1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hey Guest, We're having our annual Winter Moot and we'd love you to come. PLEASE LOOK HERE to secure your place and get more information.
    For forum threads CLICK HERE
    Dismiss Notice

Binos or scope? Your thoughts please

Discussion in 'Brights, Gizmo's & toys' started by AndyJDickson, Apr 14, 2012.

  1. AndyJDickson

    AndyJDickson Full Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2011
    Messages:
    191
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Northern Ireland
    Hi,

    Have been doing a lot of hunting around with regarding buying my first proper set of binos/spotting scope but haven't been able to decide which. Like the idea of a scope but am happy to take either depending on ease of use/performance and value.

    I would love to hear your thoughts and pic your brains. Any help would much appreciated

    Andy

    Sent from my HTC Salsa C510e using Tapatalk
     
  2. British Red

    British Red M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2005
    Messages:
    25,481
    Likes Received:
    301
    Location:
    Mercia
    Generally bins for wide field of view...7 or 8 times maximum, roof prsim type. These are for "spotting" game. Scopes are generally higher magnification and for observing rather than spotting. Clearly range and terrain feature. If hunting stag over wide open moorland, a scope is the way to go. If hunting game amongst hedgrow, woodland and otherwise obstrcuted terrain, high magnification narrows the area observed and adds nothing

    Red
     
  3. cbr6fs

    cbr6fs Native

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2011
    Messages:
    1,620
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    Bino's at the start of a stalk, then the rifle scope for closer work.
     
  4. ged

    ged Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2009
    Messages:
    4,954
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Left BCUK until forum software gets fixed. See 'A
    If you like the idea of a 'scope, why not try to borrow one for a while? I can almost guarantee you won't use it as much as you think you will, but they do have a few advantages. For the same aperture, magnification and quality of optics they're generally a lot lighter and a lot more compact because there's only one set of optics. The focus arrangement is simpler because there's only one light path to focus, and there's no alignment issue. All that means, other things being equal, they'll be cheaper.

    But frankly they're a bit of an acquired taste. If you're using both eyes they help each other, and you can see things with binoculars especially in poor light which you might miss with a telescope of the same power. I keep a monocular in the tank bag on the bike purely because space is at a premium. I might have one in my pocket if I go out walking because it's so small and light compared with binoculars. But if I'm going somewhere specifically to look at things, then I take binoculars. I keep binoculars in the car -- out of sight.

    When you get to very high magnifications (more than about 20 times) then the slightest misalignment makes binoculars almost unusable. So at higher magnifications it will always be a telescope. You need a tripod or something similar for anything with magnification more than about ten times unless the optics has image stabilization. There are binoculars with active image stabilization that make a hand-held device with 20 times magnification very possible. They're a joy to use but they're very expensive.

    My advice for a first pair would be something in the range of 7x40 to 8x50 binoculars, the best ones you can afford if you're planning to keep them for a while. I already have several in that range and a few outside it, but if somebody gave me a blank cheque and told me I had to to go out and buy something optical as a present for myself it would be binoculars, in that range of size and magnification, but top of the range optics. I wouldn't consider a monocular or telescope at all.
     
  5. Osprey

    Osprey Forager

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    211
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Aberdeenshire
    What Ged said !
    I would get a pair of bins first, then a scope.
     
  6. bikething

    bikething Full Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2005
    Messages:
    2,568
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    West Devon, Edge of Dartymoor!
    What are you planning on using them for? birdwatching? general use? hunting? will you be static or mobile?
     
  7. vizsla

    vizsla Native

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    Messages:
    1,517
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Derbyshire
    Id always say get binos first mine go everyware with me. Even if you get a spotting scope unless your planning on sitting in a known wildlife location were the scope is ideal you will still need binos to find the wildlife first as you cant realy walk round with a spotting scope at hand. Do your resourch but most of all go to a shop and try them as everyones eyes and head shape take to different binos dont just buy the most expensive presuming they will be best for you. I tried upto 10 pairs not knowing the price and make and picked the ones that suited me best luckily they were about £140 and not the nikon ones that were twice as much
     
  8. Manacles

    Manacles Settler

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2011
    Messages:
    596
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    No longer active on BCUK
    I would always go for binos first. Scopes can be weighty and are less adaptable in the field. Also good scopes can be quite expensive in comparison to binoculars.
     
  9. wingstoo

    wingstoo Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

    Joined:
    May 12, 2005
    Messages:
    2,271
    Likes Received:
    38
    Location:
    South Marches
    I was always told that Bino's are for looking for your "Target" whereas a Scope is for observing it.
     
  10. geordienemisis

    geordienemisis Settler

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2010
    Messages:
    529
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Newcastle upon Tyne
    I would go for Binos because they are a bit easier to transport whereas a scope tends to be handled more carefully because of the large price tag I think. I have recently got myself a pair of Bushnell one which are really good.
     
