I do not have extensive experience with binoculars, but these are the best “binos” or “binocs” I have ever used. The glass is a huge leap forward in quality from the entry-level ones in big box stores. I would classify the Leupold – BX-2 Alpine 12x52mm binoculars* as the “middle-class” of the entire market. These binocs are a great value and well worth it, especially if you think you might use them during the magic hours of dawn and dusk.
Glass! Glass! Glass! The glass makes all the difference, especially during dawn and dusk. I realize there are better binos on the market, but they are way outside my budget’s reach. In other words, “Ain’t no way I can afford them.” This model offers a great compromise between quality and budget. The quality is on full display when viewing objects more than a few dozen yards away, and they excel in low-light conditions. Even in broad daylight, the glass noticeably brightens up the view. I could identify individual blades of grass (okay, weeds) at 100 yards when I could not do the same at 5 yards with my half-century-old naked eyes.
Weight – Not exactly light. My uncalibrated kitchen scale weighed them in at just under two pounds. I think that would not be a problem for everyday use or most hunts. If weight is a big concern, say on a hiking spot-and-stalk hunt, or if you’ll be holding them for long periods without attaching to a tripod, I would recommend a lighter model.
Grip – Good grip. It would be better if the rubberized grip would extend all the way around, though. The top of the grips, where your fingertips rest, is metal. In pleasant weather, this is not an issue, but it might be when cold or wet.
Caps – Both sets of caps pop off quickly and quietly. The objective lens caps stay attached to the binos, and the eyecup caps can attach to the neck strap. Keeping everything connected helps me not to drop stuff. That prevents noise and loss.
Width Adjustment – You can easily adjust the width to fit your face, and you can expect them to stay put.
Focus Adjustment – The knob rotates easily with precise adjustment. It is easy to reach with the index fingers of even smaller hands.
Eyecups – Rubberized outer rings aid in adjustment in all weather conditions.
Diopter – Easy Adjustment.
Neck Strap – Padded neck strap adjusts easily and has quick-detach (QD) points. That is a nice feature, so you can quickly and quietly take the binocs off. In fact, it is the same strap that comes with their binos that cost just shy of $2,000. Tip: Before attaching, place it on your neck to ensure you have it where you want it to make it comfortable. Oh, Leupold even ties the neck strap together in the box with a cool, sturdy twist tie. I know, “So what?”. I have this weird thing about collecting twist ties – you never know when you’ll need a good twist tie, right? :)
Case – Leupold seems to have put a lot of thought into the case. It is the same case that comes with their top-of-the-line binocs. It’s padded and made of a water-resistant material. That material can be somewhat noisy, though. This should only be a concern for really close encounters. It has a pocket on the outside with an elastic cord to store small items. It also has MOLLE attachments on the back to easily attach it to countless other items, such as backpacks, with the versatile MOLLE system. If that weren’t enough for a binocular case, the closure hook on the front has an adjustable elastic cord that allows for single-handed opening and closing and can be secured in its own built-in pouch. The first time I tried the one-handed open, I did not hold on to the elastic strap well enough, so it whipped back and made a considerable noise. So, learning from that, I held on tightly next time, and there was no problem. This is why we test our gear BEFORE going afield, right?
Lens Cloth – I almost forgot. It does include the seemingly obligatory lens cloth. Nothing fancy here, but it’s nice to have so you can clean the glass without scratching it.
I would like the eyecups to include a “foldable flap” like on the Leupold GR 15-30x50mm Compact spotting scope. They unfold for comfortable viewing and fold up for storage.
I REALLY like these BX-2 Alpine HD binoculars! For just a few bucks more, they are a great deal better than what I used to be content with. I would not hesitate to recommend them to friends and family.
The only caveat I would offer is the bulk and weight. If you are an ounce or square inch counter, you might want to consider smaller and lighter ones. However, for most people, the weight and size should not be an issue.
I think these binoculars really hit the mark for quality glass at an affordable price. ~ Scott
Scott is a liberty/responsibility minded, retired enlisted military dude who is relatively new to the benefits of being involved in firearms, hunting, self reliance/defense, and politics. As such, his understanding of how these things interrelate and strengthen every American is constantly evolving. These experiences fuel his passion for not just "gun rights", but for ALL rights and what it takes to defend them.