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Fave 8x30/32 Glass

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/26/2013 at 14:15
JGRaider View Drop Down
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Please tell me your favorite 8x30 class binocular, and reasons why you like it.  You can feel free to tell me why you don't like a specific binoc also if you like.  I'm wanting to buy a good binocular in this class to take to Africa in May.  I'm also not interested in paying any more than $1000 or so for themm and this could include new, used, demo, etc.  Thanks in advance.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/26/2013 at 14:45
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If I was willing to spend the money, I'd do the 8x32 SV.  For whatever reason, I don't get the rolling ball there that I do with the 8.5x.  I have no explanation for that other than that is what it is for me.

I see no difference worth quibbling over with the Kowa Genesis 8x33, the  8x30 SLC, or the Meopta Meostar 8x32.  I like the 32 mm Meostars better than their 42 mm siblings, but I have not seen the new HD yet either.  There is almost always a Kowa display at the local bird show every year and the Genesis series are right there with the best.

For almost as much binocular for less money, the Vortex Viper HD 8x32 or the Minox BL Comfort Bridge 8x33 are really good too.

You might look at the Swarovski 8x30 CL.  There is a lot of disrespect for this binocular from Swarovski fans, but frankly I think it is a really good glass.  At our Winter Wings Festival, the Swarovski reps told me that the CL was basically the SLC with a different eye piece and a different chassis. They saw no need to design a new glass when they were shooting for a lower price point.  The simpler eye piece is less expensive but narrower.  It does lack some in fov, but I don't feel it is restrictive enough to worry about.  It is nice and compact and really nice to hold, but does lack the panache feel of the rest of the Swarovski line.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/26/2013 at 14:56
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I went down to the local guy's place at lunch.  He carries the Conquest Hd, Meoptas, Swaro, Leica, Vortex, but had nothing in 8x30'ish.  This is one class of glass I really have almost zero experience with.  I've found an SLCneu 8x30 for $600 that is very tempting.  Some people like, some people hate, some people don't care about the placement of the focuser, but i've never heard a complaint about the optics themselves.  I had an SLCneu 10x42 and loved it.  Plus, with the Swaro, I shouldn't have much trouble selling it if I want to.  Not sure this is the case with the others mentioned.   You're right about the Genesis....primo stuff.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/26/2013 at 15:45
Klamath View Drop Down
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For $600 I'd do the SLC 8x30.  You can always get it refurbished by Swaro anyway.  If you don't like it, it should be an easy deal to get your $$ back and then some.  That's the price of the Viper, near enough.

I think what you will find is that the 8x30 SLC Neu is just a smaller version of the x42 SLC Neu with the focus knob in the front of the hinge.  Since you have some familiarity with Swarovski anyway, I'd say keep it simple out of the gate.


Edited by Klamath - March/26/2013 at 15:58
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/26/2013 at 17:17
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For $600, I too would get the SLC 8X30, though I don't care for the forward focus knob location.

I'm a big fan of 8X32 binos myself. With a good one, you don't really lose as much low light performance as you'd think in exchange for a significant reduction in size and weight. Yet, unlike true compact binos that get swallowed up in man-sized hands, they aren't so small that they're hard to use. They're just handy, and because of that, I find I'm much more likely to carry them everywhere.


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/26/2013 at 18:08
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Maybe this isn't really surprising, given my recent preferences, but I really do like the little Meopta here.  In my experience, resale is not a problem with Meopta.
 
The SLC neu does have a very nice image.  I occasionally hire a backcountry pilot that has them and loves them.  I can't get by with the focus knob however.
 
I really do like the Viper HD 8X32 as well.  It is my favorite of the viper bunch.
 
I once owned the Leupold GR 8X32, and it was also very good, but heavy for the class.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/26/2013 at 20:07
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How does the diopter work on the 8x30 SLCneu? Is it spring loaded, pull out and twist, friction with detents, or what? I've found a pair mfg date of 2006. I called Swaro with the serial # and they have all the latest greatest Swaro coatings.

The only 8x32 Meopta I've found, a demo, is $675. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/27/2013 at 07:11
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JG,
 
What were your feelings on the front-end focuser of the SLC? Some folks don't have a problem with but for others it can be a major inconvenience.
 
Considering your price range and my experience with some of the bins mentioned here I would opt for the Meopta. I looooovvveeee the ergonomics and the image is close to being as good as you can get without resorting to an ED glass binocular.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/27/2013 at 09:01
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FrankD, I don't have them in hand yet, but I will let you know when I get them.  In my feeble mind, I can't justify a Meopta being more $$$ than a SLCneu.  I may feel differently if I compared the two, but there are none to be found around here.  
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