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  #1  
Old 05-12-2019, 10:42 PM
Onlyincali Onlyincali is offline
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Default Good, all around, intro pair of binocs? Newby here....

If you could only have one set of binocs for camping, backpacking, amazon exploring, river and rain-going adventures, what would you look into? Iím hoping to get into a midrange set I guess? Iíd just like something that will last for years, if possible.
Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 05-12-2019, 10:47 PM
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Leupold.

End of thread.
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Old 05-12-2019, 11:21 PM
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Is there a good “all around” zoom/glass size? I don’t think I want tiny ones while in Forrest/river areas but also don’t want huge/heavy ones while backpacking.
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Old 05-13-2019, 4:30 AM
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Leupold BX-1 Yosemite https://www.leupold.com/product-seri...ite-binoculars. Very nice glass for the money, smallish but not tiny, light weight. Just an overall nice set of binos. They seem durable enough, having survived several years of bouncing around in the truck, pack, hikes, hunts, and even a trip to Africa. I have the 8-30. These end up going with me while other, more expensive binos sit in a drawer.
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  #5  
Old 05-13-2019, 6:57 AM
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I got my daughter monarch 7, 8x30. I use them when she’s not with me hunting.
Couple years back one of the guys in camp forgot his binocs and I let him use my daughters as I had mine 10x42 as a back up.
He ended up buying a pair.
Nikon 7579 MONARCH 7 8x30 Binocular (Black) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00F3BVPZU..._Quy2CbASSNE9D
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Old 05-13-2019, 8:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Onlyincali View Post
If you could only have one set of binocs for camping, backpacking, amazon exploring, river and rain-going adventures, what would you look into? I’m hoping to get into a midrange set I guess? I’d just like something that will last for years, if possible.
Thanks!
Steiner military/marine 8x30 binoculars are about $250 now. I have had mine for a lot of years and have had no regrets.

Easy to carry light weight, not bulky, good field of view and individual focus on the eye pieces, good eye relief. I wear glasses so those last 2 are really great.

Built tough as a tank. They have hit the deck more times than I care to recount here, they just don't care.

These are my go everywhere binos.

example... https://www.botach.com/steiner-2033-...x30-binocular/
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  #7  
Old 05-13-2019, 9:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Onlyincali View Post
Is there a good “all around” zoom/glass size? I don’t think I want tiny ones while in Forrest/river areas but also don’t want huge/heavy ones while backpacking.
Yes. 8 power is the best for all around use. Some guys use 10 x or more, but you really have to have a steady hand to use those. Do a comparison and see how much more the image jiggles at 10 than 8.

In my humble opinion, unless you really need a smaller binocular, don't go any smaller than 40 on the lens. All other things being equal, a larger lens at the front will let in more light and your image will be brighter and clearer. My binocs are 8 x 42 Leupold BX-4's.

https://www.leupold.com/binoculars/h...uide-hd-8x42mm

No, I didn't pay that much. Midway had an excellent sale on them awhile back but shop around.

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/10...e-hd-binocular

I bought a close friend of mine a pair of the BX-2's in 8x42 and I was very impressed by them. A slightly wider field of view than the BX-4's with a top notch image.

One factor that I find important is how the diopter adjustment works. On most binoculars, you turn an adjustment on one of the eyepieces. On most, that adjustment is not lockable. On the BX-2, there are good solid detents that help keep the adjustment from wandering. On the BX-4 the adjustment is on the center focus knob and is actually lockable. Pull up on the disk at the front of the knob, make your adjustment, then push it in to lock. It never moves.

Sometimes it's little things like that that make a big difference in binocular.

Another thing I like about the Leupolds is that their eye relief cups are more secure than others. They're easy to adjust and once put there, they stay adjusted pretty well. Others I've tried seem to collapse as soon as they contact your head or eyeglasses.

Finally, check for slop in the focus knob. I was going to consider Vortex as an option, for instance, until I tried a few and found that the focus knob had a ton of slop in it which made focusing a chore. No thanks. I was not impressed at all.

Hope that helps.
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  #8  
Old 05-13-2019, 9:45 AM
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Oh, and this is what I bought for my friend:

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/10...pine-binocular
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  #9  
Old 05-13-2019, 10:00 AM
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THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU to EVERY SINGLE POSTER ABOVE!

Seriously, I'm amazed at the replies and knowledge shared by everyone above! I have GREAT starting points now and am researching each and every glass mentioned above. Again, THANK YOU ALL, these responses have been far better than I could have hoped for.

Please keep them coming if anyone has more suggestions. I was afraid everyone was going to suggest $1500 glasses but I am now relieved to know I can hopefully get something for under $500 that may last me many years.


Few questions for you guys...

