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Old Tuesday 19th September 2017, 21:41   #1
Steve C
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Comparative review, GPO, Maven, Stryka, Tract

I must confess that when I started out on this path I really did think I would have had it all up long before now. So here it is, with apologies to those companies who provided the test binoculars and to anyone here on the forum who wanted to see this sooner than now. A couple of specimens showed up late due to shipment arrival times, by then I was too busy to fully concentrate efforts. Additionally, the world around here is on fire and there has not been many days with decent viewing conditions. Smoke has reduced visibility to less than a quarter of a mile at least part of most days, a mile visibility has been pretty good for the last couple of months. Health advisories in effect over 90% of the time.

Overview:

If anyone is expecting a shoot out sort of review with a big loser and a grand prize winner, you will not find that here. I titled my Maven B2 review with the Has the $1,000 game changed? In my view it has changed, and these binoculars carry forward the theme. A couple of these binoculars actually decrease the price level by several hundred dollars with little apparent decline in quality.

While the game has changed, I do not foresee these binoculars as killing off the top tier of optics. The reason for this is simple human nature. There will always be a certain segment of the population who will strive for the best of whatever bit of gear they seek to be as good as they can get it, cell phones, computers, or binoculars, anything you care to name. I see these new arrivals as seeking to advance the selection of top quality glass that will give up practically nothing against the top tier view for considerably less money. I do not think that we would see the likes of the Zeiss Conquest HD or the Nikon Monarch HG without these top tier producing brands being pushed by the increasing quality levels of the mid to upper mid tier glass. The entry of these new companies will introduce a new level of competition which we will all benefit from. If the alpha class dies I think it will be due to a decrease in innovation on their part, a lack of proactivity, or an inadequate response to a new level of competition. The alpha class will more or less have to commit suicide, and I think that is pretty unlikely.

I also do not think these represent much if anything in the way of something new, aside from a different business model. That and adoption of some modernized production short cuts. These are all based on that modern technological marvel, the Schmidt-Pechan prism system. So they share that with the majority of binoculars produced today, regardless of the price tag. This includes all of the top tier glass with the exception of the Zeiss HT, which along with the upper mid tier offering the Maven B2 use the Abbe-Koening system. The SP has been around since 1899, the AK since 1905.

Traditional brick and mortar stores are seemingly in some difficulty in competing with internet availability. What we see here to some extent is an extension of that phenomena. Like it or not that is how I tend to see it. Technology transfer has largely occurred and it is now much easier and far less expensive to make good optical instruments.

The binoculars under discussion here are the GPO Passion HD in 8x42, the Maven B1in both 8x and 10x42, the Tract Toric in both 8x and 10x 42, the Stryka S7, and the Stryka S9, both 8x42.

The short story here is that there is very little discernible optical difference between these binoculars. If focused on a resolution chart at the same distance each 8x version resolved the same degree as any other. The differences are going to boil down to cost, personal preferences, which will center on ergonomics, and apparent build quality. I say apparent build because while they look and feel different, they likely are more similar in construction than they are different. Im not going to tear down somebody elses binocular to evaluate construction. That is out of my pay grade as well. Ill go through them one at a time focusing on the strengths and weaknesses (in my personal opinion only).

GPO Passion HD 8x42: This binocular has what most would likely pick as a superior build and finish. This has the smoothest over all feel to the finish, there being less tactile rubber armor. However, it is not slick or hard to grasp and hold. Frankly it has, to my way of thinking, the best eye cup assembly in the business, yes I include the top tier $2,000+ binoculars here. This obviously received a lot of thought and attention. The intermediate stops are definite, you can actually feel and hear them snap into place. They will stay put. It is the only one of the group to have a locking diopter mechanism, and the only one with a center focus located diopter adjustment.

The focus has been well thought out. Is is a soft, easy, smooth, movement and has no slack when changing direction. It is counter clockwise to infinity, moves through one and one half turns. It behaves as a relatively quick focusing binocular.

