Weaver Super Slam 8.5X45 open bridge circa 2009-2014
In order not to clog up Bin Bargains I brought the post & more here.
It would seem the MIJ 8.5/10.5X45 open bridge was popular a few years ago 2010-11.
As well the mention of SK glass which as SK-15 is a prism type.
The Artes Vixen ED 8.5x45 DCF 14531 is still available for a grand? at OP/Adorama 41% OFF!.[WTF?]
ETA: The Artes is listed as: "The SK15 High Reflective Coated Sub Prisms let the Vixen 8.5x45mm Artes Binoculars deliver bright images."
I'm not sure what a sub prism entails. The SS claim of SK & BAK-4 sounds as if the two prism types are coupled. "Roof prism design with SK and BaK-4 prism glass" That seems to be what the Artes conveys as well. The Artes also 7* open bridge MIJ though did not place focus wheel ahead of the 1st bridge as the SS.
Flash from the past sorta. Weaver is deemed more of a hunting bin than birding. This was their flagship back in the day the MIJ Super Slam. Only the 8.5x45 is available though it came in a 10.5x45. The 10.5x45 was awarded 2nd only to the Swaro EL2 in their full sized bins 2010 Optics Palooza. Rated them ahead of the Conquest 10X56.
849630 8.5 x 45 Rubber Armor EP-5.3 FOV- 7* 367/122 ER- 0.73/18.5 H/W-6.3/160 5.6/143 Weight-31.2/885 Minimum Focus Distance 9.84'/3m Roof phase coated [w/o mention of prism type coating though notes SK & Bak-4 glass] magnesium chassis, rubber armor.[Styrka mentions high-grade SK-15 prisms in their flagship S9 42mm]
Swarovski EL 42 Sworovision 10x42
Swarovski has further pushed the envelope of optical perfection with this high-performance binocular. The optic renders a world-class image stylishly and comfortably, and even small details--such as the locking center diopter wheel, redesigned focusing system and twist-in eyecups--are elegant and functional. If price is no object, the well-balanced open-bridge Sworovision won't disappoint. But if the gem-bright image and stunning definition are breathtaking, so is the stratospheric price tag.
Overall Rating: 4 stars
Optical Quality: 1st
[ Price: $2,754 ]
Weaver Super Slam 10.5x45
This is not your father's Weaver. The first giveaway is the hip two-toned armor and serrated eyecups and focus wheel; the second is the dazzling optical clarity; and the third is the premium price. The binocular won our low-light test and was no slouch on the resolution range. The clicking, locking hinge got mixed reviews.[Open bridge has a IP distance lock on the forward hinge]
Overall Rating: 3.5 stars
Optical Quality: 2nd
[ Price: $1,114 ]
Zeiss Conquest 10x56
If you're looking for a binocular to extend your twilight viewing, this is a good choice. The Conquest, with its huge 56mm objective lenses, tied with Weaver for low-light honors. But it didn't fare as well on our assessment of its features--focus was a bit rough, finish feels almost too slick and balance is forward-heavy--especially considering the premium price.
Overall Rating: 3.5 stars
Optical Quality: 3rd
[ Price: $1,499 ]
Needless to say the SS 8.5X45 has long since been discontinued. Weaver has changed hands w/no trace of the model. BH will special order, 3-5 weeks, for $697.99/10.5 $699.99. Counting the $35 off $350 [Code: DO171135]plus about 16 clams shipping the Total from Nathez comes to $401 & change.
Is it a bargain? Depends I suppose. They sold for over a grand in 2010. Allbinos only has two reviews of less expensive bins one of them Le Grande Slam also 8.5X45. Sounds as breakfast at Denny's. Distortion was recorded at 28% w/transmission at 88%. I've no clue about the SS though I speculate w/me wallet that it will be better.
As always, YMMV ...
Regardless of claims by some vendors, including Natchez, a prompt reply to e-mail from Weaver confirms the minimum focus on product #849630 is 9.8 feet.
Anywho, they're new, according to the guy on the other end of 800 #, comes w/case, rainguard, objective covers & harness. Fifteen day return, there's currently fifty in stock.
https://www.eabco.com/WeaverCatalog.pdf [Pg. 17 of 39 of the Weaver PDF 2013 product catalogue]
ETA: ANOKA, MINNESOTA–ATK has announced its acquisition of Weaver® Optics from Meade Instruments effective April 24, 2008.
