which is more important to have high quality first, spotter or binos?

sk1

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what's everyones opinion on which optic is more important to have high quality first, for elk hunting out west in general.

pull the trigger in a month on vortex viper hd 10x42's or keep on saving for a good spotter first.....i want to purchase binos first, but my binos work fine imo, and then have to wait that much longer for a spotter

my current optics bino or spotter arent the greatest, both redfield's
 

Drelk

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Get the binos. I live with my leica 10x42s around my neck in the spring and fall. The spotting scope definitely doesn't get a lot of use archery elk hunting. IMHO
 

dotman

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Here is what I did, (edit) picked up Zeiss conquest hd 8x42 for binos and a minox md50 for spotter. I feel this is a great elk, deer and bear setup. Now I can save for a bigger spotter :)

Luke Moffat should have a review on the minox up in the next few weeks but for $229 from cameralandny you will be hards pressed to find a better scope under $500.

This also allows you some versatility and then you can save up fora good 80mm spotter.
 
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Ryan Avery

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It depends on where you live. I live in a brush hole! So I went with higher end bino's.
 

sreekers

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For me, the vast majority of the time i would pick the spotter first. There is a far better selection of midrange Binos imo that can get you through. When it comes to actually judging the animals you are looking at from a distance the spotter gets the majority of the use.
 
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sk1

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Here is what I did, went with the vortex viper hd 8x32 from elknut for binos and a minox md50 for spotter. I feel this is a great elk, deer and bear setup. Now I can save for a bigger spotter :)

Luke Moffat should have a review on the minox up in the next few weeks but for $229 from cameralandny you will be hards pressed to find a better scope under $500.

This also allows you some versatility and then you can save up fora good 80mm spotter.

pretty good idea dotman, how do you like your md50 do you feel like it was worth the money? id go with 10x42 for binos, just my personal preference

also did you consider the vortex 2x doubler? i was considering that route as well, but that md50 might be the way to go
 

dotman

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Really like it, I would have easily paid 3x what I did. Half the weight of 65mm, clear and compact. Look at the minox md50 thread there is a link to my first test digiscoping on a lunch break.
 
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sk1

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cool, thanks ill check it out tonight, this sounds exactly like what im looking for.....that way i can take my time saving up for the spotting scope for the 2013 season, and have a nice compact one when i want to go travel light
 

Rizzy

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I would get the Binos first. I use my 8x42 when hunting more than the spotter by a long shot, but I'm hunting mostly in tight, steep, thick country here. In fact sometimes I leave the spotter in the truck. Scouting is the other way around, I use the spotter a lot. Be careful with the lower end spotters, they are not pleasant to look through compared to tripod mounted binoculars (no depth perception). I have learned the hard way with that one....lol
 

dotman

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I would get the Binos first. I use my 8x42 when hunting more than the spotter by a long shot, but I'm hunting mostly in tight, steep, thick country here. In fact sometimes I leave the spotter in the truck. Scouting is the other way around, I use the spotter a lot. Be careful with the lower end spotters, they are not pleasant to look through compared to tripod mounted binoculars (no depth perception). I have learned the hard way with that one....lol

I agree you do have to be careful, thank goodness minox came out with a mid priced option that is great. Like bows optics quality has increased ten fold in the last few years.
 

Ross

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I would go with the binos over the spotter, as in my eyes your binos are your second most important piece of equipment behind your weapon. Like Ryan I live in brush, but on my hunts in both Idaho and Montana the binos are in constant use during rifle season and I seldom use a spotter, having my 10x42 Leica always around my neck.
 

Matt Cashell

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This is a tough question.

As stated above, the two options are:

1. Buy a nice binocular and use it. Buy what you can for a spotter, and save to replace/supplement it. Dotman's MD50 option is awesome with this choice, because it is good enough to continue using as a supplement, even if you spring for a top quality big spotter later. If you could swing the Nikon ED50, all the better.

2. Buy a nice spotter, and get a decent binocular. This option has wisdom as well, as the performance gap between binoculars is relatively small, while it is much bigger in spotters. Also optical quality is more critical in a spotter as you are dealing with higher magnifications, and you use it for more detailed observation.

My leaning is towards option #1, but there is no wrong answer, IMO.

My style of hunting is more optics reliant than the hunting Ross describes, and I would feel naked without a spotter of some type in open country hunting.
 

Lawnboi

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Im not optics expert here, but i would say that it would depend alot on what and where your hunting.

I know, as stated above, that i would feel naked without a spotter in a few spots iv hunted.
 

couesbitten

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I'd go with dotman's suggestion. You're going to spend hours looking through your binos, and short periods of time looking through your spotting scope. I already have a pair of Leica Geovids, and my son is using a pair of Leupold Pinnacles, now we just need a good spotting scope to go with it, and I'm looking to get the minox MD50 for packing, before getting something bigger.
 

luke moffat

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Binos first for me as I generally use the binos to find what to put in my spotter. :D That said I would be perfectly happy likely with $500 binos and a $1500 Vortex Razor HD. Neither extreme high end but you budget that much for each bino and spotter and you'll be a very happy camper for $2K in optics. Of course I have now have nearly $5K in my optics setup between my binos and spotter, but I would be willing to bet I wouldn't spot that many less critters with a $2K setup, just hard to go back in optics quality once you've taken the leap. :D
 

7mag.

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First of all, if you buy optics based on what you can afford right now, instead of what you know is quality, you are wasting money. Secondly, I saved my money and bought a Swaro spotter a few years ago, and it has changed how I hunt. Best piece of gear I own. I have mid level binos, that work fine, but I went through several cheaper spotters before I finally spent my money wisely. I hunt mostly black tails in brushy Western Washington, and I use my spotter all the time. I see more game than I ever used to.
 
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