Scopes and Binoculars

rfwoodvt

Well-Known Member
Just tossed my last set of compact binoculars into the trash and am looking to get some decent, if not serious, glass for looking into trees.

Curious what brand and spec glass folks are using and why they chose what they use.

Anyone have a preference between Spotting Scopes and Binoculars?

Thots on magnification levels?

What about aperture and objective sizes?

Thanks in advance!
 

cerviarborist

Very stable member
I've got a pair of marine binoculars that I've used for years. They're clad in rubber, so they can take a bit of jostling in my diagnostic bag, and they're watertight. They're relatively compact, yet hefty enough that they're easy to keep trained on whatever it is I need to observe. They're nitrogen filled, so they won't fog. I've had them for probably 6-7 years, and I think They cost right at about $100 when I bought them. They still work great!

Since I rarely need to focus on an object further than about 200 feet away on a job-site, I'm not paying extra money for the ability to count gnats whiskers, on a tool that lives in a satchel with trowels and picks.

If you wear glasses, make sure that the rubber cups roll back over the eyepiece to accommodate your specs. Covering caps that are connected to the binoculars with a lanyard is another feature that will greatly add to their longevity.
 

moss

Well-Known Member
Spotting scope would be overkill, except... If you wanted to show a customer or coworker a particular problem in a tree it would be nice to simply say "look through the scope". With a minimum 20x eyepiece you can show a lot detail in the tree. Otherwise any reasonable quality binocular with a minimum 42mm objective lens would be excellent. You want the objective lens to be that big to gather enough light for lower light conditions and to give you a reasonable field of view. 8x eyepiece is fine but 10x is better, downside is 10x is harder to hold steady. Look for "fully coated" lenses. Nikon, Bausch and Lomb, Zeiss, etc. are all good. You can spend a ton of money on higher quality binos, for looking at trees you don't $600+ binos, you should be able to find some excellent binos for the job in the high 200's to mid 300 U.S. Eagle Optics (.com) is my favorite place to shop optics. -AJ
 

GregManning

Super Moderator
Staff member
I have numerous Nikon, Leitz/Leica (10X40 binocular) & Zeiss optics.
Zeiss if by far my favorite brand:
(8X20B binocular, 20X60S stabilized binocular, 30X60B catadioptric scope)
My everyday binocular is the Zeiss 8X20B. I have had them for more than 30 years.
These are not rubber/armor coated; but are very compact, & have fold-back eye-cups.
They focus very close if necessary. They also come w/ a soft leather case to keep them clean.
The optics are stupendously good !

I see better detail & easier w/ my Zeiss 8X20B than w/ my very expensive Germany Leitz 10X40's.

When I first saw this difference, I sent the Leitz back to Customer Service ...... They were tested to be in spec.
 

oldoakman

Well-Known Member
I'm in the exact same situation Rick. My son has a pair of Pentax 20x60's that are junk as far as I'm concerned. I've been looking at a pair of Bushnell Bone something at a Gander Mountain store that are really nice. Sharp image easy to adjust I think they are 10x40's or 10x 50's. and come in at just under $200.00. Let me know what you come up with. My current pair is still ok, just getting a little tired at 50 years old.
 

moss

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]
I've got a pair of marine binoculars that I've used for years. They're clad in rubber, so they can take a bit of jostling in my diagnostic bag, and they're watertight. They're relatively compact, yet hefty enough that they're easy to keep trained on whatever it is I need to observe. They're nitrogen filled, so they won't fog. I've had them for probably 6-7 years, and I think They cost right at about $100 when I bought them. They still work great!

[/ QUOTE ]

Sweet. I still have my Bausch and Lomb 8 x 36, 20 years old, a bit battered but excellent optics.

Here's an example of what passes for a lower price yet good quality bino, has all the bells and whistles: fully multi-coated lenses, rubber armored, fog-proofing and water proof etc. 36mm objective lens is still quite good.

Nikon Monarch 10x36

The days of decent $100 binos are long past unfortunately.
-AJ
 

rfwoodvt

Well-Known Member
Moss, I just ran over to eagle-optics site and seem to have found their brand pretty well reported.

