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Absolute Best of the Best in Binoculars

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#126 GabrielKnight

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Posted 25 October 2019 - 07:32 PM

For those interested in learning more of Meopta, I penned a review of the Meopta MeoStar B1 15x56 HD last year in which I examined the company's history in considerable detail. In doing so, I discerned that it has manufacturing capabilities in both the United States and the Czech Republic.

See: https://www.cloudyni...binocular-noob/

At the time in question, I learned that Meopta's entry level line of binoculars - "MeoPro" - are manufactured in the US. The top of the range "MeoStar" line is made in Czechoslovakia.

Further, I wholeheartedly agree with the assessment that their products are rather underrated given the price/performance ratio. That said, they have a strong following in the US amongst both hunters and birders, although they're relatively unknown amongst astronomers. Rather interestingly, Holger Merlitz rates the Meopta MeoStar 10x50 as his 2nd favourite binocular after the Nikon WX 10x50 IF. So much so that he retired his beloved Fujinon 10x50 FMT-SX (sold it) in favour of the Meopta.

"Prior to the purchase of the Nikon WX, the Meostar has been my first choice whenever I wanted maximum performance. It combines a fairly wide field of view (110m/1000m) with a very rugged, compact and moderately lightweight body (1050g). It is impressive under the night sky, with clean and pinpoint star images over about 70% of the field, and its resistance to stray light competes with the best on the market. The view is relaxed, the image pans smoothly and naturally, and the focuser, though comparably slow and stiff, belongs to the most precise ones I have encountered. During a shootout, which I carried out over a couple of weeks, this binocular has outperformed a Leica 10x50 Trinovid BA. Meanwhile, I use it less frequently (and no longer for astronomy), whenever the 10x50 WX seems too heavy or bulky to be taken out."
- Holger Merlitz

See: http://www.holgermer.../favorites.html

Regards,

G.K.

Edited by GabrielKnight, 25 October 2019 - 07:37 PM.

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#127 Mark9473

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Posted 26 October 2019 - 06:32 AM

For those interested in learning more of Meopta, I penned a review of the Meopta MeoStar B1 15x56 HD last year in which I examined the company's history in considerable detail. In doing so, I discerned that it has manufacturing capabilities in both the United States and the Czech Republic.

At the time in question, I learned that Meopta's entry level line of binoculars - "MeoPro" - are manufactured in the US. The top of the range "MeoStar" line is made in Czechoslovakia.

I wonder who you learned that from, if Meopta themselves say: "As far as our sports optics products are concerned, Meopta USA only distribute the products that we send from the Czech Republic."

See: https://www.birdforu...295&postcount=1


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#128 hallelujah

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Posted 26 October 2019 - 07:14 AM

Mark,

 

Thanks for posting that link.  waytogo.gif

 

Stan



#129 GabrielKnight

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Posted 26 October 2019 - 01:27 PM

Mark 9473,

This is a rather old article (2012), but it references Meopta's "MeoPro" line of rifle scopes as being made in the USA with components shipped from the Czech Republic. I'm very sure that I came across something similar with respect to the MeoPro line of binoculars, but will have to dig it up with some more internet sleuthing.

Further, if you examine the thread protector on the front of the MeoPro range of binoculars (inc. current models), every single version I've encountered reads either "Assembled in USA" (8/10x32mm/42mm) or "Designed by Czech Republic" (8x56mm) versus the "Made in Czech" that graces the MeoStar line.

On the above note, Meopta's North American website (meoptasportsoptics.com) explicitly states the following models as being "American assembled":

i. MeoPro HD 8x32
ii. MeoPro HD 10x32
iii. MeoPro HD 8x42
iv. MeoPro HD 10x42

Lastly, I've no idea what the situation is re: the MeoRange, MeoSport and Optika HD offerings re: place of manufacture/assembly etc.

Regards,

G.K.

