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Leupold Mojave vs Zeiss Terra ED

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/29/2013 at 22:21
krshunter View Drop Down
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In the market for an 8x bino. Funds are limited although I'd try to stretch it if I could find the right deal on a little better set. I know some of this has probably been hit in other posts but I'm limited to Internet on the phone and I have page format issues making it difficult to jump around posts. Very much appreciate input from any of the regular and knowledgable sources on this site.

I had about two hours and looked through the following both indoors and out during the bright of day.
Nikon Monarch 7
Zeiss Terra ED
Leupold Mojave
Vortex Talon
Threw the Cabelas Euro HD (Meopta Meostar) in for comparison
Later got to try the Leupold McKinley HD

I'll start by saying that the Meopta was the easy winner here for me even in the smaller but handy 8x30. Not in my price range at $800 though.

I had trouble getting a full and single image out of the McKinley's due to the very large eye cups compared to ocular lense size. I was disappointed and maybe I missed out on something here but just couldn't get a picture like I did in any of the other binoculars.

Of the rest I personally found the ergonomics, edge to edge clarity and contrast to be best on the Mojaves. The Monarchs seemed a touch brighter but edges not as sharp and like the Talons almost a grey or smokey appearance. Both costing more than the Mojave I couldn't see any reason to consider them.

The Terra ED was the closest to the Mojave IMO but was surprised to see they were made in China. I still have the advantage to the Mojave because of ergonomics. I looked at birds and trees outdoors and animals, dark corners etc. indoors. Not a perfect test by any means but the best I could do.

What could I do sifferently to test? Is there a recommendation 42mm vs 30-32mm? I will use a spotting scope for anything I want a close look at so not interested in 10x's. If I could find a deal on Meopta non HD's would it be worth the extra money over the two favorites here?

Thanks to all.


Edited by krshunter - December/29/2013 at 22:48
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/30/2013 at 09:57
BigGameBalls View Drop Down
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If you like the Mojaves then I would try the cabelas XT2. Same binocular. The glass and coatings may be made to cabelas specs or they may be the exact same as the Mojaves I'm not sure. Either way the glass is fantastic for the price. They are on sale now and you can get them considerably cheaper then the Leupolds.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/30/2013 at 14:03
Klamath View Drop Down
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I can't find a lot of love in my heart for the Leupold Mojave x42 size.  The field is just too narrow.  It is the absolute bottom end of usable and is almost industry worst in class, and even it beats the XT and XT II.  If you can live with that, then it has nice build and ergonomics and what it lets you see is sharp.  Leupold is a first rate company.  Yes it looks like the Cabelas XT and XT II, but that does not mean anything at all other than they have their optics enclosed in the same casing.  

However you have looked at the Mojave and if you are OK with that fov, then that might be the way to go.  The way it handles and fits the face of an individual user is more important than the optics.

I'd seriously look at the ZEN ED 3 series and The Kruger Caldera.  I think both are head and shoulders above the Mojave.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/30/2013 at 16:17
krshunter View Drop Down
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I didn't realize the Mojaves FOV was so small until comparing it to the others you suggested. And yes the Cabelas is even smaller. Specs indicate they aren't the same. The Zen Rays look similar to the Talons. Like the look of the Krugers. I seem to be partial to the larger ocular lenses. How would either of these compare to the Meopta 8x32's? I don't mind saving the money if there isn't significant difference.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/30/2013 at 17:54
Klamath View Drop Down
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I can't tell you about the Meopta.  I have yet to see my first HD.  I thought the original non HD 8x32 Meopta was pretty good.

The Talon and the ZEN series are the same basic optical design.  The coatings will be different as Vortex and ZR want to avoid complete duplication.  If you didn't like the Talon you might not like the ZEN either, but I personally think the ZEN is a little brighter.  I do not see the same difficulty with the Talon image you describe, or for that matter with the Monarch 7 either.

The new Meostar and the rest of the things in the discussion represent two distinct quality levels.  You can and probably should expect them to be better in quality.  I have no idea how you will see the comparison.  

In my opinion, it may well be worth the extra $$ for the Meopta.  At the nearly $1,000 level, I see no need to ever need to spend more $$$.  You will have the security in the back of your subconscious that you have a superior instrument and that can be worth a lot.  A small optic may be very useful depending on how you hunt.

On the other hand, depending how much you have to stretch to get the extra $$ for the Meopta is something you have to figure out.  Not many flies on the Caldera.  It is pretty compact, but quite a bit bigger even so than an x32 glass.  I have yet to feel I have missed anything because I happened to use my Caldera as opposed to something else.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/03/2014 at 11:00
Dr.Pepper View Drop Down
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I have a very newly acquired Cabelas Meopta 8x32 HD. So far I love it and it is easily my best glass. The feel and view of that thing is seductive.

Whenever I go to a big store I usually pester the optic guys and make them show me one or two. Out of the ones on your list I prefer (store experience only) the Monarch 7. I did a side by side at 10x with the Monarch 7 and the McKinley and due to the better brightness, color saturation, eye cups, and feel in hand I would have selected the 7 even if the prices had been reversed. I was surprised because I expected the Leupolds to be notably better. My decision was instantly formed when actually looking through them, one made me smile, the other did not. That's about as much as one can test bins in the store anyway. I don't care what the collective forums say, out of those two specimens the Nikon pleased ME more on the first impression, even when I expected the opposite.

The Terra's I held were so tight in the center hinge that I thought I had broken them when I finally got them to adjust to my pupil width. I think I liked the rest fairly well, but wasn't wowed immediately and the guy was offering to take me outside with a Swarovision 10x50 (my attention turned elsewhere in a hurry! view was sweet, focuser was disappointing, balance was so astonishing I had to look twice to verify that they were really 50mm).

I have looked through the Talons and liked them well enough but they are too similar to the Atlas Intrepid and Zen Ray Ed3 that I already have to hold my interest in terms of adding something "new" to the collection.

The relevance of my post is that based on how well I liked the short feel of the Monarch 7,reading somewhere that Klamath said he wouldn't take two Monarch 7s for his Caldera's, the wide view, a growing feeling that I prefer solid body formats, the price difference with careful shopping, and the fact that I have been flirting with buying a Caldera for well over a year, that I ordered one that should be here next week.

In time, I will be able to directly compare the 8x Caldera to the 8x32 MeoStar HD. I hope the conclusion is that I overspent on the HD. I kind of want to know just what the extra 10 mm does for my eyes.   The 8x Caldera will also be used to finally put to rest the mental battle that has been in my head between it and my 7x43 ed3 ever since I registered here.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/03/2014 at 15:37
Klamath View Drop Down
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Originally posted by Dr.Pepper Dr.Pepper wrote:


  The 8x Caldera will also be used to finally put to rest the mental battle that has been in my head between it and my 7x43 ed3 ever since I registered here.

Forget having them side by side will ease your mental battle Smile. I can't come up with an image winner...period.   The difference will be ergonomics and how well one or the other fits your face, eyes, and hands.  I have come to the conclusion that all of the comparisons of this one vs that one are pretty much a waste of effort and bandwidth.  These days there is not a bad binocular out there even at $200.  When we get to the $3-500 range the optics are pretty much a draw and the personal choice with regard to fit and feel will outweigh the optics differences, which I am coming to think are too minuscule to worry about.  I have also come to the conclusion that too many people spend too much time worrying about if that binocular over there would have been a better choice than the one in your hand.

Do your due diligence, buy one and just go use it. Big Smile
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