New bino's recommendations for a non-hunter?

kwoody51

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Jun 20, 2021
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I have been stalking this site for a few weeks and thought I should post to ask some questions.... and get some post so I can send PM on the classifieds :)

I'm not a hunter currently but have in the past (deer and pheasant). I have used budget based binoculars and a trip to AK this August with the family has me wanting to get some good glass. Not hunting, just site seeing - thus most usage will be during the day, during 'normal' light.

Originally I was just going to get some Maven C1's but then the C3 were on sale, which lead me to this site and now I'm all over the place :) I like good gear... but I also like to get a great deal/ value. It's clear to me than Swaro is top of the heap but I just can't justify that.

I feel like $1k is probably my sweet spot as I don't need $2k+ glass and I won't be using these 'that' much. I'm looking at 10x42 or thereabouts, know I don't want 8x and sounds like 12x is tough to handhold.

Zeiss Conquest HD 10x42 Seems these have good optics but can have some blackout issues due to short eyecups. Similarly depth of field sounds like it can be less than others.

Kowa Genesis 10.5x44mm - I see Kowa recommended often form Doug at Camera land - how would these compare to the Zeiss Conquest? What is typical out the door price?

Meostars- there is a pair on eBay for ~$600 but look to be a few years old. Sounds like the original model had some color differences some folks didn't like. Seems minimal differences between old and new HD model other than color differences and locking diopter. Also seems ergo's are a sticking spot for some with this model.

Maven B1 / Zulu 9s - sounds like these are highly recommended and see their are some Zulu9s in the classifieds for ~$750.

Swaro SLC - what's a typical used price on these? Seems like they might be out of my budget but seem to be a standard many of the above are compared to.
 
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fatrascal

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Sounds like you have done your homework. All the options you chose are good choices. I personally like your choice of the slc's and the meopta's. Dont forget zeiss and kowa. Doug at cameraland is all over the optics forum and would be a great person to talk to. Fatrascal
 
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kwoody51

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Sounds like you have done your homework. All the options you chose are good choices. I personally like your choice of the slc's and the meopta's. Dont forget zeiss and kowa. Doug at cameraland is all over the optics forum and would be a great person to talk to. Fatrascal
Thanks!

I did call cameraland the other day, not sure if I talked to Doug but whomever it was knew their stuff. The recommendation was some 8x33 kowa genesis. I hadn’t been thinking 8x or 33 but maybe there is something to consider.

The more I read the more I find to tell me try this or that. But one consistent message is only ‘your’ eyes can tell you want works for ‘you’….

My dad has some 10x42 conquest HD and they seem pretty nice but always wondering if there is something just a bit better for similar price :)
 

fatrascal

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I would go to a Sportsmans Warehouse and go outside with several pair and try them out as its getting dark. I meant to mention Leica which is also top quality. The salesman will not mind taking you and the binos outside to try them if you are serious at buying a pair. Fatrascal.
 

ericacymcdonald

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Your list is spot on for glass under 1k you won't be disappointed with any of them. but any reason you don't want 8's? My main pair are 12s but they spend 99 percent of time on a tripod. If I was hand holding I'd use my 8s over my 10s and 12s every time
 
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kwoody51

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Your list is spot on for glass under 1k you won't be disappointed with any of them. but any reason you don't want 8's? My main pair are 12s but they spend 99 percent of time on a tripod. If I was hand holding I'd use my 8s over my 10s and 12s every time
I feel like I want 8’s as I want to get as close to the action as I can. I was looking at 12’s for a bit based on some folks on here saying they can hand hold them. Decided 12x may be just a bit much :)
 
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kwoody51

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This list you have put together looks great. The only other bino I would throw in there would be Tract Toric UHD https://tractoptics.com/all-products/10x42-binoculars and Nikon HGs. I have had nearly all of them on your list and my eyes really enjoy the Tracts. Thats even over SLC's
Good call on the tract toric UHD. I recall reading they are made in same factory as maven, sig Zulu’s, conquest and some others.

Not sure that same factory = same glass but understand quality is likely ‘similar’.
 

MTElkChaser

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For that ~$1,000 budget … I’d add the Leica Trinovid’s to that list for sure. Sizes: 8x32, 10x32, 8x42, & 10x42 are available in the Trinovid line.

I own all Swarovski binos and was just looking at a pair of the 10x42 Leica Trinovid’s yesterday. They were awesome. I’m ordering a pair right now with a Rokslide discount. Good luck!
 
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I would go to a Sportsmans Warehouse and go outside with several pair and try them out as its getting dark. I meant to mention Leica which is also top quality. The salesman will not mind taking you and the binos outside to try them if you are serious at buying a pair. Fatrascal.

This is what I would do as it's the only way to get a side-by-side look through several pairs of binoculars at once. Plus, it'll make the decision a little easier for you.
 
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kwoody51

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Has anyone done a side by side with the conquest HD and some of these other brands - Maven, Tract Toric, Meostar, etc?

I feel like I read some reviews that the Maven B1 were pretty much identical to the Conquest.

I keep referencing the Conquest as that's a pair I've spent a little time with just messing around but never any direct comparison.
 

Godsgreatoutdoors

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I'm a big fan of the Mavens. I recently bought a pair of the C.3 12x50. They are a bigger sized glass. I didn't think it was to bad with not being able to hold steady. Your gonna get some of that no matter what power you go with. I'm really impressed with the clarity of them for only being a $425 binocular. I had lost the top lens cap and contacted Maven and they replaced it. So far I'm pretty impressed with them.
 

Trumpkin The Dwarf

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Here's the thing. You've done your homework. There's lots of options in your price range. They're all going to be better than anything you've used before. You can't try every bino on the planet (or at least I haven't been able to). So just pick the one that sounds coolest to you. It'll be great. You might have a nit to pick, here or there, but it'll be tiny.
 
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kwoody51

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Thanks everyone!

I have some conquest HD coming as well as some Kowa genesis. Will sell whichever one is the lesser of the 2 to me.
 
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