Any binocular will have its weakness. While there is practically nothing to point a finger at here, many will feel there should be a wider fov on the 8x model. While I certainly understand the sentiment (I freely admit to having a personal preference in an 8* fov in 8x), there is nothing in the overall image that will particularly seem to restrict the overall view. This may well cause some to pass it by on that basis alone. That is a shame as it may well cause the spec sheet conscious consumer to pass over what may well be their best choice. As I stated in my review, it gives the impression of being wider than the advertised 375 (7.2*). The overall image here has very minimum distortion present in the view. Horizontal or vertical lines of man made structures show practically no bending across the view. The edge distortion is there, but practically unnoticeable. It has the feel and look of field flatteners, but none are used here. CA suppression is first rate.

A binocular needs to be evaluated on its holistic presentation. When one looks at this balance, the fov will assume a decrease in overall importance with this binocular. That may well be impossible for the specification obsessed, but Id wager it to be largely accurate in this instance.

Maven B1 8x and 10x42: There is a degree of similarity in the appearance of the B1 and the GPO. The size, the build geometry, and the weight are essentially identical. The Maven has a radically different feel to the armor. It is completely covered in a very soft, pliable ...well, silicone leather for lack of a better term. While the GPO is not too slick due to lesser amounts of pliable armor, the B1 is not too tactile to be too slip resistant. If one chooses to go the customization route, the designer coverings are less tactile than the black and gray stock covering.

The eye cup assembly is better than many binoculars, but it less definite than the GPO. Expect the B1 assembly to stay put as well. The focus is a bit stiffer than the GPO and has a barely there slack in direction changing. This is a demo unit and while it looks new, has had some use. It is also counterclockwise to infinity and turns through one and one quarter turns. As with the GPO it performs as a relatively fast focusing binocular.

This one comes advertised with a 7.4* fov. As with the GPO it appears wider on first look than the stated fov. In this case, it is because it is wider than the spec sheet. It measures 425, just bit over 8*.

There is a well done classical edge with this binocular. There is a minor amount of pincushion at the extreme edge with a narrow band of field curvature just inside of that. Distraction at the edge is non existent for normal human eyes. As with the GPO there is minimum distortion in the field. CA suppression is first rate.

This one is pretty easy to make unique to your tastes. The different coverings and other external items can be done in a nearly endless number of combinations.

The 8x and 10x versions are typical in that their distinction is only that typical of 8x vs 10x binoculars.


Stryka S9 8x42: This is the top end model for Stryka. There is no real difference in good light brightness among these binoculars. However the S9, for whatever reasons, is indeed the brightest of the lot in dim, poor light conditions. It is a definite difference, one that shows up in normal, hand held field usage. This one is worth a look if you do a lot of low light observing. This one features SK 15 prism glass. I can't say if this has much field difference for the average user or not, but is it marketed to be brighter. Perhaps this is the reason for the noted difference, maybe it is just a feature of the balance of the design components. I have had a lot of dim, poor light conditions here lately, and this difference has held up. I should note that as one gets on toward the very tail end of light at the end of the day, the difference is less readily apparent.

The S9 has an advertised 7.5* fov. This one matches the specification. It also has a classical edge performance. Like the B1 it has a bit of outer pincushion and some field curvature inside of that. There is an ever so slight tendency for this one to bend horizontal lines. It will not be noticed unless you go actively looking for it. It is only very slightly behind the GPO and the Maven here.

As with the above binoculars, the focus is counterclockwise to infinity. There is a focus travel of one and one quarter turn.

The weakness here is the eye cup assembly. They are OK, but certainly not in the League of the GPO, and inferior to the Maven. The stops are definite enough, but there is a greater tendency for the eye cup to slip from your preferred stop. The binocular has sort of a chubby feel. The arts and design people evidently carried the idea of a ridge line of greater armor thickness around the outer edges of the S9. Frankly I have long thought the idea of more armor directly equating to a higher degree of ruggedness is somewhat misleading. I also am not much of a fan of using ridges and various degrees of armor thickness to enhance a design.

Stryka S7 8x42: If your tastes lean towards a very compact 42 mm binocular, then this one is where you need to look. It has the added advantage of a wider than advertised fov. This is specified at 7.8* (408) but measures 8.3* (435). So you get it both compact and wide.

The eye cup assembly is better than it is on the more expensive S9. The stops are more definite, and there is less tendency for the setting to slip.

This one focuses clockwise to infinity, being different in that regard from all of the others. It is also of a Chinese source, again all of the others are Japanese. The focus travel is just over one and one quarter turns, medium in stiffness and free of slack.

