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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?
 

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Best? Steiner has to be up there for Binoculars.....but they're EXPENSIVE.

Plenty of great spotters and binos.....depends on your price range.

Sean
Don't want to spend more than $2,500 for the binos and similar range for the scope. Thanks for reminding me of Steiner. They usually only carry the entry level of the really nice brands at the sporting stores around Missoula. I've been thinking about the possibility of finding a really sweet used pair or scope on Craigslist or ebay, etc... I'm guessing the economy has some folks selling things like that at huge loss in order to get cash on hand.
 

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Ya, if I had the cash.....I'd get a set of Steiner binoculars. Not sure on the spotting scope. I use one for range work....but it's an el-cheapo Simmons from Wally World $60. It's 20-60x60mm. It's fine for spotting where you're hitting the target.....which is what I bought it for....but it's not a high end optic by any stretch of the imagination.

Sean
 

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These are the best optik's period. I have a pair of EL 10x42's there great. The best binos and spotting scopes on the market. They are great for western hunting! And have crazy low light performance!
Garrett
 

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These are the best optik's period. I have a pair of EL 10x42's there great. The best binos and spotting scopes on the market. They are great for western hunting! And have crazy low light performance!
Garrett
Swarovski is high end as well.....their spotting scopes are phenomenal.

I think Steiner makes a better binocular though.

Sean
 

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I have the top of the line Steniers and love them! I got the High Def Lens for low light conditions on their 12x56 NightHunters XP. The best price around is at SWFA, you may also want to check their special sales list of optics, you can save some big dollars on a pair that was used in store for display. Here is some links:

Steiner Binoculars - 12x56 Nighthunter

SWFA Binoculars Steiner Binoculars Steiner Night Hunter XP Binoculars

The Sample List - The Entire Sample List!

Good Luck :cheers:

Mike
 

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A little pricey but the best of both worlds is a set of Leica Geovid binocs. They have a built in rangefinder. I also like the Swarvoski too. There angled spotting scopes are just about the best you can get. I have to be honest here I take a trip out west almost every year. My spotting scope makes the trip every year sometimes it makes it out of the case sometimes not. If you can pick up a good deal on a used one I'd go for it. Otherwise I'd look harder at the Geovid's.
 

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Swarovski is high end as well.....their spotting scopes are phenomenal.

I think Steiner makes a better binocular though.

Sean

Both binos and a spotting scope is essential for my job. I concurr that above is probably the route to go. I spend hours on mine, and I have

Steiner binos and Leupold spotting scope.

Hope this helps


Puppypappa
 

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Thanks for the input everyone. Now that I know where to look... the search begins! Does Carl Zeiss make the lenses for any of these companies? I'm just curious.
 

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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!
 

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Toledo FJ,
Since I think you are in MT- you might want to check with Scott @ Libertyoptics.com. I have dealt with him before; real stand up guy. Great selection/prices. Located in Kalispell, MT.
 

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like everyone said, zeiss, leica, and swarovski (in no particular order). Second to those optics i would suggest leupold, nikon, pentax, minox. Then you have optics like bushnell and burris which are okay, Definitely avoid BARSKA and BSA. Im a LE firearms instuctor in NJ and we see all kinds of stuff, really high end stuff and the bottom of the barrel commy crap.
 

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i dont know much about this stuff. i am kinda new to this just like the fj but i got a pair of braska binos, the power is 20x50 i also have a tasco 20x-60x spotter. like i said i just got the spotter for the range and i really like it. the binos i got for free with another order. they are good for bird watching and things like that.
 

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all our boats on Maui had Swarovski and for how abused they were working on sail boats they held up very well
and had incredible clear viewing etc..

I think when you get to Steiner or Swarovski its what they are for ? and view with your eyes to see what you like best

I just have a nice set of Leupold as I set a $400 top budget for a nice pair to carry around and since I wear glasses the relief felt the best to me

like anything I would say try to find a place to look through them if you can :)
 

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Toledo FJ,
Since I think you are in MT- you might want to check with Scott @ Libertyoptics.com. I have dealt with him before; real stand up guy. Great selection/prices. Located in Kalispell, MT.
I'd also second Scott at Liberty Optics. I got my IOR FFP from him.....at about $300 than the closest competition.

Sean
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I'd also second Scott at Liberty Optics. I got my IOR FFP from him.....at about $300 than the closest competition.

Sean
Thanks again. I'll get in touch with him and see if he can help guide my decision based on my use.

I think I'm going to go with the Binoculars first. Hell, if they do the job, I may just stick with the spotting scope I have. My new house came partially furnished. The previous owner kept a Nikon in the kitchen for looking at the elk and deer herds up on the mountain. It is one of things that came with the house. I'm not sure of the model number, but I think it retails for around $500. I only paid a little over a hundred. A nice set of binos may preclude my need for a new scope.
 
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