1. I notice a few suggestions above in the $200-$300(Steiner military, bx-2 alpine, leopold Yosemite, Nicon Monarch 5) range, and a few in the $500-$600 range (BX-4, Nicon Monarch 7). If I'm looking for a pair that I can use for the next 50 years, is it a no-brainer to jump up to the $500 range or is the cost/benefit ratio not there for a younger guy on a limited budget, who also who lives by the "buy it once" motto?


2. Most people above suggested 30mm glass. One person suggest 40mm glass. I am guilty of trying to squeak every last ounce of bargain out of a product and this tendency automatically pushes me towards the "bigger, better" 40mm. This often bites me in the *** in real world situations though. Is the size difference of 40mm not worth the improved low-light viewing? Again, these will be used in the jungle, backpacking, mountains, baseball games, etc.

Thanks!

Last edited by Onlyincali; 05-13-2019 at 10:14 AM..
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  #10  
Old 05-13-2019, 10:11 AM
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I bought the zeiss like these

https://www.ebay.com/i/332967355326?...iABEgL3YPD_BwE

I like them a lot. The harness is great when hiking too.
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  #11  
Old 05-13-2019, 10:35 AM
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Another vote for Zeiss. I know nothing about binoculars but 5 years ago wanted to buy and forget the model I bought but the Zeiss binocs I got have great glass, just like their scopes, and the price was reasonable.

They've served me really well over the years.
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Old 05-13-2019, 10:38 AM
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Vortex optics

/thread
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Old 05-13-2019, 10:43 AM
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damn, i guess im the only vortex guy:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vortex-Razo...4AAOSwClJcvH4Z

their warranty is insane and arguably the best in the industry.

many other vendors above have similar terms but vortex has the terms and actual speed of service to match. no comparo in my opinion.

and yeah i would go with the 10x42s.
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Old 05-13-2019, 10:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H8Mud View Post
Vortex optics

/thread
lol you beat me
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Old 05-13-2019, 10:49 AM
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Quote:
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Vortex optics

/thread
About 50% of the Vortex binoculars had very sloppy focus knobs. No thanks. No matter how good their warranty is.
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Old 05-13-2019, 10:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonofeugene View Post
About 50% of the Vortex binoculars had very sloppy focus knobs. No thanks. No matter how good their warranty is.
I looked through all the vortex models bass pro had. I too was uninspired. Definitely not a thread ender.
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Old 05-13-2019, 11:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Onlyincali View Post
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU to EVERY SINGLE POSTER ABOVE!

Seriously, I'm amazed at the replies and knowledge shared by everyone above! I have GREAT starting points now and am researching each and every glass mentioned above. Again, THANK YOU ALL, these responses have been far better than I could have hoped for.

Please keep them coming if anyone has more suggestions. I was afraid everyone was going to suggest $1500 glasses but I am now relieved to know I can hopefully get something for under $500 that may last me many years.


Few questions for you guys...

1. I notice a few suggestions above in the $200-$300(Steiner military, bx-2 alpine, leopold Yosemite, Nicon Monarch 5) range, and a few in the $500-$600 range (BX-4, Nicon Monarch 7). If I'm looking for a pair that I can use for the next 50 years, is it a no-brainer to jump up to the $500 range or is the cost/benefit ratio not there for a younger guy on a limited budget, who also who lives by the "buy it once" motto?


2. Most people above suggested 30mm glass. One person suggest 40mm glass. I am guilty of trying to squeak every last ounce of bargain out of a product and this tendency automatically pushes me towards the "bigger, better" 40mm. This often bites me in the *** in real world situations though. Is the size difference of 40mm not worth the improved low-light viewing? Again, these will be used in the jungle, backpacking, mountains, baseball games, etc.

Thanks!

I think any of the ones in your list will last many, many years.

As for #2, you have to decide how much the binocs will be used in each situation. Is the extra weight and size of a 40/42 over a 30 important to you? For instance, besides the size difference, the 8x42 BX-4 weighs 6.5 ounces more than the 8x30 BX-4.

Remember that it's important to actually try out the binocs before buying. For instance, eye relief may be a factor in your choice, especially if you wear glasses.
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Old 05-13-2019, 11:17 AM
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There is basically only two types of binoculars.
Inexpensive $200-$1,000.
Expensive $2,000-$3,000

Inexpensive-Vortex has taken over because of the no fault warranty and ok glass.

Expensive- Zeiss Victory, Swarovski EL are world class.

