Thursday, February 23, 2012
From Tom in BC:
I spent quite a bit of time reviewing binoculars on the web and had decided by price and warranty on Vortex as the brand to buy. The reviews everywhere for the Vortex Diamondback 8x42 made it my choice. I was willing to spend a bit more but the Vortex Fury model had been discontinued and the next model up was too much for my budget.
Then along came the sale for the Viper 6x32.
That model line is being replaced with the HD version. So the decision was then to either buy the 8x42 Diamondback or the 6x32 Viper. I chose to get the better optics at a lower magnification. I have had these binoculars now for a month now and do not regret the choice I made.
My last pair of binoculars cost me $30 twenty years ago. There is no comparison. You are not just looking at the bird sitting on the branch, but examining the crystal clarity of the whole scene and saying "I should have done this years ago".
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
From Alice in Va:
Because I am planning to go on a trip on the Amazon River, I just bought an Eagle Optics Ranger 8x42 binocular.
Actually, I had been quite satisfied with my Bushnell Legend 9x25 binocular, but since we will be viewing nature under a canopy of trees, the trip leader suggested that I buy a new binocular with a wider aperture for better light transmission.
When I took my new Eagle Optics Ranger 8x42 binocular on an early morning walk to see familiar birds in a local park, I immediately noticed that increasing the aperture size from 25mm to 42mm had made everything appear significantly brighter. As expected, this new binocular had all the other features that were advertised!...nice sharp focus, bright colors, fog proof, light weight, etc. This binoculars will not only provide me with better viewing of birds, but also better close-focusing for flowers and butterflies!
But, there was a wonderful surprise feature. I could quickly aim and focus the Ranger, even with one hand! This feature came as a total surprise, since I am a petite lady with small hands.
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
From Jeff in IL:
I feel that some perspective is needed on the short comings of these binoculars which I own along with Leica 7x42s, Zeiss 7x45s,and Eagle Optics Ranger ED 8x42s. These Nikons are my least favorite due to the lack of depth of field. They are sharp, compact, have a wide field of view, have good eye relief, and are well made. How compact the Nikons are is the only advantage over my other three binoculars.
This lack of depth of field requires constant refocusing and becomes very tiring. The exit pupil ratio of 4 requires more careful eye placement. When it is said that a 8x32 delivers all the daytime light the eye can use, other things like depth of field and ease of eye placement are not being considered.
When I go birding, I take either the Leica's or the Zeiss's and enjoy myself. The EO Ranger EDs are really good for less money, and I enjoy using them. When I use the Nikons, I am constantly having to refocus and wish I had either of my other binoculars instead.
I do not know if this is a Nikon characteristic. I recommend people keep depth of field and ease of eye placement in mind when trying binoculars. I find that 7x42s and 8x42s work best for me birding.
Friday, February 10, 2012
From Alan in CA:
The Vortex Viper 10 x 28 has excellent mechanical, ergonomic and optical qualities. At 12 oz. it feels almost weightless on the neck. Eye relief is very generous. The relatively large focus wheel has a smooth and backlash-free action.
While the field has only standard coverage, it is very flat and free of edge curvature. Overall it resembles my Pentax DCF SP 10 x 43, with a somewhat narrower field of view and half the weight.
I opted for the 10X version since I will be using it frequently to check our local system of drainage ponds, rather than walking through wooded areas, and plan to keep it in my car, though its compact size will make it suitable for trips by air. Most users, however, would do better to opt for the 8 x 28 version.
The Viper 10 x 28 won't be my binocular of choice for an all day birding trip, for which I have several larger pair, from Pentax, Swarovski and Canon, but particularly an older person might do fine with the Viper, especially in the 8X version, as their sole pair of binoculars, and it would also work nicely for a traveler.
Thursday, February 9, 2012
From Day in NM:
My new binoculars arrived yesterday afternoon in time to take a late afternoon walk in the Bosque along the Rio Grande. What a difference in the sharpness and clarity of my sight (especially on sparrows) in late afternoon light on a gray day!! I have been having difficulty with my early morning and late afternoon birding due to light, everything appeared to have a gray wash, then again I have been birding with my 12 year old 8 x 42 Bausch & Lomb Elites. That is, until yesterday!
The Swarovski EL Swarovisions fit well in my hand, setting the diopter was a breeze, eye cups comfortable, the focusing smooth, but it really is the optics that make these stellar! Even better, I was able to purchase a demo pair at a reduced price, and other than the seal on the box being broken, they are brand new, not a scratch or blemish.
I had planned on purchasing the Leica Ultravids. The last 4 years I have been looking through fellow birders optics trying to decide if I wanted the Ultravids or Zeiss Victory FL LT's, and was certain I wanted Ultravids after a week birding with them in Brazil. When I talked with Mike, he recommended I also consider the 8.5 x 42 Swarovision, so I earnestly began my research. I am truly thankful he steered me in the right direction! I am so excited, it is a treat to have such excellent optics! The service at Eagle Optics is outstanding. It is always pleasure to do business with you, Thank you.
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
From John in AR:
These Diamondback 10x42s were my first bins above the typical $50 brand so I'm far from an expert. My standards were simple too.
After the typical research within my price range I narrowed my choices to the Monarch 3 and this Diamondback. In my area only the Monarch was available in store so I purchased the Diamondback for an in hand test of the two. From the test I learned, as far as my experience can tell, there isn't a noticeable difference in the level of the optics. In certain low light conditions the Diamondback appeared better and certain low light the Monarch appeared better. Both, IMO, were as clear as the other. Honestly I don't get the clarity brags, because in regular light, most $50 bins appear quite clear. Low light is where things change.
So this tie, so to speak, left me with a different consideration. I called Eagle Optics with sort of a pointless complaint and I called Vortex about a different pointless complaint. After Eagle Optics knew who I was (my purchase was through Eagle Optics) they immediately corrected my pointless complaint. As for Vortex, even without checking who I was or where I purchased my bins, they corrected my pointless complaint. Both instances involved the respective company sending me an item and both did so immediately.
I called Nikon and got a phone tree. I called Vortex and got a real live person in Wisconsin. It's nice to talk to people in Wisconsin.
So now what I have is an excellent pair of binoculars that I don't have to worry about loaning to my son or whoever.
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
From Gene in NJ:
I was looking for a monocular that would backup my binocular as well as go out in my bag whenever I wasn't expecting to go birding. You never know what you'll spot while on the arduous hiking trail that you chose not to bring your full-size binocular on. In that regard, this Vortex Solo fits the bill.
It's great for identifying a bird hanging overhead or reading signs a little ahead on the trail. It even came in handy reading street signs when I was walking around an unfamiliar city. 8x25 has sufficient light to make out wildlife and is great for taking in the sights.
Just know that this useful tool won't replace your binocular and is not the hardware for extended use. You won't enjoy the depth of field that binoculars have and I think you'll still find yourself steadying the diminutive optics with two hands if you're trying to view something for more than a few seconds or anything at a considerable distance. However, these are problems of monoculars in general and not only the Vortex Solo.
The optical quality of this monocular met my expectations for an 8x25, but I found the focus ring too stiff even after more than a year of use. There's no finesse in turning the focus ring, and Vortex might have even noticed that because they gave the ring an aggressive texture--perhaps to help you grip it as you manhandle the thing into focus. Also, the product features no lens cap but a flow-through case. If they addressed this with either a cap or a closed-off case, I would feel more comfortable with keeping the lens clean and safe.
In the end, this monocular is useful in certain situations and is still a great value for its price. I would say it's good enough to recommend to others looking for a monocular, but I would still highly suggest they shop around before choosing.