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?
Last edited by typo : Tuesday 13th February 2018 at 08:20.