Mid-Priced Hunting Binocular Advice Needed

Apr 25, 2017
I am currently looking to replace my Nikon Prostaff 7s 10X42mm binoculars for something that has 8X magnification and has better glass. I still need to get out to my lgs to check out different models, but these are the ones I am considering:

Vortex Viper HD 8X42mm or 8X32mm

Leupold BX4 Pro Guide 8X32mm or 8X42mm

Does anybody have experience with any of these? Will I notice much of a difference in light between the 42mm and the 32mm models? The majority of time I will be using these will be when hunting from whitetails from a tree stand. The majority of my shots are under 300 yards and I will be viewing wooded areas and over large fields.
Feb 21, 2017
Take a look at stiners German glass at a good price I have 2 pairs had 3 but sold one and replaced it with swaros. Ones a compact and the other has a compass I have been happy with them. The 2 you mentioned are good mid ranged glass but you need to go somewhere and look through them.


Full Member
Sep 16, 2009

I also hunt woodland and use a binocular on a near daily basis. I have tried in the field many dozens of various types over 45 years. First I suggest if you get good glass consider 10X. You will never regret it.

Secondly, you can purchase second hand top end glass for the same or lesser price as new mid range glass.

You can not tell much about a binocular in a store. They all look shiny and nice. All but the worst seem to do the same thing. You need to spend a day using it under all conditions. Low light, short and long range etc.

I have found the best compromise is a 10x42 all things considered for my use.

Very few folks use a binocular much so many are like new. It is amazing what deals you can find on Ebay etc. I have purchased Leica and Swaro binoculars for under 500.00 in new condition. Chose wisely, be patient and you will never regret it.

The only binocular types that makes sense to me to purchase is the bottom end because they are actually not too bad and can be had at a very favorable price, and the top because they are great.


Gunny Sergeant
Nov 27, 2009
Ingleside, Tx
Yes, you would notice a difference, side by side between the 32 and 42 mm. Maybe not in the store, where the light is good, but in the woods with shadows or failing light. (this is supposing the glass is of equal quality).
Sightron make dandy binos as well and the SIII series have some very nice glass indeed.
Also consider the Athlon products, as the midas and above line should serve you pretty well.
Jul 7, 2005
Western Kansas
I've got a set of the Vortex Viper HD 8x42s. Have compared them to my older Swaro SLC 8x30s & Leupold Gold Ring 8x42s, and feel the Vortex binos are on par with those. To be fair, my Swaro SLCs are about 30yrs old, so for all I know, the newer SLCs have been improved. Whatever, I like the Viper HDs, and am considering cashing in a bunch of Cabelas Club points & gift cards for a set of Vortex Kaibab 15x56s for spotting at matches & longer range viewing in place of a big spotting scope.
Mar 25, 2014
If you are thinking 32's and have Cabela's club points then look hard at the Euro HD/ Meopta 8x32. I regret selling mine dearly. Maybe there is a difference between top quality 42's and the little Meopta's as far as light gathering but the difference was imperceptible to my eyes and any additional light was unnecessary. They would hang past legal shooting light.

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Full Member
Oct 25, 2010
Port Angeles, WA
I have had Leica, Swarovski, Zeiss, and steiner binoculars. My work use to buy me a pair every year or two. I was given a pair of Bushnell Elite 10x43's and they were so close to the top end that I sold them and kept the Bushnell Elites.

There was so little difference that I couldn't see bashing a $2k plus pair of binoculars around hunting. So they all went down the road and I still have my Bushnell Elites and everyone that looks thru them comments that they are really amazed that they are bushnells.


Harder than a coffin nail
Feb 13, 2017
Cheyenne, Wyoming
I have a 10x42 Bushnell Legend Ultra HD/ED which work, but I've never been super impressed with them. I usually keep them in my truck and use them for random outings to the mtns. The past couple of years I've been using some 10x42 Nikon Monarch7 binos. I got them lightly used for like $200, maybe a little less...don't remember. But, they are freaking nice! Awesome and bright glass, zero CA, and I think they're one of the best options before getting into the top tier of glass.... Also check out the Zen Ray binos.
I have owned most of the EL series Swarovskis and have only the 8x32's now. A buddy had a pair of Leupold Mohave Pro Guide HD 8x42's on a recent elk hunt. They looked so good that I bought a pair for myself for under $250 on sale at Cabelas. Side by side with my Swaros I can see a little difference but not a $2000 difference. Heck, there's not even a $500 difference. I've not looked through the other Leupold HD binos but, if they're anything like the Mohave, I'd jump on them if you can find them on sale.


Oct 15, 2008
whidbey island wa.
If you are still in the market take a hard look at this deal [h=2]Alpen Rainier 10x42 binoculars on Amazon prime. $562.00[/h] [h=2]https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B004MBE1NK/ref=chk_gwtyp_product?smid=&psc=1[/h]
Sep 14, 2011
Athlon Cronus 8.5x42, great glass, at the Ariz PRS match there were times that I could see backlit targets with my binoculars that I couldn't see as well with the swaro scopes. The RO's were surprised when they looked through them.