best night vision binoculars for night time wildlife viewing

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joselcollin
Mensajes: 26
Registrado: Jue May 02, 2019 7:46 am

best night vision binoculars for night time wildlife viewing

Notapor joselcollin » Dom Sep 08, 2019 1:07 am

Hello,

I have read tons of threads on this forum and others regarding vintage binoculars and I am very much interested. My dad has an old sears discoverer 7x35 wide angle that I thought was fantastic back when I was a kid. And those memories has sparked my interest in vintage binoculars, as a matter of fact I have ordered 2 Jason Clippers, a 7x35, and an 8x40, and a Sans & Streiffe 8x30, I also have a bid in on a Sears Discoverer Wide angle. This is super exciting for me and I hope to give my son one of these pairs or another that I will probably buy in the near future. He loves watching birds at our feeder.

My question is, all of the threads on these old binoculars do not address nighttime viewing and I have a need for that due to hogs rooting up my veggies and yard. I'm thinking that the euro glass (Zeiss, Steiner) would be the best for that, but was hoping someone more knowledgeable than me could point me to something a little cheaper... So, to break it down, I'm looking for suggestions for a <$100 pair of vintage binoculars to help me out. Thanks for reading my long winded post.

danielhowell
Mensajes: 146
Registrado: Sab May 11, 2019 1:13 am

Re: best night vision binoculars for night time wildlife viewing

Notapor danielhowell » Dom Sep 08, 2019 1:09 am

for night viewing you want a bin with big exit pupil which is the objective diameter divided by the magnification. Usually bins are built with exit pupils from 2.5 to 7mm which is also the range which the eye pupil of a young person can take. Older persons only reach 5 or even 4mm at night.

So a 7x50, 8x56 or similar would be best. As for a good buy, I would recommend a cold-war era soviet ZOMZ BPW1 in 7x50 which is very nice indeed. The ZOMZ BPU1 7x50 is an unchanged later version. These can be had for around 50€ on euro ebay sites.

Unlike other eastern block optics the yellow tint is very slight in this one - like old CZJ. It's extremely sharp in the center and has a large sweet spot up to 85% or so. The view is very relaxed due to the big exit pupil and the depth of field is exellent - no need to use focussing wheel a lot. Field of view is [email protected] which is not super wide but also not narrow. It's quite bright despite the fact the the coatings are certainly not the latest kind (mine is from 69 - the first two digits of the serial # are the year of manufacture). There is also later examples around labelled Made in Russia - the older Made in USSR/CCCP ones are usually of better quality although the later ones might have upgraded coatings. There is also a review on cloudynights for this bin.

Another option is of course a CZJ Binoctem/Jenoptem 7x50 although you probably won't find a good one at $100 and there's fakes around. Anyways you want the multi-coated version of these and the serial number has to be 7 digits and over 49XXXXXX. See also Holger Merlitz site on fake CZJ bins...

LONG
Mensajes: 138
Registrado: Sab May 18, 2019 3:53 am

Re: best night vision binoculars for night time wildlife viewing

Notapor LONG » Dom Sep 08, 2019 1:09 am

Hello Waterman74, and welcome to the Forum! I can appreciate your enthusiasm for older binoculars, but I think you ought to consider that newer binoculars tend to have better light transmission than older ones, and this could be helpful for your nighttime hog-watch. Personally, I'd probably look for a brand-new Nikon Aculon 7x50, which is multicoated, costs around $90, and has a good warranty. But if you really want vintage, you could look for something like an old Celestron Nova 7x50 (haven't checked the prices on these recently, might be over $100). Even then, I'm not sure you'd get an adequate view of the hogs unless there were strong moonlight present. Otherwise, you might have to resort to a night vision device (a basic gen 1 night vision scope might be available under $100). But whatever you choose, good luck exploring vintage bins.