End of story

10X50 best size for all around use.
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Old 05-13-2019, 11:43 AM
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If you are on a tight budget and looking for a new pair(not used).
Just go with Vortex and get the most expensive one you can afford.
Every jump up in price has better glass with better coatings.
The low end glass in $200-$300 range can have a reflection of the sunshine that blocks viewing. Basically you get what you pay for. $400-$600 full coating on glass(no glair in the sun). $1,000 will get High definition glass with full anti glair coatings.
And to expound on Power. 8 Power is good for close viewing and terrible for long distance. Every power has a purpose 8,10,12,15. If you only want one pair the 10 Power is the most versatile.
Objective letís in more light so 40mm is the min. And 50mm is better.
10x50 for the win. Any other size should be specialty binoculars after you have a pair of 10x40 or (10x50 for the win).
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Old 05-13-2019, 11:48 AM
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Zeiss Comquest is OK with much better clarity then Vortexís top of the line but nothing compared to Zeiss Victoryís.
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Old 05-13-2019, 2:37 PM
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Wasn't sure about your budget and if you only want to buy and cry one. I'd take a hard look at these. you buy direct from manufacturer, no middle men. they been around for 3 or 4 years I think. so still newer company.
do some research on these and people compare these binocs to Alpha glass.
https://www.tractoptics.com/products...ars?category=9
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Old 05-13-2019, 3:35 PM
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Another question for you pro's.

Would you rather have one pair of $1000 binoculars or two pair of $500 binoculars? One small, one large?
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Old 05-13-2019, 6:21 PM
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The absolutely finest optics for the dollar are Meopta or Cabela Euro.
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Old 05-13-2019, 9:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Onlyincali View Post
Another question for you pro's.

Would you rather have one pair of $1000 binoculars or two pair of $500 binoculars? One small, one large?
Iíd get the best you can afford- $1000 on 10x50.
Then just buy a cheap pair of mini if you want ($80-$150) later if needed.

Point-binoculars in general are to see things far away or to bring in details as close as possible. Small binoculars are only small, not great for far or details.

The better the glass the better the small details can be seen.

My point of view is from hunting and looking for animals. A few years ago deer hunting I saw a buck at about 150 yards away. The mid priced binoculars were not able to see if it had a forked antler on one side(required by law to shoot). Quality glass for details sent me back to the store for Alpha glass.
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Old 05-13-2019, 9:57 PM
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One more point.
Nobody talks about it but I always purchase quality in a very popular brand as it will have a resale value that an off brand will not. You never know. You may want to sell to fund some Alpha glass -Swarovski EL.

I have had Zeiss Victoryís before, loved them. I have Vortex diamondbacks in 10x and Vortex Razors in 10x50. I just got the Swarovski EL in 12x50.

Get the best you can afford in the most popular brand for potential resale value.
In your price range.
Zeiss Comquest
Vortex Razors
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  #26  
Old 05-13-2019, 10:18 PM
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Sorry
Zeiss Conquest not Comquest.

Zeiss Conquest has the better glass and is the Best in your price range.
Vortex Razors have a better warranty but just ok glass.

If I had a choice to trade my Vortex Razors for the Zeiss Conquest- YES!
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Old 05-13-2019, 11:47 PM
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Got these Bushnells on sale for $60.
https://www.targettamers.com/binocul...dition-review/

Just picked up this. Should be delivered soon.
https://vortexoptics.com/vortex-diam...binocular.html

They fit nicely in a tenzing chest rig
https://www.basspro.com/shop/en/tenz...holster-system
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Old 05-14-2019, 3:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsmithson View Post
Zeiss Comquest is OK with much better clarity then Vortexís top of the line but nothing compared to Zeiss Victoryís.
I forget which model of Zeiss binoculars I bought around 5 years ago online but they are fantastic-- Think I paid less than $600.
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Old 05-14-2019, 4:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timbo399 View Post
I forget which model of Zeiss binoculars I bought around 5 years ago online but they are fantastic-- Think I paid less than $600.
Back then they were probably Conquest. The price has gone up to almost $1,000 now.
In 2000 I bought the Zeiss Victoryís for $1,000 then sold them 3-4 years later. Now they are going for $2,500. Still kicking myself for selling them.

Good glass is getting crazy expensive.I bought the Swarovski spotting scope a few years ago and now itís $1,000 more expensive.
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Old 05-14-2019, 4:50 PM
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Default Good, all around, intro pair of binocs? Newby here....

I use Leica trinovid HD 10x42ís. They cost $1,000, so are probably above what you want to spend. Thing is, they will last you your lifetime, are rugged and rubberized, the optical clarity & definition is unlike anything else iíve experienced except for swarovski. They arenít that big and arenít that heavy. Used mine today as a matter of fact to check out two antelopes at about 250-300 yards. They also close focus which is cool for looking at bugs and other close up objects. It took me a long time to finally step up to a higher end binoc. My last trip to yellowstone made me realize it was time. Good luck, lots of good choices out there.




