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Old Monday 5th September 2016, 18:21   #1
Gilmore Girl
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Cabela's Meopta HD 8x32

Just purchased this bino last week and want to post some initial impressions.
I have a shoulder injury and could not use the bin as much as I want to right now, but I got up to a nature reserve (Swamp lands) with it yesterday and had about 45 min. with it at an Overlook. Also, today I looked outside the back of my apartment for a bit and compared a little with my Ultravid 7x42 Plus. I only compared apparent sharpness and colors.

Troubsey did a review quite a while back of the Meostar 8x32 and he suggested, knowing my preferences, I would really like this bino due to its small size , ergonomics and optics. He was right.

I always thought the Meostar looked weird and awkward and had it my head that it would be awkward to hold and not for me. I also thought it looked big and bulky. Also, I don't like the little bumps on the Meostar and totally dismissed this bino for years. Once I saw the Cabela's branded HD, without those bumps and upgraded lense(s) to boot, I began to consider it especially after Lee dispelled my previous impression of it by telling me how small it is.

So, I ordered one from Cabela's online, but the focus was SO stiff and just completely unacceptable - back to the store it went. I gave up on it until I saw one for 699 ' brand new' on eBay. I asked the seller to check the focus for me which he said was fine. He was right. The focus is very nice and much better.
I don't quite think this is a new unit as described (maybe a demo), but it's in fine and like new condition.

Ergonomics/handling: Fits my hand like a glove. I am very pleased with the fit and feel - excellent. I love the small size and rather slim barrels.

Build quality feels excellent and durable. It has an Aluminum frame and has some weight to it. I would rather it be a little lighter, but it's not too big a deal.

Focus is pretty precise as others have reported and is nice and smooth with no bad spots or uneven tension. It sort of feels a bit like a porro; a bit tighter tension compared to other roofs, but still smooth and nice.

Diopter is easy to use and set and I found it quite quick to get it set right - no hassle.

ER is just a tad short for me and A bit of FOV is cut out with glasses, but it's not too much and is acceptable. Eye placement is not bad for 8x32, but of course not nearly as easy as my 7x42.

The view is nice...very good detail, but my UV+ 7x42 is a bit sharper with just a prettier overall image due to nice colors and deeper contrast.
The Meopta in its own right shows good detail and has decent contrast.

CA is corrected very well and is absent on axis, but some shows towards the edges a bit - nothing too bad and is comparable to the 7x UVid+.

The bottoms line for me: really nice fit/ergonomics, small size, high quality durable construction, precision focus and image quality as expected at its price point.
I like it :) ... and I spotted a lifer yesterday with it: 2 Bobolinks
hooray !

~ Beth
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Old Tuesday 6th September 2016, 15:56   #2
jremmons
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It's a very good set of binoculars. I would've bought them instead of the used 8x32 T*FL I picked up, but I was unable to get them to work in such a way that I could see the entire FoV with my glasses.
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Old Tuesday 6th September 2016, 16:11   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jremmons View Post
It's a very good set of binoculars. I would've bought them instead of the used 8x32 T*FL I picked up, but I was unable to get them to work in such a way that I could see the entire FoV with my glasses.
I really like the 8x32 FL and still wonder if I should have purchased the Zeiss instead. With both bins, however, a little of the view is cut out with my glasses. It's not very much. I believe the both have 15.5mm ER.

I do wonder if I should get the 10x32 FL which has a listed 16mm ER. I doubt it would make much difference, but I've heard the image is pretty steady for a 10x with the FL probably due to the overall size and shape. Some people claim they can hold it a little steadier than other 10x bins. But, then I'd have to deal with the annoying small EP.

One thing I noticed right away with the 8x32 is that the image is just a little shakier and that's due to using the 7x for so long now. That's not to say the 7x is stable, but it is just a little calmer which I prefer.
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Old Tuesday 6th September 2016, 16:27   #4
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A nice write-up GiGi and a great pic!

Lee
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Old Tuesday 6th September 2016, 16:30   #5
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One person PM'd me to ask if the UV 7x shows more detail at farther distances than the 8x Meopta:

Yes, just a hair better and it seems due to better contrast IMO. It's only a very slight difference. It has a little
more pop to the image (typical Leica view in that sense).

