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My first true "Alpha" bin

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/31/2011 at 22:14
Bitterroot Bulls View Drop Down
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Well, I have been doing a lot of horsetrading lately, and through some lucky circumstances on a certain evil online auction site, I have recently accumulated some spending money.  Some recent threads really got me thinking about my position on "Alpha" binoculars.

This thread in particular:

http://www.opticstalk.com/upgrading-binos_topic26977.html

In that thread I "ranked" binoculars I had actually used (even briefly) for how I liked them overall.  That list was topped with 1.Zeiss 2.Leica 3. Swarovski.  There they were, the BIG 3.  I was a little surprised, I thought my favorite binoculars were Meoptas, but there they were at number 4.  Price DOES matter.

I have always been a big proponent of real-world value for hunters, because I am a hunter, and that is why I got into optics in the first place.  The ED bins coming out of China right now are really good optically.  I have the ZEN EDs in my favorite configuration, 10X43.  They offer a fantastic view that is just hard to believe, given their price.  I recently spent some time with, and reviewed the Theron Wapiti APO-ED 8X42 and came away with a similar impression as the ZEN.  These are great values, no doubt.  However, they both offer compromises. 

The Theron shows field curvature, and some a little purple Chromatic Aberration in high-contrast situations.  It has a relatively narrow field of view.  While the build quality is sturdy, it is not ... well ... refined.

The ZEN is wider, but a little soft at the edge.  The Zen also shows a little CA, but not in the center of the field.  The ZEN shows a halo of prismatic light when I get my eyes  deep into the cups.  The build quality is OK, but my armor is loosening a little and one rubber eyecup has loosened from its metal cup.  The focus wheel is a bit slow, and doesn't have the best feel.

These are minor quibbles, I know, and both bins far outperform their price points.

I also own (now just recently owned) two sub-alpha bins Meopta Meostar and Vortex Razor.  The Meoptas were just about perfect, but I had to glue the diopter adjustment, and they showed noticeable CA in an otherwise awesome image.  The Razor showed a little CA, but the field showed too little distortion, and I get some rolling ball.  Both are GREAT bins, and I thoroughly enjoyed using them.

Picky? Probably.

But I used a bin (borrowed) for about a week a while back and I noticed no flaws.  I loved it, and it loved me.  It was a Zeiss Victory FL, and it is at the top of my binocular list in the above referenced thread.  I knew I could never spend $2000 plus for a binocular, so I just assumed it would never happen, and the other bins I have were so close anyway.  But then, I noticed SWFA was closing out their 10X42 FLs in Green. Wait!  Not only were they closing them out, but there was an instant rebate of $100 to boot!

I had just bought a Swarovski rifle scope ... but I still had some stuff I could sell ...  Well here we are and I am waiting for the Brown Truck at my house again.  I can't wait.  My first (uhh, last?) Alpha.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/31/2011 at 22:26
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NICE!


If I could justify the expense I'd snag a set myself. I'm hoping to unload some unloved items at a local gun show 03/05-03/06 which would free up enough fun money to get me a set. "provided there are any left at that point."


If you're happy with them, they must be REALLY good gear. 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/31/2011 at 22:37
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Originally posted by neilbilly neilbilly wrote:

If you're happy with them, they must be REALLY good gear. 



Are you calling me fickle?

Ouch

I just hope I get a "cherry" pair.

Wink



Edited by Bitterroot Bulls - January/31/2011 at 22:37
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/01/2011 at 15:03
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Well, bad, bad news...

I feel like I stuck my foot in my mouth here, but I called SWFA today to check on my order (which I placed online after they closed last night), and wouldn't you know it, the discontinued (green) Zeiss FLs are gone, gone, gone. So my order was cancelled.

Make no mistake, I'm not ripping on SWFA, with a website and discontinued items, these things will happen.  I'm just sad that my dream pair of bins once again eluded me.  And now I'm a bit thin on binoculars on hand, after selling a few pairs to fund the Zeiss, but I have got some cash, and I'll keep my eye out.