Edited by GabrielKnight, 26 October 2019 - 01:40 PM.

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#130 Mark9473

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Posted 26 October 2019 - 03:22 PM

That's interesting. Trying to think how both stories can be right but I can't see it.



#131 Pinewood

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Posted 26 October 2019 - 07:16 PM

That's interesting. Trying to think how both stories can be right but I can't see it.

Hello Mark,

 

My MeoPro 6.5x32 was assembled in the USA.  The company may have discontinued USA assembly, only recently.

 

Clear skies,

Arthur



#132 j.gardavsky

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Posted 27 October 2019 - 11:44 AM

As Meopta makes most bussines in shooting sports optics, it sounds as normal that they manufacture in the U.S.

 

Zeiss Germany makes most of their bussiness in tactical (military) optics, surgery microscopes, and medical optics.

Their binoculars and spotting scopes are manufactured just to show their presence.

I would love to have the Zeiss eyepieces from their periscope in the submarines. I have seen these EPs on a pic.

 

Best,

JG


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#133 tothenorth

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Posted 28 October 2019 - 10:38 AM

Great list! 

 

If you could only keep one, what would it be?

Here is rundown of 40-50mm-ish binoculars that I've tried and still own and enjoy.

 

Canon 10x42 IS

Canon 18x50 IS

Nikon Prostar 7x50

Nikon WX 7x50

Nikon WX 10x50

Miyauchi Binon 7x50

Pentax 10x50 ED

Swarovski 10x50 EL

 

None of above is used daily, I mean literally everyday (night).

 

I use Kowa Genesis Prominar 8x22 most.  I carry with me everywhere I go.

So I use everyday.

 

I also carry Nikon 5x15 monocular everywhere.  

I just upgraded to Goto 5x18 monocular, excellent 10 degrees TFOV, by the way.

 

Recent months, I use Oberwerk 70mm binoculars most for astronomy and long distance daytime viewing.

 

I use ZenRay 7x36 and Canon 12x36 when I go anywhere by car.  They are in my backseat.

 

What I am getting at is that there is no single best instrument that I can say "It is the best."

 

I choose one (or two) for observing session/occasion that I think I can enjoy most out of it. 

They are there for a reason to minimize "I wish I had binoculars in my hands." It is for serendipity.

 

So I ended up with so many of them...  smile.gif

 

Tammy

 


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#134 steveyo

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Posted 28 October 2019 - 12:38 PM

I have several pairs of binos, but the absolute best view for handheld I ever tried, bar none, is Canon 10x42IS. There are no downsides, other than price and a little more weight. And I bought used, in the $800 range. No contest.


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#135 Illinois

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Posted 31 October 2019 - 05:46 AM

I see that none in this post or am I missing Orion binoculars? Is that good?


Edited by Illinois, 31 October 2019 - 05:47 AM.


#136 Binojunky

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Posted 31 October 2019 - 09:41 AM

I wonder who you learned that from, if Meopta themselves say: "As far as our sports optics products are concerned, Meopta USA only distribute the products that we send from the Czech Republic."

See: https://www.birdforu...295&postcount=1

My Meopro 6x32 stated assembled in the USA from Czech parts? ,  D.



#137 saidentary

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Posted 31 October 2019 - 04:50 PM

(Skip to bottom line below if you don't want to read the 2 paragraphs that follow.)

Canon makes several image stabilized binoculars. The only ones (as far as I know) with "luxury" (L) glass are the Canon 10 x 42 L IS. 

I own these and LOVE them.  Years ago (early to mid 1990's) I tried several pairs of binoculars at Camera Corner.  They stocked at least one pair of Canon image stabilized binoculars.  Even then I really liked the image stabilization, but the image wasn't good enough for me (even with image stabilization--I remember thinking at the time that it was too bad that Canon didn't offer an image stabilized binocular with better optics).  I also tried a pair of Zeiss and those had field curvature, which I found quite annoying, particularly at that high price point (well over a thousand dollars at the time, as I recall).  I tried a pair of Nikons (in the 300-500 dollar range, as I recall) and wasn't impressed. I ended up with a wonderful pair of Leica Trinovid 10x50 BA binoculars.  Their image is almost flat and sharpness is stunning.  They are, however, quite heavy and difficult to hold still.  Also these Leicas have no tripod adapter.  

