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  1. #1

    Default Spotting scope vs. High Mag. Binos

    I am looking at getting either the vortex 15x50 Viper binos or the vortex 11-33x50 Vortex razor. I like the idea of having a great field of view but, I also like the idea of being able to zoom in on an animal. I just want to know what kind of experiences you guys have and what you would recommend strictly for glassing.

  2. #2


    What kind of hunting are you doing? They each have different purposes.

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    The binos will allow you to acquire your target quicker. The scope with more magnification will allow you to see more detail. Another option is a bracket that is made to mount both optics on the tripod. This would be the best case scenario.
    I know the voices in my head aren't real, but sometimes they have some good idea's.

  4. #4


    Southern Idaho and South Central Idaho big open country

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    I just bought the Viper HD in 15x50 for this purpose. I like a high power bino for extended glassing periods, it's much easier on my eyes. I still keep the spotter handy for when I need to take a closer look at something.

  6. #6


    If you like 15x50 binoculars don't forget there are other options in the 15x-25x X 56-80 Obj that you may want to consider if size is not a huge concern.

    The Canon makes a 15x and 18x x 50 with IS that gets high marks from folks who really know binoculars.

    In the end probably the biggest factor is what you current have for binos. If you currently have something similar to a pair of viper 8x binos I'd recommend selling them and getting the best pair of 8x or 10x binoculars you can afford. IMO better to have 1 pair of alpha binos than 2 other binos/spotter.

  7. #7


    I run vortex razor 10x42 binos right now

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    Binos are for glassing, spotters are for judging; it's really that simple. You can glass with a spotter, but not very effectively for very long.

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    I would get both. It's much easier to find animals with 15's than a spotting scope of that size. Once you find the animals, you can switch to the spotter to get a better look if needed.

    That said, I'd recommend a Kowa TSN-501 or a Leupold Gold Ring 15-30x50 before I'd recommend the little Vortex.
    "The man on top of the mountain didn't fall there." ~ Vince Lombardi

  10. #10


    Quote Originally Posted by JWhunter View Post
    I run vortex razor 10x42 binos right now
    That certainly makes a difference. I kinda doubt you will notice much improvement in spotting ability going from a 10x42 Razor to a 15x50 Viper. Especially at low light conditions those Razors are going to be much brighter.

    I also think you will have the same issue at low light with the little razor spotter as adjustable magnification eye pieces severely limit light, especially toward the max magnification where I suspect it would be used most in the 25x range.

    I just don't know that you are going to do be able to see a whole lot more with either of those 2 choices compared to your 10x42's on a tripod.

    If you are thinking you prefer binoculars I would go up to at least a 15x56 such as the Vulture or Kaibab. That bigger objective will help during low light conditions and give you a wider FOV. If you have never looked through a pair of 80MM Steiners they might be worth a look if you have a dealer nearby. 20x80 Steiners are pretty nice for looking over big country.

    If you are thinking a spotter I'd go with something a little bigger for more light transmission and so you won't have to use it at max magnification.

    I hope to some day get to look through these as I also like big binos.

  11. #11


    If you are not going to use a tripod for your bino's then do not go more then 12 power. I had this conversation with Vortex and that is what they suggested.
    You can't get lost if you don't care where you are going.

  12. #12


    I will be using big binos on a tripod.

  13. #13


    Last year I spent many hours behind some Swarovski 10x42 SLC HDs, 15x56 HDs, and a 25-50x80 STSHD. They all took turns on what I believe to be the BEST tripod in the world, the outdoorsmans.

    After months ouf using them extensively I came to these conclusions:

    No matter what glass you have, they need to be in top of a high quality tripod whenever possible. Don’t scrimp on the tripod.

    No matter what you need the best pair of 10x42, 8.5x42 ect type binos you can get.

    No matter what you need a high end top tier spotter with a Wide Angle eyepiece.

    No matter what you don’t need a pair of high power 15s unless you already have the three other items first. I’ll take my 10x42 swaros on a good tripod over ANY vortex or second tier binos of any size. I found that with my 10x42s and my spotter taking turns on my tripod was all I really Needed. If you already have top end 8 or 10 power binos, tripod, and spotter, then 15s are a nice (heavy) addition.

    What I’m saying is when it comes to glass a garage with one Ferrari is better that a garage with 20 fords.

    If you have mid tier binos, don’t go and buy a larger version of those just to have them. Sell the ones you have and use the money to buy top tier versions of the ones you have.

    If you have top end binos use the money to get a high end tripod. Top end 10x binos on a good tripod will outperform 15 power binos on a crappy tripod.

    Don’t forget the value of a 25-50x wide angle eyepiece over a 20-60x eyepiece either.

    Just saying.
    Last edited by Stubaby; 06-13-2018 at 07:52 PM.
    "that's a special feeling, Lloyd"

  14. Default

    Some really good points. Brady Miller just had a great write-up about this issue on the gohunt website.
    And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul.

    "The cities are for money, but the high-up hills are purely for the soul." Louis L'Amour

  15. #15


    I personally like the 10x42 and 65mm spotter combination for central Idaho big open country.

    Magnification there when desired and if you've got a good spotter you can glass with it for longer than many expect. Oftentimes I have many good-looking areas I'm checking out and the versatility to look miles away with the spotter is beneficial. The 10x42 covers the bases well for glassing up anything inside 2 miles. Mule deer guys go for the 15x binos more often and I think for good reason. You'd still likely need a 15x and a spotter though to really check out an animal. Elk are a lot easier to spot and a 10x42 will be adequate to find elk for a long time and then the spotter complements for judging or long distance spotting.

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