New spotter or binos...?

HellsCanyon

Senior Member
Rokslide Sponsor
Joined
May 29, 2012
Messages
3,474
Location
Lewiston ID
I think I already have my decision made, and I can only afford one right now. But I've been using the same $350 minox 10x42 binos for the last 5 years and they have served me very well, but I find myself often times wishing for clearer glass. They also got dropped one time (a lot actually) to the point of bending the exit lense on one side and that lense will fog up (on the outside though) much easier now. I currently do not own a spotting scope but my hunting partner who is on 90% of my hunts with me has a nice Vortex Viper HD 20-60 spotter.

I'm looking at either the Viper HD's in 10x42, or 15x50.

Or pick up the new Viper HD 65 spotter.

I'm really tempted to buy a new shelter but new glass is my priority.
My hunts are all deer/elk/antelope in wide open BIG country. Think salmon/snake river breaks in Idaho as well as the high country in the cascades here in WA.

What would you do and why? I think I already know what direction I'm going but want to hear some input. Thanks! ;)

Mike
PS: For those of you thinking "isn't this the guy who started the thread on new gear reality check???".... well I didn't say I was immune did I? ;)
 

Matt Cashell

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Messages
4,110
Location
Western MT
First, I would get with Minox and send yours in for inspection, and a repair quote.

Second, if you always go with your buddy and his spotter, use his.

Third, The Viper HD bins are really nice for the money, and I am sure you would be more than happy with them, but take a close look at the Talon HDs before you buy. You might save yourself some money, and end up with a wider field of view. The one thing about the Talon HDs are they do have a little less durable "feel" than the Viper HDs, but I think they are actually built pretty well, and they are backed by the same VIP Warranty as the Viper HDs.
 
OP
HellsCanyon

HellsCanyon

Senior Member
Rokslide Sponsor
Joined
May 29, 2012
Messages
3,474
Location
Lewiston ID
Solid advice and I will definitely get in touch with Minox about getting em fixed and use em as a back up or give em to the GF cause she doesn't have a good pair.

As far as the viper vs talons I am not sure. Never looked through the talons and I want the next pair of binos I get to last me a long time and for me to be happy with them. Thanks for the advice!

Mike
 

Matt Cashell

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Messages
4,110
Location
Western MT
I think the Talons would last. I was trying to explain, I think it is more of a "feel" thing, and not so much of a real durability issue. I just mention it, because I have looked at them, and they are (IMO) on the same optical level as the Viper HDs, and actually outperform them in field of view.

Another one to look at near that price range is the Meopta Meostar (or Cabelas Euro). You are getting close to the Conquest HD too.

To be sure, I am NOT telling you not to get the Viper HDs, just that there are other options, as you were asking for input.

Also, I would stay away from the 15X50 because that little 3.3 mm exit pupil is going to get pretty dim early and late, and 15s are tough to keep steady off a tripod.
 

thru-hunter

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Messages
313
I went back and forth between the Viper HD and the Talon HD bins for my wife. I finally settled on the Talon and the fov was a big factor in that as was the lower cost. The only notable place where I felt the viper was superior was the feel of the focus knob. The Talon doesn't feel bad but it is a little rubbery feeling when rocking it back and forth to find the perfect clarity. My Japanese Minox HG 10x43 bins have superior fit and finish but optically the Talons are in the same league.
 

ElkNut1

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Messages
1,925
Location
Idaho
Interesting question, easy answer! (grin) Get the 10X42 Binos! As Matt mentions, your buddy already has a good spotter so sharing his until times are more favorable is a good thought, then you can pursue your own! Your 2nd choice would be to have your old Minox sent in & repaired, they may surprise you? (grin)

I too have hunted & glassed the Salmon River Breaks, I only live an hour away! There's definitely room for a Spotter there but the Binos are what's top priority! Either the Talons or Vipers would work just fine, between the two my choice is the Vipers HD, the Talons are nice but not as good! There's a reason they are less in price!

Did you put in for a Deer tag in that unit?

ElkNut1
 

Nick Muche

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2012
Messages
3,320
Location
Alaska
You know, I debated over this for quite awhile when I decided to take the plunge and get some high qualiity optics. I wanted two things out of what I bought. Keep in mind, that prior to making my purchase I only owned ONE other pair of bino's and no spotter (I lived back east and only hunted WT Deer). Knowing that I was moving out west, I decided it was time.

The first thing I wanted was Great Glass, the best I could get my hands on. So I saved and saved some more...
The second thing I wanted was for them to be the LAST glass I ever have to buy.

I did both of those things. Bought 10x42 Binos and about 8 months later, just before the western hunting season kicked off I had enough saved to get the spotter. Now that I have both, I would never want to be in the mountains without either. If my buddy has one, great, we can both use ours at the same time and cover more ground.

If you get a spotter too, there really is no need to get anything bigger than a 10x42 in bino's.

Do what you can with what you can afford, but the way I see it, my $5K investment will keep me confident while in the hills AND they will last me the rest of my life.

I bought some Zen Ray's for the little lady and she loves them.
 
OP
HellsCanyon

HellsCanyon

Senior Member
Rokslide Sponsor
Joined
May 29, 2012
Messages
3,474
Location
Lewiston ID
Great advice from everyone thank you! I am looking pretty hard at the Talons! Look like nice glass for sure and that FOV is big! Not sure which one yet and I need to get in touch with minox to see about repairs on mine. I have a good discount on vortex optics for my business so I will be going with one of their models for sure...

