So, What are you guys using. What is the best shiz out there? I don't know too much about optics, other than you get what you pay for, and high end optics vastly outperform even good optics. Mostly interested in using them to glass for sheds and game. Also just a good thing to have if you live in the Mtns. Suggestions?
I have utilized a variety of binoculars in the field from Africa to Alaska in a wide range of environmental conditions. Over the years I have gotten good service from Bausch & Lomb, Steiner, Leupold, Swarovski, Zeiss, and Leica. Zeiss and Leica are my personal preferences. The binoculars that I currently utilize are Leica Ultravid 8x32. I prefer a compact 8x binocular. They are light weight and provide a crisp clear steady image. 10x binoculars are also worth considering in my opinion but are not as steady as the 8x models.
I have had the opportunity to field test the Leica Geovid 10x42 binoculars with integral range finder. This is an excellent binocular for those who prefer an integrated rangefinder.
You didn't ask about rangefinders but thought I would mention also. Currently, I utilize the Leica Rangemaster CRF 1200. By far this is the best compact rangefinder I have ever used. You owe yourself a look through one if you have not used one of these before. The CRF is the size of a wallet, lightweight, and has crystal clear 7X magnification. Operation is one handed and readings are extremely fast. The 7x viewfinder is also great when you move through brush and needing a quick peek without pulling up your binoculars.
Spotting scopes are a different animal and it really depends what you want to use them for specifically or if it will be more general service in nature. Size (and weight) might be an issue for you. If you are just spotting game or looking for sheds, a higher quality spotting scope may not be what you need in my opinion. Don't forget to also consider a higher power binocular on a tripod as an option for your needs. Peering through a spotting scope for hours can be a strain on the eyes.
If you are trying to judge size and conformation the Zeiss, Leica, and Swarovski spots are all great choices. All three handle differently so you should see which features you like best and compare them side by side before you buy as these can get expensive. Find a local Cabela's to check them out.
Good luck with your purchase. Looking is half the fun!