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Old Friday 13th October 2017, 23:04   #1
chill6x6
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A tale of two 7X42s...

Summer is officially over but there are plenty of leaves on the trees here in Alabama. As I've mentioned before during the Summer and early Fall months a 7X42 binocular may be preferable as ones primary birding binocular. Some of the advantages a 7X42 frequently offers are increased FOV, faster target acquisition, larger exit pupils, often more eye relief, and a steadier image. I find the 7X42s especially useful in heavy foliage or when usual birding distances are close(such images below). I've had the good fortune to use two such binoculars, often side by side for the past four months.

Leica Ultravid HD Plus 7X42

I purchased the UV HD + in June. I have used it the most of any binocular I have since that time. Below are some stats on this binocular:

Weight- 26.4 ounces objective covers OFF, 27.4 ounces ON
Eye cups- 5-positon
Eye relief- 17mm(Leica's measurement)
FOV- 8 degrees, 420 feet @ 1000 yards (Leica's measurement)
Transmission %- 88.2% (courtesy House of Outdoors)
Diopter compensation- +/- 4 (Leica's measurement)
IPD- 55-77mm(Leica's measurement)
Close focus- 9.5 feet
Warranty- 3 year Passport Protection Plan and Limited Lifetime

Meopta Meostar B.1 7X42

I purchased the B.1 7X42 in June as well. Just a few weeks after the Leica. The B.1 7X42 came all the way from Germany as I could find none available in the USA. I have used the B.1 ALMOST as much as the UVHD+. Below are some stats on this binocular:

Weight- 32.1 ounces objective covers OFF, 32.6 ounces ON
Eye cups- 2 position
Eye relief- 21.8mm(Meopta's measurement)
FOV- 7.84 degrees, 411 feet at 1000 yards
Transmission %- 90.9%(Courtesy House of Outdoors)
Diopter compensation- +/- 3 (Meopta's measurement)
IPD- 56-74mm(Meopta's measurement)
Close focus- 8.5 feet
Warranty- 30 years US purchase...10 years elsewhere?

Armchair and in the field comparison

I'll start with some of things that are obvious, mostly from the info above.

Weight:
The Leica is obviously the lightweight here. A 32 ounce 7X42 is petty chunky by todays standards. Many are going to reject the Meopta on that point alone. I can only speak for myself but....I hardly notice it. I thought I would but with a nice harness such as RYULH I don't even notice the difference during carry. Even during use I didn't notice the weight difference. But I can't argue with facts...the Meostar is a good bit heavier binocular.

Eye-cups:
One thing I DO notice is eye-cups. This is the first Meopta 42mm binocular I've owned and I was surprised to note it has only two position eye-cups. That is, all the way UP and all the way down. No in-between. The Ultravid HD + probably has the best in the business. I count 5 positions including all the way up and down. I also find there are more than that. Just BEFORE the eye-cup clicks in one of the positions it can rest THERE. So I use mine just before all the way down. The B.1 required the use of o-rings to get the correct eye-placement setting for me.

Eye-relief:
Both binoculars probably have plenty for most eyeglass users. The Meopta should have P-L-E-N-T-Y for most ANY eyeglass wearer! Highly recommended for those that need a little extra!

Diopter adjustment:
IMO no one beats Leica here. The best. The easiest to adjust. The Meopta IS very good though with a central adjustment with click indentations.

Hinge tension:
Both great with the Meopta slightly greater than the Leica.

Focus adjustment:
Really, both are great. If my Nikon EDG II is a 10, both of these are probably a 8.5-9. No complaints whatsoever. The Meopta requires a little more effort but very nice. I really like the Leica's wide knob that easily allows two finger placement. The Meopta is comfortable too. I will say the Meopta's adjustment IS a little slower and requires a little more input to focus when changing distances.

