Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!
Magnifying the passion for nature. Zeiss Victory Harpia 95. New!

Welcome to BirdForum.
BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE! You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Review BX-4 McKinley HD

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rating: Thread Rating: 50 votes, 5.00 average.
Old Monday 18th March 2013, 14:21   #76
Steve C
Registered User
 
Steve C's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Klamath Falls, Oregon
Posts: 3,467
Quote:
Originally Posted by gcole View Post
Steve .... I agree concerning the physical aspects between the Gr & the Mckinley. The GR's looks along with its easier hinge operation were no doubt slightly better but I think the Mckinley optical qualities are so close to the Gr's that aleast with my eyes I'd say its a tie. With the winner going to those eyes out there who likes either one of them the best ...... gwen
Yes,they are really very close. So I think there are really no worries if you want a McKinley to replace a GR. I think it is a good thing to always beware of statements placing one thing as "significantly" better than something else.
__________________
Steve

"Do what you can, where you are, with what you have" Teddy Roosevelt.
Steve C is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2009 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Monday 18th March 2013, 16:49   #77
lulubelle
Registered User
 
lulubelle's Avatar

 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Texas
Posts: 648
Steve, your review makes me feel better about my conversation with EO! They certainly weren't trying to bad mouth the McKinley, nor were they trying to push their own brand. I thought she answered my questions quite objectively. I need to see if Cabela's has them yet, locally, and check out the 10x if they have one. I am very curious. Using the GR's, I do lose some of the FOV due to my glasses, which is a bit of a disappointment, but the view & focuser are fabulous!

I do have a stupid question, I know some use o rings on their bins to keep the oculars where they work best. How on earth do you remove themwhen you need to?!!
__________________
Happy Birding!
Lulu
Life Birds: 480
Latest lifer: Blue Bunting
lulubelle is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 18th March 2013, 17:44   #78
Steve C
Registered User
 
Steve C's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Klamath Falls, Oregon
Posts: 3,467
Quote:
Originally Posted by lulubelle View Post
Steve, your review makes me feel better about my conversation with EO! They certainly weren't trying to bad mouth the McKinley, nor were they trying to push their own brand. I thought she answered my questions quite objectively. I need to see if Cabela's has them yet, locally, and check out the 10x if they have one. I am very curious. Using the GR's, I do lose some of the FOV due to my glasses, which is a bit of a disappointment, but the view & focuser are fabulous!

I do have a stupid question, I know some use o rings on their bins to keep the oculars where they work best. How on earth do you remove them when you need to?!!
The only stupid question is the one you don't ask, thus leaving an unanswered question. The 0-ring should be supple enough to stretch out and pull back a section at a time. If they are stout enough to make them hard to manipulate with your fingers, then you can use a table knife or something to get under the 0-ring and start it off that way. If what you are using is a problem, just get some a little bigger. One thing is they are cheap enough you can just clip them with scissors and replace them. Grabbing the edge of the 0-ring with tweezers or small needle nose pliers can work too.

My experience with EO has always been pretty good. Even if I disagreed with the advice, I always felt it was given honestly.

I guess the simplest thing is to say the McKinley is in second place with the GR in direct competition, but the McKinley is darned good and the differences are pretty small.
__________________
Steve

"Do what you can, where you are, with what you have" Teddy Roosevelt.

Last edited by Steve C : Monday 18th March 2013 at 19:01.
Steve C is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2009 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Tuesday 19th March 2013, 00:23   #79
jaymoynihan
Corvus brachyrhynchos watcher
 
jaymoynihan's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Lake Michigan Watershed
Posts: 989
Interesting. I have been using my 8x32 GR HD as my "cold or wet" day bino this winter. They are gems.
__________________
"If there is a heaven, and i am allowed entrance, I will ask for no more than an endless living world to walk through and explore. I will carry with me an inexhaustible supply of notebooks from which i can send back reports to the more sedentary spirits." E.O. Wilson
jaymoynihan is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 20th March 2013, 01:37   #80
stereotruckdriver
Registered User
 
stereotruckdriver's Avatar

 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Oregon Coast
Posts: 1,773
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve C View Post
I posted a few days ago that I had a Gold Ring 8x42 coming. I have had it for some time now, and feel some comments about the performance of this binocular might be worthwhile since the McKinley now stands as Leupold's top dog with a new Gold Ring still over the horizon.