I looked at tree trunks and limbs and did see perhaps a tiny bit more detail at approx. 80+yards. I'm not good at measuring distance, so I could be off. A wooden fence at close to 100 yds showed just a touch more detail and the dark marks and cuts in the fence looked more prominent. Essentially, they are both close in sharpness with a slight edge going to the UVid, but keep in mind the difference of 1x in mag. I do notice the difference in magnification, but I did not find the 8x more useful or having any advantage over the 7x for detail at good distances. I think an 8x Uvid+ should make readily visible the difference in apparent sharpness between the two. But, who knows how others may see it.

Looking at another wooden fence with some foliage hanging over it and the side of a blue wooden shed behind the fence revealed the color difference and the contrast between the two bins. The shade looked darker , the blue looked deeper and the overall image was just prettier in the UVid. Best way I can describe it is an original painting vs a print or a higher quality photo vs lesser quality where the image in the lesser is just a little washed out in comparison. The print doesn't quite bring out the colors and contrast as well.

As others have said, there is a 'washed clean' quality to the Uvid+ and it's just a step up; sort of like film photograph with no visible grain in it vs another with a little grain. It's hard to explain and hope I'm doing an OK job here.

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Old Tuesday 6th September 2016, 19:14   #6
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Nice write-up, GG. Those Cabela's Meoptas look pretty handy. Is the color anything like Swaro green?
The Meoptas seem very nice for the price. 1-2 millimeters of more ER would have been nice though, but probably a impossible equation to solve for such compact bins.
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Old Tuesday 6th September 2016, 19:19   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vespobuteo View Post
Nice write-up, GG. Those Cabela's Meoptas look pretty handy. Is the color anything like Swaro green?
The Meoptas seem very nice for the price. 1-2 millimeters of more ER would have been nice though, but probably a impossible equation to solve for such compact bins.
It's close to the Swaro green, but I haven't seen one in a while so can't say which is darker. They are both a 'forest green' type of color.

Yes, I do wish there was another 1-2mm of ER or so, but I really like its small size. If it was any other bino I would have returned it due to the short ER,
but the size and ergonomics are so nice. It seems a unique little design to me and I like having it in my tiny 'collection'. :)
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Old Tuesday 6th September 2016, 20:30   #8
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Forgot to mention the case that comes with the bino is "rubbish" as our friends across the big pond
would say. There is absolutely zero padding which is unacceptable for optics. Thankfully, I had one spare
bino case which , luckily, is a mid-sized Vortex case. These are very well padded and good quality for the money. The Meopta fits well in it.

Also, I like how the rain guard sort of snaps into place and fits nice and snug.
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Old Wednesday 7th September 2016, 04:49   #9
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I picked up a pair for my wife. She's not an avid outdoors person, but I got a great deal.

I've been pleased with the optic quality, the size is a little small for larger hands, but I like the shape. The focus wheel does feel firm and not as smooth as my Trinovid.

I also love the FOV. They are built like a tank, not sure they need a stronger case.

I didn't like the objective covers and barrels feel a little short for my hands.

I haven't compared to UV+, but at a fraction of the price.

I've had the 10x42 where the weight was a deterrent. Those did hold and balance very well for me.
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Old Wednesday 7th September 2016, 05:13   #10
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Congrats on the new bins, sounds like you found a keeper!
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Old Thursday 8th September 2016, 04:07   #11
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I think you made a great purchase! The Meopta products are really good products.

I'm not so sure there is a lot of difference optically between the FL 8X32 and the Euro HD 8X32. I've used the Euro HDs a lot.. I like the SV 8X32s better but would be fine with the Meoptas.

Funny story... My brother and I went camping on Joe Wheeler reservoir. Migration was in full swing so I knew we would see quite a few Prothonotary warblers, among other things along the water. He had left his binoculars at home so I had the FL 8X32 and the Euro HD 8X32. So I handed him the FLs and away we went. I got him to swap up after a while. Long story short...he ended up buying the Euro HDs even after direct comparison out in the field with the FLs!

Happy birding with your new binoculars and congrats on your latest bird!
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Old Thursday 8th September 2016, 07:54   #12
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Nice report GG. The little Meostar has long had an appeal for me and it's a great shame we won't get the HD version over here. The difference is quite striking when you compare the regular 10x42 with the HD.

It's pretty certain that both your UVHD+ and the Cabelas/Meopta will be eyesight limited for detail. However the Leica is amongst the very best on the market for contrast and colour IMO, so I'm not surprised it appears to be a bit sharper.

David
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