Buyer's Guide 2003 - Binoculars

Check out the leaders in this field : Brunton, Nikon, Leica and Zeiss

Field & Stream Online Editors

1. Brunton | Epoch 7.5x43
Target acquisition with the Epoch is as smooth as it gets: The variable-speed focus-slow from 3 feet to 30 feet and faster to infinity-lets you have a picture-window view through the glass, giving your eyes time to seek crucial details. A nice size and shape for the hand, it also comes in 10.5x43. $1,449; 800-443-4871; www.brunton.com

** 2. Nikon | Premier LX 8x32**
The very sharp resolution of the LX makes it a top choice. At 25 ounces, it's a bit heavier than the newer 8x20, but its 4mm exit pupil is much more practical for hunting. This is a great deer hunting optic-good for short- to medium-range glassing. $1,081; 800-248-6846; www.nikonusa.com

3. Leica | Duovid 10+15x50
This new Duovid is the beefed-up progeny of the remarkable 8+12x42 dual-power binocular offered last year. A twist of the removable eyecups on this 44-ounce model gives you 10X or 15X magnification, no refocusing required. That's unbeatable technology. Leica's HDC coating protects the surface of the exterior lenses. $1,695; 800-222-0118; www.leica-camera.com

** 4. Zeiss | Victory 12x56**
This super glass is outstanding in low-light situations, especially twilight, making it one of the best roof-prism binoculars available right now. Sure, it weighs 45.8 ounces, but its performance is worth the extra heft. Sophisticated lens coatings add clarity by filtering the incoming light. $1,500; 800-441-3005; www.zeiss.com