Like the S9 and the others here it has a well done classical edge with nice sweet spot, minimal pincushion and field curvature. I did note some CA present in my initial review of this binocular. However at this point, I do not see CA.

Like the S9, the design people added some thicker armor for a design flair. For the reasons I am not a big fan of this approach, see comments above. Particularly here since it adds bulk to what is a nicely compact 42 mm binocular;

The image is overall, bright and sharp. It is also less money than the others above and represents a top choice in value for cost.

Tract Toric 8x and 10x42: To round this one out here is the Toric. It has been the subject of a lot of good press. Tract claims it is the best binocular on the Market for less than $700. I am not real inclined to dispute this claim, but Id have to add the S7 to the mix here. Either are excellent choices if you need to land in this quality bracket for under $700.

While somewhat similar in appearance to the GPO and Maven, it is smaller than either one, but larger than the S7.

Like all but the S7, it has a counterclockwise to infinity focus travel. Typical of the rest, there is a travel distance of one and a quarter turns.

The armor is a light gray color and is of a similar feel to the B1. The main difference is the outer ege of the armor is a fine pebble finish to the smoother grain finish of the rest of the armor.

This is another one with a wider than listed fov. It is specified at 377, or 7.2*. It measures 8*.

The image is nice and bright with another well done classical edge. Minimal pincushion and curvature. Horizontal lines bend hardly at all.

CA and glare are well controlled.

The weakness here is the eye cups and the diopter. Honestly the eye cups wont be an issue for most people. They are somewhat loose on top of the ocular tube and they extend a bit above the ocular lens when fully retracted. While they seem to be fine for me with reading glasses they may not be the choice for those with more definite needs in eye cup distance from the lens. The diopter is just a bit loose for my taste. An O-ring under the dial should fix any issues. A couple of O-rings under the eye cup should take out the wobble.

Like the B1, the difference between the 8x and 10x Toric is simply whatever can be associated with the typical magnification difference. Like 10x get that. Like 8x, get that.

Summary: The image on all of these is bright, sharp, clear, with excellent contrast, color rendition, and quite neutral color balance. In good light I dont think I can say which is best. I also doubt the vast majority of viewers would be able to tell these apart from each other based on the quality of the image. They all offer the sort of view that tends to make the viewer forget there is a binocular providing the view we are seeing.

What we have here is a group of binoculars that will seriously challenge the alpha tier of binoculars. Im not going to tell you they are better, or even the equal of the top end. But what I will say is that these will push the top tier to the limit. They might be a step behind at the finish, but almost nobody will even notice a difference. When you get down to it, if you cant see what you need to see with one of these, your problem is not with the binocular. I would easily take one of these on a trip to anywhere. Some may need the added feeling of quality the get from an expensive binocular, but me, Id rather use the money for an day or two more on the trip. These or an alpha? Get what you can afford. Cant swing the alpha? Quit worrying about it.

OK, these are new companies. Some people seem aghast at the very idea. Not all new endeavors will fail. These are all started by people with wide experience in the optics industry. Unlike some new ventures none of these seem to be either under financed, or understaffed. If you need the security blanket yo see in old brand names, that is fine. The gripe about new companies is the second oldest optics argument on the internet. The case for the old guard is the oldest optics argument. If there is an argument to be made, it is lost if that is the main point of contention. Personally I welcome the competition. Something to keep the old guard on their toes and off their laurels.
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Old Tuesday 19th September 2017, 23:14   #2
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Steve, your reviews always are top notch. You've taken this one to another level.....concise, no BS, straight to the point, and loads of great, easy to read information. I applaud you for taking the time to give us another unbiased review.

