Vortex 18X56 vs 20X56

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I'm getting into desert mule deer hunting and was wondering everyone's thoughts on the Vortex Kaibab HD Binoculars 18X56 vs 20X56. The 20X56 are no longer being made by Vortex but you can still find them online.

Is the extra 2X worth it if both are the same price? Is there a reason Vortex stopped making the 20X56? I'm guessing middle ground between 15X & 20X?

The (18X FOV 194ft) and (20X FOV 168ft) at 1,000 yards.

Would look to pair with a Vortex Razor HD 27-60x85 spotter for final decision on a buck if he is worth putting the time and energy for a stalk. A 10X42 would be around my neck while I'm stalking or quick glass on area before setting up tripod for longer glassing.

Wish I could afford some big binoc's like the Kowa 32x82 High Lander or the Swarovski BTX spotting scope.
 

JNDEER

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Anyone who glasses a lot and had tried the kaibab did not like them. They seem (from those I have talked to and reviews I read) to not be on par with the typical razor quality. If serious about those big glass for glassing I would look at a different brand. Most use swaro.

85 is big and heavy and unless you plan on doing lots of glassing near the truck I don’t think you will get too much out of an 85 from a top end 65– especially when they will all suck with heat waves.
 

Doublewide

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I own the 15x56 kaibab and like them a lot. I live close to Jaret Owens from Alaska guide creations, and talked with him a lot about the big glass before I made my purchase. From what he told me the 20 power on the 56mm objective just doesn’t let the right amount of light get through, so you’ll get a more crisp view through 15’s.. He tried like hell to sell me on a pair of “divorskies” but I just didn’t see a $2000 difference when comparing the two.
 

SCREWLOOSE

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If you are Veteran the 18 Kaibabs are $779 thru their Vet program. I believe it’s $10 shipping.
 

One Track

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10x on a bino strap system. 15x on a quality tripod. For desert mulies, the only reason I would carry a spotter is if I had a lofty goal in mind, and didn't want to go after a buck less than X (like a 190" buck.) If you are in a position to scrutinize that closing, then go for it. But, if you will be happy with any big buck, leave the spotter at home. The 15x are plenty. Or, if you have a hunting buddy, then have him carry a spotter for you. And, the 85 is too big and clumsy for that type of hunting. Even while mounted on a truck window for antelope, etc., it's cumbersome. Sell some stock and get the Swaros.
 
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Thank you all for the replies. Hard decision that won't be made probably until 2019 since I bought the lifetime hunting license and deer tag plus a trail bike and rack this year.

Another reason I want to get a spotter is to be able to look through or into the brush to find deer as well as the field judging part. Not having to pack around an 85 sounds good so I will start looking at 65.

Any more info would be appreciated as I don't want to rush into a big purchase and regret it.
 
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One thing I will add is the spotter would not be for low light situations as my 10X and 15X bino's would most likely be used during those times of day. The spotter would be for deer 1 or 1.5+ miles out there or deer already bedding or standing behind brush before daylight. I'm thinking by the time I scan 1-mile or less with my 10X and/or 15X bino's then there will be enough light out in the morning before switching over to a spotter for very long distances or looking into or through brush. Not that I would be racing around looking with my bino's so I can hurry up and put the spotter on the tripod. Then I see myself really just using the 10X and/or 15X bino's during the last little bit of daylight before dark. Expensive 15X make sense but not sure if I really need an Swaro spotter.

So my question for spotters is there a brand that is crystal clear during good/decent light conditions that is less than $1,600? I'm looking at the Vortex Razor HD 22-48X65 as they got great 2018 reviews for spotters under $2,000.
 

outdoorplay

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I'm thinking of upgrading my Vortex X60,
but I have been really happy with them.
I am normally looking at less a 1/2 mile to 2 miles away.
I have had them for about 10 to 15 years and my eye are not as good as they used to be, but I am finding it harder to find a crisp view when I am zoomed in 90% to 100% which I need to be zoomed in a lot of the time
 

popx5

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I have had the Kaibab 15’s for a few years and like them a lot.. I find a lot of animals with them that I would not of found with the 10 x42 on my neck. I use them on a tripod. I don’t think you will be disappointed.
 
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outdoorplay said:
I'm thinking of upgrading my Vortex X60,
but I have been really happy with them.
I am normally looking at less a 1/2 mile to 2 miles away.
I have had them for about 10 to 15 years and my eye are not as good as they used to be, but I am finding it harder to find a crisp view when I am zoomed in 90% to 100% which I need to be zoomed in a lot of the time
I have never pushed glass to its limit and glad to hear you can see up to 2 miles away. I was wondering about the distance before it heats up in the morning.
 

bearclaw

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I went with the Vultures 15x and dig them, great FOV but they are heavy.

I easily know 10 guys with big spotters, but don't know any that carry them regularly... Don't forget the benefit of higher mag goes out the window when the heat waves start.
 

JNDEER

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Based on what you are describing i think you might be a little off on how you think they will be used. Some can use a spotter for glassing in brush, I for one cannot. I even purchased a pirates patch to cover one eye to see if it would help the eye squinting and it didn't help. So think about that cause most don't use their spotter to glass for long periods of time.

When i upgraded from a 50mm to a middle of the road quality 65mm it was because i was glassing up deer at first light close and far and not able to make out antlers with the 50mm. So, although my binos could see them when trying to use the spotter it didn't help. You will be able to make out deer early morning and that is when you will want the spotter to work at its best. This has been my experience hunting A zone archery in the hot weather were most deer are in bed earlier than later.

I currently have the Nikon Fieldscope III ED 65 and the Vortex Razor gen1 65mm. I could recommend either, but usually have the vortex in my pack as it is slightly crisper and it has a fine focus which makes a HUGE difference getting a clear crisp image quickly. They scopes (Nikon discontinued) i purchased for $600 each. I got a killer deal on the razor so i didn't pass it up.

If it were me before i went and got a 85 or 65 spotter I would head out to where i was thinking of hunting and spend some time glassing/scouting etc to see what i felt i would really need.. and then go from there.
You may feel as if you need to upgrade the binos and go middle of the road spotter or upgrade the spotter and keep the binos.
 

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If I'm being selective I carry a spotter with my 15's... 15's can't do what a spotter does. I'd save up some more and buy Swaros... you wont regret it. Ed F
 
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I'm going to go with the 15X56 Swaros but will probably go with the Vortex Razor HD 85mm spotter. The cost for both to be Swaros is just too high for me plus my wife would probably kill me. Thank you for the input everyone. Now to figure what tripod setup.
 

TheGDog

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Don't get a spotting scope. You'll hardly ever use it. 10x Binos on a Tripod is just fine. With them... you can still see farther away than you'd be able to hike over to in one day. Especially since the terrain often at times won't allow for an easy path over to there.
 

BOWUNTR

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TheGDog said:
Don't get a spotting scope. You'll hardly ever use it. 10x Binos on a Tripod is just fine. With them... you can still see farther away than you'd be able to hike over to in one day. Especially since the terrain often at times won't allow for an easy path over to there.
He's planning on hunting desert Mule deer in open country... I can spot deer at over 2 miles and use my spotter to decide if I want to waste time and energy to go after them. You're severely limiting yourself to only having 10's... Ed F
 
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