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Old Tuesday 31st January 2017, 18:44   #26
typo
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Mark,

Thank you for adding your thoughts. It's a great binocular. I wish I could have kept that review sample.

You hang both the 12x50 and the 7x42 round your neck? !!!! I hadn't realised I was such a whimp.

David
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Old Sunday 5th February 2017, 21:14   #27
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Hi everyone,

Really appreciate this thread. Ive been a long-time lurker on these forums and am thrilled that the Meopta 12x50 binoculars are finally getting some recognition. Ive had mine for about a year now and have nothing but wonderful things to say about it. On a tripod, they are simply the best bang for your buck. I exchanged a pair of Razor HD 12x50's for these binoculars and couldn't be happier. No CA, bright clear image at all hours of the day. They are also wonderful for looking up at the stars at night!

Cheers!

Samolot
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Old Monday 6th February 2017, 09:18   #28
typo
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Samolot,

Welcome to the forum, and thanks for the comments.

That's the HD you have isn't it? I think I can just make it out in the photo.

I do like the light weight and ergonomics of the Vortex Razor HD 12x50 but I found the level of CA was a bit on the high side for me. (The 10x50 is much better IMO.) I'd have to put the Meostar a good step higher.

David
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Old Tuesday 7th February 2017, 01:02   #29
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Hi David,

Yes, that is the HD. I never tried the razor 10x50, but I was interested more in a 12x binocular for general use. I just got an 8x binocular for more handheld use in the woods: the Meopta Meopro HD 8x42, another fantastic binocular (except for some noticeable glare). The Meopro line is very reminiscent of the Vortex Razor.

My only regret so far is not being able to try the Meopta Meostar 15x56 prior to acquiring the 12x50 (I was ordering online). In any case, the relative light weight and stability of the 12x50 are what let me use it occasionally without the tripod when I'm hiking around some open terrain.

On a different note, I just wanted to mention that I think Meopta is quite possibly the most underrated optics brand out there.

Cheers!

Samolot
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Old Tuesday 7th February 2017, 08:39   #30
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Samolot,

If I'd been able to keep the 12x50 I'd guess my use would be around 80% hand held and 20% on a monopod/tripod. I found the combination of weight and balance made the 15x56 very hard to hold steady, and for me it would have been at least 80% tripod. Perhaps 100%? No doubt a very nice binocular if that's your intended use.

Unfortunately the girth of the x56 barrels also meant that with the Meopta bracket (and I suspect most others) I was unable to get anywhere close to my 63mm IPD. I didn't measure it but I'd guess you'd need 66mm plus to use it comfortably. Otherwise you would have to use one of those platform type supports for narrower IPDs.

Ageed. Meopa are doing some excellent stuff these days.

David

P.S. have you considered using a booster? The resolution of my review sample was plenty good enough to manage 24x. I'm sure the Meopta booster is excellent, but something like the more affordable Opticron UTA should work well. It does narrow the view but otherwise the 1.8x works very well as long as you can find an adaptor that is a good fit for the eyecups.

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Old Wednesday 8th February 2017, 13:20   #31
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Haven't considered a booster, but I don't think it would be necessary. If I needed that kind of power, I would consider getting a spotting scope.

By the way, did your "demo" pair come with a green wool case? I was wondering if they made changes to their case since I have the green wool one and, to be frank, I think its quite useless. Very tight fit and not room for accessories (this is where I think Vortex had a significant advantage).
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Old Wednesday 8th February 2017, 14:17   #32
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Samalot,

I hadn't given much thought to what fibre was used for the case that came with mine. I just assumed synthetic. Wasn't a tight fit either. Looked like it was waterproof anyway.

The first image is the case that came with my mine and was a rather big and box like. Is yours more like the second image I found on Meota's US website?

David
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Old Thursday 9th February 2017, 09:40   #33
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Yes, I have the second one. Its tight, and I doubt its waterproof. I'm glad Meopta decided to do something about the case.

On the other hand, the strap that arrived with mine is thicker than the one pictured in the first image. I'll post a picture later.
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Old Sunday 12th February 2017, 18:38   #34
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Sorry took a while to post. Here is the strap. Initially it was WAY too long and I had a difficult time shortening it using their straps, so I changed a couple of things: I added the linking system from Peak Design to streamline the connection between the binoculars and the strap and make it more discrete. I re-routed the strap near the cushion in order to take the excess and roll it up, followed by wrapping it in heat-shrink wrap to secure it. I now have a much tidier set-up that lays flat on my chest instead of my stomach.
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Old Monday 13th February 2017, 07:27   #35
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I don't have any good photos of the stap on the one I had, but I'd guess your arrangement is a bit shorter than I would normally use. I think you can see that it would have been quite easy to shorten the length by another 6" if necessary, but that would have left a lot of loose ends to tidy up. Looks like the shrink wrap does a neat job.