Now I'm going to go cry in a closet.

Sad
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/01/2011 at 15:46
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Matt, something will turn up.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/01/2011 at 15:54
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Keep an eye on the Sample List. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/01/2011 at 16:19
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Ain't that life.  Don't order b/c you don't have the funds.  Have funds but product is sold out.  Darn Murphy.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/01/2011 at 16:24
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Matt,
 
This must feel a bit like the day we found out Santa Claus wasn't real!  Close the closet door please, I can hear you three states away Big Smile.
 
Yeah, something will turn up.  It'll be easier since you have made the decision.  If you can wait until Feb 21 I can post a head to head with the new Razor HD, new Swarovski SLC and Swarovision.  Just to add to any confusion.  Not a review, but there is something called the Winter Wings festival here that will have people from all over.  There is a Vortex-Swarovski dealer coming as a vendor.  I talked to him this morning and he's pretty sure he'll have all the new Vortex HD stuff, sans Viper spotter which won't show 'til May.
 
Thinking I need a  real alpha around for review comparison purposes myself.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/01/2011 at 20:04
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You're going to have some big fun shopping for keeps though, huh?  I would personally love to see the SLC HD and Zeiss Fl side by side.  That being said, I'm very, very impressed with the SLCneu (2010model) I got off the samplelist last Fall.  I spent lots of time behind it aoudad hunting, comparing it with an EL that was in camp, and I honestly am not capable of seeing any difference.  Good luck, have some fun with it, and feel free to educate me whenever you feel the need!

Klamath, can't wait to read what you have to say.   Have any of you guys ever been curious enough about the Nikon EDG to look through one?  Also, what's your take on the Geovid's?  Do you like the idea of the combo unit or prefer to have the bino and rf separate?


Edited by JGRaider - February/01/2011 at 20:07
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/01/2011 at 21:01
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Awww man, that bites. 


Something will turn up for ya I'm sure of it. 



Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/01/2011 at 21:05
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Originally posted by JGRaider JGRaider wrote:

You're going to have some big fun shopping for keeps though, huh?  I would personally love to see the SLC HD and Zeiss Fl side by side.  That being said, I'm very, very impressed with the SLCneu (2010model) I got off the samplelist last Fall.  I spent lots of time behind it aoudad hunting, comparing it with an EL that was in camp, and I honestly am not capable of seeing any difference.  Good luck, have some fun with it, and feel free to educate me whenever you feel the need!

Klamath, can't wait to read what you have to say.   Have any of you guys ever been curious enough about the Nikon EDG to look through one?  Also, what's your take on the Geovid's?  Do you like the idea of the combo unit or prefer to have the bino and rf separate?


I'm pretty close to pulling the trigger on the SLCneu like yours (They were in the top three of my list, and must still qualify as a true "alpha," right?).  They are discounted similarly to the Zeiss right now.  I probably should decide soon, before all the SLCneus are gone as well.  If I do order it, it will be over the phone, though.




Edited by Bitterroot Bulls - February/01/2011 at 21:05
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/01/2011 at 21:15
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Originally posted by Bitterroot Bulls Bitterroot Bulls wrote:

Originally posted by JGRaider JGRaider wrote:

You're going to have some big fun shopping for keeps though, huh?  I would personally love to see the SLC HD and Zeiss Fl side by side.  That being said, I'm very, very impressed with the SLCneu (2010model) I got off the samplelist last Fall.  I spent lots of time behind it aoudad hunting, comparing it with an EL that was in camp, and I honestly am not capable of seeing any difference.  Good luck, have some fun with it, and feel free to educate me whenever you feel the need!

Klamath, can't wait to read what you have to say.   Have any of you guys ever been curious enough about the Nikon EDG to look through one?  Also, what's your take on the Geovid's?  Do you like the idea of the combo unit or prefer to have the bino and rf separate?


