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Vortex Viper HD 8x32 vs Meopta Meostar 8x32

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/26/2013 at 03:55
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Optics GrassHopper
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Hi all. Been reading here for a while and couldn't find what I wanted on a search.  I'm looking for a pair of hunting binoculars - pretty set on 32mm objective lenses and roof prism. Thinking about 8x magnification (or possibly less - ie 6 or 6.5). What do people here think about the Vortex Viper 8x32 and the Meopta Meostar 8x32 ? They seem to be similarly priced and with similar features. Guess I couldn't go wrong with either but I'm interested to hear some opinions. Thanks for your input !


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/26/2013 at 08:20
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I understand from others the Meopta is excellent. I can only speak to the Viper 8x32 HD from personal
use.  I had one about 6 weeks ago, testing it out on a turkey hunt.  The eye relief is adequate for me, and the glass was very good too.  Build quality was fine, but I did not get that warm and fuzzy feeling that they would last forever.  Maybe they would, not sure, but I just wasn't overwhelmed by the build.  They also fit my hands well.  On the downside, it took lots of effort to get the image into sharp focus.  I had to work at it a bit, probably due to the fast focus.  I also prefer a flatter image than you get with the Viper HD.  It is definitely not flat.  I was testing these out for an upcoming trip to Africa at the time.  The Viper HD would have worked, but I was bothered enough by it's shortcomings (purely a personal thing), that I chose to send them back.  Vortex CS is outstanding, as you probably know.  Not intending to hijack here, but I wound up taking a mint, used pair of Gold Ring HD 8x32's to Africa.  They are a fantastic glass, but hard to find. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/26/2013 at 10:00
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Originally posted by JGRaider JGRaider wrote:

Not intending to hijack here, but I wound up taking a mint, used pair of Gold Ring HD 8x32's to Africa.


Aww.. what the heck. Hijack it. That's what I'm going to do. It is a forum for discussion after all....

On a well-known binocular test website, the Meopta and the Viper were ranked right next to each other. Although I really like the appearance and build quality of the B1, the Viper would be the one I would pick between the two, mainly because it is cheaper and the Vortex CS is reputed to be among the best in the industry.

However. If you are willing to spend $800 on a B1, then you should really, really, really consider the Zeiss Conquest HD 8x32, which if you shop around a bit can be had for about $20 more than the B1. I have the original (non-HD) 8x30 Conquest, and I really like it's feeling of great build quality.

You might also look at the Vortex Talon HD, which is an open-bridge design. Optically not any better than the Viper, but it is a bit cheaper, and you should be able to do anything with it that you can with the Viper. IIRC, the Talon has a wider field of view, but check on this yourself. Even if they were the same price, I would still prefer the Talon because of the shape and the wider view. In case you don't like green, Eagle Optics also sells the same model with their brand, and it is colored differently.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/27/2013 at 03:47
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Thanks for those valuable replies and I'm in the research and saving up stage so any suggestions are very welcome.

Although I really like my ZenrayED3 8x43, I feel they are too big and heavy for this application of being carried in the bush. So size, weight and ruggedness are important because they are going to get beaten up, dropped, scratched, wet and have to endure some pretty extreme conditions down here. Budget is $500-$1000 range - not more than that. But I don't want to be buying another pair in a couple of years.

Have both Vortex viper and Zeiss Conquest scopes - love them - especially the zeiss which I find breathtakingly clear.

Actually I might hijack my own thread - forgot to say that mostly will be used in forested areas and mostly at dawn or dusk. So I'm wondering if an exit pupil of more than 4mm would be better. See that the Vortex Viper HD 6x32 is very highly regarded. Strange that Meopta offer the Meopro 6.5x32 but not in the Meostar B1. Guess 6x magnification isn't very popular.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/27/2013 at 08:33
PhilR. View Drop Down
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Hmmmm.... 5mm EP, enough decrease in bulk over a ED3 to make it worthwhile...

Certainly the 6x Viper HD would be a great choice, and I think that you should consider the 6.5x Meopta Meopro too. Although the Viper HD is probably the best choice for your needs, I really like the overall quality and physical appearance of the Meoptas, so between the two, I would go with that one.

You might also consider several 8x36 ED bins too. The Bushnell 8x36 Ultra Legend HD is substantially smaller than your ZR, and is quite sharp and bright. They have a lens coating that is very water-repellent. Here in the US, they are less expensive than the two above. They also include a harness as well as a neckstrap, which is something seldom seen here. Yes, the EP is a bit less than 5, but IMO they would work well for your situation. Also look at the 8x36 Vanguard Spirit ED too. It will be bright, and like the Bushnell will be substantially less bulky than the ZR. I've not used any Vanguard product, but the reviews I've read have been very good.

