Optics Strategy Advice

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This topic contains 13 replies, has 8 contributors, and was last updated by nippers Nippers 8 years, 11 months ago.

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  • December 11, 2006 at 12:01 am #495304 Back to Top REPORT

    Joined: 6/27/2005
    Location: In the evening shadow of oona-pa'is
    OK, I’ve been going out, looking though glasses, asking all types of questions and now… I’m confused. I’ve pretty much figured out brands but now I’m stuck on the magnification.

    I’m out in California and I was looking initially at 10 x 42’s. I understand that as the magnification goes up, the light gathering goes down. How important is the 10x mag out west?

    My second option is to get some 8 x 42’s and as spotting scope. It will end up weighing more in my pack but it is more versatile.

    Can I get some input from some folks out west as to what you “really need?”

    Thanks in advance!

    December 11, 2006 at 12:04 am #507236 Back to Top REPORT

    Joined: 5/24/2004
    All depeds on your needs,

    How far do you need to see?
    Open plains,woods?

    December 11, 2006 at 12:05 am #507237 Back to Top REPORT

    Joined: 8/2/2005
    What are you hunting? Deer in heavy woods, or a Goat on some distant mountain side? A lot of questions to answer before you can really ask a question. All of the above will do to some extent in my opinion.
    December 11, 2006 at 12:21 am #507238 Back to Top REPORT

    Joined: 6/27/2005
    Location: In the evening shadow of oona-pa'is
    Ok… good points both of you.

    For Deer, so far I’ve been dealing with Blacktails which live in a wide variety of conditions. Some of the stuff is denser than the crap I hunted back in Michigan for whitetail, some of the stuff is wide open stuff, and I’m wondering what is on the other side of the valley.

    I’m thinking about chucking the blacktail for Mule deer because right now all I can verify is that blacktail bucks only come out after 10:00 pm at night! What I know about mule deer fills about half a page… of a very small notebook.

    I’ve thought quickly about elk hunting but, I’m not sure how much the current job will allow it. Chalk myself up as “interested”

    Hope that helps a bit…

    December 11, 2006 at 12:34 am #507239 Back to Top REPORT

    Joined: 7/9/2005
    8 x 42 :thumbup
    December 11, 2006 at 12:44 am #507240 Back to Top REPORT

    Joined: 5/24/2004
    I hunt Muleys, Elk, Antalope and I have a pair of Swarovski EL 8.5×42 binos to glass with and as great as they are when your glassing animals at real far distance the binos do have a limit and a good spotting scope has got to be used. If your really looking for a trophy and you want to see what your looking at the 20-60×65 spotting scope picks up where the 8.5×42 leave off. IMHO it all comes down to how serious one is about hunting and glassing for trophy game.
    December 11, 2006 at 1:09 am #507241 Back to Top REPORT

    Joined: 1/10/2006
    I’d say go with the 8x binos………less noticed hand shake and more field of view. This way you can cover looking at more ground and it would be easier to use in forested area. I used to have a 10x set and now use a 9x. even with this difference, I noticed less hand shake

    I’d also get the spotting scope for when you need to verify whether an animal is worth going after from a distance. I know that I carry a Nikon 15-45x spotting scope along with my Steiner 9x binos. I went with the Steiners because they are self focusing from 20ft on out. [=}=]

    Also, get the best potics you can afford. You will appreciate this when out in the field. When using lesser optics, you will suffer from eye fatigue a lot quicker than when using really good optics [=}=] :thumbup

    December 11, 2006 at 1:23 am #507242 Back to Top REPORT

    Joined: 10/11/2004
    I prefer 10×42 myself. A spotting scope can come in real handy if you are willing to carry with you. :thumbup
    December 11, 2006 at 1:33 am #507243 Back to Top REPORT

    Joined: 11/26/2005
    Location: Guess!
    I’d go with the 10×42..My :2cents
    December 11, 2006 at 3:00 am #507244 Back to Top REPORT

    Joined: 6/27/2005
    Location: In the evening shadow of oona-pa'is
    How far into the evening and shadows are you glassing with the 10 x 42’s?
    December 11, 2006 at 3:37 am #507245 Back to Top REPORT

    Joined: 5/24/2004
    I see that you are still young and probably have very good eye sight. you may only need the 8x42s, but I prefer the 10x42s. I want to see every aspect of the animal Im about to kill! [=}=]
    December 11, 2006 at 3:42 am #507246 Back to Top REPORT

    Joined: 6/24/2004
    As long as you have an exit pupil of 4-7mm you will be good in low light conditions. Divide the power by the objective to find out what your exit pupil is.
    8×42 will give you an exit pupil of 5.25mm which is great for low light.
    December 11, 2006 at 5:23 am #507247 Back to Top REPORT

    Joined: 5/24/2004
    I live out west, and good optics are a must. I use a pair of 10×40 zeiss victory 2 binos, and find that they are the best optics I have ever used. Light gathering is a non-factor, and often you can see better with the binos in low light than with your naked eye.

    Spotting scopes are nice, but they really aren’t that convenient for locating game in most situations (its just not comfortable looking through a spotting scope for hours). Where a spotting scope comes in handy is judging trophy/size of the animal you want to pursue.

    For example, this last year we were glassing a herd of elk about a mile away. We could see there was a bull in the group, but it didn’t look big enough to go after. We through the spotting scope up and immediately realized that this was in fact a monster bull. Needless to say, we were glad we had that spotting scope with us.

    Under most hunting conditions, you are not going to want to have to lug around a 4 pound spotting scope and a 2 pound tripod. Stick with the binos and you will do fine. You will definitely want 10x if hunting out west, though.

    December 11, 2006 at 12:18 pm #507248 Back to Top REPORT

    Joined: 1/10/2006
    I guess another question is how do you usually hunt?

    If you mostly do the ole’ spot and stalk, then the weight may become an issue. I never really did that unless the animal was worth going after……..and usually I found that out from using a spotting scope from where I was glassing the hill sides.

    When I lived in Oregon, I hunted in the Coastal Range from Newport down to the Yachats area………….a lot of clear cut to early growth trees and I never really hiked for miles unless it was to go after a bruiser……….which never happened…….but there were times when I wasn’t sure if what I was looking at was a deer or not (I was using 10x binos at the time) so I was glad I had the spotting scope to verify that I was actually looking at a very convincing looking growth of brush :oops: before exerting my lazy butt to get into range for a shot [=}=]

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