View Full Version : Compact Binoculars question?

09-26-2012, 05:07 PM
I was considering buying a pair of 10x25mm binoculars and was curious if anyone out there carries these with them for any reason? I have a 80mm swarovski spotting scope and a 10+15x50mm leica duovid that I use when trophy hunting. My thought on owning a quality pair of compact binoculars is that they would be nice having while bird hunting or just hiking in general. My duovids are way to heavy to justify bringing with on a bird walk or while going on a nature walk. Does anyone have any other good uses that come to mind for compact binoculars that will help me pull the trigger on a pair? Any suggestions on what pair to go with?

6mm Remington
09-26-2012, 09:42 PM
I love my compact binoculars and carry then all the time. If I did not own them, a 32mm would be the largest binocular I would personally purchase. I have a pair of Leica Ultravid 10x25 compact glasses that I really am impressed with. They have great clarity and resolution, and are a piece of cake to carry. I used them on my Mountain Goat hunt last year and loved them. My son uses a pair of Leupold Gold Ring compacts, 9x25 that are also very good binoculars. Good luck with whatever you chose.

09-27-2012, 12:37 PM
9x28 pentax are pretty nice.

I did notice in low light they were worse than my 10x43

but high quality compacts are nice to have!

09-28-2012, 04:33 PM
Thanks David and Husky.

I still am a bit hesitant on what brand or how "high end" to go with. I'm not a "budget shopper". I can't stand putting a dollar limit on my purchase as I usually end up having buyers remorse and wishing I would have gone with the pair just out of my budget. Typically I end up purchasing what I think is the best or what is best for the money.

The suggested bino's all look nice with quite a price difference. There sure isn't a whole lot of "side by side" reviews of compact binos. I can't find a place close by that sells a bunch of the top end models so I will probably be buying online. With that being said, does anyone else have any input on high end compact binoculars?

Bitterroot Bulls
09-28-2012, 04:55 PM
Well, it is not often that I disagree with 6mm Rem, but I do here. The exit pupil on compacts is so tiny they are just too dim for me in low light. Optical quality can't make up for the physics of a small exit pupil, even in the compacts from the best Euro names. They are good for a quick look in good light, but for serious glassing, I think the "mid-size" 32mm glass is a better choice.

6mm Remington
09-28-2012, 05:03 PM
BB is correct that a 32mm would be better for all around use and yet they aren't so large to be a burden to carry. BB knows his stuff. Make him show you a moose picture that he just got in Alaska. By the way BB, good for you guys!


Bitterroot Bulls
09-28-2012, 05:36 PM
Thanks David!

I got a few looks with that thing in the pickup on US 93 on the way to the Beetleguy.

Here is the EF thread:


09-28-2012, 08:00 PM
Very nice bull. Saying I'm envious would be an understatement.

I hear your argument for the 32 mm binos bitterroot and I understand that the 25mm will be sub par in last minute light. I have my big game binoculars for those situations. I was just looking for a double hinge binocular that could be thrown into a shirt pocket during a pheasant or grouse hunt. I don't want to put a 2.7 lbs weight around my shoulders when walking for birds (the extra weight doesn't bother me when I'm hunting big game as I'm much more ambitious about that). The area I hunt has muledeer, whitetail, pheasants, grouse, turkeys, bighorn sheep, mountain lions, coyotes, fox, sometimes elk and moose. Needless to say there's a lot to miss when you're walking a coulee for pheasants or grouse and your bino's are in the truck because they're to heavy (maybe I'm just lazy).

I'm starting to lean a little more towards steiner 10.5x28 Wildlife Pro Binocular or maybe a used leica ultravid 10x25/swarovski 10x25 if I can find one.

Bitterroot Bulls
09-28-2012, 10:03 PM
In that case, cut your losses with a lower magnification compact, as that will increase apparent brightness, reduce shake with a light binocular, and increase field of view. Your uses don't benefit much from higher magnification.

6x or 7x would be good. 8x is as high as I would go.

09-29-2012, 05:42 AM
BB is spot on, I can hold 13-15x full size binos steadier than my 9x28 Pentax I picked up at a garage sale real cheap. I'd definitely look for a 6 or 7x if I was spending the kind of money you are looking at. I have a pair of 8x30 Steiner predators also that I picked up cheap a few years ago and they are way more usable than the pentax. They are much heavier but easier to look through. Tough to, they have been bouncing around in the glovebox of the Polaris Ranger for several years and still work fine.

09-29-2012, 07:25 AM
Thank you all for your help. I thought I had my choice narrowed down but I can see I have more to consider, which is why I asked this question to a bunch of nice fella's like yourselves. I prefer real hunters opinions over sales people any day.

09-29-2012, 10:12 PM
So I found a place that sells swarovski and leica 25mm binoculars and got a chance to test them out. The problem was they only had the binos in 10x. I'm not sure if my problem was I couldn't hold a 10x steady enough, like bitter said, or my expectations were set to high (maybe both). I couldn't get near as clear of an image as I get from my full size leica binoculars. I decided that neither pair were worth 700-800 bucks to me.

So it was back to internet shopping. I was pretty close to going with the pentax that husky had mentioned (it had the most reviews, probably due to the fact it was mentioned in field and stream some time back as an editors choice...it had pretty good reviews). But in the end I decided that compact is really what I'm going for in this purchase so I went with a $150 pair of minox 8x24. At least my expectations are already lowered quite a bit and there's a chance for me to be pleasantly surprised with the lower price tag.

Thanks for all your help

Eric Bailey
02-22-2013, 12:09 PM
Anybody have a pair of Bushnell Legend Ultra-HD 8x36? What do you think?

05-26-2013, 08:57 PM
Just finished turkey season with zeiss victory 10x25 compacts.Great glasses,light,easy to focus,very compact,waterproof.I'll use my 10x42's for big game,but the compacts are for the birds!Larry