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So I'm currently looking at picking up a pair of the Meopta MeoPro 8x56HD (MSRP $879.95). I was also entertaining the MeoStar B1 10x42HDs which MSRPs for $1,299.95. Does anyone have experience with either of these, or any Meopta glass for that matter? Also, how do they compare to other binos in similar price ranges like Vortex, Maven, Minox, Zeiss etc?
For an easterner I probably spend an abnormal amount of time glassing turkeys in spring, and velvet whitetails nightly from mid july up to the beginning of Oct. I want the best glass I can justifiably get around $1K or under. I currently have ZenRay 10x43ED3s which do the brunt of my glassing year round, and a pair of older Bushnell Elite (open bridge) 7x43s which are my go-to for bowhunting mostly due to size, weight, and mag.
I'm pretty happy with both current glass, but am looking to take it to the next level. Especially when it comes to build quality and light transmission. I had purchased a pair of Vortex Razor HD 10x42s over the summer, but was disappointed to see they are now manufactured in China (used to be Japan from what I've seen?). More so, they appeared to perform no better at low light side-by-side on a tripod compared to the ZRs (I realize the ZRs are 1mm larger on objective). For me personally, the low light performance characteristics of a piece of glass trump most others for the majority of my use.
Any feedback is appreciated.
The Meopta Meastar HD's are fantastic glass. They are certainly better than Vortex in my experience and on par with Zeiss of a similar price range. I cannot compare them to Maven as I have not used them. If you have a Cabela's nearby you can check out their Euro line of binos. They are the same exact glass made for Cabela's by Meopta.
Give Doug at camera land a call, he is the guy for meopta ...
Brotsky put me onto the Cablas Euros which are Meopta. Outstanding glass. I prefer the color in them to my slightly older Swaro EL's. Which I guess I better sell one of these days.
I've got the MeoPro 8 x 42s and I do like them -- good glass, very bright, and even though "only" 8x, still good for general glassing. Since I don't know what I'm looking at most of the time, they're very adequate for me. I currently have noticed a problem with the focus control knob (the plastic cap was damaged during a recent hunt) and I need to contact them to have them replace it, so I haven't (yet) tried their policy regarding repairs.
I have 10x42 and 15x56. Will outperform anything you listed and equal the Zeiss or any other "euro" glass. I have never had anything I would trade them for! I own some Vortex too and there is no comparison side by side.
I just picked up a set of the Meopta B1 15x56s. I was amazed by their clarity on a recent AZ coues hunt (guide had a pair).
Yep TEmbry. I used my 15x56 a lot for deer this year. Often don't need a spotter with those.
Great glass. Best there is for the money. 10 times better than anything Vortex hypes.
Brotsky - thats a great suggestion, thank you! I actually have a cabelas 50min away vs the nearest dealer of meopta optics is over 2.5hrs away. I gotta check them out at dusk outside the store before I'll drop the coin..
Sounds like theres no reservations here. Now I gotta figure out if the MeoPro HDs will fit my need/desire vs the MeoStar HDs which are a bit more....
Elkman thats a pretty strong claim! Like I mentioned I had a pair of Vortex Razors briefly which were really underwhelming compared to my $450 ZenRays
Saddle - try and get there more than just before dark. One of the biggest differences I see in them is color vibrance in the day. That may not sound like a big deal, but sure makes a difference and picking things apart is easier when you see the color changes. Light seemed to be the same as my brother's super expensive Leica's so I think that was OK but for me the biggest wow factor was color vibrance.
Saddle: The Meoptas are excellent. And I had the exact same experience comparing Razors to the ZenRay EDs. The ZenRays are excellent optically, not far from Meopta in that regard, but their quality, durability, and CS are a joke for real hunting applications. The Meos are excellent quality and if you go the Cabelas route the CS can't be beat, because they basically just replace...
APauls - good point. I hadn't considered the importance of comparing when its broad daylight, which is silly because the majority of glassing is daylight and a small portion at dawn/ dusk lighting!
Elkman - agreed 100%. My biggest complaint with the ZRs is the sorta sloppy backlash, and grittiness felt in the focus wheel, and overall build quality lacks in many other areas as well. Light gathering and optical clarity seems good to my eye when comparing side by side to my friends Swaro ELs, considering the price difference. I did have my first pair of ZRs replaced when an entire eye cup assembly came loose, so my only experience with the CS was OK in that regard. I have found I really prefer the open bridge of the ZRs and the old Bushnell Elites so going to a piano hinge will be an adjustment. The Razors appeared to have really good build quality from the outside, and optically were crisp nearly to the edges. But when it came to overall performance, I wasn't blown away.
Small but interesting detail I found with the Razor was that the magnesium frame work extended quite a ways froward where fingers wrap. While I could appreciate the lightness of the frame, that "extra" exposed metal kinda put me off..... I mean why would you want any unnecessary finger contact with metal framework when glassing in cold??
Agreed. The Razors are just under whelming from top to bottom. WAAAY over priced for what your getting optically.