David
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Old Thursday 16th February 2017, 15:22   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samolot View Post
Yes, I have the second one. Its tight, and I doubt its waterproof. I'm glad Meopta decided to do something about the case.

On the other hand, the strap that arrived with mine is thicker than the one pictured in the first image. I'll post a picture later.
The Green wool has charm! I kind of like it. Mind you I'm not very picky about a case, so long as the clasp is silent and quality (which it is). I like tight fitting cases. My only complaint is it picks up dead leaves and grass like a magnet.
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Old Friday 17th February 2017, 18:26   #37
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Rather than start a new thread I thought I`d sneak a post onto Typo`s, I`v found that on my Meostar 8x32 that the eyecups don`t extend out far enough for my liking, I have to balance them against my brows, so as they unscrew for cleaning I`v slipped a 25x3.55mm o ring over the eyepieces and screwed the cups back on nice and tight, they twist up and down as before but are now 3mm further out, perfect for me.
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Old Sunday 19th February 2017, 08:39   #38
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A bit of a test of my memory as it's been a while since I tried the 8x32 without glasses, but I don't think the eyecups were ever meant to sit in the eye sockets. I remember the diameter was a rather small and felt like it was sitting on the eyeball, just as it does with compacts. In the brief time I had with them I think I used a forefinger across the brow to give a steady hold. It didn't seem any more problematic at the time than the majority of other models I've tried which might need MOLCET or some other technique.

I normally wear glasses so most binoculars need an o-ring or something to get the correct ER but the 8x32 was just right for me at the lowest setting.

David
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Old Thursday 9th March 2017, 15:55   #39
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If you want the ultimate upgrade for the 12x50's, I would highly recommend the eyeshields from field optics. I just got a pair and it fits the meostar perfectly. It eliminates peripheral light extremely well, plus it looks pretty cool.

I'll post a picture later.
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Old Thursday 16th March 2017, 01:52   #40
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The eye shields are from field optics. They fit perfectly right in the gap formed when you twist out the eye cups from the meostar. It drastically enhanced the viewing experience.
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Old Monday 15th January 2018, 20:47   #41
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David, now I own one since a day and a half . I haven't been able to evaluate it properly. Snow's falling and it is too dark to try any experiments anyway.
I bought it because of your review and the fact that a real bargain came across my way.
It seems to be one of the quite few models that are a head taller than its rivals, so I figured it would accommodate very well to the company of the EDG 7x42 and the E II 8x30 in particular.
First impression: considerably smaller and lighter than I expected, not too hard to use hand-held due to its good balance. Easy view with plenty space for the eyes to roam the wide image. Edge sharpness adequate when refocused. Colour balance first seemed decidedly on the warm side, but then much more neutral than the 8x32 Meostar. Nothing really disturbing.
I certainly hope and believe I can make any meaningful use of it.

//L
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Old Monday 15th January 2018, 22:51   #42
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Lars,

Congratulation! Hope you are as impressed with it as I was. I imagine it will complement the EDG and EII perfectly.

David
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Old Saturday 10th February 2018, 19:28   #43
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Hi David,

I'm semi-seriously considering buying these (shame Meopta doesn't offer MeoStar B1 10x50 HD, I'd grab one immediately; the Swarovski EL 10x50 is too expensive for me).
I like the look of the MeoStar as well, with the bullet shaped barrels, the 50mm especially looks most aesthetically balanced in my opinion (and I like the fact they're made in my homeland...)

But the thing is, the MeoStar B1 series has been for a while, and with indications such as the MeoStar S2 spotting scope with MeoDrop hydrophobic coatings which are not advertised on the B1 series, or the MeoStar R2 riflescope with new (?) MeoLux AR coating boasting unbeliveable light transmittion figures for the whole instrument, I wondered if they are maybe planning something new (MeoStar B2?) that they're not telling us about yet, and that maybe you might have caught some fragments of info regarding that.

Did you try to se if the lens on this MeoStar repel water?
And what about diffraction spikes, did you happen to see any?

Many thanks.

Martin
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Old Sunday 11th February 2018, 04:13   #44
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David, well defined review.

I am new to the Meopta brand, and I recently procured a B1 7X42. It is a bit heavier than my other binos in similar format, but preliminary observations are being very impressed with the sharpness of edge of objects, and brightness(been cloudy here in the Northeast US for a few days), still getting used to it, hoping for some sun.

