In order not to clog up Bin Bargains I brought the post & more here.
It would seem the MIJ 8.5/10.5X45 open bridge was popular a few years ago 2010-11.
As well the mention of SK glass which as SK-15 is a prism type.
The Artes Vixen ED 8.5x45 DCF 14531 is still available for a grand? at OP/Adorama 41% OFF!.[WTF?]
ETA: The Artes is listed as: "The SK15 High Reflective Coated Sub Prisms let the Vixen 8.5x45mm Artes Binoculars deliver bright images."
I'm not sure what a sub prism entails. The SS claim of SK & BAK-4 sounds as if the two prism types are coupled. "Roof prism design with SK and BaK-4 prism glass" That seems to be what the Artes conveys as well. The Artes also 7* open bridge MIJ though did not place focus wheel ahead of the 1st bridge as the SS.
Flash from the past sorta. Weaver is deemed more of a hunting bin than birding. This was their flagship back in the day the MIJ Super Slam. Only the 8.5x45 is available though it came in a 10.5x45. The 10.5x45 was awarded 2nd only to the Swaro EL2 in their full sized bins 2010 Optics Palooza. Rated them ahead of the Conquest 10X56.
849630 8.5 x 45 Rubber Armor EP-5.3 FOV- 7* 367/122 ER- 0.73/18.5 H/W-6.3/160 5.6/143 Weight-31.2/885 Minimum Focus Distance 9.84'/3m Roof phase coated [w/o mention of prism type coating though notes SK & Bak-4 glass] magnesium chassis, rubber armor.[Styrka mentions high-grade SK-15 prisms in their flagship S9 42mm]
Swarovski EL 42 Sworovision 10x42
Swarovski has further pushed the envelope of optical perfection with this high-performance binocular. The optic renders a world-class image stylishly and comfortably, and even small details--such as the locking center diopter wheel, redesigned focusing system and twist-in eyecups--are elegant and functional. If price is no object, the well-balanced open-bridge Sworovision won't disappoint. But if the gem-bright image and stunning definition are breathtaking, so is the stratospheric price tag.
Overall Rating: 4 stars
Optical Quality: 1st
[ Price: $2,754 ]
Weaver Super Slam 10.5x45
This is not your father's Weaver. The first giveaway is the hip two-toned armor and serrated eyecups and focus wheel; the second is the dazzling optical clarity; and the third is the premium price. The binocular won our low-light test and was no slouch on the resolution range. The clicking, locking hinge got mixed reviews.[Open bridge has a IP distance lock on the forward hinge]
Overall Rating: 3.5 stars
Optical Quality: 2nd
[ Price: $1,114 ]
Zeiss Conquest 10x56
If you're looking for a binocular to extend your twilight viewing, this is a good choice. The Conquest, with its huge 56mm objective lenses, tied with Weaver for low-light honors. But it didn't fare as well on our assessment of its features--focus was a bit rough, finish feels almost too slick and balance is forward-heavy--especially considering the premium price.
Overall Rating: 3.5 stars
Optical Quality: 3rd
[ Price: $1,499 ]
Needless to say the SS 8.5X45 has long since been discontinued. Weaver has changed hands w/no trace of the model. BH will special order, 3-5 weeks, for $697.99/10.5 $699.99. Counting the $35 off $350 [Code: DO171135]plus about 16 clams shipping the Total from Nathez comes to $401 & change.
Is it a bargain? Depends I suppose. They sold for over a grand in 2010. Allbinos only has two reviews of less expensive bins one of them Le Grande Slam also 8.5X45. Sounds as breakfast at Denny's. Distortion was recorded at 28% w/transmission at 88%. I've no clue about the SS though I speculate w/me wallet that it will be better.
As always, YMMV ...
Regardless of claims by some vendors, including Natchez, a prompt reply to e-mail from Weaver confirms the minimum focus on product #849630 is 9.8 feet.
Anywho, they're new, according to the guy on the other end of 800 #, comes w/case, rainguard, objective covers & harness. Fifteen day return, there's currently fifty in stock.
.pdf [Pg. 17 of 39 of the Weaver PDF 2013 product catalogue]
ETA: ANOKA, MINNESOTA–ATK has announced its acquisition of WeaverŪ Optics from Meade Instruments effective April 24, 2008.
Top O' line Weaver Super Slam to come out fall 2009.
Super Slam still featured in 2013 Weaver Product Catalogue
Nov. 1, 2013 ATK completes acquisition of Bushnell.
By at least 3/15 Vista Outdoors spins off ATK taking all outdoor companies, including Bushnell & Weaver, whilst ATK concentrates on aerospace.
Weaver drops Super Slam/Grand Slam bins now offering only mediocre/inexpensive Kaspa msrp-121-$151 or the 8x36 Classic msrp $280. Weaver still continues to offer the SS/GS in riflescopes. [Weaver supplied 36,000 scopes and sights to the military during World War II]
Bushnell continues to offer the Legend in bins.
Perhaps, since Bushnell came under the ATK/Vista Outdoors umbrella, it is decided that Weaver will concentrate more on scopes.
So, this SS bin could be the last Weaver stab at higher end/mid-price glass. It might be no better/as good as the current C1 Maven. Howevah, the C1 should be around for a while. Speaking of being around a quick call confirmes 53 units currently in stock. 9am 11/21/17
I e-mailed Weaver about a pdf OM for the SS. They were quick to respond w/one for the SS riflescope. We'll see if they can round up the bin. I'm curious about the close focus.
Evidently the bin didn't go over being discounted over the years even years after being discontinued. Not much in reviews save OL.
"The 8.5x45 mm Super Slam I tested at Jeff Rann’s 777 Ranch in Texas is a high-end, roof-prism binocular. Sadly for us, at just over $1,000 retail, it’s actually in the “high-mid” level, considering top-end binoculars these days can cost up to $3,500. To me $1,000 is a lot to pay for anything, and so I hold the Super Slam to a high standard.
Optically, the Weaver is difficult to tell apart from top-end optics costing $500 more. That said, it’s difficult to tell apart from units costing $300 less."
So, from four years prior it's good from five bills more to three less. The price now equates to $900-$100. Wonder how well that formula holds up to todays bins/prices.
Weaver has been very responsive/prompt in answering several of me e-mail inquiries within one day or the same as sent.
ETA: I just received another response from Weaver on the SS 8.5X45. 22/12/17
"The binoculars were discontinued in 2014 after our parent company ATK/Vista Outdoor purchased Bushnell and the category became redundant."
Ah Ha! As I previously suspected. Perhaps the sales of the SS models, at more than $1000 a pop, helped influenced their decision.
I'm curious about the IPD lock on the front bridge. At first it appears gimmicky though I can see being a hunting bin where it could potentially be an asset. I'm really intrigued by the focus wheel in front of the back bridge. What possessed them to submit this design? It prevents the SS bin from being an exact clone of the Vixen.