Edit: About that Steiner, from your description, it sounds like a model that was made in the 70s. Does it look like the one below? If so, it's very light, and, in my opinion, not that great optically. Collimation is hardly ever an issue with old Steiners, but I'd recommend that you shine a bright flashlight through the eyepieces and look through the objectives to see if there is any haze built up inside. These are next to impossible to open up to clean the interior.

joselcollin
Mensajes: 26
Registrado: Jue May 02, 2019 7:46 am

Re: best night vision binoculars for night time wildlife viewing

Notapor joselcollin » Dom Sep 08, 2019 1:09 am

LONG escribió:Hello Waterman74, and welcome to the Forum! I can appreciate your enthusiasm for older binoculars, but I think you ought to consider that newer binoculars tend to have better light transmission than older ones, and this could be helpful for your nighttime hog-watch. Personally, I'd probably look for a brand-new Nikon Aculon 7x50, which is multicoated, costs around $90, and has a good warranty. But if you really want vintage, you could look for something like an old Celestron Nova 7x50 (haven't checked the prices on these recently, might be over $100). Even then, I'm not sure you'd get an adequate view of the hogs unless there were strong moonlight present. Otherwise, you might have to resort to a night vision device (a basic gen 1 night vision scope might be available under $100). But whatever you choose, good luck exploring vintage bins.

Edit: About that Steiner, from your description, it sounds like a model that was made in the 70s. Does it look like the one below? If so, it's very light, and, in my opinion, not that great optically. Collimation is hardly ever an issue with old Steiners, but I'd recommend that you shine a bright flashlight through the eyepieces and look through the objectives to see if there is any haze built up inside. These are next to impossible to open up to clean the interior.


Thank you guys, very informative. JRing, are there any other Soviet bins that you recommend. I didn't find any with those #s did see a bnb1 I believe and bnu2. I also found an interesting TENTO in 8x40 that I may take a stab at, what do you think? Shipping is going to eat me up though.

Peatmoss, thank also, and this has crossed my mind about newer coatings, there is just something about these older ones, guess I'll just have to buy a bunch and see how they compare to my Bushnell H20. Lol

josekadams
Mensajes: 9
Registrado: Mié Abr 03, 2019 3:25 am

Re: best night vision binoculars for night time wildlife viewing

Notapor josekadams » Dom Sep 08, 2019 1:10 am

Cannot say a lot about the 8x40 Tento except that Tento was just a trading company for turning soviet optics into hard currency. So haveto look for the manufacturer logo on those. The Tento 20x60 are quite well regarded with stargazers but certainly the wrong bins for you.

If you get over $100 with shipping looking at current examples like Nikon Action EX 7x50 or the Aculon mentioned above might be an option. They will certainly be a bit brighter due to current coatings but might not be as sturdy as the russki bins and not sure if the sweet spot is as big either.

Kamren
Mensajes: 116
Registrado: Sab Sep 07, 2019 10:58 am

Re: best night vision binoculars for night time wildlife viewing

Notapor Kamren » Dom Sep 08, 2019 1:10 am

joselcollin escribió:Hello,

I have read tons of threads on this forum and others regarding vintage binoculars and I am very much interested. My dad has an old sears discoverer 7x35 wide angle that I thought was fantastic back when I was a kid. And those memories has sparked my interest in vintage binoculars, as a matter of fact I have ordered 2 Jason Clippers, a 7x35, and an 8x40, and a Sans & Streiffe 8x30, I also have a bid in on a Sears Discoverer Wide angle. This is super exciting for me and I hope to give my son one of these pairs or another that I will probably buy in the near future. He loves watching birds at our feeder.

My question is, all of the threads on these old binoculars do not address nighttime viewing and I have a need for that due to hogs rooting up my veggies and yard. I'm thinking that the euro glass (Zeiss, Steiner) would be the best for that, but was hoping someone more knowledgeable than me could point me to something a little cheaper... So, to break it down, I'm looking for suggestions for a <$100 pair of vintage binoculars to help me out. Thanks for reading my long winded post.

