Spike Camp

Thoughts/Eexeriences/Recommendations on Small Lightweight Set of Binos

DW5

  • *****
  • 1609
    • View Profile
I always like to have a lightweight ďpocketĒ or at least pretty small set of binos around. I like ones that are easily stored in the truck door or console but also of decent quality to take on long active field days.

I am currently running a set of Nikon 10x25 (see pic below) that has served me well but probably nearing the end of their usefulness. I could probably have them cleaned/fixed but I also wouldnít mind a bit of an upgrade in the glass department here, as I find myself using these binos for more and more in the field hunting as opposed to strictly from the truck these days.

Would like to keep the price under $200-225 or so. (Nikons Iím using now cost about $75 if I remember correctly) But I wonít let a few bucks keep me from making a great purchase, and it definitely wonít hurt my feelings to spend way less that two bills either... These are not/will not be my ďmainĒ hunting binos, I have a couple of set of 10x42 and 32s  I use for that.

Any thoughts/recommendations?
You cant catch a fish without a hook in the water....

Re: Thoughts/Eexeriences/Recommendations on Small Lightweight Set of Binos
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2018, 10:45:15 PM »
About twenty years ago, I stumbled on a pair of Zeiss binoculars at a pawn shop.  Little folder, pocket sized.  I didn't get a screaming deal on them like I did on my bigger Zeiss binos , but somewhat less than what they go for.  My middle Son prefers them to the bigger pair, strictly because of their size.  They are SO handy.  And they do not give up too much to the bigger pair either.  He sort of took them off of my hands, and I only see them, in his hands, during hunting season.  I think that if you go with the top tier offerings from ANY of the major brands, you will be happy.  My other Son, has a fairly new pair of mid-sized Pentax binos, not even their best grade, and I guess because of new manufacturing technology, they hold their own pretty well too.  When I would check out scopes or binos at gun-shows or stores, I would look through them at something in the darkest part of the building.  I would see if I could see rivets or nails up in the roof beams or rafters, where it is dark.  With cheap glass, you will not see much in the shadows.  One BIG advantage of pocket binos, is you tend to put them back in your pocket when you are not using them, whereas with bigger binos, you tend to lay them down somewhere, and then forget where you laid them.  I hope you find something that suits you.  MM

DW5

  • *****
  • 1609
    • View Profile
Re: Thoughts/Eexeriences/Recommendations on Small Lightweight Set of Binos
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2018, 08:01:00 AM »
Iím glad to hear how much you like(d) the little Zeiss pocket model. While itís a bit more than my randomly chosen budget, I am considering ponying up a litttle extra and getting the Zeiss Terra 10x25s.
You cant catch a fish without a hook in the water....

224KING

  • *****
  • 3216
    • View Profile
Re: Thoughts/Eexeriences/Recommendations on Small Lightweight Set of Binos
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2018, 08:40:53 AM »
I'm using the 8X Yosemite Leupolds.At 90 bucks they are good for the money.I have a pair in pickup,ranch truck and Ranger.Kind of a mid range in size even though they do fit easily in my camo jacket pocket.
Sorry... Yesterday was the last and final day for any and all complaints whatsoever.

I try to avoid temptation unless I can't resist it.

Everyone has a photographic memory.Some just don't have film.

eford

  • *****
  • 2627
    • View Profile
Re: Thoughts/Eexeriences/Recommendations on Small Lightweight Set of Binos
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2018, 12:13:16 PM »
+1 to 224King. I also have the 8x Yosemite's by Leupold. They are light, keep the focus setting and have held up well with me and my sometimes clumsy field operations. They're so good I bought two more as presents since I know they can take so rough and tumble times and still work well.
Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.

Every man needs to know his limits.

danno50

  • *****
  • 2916
    • View Profile
Re: Thoughts/Eexeriences/Recommendations on Small Lightweight Set of Binos
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2018, 08:10:25 AM »
Iím glad to hear how much you like(d) the little Zeiss pocket model. While itís a bit more than my randomly chosen budget, I am considering ponying up a litttle extra and getting the Zeiss Terra 10x25s.
If your considering the Zeiss Terra ED's, I would recommend the 8x25 ED's. They are about the same weight and cost a little less. While the 10x magnifies the size of the image, it will also magnify the shaky or wobbly effect of the image during free hand use. (everyone shakes to some degree) With the 8x you get a more precise image with a larger field of view, (you may be able to get two or more animals in the same frame without moving back and forth between images) and if it makes any difference, you'll get more eye relief. Theres practically no difference in what they offer optically, there both excellent. Other higher power binos are better suited for long distance viewing. I've used and recommend the 8x's for years. The less expensive 10x25's, many well under $100 bucks, can serve the purpose of general viewing, but lack the optical quality your talking about. Optical quality is like a quality sound system, some people can't tell the difference between CD music and cassette music, it just depends on the individual when comparing optics. Quality is the reason some bino's are expensive and some aren't, but it can be tricky convincing yourself of whats what. JMO
« Last Edit: October 12, 2018, 08:12:42 AM by danno50 »
DosEquisShooter

