Recommendations: Pocket Binos - Archery Use

Thread starter #1

Jim Boyd

Senior Member
Hey Guys and Gals,

Looking for a decent pair of pocket binos.

My binos have gotten smaller and smaller over the years and I have been using 8x32 for the last several years.

The progression was ugly: 56, 50, 42, 40 and then 32.

The 32’s I am using now are MORE than adequate - ZenRay - and the glass is superior. Think they have gone out of business now but they made awesome glass.

I am looking at and thinking about the Zeiss Terra 8x25. The reviews are great, which you expect from Zeiss - and I know this is their low end line.

Anyone had any dealings with Zeiss Terra in general and in 25mm lenses from any manufacturer specifically.

At $350 they are a reasonable buy.

I looked at 8x28’s from several manufacturers but the size difference between them and my 32’s is not appreciable.

The 32’s are awesome but they won’t drop into a slash pocket.

Also, I would prefer 6x but this seems to be a very forgotten glass offering?

I am wide open for comments, suggestions and thoughts in general.


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I always read the reviews on the birding forums...they are far more technical and detailed in their reviews than hunters, and they review the same glass...

I bought my son a small set of Vortex that are great, can't recall the size and model but will look...they are great for his small hands and light and easy to carry...
 
Thread starter #3

Jim Boyd

Senior Member
I always read the reviews on the birding forums...they are far more technical and detailed in their reviews than hunters, and they review the same glass...

I bought my son a small set of Vortex that are great, can't recall the size and model but will look...they are great for his small hands and light and easy to carry...
Your point is excellent and well taken.... birders are very discriminating glass people.

My needs - and expectations - are not that hard to meet.

Durability, good views, easy use and a decent warranty.

Most of my work will be done inside of 100 yards - even in Illinois, I rarely need to see further than that.

If it is a whopper across the field, I can see that with my old and tired eyes.

Vortex makes some good glass.

I have a pair of their 12x50’s (for bean fields in Illinois) and they are just average. I also have a pair of Zen’s in 8x43 and they easily outperform the Vortex’s (even at distance) so I rarely use the 12x.

Mine are the Diamondbacks and I can’t say I recommend them.

I work to be in the “buy once and cry once” crowd but am not gonna cough up $800-1000 for pocket bino’s.... at least not right now.
 
Jim agreed, his Diamondbacks are just OK. I think I bought them on sale, and for a kid his age with good eyes, they are fine. They are not great though and my Leupold's blow them away, especially at dawn and dusk. I have the 8x42 McKinley HD. Love them but they are bigger...

The birding forums rate the one you are looking at as the top pick in the category in 2018...

I've owned larger Zeiss but not this particular size...

https://www.birdwatching.com/optics/2018_pocket_bins/review.html#terra
 
I would avoid Zeiss. Their customer service did me very wrong. I had a pair that I loved and sent them in for repair as one tube would fog up. No call from them prior to crushing them and sending me a larger clunky replacement pair. When I called they said their policy is to replace not repair. I would of thought they would let a customer know before hand.
 

Lilly001

Senior Member
I’ve tried to replace my 10x40 Nikon monarch 7s with smaller. But I am not happy with any replacements until I get to the 1k area.
So I stay with my Nikons.
Good luck. I’m following to see what you find.
 

nmurph

Senior Member
I have glass from Leupold, Vortex, Meopta, Stiener, and Nikon. For the money, the Steiner's are hard to beat. That said, I know nothing in the sizes you are asking about.
 

Jeetdawg

Senior Member
Honestly, for viewing under a 100 yds, I would go against the grain and not spend the big bucks. My Vortex ones work great for under 100 yds considering the price in the market (though the glass isn’t the best). Knowing you are archery hunting exclusively, having top of the line glass will serve you zero additional benefit, especially considering you are going to be shooting 35 yds or less. If rifle hunting, I can see the need for quality glass because of distance, but I think you could potentially be overspending for a need that isn’t there (I can’t believe I actually went against my normal thought of quality above all else haha 😆)
 
Thread starter #11

Jim Boyd

Senior Member
I think leupold binos are just right.
Cheap enough, good enough, right enough.
Leupold makes great products but I do not see, in their line - a mid 20’s bino in 6 or 8x.

I def don’t want 10x.....
 
Thread starter #12

Jim Boyd

Senior Member
I have glass from Leupold, Vortex, Meopta, Stiener, and Nikon. For the money, the Steiner's are hard to beat. That said, I know nothing in the sizes you are asking about.
I just looked briefly at Stiener and I love the no adjust feature.

