Originally Posted by oxygen
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.
I can understand why you like the Meopta 7x50 - all the good things you mention about it besides the mechanics are at least partly inherent to the 7x50 format.
If you can handle the a hundred grams or two extra, go for it. Or try the 8x42 which will have the same nice mechanics but of course only a 5mm exit pupil instead of 7 and less DoF and a bit more field curvature.
But if you want a pair of 8x40 bins, you really should try a few others mentioned, namely the Monarch HG, the Conquest HD and maybe the Genesis.