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<$1000.00 10x roofs with BEST build quality?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/20/2011 at 12:29
nodule View Drop Down
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Hi,

What 10x power roof binocular, that is under $1000.00, overs the very best build quality??

The two that come to mind are:

1. Nikon Premier
2. Pentax DSF ED

I believe both of these models are still made in Japan.

What other models would you add to the list??

I just handled the Zen-Ray ED2, and to be honest, wasnt really impressed with the build
quality. Something about them just screams out, "Made in China." Sorry, just my initial
impression.


Edited by nodule - May/20/2011 at 12:29
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/20/2011 at 12:35
supertool73 View Drop Down
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Meopta Meostars are very good as well.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/20/2011 at 12:54
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SPL13914 Leica 7x42 Ultravid Binocular DEMO-C
Click to view 40260, Black Rubber armored
$999.95
SPL11634 Nikon 10x42 Premier LXL Binocular DEMO-B
Click to view 7503, Black rubber armored, factory refurbished
$859.95
These 2 off the samplelist came to my mind.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/20/2011 at 13:00
nodule View Drop Down
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Thanks, Chris,

I have been considering the Nikon Premier for some time now, but many reviews feel it suffers from quite a bit
of Chromatic Aberration for a $1000.00 binocular.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/20/2011 at 13:53
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I too handled some of the hyped up Zen-Ray ED2's the other day and I was not impressed at all. They felt cheap, and the optics were not as good as people have been talking them up to be I would say the optics were OK at best. I guess you can use the excuse "everyone's eyes are different" but i'm just sharing what my finds were. I can't believe someone would pick the ED2 over some of the other binoculars out there.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/20/2011 at 14:01
nodule View Drop Down
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Midwest,

That was exactly my impressions too on the Zen Rays. Although I must say that their customer
service and attention to customers concerns are 100% TOP NOTCH!

I was just disappointed in the fit and feel and build quality.

I am in a unique position, as I have limited choices due to my tight IPD of 57mm. The two  binos
I would LOVE to own, the Vortex Viper or the Pentax  DSF SP or ED, both built in Japan, will NOT
work for me since their minimum IPD's are 59mm.

It a challenge for sure! The one that will work perfectly is the Nikon Premier 10 x42, but im concern
about significant chormatic aberration in this model that seems to be the general consensus.

So, if I pass on the Nikons, it looks like I may have to just settle for the Chinese glass after all....
oh well....


Edited by nodule - May/20/2011 at 14:03
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/20/2011 at 19:26
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Nodule:
 
You do need to try the Nikon 10x42 as offered by Chris above.  I am thinking he will allow you
to return it, if you just can't get along with it. 
The Nikon LXL or Premier binoculars are very well made, excellent optics, read some of the Allbinos,
reviews on them.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/20/2011 at 21:31
Bitterroot Bulls View Drop Down
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nodule, If you are looking for great optics and a robust build (under $1000), the Meopta Meostar is a great bin.  The Nikon premier is a good binocular in every way but CA control, and CA doesn't bother everyone.  Some online auctions have also seen Swarovski SLCneus not far over $1000 as well.

Perhaps I was lucky with my ED1s and current ED2s.  Their optics are really pretty astounding for the money, IMO.  However, I don't want to "hype" them any more than I already have, but I will say I put my ED1s through more hard use in two years than many people put their binoculars through in a lifetime.

midwest_hunter, I am interested in your opinion on the Zens, because it is different, and discussion is what the OT is all about.  There have been some criticisms (including mine) of build quality with Zen Ray ED binoculars, but not many optical criticisms.  I would like to know in what areas of optical performance you found the Zens lacking.  I am also interested to hear what other binoculars you recommend over the ED2s.  Are there any Chinese produced bins you like?

FWIW, although I really agree that the "feel" of the ED2 doesn't have the same polished feel of German, Austrian, and top-end Japanese glass, I do really think they are pretty durable.


Edited by Bitterroot Bulls - May/21/2011 at 07:49
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/21/2011 at 07:46
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I would agree with the other comments about the Meoptas. If you are looking for some of the best build quality then the Meopta Meostars would be my first choice right now. They, and their Cabelas counterparts...the Euro, are easily one of the best built binos I have handled. I would throw in the Leica Trinovids too but they are harder to come by now.
 