DW5

  • *****
  • 1609
    • View Profile
Re: Thoughts/Eexeriences/Recommendations on Small Lightweight Set of Binos
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2018, 10:32:41 AM »
Iím glad to hear how much you like(d) the little Zeiss pocket model. While itís a bit more than my randomly chosen budget, I am considering ponying up a litttle extra and getting the Zeiss Terra 10x25s.
If your considering the Zeiss Terra ED's, I would recommend the 8x25 ED's. They are about the same weight and cost a little less. While the 10x magnifies the size of the image, it will also magnify the shaky or wobbly effect of the image during free hand use. (everyone shakes to some degree) With the 8x you get a more precise image with a larger field of view, (you may be able to get two or more animals in the same frame without moving back and forth between images) and if it makes any difference, you'll get more eye relief. Theres practically no difference in what they offer optically, there both excellent. Other higher power binos are better suited for long distance viewing. I've used and recommend the 8x's for years. The less expensive 10x25's, many well under $100 bucks, can serve the purpose of general viewing, but lack the optical quality your talking about. Optical quality is like a quality sound system, some people can't tell the difference between CD music and cassette music, it just depends on the individual when comparing optics. Quality is the reason some bino's are expensive and some aren't, but it can be tricky convincing yourself of whats what. JMO

Glad you weighed in Danno. I had originally placed an order from Optics Planet for the 10xís but they were on back order. They called me back and made me a great offer on the 8ís.

Iíve always been a 10x guy when it comes to binos but what you said about these, given the size and glass restrictions, makes a lot of sense to me. The 8xís are in the way to my door now and it saved me $80!

*Edit*. Thanks to MM for pushing towards the Zeissí as well. Iíve never regretted spending more on glass. King, if I ever get chance to look through those Leupolds I definitely will.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2018, 10:50:16 AM by DW5 »
You cant catch a fish without a hook in the water....

danno50

  • *****
  • 2916
    • View Profile
Re: Thoughts/Eexeriences/Recommendations on Small Lightweight Set of Binos
« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2018, 11:32:29 AM »
Congrats DW. After you've had a chance to check them out let us know what you think. You got a good deal, I thought the difference in the two would be about $30.
DosEquisShooter

DW5

  • *****
  • 1609
    • View Profile
Re: Thoughts/Eexeriences/Recommendations on Small Lightweight Set of Binos
« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2018, 11:53:47 AM »
Congrats DW. After you've had a chance to check them out let us know what you think. You got a good deal, I thought the difference in the two would be about $30.

You are exactly correct about the normal price difference. Optics Planet knocked off an extra $50 since they could not immediately fill my original order. I remember (I think it was) Terminator saying they were a solid company like that. This just reinforces that notion for me.
You cant catch a fish without a hook in the water....

Re: Thoughts/Eexeriences/Recommendations on Small Lightweight Set of Binos
« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2018, 01:46:51 PM »
checkout Pentax 9x28


Re: Thoughts/Eexeriences/Recommendations on Small Lightweight Set of Binos
« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2018, 02:06:19 PM »
I have a ancient set of binoculars from Bausch & Lomb I inherited from my dad that is 8x32. Perfect size for a shirt pocket without getting in the way or dragging on my neck.  Took them elk hunting near Pinedale WY. in the late 90's, perfect! Fitting in that pocket is the way to go, shy of a spotting scope IMO.  :)

