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Theron Wapiti binoculars

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/08/2011 at 20:43
Klamath View Drop Down
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Sometimes you have to go looking for optics review opportunities, and sometimes the opportunity drops in your lap.  This is the latter sort.  A couple of weeks ago I had a PM in my inbox at one of the forums I frequent  It was from Pat, owner of Predator Optics, inquiring if I would be interested in reviewing some of his stuff.  Truth be told, he did not have to twist my arm real hard.  We asked each other some questions, related some stances and opinions to each other and as a result of that conversation I received a package from the little brown truck that had a Theron MAG 82 spotting scope, one Wapiti 8x42 HQ  binocular (his lower price alternative) and a Wapiti 8x42 APO-ED (his top end glass). 

 

So, enter the Theron brand.  It is pretty apparent that they are setting their sights on the same price to quality ratio as Zen Ray has been doing.  So I figured, why not, did they make the cut or not?  Well, yes they have.  That Wapiti APO-ED is a serious binocular.  So this immediately will beg the question…which one is better?  It is a fair question too.  This is where the difficulty in writing this arises.  The ZEN ED 2 is no less serious…so which one?

 
Above the ZEN ED x43, Theron Wapiti APO-ED, ZEN ED x36 and on the edge a The Wapiti HQ.
Didn't get the Wapiti HQ in the picture, but it looks just like the APO-ED but shorter and no silver ring.
 
After straining my optical nerves, I finally concluded that they were more different in what matters than alike.  By different, I mean different, not better or worse.  So how are they different?  The Theron APO-ED, like the ZEN ED, is a clear upgrade over the original Vortex Viper and certainly the Nikon Monarch.

 

Ergonomics:

 

There is a substantial difference in the way these glasses handle.  The ZEN is the open bridge style and the Theron is the more traditional piano hinge.  The Theron is long for a piano hinge, but still shorter than the ZEN.  It is about the same weight as the ZEN ED, but feels heavier.  There is the perception that the open bridge style is less sturdy than the piano hinge, so that will have a bearing on choice.  Having seen a few open hinge binoculars without their armor, I was amazed at how much surface area there is on that hinge attachment surface in relation to the area of the ocular it is part of.  Several times more surface contact than with the piano style, you just can’t see it because the armor covers most of it up.  However, having said that, I think the construction goes to the Theron. 

 

Image:

 

Here is where differences will be most apparent.  When an optics company settles on a set of specifications, they have had to walk a pretty fine line.  The line Zen Ray evidently chose with the ZEN ED series was to go with the widest fov they could do.  In their perception, that was what they saw as the greater demand.  So while they do have an industry best fov in both the 30mm+ and 40+mm class, there is of necessity a couple of weaknesses that come with the choice.  The ZEN ED has a little pincushion at the edge, and there is also a little field curvature as well.  The single easiest way to identify a ZEN ED image against an alpha is the softer edge, the double ring, pincushion and distortion, as almost all binoculars do not have a completely sharp edge.  Since most people pay more attention to centerfield view, this is usually not a problem.  However, some people are hyper sensitive to edge defects.  When that is where you are, it is a big deal and those folks are really vocal about it.  So, you can’t please everybody.

 

Theron seems to have decided on a different approach.  They went to a flat image and sharp edge performance as their performance standard.  So, this is a bright, flat, and sharp to the edge glass.  The Wapiti APO-ED additionally uses HD low dispersion glass in the ocular as a field flattener.  There is distortion at the edge, necessary to counteract rolling ball.  There always is in binoculars.  But there is a lot less here than almost anything else I can think of.


Steve
"Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted". Albert Einstein

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/09/2011 at 02:37
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Nice review Steve!

The law of diminishing returns in binoculars is really becoming a b***h for the alphas.

$2500 binoculars ... sheesh.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/09/2011 at 14:11
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Beautiful Steve.  I'm very impressed with the Zen ED2, and now I'll have to look through that Theron for myself!  Within a whisker of the SLC HD is saying something, as that is the most impressive glass I've every looked through.   BTW, how/what  were the accessories for the Theron?