A.W.
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Old Sunday 11th February 2018, 08:20   #45
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Martin,

We know Meopta have been developing a replacement for the B1 for a while, and there is some expectation that we might see something this year. I might well be wrong, but I'd be surprised if they will replace all the model line in one go. I'm guessing the 12x50 HD might be around for a while yet.

I did not test the binocular lenses for water beading or anything, but as you know, it doesn't claim to have Meodrop coating. Sorry, I don't remember now what the roof spikes were like. I didn't do a lot of night testing, but I think I might have made a note if they were excessive.

David

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Old Sunday 11th February 2018, 08:28   #46
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A.W.

Congratulations on the 7x42. A few years back I tried all the 7x models I could find. At the time, the colour balance of the Meopta was still fairly yellowish, but I believe has been rectified since then. It was a very likable binocular then. Yours should be better still, and an amazing bargain at that price. I'm sure they will serve you very well.

David

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Old Sunday 11th February 2018, 19:55   #47
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Thank you David, hopefully I'll be able to try it out before I buy, chances are I'm not going to wait for MeoStar B2 50mm HD given my usual impatiance, unfortunately a classified ad for a 2012 Swaro EL 10x50 Swarovision just shown up at 42000 CZK (~1450 GBP) which is very tempting, but I can get an almost brand new MeoStar B1 12x50 HD for half of that ...
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Old Tuesday 13th February 2018, 00:56   #48
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A little update. Not sure if this should really belong here, but oh well.

I've been looking up brick and mortar shops around Prague that sell Meopta, where I could try and potentially buy the MeoStar 12x50 HD, and I haven't been very successful.
Finding a shop that carries Leica, Zeiss, Swarovski, ..., not a problem, but our own domestic make - nope.

I tried one shop where I was sure they have some MeoStars in store. When I asked for the 12x50 HD, I was told "Only to backorder, non-cancellable. The standard B1 12x50 didn't sell too well, and in HD version it's not any better. Birders want the 10x42 HD, hunters want the 15x56 HD for long distance, 12x50HD is a sort of a hybrid that not many people want..."

Well, I would, since I'm not really a full time birder and definitely not a hunter. So they let me try the 10x42 HD and the 10x50 (and also a Kowa Genesis 10.5x44 which I found impossible to adjust for my IPD due to wide eyecups and short eye relief but that's irrelevant now), and I already have a 8x42 Vanguard, and for my hands a 42mm is kinda smallish (large hands + narrow IPD = not ideal grip) and figured I don't really need another 42mm bin.
I liked the 10x50. I liked the design of it very much, except for the focuser, which was too stiff and way too slow. The image was great.
I said to them, if Meopta made 10x50 HD MeoStar, I'd want one.
So, for comparison, they let me try a 10x50 binocular that is HD - a Swarovski EL fieldpro. They shouldn't have done that.

Like I said, the image of the MeoStar was great. For not having HD lenses, it didn't show a lot of CA, but it was there. Then I switched to the Swarovski and - it was gone. No CA. I looked really hard and searched for it and indeed, I found some when looking at the edges of a black handle on a white van standing outside, but it was so tiny.

The focuser on the EL - smooth as silk, ideal rate. Why can't all focusers be like this? (I $u$p€ct I know why).

I wasn't able to tell a difference between the color cast, but I could see a difference of the sharpness, which with the EL was absolute to the very edge, whereas the image of the B1 started becoming blurry at about 80-90% of the distance from the center to the field stop.
Very good, but not perfect.
The store interior wasn't ideal for testing for globe effect, but I couldn't see any with either.
They had some cardboard box lying around, so I tried to see if it would look orthographic through the binoculars. It did with both. I guess I'll have to live with the fact most binoculars do that.
However, I remember that with the EL, when looking at window blinds, they all looked straight as arrows. I don't remember how the B1 fared in that comparison, because honestly I was too immersed with the EL. Can you blame me?

One more thing I tried, I lit the flashlight on my phone and propped it up so I could look directly in it's rather bright light.
Ď could see diffraction spikes with the MeoStar, quite clear and about halfway across the FOV.
I tried the same with the EL, and there they weren't.
No diffraction spikes at all. Not even a hint. The lit LED looked exactly the same as if looked at directly, with a little halo around that you'd see with naked eye as well, with 2 very faint internal reflections, one of them yellowish and the other one purple, like the AR coatings tint. I'm not sure if the MeoStar showed any internal reflections, but they were rather overshadowed by the diffraction spikes, which can't really be called an improvement over the EL (tried the same at home with my Endeavor. Tiny internal reflections, drowned out in the diffraction spikes).

