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-   -   Binocular bargains (https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=124267)

Kevin Purcell Thursday 30th October 2008 01:05

I would guess that the HP might be similar to or a bit better than the Diamondbacks given it's price point it seemed to be competing in the Monarch price range. The non-HP version don't appear to be phase-compensated (so they're a rather old design) so that would be rather worse view.

I note that the Equinox HP (and the Equinox) have narrower FOV than the Diamondback (which is a nice feature) but wide FOV also comes with less resistance to stray light (unless like Zeiss you work on it!) so they might be more resistant to veiling glare than Diamondback.

As Tero says even the sale items are returnable for a full refund. Order both and pick one! And then write up a comparative review for BF ;)

w.travis Thursday 30th October 2008 01:15

thanks for the replies...I would order both if I had the money to order both...or I would just order one pair that was in the 400 dollar range...I read on eagleoptics.com about the Equinox HP and they seem to have higher technology put into the optics than the Diamondbacks...thanks again and any other comments/suggestions from anyone will still be appreciated.

Kevin Purcell Thursday 30th October 2008 02:28

Much as I like EO I do take some of their writing with a pinch of salt. It is occasionally a bit too "glowing". I saw one mentioning a "generous field of view" for a bin that had by any reasonable measure a narrow field of view.

Plus that writing could have been done sometime back: we've all see high performance from three years ago being eclipsed (e.g see the Vanguard EDT thread and look out for the review ... 8x42 ED bins for $280 shippped? Who good could they possibly be?)

The buy both (and send one back) would just set you back the cost of one, plus shipping (about $10 UPS for me) and perhaps one months interest if you can't cover the cost on the card.

Trying before you decide is the best way to go with bins.

Or wait for FrankD's EDT review. ;)

chartwell99 Thursday 30th October 2008 21:54

[quote=Kevin Purcell;1321851]Much as I like EO I do take some of their writing with a pinch of salt. It is occasionally a bit too "glowing". I saw one mentioning a "generous field of view" for a bin that had by any reasonable measure a narrow field of view.

EO's product descriptions may be occasionally a bit enthusiastic, but their "blow out" deals can make the trip to their website well worthwhile. The best of these in my view is EO's present offer for the Vortex Stokes 10 x 42 DLS at $449, essentially half of the original selling price. These are remarkably good binoculars, offering absolutely top grade Japanese build quality, superb ergonomics and very credible $800+ level optical performance. The Vortex no questions asked warranty is no slouch either. Of all the "binocular bargains" discussed so far, this is the most compelling by a wide margin.

Tero Thursday 30th October 2008 22:38

OK, I checked them out. The 10x Audubon Raptor* has some quality in the build, but is less relaxed in view than my roofs. Even the dof is less or the same than roofs. Stick to 8x on the Raprors. [though those will also have some glare when looking anywhere near the sun] Good price for a waterproof 8x porro. Focusing smooth. Eye cups do not stay out, but I did actually need them at all. I used them with cups in even without glasses.

*http://www.eagleoptics.com/index.asp?pid=3825

NWBirder Thursday 30th October 2008 22:38

I am wondering how those local retailers who still have their Stokes marked at $600 survive in the competition. I thought Vortex was firm on their price. My local store clerk will not budge on the price.

NWBirder Thursday 30th October 2008 22:59

Quote:

Originally Posted by chartwell99 (Post 1322598)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Kevin Purcell (Post 1321851)
Much as I like EO I do take some of their writing with a pinch of salt. It is occasionally a bit too "glowing". I saw one mentioning a "generous field of view" for a bin that had by any reasonable measure a narrow field of view.

EO's product descriptions may be occasionally a bit enthusiastic, but their "blow out" deals can make the trip to their website well worthwhile. The best of these in my view is EO's present offer for the Vortex Stokes 10 x 42 DLS at $449, essentially half of the original selling price. These are remarkably good binoculars, offering absolutely top grade Japanese build quality, superb ergonomics and very credible $800+ level optical performance. The Vortex no questions asked warranty is no slouch either. Of all the "binocular bargains" discussed so far, this is the most compelling by a wide margin.