Lastly, I know that someone with your budget will usually not consider the lower-priced bins, but do look at the Vortex Raptor 6.5x30 porro, which has an EP above 4.5. I was very impressed at how bright and sharp they were, especially when you consider the low price. The price is low enough that if you break one every five years, you will probably still come out even (if not ahead). Even though I have a number of much more expensive bins, I am nonetheless thinking about buying a pair, just because I like them so much.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/30/2013 at 22:30
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Regarding the Meopta Meopro 6.5 X.   Is that in 32 or 42 mm?  Have you checked out this bin?  If you have how good is it?

Originally posted by PhilR. PhilR. wrote:

Hmmmm.... 5mm EP, enough decrease in bulk over a ED3 to make it worthwhile...

Certainly the 6x Viper HD would be a great choice, and I think that you should consider the 6.5x Meopta Meopro too. Although the Viper HD is probably the best choice for your needs, I really like the overall quality and physical appearance of the Meoptas, so between the two, I would go with that one.

You might also consider several 8x36 ED bins too. The Bushnell 8x36 Ultra Legend HD is substantially smaller than your ZR, and is quite sharp and bright. They have a lens coating that is very water-repellent. Here in the US, they are less expensive than the two above. They also include a harness as well as a neckstrap, which is something seldom seen here. Yes, the EP is a bit less than 5, but IMO they would work well for your situation. Also look at the 8x36 Vanguard Spirit ED too. It will be bright, and like the Bushnell will be substantially less bulky than the ZR. I've not used any Vanguard product, but the reviews I've read have been very good.

Lastly, I know that someone with your budget will usually not consider the lower-priced bins, but do look at the Vortex Raptor 6.5x30 porro, which has an EP above 4.5. I was very impressed at how bright and sharp they were, especially when you consider the low price. The price is low enough that if you break one every five years, you will probably still come out even (if not ahead). Even though I have a number of much more expensive bins, I am nonetheless thinking about buying a pair, just because I like them so much.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/31/2013 at 06:56
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the meopro is 6.5x32
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/31/2013 at 09:50
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The 8X32 Meostar is a fantastic bin, and truly lightweight at 19 ounces.  The Gold Ring is optically very good (not quite as good as the Meopta IMO), but really heavy at 27 ounces, which is more than several 42mm bins, and kind of defeats the purpose of going with a 32mm, IMO.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/31/2013 at 19:24
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Take it FWIW.  I am very impressed with Meopta's stuff, but the GR HD is world class stuff.

http://www.allbinos.com/allbinos_ranking-binoculars_ranking-8x32.html


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/31/2013 at 23:37
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Originally posted by JGRaider JGRaider wrote:


Take it FWIW.  I am very impressed with Meopta's stuff, but the GR HD is world class stuff.

http://www.allbinos.com/allbinos_ranking-binoculars_ranking-8x32.html



Allbinos?

Come on JG. Their scoring system is arbitrary and useless. They also rate the SLC neu over the SLC HD.

I had the the GR 8x32. I thought it was pretty nice optically, but it was ridiculously heavy for its class.

The optics certainly weren't in a different league than the Meopta.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/01/2013 at 07:58
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You surely knows what FWIW means, right?  Some people find it very useful, sing it's praises, some do not.  It's no different than your opinion or mine. 

http://www.birdforum.net/forumdisplay.php?f=480


Edited by JGRaider - June/01/2013 at 08:50
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/01/2013 at 11:08
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love the meoptas. if i can find a deal on the 8x32 somewhere i will pick those up no doubtt
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/01/2013 at 11:24
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Originally posted by JGRaider JGRaider wrote:

You surely knows what FWIW means, right?  Some people find it very useful, sing it's praises, some do not.  It's no different than your opinion or mine. 

http://www.birdforum.net/forumdisplay.php?f=480

FWIW,

If you read your post, it states to take your personal opinion (Gold Ring HDs are "world class") for what it (your opinion) is worth, and then back up your opinion with the link to allbinos as some sort of authority.

The allbinos opinion is not like yours or mine in that we say our opinions are ours, while allbinos presents their's like it some sort of quantified fact.