I got this binocular from the optics lab at Leupold. I was discussing some McK vs GR stuff with my Leupold contact and the next day after a conversation I get an email from him saying he found one in excess of need in the lab and did I want it? Uhhh..yeah I wanted it, so a few days later it showed up. It took me just a few minutes after setting this binocular to make the determination this was not going back to Leupold. So an email later I was in possession.

There was a post from Lulubelle reporting a comment she got from an Eagle Optics rep that the Gold Ring was a lot better than the McKinley. So the question is, was the EO rep right? The answer is well...mostly, but it is not a lot better.

Here is the deal. I have always thought the Gold Ring was a serious alpha class competitor. When somebody like FrankD says he never could quite like the GR image, that gets my attention. There were also similar comments from other users in other forums that said the same thing Frank did. The thing is, I don't think anybody who retains the ability to objectively view and analyze an image will find any more fault with this binocular than I did. Frank and I have swapped back and forth enough and written review comments on the same binocular enough for me to see we have similar opinions on binoculars. The other thing is I suppose is that the first Gold Ring HD I saw, at Huntington's in Oroville, CA I thought was every bit as good as I think this one is. The competition at Huntington's in 2007 were the Swarovski EL and SLC Neu, the Zeiss Victory FL and the Zeiss Conquest. I thought the GR gave up nothing to the FL, EL, and SLC, but was better than the Conquest. So I don't think those who saw and did not like the GR saw either one like the one I now have or the one they had at Huntington's. I wonder if QC issues had some role in the GR demise. I guess I need to send this to Frank at some point and see what he thinks about this unit.

I am wondering now just how typical this Gold Ring is. It came out of the Leupold lab. I don't know, and neither does my contact, at least at this point, just what sort of use this got in the lab. On one hand it could be what they deemed a typical "good" specimen and just used it for light transmission, resolution, and whatever other tests the lab needed to do. On the other hand, it takes no particular reach of the imagination to envision the tech heads in the lab wanting to see what they needed to do to "maximize the output" and give way to technical tinkering.

I have to wonder about the latter though for a couple of reasons. First "Bubba" at some point, took an engraver to the underside of the hinge and carved his initials. It takes no great imagination to envision "Bubba" breaking the binocular and sending it back. Since the Gold Ring was always an ongoing work in progress, it is pretty easy to see them just rebuilding "Bubba's" specimen in the lab and using it to generate some data.

The second thing is that this particular Gold Ring, keeping the comment confined to 8-8.5x roof prism binoculars I have personal experience with, certainly ranks in the top ten binocular views I have experienced. I'm not saying the best, but it sure is not number ten on the list either .

There is nothing I can find to fault this binocular optically, with the sole minor exception of having a tendency to let some stray bright sunlight in between your face and the eye cup which sometimes will give a slight unfocused star light type reflection off the surface of the ocular. There are no apparent differences between the barrels...none. I can see nothing that indicates anything but perfect collimation. The IPD lock does not work either. So if Bubba sent it back and the lab was using it for tests, I can see them not fixing it. I have no issue with it not working, but would rather see a tripod socket.

Image Performance

The image is sharp as can be, and the further you stretch the distance the more it shows its heels to the McKinley and the others. It has the same ever so slight brownish-amber-reddish color bias that the McKinley has and as a result the image appearance, color balance, and contrast of the McKinley and the Gold Ring are about identical. The GR does seem brighter however.

The apparent depth of focus here is superb. It is almost like a 7x in that regard. While the color balance appears slightly warm, the color representation of the object in the binocular seems very natural. Colors pop right out of dull, not yet living early spring vegetation just beginning to break dormancy. Different shades of various green, brown, and tan vegetation are clearly differentiated. Focus this thing at infinity and there is no need to refocus on anything past 100 feet. I have spent several days in the Klamath Basin Wildlife Refuge complex using these on waterfowl and never felt even once that I needed to touch the focus. I did just to get a feel for the instrument, but the need, as far as enhancing the image was just not there. It is better than the McKinley in this regard. It bests the McKinley to some degree, albeit slightly, in low or dull light scenarios.

Field Performance

The field is relatively flat, but not to the degree I think they used flattener elements, but I am checking that detail. There is a little ring of field curvature, but it is not very severe and edge performance I would rate as good+. The edge performance and flatness of field is a lot like the Swarovski SLC-HD. In both there is some curvature but not much but neither has the edge sharpness of the SV.

