8x vs. 10x in the high country

Ridgerunner

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For those who have had a chance to compare these in the high country, do you really lose that much by going with a 8x32 or a 10x32 as opposed to the 10x42? Especially if you are packing a spotting scope. I'm talking swarovski glass.
 

RosinBag

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I think absolute must to have the 10x42. The 8x at 32 not even close, at 42 it helps with field of view, but just not enough power to see long distance. Even with a spotter, most use the binoculars to glass and locate, then spotter to judge and size up trophy potential. I can use my spotter for small time periods to glass super long distances, but then once something is spotted, I am a days walk to get there at those distances.
 

Tookeymonster

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I made the switch this last season from a 8x42 to a 10x42 and it makes a big difference. IMO the 10x50 add too much weight for not hardly any more performance. I would highly recommend going with the 10x42.
 

Matt Cashell

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I have hunted with several different configurations. I like 10X42 and 8X32. they have similar exit pupils of sufficient size (4.2mm and 4mm respectively). The 10X32 has a smaller 3.2mm exit pupil and suffers a bit too much in really low light for my liking.

The 10s show more detail from a supported position, and I especially like them off a tripod. A little more heft in 42mm glass helps steady the view also. The 8's are easier to hold steady off hand, so are nicer on the move. The wider FOV can be nice also. I haven't had much trouble glassing even miles away with an 8x, but everyone is different.

I find myself taking the 10X42s most often, but mostly because I do most of my glassing from stationary, supported positions, and often off the tripod.
 

luke moffat

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I have run 10X42s for the last 7 years either EL or SLC swaros. This year I am going to try 8X32 and 10X32 Zeiss Victories. I nearly always have my spotter with my so if I need the extra zoom then I'll bust out the spotter. We'll see how I like it for a season and re-evaluate. Being as the 10X42s are 30% heavier than 8X32s I would like to through the weight savings into a better spotter, so we'll see if the new approach pays off.
 

Yellowknife

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While I really like the theory of 10x42's in the mountains, I've actually found my eyes are happiest with 8x42's. I wear glasses, and the additional eye relief and flexibility with head position just makes long glassing sessions easier. 8x32's are ok and I REALLY like the smaller size, but I haven't found a set that gives the the comfort of x42's. 10x30's are almost impossible for me to use. Every one I've tried is just way to short on eye relief and critical about eye position.

Yk
 

luke moffat

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YK, get yourself some lasik, by far best money I ever spent, would sell all my optics to pay for it again if I had the chance.
 
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Ridgerunner

Ridgerunner

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Good thoughts I currently use the 10x42 and really like them off the trod was thinking a little smaller glass might be worth the weight savings esp since I will still have a spotter.
 
B

bearguide

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i have used 8x 32 swaro for many years b/c we hunt off horses and i always have my 15x45 zeiss // i would like to try some bigger glass, possibly with a range finder. i hunted coues last jan. and the guys were using 15x 50 and 12x50 off spotters . they were sure out glassing me on the coues. i blamed it on my 8s. but it took me a while to even see the coues even with there glass.
 

Yellowknife

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YK, get yourself some lasik, by far best money I ever spent, would sell all my optics to pay for it again if I had the chance.
I'm on that track Luke. Just had that chat with my eye doc last month. The maternity ward of the hospital has been getting medical funds the last few years, but I'll get there.
 

billy molls

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I know many won't agree, but I personally like 10X's binos, and a 80mm soptting scope. ( I currently use Leica, but hope to move on to Swarovski.) But when It comes to glass, at least in Alaska, the extra weight saves me more miles. I used to use a 65 mm spotter, and I wouldn't go back to it if you paid me. For me seeing that lamb tip on a ram and being able to draw a bit sharper focus to judge a brown bear that is 3 miles away, makes ALL the difference.

If I were only sheep hunting maybe 8X32 on the binos, but for moose, brown bear, you sit alot, and thus 10x's are the way to go.

Hunting elk and Mulies out West, I have to once again vote for the 10's, I think the extra magnification makes up for the weight once you sit for a while to glass. If you can't see it you will never shoot it, and spotting animals is all about finding contrast.

Though it is probably worthless, that's my 2 cents.
 

chuckhanisch

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question

This may be a dumb question but is there a mathematical forumula to know how much difference there is between the 8x and the 10x at certain distances? What I am asking is if you are glassing something at 500 yards, how much closer will the object appear with the 10x as compared to the 8x. What would be the difference at a 1000 yards.... I know there are pros and cons to each but knowing this may help me decide which power to go with. Is the extra magnification enough to offset the field of view you would lose? If you are glassing off-hand would you be able to hold the 10x binos steady enough to appreciate the extra magnification anyway?
 

