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Equipment Discussions >> Binoculars

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Steve Darden
professor emeritus


Reged: 07/29/07

Loc: GA
Interesting Observation new
      #5502896 - 11/03/12 08:00 PM

While researching a possible roof prism binocular purchase, I noticed something interesting. (This may be widely known in this forum but it news to me. I haven't shopped for binoculars in quite a while.)

Many of the binoculars that I have been researching between different brands are the exact same binocular. For example, the Eagle Optics Ranger ED 8X32 is the same exact binocular as the Vortex Talon HD 8X32. They look the same and the specs are identical. Eagle Optics even sells both brands for the same price. I haven't verified yet but I would assume that all sizes within these model lines are identical.

Also, the Eagle Optics Ranger (non ED) 8X32 is the same as the Alpen Optics Model 692 (8X32). There are probably other similar models within these product lines.

I'm betting that pretty much all of the binoculars that I have been researching are identical and just sold under different names. I've been going around in circles thinking that each company was offering a unique product. What a waste of time.

Knowing all of this now, let's approach my purchase from a different point of view:

1.) Which of these various resellers has the best warranty

2.) What do you gain (ie product enhancements) when you move from say the Vortex Diamondback series (or similar binoculars from other resellers) to the Talon HD type binoculars sold by the various companies?

3.)Are there any truly unique products in the mid-price range ($300 to $400) or are they all the same and just sold with a different name on the outside.

Thanks.


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Steve Darden
professor emeritus


Reged: 07/29/07

Loc: GA
Re: Interesting Observation new [Re: Steve Darden]
      #5502937 - 11/03/12 08:25 PM

It looks like the Zen Ray ED3 is the same as the Vortex Talon series. It seems that Zen Ray just calls theirs an 8x43 instead of 42 to make it look like they sell something unique.

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BillC
on a new path
*****

Reged: 06/04/04

Loc: Lake Stevens, WA, USA
Re: Interesting Observation new [Re: Steve Darden]
      #5503027 - 11/03/12 09:18 PM

Yep; most on the list know it. There are hundreds of models coming out of Asia—most coming from only a handful of families. The BA8s come with at least 6 names and price tags I could think of off the top of my pointy little head. And, of course, I frequently bellow about the fact there hasn’t been a consumer line of binos made in the States in decades.

The sad thing to me is that when Zeiss, Leica and that ilk go under because they can no longer provide the research and development that Asia likes to take advantage of—free— the general observing public will be so ignorant (said non-agressively) or complacent to what is going on, all will be recipients of the upshot.

‘Can’t happen? Please remember that while Columbus set out (in part) to prove the earth was a sphere, he was almost 2,000 years too late! We lazy humans just love to reinvent the wheel! The wheel! The wheel!

BillC


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Plan9
professor emeritus


Reged: 01/28/08

Loc: Northern VA
Re: Interesting Observation new [Re: Steve Darden]
      #5503109 - 11/03/12 10:27 PM

Steve
It was looking fairly clear to me that what you say is at least partly true - from the standpoint of how these businesses work there can only be a few manufacturers making the products that are at most slightly customized for each seller (leaving out Zeiss, Swaro, etc). It gets tricky trying to determine exactly what models are identical and the vendor is important for service and warranty - probably the main reason I'd prefer some vendors to others. There was some Internet scuttlebutt that suggested the ed3 was improved from the ed2 and that the others you mention (Eagle and Vortex) are actually the ed2. I'm skeptical but it sure would be nice to compare these side by side and put it to rest. I certainly wasn't going to buy all of them to find out!

Good luck in your quest!
Bill


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charen
Carpal Tunnel
****

Reged: 05/28/05

Loc: New Zealand
Re: Interesting Observation [Re: Plan9]
      #5503200 - 11/03/12 11:51 PM

The thing is you can also pay at least twice if not more for the 'same' binocular because it has a 'name' on it. In most cases you are you are paying the 'middle man'. I have bought OEM roof binos from Bosma and others manufactures via on line or via parallel / Grey market importers and sellers that go for 3x times the price when the are sold by 'name' distributors in High street. The middle man distributor make make some cosmetic changes but primarily the specs are the same.
Of course on line buying and or parrallel marketing you are not / may not be protected by warranties etc. but is that worth 3x times the price.?