In the field observations:
Let me start by saying these are both really nice binoculars. I like them both. Would be happy with either. BUT there are a few differences. One is FOV or perceived FOV. Both the 7x42 AND the 8X42 Meopta B.1 list the FOV at 411 feet. So the 7X42 isn't doing all it COULD be doing and one can tell because you can see the inside of each barrel when viewing. I handed the B.1 to more than one observer that were using 8X42s WITH less actual FOV but both had the impression the Meopta had less FOV. I explained to them how to tell and both couldn't believe the Meostar actually had more FOV until they proved it to themselves. ACTUALLY FOV differences between the UVHD+ and the Meostar is nine feet. Nine feet you'll never miss or appreciate. The Meostar DOES actually present a flatter FOV being correct very close to the edge of FOV. The Leica less so. But, here goes.....I believe the UVHD+ DOES present an ever so slightly increase in image quality in the center 50% or so of the FOV. There, I said it! Be that as it may, I would never see it except in side by side direct comparison and it is absolutely meaningless in bird identification OR viewing pleasure. I also felt the Meostar offered slightly better glare control. Not much difference but a slight improvement. Have I missed anything??

Conclusion

I like 7X42 binoculars. For most of my birding ESPECIALLY in the Summer and early Fall I find them to be in their element. You'll see in the pictures below some of areas I frequent. Either of these fine binoculars are a nice choice. Based on lower weight, multi-range adjustable eyecups, and US availability I find the Ultravid HD Plus the more desirable binocular. Other than that, that's about it. Difference in price however is about $1000. $1000. I'm not so sure I can see it. If you MUST have the best, the Ultravid HD Plus is the way to go BUT it actually may make more sense to purchase the Meostar B.1 7X42 AND a Conquest HD 10X42 for one's $2000. Then you have all the bases covered!

Maybe I should take my own advice at times!
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Old Friday 13th October 2017, 23:11   #2
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Added a few more pictures....
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Old Friday 13th October 2017, 23:24   #3
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Hi Chuck, great write up as always, thanks for sharing. If you still have the SLC and FL in 7x42 configuration, wondered if you had been able to compare all four binos, and if so what were your findings?

I am in total agreement with you about 7x bins, I've used my SLC's hard for years now and they still bring a smile to my face every time I look through them. Love the Yellow-throated warbler btw, need to get over to the US again to catch up with a few more of these Setophaga's!
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Old Friday 13th October 2017, 23:25   #4
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Nice write up Chuck.

Did you weigh the binos yourself? Where did you get the 26.4 ounces for the Ultravid ?
I always thought it was about 27 naked based on specs I saw on EO where I purchased it from originally.
If it's 26.4 oz it does make sense b/c it's not terribly heavy. I would like it to be lighter after a few hours, but really it's not too bad. 23oz would be nice ... but we can't have it all :)

I thought the Uvid is a bit "thick" , but wow that Meostar is really fat. I had no idea until seeing this comparison view...and the weight would be just too much for me.

I heard Meopta won't be making anymore 7x42's and once Leica discontinues the Ultravids there will just be a couple 7x42s left out there. So, hang on to those nice 7x binos you have there :)
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Old Saturday 14th October 2017, 00:54   #5
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Why is the Meopta Meostar B.1 7X42 so heavy? 32 oz. is way heavy for a 42mm. That would be a deal breaker for me. I personally don't like those little bumps all over it either. Just a personal thing. Looks like it has Chicken Pox.
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Old Saturday 14th October 2017, 08:01   #6
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Thank you for your comparitive review, Chuck - informative, well worded, nice read !!
I am fully with you on the MeoStar (I don‘t have the 7x, but the 8 and 10 and 12 x models instead), they are very good value and performance-wise not far from the premium brands - usually undervalued by people who don‘t know them.
Well done !!!

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Old Saturday 14th October 2017, 11:02   #7
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My first "quality" 7x42 was the Meopta B1 7x42. When it arrived I took it to use on a day out at a wetland reserve. The light that day was intense, low winter sun from behind, viewing light or white birds against a dark background. Any of the white birds viewed off centre lit up in glorious neon colour. It was quite likely (accidentally) an extreme test for CA. It surprised me, I returned them for this feature. I recall they gave a slightly yellow view too.
Now with my UV7x42HD, in bright conditions (perhaps not as bright, those days are not so common), I see CA off centre, but not as bad as I recall the Meopta being.
As my experience was not a side by side comparison, it's perhaps not an objective comparison....how do you find the CA in both?
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Old Saturday 14th October 2017, 13:34   #8
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Great write-up Chuck. Thanks for posting.

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Old Saturday 14th October 2017, 13:36   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denco@comcast.n View Post

I personally don't like those little bumps all over it either. Just a personal thing. Looks like it has Chicken Pox.
I used to think the same Dennis but in real life the effect is nothing like in the photos which do them no justice at all. Believe me they look fine in the flesh.

