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Binos under $1000

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Category: Other Optics
Forum Name: Binoculars
Forum Description: Anything that requires two eyes to look through it
Printed Date: July/05/2020 at 18:11
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 12.01 -

Topic: Binos under $1000
Posted By: alaska_guy
Subject: Binos under $1000
Date Posted: August/09/2018 at 01:16

 I currently own a pair of the CL 8x30 binos and they are good, however I have I really think for my use while hunting some 10x42 would suite me better.  I really like the compact design of the 8x30 and the glass is nothing to really complain about.

I decided to look through the Vortex Razor 10x42 and the Nikon Monarch 7 10x42.  I was really impressed with the clarity, the eye cups and the ease of use of the Nikon.   I really wanted to like the vortex because the design feels much like my swaro (IE: hard case design, thumb cut outs etc).  However, When looking at an eye chart the Nikons seemed to be clearer and easier to read the chart.  I also did not like the vortex eye cups at all.  I wish the Nikon body wasn't that rubbery plastic and they would have put thumb grooves in their binos, but that's about the only negative I could come up with.

How does the Meopta compare? 

Posted By: Scrumbag
Date Posted: August/09/2018 at 03:36
I personally feel the Meopta knocks the spots off the others you have mentioned

Was sure I had a point when I started this post...

Posted By: JGRaider
Date Posted: August/09/2018 at 08:34
Agree with Scrumbag on  the Meoptas.  They are great.   The Tract Toric can  hang with any of these mentioned  though, for far less money.   I've compared my Toric's to all of them, in the  field, on tripods. 

Posted By: alaska_guy
Date Posted: August/09/2018 at 15:50
Interesting... Never really heard about toric before.  I assume since you have the older version these might be better?  Looks like they just came out with the SCHOTT model this year.

Posted By: WJC
Date Posted: August/09/2018 at 19:30
Hi, Alaska_Guy:

It is understandably intuitive for the average observer to see “newer” as “better.” But while this may be true on a computer screen or in a spreadsheet, it says nothing about the ability of the observer to recognize the difference. It has been my observation, over decades speaking with observers, that so many are often bold talking about differences in two similar binoculars when in fact the eye/brain connection in humans are often MILES away from truly being able to discern that difference. Talk is cheap; science is considerably more demanding.

Although most observers—with some exceptions—are not trying to grandstand, they just lack much of the basic knowledge of optics and, in speaking, just fall back on the familiar.

For example:

Comparing a binocular with magnesium fluoride coatings on all glass-to-air surfaces to the same instrument with today’s multi-coatings, an observer may experience an increase in light transmission of 13% or slightly more. But when comparing the multi-coatings of two leading manufacturers the difference is so small as to be INCONSEQUENTIAL. Frequently, when an observer suggests (or insists) one manufacturer’s coatings are “NOTICEABLY” superior to those of another brand of similar quality, the difference he or she is seeing probably relates more to baffling, prism shields, edge blackening, size and position of the field stop, knife-edge on that stop, prism type, slotted prisms (in Porro prism instruments), smoothness of surfaces, configuration of the eyepiece, and other considerations than coatings alone.

Those are just 9 examples. And then, when you throw in the differences in the individual’s physiological situation—strabismus, cataracts, early onset glaucoma, macular pucker, retinal scaring, etc.—it can make those comparison virtually useless. It’s not that advertised improvements have not been made. It’s just that tiny “improvements” made in a computer printout are essentially never proven AT THE EYEPIECE, which is the only place it really counts.

All that to say JGRaider has steered you right. In the last 30 years, advances in technology associated with manufacturing and testing has allowed the Chinese startup to nip the heels of the European legends. My historian side is appalled; my consumer side is quite pleased. Today, you can buy 95 to 97% of what most observers would call an “ALPHA,” for a third the money.

In my younger days, I owned 3 Hofner 500/1 bass guitars, 4 Rickenbacker 4001s, and 2 Jazz Basses. Today, when I have time, I use my Fender Jazz Bass ... SQUIRE (PUKE)! But it’s only years of ego that make me say “puke.”

It looks like a REAL Fender Jazz Bass

It feels like a REAL Fender Jazz Bass

It SOUNDS like a REAL Fender Jazz Bass

BUT ... it cost $1,000 less than a REAL Fender Jazz Bass

Which would you rather have, money or maturity?


Some states and communities are “locked down;” others are not. This shows as much intelligence, wisdom, and maturity as having a peeing section in a public swimming pool!

Posted By: gunut
Date Posted: August/10/2018 at 10:14
 My father in law way a bass player in a Jazz Band....he also delivered mail to pay the bills.....

agree on the Meopta….But if you can find a Minox HG on closeout give them a thought.....


Posted By: mcslco
Date Posted: August/13/2018 at 01:44
What I learned in our binoculars factory is that the more price , the better parts and qualityWink

Mcslco Optics ( is the No.1 manufacturer/factory of binoculars, monocular and spotting scopes in Chongqing, China since 1987.

Posted By: supertool73
Date Posted: September/13/2018 at 11:17
Originally posted by Erictheguy Erictheguy wrote:

I agree that with quality comes the price.  You ain't gonna get a really good one at a very low price.  I personally go with Zeiss Victory SF.  There are good reviews for different binoculars like what's on this page.  A little pricey but good set of choices.

For $1000 you can get binos that nip at the heals of Alpha binos.  I spent $550 on my Meopta HDs on a sale and they are surprisingly close the my Victory bino's. 

Lifetime warranty and excellent customer service don't mean a thing when your gun fails during a zombie attack.

"A Liberal is a person who will give away everything they don't own."

Posted By: koshkin
Date Posted: September/13/2018 at 11:59
In terms of binoculars, I second the Meopta Meostar recommendation.  For around $1k, I think that is your best bet in terms of both image quality and build quality.


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Posted By: JGRaider
Date Posted: September/14/2018 at 08:58
Another vote of confidence for the Meostar  HD's.   Another one that is every bit the Meopta is, optically, is the Tract Toric.   Build quality not  quite as  robust, but a fantastic binocular nevertheless, and you'll save a few hundred $$$$.   Chinese Razor's don't make the cut for me.   The  HG's are very nice too. 

Posted By: BobH
Date Posted: November/05/2018 at 21:05
I bought a Tract Toric, and viewed it side by side along with my 13 year old son several nights at dusk against a 10x40 Zeiss Classic, a Swaro EL 8x32 and a Zeiss 10x42 FL.  
The tract was very close to the Zeiss FL and the Swaro EL, it was actually hard to tell much difference.
Both my son and I subjectively liked the Swarovski the best, not sure if it was the 8x that made that difference amongst the other 3.  Would like to get a pair of Swaro EL 10x32 or 10x42's next.

The Toric I had was the latest Schott Glass unit, pretty remarkable for a 1/4 of the price of the Alpha glass

Posted By: rightwingnut
Date Posted: November/23/2018 at 17:02
 I had the opportunity to use the 10x42 Meopta Meostars HD this last weekend and I was totally blown away by how bright and clear they are. They really shined after the sun went down and gave me def more time to hunt. Only downside to me was they are absolute tanks, feel very robust and heavy.  I am now thinking that a Leica Ultravid BL or Swaro SCL may be worth the upgrade and the additional $500-$700 as they are lighter and hopefully a notch better in low light hunting. I am no expert but just my thoughts.

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