Top O' line Weaver Super Slam to come out fall 2009.
Super Slam still featured in 2013 Weaver Product Catalogue
Nov. 1, 2013 ATK completes acquisition of Bushnell.
By at least 3/15 Vista Outdoors spins off ATK taking all outdoor companies, including Bushnell & Weaver, whilst ATK concentrates on aerospace.
Weaver drops Super Slam/Grand Slam bins now offering only mediocre/inexpensive Kaspa msrp-121-$151 or the 8x36 Classic msrp $280. Weaver still continues to offer the SS/GS in riflescopes. [Weaver supplied 36,000 scopes and sights to the military during World War II]
Bushnell continues to offer the Legend in bins.
Perhaps, since Bushnell came under the ATK/Vista Outdoors umbrella, it is decided that Weaver will concentrate more on scopes.
So, this SS bin could be the last Weaver stab at higher end/mid-price glass. It might be no better/as good as the current C1 Maven. Howevah, the C1 should be around for a while. Speaking of being around a quick call confirmes 53 units currently in stock. 9am 11/21/17
I e-mailed Weaver about a pdf OM for the SS. They were quick to respond w/one for the SS riflescope. We'll see if they can round up the bin. I'm curious about the close focus.
Evidently the bin didn't go over being discounted over the years even years after being discontinued. Not much in reviews save OL.
"The 8.5x45 mm Super Slam I tested at Jeff Rann’s 777 Ranch in Texas is a high-end, roof-prism binocular. Sadly for us, at just over $1,000 retail, it’s actually in the “high-mid” level, considering top-end binoculars these days can cost up to $3,500. To me $1,000 is a lot to pay for anything, and so I hold the Super Slam to a high standard.
Optically, the Weaver is difficult to tell apart from top-end optics costing $500 more. That said, it’s difficult to tell apart from units costing $300 less."
So, from four years prior it's good from five bills more to three less. The price now equates to $900-$100. Wonder how well that formula holds up to todays bins/prices.
Weaver has been very responsive/prompt in answering several of me e-mail inquiries within one day or the same as sent.
ETA: I just received another response from Weaver on the SS 8.5X45. 22/12/17
"The binoculars were discontinued in 2014 after our parent company ATK/Vista Outdoor purchased Bushnell and the category became redundant."
Ah Ha! As I previously suspected. Perhaps the sales of the SS models, at more than $1000 a pop, helped influenced their decision.
I'm curious about the IPD lock on the front bridge. At first it appears gimmicky though I can see being a hunting bin where it could potentially be an asset. I'm really intrigued by the focus wheel in front of the back bridge. What possessed them to submit this design? It prevents the SS bin from being an exact clone of the Vixen.
Again I've run out of edits. Nuttin' like bumpin me own thread, eh?
Now, the guy that answered the phone would not quote the number in stock, but said they would not sell out in a couple of weeks, claimed they bought all that was left/available & in the same breath proclaimed someone might call, that was scheduled perhaps for seven gun shows, buying the entire lot. 12:00 PM 11/22/2017
Anywho, I'm at the end of the line on information. Next week when the bin comes in I'll share what's gleaned. As it stands you know as much if not more than I.
ETA: The $35 off, which helps offset shipping, goes out the door at Midnight. Mine arrives Monday. Natchez has tried moving these before at $499 relying on the original back in the day price of over a grand I suppose. I've no clue of the current value. Being inquisitive I wanted one to check out, but also because apparently, at least for a while, this represents Weaver's last shot at a quality bin. I base that mostly on the msrp.
SS 8.5X45 though discontinued in 2014 was still featured in a 2014 Accessories Product Reference Manual w/msrp 1,127.49 pg 6 of 51. It seems that every price ends in either .49 or .95. There's a reason, howevah I am not privy to the answer. Many times the differing cents is a key for markdown/how much if any discounted from a previous price. Except I'm seeing 49 & 95 on items marked as new/first time offerings.
Four classic bins were offered w/only the 8x36 surviving today. Priced then at 291.95 it is now listed on Weaver website for 277.95. All six bottom rung Kaspa bins survived.