  11. British Red

    British Red M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2005
    Messages:
    25,481
    Likes Received:
    301
    Location:
    Mercia
    I've just realised that the OP used "hunting" in a completely different way than I undersatnd the term - oops - sorry :eek:
     
  12. nodd

    nodd Nomad

    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    Messages:
    485
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    liverpool
    I would go for a good quality pair of binoculars first the best you can afford. Set your self a price range to work in and compare as many different pairs as possible. The more you pay the better they get mid price is reckoned to be around £400- 600 mark with top end being £1200 -£1600 there are bargains to be had in all ranges.

    I am using Opticron 8x42 DBA S Coat ex display model I picked up for £300 list being £599 when I bought them.

    You will find that if you do a lot of viewing over open water then a spotting scope is handy. Same rules apply when buying scopes.

    This site is worth looking at for advice http://www.birdforum.net/

    Neil
     
    #12 nodd, Apr 14, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2012
  13. blacktimberwolf

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2011
    Messages:
    3,860
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Elsewhere
    I'd go with binoculars too for ease of carrying & rapidity of use(just whip 'em out & point)...I have a pair of 10x50 & 12x50 which are great but heavy........in fact I mostly use a small pair of 10x25 which fit into a coat pocket, don't even realise they're there until I need them. more than adequate for general everyday use.
     
    #13 blacktimberwolf, Apr 14, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2012
  14. jacko1066

    jacko1066 Native

    Joined:
    May 22, 2011
    Messages:
    1,689
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    march, cambs
    Hi Andy, in your original post do you want to no about binoculars vs monoculars?
    I think a few people on here think your after a rifle scope pal!!

    Cheers
    Steve
     
  15. ged

    ged Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2009
    Messages:
    4,954
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Left BCUK until forum software gets fixed. See 'A
    The original post was perfectly clear, but some people here do seem to have a little weapons bias. :yikes:

    To most people a spotting scope means something like you can see here:

    http://www.warehouseexpress.com/spotting-scopes/c2015

    That was just the first hit on a Bing search for "spotting scope".

    A couple of features common on spotting scopes that you either don't get so often or don't get at all with binoculars all are zoom optics (not common on binoculars) and a choice of eyepieces (I've never heard of them on binoculars). For some 'scopes you can even get inverting eyepieces for looking at things deliberately upside-down. That might seem strange, but because astronomical telescopes generally invert the image, astronomical charts (for example of the moon) are often printed in the same way. If you want to find your way around the features of the moon and you have an inverted chart, it's a lot easier if you also have an inverting telescope. I should have mentioned this in my earlier post but I didn't think astronomy was high on the agenda.
     
    #15 ged, Apr 15, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2012
  16. santaman2000

    santaman2000 M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2011
    Messages:
    15,980
    Likes Received:
    696
    Location:
    Florida
    +1 on this. I have the larger full sized binos (10 x 50) under the seat of the truck; the smaller, compact ones (10 x 25) are usually on me or in my pack when out and about.
     
  17. nodd

    nodd Nomad

    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    Messages:
    485
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    liverpool
    I too have a pair of pocket size binoculars 8x20 leica trinovids, I bought these first then a leica 77 spotting scope with a fixed 32x eye piece I used this combination for quite sometime. Now I have my 8x42 Opticrons I use these more for field trips and surveys. Keeping the leicas if space and weight is a problem. As for weight the opticrons are about 700 grams the leica's are 235 grams the scope is 2.1 kg plus tripod or monopod or hide clamp.

    The leica's for their size are optically very good but full size binoculars give just that bit more, better light gathering and all that. Some people find a pair of 8x32 binoculars a good compromise for size weight and performance.
     
    #17 nodd, Apr 15, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2012
  18. 21st century pict

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2011
    Messages:
    1,116
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    on the heather
    Only a 8x30 but around half the size and weight of binoculars. I’ve used this scope for years now and it has always preformed perfectly.


    [​IMG].[​IMG]

    Specifications .

    Objective Lens. 30 mm
    Magnification. 8x
    Field of view @ 1000m. 131
    Minimum Focusing Distance. 5m
    Length. 139mm
    Width. 49mm
    Weight. 252g
    100 % waterproof.
    10 year guarantee.
    Around £70
     
    #18 21st century pict, Apr 24, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2012
  19. peaks

    peaks Settler

    Joined:
    May 16, 2009
    Messages:
    722
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Derbys
    +1 for Opticron.
    Bought one at Xmas after reading a similar thread on here and am really chuffed with it. I've several pairs of bins, but tend to take this when out walking. Its tough and easy to use and really good optical quality.
     
  20. ged

    ged Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2009
    Messages:
    4,954
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Left BCUK until forum software gets fixed. See 'A
    That looks a great bit of kit. I've had a few Opticron bino's and they've all been fine. I think the only thing that I would want to change in that spec. is the minimum focus distance. Often I find myself wanting to focus at only a couple of metres and it's really annoying when you can't quite do it.
     
    #20 ged, Apr 24, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2012

Share This Page