I don't have a negative opinion of the Zen ED2s. Agreeably, they don't have Alpha build quality. But then they are only $350 roofs.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/21/2011 at 08:48
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I'd consider these options if you want tough/great glass in one package:
Leupold Gold Ring HD's if you can find one
Pentax DCF ED
Swaro SLCneu used/mint-don't get in a hurry and you can find one for $1k
The Meopta/Cabelas Euro are great, as has been mentioned.  
Steiner Nighthunter XP -Steiner makes the toughest, or as tough a bino as there is on the planet. 
  http://www.24hourcampfire.com/ubbthreads/ubbthreads.php/topics/5229593/all/Steiner_Nighthunter_XP_8x42_Fi

Kowa Genesis XD

I don't have a negative opinion on the Zen Ed2's either.  Build quality a step below my GR HD and SLC HD"s, but fantastic glass, on par with the SLCneu and EL's my buddy has, IMO.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/21/2011 at 08:54
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Originally posted by Bitterroot Bulls Bitterroot Bulls wrote:

 
Perhaps I was lucky with my ED1s and current ED2s.  Their optics are really pretty astounding for the money, IMO.  However, I don't want to "hype" them any more than I already have, but I will say I put my ED1s through more hard use in two years than many people put their binoculars through in a lifetime.

midwest_hunter, I am interested in your opinion on the Zens, because it is different, and discussion is what the OT is all about.  There have been some criticisms (including mine) of build quality with Zen Ray ED binoculars, but not many optical criticisms.  I would like to know in what areas of optical performance you found the Zens lacking.  I am also interested to hear what other binoculars you recommend over the ED2s.  Are there any Chinese produced bins you like?

FWIW, although I really agree that the "feel" of the ED2 doesn't have the same polished feel of German, Austrian, and top-end Japanese glass, I do really think they are pretty durable.

That pretty well sums it up for me too.  The ED2's that I had, a 10x43, ran right there with my SLCneu, my buddy's EL's, and were a step up from my trinovid's, Bushnell Elite (fantastic), and an older SLC WB.   I also find it interesting from MD on another forum (outdoor writer) that he loaned his ZR ED's to an Alaskan guide he hunted with a couple of years ago because he was so impressed with them.  Last I heard, MD said his guide friend has gone through two brutal Alaska hunting season with those Zen's with no issues at all.  I  believe them to be tougher than people give them credit for.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/23/2011 at 07:23
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Nodule, if I were you I'd try and find a nice used pair or Swarovski SLC, Zeiss FL's, Leica Trivoids, Nikon Premier.  You can't get much better than these.  Other then those listed the Meopta's would be a very close 2nd choice.  I almost went with those myself.  Take it from someone that went through four pairs of binoculars and go ahead and spend the money and buy the best and they will last you a long, long time.  I went with Swarovski myself since they had the best warrenty/customer service in the business and they have a very bright image and felt good to my eyes and in my hands.  Best of luck to you.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/23/2011 at 08:58
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The optics in the ED2 are not horrible for a $400 binocular, but with the other options there are right around the same price, I dont see why to go with the Zens. I have been trying to get my hands on a pair to do a side by side against the Vortex talon. I found the 10x42 Talons to be brighter than the 10x43 ED2 and the most noticable difference was the ED2 lacking in build quality. I haven't been able to discuss the ED2 becuase I had never gotten my hands on a pair since just last week. The way they were talked about made it sounds like they were a good alternative to binoculars twice the price, but I didnt see it.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/23/2011 at 10:30
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http://Kowa 8.5x44 Genesis Binocular DEMO-B
always read + reviews on these. looks like great price....
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/23/2011 at 10:39
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Originally posted by Midwest_Hunter Midwest_Hunter wrote:

The optics in the ED2 are not horrible for a $400 binocular, but with the other options there are right around the same price, I dont see why to go with the Zens. I have been trying to get my hands on a pair to do a side by side against the Vortex talon. I found the 10x42 Talons to be brighter than the 10x43 ED2 and the most noticable difference was the ED2 lacking in build quality. I haven't been able to discuss the ED2 becuase I had never gotten my hands on a pair since just last week. The way they were talked about made it sounds like they were a good alternative to binoculars twice the price, but I didnt see it.
 
 
I have had both 8x and 10x Talons and ZEN ED 2 binoculars side by side three times now.  I was originally assured by at least two different people at Vortex that the Talon was a completely different binocular.  Baloney.  It is completely obvious they are the same thing.  The Talon has a little different armor, the armor is either thicker, or maybe they tweaked the housing, but whatever they did, the barrels of the Talon are thicker than the ZEN.  The focus knob is a bit different too.  But other than that, the ONLY way to tell which is which is to look at the labels.  So here you are saying the optics for the ZEN are not horrible for $400, but there are other options at the same money.  Just what are those other options? 
 
Now you are either saying you have or have not had a ZEN ED 2 10x43 in your hand.  You are saying, evidently that you have had a Talon and thought it was brighter than the ZEN ED 2.  Evidently this was not side by side in the same circumstance.  How is that?  Let me say this again, they-are-the-same-binocular.  There is also no noticeable difference in build quality, unless the thicker feel of the Talon does not suit a particular user.  But that is ergonomic, not construction.
 
