Optic combos for Western Hunting?

TimberHunter

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Nov 7, 2018
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519
Currently have Maven B.2s 9x45 and Vortex Razor gen 1 15-45-65.

While this combo has worked in the past, I dislike using any spotters due to having to cover or close one eye. Therefore, my spotter gets very little use and at times doesn’t come with me.

My style of hunting includes mainly rifle hunting where I’m either in thick stuff chasing elk or glasses 600yards to 1 miles for mule deer on a tripod.

I’m considering changing it all up….

Option 1:
8x42 binos - spend $700-$1000 (like the Zeiss conquest)
15/18x binos - Spend $500 ish (like the Nikon monarch 5)

Option 2:
8x30/32 spend $700-$1000
15/18x binos - spend $500 ish

Option 3:
8x42 binos - spend $300-$400 (like monarch 7)
15/18x binos - spend $900-$1100

Option 4:
8x30/32 binos: spend $300-$400
15/18x binos - spend $900-$1000


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Rock-o

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Aug 15, 2019
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356
I know it's fun to get new gear but check this out. I glass with the spotter with both eyes open. It was a little difficult at first and I also tried an eye patch. Just takes a little patience in training the brain. Dunno, maybe not everybody can do it. Wasn't my idea, I read it somewhere, maybe here on Rokslide.

As for your options I'd scratch 2 and 4 and would probably choose 3.
 

Hoodie

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Aug 6, 2020
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Oregon Cascades
I'd second trying an eye-patch with your spotter. It was a game-changer for me.

If you're gonna do 8x and 15x (which is a good combo), I'd spend more on the 15x. It's a lot easier to get a good 8x32/8x42 for $500 than it is a good 15x56.
 
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TimberHunter

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I'd second trying an eye-patch with your spotter. It was a game-changer for me.

If you're gonna do 8x and 15x (which is a good combo), I'd spend more on the 15x. It's a lot easier to get a good 8x32/8x42 for $500 than it is a good 15x56.

Any recommendations on good 15s other than swaro SLCs and Zeiss conquest?


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BBob

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Jun 29, 2020
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Southern AZ
Any recommendations on good 15s other than swaro SLCs and Zeiss conquest?
Why not keep your 9x, save a up few more $$$ (if I'm adding right you have $1500 to spend right now) and buy used SLC 15x HD's? I've seen two pair of them on here in the past week for $1800 and $1900. You'd be way better off with SLC's for your long range glassing than a $1K pair.
 
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TimberHunter

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$1500 assuming I sell my Mavens and Vortex spotter for $700-$800 each

My B2s are fairly heavy and don’t 100% wow my eyes (I know they are great binos but my eyes are not fully convinced they are the best bino for me which is what started this whole new search)


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Firehawk

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Jan 29, 2014
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Northern Utah
Any recommendations on good 15s other than swaro SLCs and Zeiss conquest?


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My Meostar B1 15x56 is stellar. I continue to read and hear great things about the Maven B5 and the Conquest. Don't buy a "cheap" 15x as you will eventually just leave it behind. But I love my Maven B2 9x45 and B3 8x30 binos. I can't imagine not liking a B2. Mine had that "wow" factor for my eyes. My B2 replaced a Leica Duovid 8-12x42 as I thought the B2 was superior. But the weight has never bothered me.

I would always say, use a great primary bino first and foremost. Spotter or high mag binos are less likely to be used as often. One exception might be hunting Coues Deer or similar, but for the elk/deer hunting and scouting I do here in the West, my B2 is terrific. Sometimes I have a spotter and other times I have my 15x. Last fall on the Bookcliffs, I used the 15s a lot, way more than my 15-45x65 spotter. But my B2 9x was still my primary use bino.

In your options, I would go Maven B3 8x30 or a good 8x42 bino and try to find a good used Conquest, Meostar, Sig 15x bino and you would have a really good set up. My Maven B3 8x30 is significantly brighter, wider FOV and clearer glass than the Maven C1 8x42 we have. I wouldn't hesitate to hunt with it in your prescribed situation.
 

Hoodie

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Oregon Cascades
Any recommendations on good 15s other than swaro SLCs and Zeiss conquest?


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I think most will steer your towards the Meostar HDs. They are amazing. I had the 12x50 and optically it was probably the best bino I've ever owned. It was just a little too heavy and clunky for a chest bino for me. I wear glasses when hunting as well so Meopta's eye relief is a little short for me.

