Hi, I'm back! So a few months ago I started this thread about some mid-range 8x42 bins - the SLC, Conquest HD and Monarch HG.
Well now I have manged to look through some and must say, as many of you did, seeing is the only way to go. Unfortunately none of the models of primary interest were there but hopefully there is enough similarities to extrapolate several features.
The first two were Swaro SV and SLC in 10x42. The SLC never agreed with me. I have tried one before and the focuser on them is IMHO a mess. Tough to start, then loose one way, with at least consistent but a different level of resistance the other way. Both pairs have been similar and some months apart. Maybe it is something that would become accustomed to but it was too difficult to get a nice focus. The SV focuser was certainly better, less variable and at least consistent speeds in both directions. I could live without the sharp edges, both views are nice but I can see why some people prefer the flat field. However, a 10x is not for me. One thing I did prefer on the SLC was the feel in the hand.
The other model was a Meopta Meostar 7x50. If i walked in off the street with no preconceived notions and no real preference for magnification/fov etc. this is the one I would buy. The focuser had more resistance than i am used to but smoother than the Swaros. Huge exit pupil so eye placement was very comfortable, very bright, very easy to hold steady despite it being the heaviest. DOF is great. Nice edges even if they aren't flat. Build quality seems to the layman at least as good as the Swaros. AND it is well under half the price of the SV 10x42. Really cracking view for the price and I wish there was more 7x bins around, shame they have fallen out of favour. Easy to see why the Meostars are said to be in the upper tiers.
Not sure where this leaves me. Honestly, I doubt the differences seen when testing between any of the models in this price bracket are going to be deal breakers once in the field and ergonomics and feel will sway it one way or another. A crap focuser will, for my use, lead to more frustration than slightly better optics. All three did look very nice but I will probably rule out the Swaros as I am reluctant to drop twice the money on the SV 8.5 compared to the HG, HD, Meostar.
Last edited by oxygen : Tuesday 20th November 2018 at 04:56.