What binos do you guys take into the back country when packing in? I really want to sell my leupold golden rings and get something lighter. My neck can't take another hunt.
I bet if you start a thread with that question, you are going to get a wide variety of answers. I would be interested to hear. Personally, I don't skimp on the glass, even on deep backcountry hunts. It is a full-size 10X42 that I take (currently SLCs, although it has been, and will be others, including the mentioned ED2s). A good bino harness, and I don't really notice the weight.
It will be an interesting thread.
Look at the Steiner line. They have excellent quality glass and I can look through mine all day long and never strain. They don't break the bank and for the money I think are hard to beat. I have the Steiner Merlin 10x42's. They cost me around $800 when I bought them 4.5 years ago. I think they're in the $500 - $600 range now.
I shipped the Zen ED2's back today. They are nice glass but they allowed me to send them back in exchange for the ED3'S. I let you know what I think when I get them.
I recently heard about the ED3s myself.
I will be waiting for your impressions, elkhunter.
In your price range I would look at Minox. Go to .....www.cameralandny.com... they are sponsers on a lot of hunting sites and they know optics. They will answer any questions you have, I have never heard a bad word about them and I have been seeing guys post up a lot of good things and good prices about camera land for a long time on a lot of hunting sites.