First and foremost though, I'm glad you are safe from all of the fires. That's a terrible situation. Stay safe.
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Old Wednesday 20th September 2017, 06:13   #3
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Steve,
This is an excellent, informative, solid and well written report !!!
Thank you for taking the time and effort.
Being quite "at home" in the top tier area myself, I fully share your conclusions in the last two paragraphs.
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Old Wednesday 20th September 2017, 06:29   #4
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Not being able to say which is best optically says a lot for the Tract Toric 8x42 because it is several hundred dollars less than the other binoculars. As far as the eyecups and diopter being a weakness I don't agree. The diopter in my opinion is the perfect tension. If it was any tighter it would be too hard to turn and it does not change position easily. The eyecups are very smooth in action which could be cause for your feeling that they are too loose but it makes them easy to adjust and there is three definite click stops for adjustment where they do not move from their set position. There is no slop or excessive play in them. As far as them extending above the ocular lens when retracted I feel you want them to extend a little for protection of the ocular lens when you sit the binoculars down and so your eye brows are not brushing them getting them greasy. Very nice review and well written. It would be nice if you could throw a Nikon Monarch MHG and Zeiss Conquest HD into mix. Have you compared either of these two?

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Old Wednesday 20th September 2017, 07:46   #5
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Nice review! Steve, do you have any plans testing the sig sauer line of binoculars, especially the Zulu 7 and Zulu 9?

Thanks

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Old Wednesday 20th September 2017, 14:38   #6
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Nice overview Steve!

So my question is...

Since you've had these binoculars at or around the same time frame...Which did you keep? PERSONALLY, I can't imagine any of them unseating a Maven B.1 as the best binocular of that group. Sometimes I find it hard to draw the line OPTICALLY...and it could very well come down to some other feature.
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Old Wednesday 20th September 2017, 15:40   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Racuuna View Post
Nice review! Steve, do you have any plans testing the sig sauer line of binoculars, especially the Zulu 7 and Zulu 9?

Thanks
Not at this time. However who knows .
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Old Wednesday 20th September 2017, 15:51   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chill6x6 View Post
Nice overview Steve!

So my question is...

Since you've had these binoculars at or around the same time frame...Which did you keep? PERSONALLY, I can't imagine any of them unseating a Maven B.1 as the best binocular of that group. Sometimes I find it hard to draw the line OPTICALLY...and it could very well come down to some other feature.
I have too many binoculars to need any more . You are right in that none can unseat the B1. On the other hand the B1 won't unseat any of the others either. I finally had to just quit looking for field worthy differences before I sprained my optical nerve. I doubt I'll keep the B1 since I have one in 10x42 . The C1 or the GPO ED however may well be a different matter. After having the Maven C1 and the GPO Passion ED in hand during the same time frame it will be hard to not recommend one of those over the B1 or the HD, particularly if budget constraints exist. This goes more to my own personal appreciation for the most value for what I spend. In this review group, that would tend me toward the Tract Toric. However the C1 and the ED got more under the hood in those two than the price level would lead you to expect. I'll wait to see what the Tract Tekoa does in that regard. I won't say the C1 and the ED are better, but for the sub $400 price nothing does more for the value ratio.
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Old Wednesday 20th September 2017, 17:56   #9
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Super stuff Steve, nicely done. Now what about Opticron's Imagic? No plans to review this? I will be borrowing on shortly so watch the Opticron space in late November.

Cheers Lee
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Old Wednesday 20th September 2017, 18:23   #10
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I have only seen one of the reviewed binoculars in person. I chatted quickly with a woman who had the new GPO a couple of weekends ago. I didn't look through it...just saw her with it. It's very attractive in person and I can see the finish looks high quality as others have already noted - it caught my eye immediately. Also looks like it could have very nice ergonomics.
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Old Wednesday 20th September 2017, 19:08   #11
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Super stuff Steve, nicely done. Now what about Opticron's Imagic? No plans to review this? I will be borrowing on shortly so watch the Opticron space in late November.

Cheers Lee
To go along with the question Dennis asked about the Nikon Monarch HG and the Zeiss Conquest HD, I'll add that I did a review on the Opticron DBA HD, along with the Zeiss Conquest HD, while there may well be more specific differences than exist within the reviewed group, I'd bet a chunk of change that there is no more difference with those two added there is within the group reviewed. I have yet to see a Monarch HG. It is getting to the point where the only Nikon stuff dealers around these parts will stock is the cheap stuff. The consensus is that Nikon is too hard to deal with to try and stock anything much more expensive than the Monarch 5, but there is an occasional Monarch 7 that shows up at one place.