 

Fast forward a few decades.  I had read several people's description of the Canon 10 x 42 IS binoculars and bought a pair.  I'm extremely happy with them.  They are flat across the field and their color correction is excellent.  Comparing back and forth, they are extremely similar in image quality to my Leica Trinovid 10x50 BA binoculars, and based purely on the image quality, it's impossible for me to say which I like better.  But the image stabilization is an absolute game changer!  I've thought about getting Swarovski EL 10 x 50 binoculars or some other alpha binocular, but the image quality of the Canon 10 x4 2 L IS is really excellent.  If they weren't image stabilized, they'd still be excellent, but with image stabilization, they're awesome.  And even with the luxury glass and image stabilization, they're still cheaper than many of the alpha binoculars which don't have image stabilization.  Based purely on the optics, they almost certainly wouldn't be as good a pair of Swarovski EL 10 x 50 binoculars, but I couldn't say how close they'd be.  Someone who could tell you that is Tamiji Homma (post #23) who owns them both.  But the image stabilization makes them easier to see through and (I would contend that) it's reasonable to factor this in when comparing their optics to the optics of other top tier binoculars, especially since these are cheaper than many of those other "alpha" binoculars. (I don't understand why Swarovski doesn't make an image stabilized version of the EL 10 x 50 binoculars.  I'd be willing to pay a LOT for a pair of those.  But they don't.)

 

Bottom line: I'd very highly recommend the Canon 10 x 42 L IS.  They aren't that heavy, even with image stabilization (lighter than my old Trinovids which don't have image stabilization).  For a comparison with the other top dogs, I'd ask someone like Tamiji Homma (post #23) who owns several of them, including the Canon 10 x 42 L IS and the Swarovski EL 10 x 50 binoculars.

 

One other thing to reiterate: Although Canon makes several different image stabilized binoculars, the only ones (as far as I know) with "luxury" (L) glass are the Canon 10 x 42 L IS.  (I haven't bothered to look at any of their other image stabilized models based on my past experience with one pair in the early to mid 1990's--I don't know whether any of their current models [other than the 10 x 42 L IS] are any better now than those were then.)


Edited by saidentary, 31 October 2019 - 05:09 PM.

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#138 j.gardavsky

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Posted 02 August 2020 - 05:17 AM

Meopta Sports Optics in the Czech Rep is regarded as one of the "Zeiss backyards", run under the Meopta company name.

Another "Zeiss backyard" in the Old World, is the Zeiss assembly of the Conquest binoculars in Hungary.

 

Best,

JG



#139 denis0007dl

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Posted 02 August 2020 - 10:41 AM

Absolute Best of the Best in Binoculars???

 

For me, definetly Canon 18x50 IS!

 

I already stated that several times, in several reviews!


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#140 Simon S

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Posted 01 September 2020 - 04:32 PM

Nikon 8x32 SE . Best in my collection anyway.


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#141 dries1

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Posted 01 September 2020 - 06:19 PM

Simon,

 

The SE is still regarded as a great glass today, likely the last of the great porros.

 

By the way, that is an incredible collection.

 

Andy W.



#142 DrJ1

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Posted 01 September 2020 - 08:20 PM

Nikon 8x32 SE . Best in my collection anyway.

Simon:  What a great collection.  If you lived near me in Maryland USA, I'd offer to bring over a bottle of Scotch to see your collection (but not handle binocs after either of us had 2 drinks!).  I wish Nikon would bring back the SE line.  DrJ1




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