Super Slam Binoculars
• ED glass for the ultimate light gathering ability
• SHR lens coating for increased light transmission
• Roof prism design with SK and BaK-4 prism glass [SK-14, 15 or 16? Regardless it would seem they mixed & matched prism glass; to what end I'm unsure]
• Focus lock allows preferred adjustments to be locked in for viewer
• Torture tested from -20° to +150° Fahrenheit
Part Number Magnification Finish MSRP
849630 8.5x45 Rubber Armor $1,127.49
849635 10.5x45 Rubber Armor $1,182.49
Remember the blowhard attempting to make issue about stock inventory? What a joke except I may be the only person that purchased a SS bin.
"The requested quantity for "Weaver Super Slam Binocular - 8.5x45mm Dual-Bridge Black Rubber" is not available. Only 53 left in stock."
SHR (Super High Reflection) prism coating is what? This seems to be much the same as some of the claims for ED glass. Perhaps a search for SDSR, Super Duper High Reflection. I have seen SHR in a bin description that also included 'metalic', naturally leaving out the type of metal. The Weaver Classic bin, approximately 1/4 price, of the same era was Al. Certainly not enhanced Al after viewing the allbinos review of the classic.
The 8.5X42/44/45 format was popular for a few years from around 2009. I found a list:
Weaver Grand Slam 8.5x45, 700g, 104m
Bushnell Infinity 8.5x45, 708g, 104m
Delta Optical Titanium 8.5x45, 850g, 105m
Nikon Monarch X 8.5x45, 720g, 110m
Swift Audubon HHS 8.5x44, 665g, 112m
Vanguard Endeavor ED 8.5x45, 770g, 114m
Leupold Northfork 8.5x45, 765g, 115m
Bresser Montana ED 8.5x45, 885g, 115m
Eschenbach Farlux Selector D 8.5x45, 880g, 117m
Weaver Super Slam ED 8.5x45, 885g, 122m
Vixen Artes ED 8.5x45, 907g, 122m
Kowa Genesis Prominar XD 8.5x44, 940g, 122m
Bynolyt Albatross II ED 8.5x45, 940g, 123m
Hawke Panorama ED 8.5x42, 890g, 129m
RSPB WPG 8.5x42, 731g, 133m
Swarovski EL SV 8.5x42, 835g, 133m
Others also have employed the 180*/flipped/front side of bridge focus wheel.
You seem to be talking to yourself. Weaver is not known at all on the site.
So, go ahead and give it a try, and let us know how you like it.
So they have optics chops, even if they don't have any visibility in the binoculars space. Plus they have a track record, which not all the players in this space can boast.
That said, it seems pointless to me for this supplier to offer another mid range glass, there are lots already and their only real selling point is price. Innovation is the missing ingredient in this ocean of 'me too' designs.
A possible differentiator would be a glass that offered decent optical stabilization, or something with exceptional eye relief or with ultra wide angle optics, anything to stand out in a plausible way.
None do, underlining the absence of discernible progress in this field.
Well said, Weaver had a big place in the rifle scope market in the 60's and 70's,
That was about it.
Well Jer I hear that one need only worry if they answer themselves. Perhaps I should be concerned.
"it seems pointless to me for this supplier to offer another mid range glass, there are lots already and their only real selling point is price. Innovation is the missing ingredient in this ocean of 'me too' designs."
You're probably right. Why would anyone in their right mind purchase a NOS obscure bin from 2009 by an aging optic company that specialised in riflescopes? Much less for 400USD.
That fellow most certainly must be daft, a fool, mad or at the very least a ward of the state.. :smoke:
ETA: A 7* FOV is no slouch for a 8.5X45. ER 18.5 w/Minimum focus stated as 9.84'/3m or 6' 6" depending on site though I can do 5.5'. Handles CA exceptionaly well, but it weighs 31.2/885 oz/g.
A solid glass that pleases your eyes is what matters, not the name on the box. So good on you if you found a Weaver that serves your turn.
What remains is that Weaver was unable to find a sustainable niche in this sector, even though they had a good name and offered a good product. The reason for that is what my comment attempted to address.
I took no offense to your comments. Had more been purchased I surely would not have found them at such an attractive price that's only fallen about $50-75 in three years. No doubt this bin was targeted for/marketed to hunters.
The FOV may well be tight, combined w/slower focus response, that would be a deal breaker for chasing warblers. Yet, it has strengths beyond price that makes it a good candidate for a crossover bin. It helps that the PC is less than some others I own. As well an EP of 5.3 is plenty for eyes from the 50's.
