Out of 3,500 responses to our 2020 kit survey, 600 Fieldsports Channel viewers got back to us about binos. It is clear from the results that Leupold is a well-loved brand, if not widely purchased. Only 3% of viewers own Leupold binos.
In Fieldsports Channel’s research, Leupold binos score highly for ease of use, coming fourth behind Swarovaski, Opticron and Leica. It comes third for waterproofing behind Swarovski and Leica, and second place for durability and reliability behind Swarovski. Those are the quality rankings. Leuopld binos also score highly for value for money, coming fourth behind Opticron, Vortex and Minox, and it is top brand, in the opinion of Fieldsports Channel viewers, for customer service, which is a feather in the cap for UK importer Viking.
Viewer Jens from Germany owns the BX4 Pro Guide HD binos. They are his go-to model for all his bino needs. He uses them for deerstalking, foxing, wild boar and other overseas hunting. He paid less than £500 for them in the last five years. Another anonymous viewer, who has the BX4-HD McKinley 10×42 model, paid £500-£2,000 for them more than five years ago. His *or her) only suggestion for the model is that Leupold adds a rangefinder.
If anyone is qualified to recommend a pair of binoculars it’s Mike Robinson, the well known chef and deer manager. We catch up with him at his Owl Barn Larder in the Cotswolds where he processes all the wild deer that go to his award winning restaurants.
Binoculars are an essential part of Mike’s kit – he’s out stalking several times a week throughout the seasons in every kind of weather, often needing to spot deer and assess a cull animal at dawn or dusk. “My binoculars have to fulfil a number of criteria,” he says. “I don’t need them to have a rangefinder built in, but I do need to be able to use them one-handed. I’ve got a pair of sticks in one hand, a rifle over my shoulder. I don’t want to be folding the sticks to hold the binoculars with both hands.”
Mike’s favourite binoculars are the Leupold BX4 Pro Guide HD, and he uses the 10×42 model. “They’re what I use day in, day out. You can tell that by looking at them – they’re covered in muck!” he laughs. “They weigh about three-quarters of a pound, they’ve got a nice stiff action so they don’t flop open, and I can hold them to my eyes and adjust the focus very easily with one hand.”
He continues: “The image is pin sharp, they’re fab in low light, lovely wide field of view, and most importantly for me they’re utterly waterproof and utterly bombproof – they never go wrong.”
Mike likes the price too – the 10×42 model he favours retails at £750. “They’re not overly expensive, costing hundreds of pounds rather than thousands like some binoculars – but by gum they work. Mine have done three years and they’ve gone through hell.”
Find out more at VikingShoot.com