Chris


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Fomalhaut
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 08/16/08

Loc: Switzerland
Re: Interesting Observation new [Re: BillC]
      #5503408 - 11/04/12 04:56 AM

Quote:

The sad thing to me is that when Zeiss, Leica and that ilk go under because they can no longer provide the research and development that Asia likes to take advantage of—free— the general observing public will be so ignorant (said non-agressively) or complacent to what is going on, all will be recipients of the upshot.





Bill,

My personal answer to yours:
Yesterday, after 22 years of fully satisfied ownership, I finally parted from my beloved Zeiss 7x42 P*T.
Main reason: at age 65, I could not take advantage of its 6mm exit pupil any more.
The successor: Swarovski EL 8x32 Swarovision.

And I doubt I will ever buy another binocular for the rest of my life...

I own three Tak scopes and had a Questar 3.5 for some years - expensive but beautiful and excellent instruments indeed. Some will consider this a waste of money, but OTOH, I have saved
A LOT by not participating in perpetually buying cheap junk and after a while replacing again and again for the simple reason of lacking satisfaction...

IMO, for all who can afford this is the way to help save great companies! And I have decided, as a member of Western society I can not afford all those piles of junk.

Chris


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edwincjones
Close Enough
*****

Reged: 04/10/04

Re: Interesting Observation new [Re: Fomalhaut]
      #5503417 - 11/04/12 05:07 AM

good point Chris-as Al Nagler once reportly said

" but the best optics you can reasonably afford, they will last a lifetime and only cost pennies a day"

edj


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Steve Darden
professor emeritus


Reged: 07/29/07

Loc: GA
Re: Interesting Observation new [Re: edwincjones]
      #5503438 - 11/04/12 06:13 AM

I may take a closer look at Leica and Zeiss. They are a little outside my budget but I may just wait until I can buy one or find a used pair.

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Steve Darden
professor emeritus


Reged: 07/29/07

Loc: GA
Re: Interesting Observation new [Re: Steve Darden]
      #5503452 - 11/04/12 06:36 AM

Does anyone know if Minox makes their own binoculars or are they a reseller too? From what I can tell from their website, it seems they are made in Germany. How do they compare to the alpha brands?

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KennyJ
The British Flash
*****

Reged: 04/27/03

Loc: Lancashire UK
Re: Interesting Observation new [Re: Steve Darden]
      #5503864 - 11/04/12 12:38 PM

Steve,

I think only one or two of the Minox HD models are actually made in Germany.

I'm pretty sure they ALL used to be made in Japan when Minox was associated with Leica, which was until around 10 years ago.

Now,most will almost certainly be made in China,just like 90% of all the other brands.

Kenny


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Alan French
Night Owl
*****

Reged: 01/28/05

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: Interesting Observation new [Re: BillC]
      #5503884 - 11/04/12 12:56 PM

Quote:



‘Can’t happen? Please remember that while Columbus set out (in part) to prove the earth was a sphere, he was almost 2,000 years too late! We lazy humans just love to reinvent the wheel! The wheel! The wheel!

BillC




The idea that Columbus thought the Earth was flat and did not know it was round is pure myth, and has no basis in fact. He did think the sphere was smaller than it actually was.

Clear skies, Alan


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StarStuff1
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 04/01/07

Loc: South of the Mason-Dixon Line
Re: Interesting Observation new [Re: Alan French]
      #5503989 - 11/04/12 02:08 PM

Dang it Alan, you just ruined my weekend!

IIRC Columbus thought he would see the edge/end of the world if he used his telescope. Oops, the telescope was not invented yet! Maybe his binoculars? Oops, again. They came along a little later.

Back to the OP: any seller can get any package they want from various factories in China. It is like going down a buffet line. Pick and choose. How much do you want to spend. Oh, and of course, minimum purchase is 100 units on a good day.


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BillC
on a new path
*****

Reged: 06/04/04

Loc: Lake Stevens, WA, USA
Re: Interesting Observation new [Re: StarStuff1]
      #5504538 - 11/04/12 08:45 PM

"The idea that Columbus thought the Earth was flat and did not know it was round is pure myth. . . "

YES . . . But only to those who think of HISTORY as a CHANNEL!