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Old Saturday 14th October 2017, 15:22   #10
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Originally Posted by dwatsonbirder View Post
Hi Chuck, great write up as always, thanks for sharing. If you still have the SLC and FL in 7x42 configuration, wondered if you had been able to compare all four binos, and if so what were your findings?

I am in total agreement with you about 7x bins, I've used my SLC's hard for years now and they still bring a smile to my face every time I look through them. Love the Yellow-throated warbler btw, need to get over to the US again to catch up with a few more of these Setophaga's!
I still have the FL and the SLC 7X42. Still just as good as they ever were! I really haven't yet compared all four. That would be quite a task! I was really kind of comparing 7X42s that are available NOW. Those yellow-throated are gorgeous! I get to see them here twice a year! Thanks for the nice words..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gilmore Girl View Post
Nice write up Chuck.

Did you weigh the binos yourself? Where did you get the 26.4 ounces for the Ultravid ?
I always thought it was about 27 naked based on specs I saw on EO where I purchased it from originally.
If it's 26.4 oz it does make sense b/c it's not terribly heavy. I would like it to be lighter after a few hours, but really it's not too bad. 23oz would be nice ... but we can't have it all :)

I thought the Uvid is a bit "thick" , but wow that Meostar is really fat. I had no idea until seeing this comparison view...and the weight would be just too much for me.

I heard Meopta won't be making anymore 7x42's and once Leica discontinues the Ultravids there will just be a couple 7x42s left out there. So, hang on to those nice 7x binos you have there :)
Hi! Yeah I weighed them myself on a digital scale. That's really JUST the binocular. Nothing else.

The Meostar 7X42 IS kind of a brick. It reminds me of my Trinovid BN 7X42 which weighs in at 31 ounces. Very similar. I will say this...The Meostar though kinda heavy seems VERY well made. BTW...Monarch HG 8X42 weighs 24.4 ounces....

I didn't realize Meopta won't be making the B.1 7X42 anymore. I certainly plan on hanging on to the 7X42s I have!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canip View Post
Thank you for your comparitive review, Chuck - informative, well worded, nice read !!
I am fully with you on the MeoStar (I don‘t have the 7x, but the 8 and 10 and 12 x models instead), they are very good value and performance-wise not far from the premium brands - usually undervalued by people who don‘t know them.
Well done !!!
THANKS! So I'm not telling you something you don't all ready know!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cluster View Post
My first "quality" 7x42 was the Meopta B1 7x42. When it arrived I took it to use on a day out at a wetland reserve. The light that day was intense, low winter sun from behind, viewing light or white birds against a dark background. Any of the white birds viewed off centre lit up in glorious neon colour. It was quite likely (accidentally) an extreme test for CA. It surprised me, I returned them for this feature. I recall they gave a slightly yellow view too.
Now with my UV7x42HD, in bright conditions (perhaps not as bright, those days are not so common), I see CA off centre, but not as bad as I recall the Meopta being.
As my experience was not a side by side comparison, it's perhaps not an objective comparison....how do you find the CA in both?
CA- Yep. It's there. I really hadn't noticed it much at all until I snuck up on a large group of Great Egrets. With the sun behind me and the birds perfectly silhouetted CA kinda jumped right at me while using the B.1. I swapped to the Leica and very similar CA profile. I thought both were pretty similar. Other than that one time, I had no issues.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Troubador View Post
Great write-up Chuck. Thanks for posting.

Lee
Thanks Lee!
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Old Saturday 14th October 2017, 17:14   #11
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I used to think the same Dennis but in real life the effect is nothing like in the photos which do them no justice at all. Believe me they look fine in the flesh.

Lee
I have always thought the Meopta was an ugly, heavy binocular and optically I never got along with it. It seemed to have too much eye relief for the eye cup length for me. They remind me of some of those Russian binoculars that have good optics but are heavy and the build quality is kind of rough. Kind of like you with the Zulu 7's. I think the Leica is a way more attractive binocular.
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Old Saturday 14th October 2017, 17:59   #12
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Chuck,

Great read and informative 7X42 reviews! No doubt, both are very fine 7X optics!

I still have the FL 7X42's and like them a lot...tack sharp, wide FOV, a silky and fast focus and great DOF. Like you emphasized, very useful in heavy foliage and being 7X, shake is minimal! I do find color renditions a little on the cool side, but overall a pleasing and easy sight picture!

