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Old Wednesday 17th October 2012, 06:48   #1
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Sub-Comapct...Kowa, Vortex or Hawke

Looking to get my hiking buddy a pair of semi-compacts for around $300. Haven't tried them, and thus can't decide if the Kowa 8x25s, Vortex Viper 8x28s or wait for the Hawke to hit the US. Maybe even Minox 7x28. Compact and lightweight is crucial...making those Hawkes sound appealing, though I don't know how I could get my hands on a pair. Ease of use might be good too, as he usually wears gloves to protect against inevitable falls on shale and whatnot where we hike...making the Minox seem appealing. I am am torn between the seemingly similar Kowas and Vipers. Recomendations?
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Old Wednesday 17th October 2012, 08:53   #2
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First ALL compacts optically suck when compared to the larger 32mm format. Some are just less sucky than others.

That said, this Bushnell Excursion 8x28 is a good value in a compact. Better optically than the tiny Kowa by a considerable margin.
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Old Wednesday 17th October 2012, 14:04   #3
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I tend to agree with Rick's comments to an extent. I think the sub-30 mm models aren't as "user friendly" when it comes to eyeplacement plus they aren't as bright or contrasty as their larger counterparts. This is to be expected of course because of their smaller objectives.

They obviously have their place though as I was recently reminded of.

I do agree about the Bushnell Excursion though and would also throw in the Olympus Tracker and Roamer models if reverse porros are being considered.
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Old Wednesday 17th October 2012, 17:57   #4
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The Pentax 9 x 28 DCF LV is a well designed, easy to use binocular which should work well for your purposes. It may even have been designed for something like that.

It has center focusing and is about the size and weight of the individual focusing Minox 7 x 28. It has long comfortable eye relief and a single central hinge. It's field of view is somewhat narrow at 294' at 1000 yards and it's edges could be sharper but it is not bad for a reasonably priced binocular that is really competing with smaller expensive 10 x 25s.

It is tough enough. Two years ago my son trekked all over northern Chile, southern Peru and the Lake Titicaca region for a month with it. It fell into the lake and survived. On the bright side, he saw a Condor with it. Prior to that my wife, mostly, used it when we traveled. She liked it because it worked well with her glasses. She kept it in her purse. Right now it is my car binocular.

It is a good binocular for this kind of stuff.


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