Skip to comments.Optics for Hunting
Posted on 08/20/2019 5:00:26 AM PDT by w1n1
Breaking down the Best Optics for a Hunt - When you think about your most important pieces of gear for big game hunting in Alaska or anywhere, optics top the list. Alaskas terrain is big and varied, and most game is spotted at a long distance.
In order to locate and assess game, evaluate the terrain and plan a safe, effective stalk, quality optics are key. As a rule of thumb, get the best optics you can afford. Quality optics gear is not cheap, but the investment is worth every cent. Since the day I first used them, I fell in love with Swarovski binoculars and spotting scopes.
The quality of this glass means no more eye fatigue and I can easily pick out and size up game from amazing distances; they also save me hours of wandering. I upgraded my binoculars to include Swarovski's 10×42 EL Range. The first time I held these I was impressed with not only the clarity but also the wide field of view. Weighing in at only 32 ounces, theyre light and easy to handle. The first distant tree I ranged registered a reading of 1,172 yards.
Having a built-in rangefinder in these binos eliminates having to carry an extra device into the field. The ergonomic grip allows for stable holding and easy ranging, and the precise measuring takes the guesswork out of both long range shots and those on steep angles. Read the rest of optics for hunting.
$2700 for a pair of binoculars? Around here most folks just use a car and get lots of dear and elk.
My optics on my rifles are all Leupold. Love them and never had an issue. My binoculars are Vortex only because of them being on sale and cheaper than the Nikon I was looking at.
I need night scopes now though. Even with the bigger scope my eyes are getting old and cant see early morning.
I enjoy trying them out at shows, but I do not buy them as I prefer staying married.
I have long considered good optics my most important equipment after my bow or rifle - even when bowhunting. The ability to spot and evaluate an animal before it’s in range is invaluable.
The prices for new A-class optics (Swarovski, Leica, Zeiss) are getting off the charts, but there are other ways to get A-class optics, like buying a used pair of Swaros and getting them refurbished. I have three pairs of Swarovski binoculars - all of which I bought used and had them refurbished by Swarovski; their refurb prices are very, very reasonable.
I like Nikon for the money and performance.
Have a few Belarus scopes I like too.
Have a Hakko eletropoint I like too
Military needs this echelon of optics.
Vortex is good performance for the money
I like Nikon for the money and performance.
Everything in our house that has a scope has a Nikon BDC. Great value for the money AND a lifetime warranty. Cant beat that.
Our spotting scope is a Redfield. Once again, value for the money. We do have a pair of Steiner Marine binoculars that I won years ago in a sales contest. Those things are rugged.
The problem with Swarovski glass is that most folks can only afford one before the divorce proceedings start. We have 5 firearms that needed glass. Buying all Swarovski would have been the down payment on a second home.
Problem with Belarus glass designed by Zeiss is the markings are all in Cyrillic, can be a bit confusing, but once zeroed, yer good to go.
I have looked through Swarovski binoculars and they definitely have a wow factor. As others have said, just too expensive for me.
I have several used Nikons which were at one time top of the line. An old 7X50 Polaris with very worn leatherette but the optics are perfect. The range finding reticle is probably useful but I am getting too old to do the math in my mind.
I got an Army surplus Steiner and they also have the wow factor. A lot less expensive than the Zeiss etc.
As for Scopes, Leupold are the best for the money.
You cant beat the glass for the money
No you cant. And the BDC used with the SpotOn software is almost cheating.
That reminds me of the Russian 7X30. They are real odd ball binoculars but the optics are really sharp. I am talking about the real military surplus ones.
They have a slight yellowish tint and to my surprise they actually will cut through haze. They come with orange filters which do even more.
The individual focus eyepieces actually zoom in or out as you adjust them. Surprisingly your brain adjusts to slightly different magnifications between left and right eyepieces without even thinking about it.
I bought my first one at a pawn shop for $35. Now they are up to around $300 and still a bargain.
WHOA!... amazon price for Swarovski’s 10×42 EL Range Price: $3,299.00
my Belarus optics have amber filter. nice
My son’s boss gave him some of those and my husband says they are a little better but there are much, much cheaper, quality binoculars out there.
I have a pair of the ultra high dollar Zeiss 10x56 binos. There is a difference, but there are a bunch that are close to being as good that are in the $500-$750 range.
I won mine in a sales contest, that was the only way I can justify having them. At daybreak and dusk, they are fantastic. The rest of the day, I use a pair of higher end Bushnells that I acquired in a gun trade, paid $375 for the rifle, kept it 10 years, then got the binos and $600 for it, they are lighter to pack than the huge Zeiss glass.
I have owned a few high end binoculars, all of them obtained through trade or used.
I would often sit on the porch testing various models. Comparing a Zeiss 10x40 with a Swift Audubon 8.5 power, I really could not tell a difference except at the very edge of the field.
Of course the Audubon has long been regarded as a best buy among birders.
One of the very best is an old Nikon 6X30. I got it on EBAY and the bids were low because it had a noticeable dent in the front housing.
Fortunately it had not caused any internal damage and the alignment was perfect. Very often when I just grab a binocular to see if the mail has run etc. it is the go to glass. Truly excellent optics.
As our eyes age, the pupils lose the ability to dilate. When you're young 7-8 mm is possible. At 50+ perhaps < 5 mm.
Why does this matter? Because the exit pupil of the optics = the entrance pupil of the eye. That is to say if you have 10x56 optics, their exit pupil is 5.6 mm. If your eye pupil does not dilate to more than 4 mm, you're wasting money on expensive optics and you'd be OK with 10x40 optics.
Or: You cannot compensate for aging eyes by buying "brighter" optics.
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