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Old 05-14-2019, 9:46 PM
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Leica is amazing. Bright and clear.
I used to have the Leica APO spotting scope around 2000-2004 with my Zeiss Victoryís.
The Leica spotting scope was clearer then my top of the line Swarovski spotter is now.
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Old 05-18-2019, 9:08 PM
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I just picked up the 10x42 Sig Sauer Zulu 5's from Riflegear on sale for $300. Seem to be pretty good for the price. The rain caps are crap though. They come with a lifetime transferable warranty.

I checked a pair of Leupold BX-5's too. They were a little clearer but not $250 clearer for my money.
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Old 05-18-2019, 9:17 PM
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From low to high these are mine.

Steiner military
Maven
Swarovski
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Old 05-19-2019, 12:54 AM
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What about this image-stabilized Canon?
https://www.amazon.com/Canon-10x30-I...g=opticsden-20
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Old 05-19-2019, 1:21 AM
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Optics have a point of diminishing returns. 7 years ago I went into Bass Pro ready to replace the Zeiss Victoryís I sold years ago. I could get Swarovski EL for $2500 or Zeiss for the same.
When I compared the Vortex Razors to the Swarovski ELís, The Swarovski were only a little bit better at double+ the price. I went with the Vortex Razors. But like I said earlier in real life hunting I needed a little better glass for important small details.

If you plan on hunting get the best glass you can afford.
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Old 05-22-2019, 7:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Onlyincali View Post
I am guilty of trying to squeak every last ounce of bargain out of a product and this tendency automatically pushes me towards the "bigger, better" 40mm. This often bites me in the *** in real world situations though. Is the size difference of 40mm not worth the improved low-light viewing? Again, these will be used in the jungle, backpacking, mountains, baseball games, etc.
I'm thinking that a 8 X 42 would suit your needs just fine. In the event that you elect to go with a 10 X binocular, get one with 50 mm objectives. 10 X 40s are too much of a compromise in your price range.

Finally, if you're looking to pull the trigger very soon, check out Cameraland: https://cameralandny.com

They have some great deals on some very nice glass. Call and speak with Doug- tell him your intended uses and budget and he will take care of you.
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Old 05-22-2019, 1:59 PM
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Me personally wouldn't deal with Cameraland. I have bought scopes and binocs from them.my buddy and I bought pair of zen rays they had on clearance. they just didn't sit well on my face. Cups were hitting the ridge of my broken nose. Anyway Paid my return shipping to send back and got charged for their 'free' shipping after the return. So it cost me $50 or maybe close to 60 bucks to find out theses binocs won't work for me. He also doesn't have the best deals as he thinks he does if you shop around a bit.
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Last edited by FishnHunt; 05-22-2019 at 2:01 PM..
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  #38  
Old 06-05-2019, 4:19 PM
TJthe1st TJthe1st is offline
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Meopta has great glass dollar for dollar. I would check out the new offerings they added.
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  #39  
Old 06-06-2019, 8:03 AM
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lewdogg21 lewdogg21 is offline
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OP - you didn't say hunting, if you did then my recommendations would be different. You did say your a buy once and cry once. I'm not sure how much time you will spend behind the glass if you don't hunt so it's hard to point out what I would personally recommend.

For almost 20 years I had a pair of Leica 10x42's and 10x25's (or maybe they were 8x). Great glass but I sold them b/c I started wearing glasses and had to take my glasses off to see through the bino's. I ended up buying a pair of demo Zeiss Conquest in 8x42. They came in the original box, original packaging and all the labels, etc. You couldn't tell they weren't "new". It took a bit of internet research at the time but "demo" could mean anything from a refurbished pair to a pair that was sent to a retailer, sat in their stockroom and then eventually was shipped back without leaving the box. BTW my leica's were also labeled as demo. I paid about $650 when NIB was going for $900 on the Conquests. No regrets.

If I had the $$$ I would buy Swaro El's in 8x42 provided the eye relief is 18 or greater which means I can leave my glasses on. I don't know of a 10x that has that eye relief.

I'm looking for a 15x bino for an upcoming mule deer hunt in x2 in 2020. Not sure which route I'm going for that. I may go Viper 15x50.

For you, I would go to a retailer that sells a lot of different ones and ask them to take you outside so you can look at stuff. Looking through bino's in the store doesn't really do anything for me except you can see that cheap really sucks. Outside you can see which pairs cut the heat mirage effect better, are more clear, better colors, etc. Good luck.
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Giving lewdogg21 advice on hunting. Thatís like David Hogg giving advice to the NRA.
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Disagree. Been trying to teach lewdogg21 how to hunt. It's like trying to teach Steve Wonder how to see. Not sure we're ever going to get there.
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