I tried the Maven B5 15x56 and they were incredibly sharp at the center, very bright, but edge clarity was a little lacking. Little bit of chromatic aberration at the edges too, which the B2 also shows. Still a good bino.

If 15mm of eye relief is enough for you, you'd be hard pressed to find a better value than the Meopta. Worth saving for in my opinion.
 

StevenSkins

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Jul 19, 2021
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Location
Phoenix, Az
I think it’s nice to have options. Depending on the hunt. I hunted Coues deer for a while with just a pair of kaibab 15’s. I could hang with guys with Swarovski 15’s but started to notice the difference when looking into the sun and low light.

Then I added a leupold gold ring spotter for verification once I found them. I just added a pair of 10x42 maven b1’s. I probably won’t carry all three but it’s nice to have options depending on where/what I’m hunting.
 

Socal858

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Feb 28, 2021
Messages
93
I think it’s nice to have options. Depending on the hunt. I hunted Coues deer for a while with just a pair of kaibab 15’s. I could hang with guys with Swarovski 15’s but started to notice the difference when looking into the sun and low light.

Then I added a leupold gold ring spotter for verification once I found them. I just added a pair of 10x42 maven b1’s. I probably won’t carry all three but it’s nice to have options depending on where/what I’m hunting.
I’m running a similar combo but moved from 15x to 20x kaibabs. Loved my 15x, going into this season with 20x. We’ll see how it goes.
 

Beendare

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In Traffic
So much depends on your budget and the way you hunt. You you’ll get answers all over the map just for those reasons.

A10x bino is probably the most versatile. I like the 8x binos for most stuff then use my 10x in open country. I prefer my Meopta 15’s over my spotter for sitting and glassing big country with a tripod. The spotter just gathers dust most of the time.

I hunt pigs deer and elk out west (mostly) i too rarely use a spotter for a couple reasons; Eye relief is a big deal and 15x binos are some much more comfortable. Im not counting every inch of antler so 15x is plenty of magnification For me.

On the other end of the spectrum is my guide buddy. He spends a considerable amount of time just finding big animals, antlers matter. Thus he uses Swaro BTX/95mm and 12x swaros.
 
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TimberHunter

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So much depends on your budget and the way you hunt. You you’ll get answers all over the map just for those reasons.

A10x bino is probably the most versatile. I like the 8x binos for most stuff then use my 10x in open country. I prefer my Meopta 15’s over my spotter that just gathers dust most of the time.

I hunt pigs deer and elk out west (mostly) i too rarely use a spotter for a couple reasons; Eye relief is a big deal and 15x binos are some much more comfortable. Im not counting every inch of antler so 15x is plenty of magnification For me.

On the other end of the spectrum is my guide buddy. He spends a considerable amount of time just finding big animals, antlers matter. Thus he uses Swaro BTX/95mm and 12x swaros.

What 15x’s have you used and how do you like them?


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AZ_Hunter_2000

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Oct 8, 2019
Messages
945
Keep your 9s for hunting in thick stuff. Put them on a tripod for glassing (if you are not already doing so).

Save your money and buy a quality pair of 12s, 15s, or 18s. Glassing for extended periods of time with inferior glass leads to eye fatigue which leads to less time glassing which leads to fewer animals found.

Always take “I can glass Y distance with X magnification” claims with a grain of salt. The primary reasons are everyone’s eyes are different and you’re not being told the complete story.
 

Hatchet Jack

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Mar 14, 2016
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589
Location
Arizona
no question i'd rather have 1 set of good 10x or 12x glass than 2, 3 or 10 pairs of mediocre glass.

I used to carry Leica 10x42, Meopta 15x56 and a 66mm Kowa. Traded the binos in for 12x50 swaros and also throw a zeiss 85 or kowa 66 spotter in the pack depending on how many miles i'm going. It's a great setup.
 

Socal858

Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2021
Messages
93
Not sure there’s a correct answer because I currently run mediocre glass and not because I can’t afford it but rather I don’t feel undergunned. I’ve glassed through alpha binos and see a bit of a difference but not enough to justify, then again I’ll probably always be a Costco value shopper. I run vortex viper HD’s as my 10x and love them.
 

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