Matt Cashell

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Yeah, divide the distance by the magnification. so 100 yards at 10x looks like 10 yards away. 80 yards at 8x looks like 10 yards away.
 

chuckhanisch

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Thanks Bitterroot, I guess I was over-thinking that one.
So, by doing the math, at 500 yards with 10x glass the object would appear to be at 50 and with 8x glass it would appear to be at 62.5 yards. My next question then is (and maybe this is totally up to the individual holding the binoculars) is 12.5 yards a noticeable enough difference to justify larger binoculars and a smaller FOV? Can you actually hold the 10x binos steady enough to really appreciate the difference?
I hope I am not hi-jacking this thread from Ridgerunner but only adding to information he might get.
 

Lukem

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Thanks Bitterroot, I guess I was over-thinking that one.
So, by doing the math, at 500 yards with 10x glass the object would appear to be at 50 and with 8x glass it would appear to be at 62.5 yards. My next question then is (and maybe this is totally up to the individual holding the binoculars) is 12.5 yards a noticeable enough difference to justify larger binoculars and a smaller FOV? Can you actually hold the 10x binos steady enough to really appreciate the difference?
I hope I am not hi-jacking this thread from Ridgerunner but only adding to information he might get.
Don't think 12.5 yards, think 20%. It just takes a little experience to figure out what works best for your eyes.
 
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Ridgerunner

Ridgerunner

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No worries about hijacking the thread, its interesting info for sure, I'm just trying to see if the weight savings might be worth it or not. The country I hunt isn't as big as Alaska so it may not be quite as big of a deal.
 

AZ Ron

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A few years ago I was using 10x monarchs and then got swaro 15's for long distance glassing. I wanted to upgrade my around the neck binos and found I was having trouble holding the lightweight monarchs steady when using them hand held. I went with 8x Geovids and couldn't be happier. Normally for me, where I hunt, if I'm glassing more than 600-800 yards away, I'm taking my 15's (with a tripod; using the 15's out to 3 miles or so is the furthest I've glassed up elk).

I still use the 8x's for glassing close up as it is tough to glass with 15's under 600 yards or so. The geovids are much easier to hold still than my 10x monarchs, due in part to weight and the loss of 2x of magnification. When stacking my 8's to my old 10's, I felt like I didn't really lose anything due to the improved clarity of the geovids over the monarchs. (Someone comparing swaro or leica 8's to the same 10's might see less of a difference, except for the 2x power.)

If archery deer hunting by myself I find myself leaving my 15's in the truck and sneaking into smaller draws and canyons where I'm only glassing up to 800 yards away or so. It puts me in the position for a stalk with less chance of losing the deer while stalking and my 8's do fine for that situation.

The only time I've felt I've wanted 10's since I've gotten my geovids was possibly while doing backpack hunts in BIG country when I left my 15's behind due to weight concerns. I'm thinking of getting a small spotter like the nikon 50mm ED to supplement my 8's in situations like that. FWIW, my 8's have held their own when glassing with friends who are using 10's in those situations. They usually can't make out objects any better than I can with my 8's and leave us wishing for a lightweight spotter.

I think it boils down to what fits a person's individual situation best. I know guys who have stopped carrying 15's because they can find (coues) deer just* as well with their 10's, they just may not be able to put antlers on them at the distances they are spotting them.

*I couldn't imagine leaving my 15's behind on a coues hunt, as I can usually tell if it is a buck worth going after and am able to spot bedded deer easier.

For me, 8's also work better when hunting thicker country for elk. More fov with 8's.

To wrap up this long post, the next pair of binos on my wish list isn't a pair of 10's, but a nice pair of 8x32's to wear while scouting and shed hunting where I don't need the built in range finder.

Ron
 

Yukondog

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Awesome thread! I picked up the Nikon ED 50 spotter two years ago. It is a great little scope that has sat in my safe because all my hunting the last two years has been in the timber where the furthest you and see is 30yds. I've been saving up for new binos and I too have struggled with what to buy. I had my mind set on Leica but two weeks ago picked up the EL'S and was blown away at how crisp and sharp they where. I found the 10's to be more to my liking over the 8's. However that was at the store and not in the woods. It is extremely difficult to put down the coin for binos when you are not 100% sure about your choice. I would love to carry both for a weekend to see which I prefer. Yet I can't afford 5k to test them. I'm scared to death about wrecking them. That is not a conversation I don't want to have with my wife!
 

dirtytough

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I have used 10x42 swaros and a 80mm spotter for a few years in the high country. I switched to 10x32 swaros just to save a little weight and I like them better. Hunting in September I haven't ever had a problem with low light because it really seems like the bucks are out all day long.
 
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