Win-win, plus I do not know what else I would buy at that price that would have as much value for me.
Not to mention the Ltd lifetime warranty...
ETA: Beyond the merits of the bin Vs. price the advantage/disadvantage concerning birders is what I see as the mystery of the bin.
Started by William Weaver in 1930, Weaver Optics were acquired by Meade in 2002, then by Alliant Techsystems Inc. (ATK - the US aerospace, defence and munitions manufacturer) in 2008. The Super Slam bin is listed in 2009 Weaver Optics catalogue. Barely 18 months after acquiring Bushnell in 2013, ATK spun off it's sporting group to create Vista Outdoor. In addition to many high value sporting brands Vista Outdoor own Millett, Night Optics, Bushnell, Simmons, Tasco and Weaver. The SS was in the 2009-2013 Weaver catalogue and then discontinued in 2014 after the parent company ATK/Vista Outdoor purchased Bushnell and the category became redundant. I've also seen it in a 2014 Weaver accessory brochure.
Skip ahead from the SS start in 2009 to late 2010 when the Vixen Artes comes out. Also MIJ 8.5X45 open bridge w/virtually the same specs, claims of ED glass, Bak-4 w/SK-15 subprisms also priced slightly over 1000USD likewise discontinued.
Magnification : 8.5×
Effective aperture : 45mm
Actual field of view 7.0*
Apparent field of view 54.9*
Field at 1000m 122
Exit pupil : 5.3mm
Brightness : 28.1
Eye relief : 17.5mm
Near focus : About 2.2m
Inter-papillary distance : adjustable between about 56mm and 74mm
Dimension : Height 15.6×Width 13.4×Thickness 5.9cm
Weight : 885g
Focus knob 1.6 turns L-L as the SS
Eye Cups Twist-up, no detents as the SS
Accessories : Soft case, Wide strap
The Vixen received recognition for a Star Product by Astronomy Magazine 2012. I'm sure being sold under the Meade umbrella carried a bit o' weight to that decision. The same Meade that controlled Weaver from 2002-2008. It would seem to me that perhaps the optical train/design was from Meade for the SS already in the can, before ATK takeover & they ran w/it.
Another interesting nugget is the SS 8.5X45 was listed in the 2009 Weaver catalogue as having 341' FOV. That is printed on the plastic focus cap on mine. The 2013 catalogue has 367' and mine exhibits that 7* FOV.
So, in 2008 the Super Slammy design was a clone of whom? Starting out around 1100USD, asking price not MSRP, surely they were imitating a more expensive well known optic. Don'tcha think mate?
Not to imply that due to similarities, parameters that the glass or results of one would reflect the other. Just some tidbits to gnaw upon.
The Weaver SS 8.5x45 offers a fantastic view.
I logged many hours with mine last fall was nothing but impressed.
Due to the open bridge/era of production I suppose the MIJ SS was on the EL look-alike bandwagon. It does not have Globe effect/Rolling Ball, but it doesn't seem to be loaded to the gills w/pincushion either. The sweet spot is a mite on the small side before field curvature softens the image. I see a small indigo ring on the outside edge if I look for it though it handles chromatic aberration very well.
No doubt the portly open bridge is no lightweight, yet for me the 8.5X45 is a most relaxed view. One could chip away saying 7* isn't a huge field, yet it isn't skinny either. It doesn't have the pop of colour as the Leica Trinovid HD though the colour is faithfully reproduced. I could go on it isn't this, that or the other, but it is fairly close yada, yada, yada.
Was this bin copied by the Vixen Artes? Specs are similar, but the Artes has the focus wheel pointing in the conventional direction although it is the same center pull/adjust diopter/push lock style. I do not know.
To my eyes this sample of one strength lies in the overall sum of its parts at holiday pricing that when included w/10% off has it TTD under four bills. It isn't the latest, greatest though it still has appeal despite of being manufactured in 2009.
As always YMMV ...
I like my SS 8.5s
Very forgiving eye relief, very sharp image, heavy, great focus, open bridge.
The have a similar image as the Bresser Montanas--
The Weaver is one of my 'go to' binos for the backyard. Too heavy to walk with.
It is a mite on the healthy side + the sweet spot isn't huge before field curvature, but it handles chromatic aberration nicely, nicely. Very relaxing view for the eyes. When I view through I feel naught save an extention at 8.5X. Pan/scans w/ease for me.
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