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Thread: First hunting binos ideas

  1. #1

    First hunting binos ideas

    I hunt western Washington and have been using a Tikka with 3-9x and no decent glasses. I want to get a bit more serious this year and am interested to know what options there are in the $200-400 range that would suit me well.

  2. #2
    Site Supporter
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    In the desert, looking for water.
    I like Vortex. They have a variety of price ranges. I would be willing to spend a lot more on hunting binos than just about any other hunting accessory.

    I hunt Coues deer in the Sonoran desert mountains. Miles of desert, long, long ranges to see deer. Good glass makes a huge difference. My little ones are 10x32, big ones are 15x50.

  3. #3
    My better half really likes hers, which are the mid-grade Vortex that run $4xx or so. IIRC we got them on a good sale for $389 or some such.

    When they arrived we set up some text - an old paperback book - at 50 ft or so and tried to read it with the new ones and our existing collection of $200 type binocs; the difference was amazing. In fairness, the other binocs were older; today's $200 tier glass might be better than yesteryears glass.

  4. #4
    I've been very impressed by the Leupold Yosemite 6x30's. I've found over the past several years hunting here in Western Oregon that unless I have something to brace the binos on (a pack or a tripod) holding 8x or 10x glass still for any period of time becomes tiring.

  5. #5
    S.L.O.W. ASH556's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Braselton, GA
    I have a pair of Vortex Diamondback 10x42's that are in the $150 range. They've worked well for me for the last 4 or 5 seasons.
    Food Court Apprentice
    Semper Paratus certified AR15 armorer

  6. #6
    I spent a lot of time a year ago researching the $400 binoc market. I looked through a lot.

    I think Vortex is generally overrated outside of their Razor line. Their warranty - which is great - has really built then some good will among outdoorsmen.

    Best for the money right now is the Vanguard Endeavor ED ii. I got mine with a mail in rebate which arrived promptly. Looks like they are doing the rebate again.


    Extra thoughts you didnít ask for.

    -Consider 8x42 instead of 10x42s. Shake will be less noticeable if you are using them unsupported to read vehicle tags, if thatís your thing. Same would apply for looking at details on an animal.

    -Consider the x30 or x32s. The 10x40 binocs are big and heavy.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    I went with the Athlon Midas ED 8x42 binos based on the review here:

    I've been quite happy with them so far. To my eyes, they were noticeably easier to resolve fine detail than Vortex Diamondbacks, and didn't give up very much to the much, much more expensive Swaro glass in side-by-side comparison.

  8. #8
    Site Supporter LOKNLOD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    I've been really pleased with the 10x50 Vortex Viper HD I bought for my first trip a couple years ago. They've made two Africa trips now. I was looking at one of the lower-end models and upsold myself pretty hard after comparing them in store.
    When I draw, I don't deactivate the safety; I activate the danger.

  9. #9
    Site Supporter
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Bellingham WA
    These punch way above their weight:

    Note that I carried Swarovski for years. Unfortunately, they were stolen. I bought the above after using a friend in Idaho. This is the glass he takes to Africa for his annual hunt.
    Semper Paratus,


  10. #10
    I still like the Vanguard Endeavors ED (ii) for 200 and change, but if you wanted to take a flyer on some discontinued bins, these Weaver Super Slam 8.5x45 used to retail for $1100 and got good reviews. But That's a tough price point for a brand that birders aren't going to consider, so they were a big flop.

    They've been discontinued since 2014, and Natchez has slowly been dropping the price. They are down to $400 now. I haven't looked through them but a few trusted reviewers liked them at $1000, so I'd think they'd be great at $400.

    You'd be hard pressed to find other Japanese made binoculars for $400.

    They are still selling g for $700 on B&H Photo.
    Last edited by BigD; 09-03-2019 at 07:50 PM.

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