Peatmoss, that looks like it. I'm starting to regret that purchase. I have found an interesting newer binocular that got great reviews for light transmission at allbinos and it goes for about 100$ It's called an Olympus EXPS1 in 8x40. Any opinions on that one?

codposh
Mensajes: 140
Registrado: Dom Feb 03, 2019 6:31 am

Re: best night vision binoculars for night time wildlife viewing

Notapor codposh » Dom Sep 08, 2019 1:11 am

I'm sure others will chip in, but my first thoughts in terms of night use, for a vintage binocular I would say some of the old WW11 7x50s might be best, The Sard MK21 is pretty good and most Bausch & lomb, also some vintage Japanese made binoculars like the Swift Skipper 7x50, as far as Zeiss etc go, yes, they would be better, but I don't think you would get one for $100 unless very lucky in a charity store. I will think about what I have in my collection to see if I have any other suggestions.
Última edición por codposh el Jue Sep 12, 2019 4:59 am, editado 1 vez en total.

buryspeculate
Mensajes: 156
Registrado: Sab Feb 02, 2019 11:28 am

Re: best night vision binoculars for night time wildlife viewing

Notapor buryspeculate » Dom Sep 08, 2019 1:12 am

[quote="codposh"]I'm sure others will chip in, but my first thoughts in terms of night use, for a vintage binocular I would say some of the old WW11 7x50s might be best, The Sard MK21 is pretty good and most Bausch & lomb, also some vintage Japanese made binoculars like the Swift Skipper 7x50, as far as Zeiss etc go, yes, they would be better, but I don't think you would get one for $100 unless very lucky in a charity store. I will think about what I have in my collection to see if I have any other suggestions.

Hi Waterman, as promised, have given some thought to this and as far as Vintage binoculars go I would recommend something like this BUSHNELL=7X50IF-WATERPROOF-MARINE
It's sharp and bright, waterproof, solid build, individual eye focus, great depth of field, and good in low light. A very good quality marine binocular, made in Japan, JB133, decent [email protected] FOV, it has a graticule in the left ocular. This following Information courtesy of Bill Cook, it was made by Kamakura Koki Co. Ltd. This model is known as the Navigator and pretty much the same spec as the Swift Seahawk/ Fujinon AR, any of these would do, supplied as contract items for the US army and Navy so probably easier to find one for low cost in the USA. It is a superb binocular, one of the best vintage Bushnell I have looked through, I have to say that the image is almost as good as my Zeiss 7x42 classic roof binocular and it only cost a fraction the price of the Zeiss. The Swift Storm King would be another good one. Good luck.
Última edición por buryspeculate el Jue Sep 12, 2019 4:59 am, editado 1 vez en total.

JIMENEZ
Mensajes: 6
Registrado: Sab May 18, 2019 3:50 am

Re: best night vision binoculars for night time wildlife viewing

Notapor JIMENEZ » Dom Sep 08, 2019 1:12 am

Ben, its funny you mentioned the swift seahawk, I just picked one up at the local thrift store, the fold down eye cups are broken off, but i was pretty inpressed. It was dusty, but internally it looks clean as a whistle. Got it for a song.

Jring, I made a mistake on the Olympus it is 8x42 and not 8x40, looking hard at that one and maybe an Orion Mini Giant in 8x56 is in my future too, I don't want to get too big though. Still considering the Russian pairs though.

BTW I just missed a Sears extra wide angle in 8x50 that went for $11.50 on the bay with box and all... I got busy and couldn't bid, I was literally 2 seconds too late....kicking myself

danielhowell
Mensajes: 146
Registrado: Sab May 11, 2019 1:13 am

Re: best night vision binoculars for night time wildlife viewing

Notapor danielhowell » Dom Sep 08, 2019 1:13 am

Well I'm back for an update.... I bought a an 8x40 Olympus EXPS on the bay for 69$ however it is not the I version, hoping the coatings are the same. Just missed a Fujinon 7x50 M22 military bin that went for $81.

Currently interested in Swift model skippers and nighthawks in 7x50... if anyone has any opinions on those? Kinda curious what the Trilar 7X RLE 76.4 on the objective means, I assume it is some kind of coating

Also. I noticed that the newer models can be labeled as mkII and the older models mkI's, just wonderin g what the difference is? This gets somewhat confusing as you also hear Type 1, 2 or 3 binoculars...

Also the Celestron NOVA seems interesting which peatmoss had mentioned earlier.

Thanks for reading.


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