In any case, feel free to feel however however you want about the GRs.  One thing is for certain: they are over a half pound heavier than the Meoptas.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/01/2013 at 11:30
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Originally posted by Bitterroot Bulls Bitterroot Bulls wrote:

Originally posted by JGRaider JGRaider wrote:

You surely knows what FWIW means, right?  Some people find it very useful, sing it's praises, some do not.  It's no different than your opinion or mine. 

http://www.birdforum.net/forumdisplay.php?f=480

FWIW,

If you read your post, it states to take your personal opinion (Gold Ring HDs are "world class") for what it (your opinion) is worth, and then back up your opinion with the link to allbinos as some sort of authority.

The allbinos opinion is not like yours or mine in that we say our opinions are ours, while allbinos presents their's like it some sort of quantified fact.

In any case, feel free to feel however however you want about the GRs.  One thing is for certain: they are over a half pound heavier than the Meoptas.  

Dang, I learned something new today.....If 8oz bothers you, maybe you need to stick to birdwatching.  Here it is in plain english.....take the allbinos tests and birdforum posts FWIW.....just as I intended it to be in the first place.  There, feel better now?  Wink
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/01/2013 at 13:07
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Originally posted by JGRaider JGRaider wrote:

Dang, I learned something new today.....If 8oz bothers you, maybe you need to stick to birdwatching.  Here it is in plain english.....take the allbinos tests and birdforum posts FWIW.....just as I intended it to be in the first place.  There, feel better now?  Wink

Thanks, I do feel better.  Smile

I will take the allbinos rankings for what they are worth, which is not much, although it is interesting to see how perfectly round exit pupils are.

8 oz. doesn't bother me, personally.  I actually carry a heavy 10X42 binocular primarily, which I find a better use of the weight.  Of course, my point was that if one were to choose an 8X32 they would typically be taking size and weight into consideration, and a half pound seems like a lot extra for an 8X32.

Although I do enjoy birding, I think I will keep my primary focus on hunting.

Thunbs Up
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/01/2013 at 13:52
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I ought to stay out of this Big Smile.  Allbinos is what it is, a bunch of subjectively collected "data" presented as objective...which in final analysis it is not.  I am not sure the term "objective optical analysis" is anything other than an oxymoron, as I think it is not possible to keep subjectivity out of the equation.

The big thing Allbinos does not do is they do NOT seem to make any determination if the sample of the binocular they are reviewing is typical, or if it has some issues.  If you take the time to piece through the reviews, you can usually figure out if they reviewed a dud or not.  Sometimes you have to wonder if they did not get a cherry sample as well.  For example, just from my viewpoint, I think it is OBVIOUS IN SPADES they reviewed a flaming dud ZEN ED 2 8x43.  I say this because this is a binocular I have a LOT of experience with, and the binocular they described is not a typical ZEN ED any series.  I do NOT say that because I have any need to validate or defend anything I've ever said about that series of binocular.  I'm not the only one who likes them, and lots of people have agreed with me on their quality, and that is all the validation there I need. On the other hand, I tend to wonder if they got a cherry sample of the Leupold Gold Ring 8x32.  If I did not have my own Leupold Gold Ring 8x42 HD that would fit the Allbinos review word for word, just changing the objective size, I would tend to think they did, but as it stands I tend to take the Allbinos Gold Ring review somewhat seriously.  I have always though there is not a binocular that will seriously best the Leupold GR in anything.  It is at the level that differences will be fit and feel and how the color balance and contrast of the image fit a certain set of eyes.

Another review from Allbinos I wonder about a little is the Alpen Rainier.  I wonder mostly because of my overall suspicion of the fundamental soundness of the Allbinos review process.  This whacked a lot of alphas in both the optics review and in their endurance test, and that makes me wonder if they got a cherry sample...or a typical one.  There is just no way to know.

As to the question posed in the first post..comparing the Vortex Viper and the Meopta.  IMO it's a wash.  I have some lens time with both and they both play at about the same level.  What differences there are between the two will need both binoculars side by side for any differences to be seen.  As far as I'm concerned, if the differences that do exist (and rest assured, differences will exist) need both binoculars ready to hand to see, the difference is not worth troubling yourself over.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/30/2013 at 18:49
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Ended up getting a pair of Vortex Viper HD 6x32. Significantly smaller and lighter than my Zenray ED3 8x43. Comparing the two side by side I have to say the view through the Vortex was better. Very glad I bit the bullet and made the purchase. Perfect binos for hunting (stalking) in my opinion.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/30/2013 at 19:05
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Good call on the 6x32HD.  I have the original Viper 6x32 and I looked at the 6x32HD not long ago side by side with it.  Great little bino.

ILya
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