The fov is listed on the binocular as 7.46*, or 390' @ 1,000 yds. This one measures 404' or 7.7*. The sweet spot seems at least 85%.

CA seems all but absent in the image anywhere, except at the very outer 1% or so at the very edge of the field. Glare is so well controlled it is a non issue.

Differences with the McKinley.

The bare weight of the Gold Ring is 32.0 oz. The McKinley checks in at 29.8 oz. The strange thing is having one in one hand and one in the other, the Gold Ring feels lighter. The GR is s little bit smaller physically than the McKinley, particularly in regards to barrel diameter. Leupold could shave a little armor to good effect here I think.

The GR is somewhat sharper and brighter than the McK. That difference is in twilight and low light condition primarily, the difference is not great, but it is a distinct difference in favor of the GR. The degree of that difference to the individual user will be the teller of the tale.

The focus features of the McK I put in the review. The GR focus is one of the very best I have used in any binocular. It is a lot faster than the McK is. They are both counterclockwise to infinity. The chief differences is the smoothness of the focus, favoring the GR and the quickness of the focus in close, again favoring the GR. The McK uses a turn going from the close focus to 100 feet. The GR uses half that, making the GR a lot better tool for insect watching. There is about a quarter turn past infinity on each binocular.

I think ergonomics will clearly favor the GR. Event though it is heavier than the McK, it feels lighter. The oculars are still fairly large, but they are enough smaller than the McK to be a nice feature for me.

Anyway, enough for now. I'll be back with some user choices between 8x and 10x when they did not know which was which and with whatever comparisons I have been able to do so far.
Steve, I'm glad you got to compare the GR HD's to the Mc. I do think there were some differences in the GR's the first one's I had were somewhat soft in comparison to the ones Laura has now? QC, coatings? Not real sure. This might answer why some people didn't warm up to them. That said I agree with your assessment on the color of the GR's I had made the comment that colors popped before when I initially was posting about them. I think the fluoride lenses teamed with there coatings offer one of the best views available out of any binocular I have used. Truth be told I think the 8x32 gr HD is the best all around 32 mm I have used! To me it had the whole package and as I think Jay put it , a gem!!! Couldn't agree more. Still kicking myself but, I know they went to a good person and she is enjoying them! Bryce...
stereotruckdriver is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 22nd March 2013, 03:05   #81
Steve C
Registered User
 
Steve C's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Klamath Falls, Oregon
Posts: 3,467
Just for grins I showed the McKinley's to a few different people. Thing is I put some black tape over the focus knob so they wouldn't know which was 8x and which was 10x. A couple of these guys were dyed in the wool 10x users and it was not even possible to entertain the notion in their head that 10x was not "better" than an 8x.

So all I did was to tell them I was doing a survey. All the information needed was to answer the question which do you think is the better image, binocular #1 or binocular #2, and why was it they liked whichever one it was. Nothing scientific about this to be sure .

The two 10x users dumbfounded themselves when both of them told me essentially the same thing..."it's way easy to pick out the 10x, its number 2! It is brighter, sharper, easier to focus, and clearer too". Needless to say binocular number 2 was the 8x. That's a paraphrase of both, but close to what they said. Different places and times for both of these guys. I have an exceptionally eagle eyed nephew who just turned 25 and has always been a user of 10x, although he was not as adamant about it as the other two guys were. He also picked out the 8x as the best binocular. That started him asking a lot of questions he'd never really asked me about binoculars before. I'd given him a ZRS 10x42 because he liked it best of the several I had at the time. He spent quite awhile over several days looking at stuff in general making his mind up. His deciding comments were something along the lines of..."If I look close enough, the 10x is bigger, but the 8x is clearer and shows the colors better and you can tell more about lots of things with the 8x. The 8 is easier to look through for a long time too. Now that you tell me about the difference in field of view, I can see that too".

His birthday was two days ago and he now has an 8x McKinley, as I offered him his choice for his birthday.

This sort of parallels a demonstration at our local birding show from about ten or twelve years ago. Brunton had a display and optics demonstrations of all sorts and one of the things they did was disguise 7x, 8x, and 10x binoculars and collect data from a protocol they had everybody go through. In this instance, 7x won hands down, with 8x someplace in the middle, and 10x way behind the curve in third place. This was at the time Brunton introduced the original Eterna line in 7x42 and 10x42. Not surprisingly they introduced the 7x based on their blind user tests, and the 7x proceeded to flop and was replaced by 8x in the newer Eterna line.