I have seen the Conquest on numerous occasions and I doubt it will change the overall dynamic. The big thing with the Zeiss and Nikon is it gives the brand needy an option.
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Old Wednesday 20th September 2017, 19:14   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gilmore Girl View Post
I have only seen one of the reviewed binoculars in person. I chatted quickly with a woman who had the new GPO a couple of weekends ago. I didn't look through it...just saw her with it. It's very attractive in person and I can see the finish looks high quality as others have already noted - it caught my eye immediately. Also looks like it could have very nice ergonomics.
The GPO HD is the most expensive of the lot, but not by much. It does have an overall panache' in its design presentation lacking in the others. Looking at it beside the top tier glass many will think it falls into the same price range.

Now to be clear here, I do not intend to put a knock on the top tier alpha binocular. Those who can afford one or are willing to get the $$ to buy one will do that. The advantage here is when people are faced with budget constrains and want a really good, high quality binocular. $600-900 will get the job done quite nicely.
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Old Thursday 21st September 2017, 01:34   #13
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Quote:
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To go along with the question Dennis asked about the Nikon Monarch HG and the Zeiss Conquest HD, I'll add that I did a review on the Opticron DBA HD, along with the Zeiss Conquest HD, while there may well be more specific differences than exist within the reviewed group, I'd bet a chunk of change that there is no more difference with those two added there is within the group reviewed. I have yet to see a Monarch HG. It is getting to the point where the only Nikon stuff dealers around these parts will stock is the cheap stuff. The consensus is that Nikon is too hard to deal with to try and stock anything much more expensive than the Monarch 5, but there is an occasional Monarch 7 that shows up at one place.

I have seen the Conquest on numerous occasions and I doubt it will change the overall dynamic. The big thing with the Zeiss and Nikon is it gives the brand needy an option.

Steve:
You have presented a very nice review. Your findings are much as I
would expect with this lineup. Performance much the same throughout the lot.

I have experience of those mentioned with the Zeiss Conquest HD 10x42, Nikon Monarch HG, and M7 10x42, Tract Toric 8x42.

You seem to have an attitude about dealers stocking Nikon. But think
about it, you would not have any of the 4 newbies mentioned without them
sending you one for review. Do you think you would find any one of them
in a shop near you ? The answer is no.

The way I see it, is as you have mentioned, all of these are a nice choice
in the midrange. The Tract Toric I have does everything well, and I recommend it. The Zeiss Conquest HD does very well, and it rises to the
top with brightness, as Zeiss is known well for high transmission.

he Nikon Monarch 7 10x42 does very well, very sharp and bright, and the
Nikon HD 10x42, is another step better with a wider FOV, very bright, high
contrast, and the lightest high quality midrange on the market today.

For some of us, we are not needy for another option. So be careful with your
words. If you spent some time, you may understand.

Jerry
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Old Thursday 21st September 2017, 02:48   #14
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Steve:
You have presented a very nice review. Your findings are much as I
would expect with this lineup. Performance much the same throughout the lot.

I have experience of those mentioned with the Zeiss Conquest HD 10x42, Nikon Monarch HG, and M7 10x42, Tract Toric 8x42.

You seem to have an attitude about dealers stocking Nikon. But think
about it, you would not have any of the 4 newbies mentioned without them
sending you one for review. Do you think you would find any one of them
in a shop near you ? The answer is no.

The way I see it, is as you have mentioned, all of these are a nice choice
in the midrange. The Tract Toric I have does everything well, and I recommend it. The Zeiss Conquest HD does very well, and it rises to the
top with brightness, as Zeiss is known well for high transmission.

he Nikon Monarch 7 10x42 does very well, very sharp and bright, and the
Nikon HD 10x42, is another step better with a wider FOV, very bright, high
contrast, and the lightest high quality midrange on the market today.

For some of us, we are not needy for another option. So be careful with your
words. If you spent some time, you may understand.

Jerry
As far as my attitude toward Nikon, all I said was what I find here and what dealers volunteer about Nikon.

Before you think about telling somebody to be careful with their words, try looking in the mirror. Another point here is I spend every bit as much time with a binocular out in the world as you do, so be careful telling me how much time I need to spend. Or are you trying to tell me if I spent enough time with your favored brands that I will just naturally come to see the wisdom of your opinion? Frankly I resent your attitude here as shown in the last part of your post. I'm not really in the mood for much of you. Do you have any idea just how you can come across at times? You seem to have been in rare form lately.
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Old Thursday 21st September 2017, 03:22   #15
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Steve:

I don't play favorites. I think your review of those mentioned is good. But don't give a slight
as you just did to the Zeiss and Nikon models. You said they are a brand needy option. That is
total BS.