BillC


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mikemxyzzy
journeyman


Reged: 08/16/12

Re: Interesting Observation new [Re: BillC]
      #5504606 - 11/04/12 09:28 PM

Eagle Optics and Vortex are next door neighbors, so it's no surprise that they share production.

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Pinewood
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 12/07/04

Loc: 40.77638º N 73.982652 W
Re: Interesting Observation new [Re: Alan French]
      #5504625 - 11/04/12 09:36 PM

Quote:



The idea that Columbus thought the Earth was flat and did not know it was round is pure myth, and has no basis in fact. He did think the sphere was smaller than it actually was.


Clear skies, Alan



Hello Alan,

Exactly, if Columbus had accepted the size of the globe, as measured by Eratosthenes, in the third century B.C., close to currently accepted circumference, he would have realized that going west to the Indies, was impossible. He used smaller estimates of the circumference, so when he reached the Bahamas, he thought that he was in Japan. The great navigator had no idea where he landed.
Clear skies,
Arthur


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Steve Darden
professor emeritus


Reged: 07/29/07

Loc: GA
Re: Interesting Observation new [Re: Steve Darden]
      #5530496 - 11/20/12 03:53 PM

Quote:

I may take a closer look at Leica and Zeiss. They are a little outside my budget but I may just wait until I can buy one or find a used pair.




Update: I found a demo pair of Zeiss Conquest 8X30's that were $80.00 less than a new pair of Vortex Talon HD's. All I can say is that I'm very impressed with my initial views. They are much sharper than my Orion Ultraview 10X50 porros and the views seem just as bright. The size and weight are about perfect for what I was looking for. The strange thing is that the image size in both binoculars seems identical. I'll have to take a closer look when I have more time.


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moynihan
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 07/22/03

Loc: Lake Michigan Watershed
Re: Interesting Observation new [Re: Pinewood]
      #5943347 - 06/27/13 04:03 PM

Quote:

Quote:


The idea that Columbus thought the Earth was flat and did not know it was round is pure myth, and has no basis in fact. ...



Exactly, if Columbus had accepted the size of the globe, as measured by Eratosthenes, in the third century B.C., close to currently accepted circumference, he would have realized that going west to the Indies, was impossible. ...




Indeed. In fact, for more than a century after the lost Italian, most of the euros though that the western hemisphere was just off the coast of Asia. A funny local example is near where i reside.
According to the Jesuit Records, when the French explorer Nicolet landed near Green Bay, he thought his path through the Great Lakes was the much sought passage to the coast of China. He got off the ship and came ashore in an elaborate robe of asian design, wearing a Chinese hat


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Binojunky
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 12/25/10

Re: Interesting Observation new [Re: moynihan]
      #5943420 - 06/27/13 04:53 PM

I have the 8x30 Conquests, most happy with them, as stated a very bright image for 30mm aperture,DA.

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Koala117
sage


Reged: 05/11/13

Re: Interesting Observation new [Re: BillC]
      #5945353 - 06/28/13 06:39 PM

Steve, thanks very much for this post! I had also noticed that some models from different companies seemed to like extremely similar, right down to the specs. I thought maybe it was just my imagination. As a very uninitiated and inexperienced consumer, I'm very glad that you brought this topic to the boards. For that, I wanted to make a point of saying that I, for one, appreciate this! =) I have bought only one pair thus far but I will most certainly keep in mind this info for the future. I wonder if this also applies to some 'cheaper(ie: 200-500 dollar)' refractors.

Quote:

Please remember that while Columbus set out (in part) to prove the earth was a sphere, he was almost 2,000 years too late!




Also, while the ~2,000 years part is correct... ::

"In 1828, Washington Irving's highly romanticized biography, A History of the Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus,[15] was published and mistaken by many for a scholarly work.[16] In Book III, Chapter II of this biography, Irving gave a largely fictional account of the meetings of a commission established by the Spanish sovereigns to examine Columbus's proposals. One of his more fanciful embellishments was a highly unlikely tale that the more ignorant and bigoted members on the commission had raised scriptural objections to Columbus's assertions that the Earth was spherical.[17]"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myth_of_the_Flat_Earth#Irving.27s_biography_of_...

- Just some neat info I'd read in the past. Though, I suppose it may be a bit off-topic, I just thought I'd share! (references at the bottom of the link )


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