So at lest with these two Leupold McKinley binoculars, 8x seems to get the preference. keep in mind that in my mind this a a really good 10x too. I can see nothing to indicate it has any sort of problem that would hinder it. For a 10x it has quite good apparent depth of field. But obviously not as good as the 8x. This is my bet on the comments on the 8x being easier to focus.

I'm still pretty impressed with the Gold Ring. If forced to choose between the GR and the McK, I have to say the GR is a better binocular. The differences are slim, and I could easily do with a McKinley and really not wish for much better binocular.
__________________
Steve

"Do what you can, where you are, with what you have" Teddy Roosevelt.

Last edited by Steve C : Friday 22nd March 2013 at 03:15.
Steve C is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2009 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Friday 22nd March 2013, 15:50   #82
eitanaltman
Registered User

 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 1,178
Great post Steve :)

Amazing what the human mind can do to trick itself. It's always fun to read about "blind" experiments and how the results can differ so dramatically from those when the user's expectation bias is in play.
eitanaltman is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 22nd March 2013, 21:48   #83
NDhunter
Registered User
 
NDhunter's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: ND
Posts: 3,743
Steve:

This is a very good post, and I agree with you on your findings. I have binoculars of
several power sizes, and have drifted to 8x or 8.5x as my favorite size all around.
You are right on track.

For some of us, another direction that is very addicting is a quality 10x50-56. These
just offer another big bright view, that is very helpful in low light, and in many other
ways.
A question, on the Leupolds, is have you been comparing the latest GR HD, or a new
prototype of an upcoming model?

Jerry
NDhunter is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 22nd March 2013, 23:57   #84
ceasar
Registered User

 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: NE Pennsylvania
Posts: 11,280
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve C View Post
Just for grins I showed the McKinley's to a few different people. Thing is I put some black tape over the focus knob so they wouldn't know which was 8x and which was 10x. A couple of these guys were dyed in the wool 10x users and it was not even possible to entertain the notion in their head that 10x was not "better" than an 8x.

So all I did was to tell them I was doing a survey. All the information needed was to answer the question which do you think is the better image, binocular #1 or binocular #2, and why was it they liked whichever one it was. Nothing scientific about this to be sure .

The two 10x users dumbfounded themselves when both of them told me essentially the same thing..."it's way easy to pick out the 10x, its number 2! It is brighter, sharper, easier to focus, and clearer too". Needless to say binocular number 2 was the 8x. That's a paraphrase of both, but close to what they said. Different places and times for both of these guys. I have an exceptionally eagle eyed nephew who just turned 25 and has always been a user of 10x, although he was not as adamant about it as the other two guys were. He also picked out the 8x as the best binocular. That started him asking a lot of questions he'd never really asked me about binoculars before. I'd given him a ZRS 10x42 because he liked it best of the several I had at the time. He spent quite awhile over several days looking at stuff in general making his mind up. His deciding comments were something along the lines of..."If I look close enough, the 10x is bigger, but the 8x is clearer and shows the colors better and you can tell more about lots of things with the 8x. The 8 is easier to look through for a long time too. Now that you tell me about the difference in field of view, I can see that too".

His birthday was two days ago and he now has an 8x McKinley, as I offered him his choice for his birthday.

This sort of parallels a demonstration at our local birding show from about ten or twelve years ago. Brunton had a display and optics demonstrations of all sorts and one of the things they did was disguise 7x, 8x, and 10x binoculars and collect data from a protocol they had everybody go through. In this instance, 7x won hands down, with 8x someplace in the middle, and 10x way behind the curve in third place. This was at the time Brunton introduced the original Eterna line in 7x42 and 10x42. Not surprisingly they introduced the 7x based on their blind user tests, and the 7x proceeded to flop and was replaced by 8x in the newer Eterna line.

So at lest with these two Leupold McKinley binoculars, 8x seems to get the preference. keep in mind that in my mind this a a really good 10x too. I can see nothing to indicate it has any sort of problem that would hinder it. For a 10x it has quite good apparent depth of field. But obviously not as good as the 8x. This is my bet on the comments on the 8x being easier to focus.

I'm still pretty impressed with the Gold Ring. If forced to choose between the GR and the McK, I have to say the GR is a better binocular. The differences are slim, and I could easily do with a McKinley and really not wish for much better binocular.
Good post!