I'm not sure if I'd describe the EL 10x50 as something giving me a wow effect. It's more like, they show what you want to look at, only from closer, and nothing else.
So, I was poised to buy the MeoStar, but unless I get a chance to try the 12x50 HD MeoStar and find it much better than the standard 10x50 (that is, no diffraction spikes even from a bright light source and a better edge sharpness), it's not going to happen, and I will have to have the Swarovski.

So now I'm kind of screwed because a) it's more than twice as expensive and b), call me crazy but I don't like the look of the field pro. I think the buttons on the sides of the barrels for strap attachment look inappropriate and the objective covers that when removed leave behind a gap with a bare wire are absurd (what was wrong with the 2nd gen Swarovski lens cap attachment anyway?). The 2nd gen, in my opinion, was a lot more aesthetically pleasing than the field pro (though not as much as the MeoStar, with its bullet shaped barrels, central hinge and strap loops neatly flush with the barrels) so my only chance is somehow gathering sufficient amount of money and going after that 2nd gen 10x50 SV in the ad I found yesterday, and hope someone doesn't beat me to it.

I didn't think I was quite ready for an alpha bin, but I guess I have no choice, really.

Apologies to my fellow countrymen producing binoculars in Přerov. You're great, but our neighbors to the south are better at it.


Martin

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Old Tuesday 13th February 2018, 08:12   #49
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Martin,

Thanks for the comparison, but I wouldn't be too hasty in casting judgement. In some ways the 12x50 HD is a very different beast to the 10x50, but I couldn't say if it would be enought to sway your opinion.

As I mentioned at the start of my review, Meopta have been hampered by what they can offer in Europe by their contract with Cabela's in the US. I don't know the details but it meant they can only offer the 10x42, 12x50 and 15x56 as the HD versions over here. The Cabela's Instinct Euro HD has had a recent cosmetic overhaul, but I really don't know if it's had the other improvements I noted. I know it's a considerable source of frustration to Meopta that they are unable to offer a standardised specification across their range. Hopefully that will be resolved with the new model when it arrives. In the mean time, I think you need to treat each option as a totally different entity.

When I first tried the 12x50 HD at the UK BirdFair I did reacquainted myself with some of the others in the range. The main thing I was noting was differences in colour rendition, sharpness and CA. There were some variation in the focus, hinge and dioptre tensions, but generally there were a bit stiffer than some other brands. Personally I like a fast and fluid focus, but that can be a bit of a lottery, even in presteige brands. That day, I rated the 12x50 HD the best on the stand for colour and sharpness. The 10x42 wasn't far behing but it was a bit of a step down to the 10x50 in my opinion. The CA difference was also obvious to me. We know from the forum comment that individuals do vary a lot in their sensitivity to these parameters so your priorities may differ from mine. I did go over and have a look at the Swarovskis again. Without direct comparison it's difficult to be confident about how they matched up. They were good on sharpness too, but they didn't better the Meopta. The colour was different. I'd guess the Swaro was a shade stronger in the blue making it a bit cooler, but curiously I didn't think they were as strong in the violet or deep red as the 12x50 HD.

The Optics maquee at BirdFair looks out over a reedbed and lake so not good for checking AMD, but it was clear the Swaro 10 and 12x50 are flatter designs than the Meopta. They needed more refocusing with that vista than the Meoptas would have.

You would hope for twice the price Swarovski would offer a better product. I'm not persuaded they do on sharpness, colour and CA. I'm sure there are more lenses in their flat field design, but that's not a priority for me either. The focus might be smoother and lighter, but I can assure you it isn't always the case. It does have a wider FoV and lower weight, but those wouldn't be show stoppers for me. The main advantage of the Swarovski from my perspective would be their warranty, aftersales support and resale value, but I suspect that those might be better for Meopta in Prague than they have been in the UK.

I don't do astronomy, so roof spikes and flat views are not up my list of priorities I'm afraid. If that is important to you, wouldn't you be better off looking at porros?

David

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Old Tuesday 13th February 2018, 12:46   #50
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I've been looking up brick and mortar shops around Prague that sell Meopta, where I could try and potentially buy the MeoStar 12x50 HD, and I haven't been very successful.
Finding a shop that carries Leica, Zeiss, Swarovski, ..., not a problem, but our own domestic make - nope.


Martin
Hi Martin

Meopta certainly has a dealer in Prague and they list the B1 12x50 but I do not know if they keep it in stock:

SUPRA Praha
Mochovská 23/310, Praha 9
Tel.: +420 284 820 939
E-mail: [email protected]

http://www.supra-dalekohledy.cz/

Lee
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