You posted that is your opinion, so I am calling you out on it. Deal with it.

Jerry
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Old Thursday 21st September 2017, 03:31   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NDhunter View Post
Steve:

I don't play favorites. I think your review of those mentioned is good. But don't give a slight
as you just did to the Zeiss and Nikon models. You said they are a brand needy option. That is
total BS.

You posted that is your opinion, so I am calling you out on it. Deal with it.

Jerry
That means they are there to satisfy those people who are in need of having a brand name they know on their binocular as opposed to a new entry in the market. I did not say that to give a slight to Zeiss or Nikon. I could have worded that better. You seem to be the one who has a need to deal with it.
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Old Thursday 21st September 2017, 06:50   #17
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.....
"For some of us, we are not needy for another option. So be careful with your words.
Jerry"
-----------------
.....
"Before you think about telling somebody to be careful with their words, try looking in the mirror.
Steve
....."
-----------------

.....
You posted that is your opinion, so I am calling you out on it. Deal with it.
Jerry"

------------------
.....
"You seem to be the one who has a need to deal with it.
Steve"

------------------


Hmm .....
I know that some birds mark their territories. So birders do that too ??
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Old Thursday 21st September 2017, 07:01   #18
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Steve,

Sounds like you've had a tough summer, so thanks for finding the time to do the comparisons and write the report.

I find these new guys aiming high very encouraging, There is no doubt that the lower and middle orders have upped their game in recent years and it would be nice to see more competition at the top. Whether this collection is in that league is another matter but I guess I'm unlikely to see for myself any time soon.

You seem to see more similarities than difference optically which somewhat surprised me. I am familiar with the Opticron Imagic BGA VHD which we are told is the same as the Tract Toric. I've also seen a couple of the higher spec Kamakura models like the Kite Bonelli 2.0 and another version of the Maven B2 and I found it obvious that the quality of the view had moved up a gear or two for those at least. I would have expected the B1, S9 and Passion HD to have some optical advantage over the TT but it sounds like you did't see it. Perhaps the price difference is all in the engineering in these examples, or maybe we just see things differently.

Cheers,

David
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Old Thursday 21st September 2017, 17:12   #19
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.....
"For some of us, we are not needy for another option. So be careful with your words.
Jerry"
-----------------
.....
"Before you think about telling somebody to be careful with their words, try looking in the mirror.
Steve
....."
-----------------

.....
You posted that is your opinion, so I am calling you out on it. Deal with it.
Jerry"

------------------
.....
"You seem to be the one who has a need to deal with it.
Steve"

------------------


Hmm .....
I know that some birds mark their territories. So birders do that too ??
Good point. The thing is in spite of his claim of not playing favorites Jerry has a Holy Trinity of Optics, Nikon, Swarovski, and Zeiss. I pretty much knew he would think I had not paid his favorites proper homage, and I knew that post or something like it was surely inbound.

The thing is I recently advised somebody to not pay any attention to Jerry when he comes up with one of his snarly posts. I made the simple, and entirely avoidable mistake of not following my own advice, a mistake I will strive to avoid in the future. In so doing I assumed a role in a juvenile shoving match. I offer apologies to the forum for my part in that bit of unpleasantness.
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Old Thursday 21st September 2017, 18:22   #20
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That means they are there to satisfy those people who are in need of having a brand name they know on their binocular as opposed to a new entry in the market. I did not say that to give a slight to Zeiss or Nikon. I could have worded that better. You seem to be the one who has a need to deal with it.
I have to say I read your initial statement same as Jerry. It was indeed worded very poorly. But, yes some people are comfortable with established and familiar brands...nothing wrong with that and nothing wrong with trying out a new brand such as Maven who so far seem to be building a very positive reputation for themselves.
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Old Thursday 21st September 2017, 21:20   #21
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Commenting on the original post, a very cool overview, thank you for the effort. I'd like to see the Toric and the GPO particularly at some point, and I'd like to see more actual measured FOV data for examples for all of these bins.