Thanks again for sharing your wonderful glassing experiences!!

Ted
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Old Monday 16th October 2017, 04:24   #13
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Chuck,

Great read and informative 7X42 reviews! No doubt, both are very fine 7X optics!

I still have the FL 7X42's and like them a lot...tack sharp, wide FOV, a silky and fast focus and great DOF. Like you emphasized, very useful in heavy foliage and being 7X, shake is minimal! I do find color renditions a little on the cool side, but overall a pleasing and easy sight picture!

Thanks again for sharing your wonderful glassing experiences!!

Ted
Thanks Ted! I need to break the FL out before the leaves get off the trees!
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Old Monday 16th October 2017, 09:43   #14
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Dennis, post 11,
I do not share your feelings with regard to the Meopta Meostar 7x42. With respect to taste: there is a Dutch proverb that sounds: do not argue about taste, that is personal feelings.
Howere after having used the Meopta Meostar 7x42 for a number of weeks as well as testing it (and I had the possibility to compare it with 7x42's from different brands), I am quite impressed with both the optical qualities as well as the handling comfort. The higher weigt compared with some others in combination with the 7x magnification makes the image stability even better.
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Old Monday 16th October 2017, 11:43   #15
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Dennis, can't argue with you if they just downright turn you off, but believe me there is nothing rough about their build quality. This first family (hence B1) of binos from Meopta were designed more with hunters in mind so I expect the next models to be more interesting to nature observers.

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Old Monday 16th October 2017, 12:13   #16
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After having used both over the last month or so, I'm liking the 7x42 (and also 7x35 wide field) formats a lot. It's quite an interesting paradox (as I remarked in the recent Zeiss 7x42 thread) that the classic 7x42s seem so coveted, yet this format apparently has very little appeal in today's market.

I do think part of the attraction of the 7x42 Dialyt was its wide field of view (148m at 1000m) which does not appear to be matched by today's 7x42 offerings - I wonder how many of those searching for 7x42 Dialyts would buy an Ultravid or Meopta instead if this were the case?
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Old Monday 16th October 2017, 12:32   #17
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I'm sure the meostar is built nice and has a great view...I have no doubts there.
I tried the Cabelas meostar version in 8x32 and loved the small size and its unique look - not enough ER for me though.

Thankfully, the current Cabelas brand (Euro HD) doesn't have the little bumps which I find very unattractive. I'm not sure why they
added those bumps in the first place.
Well, they went and made another very ugly design choice again with the brand new
Cabelas design (new Euro HD) which looks like a monstrosity. They should have kept the current look which
was real nice.

I love 7x42 format, but the meostar at 32 ounces is just too heavy and it appears very bulky next to the ultravid which is already a bit thick. This is one bin I would never consider even though I'm sure the view is very nice.
It may however be a good choice for a big burly guy with big hands.

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Old Monday 16th October 2017, 14:38   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patudo View Post
After having used both over the last month or so, I'm liking the 7x42 (and also 7x35 wide field) formats a lot. It's quite an interesting paradox (as I remarked in the recent Zeiss 7x42 thread) that the classic 7x42s seem so coveted, yet this format apparently has very little appeal in today's market.

I do think part of the attraction of the 7x42 Dialyt was its wide field of view (148m at 1000m) which does not appear to be matched by today's 7x42 offerings - I wonder how many of those searching for 7x42 Dialyts would buy an Ultravid or Meopta instead if this were the case?
I agree that it's the FOV of current 7x models not being up to the current 8x offerings. Except for the Zeiss victory and upcoming trinovid, the current 7x roofs have FOVs of 8° or less. Many top 8x binoculars are in the 7.8° range. So in the eyes of the average birder, gaining an extra 1x magnification and sacrificing 0.2° seems like a good tradeoff. And if one really wants a large FOV, the 7x models now have to compete with the Zeiss SF.

Your idea from the other thread of a top end 160m (~9.15°) 7x binocular would interest me. Large AFOV, large exit pupil, relaxed image. But others on that thread didn't seem as enthused, so who knows.
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Old Monday 16th October 2017, 14:53   #19
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Post 17, Gilmore Girl:

Meopta added these "bumps" (they're not elevated, it's only another material) because the armouring would otherwise be slippery when there's rain or one's hands are sweaty. If you have the binoculars in the hand, they don't bother at all.

