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Leupold Pinnacles

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Old Thursday 5th December 2013, 23:03   #1
Stud Duck
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Leupold Pinnacles

Are the Leupold Pinnacles still considered good binoculars given the advancement in technology over the last ten years or so?

I had a pair circa 2004 and thought they were great mid-grade binos, a bit over priced, but all things considered I liked them.

Anyhow, I stumbled upon a pair of 10x42mm new in the box at a local shop today and was just wondering if I should give them another go. For the asking price, I wouldn't be out much.

My current binos are a set of 10x43mm Zen ED3's; I know this is a very subjective question, but how much difference in optical quality could I expect?

P.S. Does Leupold currently offer a roof prism 10x42mm on par with the aforementioned Zen's?
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Old Friday 6th December 2013, 02:38   #2
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I don't see how they'd be worse than anything else on the market for 400 or 500 dollars. They were OEM'd by Light Optical out of Japan and backed up by Leupold so you know the warranty will always be good should you need it.
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Old Friday 6th December 2013, 15:21   #3
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Stud Duck,

I tend to agree with the above comments about Leupold and their warranty/customer service. They are absolutely excellent.

Having said that I am sure you realize that the Pinnacles probably won't stand up to less expensive competition optically these days. They were a fine binocular in their time but the coatings and glass types have advanced so much since they were introduced. If I remember correctly they don't have ED glass and they don't have dielectric prism coatings. I am almost certain of the latter because of one the selling points of their time was the fact that they utilized silver prism coating instead of aluminum which was one of the justifications for their higher price.

On the other hand they may handle other issues well that aren't well represented "on paper". They may control aberrations or distortions very well and/or the mechanics may be first rate. Both of those issues can play a huge part in the appeal of any given model.

Having said that I doubt the Pinnacles would best the ED3s optically.
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Old Friday 6th December 2013, 16:18   #4
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Thanks Frank, as always, a well written response.
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Old Sunday 22nd December 2013, 05:10   #5
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Pinnacles were, like FrankD said, fine binoculars at their time. The main resaon for me not to keeping them was the narrow FOV.
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Old Sunday 22nd December 2013, 13:56   #6
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Leupold

I had the Pinnacles a few years back--and yes, they WERE the best I could afford.

If memory serves, Cabela's used to sell these for around 600 dollars (!).

I bought them at the Bargain Cave for around $300--and thought I got a deal. This was 4 years ago--and the Pinnacles were already obsolete then.

The Bargain Cave have several Leuopld products--including a newer pair of
Cascades.

The less expensive and newer Cascades were brighter and much sharper--however, I thought 'price is king' and bought the more expensive Pinnacles.

Sold them for a pair of Vortex Vipers--which is light years ahead of any Leupold product today, including the McKinley.
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Old Sunday 22nd December 2013, 18:52   #7
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Coin Hound: though everyone's eyes differ, I greatly disagree with your sentiment on the McKinley vs. Vipers. I have owned both 6x32 and 8x42 Viper HD models and currently own the 8x42 McKinley HD.

McKinley best them in FoV by over [email protected] which is certainly noticeable; they also have much better edge clarity due to the field flattening elements. Center-field performance and color fidelity are roughly identical for my eyes, as I find to be the case with most of the $400-1000. Build quality is roughly the same, though I think Vortex offers better QC. Weight and ergonomics are subjective, as I actually prefer the hefty feeling of the McKinley in my large hands and notice none of the issues with eye placement that others report. Ergonomics are important, though, and I think that a valid reason to dismiss any binocular.

Honestly, the McKinley are the most impressive binocular I've ever owned or used; I found their optics to be superior to even the highly regarded Conquest HD and Meostar B1. I do not think the optics are better than the SV, but for their price, nothing really compares so long as your sample is fine and the ergonomics work for you.
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Old Monday 23rd December 2013, 12:33   #8
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McKinleys vs. Vipers HD

I also tried both--I preferred the Vipers--the contrast was better and the colors seemed warmer and less washed out. Granted, the FOV was smaller though.

I also thought the Zen ED2 was better than the McKs--

I just could not fall in love these--and returned them.

I noticed the price of the McKs have DROPPED--Cabelas has them for $399--I wonder if sales are down for Leupold or if Cabela's needs to move these--

I still have my eyes on the Meopta Euro--
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Old Monday 23rd December 2013, 13:01   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coin Hound View Post
I also tried both--I preferred the Vipers--the contrast was better and the colors seemed warmer and less washed out. Granted, the FOV was smaller though.

I also thought the Zen ED2 was better than the McKs--

I just could not fall in love these--and returned them.

I noticed the price of the McKs have DROPPED--Cabelas has them for $399--I wonder if sales are down for Leupold or if Cabela's needs to move these--

I still have my eyes on the Meopta Euro--
It is certainly interesting how much people's eyes can differ. I thought the McKinley's were brighter and that contrast in the two was no different. The clarity at the edge of the FoV of the Viper HD was also very weak, and the sweet spot of the McKinley HD was much larger. I'm certainly not dissing the Viper HD as I find them to be a fantastic set of binoculars (since I owned two), but I found every aspect of the McKinley HD superior/the same as the Viper HD. I do wonder how much sample variation exists in these Chinese built Leupold, however.

Justin
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Old Tuesday 24th December 2013, 13:05   #10
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great question regarding Chinese quality--the McKs were a 'demo' and were returned--the website still has them for sale.

I do question the massive price cut lately.

Last edited by Coin Hound : Tuesday 24th December 2013 at 13:08.
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Old Tuesday 24th December 2013, 13:55   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coin Hound View Post
great question regarding Chinese quality--the McKs were a 'demo' and were returned--the website still has them for sale.

I do question the massive price cut lately.
Only one I have found is Cabelas?
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Old Tuesday 24th December 2013, 13:56   #12
jremmons
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coin Hound View Post
great question regarding Chinese quality--the McKs were a 'demo' and were returned--the website still has them for sale.

I do question the massive price cut lately.
I believe Leupold did a similar thing when they released the Golden Ring/Golden Ring HD binoculars, as well. I think Leupold seems to do poorly in the 'higher' priced segment (Although as Perterra mentioned, I've only found Cabelas to have them listed at a discount price, much as they have their Euro Instinct HD also discounted at present). All of their Green Ring and BX-1/BX-2/BX-3 models seem to sell really well and in the case of the BX-3, which I also own, the price is roughly the same as the current price cut of the BX-4, with the BX-4 featuring significantly higher quality optics and a build quality that does not seem different than the BX-3 (at least in the case of my sample). The one good thing with purchasing from Leupold is even if your sample does have quality control related issues, their customer service department is amazing (very similar to Vortex in this regard) and will do what they must to honor their warranties.

All the best,
Justin

Last edited by jremmons : Tuesday 24th December 2013 at 14:01.
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