I will probably seriously consider Razor if their price comes down from where they are right now. With the superior quality of Hawke Frontier ED over Razor, I may just get a Hawke and be done with it.

chartwell99 Thursday 30th October 2008 23:00

Quote:

Originally Posted by NWBirder (Post 1322651)
I am wondering how those local retailers who still have their Stokes marked at $600 survive in the competition. I thought Vortex was firm on their price. My local store clerk will not budge on the price.

Vortex is firm on their price as a general rule but the Stokes DLS 10 x 42 bins are being discontinued. I "need" another 10 power bin like a hole in the head but I simply couldn't resist this one at this price.

Tero Thursday 30th October 2008 23:27

Sounds like a good deal. Everyone needs one good 10x. ;)

Kevin Purcell Thursday 30th October 2008 23:35

Quote:

Originally Posted by chartwell99 (Post 1322598)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Kevin Purcell (Post 1321851)
Much as I like EO I do take some of their writing with a pinch of salt. It is occasionally a bit too "glowing". I saw one mentioning a "generous field of view" for a bin that had by any reasonable measure a narrow field of view.

EO's product descriptions may be occasionally a bit enthusiastic, but their "blow out" deals can make the trip to their website well worthwhile. The best of these in my view is EO's present offer for the Vortex Stokes 10 x 42 DLS at $449, essentially half of the original selling price. These are remarkably good binoculars, offering absolutely top grade Japanese build quality, superb ergonomics and very credible $800+ level optical performance. The Vortex no questions asked warranty is no slouch either. Of all the "binocular bargains" discussed so far, this is the most compelling by a wide margin.

I do find the EO site useful for two thing: price and specs. I have bought quite a few "hot deals" from them (and some regular priced bins).

I have looked through Stoke DLS 8x42 in real life late last summer. Some friends have a pair at a holiday home very near the beach and some saltwater and freshwater lagoon habitats. Unfortunately the only bins I'd brought with me to compare was my Yosemite 6x30 and the Eagle Optics Raptors (Vixen Foresta) 10x42 porros so no direct comparisons for power or for prism type (and both of these bins hit above their price when compared to roofs). I was very enthused though: $800 bins ... they must be great.

But ... I was not as impressed as I thought I'd be! The "Wow" is at low price levels e.g. the wide field would be impressive but I'd felt that with a Diamondback and the EO Raptor is pretty good for a 10x (with better color). The DLS had some other subtle improvements.

FOV is good (7.3 degrees), bright and flat but with notable stray color at the edges of the field. ER was good with eyeglasses. The image is sharp but I suspect not as sharp as the Hawke or Promaster today. I did check for stray stray light control and I suspect they are better than the Diamondbacks (which do have problems with that) but they didn't differ a huge amount from the two porros I had with me. This is not a recent design so those results are not too surprising.

They paid around $800 for them and I rather though them overpriced at that. More time and a couple of other bins would have resulted in a better comparison but they didn't move me for $800 like I thought I should have been moved ;)

Now we have very good ED bins at the $500 and below price point and competition from other bins (like the Razor and Viper) that make one wonder if they were good for their time but not so good now. Both the Hawkes and the Promaster control stray color very well (much better than the DLS at the edge of field where it is worst).

The build quality was good. The grip was excellent: the armor is rather thin but I could wrap my fingers around the barrel (and pointed out how thick the barrel walls are in the plastic enclosure of the Diamondbacks). They felt solid perhaps a little heavier than I'd like: at 26oz heavier than the EO porros but the same as the new EDs.

Next time I'm up there I'll take my bins with me and try a more detailed comparison.

I don't think I'm totally alone in these views either e.g. see

http://www.birddigiscoping.com/2005/...s-leupold.html
http://www.birddigiscoping.com/2007/...42-review.html

The 10x FOV seems narrow too: < 6 degrees.

But perhaps for some the the tradeoff might be worthwhile (the warranty is good!) but I disagree with the last sentence: the new Chinese ED bins are the current bargain. This is Stokes an old model on closeout.

This "mid range bin" region between $200 and $800 is changing dramatically right now with the top end being attacked by $500 bins. I the next year I suspect most of the "brands" including Vortex will have Chinese made ED bins at lower price points. I rather suspect that's why these bins have come to EOL.

