I had a few hours tonight to go back out and look through the binos at the same location I had been going to. Tonight there was no breeze to start and clear blue bird skies. I first put the binos that I am leaning towards on the crooked horn to get a real life feeling of them on while glassing. With no breeze I found the Zeiss more user friendly. In fact for a while I almost was doubting my choice of the pair I had strapped on. While glassing through the Zeiss I reminds me of looking through a super clear sliding glass door. Like you don’t know the glass is there, it is a smooth appearance for the eyes and very easy for glassing. This revelations were determined glassing a bachelor group of some of CA finest “forked horn nation” specimens. 2 spikes, 2 forky’s and one with balls on the end. All were about 250 yards from me in the yellow grass on the east facing slope.
Because my muscles were very fatigued from working today after a while it became more difficult to stabilize the binos. Some kids had come by and spooked the deer I was looking at and one of the bigger forky’s decided he needed to run and run and run. He finally starting to walk along the hill and was about 1200 yards away or so. I quickly went back and forth holding the HT and SLC. The HT I could tell he had antlers and could see that the tops looked “bigger” but that was about it. It was clear and crisp, I just could not stabilize the image and it bounced around. When I went to the SLC’s I could make out the tops had small forks while just leaning against my jeep. When I put the SLC on my door to get them steady it was very apparent he was a forky. When I tried to put the HT on the jeep door they really started to bounce around. Trying to stabilize the image of the antlers was too difficult and I could not make out the forks. These were small forks as he is still growing, probably something like 2” or so. If the Zeiss were on a tripod a lot more and less just in the hands glassing, the ease looking through them on the eyes I think would be very nice. Edge to edge clarity and crispness between the EL, SLC and HT is almost too difficult to distinguish. The EL/HT show more yellow then the others and I will talk about that some more in a bit. This is really only noticeable if you go back and forth quickly between the binos. If not, your eyes would have to be sensitive to it. The SLC’s continue to impress me with their ability to be not only bright but show the images very clear and crsip. The HT and EL have the larger FOV and show images to be bigger the the SLC’s. Tonight I was using the SLC and glassing the bedded buck at 200 some yards and at 838 (legal last light where I was at, Sunset was at 810) looking on the east facing slope from the valley floor up I could still see the small forks on his head while glassing free hand.
Some side information. One night last week when I was heading out to go try the Zeiss again I found that my crankshaft pulley was broken on my jeep and needed to be replaced. At first I did not know it was it and the knocking noise had me thinking I could have thrown a rod. When this happened some of my thoughts were “well there goes my high end bino’s, I got to settle for something less.” The Jeep is now fixed and running smooth, but I figured I would talk about the cheaper binos some more as if I would have had to potentially buy them. Yes, this means that based on what I have seen they are not optically as good as the more expensive binos when looking through them with my eyes.
Euro vs. Razor. Like I said before the Razors are very very bright. Again tonight glassing up the hill I got that bad glare. I tried moving it around my eyes some, but no dice. I then took off my glasses and pulled out the cups. No glare! So, if you wear glasses be warned that glassing towards the sun or a east facing ridge after sunset may cause glassing issues. After some time the razors, despite being so light, can be adaptable to the hands for glassing. The last 15-20 minutes of light the FOV is still very bright, but I found it harder to stabilize the image. If you could (ie on a tripod) then they would probably be ok for all intents and purposes. They have the brightness of the SLC (not necessarily the detailed clarity, just specifically how bright the images appear) but also show some aspects of the EL/HT. I was glassing a south facing hill with three drainages running east to west. The EL/HT/Razors did not show the depth and curves of the top of the nulls going up and over each little drainage. This hill was nothing but yellow grass. The yellow really stood out on all three binos. Not in a bad way, just very noticeable going back and forth compared to the others. The Euros and SLC showed the rolling nulls and you could see the depth of field as the distance changed from the first null to the top of the hill. They also did not show the yellow as much and I could see that there were grey and tan colored areas on the hill. The Euros are not as bright (again this is just saying the FOV doesn’t appear as bright, but images are very similar) as the razors, but from what I could tell they hold a crisp and clear image a little further to the edges then the Razors. I mostly glass by looking in the general middle of the FOV, so clarity to the edges is not a huge issue, but from what I have seen these past nights is that it makes glassing easier on the eyes if you maximize the clarity and crispness in the whole FOV. This does not mean that cheap binos won’t work for glassing because I have killed animals using cheaper binos and have glassed for hours with no issues. Trying to explain what I mean by “easier” is hard and it may have to be something you need to experience for yourself. The Euros fell way better in my hands and no matter if I am hand holding them or leaning on the hood of the jeep the image stabilizes very nicely. When glassing to the top of the hill as the sun is setting I get no glare with my glasses. They were about the same in clarity for the last 15 or so minutes of light. For both binos when I say they were the same I was looking at the buck with the balls on the top of his antlers bedded in the yellow grass 209 yards away. Both binos could see the antlers and could see there was a “bump” on the tops of the antler, but if there was a small fork on one side or not I think it would have been difficult to tell based on what I was seeing tonight.
I have not talked a lot about the Primes (my original pair). Despite me going to be putting these up for sale here and other sites I will not sugar coat my findings. These are not high end glass, period. After I purchased them I found out they were better then the Diamondbacks and original Razors as that is what I was comparing them to. It is very noticeable while comparing them to the Swaro’s that they lack qualities and tonight I tried to see what exactly that was. I think what I am noticing is that they lack a little of all the qualities, LOL. They are not as bright as any of the other pairs. The biggest thing I notice is that they do not hold crisp clear images as far as the Razors or Euros, this is the big difference. The middle of the FOV is fine (not as crisp as the Razor or Euros, but close), but from the middle area out it is not crisp or clear compared to the others. It starts loosing detail in the middle of the FOV earlier then the others. Probably right after the sun sets (again glassing toward the east slope from the bottom, so it is actually a little darker). But you can still see the “bucks“. Around 20 or so minutes of last light is when the spike bucks appeared to just have “things” growing out of their heads and not actual spikes. I think this may be something to do with my eyes/glasses and diopter as when my brother was comparing them to the Razor/SLC the other night he was not seeing everything as unclear as I was. Not to say they were as good as the SLC or Razors, just maybe not as unclear as what I am describing.
I will be returning them next week. If anyone has anything they would like me to look at before then, just let me know.