Edited by JGRaider - January/09/2011 at 15:04
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/09/2011 at 15:22
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The Theron comes with a ballistic nylon type of case a fairly standard nylon strap, eye guards, and tethered snap into the objective covers.  They are kind of a tight fit to get them on, but they stay put and you won't loose the things. The tether for the covers is the tripod adapter cover and you have to remove it to get the tethers off.
 
I like and am impressed by the ZEN ED as well.  This Theron will not disappoint you.  As I said in the review some will ceretainly like it better.


Edited by Klamath - January/09/2011 at 15:24
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/09/2011 at 15:50
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Steve,
 
Will SWFA be carrying this new line of binoculars?


Edited by Bird Watcher - January/09/2011 at 15:51
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/09/2011 at 19:59
Klamath View Drop Down
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Originally posted by Bird Watcher Bird Watcher wrote:

Steve,
 
Will SWFA be carrying this new line of binoculars?
I guess that is a decision for Chris.  I think the product is certainly worth a look, and I think SWFA should give this line consideration.  I ckecked about posting non SWFA stuff, but other than that I'm clueless.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/09/2011 at 20:08
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Originally posted by JGRaider JGRaider wrote:

Beautiful Steve.  I'm very impressed with the Zen ED2, and now I'll have to look through that Theron for myself!  Within a whisker of the SLC HD is saying something, as that is the most impressive glass I've every looked through.   BTW, how/what  were the accessories for the Theron?
Well, I'm glad you liked it.  The image comparisons with the Theron to the alphas are a lot like they are with the ZEN ED.  I know you have a ZEN ED and some alphas, so you know what I mean.
 
The Theron is a lot like the Swaro.  Same sort of color bias, contrast, brightness, and edge sharpness.  Look hard enough and you will see some small differences.  But straining your eyes to try and make some comparisons, once you get to good enough, can get tiresome pretty fast. 
 
Here is a photo that should show accessories and objective covers well enough.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/09/2011 at 20:15
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/09/2011 at 20:18
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Originally posted by Klamath Klamath wrote:

Originally posted by Bird Watcher Bird Watcher wrote:

Steve,
 
Will SWFA be carrying this new line of binoculars?
I guess that is a decision for Chris.  I think the product is certainly worth a look, and I think SWFA should give this line consideration.  I checked about posting non SWFA stuff, but other than that I'm clueless.


Steve, excellent review!!!  Thunbs Up


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/09/2011 at 21:57
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Hey mike,
 
My objective would not be to cover that! The accessories are probably better than the binoculars too!
 
Glad you liked the review.


Edited by Klamath - January/09/2011 at 21:58
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/10/2011 at 10:14
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Originally posted by mike650 mike650 wrote:


Is Theron giving out one of these if you buy their binocular?Big SmileSmileBig Grin
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/10/2011 at 10:16
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Thanks for the review Steve. No way to go look at different optics for me and reviews like this one really help. And that goes for everyone who does a review here. They are appreciated!!!!!!!!!!!!!Smile
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/12/2011 at 20:21
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Originally posted by tompac tompac wrote:

Originally posted by mike650 mike650 wrote:


Is Theron giving out one of these if you buy their binocular?Big SmileSmileBig Grin
  Buy a pair of Theron Binoculars or spotting scope and your welcome to come to this fine website and stare at this picture all day for nuttin'    I know i have been...
Whacko BTW, did you guys know that besides the fact she is smokin hot the word Theron is ancient Greek for HUNTER?  she is cool in more ways than one.Big Grin
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/17/2011 at 18:24
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My review of the Theron Wapiti APO-ED is up in the Member's Tests and Reviews Section.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/17/2011 at 19:15
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Matt,
 
Please give us a link HERE in the "Binoculars Forum", so that in the future we won't have to search for it. Thunbs Up
 
Thanks very much!
 
Stan
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/17/2011 at 19:35
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Sorry for the brainfart Stan,

http://www.opticstalk.com/theron-wapiti-apoed_topic27141.html

There ya go.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/17/2011 at 20:03
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Thanks very much!
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