FrankD Thursday 30th October 2008 23:45

Let me know how those 8x42 Raptor porros are optically after you guys get them. Tero's comments have me interested but I really don't need another 8x42 porro right now. Still the field of view is very respectable and at that price.....

Tero Thursday 30th October 2008 23:49

The 10x Raptors [see above link, not Kevin's Raptors] reminded me a lot of the 10x Fujinons. And we know of course that the 7x Fujinons were the best of the three.

Kevin Purcell Thursday 30th October 2008 23:54

Quote:

Originally Posted by NWBirder (Post 1322651)
I am wondering how those local retailers who still have their Stokes marked at $600 survive in the competition. I thought Vortex was firm on their price. My local store clerk will not budge on the price.

I think the market they're targeted at aren't that price sensitive or as "well-informed" as we are (read that as "normal people aren't obsessive optic geeks" ;) ).

The folks that had the DLS I played with are retired, upper-middle class, casual birdwatchers (not birders!). DLS stays at their second home where they aren't most of the time. I think that's pretty much the "Stokes" market.

Kevin Purcell Friday 31st October 2008 00:04

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tero (Post 1322721)
The 10x Raptors reminded me a lot of the 10x Fujinons. And we know of course that the 7x Fujinons were the best of the three.

Not the Raptors I'm talking about above are the Eagle Optics Raptors aka Vixen Foresta are essentially a Japanese-made $300 porro and not the Audubon Raptors (which retailed for about half that and are Chinese-made (I think). Though I will do a comparison when they appear.

You'd think with all the birds families out there we'd have fewer name clashes ;)

Audubon Icterids, perhaps?

Or the Promaster Parids? Or the Swift Apodids (perhaps a bit redundant).

Or the Bushnell Fringillids? Hawke Accipters?

Leica Larids? Zeiss Tyrannids (after the Conquest and the Victory what else could it be?)

Plenty of choices. ;)

OwenM Friday 31st October 2008 15:44

Quote:

Originally Posted by NWBirder (Post 1322679)
I will probably seriously consider Razor if their price comes down from where they are right now. With the superior quality of Hawke Frontier ED over Razor, I may just get a Hawke and be done with it.

Can you point me to where that comparison was made? I've apparently missed it...thanks.

NWBirder Friday 31st October 2008 16:05

Quote:

Originally Posted by OwenM (Post 1323108)
Can you point me to where that comparison was made? I've apparently missed it...thanks.

I was google searching Promaster and came upon several sites that have reviewed these binos. There are few places these two were briefly mentioned together by a couple of respected experts. My take-away impression is "Promaster/Hawke is better optically". I need to go back to check Frank's review to decide whether I want a wider angle version from Hawke or narrower angle version from Promaster.

Kevin Purcell Friday 31st October 2008 18:35

Hawke/Promaster reviews from people other than "us"? Do post the links (perhaps on a new thread).

Steve C Saturday 1st November 2008 00:42

I just could not reist this.

http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ...ct_id=10104725

:eek!:

ceasar Saturday 1st November 2008 00:59

Steve,
Re the Walmart Bins link: Why don't you be the first to ask a question? (about them):h?:
Bob

Tero Saturday 1st November 2008 01:13

But Steve, they are extremely portable. They might be worth at least 10 dollars of the price just for that.

The Olympus may be worth a look
http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ...ct_id=10104727

Kevin Purcell Saturday 1st November 2008 02:12

I see they must be collector's items (they're not available in stores and not available online) that would justify that price ;)

Steve C Saturday 1st November 2008 03:19

Says they're in stock. I even got brave and clicked the add to cart button. Still said $7,844.00, ready to ship. I was far too cowardly to go further, lest I inadvertantly hit the wrong button.

ceasar Sunday 2nd November 2008 08:45

Eagle Optics just notified me that they would send me a Binocular for reconfirming my address and e-mail. Now that's a bargain! Even if it is a 7 x 18. It looks like one of the Sportoptics they list.

I wonder if Henry Link is interested in testing it?;)

Bob

Kevin Purcell Sunday 2nd November 2008 21:14

I got one of those too ... not sure to reply or not.

FrankD Wednesday 5th November 2008 16:01

Darn. I didn't get it. ;)

So what is the verdict on those 8x42 Raptors?


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