Without wading into the politics of favorites, I also see value in comparison to the Conquest HD, Monarch HG, and Trinovid HD as those are the "blue-chip" binoculars against which all of these are competing, honestly.

Cheers,
Josh
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Old Thursday 21st September 2017, 21:40   #22
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Commenting on the original post, a very cool overview, thank you for the effort. I'd like to see the Toric and the GPO particularly at some point, and I'd like to see more actual measured FOV data for examples for all of these bins.

Without wading into the politics of favorites, I also see value in comparison to the Conquest HD, Monarch HG, and Trinovid HD as those are the "blue-chip" binoculars against which all of these are competing, honestly.

Cheers,
Josh
So, why don't you gather up samples of what you'd like to see tested, like Steve C did, and test them? You can post your results, like SteveC did, right here for all of us to see.

I can tell you that I thought the Toric 8x42 was superior to the Conquest HD that I had to compare. I spent a week in Africa with them.
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Old Thursday 21st September 2017, 21:56   #23
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Return shipping to and from Argentina and dealing with import logistics is way beyond worthwhile or financially attractive for such an endeavour, for one. For two, I'm not particularly one to order a lot of products and return them (not trying to open that can of worms, either, just commenting that I don't relish doing that). Lastly, since it was already being discussed, I was just commenting that I see the value in comparing those entrants to the established brands, not particularly asking anyone to do so.

Your anecdotal comment on the Toric is not the first time I've seen that opinion, which is part of why I'm curious to see one at some point, hopefully. As I haven't seen in person ANY of the above newcomers, comparison to something I know is useful. Further, I imagine there are others out there that have seen the Conquest or Trinovid, and a few who've seen the new Monarch HG, but not many/any of the newcomers. That's all I was really trying to say.

I've used and abused a pair of the 8x42 Conquests in the tropics for several years now, and personally feel they are excellent. Certainly alphas are better in many ways (I also own the SV EL 10x42 and recently acquired the SF 8x42) but I have never felt that the Conquests limited me in any way or that I ever missed an ID due to any optical limitation. Everyone I know who has Conquests loves them, so when people who are clearly knowledgeable and passionate about bins draw comparisons to the Conquest it gives me a lot of info.

Cheers,
Josh
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Old Thursday 21st September 2017, 23:45   #24
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Good point. The thing is in spite of his claim of not playing favorites Jerry has a Holy Trinity of Optics, Nikon, Swarovski, and Zeiss. I pretty much knew he would think I had not paid his favorites proper homage, and I knew that post or something like it was surely inbound.

The thing is I recently advised somebody to not pay any attention to Jerry when he comes up with one of his snarly posts. I made the simple, and entirely avoidable mistake of not following my own advice, a mistake I will strive to avoid in the future. In so doing I assumed a role in a juvenile shoving match. I offer apologies to the forum for my part in that bit of unpleasantness.
Steve:

I also think our little sparring match yesterday, was too much, and
I should develop a thicker skin.
The effort you put in with these comparisons and the reviews are well
done, and appreciated.

Hey, I don't mind any of the newcomers to the marketplace, they are
some very nice optics.

I just don't want anyone to forget some of the others out there, with
some exclusive design features.

It is nice, we have so many choices in todays world.

I think we can agree to disagree sometimes.

Jerry
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Old Friday 22nd September 2017, 13:16   #25
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Steve:

I also think our little sparring match yesterday, was too much, and
I should develop a thicker skin.
The effort you put in with these comparisons and the reviews are well
done, and appreciated.

Hey, I don't mind any of the newcomers to the marketplace, they are
some very nice optics.

I just don't want anyone to forget some of the others out there, with
some exclusive design features.

It is nice, we have so many choices in todays world.

I think we can agree to disagree sometimes.

Jerry
Well said Jerry.

I am a well-known Zeiss fan, although not so Zeiss-crazy as I used to be, and it is great to find so many, not only decent, but thoroughly good, binos at so many price points.

While I don't agree with Dennis's contention that the new wave of bino brands will be the death of the established alphas, it is certainly the case that brands such as GPO, Meopta, Kowa, Opticron, Maven, Tract, Nikon and Bushnell, are offering great value for money. No wonder Zeiss (Terra ED and Conquest HD) and Leica (Trinovid HD) felt the need to compete at lower price points.

Lee
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