I'm pretty close to pulling the trigger on the SLCneu like yours (They were in the top three of my list, and must still qualify as a true "alpha," right?).  They are discounted similarly to the Zeiss right now.  I probably should decide soon, before all the SLCneus are gone as well.  If I do order it, it will be over the phone, though.





I have both the EL and SLCneu, and to me, the significant differences between the two is weight, focus wheel, ergonomics, and price.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/01/2011 at 22:09
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I have had lots of field time with the SLCs and a little with the ELs.  I noticed more CA in the ELs than the SLCs.  The ELs also had a little more pincushion.  Maybe that was that single pair of ELs. 

The SLCs I have used were the generation previous to the SLCneu.  They had an extremely similar view to my Meostars with the SLCs having better CA control. 

I haven't had any serious field time with the SLCneu,  but I have looked through a couple pair (10X42 and 7X42).  I might be remembering things, but I think they must have changed the optic system a little, because the neus seemed a bit more neutral, and bit more contrasty.  Does that sound about right, JG and Mike?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/01/2011 at 22:12
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Tough "neus"but I'm sure you'll find something you "Leica"
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/01/2011 at 22:20
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That's punny, Jon.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/02/2011 at 05:37
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Originally posted by Bitterroot Bulls Bitterroot Bulls wrote:

Well, bad, bad news...

I feel like I stuck my foot in my mouth here, but I called SWFA today to check on my order (which I placed online after they closed last night), and wouldn't you know it, the discontinued (green) Zeiss FLs are gone, gone, gone. So my order was cancelled.

Make no mistake, I'm not ripping on SWFA, with a website and discontinued items, these things will happen.  I'm just sad that my dream pair of bins once again eluded me.  And now I'm a bit thin on binoculars on hand, after selling a few pairs to fund the Zeiss, but I have got some cash, and I'll keep my eye out.

Now I'm going to go cry in a closet.

Sad
 
 
  Don't you hate when that happens?
 
  I feel your pain. When I went to order the soon to be discontinued Viper 6x32 binoc,after looking at them at SWFA 2 days before,GONE!  But I did get some GOOD advice and ended up with the ED2 7x36.   Yippee
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/02/2011 at 08:46
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Hey Bitterroot.  I believe you're right.  When I was shopping around for mine, I called Swaro USA myself. They informed me that any SLCneu with a mfg date of 2007 and later had all the latest, greatest glass and coatings found on the EL's (not swarvision), i.e swarobright, etc.  My neighbor who I hunt with extensively has a 10 yr old SLC, and while still great, the SLC neu is a little notch above.   I have also found the SLCneu more durable than the EL.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/02/2011 at 09:00
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http://www.samplelist.com/Zeiss-10x42-Victory-T-FL-Binocular-DEMO-B-P1565.aspx
Don't know if these fall into your price range or not, but if they do, I've found the DEMO-B stuff on the samplelist to be VERY nice. Last thing I bought from there, I swore was brand new. If you keep your eyes open, something will turn up. When I was in your position, I ended up with a like new pair of Leica Geovid 10x42's for $1300. I was not dissapointed.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/02/2011 at 14:16
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Well, I could never keep money in my pocket.

I just got off the phone with Josh at SWFA and now have a brand new pair of SLCneu 10X42 coming my way.  One silver lining ... they will compliment my new Z3 scope nicely!


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/02/2011 at 16:14
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Good job Matt!!!Yippee

You can't take it with you and life is short!!!Excellent
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/02/2011 at 16:16
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Good for you!Excellent Let me know how you like them.... I'm in the market for a good pair of bino's myself!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/02/2011 at 16:20
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Nice work Bitterroot.  Please give us your take on the binocs and scope.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/02/2011 at 16:51
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NICE! Excellent
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/02/2011 at 16:57
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Always good to coordinate.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/02/2011 at 19:16
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   Thunbs Up Thunbs Up !!
 
 
   YikesI guess you can come out now.   Bucky
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