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I'm looking into a new pair of binos, but am struggling a bit. I have a pair of Minox BV 10x42 and so far I have enjoyed them. I'm in the process of selling a spotting scope (Vortex Viper HD 20-60x85mm)I do not use to fund a new pair of Vortex Razor 10x42. I found a deal so I ordered the Razors to try out in the yard. Last night I glassed objects 400-500 yards away and noticed that the Vortex were clearer out to the edges but brightness and clarity were similar even as the sun set and it got dark. I guess my question is, how do I really test the two sets out and is it worth the $700 upgrade for more clarity on the edges of the glass?
I have found that most midgrade binoculars are very similar, they are all "pretty" good. I would save the $700 until you are able to go all in on a pair of the big dogs. Swaro, Leica, Zeiss. The closest I've found to the top end glass is a pair of Meopta HD's which are also Cabelas Euro HD's. They have held their own next to a pair of Swaro EL's, but still not quite there in the scenarios you mention. Dark thirty AM and PM. That's just my opinion, good luck!
Clarity at the outer edges of the glass is mainly what separates top shelf binos from the pack. It’s also what relieves eye strain when using them.
Optics is one thing I don’t limit my budget on.
How much do you use them? Do you really need them or really want them? If they’re only a little better than what you have… to me $700 isn’t worth it. And as Twinetickler said, meopta makes great binos. I have the 10/42 hd and love them.
FWIW.....when I was researching new scopes for a 6.5 PRC I was putting together earlier this year, I looked at Leupold and Vortex. I already have several Leupold scopes and a binoc. I also have a Vortex on my .300 Winny. I called and spoke to the Vortex tech rep. He was very helpful with the info. The Vortex scopes are made in different countries depending on the model. I didn't ask but I suspect their binos and spotting scopes are the same way. I went with a Vortex scope for two reasons. First, I felt their high end scope was a perfect fit for what I was doing and IMO they have the best lifetime warranty out there. Plus I got a killer deal under their military/LE program. So.....if anyone is interested, give the tech reps a call and pick their brain about their binos and spotting scopes. BTW....I went with a Vortex AMG. It's a German scope. I can literally read the small, fine print on the target paper at 100yds.
I bought my 10x42 Kahles binos in 1996. Paid $820 for them. They are still as good as new. Spend the money, you'll only do it once. Quality optics never go out of style.
I actually bought Cabelas Euro HD's AKA Meopta's and compared them to my Swaro's and sold the swaros. Too many other things I was able to do with that extra thousand dollars. I was unable to notice any conceivable difference and ran them side by side for about 8 months. Low light, max light etc. I used them in all conditions. Both 10x42's and my Swaro's were 10x42 EL's. Main difference is I was using new Meopta's vs about 6-8 year old Swaro's.
They seemed the same in every regard other than the colors popped more in the Meopta's and I like the ergonomics and finish of the Swaro's more. I don't prefer the somewhat sticky rubberized coating nearly all binocs have these days. They don't slide in and out of a harness as nice. But by running them each for quite a while I felt like I was able to give it a good test. Many nights I sat in the yard attempting to ascertain a difference as the sun went down. YMMV