Have not looked closely at them yet but they are def on the short list.

Prices are reasonable as well. Most under $300.

Great suggestion.
 
Thread starter #13

Jim Boyd

Senior Member
Jim agreed, his Diamondbacks are just OK. I think I bought them on sale, and for a kid his age with good eyes, they are fine. They are not great though and my Leupold's blow them away, especially at dawn and dusk. I have the 8x42 McKinley HD. Love them but they are bigger...

The birding forums rate the one you are looking at as the top pick in the category in 2018...

I've owned larger Zeiss but not this particular size...

https://www.birdwatching.com/optics/2018_pocket_bins/review.html#terra

I was by no means throwing stones at his binos.

I would be delighted to consider a Vortex product if I can find the size I want and the quality of the glass I need.

I fear the “bigger is better” mentality of the public has done to binos what it also did to rifle scopes.

I want great clarity and durability in a small package.

I will look closely at the Vortex website and thanks for excellent, well thought out replies.
 
Thread starter #14

Jim Boyd

Senior Member
Honestly, for viewing under a 100 yds, I would go against the grain and not spend the big bucks. My Vortex ones work great for under 100 yds considering the price in the market (though the glass isn’t the best). Knowing you are archery hunting exclusively, having top of the line glass will serve you zero additional benefit, especially considering you are going to be shooting 35 yds or less. If rifle hunting, I can see the need for quality glass because of distance, but I think you could potentially be overspending for a need that isn’t there (I can’t believe I actually went against my normal thought of quality above all else haha 😆)
Jarret -

We both know I will be archery hunting and you are being overly generous at 35 yards!!!!

I want them jokers close so I can shoot ‘em!

I cannot agree about bow hunters not needing higher end glass.

Low light, foggy morning, etc all matter.

You know Mr. Charlies farm in Illinois - there are many areas where I might see one at 75-100-125 yards or more and need (want?) to get a good view of him. If he is a good one, I might call to him and if he is not, I would remain silent and still - which might help with one I don’t see.

I don’t want to spend big bucks but I can def live with $200-400 for a good pair.
 

Sixes

Senior Member
Check out Maven binoculars. I can't speak of the compacts but I bought a pair of the B2 in 9x45 and they are great!

I read and researched for 2 months all of the bird forums and optic forums and I do not regret dropping the money at all on the binocs.

I see no need for compacts, I had a pair of Vortex and hated them, they are hard to hold stead and I have man hands and those felt like I was holding a toy to my eyes.
 
I was by no means throwing stones at his binos.

I would be delighted to consider a Vortex product if I can find the size I want and the quality of the glass I need.

I fear the “bigger is better” mentality of the public has done to binos what it also did to rifle scopes.

I want great clarity and durability in a small package.

I will look closely at the Vortex website and thanks for excellent, well thought out replies.
Didn't think you were at all...I'd say they are average glass...
 

Lilly001

Senior Member
I just looked briefly at Stiener and I love the no adjust feature.

Have not looked closely at them yet but they are def on the short list.

Prices are reasonable as well. Most under $300.

Great suggestion.
I have a pair of military marine in 8x30 (I think).
The no focus is a great feature. I just like a little more power and size isn't a big deal with me.
But I did try the smaller Stieners , I don't remember exactly but they were Safari model. Smaller objective and center focus. I did not keep them.
 
Over the years, have been through several sets of pocket binos. All price points. You do get what you pay for, more so than with rifle scopes or any other optic. Very intricate designs. I currently have some Swarovski 8x20s and have previously owned comparable Leicas and Zeiss. If you are set on 8x20s, I recommend the Leicas.

My 10x25 Nikon Premiers are my favorite pocket size binoculars. About the same size and have found them to be brighter and have a similar FOV to 8x20s. As much as I like my pocket binos, I generally don’t use them for hunting. Great for sporting events, back packing, concerts, sight seeing and such.

For hunting, I carry 8x32s. They are bulkier, but significantly brighter, easier to hold steady- weight, just a superior optic. I often carry them in a bino harness which frees up room in my pack.
 
I wish I could find a pair of 8x25s that I can see through. For some reason I cant get them to fit my face...or more likely I cant get my face to fit them. Seems like I look for a pair every year to carry turkey hunting or when scouting etc and end up not getting any
 
Thread starter #20

Jim Boyd

Senior Member
Size, 8x power and reputation have carried the day.

My darling bride got up off of some of her rusty old money and I combined it with what few coins I had - and order the Zeiss.

Will get a good review posted up.
 
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