After I returned home from the Maine bear bowhunt I decided I would scale down the gear I traveled with. One item I wanted to lighten the burden on was binoculars. The ones I have are ok but they are heavy to carry around and they also add unnecessary weight to my luggage.
I talked to Vicki at Alpen Optics and she helped me pick out some that were smaller and lighter weight in the 10 power range I prefer. We settled on the Wings #599 ED binoculars. They arrived quickly and I immediately took them deerhunting with me.
Frankly, my first impression was that they were quite a bit smaller than I expected them to be and I wondered if that would be OK. I use binoculars a lot when I hunt. And a few things are important to me.
- I want to find what I’m looking for quickly.
- I want the game as big as possible when looking through the lenses.
- I want to hand hold the binoculars.
- I want binoculars that are good in low light in the morning and at the end of the day.
- Adjusting the Focus should be quick and easy.
- They should be a flat color that doesn’t shine in daylight.
- Waterproof and fogproof is a must have.
It didn’t take long to find the answers to my concerns.
Finding What You’re Looking For
My Alpen Wings #599 ED is a 10x optical power model. That is the highest magnification that I can hold steady by hand. Chalk up one mark on the plus side of my list.
The front end of the binocular is smaller than any that I’ve ever used. And when I first looked around my hunting area I definitely could tell a difference. I could not see as much area in the binoculars as before. Here’s how that played out.
With the bigger lens binocs I saw more area. But more often than not locating a deer in the woods is not instant, you have to study the viewing area to sort the deer out from all the limbs, trees and leaves. This is particularly true if the deer is standing still.
With the #599, when I put them to my eyes I was right on the money. This was a big plus for these smaller binocular.
Chalk up three pluses. Hand held, the game is big and you find them fast.
Low Light Conditions
To test this I took two of my other binoculars and in the pre dawn and during dusk I compared them as the daylight changed. Is it a buck or a doe? Which binoc was better? The smaller $599 was better in low light.
Adjusting The Focus
On my previous binoculars the focus knob was near my nose. Not so on the Alpen. The knob is further out and I operate it with my thumb and finger. This is far easier to focus quickly. And it was much better to keep a deer in focus when it was moving in the woods.
Easy to focus. Focuses quick. Two more pluses.
They were a flat, non reflective dark olive finish. And are waterproof and fogproof, both of which I got to verify during my hunts.
Another plus is these binocs fold up small and I carried them in a pant or jacket pocket. And during the hunt I stashed them in my right pocket on my hunting jacket and they were always ready for action.
Alpen® Wings™ Features:
- BAK4 glass for clear, bright and crisp images
- Fully multi-coated for maximum brightness
- PXA phase coated for superior resolution and color fidelity
- Silver metallic prism coating for superior brightness
- Waterproof sealed and nitrogen filled.
- Long eye relief and twist up eye cups for use with or without eye glasses
- Lightweight and ergonomic open hinge body design
- Rubber armoring for holding comfort and shock protection
- Soft rubber eyepiece rainguard
- Deluxe travel case and wide comfortable neck strap
- Alpen’s No-Fault, No-Problem Lifetime Warranty
And to look at the entire Alpen line go to AlpenOptics.com.