The 42's of the Meostar line are so heavy because they have a large prism (as I've read the same as the 50's). This has the advantage that glare and reflections control of the Meostars is top of the line. The revision of the Meostar that is intended perhaps for next year will present a reduction in weight though.

I hope that the 7x42 will not be discontinued - I love mine and would buy instantly also a revised one with HD glasses with less chromatic aberration.
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Old Monday 16th October 2017, 15:47   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patudo View Post
After having used both over the last month or so, I'm liking the 7x42 (and also 7x35 wide field) formats a lot. It's quite an interesting paradox (as I remarked in the recent Zeiss 7x42 thread) that the classic 7x42s seem so coveted, yet this format apparently has very little appeal in today's market.

I do think part of the attraction of the 7x42 Dialyt was its wide field of view (148m at 1000m) which does not appear to be matched by today's 7x42 offerings - I wonder how many of those searching for 7x42 Dialyts would buy an Ultravid or Meopta instead if this were the case?


The Zeiss 7x42 Victory FL T* has a FOV of 450'@1000 yards. It does show astigmatism at the very edge of its view. There seems to always be some kind of price to pay if the FOV exceeds 8º on a 7x42. Despite this astigmatism, it does make the overall view through the binocular more expansive.

The 8º FOVs on my Swarovski 7x42 SLC B and my old Leica 7x42 Trinovid BN and even older Leitz 7x42 Trinovid BA are large, expansive and without visible distortion except for some pincushioning at the far edges which can be dialed into sharpness.

Nikon does not consider its EDG binoculars, which have flat fields to have wide FOVs. This includes the 7x42 EDG which has an 8º FOV.

Nikon only has 6 "wide field" binoculars. The 2 Monarch HGs, 3 Monarch 7s and a 10x42 Pro-Staff. See PDF Chart below which is a compatible chart of full size Roof Prism binoculars.

http://imaging.nikon.com/lineup/spor...e_Chart_En.pdf

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Old Monday 16th October 2017, 16:12   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mac.o View Post
Post 17, Gilmore Girl:

Meopta added these "bumps" (they're not elevated, it's only another material) because the armouring would otherwise be slippery when there's rain or one's hands are sweaty. If you have the binoculars in the hand, they don't bother at all.

The 42's of the Meostar line are so heavy because they have a large prism (as I've read the same as the 50's). This has the advantage that glare and reflections control of the Meostars is top of the line. The revision of the Meostar that is intended perhaps for next year will present a reduction in weight though.

I hope that the 7x42 will not be discontinued - I love mine and would buy instantly also a revised one with HD glasses with less chromatic aberration.
Hi Mac,

I read here on BF I believe that the new Meostar line won't include 7x.
I can't remember who mentioned it.
Maybe someone could confirm this.
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Old Monday 16th October 2017, 20:01   #22
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I have smaller hands and use the 42mm Meostars with no problems. I find the weight to be to my liking. It helps me hold them steady. I use a harness on the 8x and use the excellent padded Meopta strap on the 10x and put it over my shoulder. Both are comfortable to carry all day.
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Old Tuesday 17th October 2017, 18:31   #23
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I have smaller hands and use the 42mm Meostars with no problems. I find the weight to be to my liking. It helps me hold them steady. I use a harness on the 8x and use the excellent padded Meopta strap on the 10x and put it over my shoulder. Both are comfortable to carry all day.
When I carry a binocular all day even with a harness I definitely prefer a lighter one. It seem like the farther I walk the more I notice the weight.
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Old Wednesday 18th October 2017, 03:59   #24
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Originally Posted by denco@comcast.n View Post
When I carry a binocular all day even with a harness I definitely prefer a lighter one. It seem like the farther I walk the more I notice the weight.
With a harness....I really don't notice weight while carrying...which I use the Rick Young UL harness all the time....up to and including binoculars such as the Meopta B.1 above. Now while actively glassing...no doubt my arms get tired quicker with the heavier binoculars. Swap to the SV 8X32 is almost like holding up nothing at all.
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Old Monday 23rd October 2017, 23:33   #25
NDhunter
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Binomania has a recent review of the Nikon EDG 7x42, very high marks, and another one to

consider in this size.

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