One thing I'm curious about is that vortex doubler. Has anybody used one?

Elknut, we put in for 18 and 11 most years! Have taken two bucks in two years in 19 recently though!

Mike
 

Nick Muche

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2012
Messages
3,320
Location
Alaska
I have heard about the swaro doubler and the results were not that great, I would assume the vortex would be the same but who knows until you try it. I personally wouldn't waste my time, just get the bino's and a good scope, be set for a long time and hunt hard!

Get your Minox bino's fixed and just leave them in your truck to use while driving around. Can't beat having two pairs of bino's, I love having one set in the bino case for when I hit the hills and another sitting in the truck ready to be used whenever I need them!
 
OP
HellsCanyon

HellsCanyon

Senior Member
Rokslide Sponsor
Joined
May 29, 2012
Messages
3,474
Location
Lewiston ID
Good advice Nick. I got an email into my Vortex guy to ask him a few questions... should have something ordered this week!

Paul,
Thank you! I got a PM coming your way sometime today... ;)

Mike
 

Gman

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2012
Messages
551
Location
Colorado baby!
I think it really depends on your hunt and what you're after. Went on a scouting trip this weekend and would have NEVER seen what we saw without great spotters. Based on your orignal post - muleys and antelope in BIG country, you may want to make sure you have access to a great spotter and sqeeze by with binos. You didn't say, but if you're looking for big bucks from a distance then the spotter is also a necessity (both muleys and pronghorn).

For elk, binos is all I'll carry. But for the others, I'd probably be behind the spotter most of the time.
 
OP
HellsCanyon

HellsCanyon

Senior Member
Rokslide Sponsor
Joined
May 29, 2012
Messages
3,474
Location
Lewiston ID
I think it really depends on your hunt and what you're after. Went on a scouting trip this weekend and would have NEVER seen what we saw without great spotters. Based on your orignal post - muleys and antelope in BIG country, you may want to make sure you have access to a great spotter and sqeeze by with binos. You didn't say, but if you're looking for big bucks from a distance then the spotter is also a necessity (both muleys and pronghorn).

For elk, binos is all I'll carry. But for the others, I'd probably be behind the spotter most of the time.
Solid advice! I've been having similar thoughts popping up in my head that I've already had a decent set of binos for 4-5 years and they've gotten me through. I think 1 more season on them if I can get them inspected/repaired by Minox might not kill me. That would allow me to pick up the Viper 65mm HD spotter. I've packed around the 20-60HD Viper last year and that sucker is HEAVY and honestly I would be tempted to leave it behind quite a bit for the weight.

Something to think about also is that I'm planning (more like required to) more solo trips where a spotter would be nice. Hate feeling like I'm changing my mind every hour or so and keep on talking one up myself to the other. Time to make a list of pros/cons of each and break it down to what is going to benefit me more! :)

Mike
 

dotman

1
Joined
Feb 24, 2012
Messages
8,201
If you plan to solo, check out the minox md50, mine is always in my pack now. Total weight of spotter and tripod is just over 4lbs which is close to the weight of the viper. Plus the minox is a great bang for the buck and you can keep saving for better binos.
 
OP
HellsCanyon

HellsCanyon

Senior Member
Rokslide Sponsor
Joined
May 29, 2012
Messages
3,474
Location
Lewiston ID
My only concern is not having enough spotter with the Minox. Am I really going to get behind it and say "Man I'm really glad that I didn't get that Viper 65." Or am I going to be a little upset when after this season wish I had more zoom and buy and save again for another spotter? I really enjoyed using the 20-60 Viper HD and used it mostly on 40-50 power. How does the MD50 compare with sharpness to the Viper HD spotters?

Mike
 

dotman

1
Joined
Feb 24, 2012
Messages
8,201
The minox is really good for it's price point but the viper will be better all around except for weight and space it consumes in the pack. I think the minox personally is a great solo scope for anything other then sheep and goat. Also it would allow you to save up for a better 65mm spotter like the zeiss or swaro. There are always good deals on these. What happens if you start to hunt solo and don't take the viper due to weight and bulk, then it is a purchase not being used.

Just something to think about. My plan now that I have alpha binos and the little minox is to save up for an alpha spotter 65mm or above. I also think the minox will go on many hunting trips due to size and weight when i'm solo and I don't see myself selling it when I upgrade (unless vortex comes out with an HD unit priced between the minox and nikon).
 
Last edited:
OP
HellsCanyon

HellsCanyon

Senior Member
Rokslide Sponsor
Joined
May 29, 2012
Messages
3,474
Location
Lewiston ID
Definitely something to think about... They have the Minox on demo prices right now for $229 at CameraLand.
How usable is it at 30X?

Mike
 

ohhiitznik

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2012
Messages
1,676
Location
Rochester Hills, MI
Ive got the 65mm Viper HD spotter... Yeah it is heavy. But this thing compared to my buddies 5 year old 77mm APO Televid leica is in the same league! Vortex viper in the same league as a leica televid... Yeah I said it. Looking at them side by side comparison sold me even after I bought them. The only advantage the televid had was better in lower light conditions due to the larger diameter. You won't be sorry with a 65mm viper HD
 

Matt Cashell

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Messages
4,110
Location
Western MT
That little Minox is useable at 30x. Those demos are a great deal.

Having some sort of a spotter on every hunt is a requirement for me.
 

sk1

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2012
Messages
1,203
Location
SE Wisconsin
those minox scopes are so cheap i want one just to have it......but it might need to wait til next year(other wants) and that demo price probably wont be around forever!
 
Top