I like the pricing on the 8x binos but for the life of me feel I cannot do with anything less than 10x. Thots?

Any advantages going with the Extra-Low Dispersion (ED) glass?

What about going with a 50mm objective in a non-ed glass as opposed to the 42ED, would the larger aperture be more helpful than the ED glass?
 

RopeShield

Well-Known Member
I have fair results with 10x optical and 70x digital Camera. its a kind of scope.
Usually send off a pic as proof of defect and to clarify job to clients
Binocular sure would be much handier and 20x optical would be perfect for trees not much taller than 100'.
 

moss

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]
Moss, I just ran over to eagle-optics site and seem to have found their brand pretty well reported.

I like the pricing on the 8x binos but for the life of me feel I cannot do with anything less than 10x. Thots?

Any advantages going with the Extra-Low Dispersion (ED) glass?

What about going with a 50mm objective in a non-ed glass as opposed to the 42ED, would the larger aperture be more helpful than the ED glass?

[/ QUOTE ]
l
ED glass is excellent, is expensive. 50mm objective lens is nice but, heavy. There is excellent glass for tree work that is not ED. 10x is not mandatory, for tree spotting 8x is fine. I like 10x when I'm trying to figure out what my throw line is over in a dense conifer crown up high.
 

boreality

Well-Known Member
A work truck is a rough enviroment. High end optics are nice but it's a heartbreaker when they get scratched. Waterproof is essential, 20x is nice, but unless your made of money the piece of mind of not worrying about your precious Swarovski and being able to throw the binos on the seat is worth something.

But have a look through the Swarovski compact model and you'll know why they're more expensive.
 

rfwoodvt

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]
I like 10x when I'm trying to figure out what my throw line is over...

[/ QUOTE ]

I guess that is the kind of detail I'll be needing. The binos will end up being more for consulting and diagnostics than anything else.

So, back to my last question, will a 42mm ED objective be clearer, brighter and better than a 50mm non-ed objective?
 

GregManning

Super Moderator
Staff member
[ QUOTE ]
..... but unless your made of money the piece of mind of not worrying about your precious Swarovski and being able to throw the binos on the seat is worth something.

[/ QUOTE ]

I guess the reason I have had my Zeiss 8X20's for over 30 years is because I don't throw them anywhere.

I'm not trying to be critical, and I understand a work truck is rough environment, but you wouldn't throw your perscription eye glass, laptop computer, resistograph, etc.
If you're throwing them on the seat, the quality of the optics probably does matter at all ........ they are going to be filthy.
So some of your decision is obviously based on priority & financial issues.
Like Arnold Palmer used to say "Take Care of your equipment."

All the Best !
 

moss

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]
[quote}
So, back to my last question, will a 42mm ED objective be clearer, brighter and better than a 50mm non-ed objective?

[/ QUOTE ]

It will be clearer, sharper, and probably brighter, but very close, I've never compared. I still say 50mm is going to require a much heavier bino so I would go with 42 ED or non-ED. I would not want to lug around 50mm glass. ED is sweet stuff but I don't think it's needed unless you're planning on starting a career in ornithology or have some other critical use that requires the highest possible clarity and color rendition. Many non-ED bino's will give you a clean bright image through the lens.
-AJ
 

rfwoodvt

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]
...I would not want to lug around 50mm glass...

[/ QUOTE ]

I guess I'm not seeing a scenario where I'll be lugging them any further than from the front to back yards.

Iff'n I were hunting or hiking, perhaps that would become an issue.

What would the weight savings be?
 

rfwoodvt

Well-Known Member
Spoke with the people at eagle optics and settled on the 10x42 ED glass.

Basically they said the added light from the 50's would not outweigh the value of the image quality of the ED.

$480 shipped sounds expensive in my mind. However, knowing they will likely be the last pair I'll ever have to buy makes it seem like a bargain.

Especially considering I've already paide at at least that much for all of the cheapies I've tossed.

Will let you know how they perform OldOak!
 

moss

Well-Known Member
Congrats on your purchase, with those specs you'll be one happy camper when you're using them.

Even if you're not walking far the 50mm lens binos are large and bulky. Good choice to go with the 42s.
-AJ
 

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