zonie

  • *****
  • 6842
    • View Profile
Re: Thoughts/Eexeriences/Recommendations on Small Lightweight Set of Binos
« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2018, 09:00:22 PM »
Not sure about the zeiss  terra,  it's their entry level not that it's a bad thing I just don't know that much about them.  Any decent  optic I buy  anymore  HAS to have a really good warranty and better yet a no fault warranty.  Here's the good and the bad I have an old pair of Zeiss 10 x 25mm pocket bino's I bought I guess around 1990 ,  these are true German made and if memory serves me I paid $ 400 bucks new back then.  8 x are fine , but I need a pair of bino's I can count points at a fair distance so the 10 x are my preferred power for these little pocket bino's.  The GOOD these are bight and clear today as they were when new and will stand up against todays high priced models.  they are handy , light weight, extremely sharp image, and clear with good colors.   The BAD they aren't 82 mm Kowa spotter nor were they meant to be,   early morning and right at dusk any of these small objective lens bino's you choke down your exit pupil so much that  you have to wait for it to get a little lighter out before you can make out your animal , whereas even a good Leupold 3 x 9 x40mm rifle scope can bring in more light set on 3 x at these dark times than a 10 x 25mm bino's.   Figure the average young person can dilate their pupils to around 7mm, the average middle aged person can dilate their eyes to around 6mm and us old farts dilate their eyes to about 5mm.  Take this information and factor in the exit pupil of a scope lets say a 3 x 9 x 40mm rifle scope.  the exit pupil at 3 x power on the scope will be 40 divided by 3 =13.3 mm now zoom the scope to 9 power will be 40mm divided by 9 = 4.4mm.  As you can see on 3 power  with a 40 mm objective lens our eyes cannot dilate wide enough to capture all the light the scope is letting in and is pretty much wasted light at that point, now zoom that same scope to 9 x and your exit pupil is 4.4mm which means even us old guy eye can dilate to more than the scope will allow light to bring in.   This leads us to a   8x25mm or 10x25mm binos your exit pupil on the binos are  8x=3.125mm and 10x=2.5mm exit pupil as you can see neither makes for capturing enough light even for young or old hunters and that's just how it is.  I swear by these little bino's but knowing they are not really meant for early morning or just after dusk hunting situations I can deal with that because the rest of the day there is light out that these small objective lens better quality bino's with their  sharp optics and super light weight make them a joy to carry in a shirt pocket.  Which pair do I take hunting the little Zeiss, but I also have 15 x 56 German Minox for eyeballing really long range stuff at the expense of being heavy and un wielding to carry long distances. Personialy I would look at some of the mid grade Vortex (because of the warranty) , or high end Zeiss & Swarovski or possibly Kowa & Leica,  and save enough money until you can get a really good pair of small bino's,  almost 30 years of use out of mine and still going strong (knock on wood)  these little Zeiss are without question one of my best optics purchases because I use them far more than our other bino's
« Last Edit: October 12, 2018, 09:43:14 PM by zonie »

DW5

  • *****
  • 1609
    • View Profile
Re: Thoughts/Eexeriences/Recommendations on Small Lightweight Set of Binos
« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2018, 10:32:16 AM »
Well, I finally got the Zeiss Terra ED 8x25ís in. Initial thoughts:

 1. Wow. The optical quality is significantly bettter than what I was expecting, and was expecting quite a bit based on the original price tag of close to $300 and it carrying the Zeiss name.

2. All of the adjustments are very firm/crisp/positive feeling. I like that a lot. Also, when extending the eye cups they ďlockĒ into place. I am very pleased with that since a lot of the ďpocketĒ binos Iíve had in the past had a problem with depressing those with the slightest bit of pressure. One small wrinkle it took me a second to figure out was the fine right eye adjustment is located at the front on the binos, directly on the other side of the main focus wheel. But once I figured it out I donít mind this st all.

3. While glass is always subjective to the looker, for me personally, I am confident these 8xís will significantly increase my effective viewing range from where I was at with the 10x25 Nikon Trailblazers. And that isnít a knock on Nikon at all. I have two Nikon rifle scopes (Prostaff 5 and Monarch 7) and a set of 10x42 Monarch Binos and I really like all three of them.
You cant catch a fish without a hook in the water....

Re: Thoughts/Eexeriences/Recommendations on Small Lightweight Set of Binos
« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2018, 10:43:56 AM »
Wise Choice!   ;)

danno50

  • *****
  • 2916
    • View Profile
Re: Thoughts/Eexeriences/Recommendations on Small Lightweight Set of Binos
« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2018, 11:27:43 AM »
Besides your positive review, they look good too. I like the close bridge feature and the soft carrying case. Zeiss also stands behind their products. Ya done good.
DosEquisShooter