have not seen a depth listed. There is of course no use for submerged binocs so that's not what there made for, but I'm sure most would handle a few PSI at least (1psi=2.41 feet of submergence). In an upside down boat they should be ok but I wouldn't want them to be that way for long, probably just because they may not be there once the boat is righted. I have mine carabinered to my frame most of the time, but when things get hairy, I'll put them in my day box. I have bushnell elite 10x42's FWIW-got a great deal otherwise I'd have Vortex Viper's due mostly to warranty. Unconditional, lifetime of the product - not original owner. Best warranty in existence and since I want them out sitting next to me in the boat that would be outstanding peace of mind. Mine (bushnell's) have seen two boating seasons (in the boat ~50/50), 3 hunting seasons and they live in my truck in their case. They still look nearly new. Hope that helps. Bushnell advertises a good warranty, but the forums tend to indicate not such great service. I got mine for very cheap so I thought I'd chance the future warranty issues...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
506 Posts
So - do I need to start over here? The first requirement of any option would be water resistance/proofness. What options are still on the table?

No maybe just go back and read the stuff people wrote in response to your post. Seems like there is plenty to work with.


Jim
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top