Wednesday, January 25, 2012
From Roger in OK:
I bought the Vanguard Endeavor Binocular after reading the good reviews. I wanted to look through it before I purchased it, and went to Cabelas's which have it available online, but not on display at store. So I decided to buy based on the reviews only and after reviewing Eagle Optics return policy. You can return within 30 days if not satisfied with a product for a full refund.
I own a high-end European binocular and have intentions of selling it after purchasing the Vanguard 8.5 x 45 Endeavor binocular. I use it for deer hunting so most of my use is in low light conditions and the Endeavor out performs the European binocular in this area, and are 1/4th of the cost. I also own a Cabela's Alaskan Guide 10 x 42 and the Endeavor is definitely my favorite between the two.
The Endeavor is light weight for a full size binocular and its light gathering capabilities with the 45mm objective lens is astounding. The clarity is great edge to edge, and the color tone is true as well. Best value binocular I think you can buy.
Thursday, January 19, 2012
From David in NC:
After looking at several midsize binoculars, both in person at various retail shops and online, I kept coming back to the Bushnell Legend 8X36s.
I already own an older pair of Legends (8x42s), which I bought in 2003, and I can vouch that they are extremely rugged. Although I try to be gentle with my equipment, sometimes things happen outside of one's control (dropped from a treestand 20 ft from the ground, forget them on the tailgate, etc.) I use these binoculars primarily for deer and turkey hunting, and I hunt a lot.
I purchased the 8x36s because I wanted a smaller, lighter, more compact pair of field glasses for bow hunting deer and turkey hunting. I was pleased to find that the "Ultra HD" was not just a marketing ploy...my new pair are considerably sharper from edge to edge and brighter at dusk/dawn than my older Legends. The wide FOV is ideal for glassing woods and fields alike.
If you look at the total package, you will not find a better binocular for the money. Bushnell includes the $50 mail-in rebate AND a $25 binocular harness (not merely a strap, but a high quality harness). All in all, I paid $179 after the rebate. You would have to move to the $300-$400 range, or higher, to get the same optics quality and dependability as the Legends. I received my binoculars in two days from Eagle Optics. I am a repeat EO customer, and I highly recommend their products and services.
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
From Peter in MD:
I'm a birder, so these are the smallest binoculars I've ever bought, and my expectations were low as a result. I was pleasantly surprised at their optical quality, so I think they are a great choice if you need ones that are small and light, as they are an excellent value.
The Pentax DCF SW 8x25 binoculars have exceptional eye relief (they work well with glasses) and would be great for kids since the distance between the eyepieces can be very small.
They have a few drawbacks if you want to use these for birding. They have a limited field of view (only 288 feet), which makes it hard to watch a group of birds, and a limited depth of field, which makes it harder to get your subject into sharp focus. The focus knob would be easier to turn if it were larger.
They also seem dim in low light when compared to my 8x42 birding binoculars, and are a bit dimmer than the Pentax 8x28's I have (no longer made), but that's inevitable given the smaller objectives (25 mm). Gathering less light is not a big deal in good light, and they are much cheaper and smaller than either of the larger models.
Overall, these are great binoculars given their size and cost.
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
From Bob in OR:
The Ranger ED 10x42 seems well made. They are comfortable to hold, and have a little pocket for your thumbs. The focus knob (also metal) is smooth and well damped. The eye relief is good, field of view excellent, and close focus great. The ED seems to correct the worst of color fringing (there is no red-green, only a little blue yellow). Very bright at low light conditions.
I had purchased (and returned) a pair of Nikon Trail Blazer ATB Binoculars - 10x50, but found the color fringing (tree branches against the sky) quite unacceptable, and the close focus (20+ feet)too far away to observe butterflies and the like. Case was plastic, not metal.
Only a few problems with these.
- the Interocular spacing should go just a bit closer (maybe another 5-10 mm)- though it does work OK for me set to its minimum.
- the Objective lens covers fall off very easily. I am going to have to attach them with a string or something to avoid loss. The eyepiece covers are fine.
- There is a bit of backlash in the focus knob, though not a major issue.
- A bit heavy - probably due to the metal body. But this does reduce the tendency to shake.
Monday, January 9, 2012
From Ed in MN:
I own the Vortex Razor 10x42 and the 80mm Vortex Spotting scope - and have loved them both for the past 4 years. I was looking for a smaller set to travel with - and noticed that the Vortex Viper 6x32 was on sale at a nice price.
The Vortex Viper 6x32 is a nice set. It feels well made and looks quite rugged (which makes it heavier than I expected) and has all the fit and finish of its bigger brother the Razor 10x42 - both made in Japan.
The Vortex Viper 6x32 is crystal clear, with fast & smooth focus wheel, wide field of view. I think this is a great deal. I may have to get another pair for my wife once she takes a look through - otherwise we will be fighting over this one pair.
Friday, January 6, 2012
From John in OR:
I took them out birding for two hours today and I've returned with a big grin and a new favorite binocular. I don't think I've ever enjoyed myself more with any optics then I did today with these.
Now don't get me wrong please, I really don't know much about great optics. Having said that I think these were much better for me than my new Monarch 3's. I was able to resolve colors on some Acorn Woodpeckers that I had missed with the Monarch's and at 2x less power. The view was much more comfortable, likely due to the increased field of view and steadiness of holding 6x and in my opinion the optics are just better. I was able to see more and enjoy what I saw more.
I also loved the size and feel of them much more than my Nikon's. For me they were so crisp and clear and I never quite felt it with the Monarch's and it was more like the feeling I got viewing through Kowa's I tried at a Nature Shop. I realize this is very subjective and there are a lot of things I likely missed and don't even know to look for. Fortunately with the wide field of view I was easily able to follow flying Rufus Hummingbirds which I've never been able to do with the Monarch's. I was also able to follow easily a Jackrabbit my dogs kicked up in heavy brush and follow him in and out of a real tangle of blackberry and willow. Really really fun.
I guess the lower power makes a big difference for me and a very wide field of view. Being able to hold them rock steady made it easier for me to see things with the 6x that were more difficult with the 8x. Especially due to the fact that I'm walking uphill a lot and breathing hard.
Anyway the best $179 I've spent on optics. I'm sure these are nothing special for most here but it's a real step up for me. I doubt I'll go over 7x with anything I buy from here on out and I'll likely sell the Monarch's if I still feel the same over the next week or so.