I don't care a bit that there are some negative comments on any particular binocular.  It is pretty obvious that no single binocular can please everybody.  The near flood level of positive comments about the ZEN ED series glass seems to me to say something about them.
 
Seems like your big gripe with the ZEN ED 2 is that they don't have a Vortex label.  Now that Vortex has said "...me too..." and have brought out the Talon, you seem to think it's a good glass.  Just to be clear here, both are excellent optics for their price.  I would have to see for myself that there is ANYONE who can tell the images apart.  It might as well be the ZEN Talon or the Vortex ED 2.  By the way, this is not a Vortex knock.  I now have Vortex binoculars and have almost always had Vortex optics.  They are a good outfit and have good stuff.
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/23/2011 at 11:17
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I'll admit that I'm a fan of Vortex, but they are not the one and only company that I look into when choosing optics. With all the positive reviews and suggestions I was hearing about the Zen Rays, I thought I'd give them a look.  I'm not as disappointed with the ED2's optics as I am with their overall quality and feel. I wouldn't say the Talon and ED2 are the same binocular, but they are similar and around the same price so it makes sense to comapir the two. To ME the Talons had better construction, and they also seemed brighter. Not trying to step on anyone's toes here, just sharing what my findings were.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/23/2011 at 11:43
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Originally posted by nodule nodule wrote:

Hi,

What 10x power roof binocular, that is under $1000.00, overs the very best build quality??

The two that come to mind are:

1. Nikon Premier
2. Pentax DSF ED

I believe both of these models are still made in Japan.

What other models would you add to the list??

I just handled the Zen-Ray ED2, and to be honest, wasnt really impressed with the build
quality. Something about them just screams out, "Made in China." Sorry, just my initial
impression.
I doubt Pentax DCF ED will offer any better build quality than ZEN ED. I had them side by side in comparison before I settled on the ZEN ED binoculars. Optically, ZEN ED is just simply better than the Pentax: brighter and wider field of view. I can see a faint line of yellow tint when looking at the roof edge with DCF ED.  It's complete absent from the ZEN ED.
 
Heard a lot of of good thing for Nikon Premier. If you do get that one, I am interested in your review here.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/23/2011 at 13:22
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Well said Steve.  I try my best to put bias aside when I compare optics, guns, etc.  I know from your past track record that you do also.  That's why your reviews are so informative and interesting.  


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/02/2011 at 15:08
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NIKONs are a different class bin. As was stated find a slc, bn or ba or an original venturer, I have a 10 that's the best 10x42 I own glass wise, fov is not to alfa standards though. Ca is less than my night owls but more than my leicas.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/02/2011 at 20:40
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Originally posted by goat goat wrote:

NIKONs are a different class bin.


Which Nikons?

Nikon makes binocular lines in many different classes.

Monarchs are Chinese-made, mid-price market fillers.

The mentioned Premier's were alphas in every way but CA control.

EDG binoculars are alphas themselves, IMO.  They are really good.  I would like a pair myself.


Edited by Bitterroot Bulls - July/02/2011 at 20:43
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/03/2011 at 00:19
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I literally own almost every alpha made from leicas ba/bn to hds to night owls classics fls and v2a, and to this day the orgional NIKON venturer not lxl, has possible best view of any 10x42 I've ever had other than the smaller fov which takes away from the overall image imo. They are simply incredible, though Ca is there its no more so than my ziess, and my ba 10x50s are almost without any.My top measurement for me is 1st resolution, then fov, then dof. Only the best of the 10x50s better them and barely. The edg in the 10 is the best 10x I have tested bested by only the new 10x50el, again IME a resolution fov guy as with an eye exam, never ask me how bright the lines are just what's the smallest I could read, to account for my eyesight. Guess I am saying an optional NIKON venturer has some of the best glass I have seen, ever, if the smaller fov doesn't bother u.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/03/2011 at 00:23
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Sorry for the bad typos, but this cell literally stinks to post anything. Hope u guys can read at least some of this. Best of luck in your decision.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/03/2011 at 00:25
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BTW if u do the zrays, do the 8x not the 10x, its a much better glass.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/03/2011 at 01:13
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A couple of comments:

-Looking at new binoculars for less than $1000, I would undoubtedly go with Meopta Meostar.  They agree well with my eyes and are superbly built

-With the newest crop of Chinese ED binos marketed by Hawke, Zen-Ray, Vortex, etc, I found that I much prefer the 8x version to the 10x ones.  Perhaps, the 10x are not as well compensated or perhaps I was simply unlucky with the ones I have seen


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