I suspect that in most blind comparisons like this, all other things being equal, the winner will almost always be the binocular with the largest exit pupil. It is simply easier to pick it up, put it to your eyes and start using it. When the ambient light is changing finding a useable IPD position for the exit pupils is easier as the margin for error is larger. And the FOV will be larger.

But the fact that Brunton found out that people will ignore it's benefits when confronted with the choice of using binoculars with higher powers probably says more about the psychology of "power" on the human make up than on say, common sense.

I remember a few years back talking to a couple in my American Legion Post. They considered me an "expert" because I often had a binocular with me when I visited the Post. They were about to buy an inexpensive Bushnell reverse porro for a back yard binocular and were considering either an 8 x 25 or a 7/15 x 25 zoom. Dick's sporting goods had them. I advised them to buy the 8 x 25 because of the usual reasons that zooms were unreliable and had narrow fields of view. They ignored my advise and bought the zoom and were very happy with until it stopped working in about 2 weeks except at the 7 x 25 position. We discussed that problem and I suggested that they return it to Dicks and see if they would take it back for an 8 x 25 which, lucky for them, is what happened. Now they are happy and the husband also takes it Deer Hunting.

Bob
ceasar is online now  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2010 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Saturday 23rd March 2013, 00:21   #85
Steve C
Registered User
 
Steve C's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Klamath Falls, Oregon
Posts: 3,467
Quote:
Originally Posted by NDhunter View Post
Steve:

This is a very good post, and I agree with you on your findings. I have binoculars of
several power sizes, and have drifted to 8x or 8.5x as my favorite size all around.
You are right on track.

For some of us, another direction that is very addicting is a quality 10x50-56. These
just offer another big bright view, that is very helpful in low light, and in many other
ways.
A question, on the Leupolds, is have you been comparing the latest GR HD, or a new
prototype of an upcoming model?

Jerry
I tend to think like Ceasar in the post below yours and with your observation about 10x 50-56. I think the little larger exit pupil helps there and I guess if I ever feel the 10x need, it will be a 50-56 model.

This is the recently discontinued GR binocular. Too bad it did not get more love, it is exceptional. Leupold has something on the drawing board for a new Gold Ring. They need to figure how to get it assembled in their factory in Oregon, keep the quality of this GR and keep it around $1,000. How close they are to the goal, I do not know.
__________________
Steve

"Do what you can, where you are, with what you have" Teddy Roosevelt.
Steve C is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2009 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Tuesday 26th March 2013, 04:47   #86
jnielsen
Registered User

 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: northern utah
Posts: 62
Well I thought this post might help people make a decision on the McKinley or other mid grade binoculars on the market.

I spent about two hours today comparing several new 10x42 binoculars as well as a few all ready established on the market. Threw one 8x42 into the mix also. I was not able to look through an 8x McKinley though.

I was really wanting to look through a few mid grade glasses to include the McKinley,Viper HD,Meopta HD and the Nikon Monarch 7.

I was also able to examine a Zeiss HT and Conquest HD, SLC HD, Swarovision and the new Leica Trinovid as well as the Ultravid HD all in 10x42 models.

I was not able to to test for brightness or CA as I was in a large retail store but there were challenging conditions (including a resolution chart on a far wall) inside the store.

For some background I currently own a Swarovision 8.5x42 as well as a Leupold cascade 8x42 porro.

In the last couple of years I have also owned a Zeiss Victory FL in 10x42,a Zen Ray Prime in 10x42, a Bushnell original split bridge Elite in 8 and 10x43 and a Brunton Epoch in 7.5x43 and have had extensive use of my fathers Meopta Meostar B1 in 10x42 and a friends SLC NEU 10x42. I guess what I am trying to get across is I am an experienced binocular user. My first premium glass was a Leica Trinovid BN in 10x50. These have all gone away for one reason or another.

On to today's Comparisons.

Everyone's eyes are different as we all know but in my opinion its very easy to group top performers from the lower level.

If you want to be happy with a binocular and not strive for better optics the $1000 and up segment is where you want to look.

This tread is on the Leupold Mckinley so I will start with it.

I was completely non impressed with the McKinley to such an extent that I thought I was looking through a bad sample and asked the guy working the optics counter if he would get another new one out of the box (which he did) so I could examine it also. One of the hardest binoculars I have every tried to look through. Yes sharp and flat edges with good brightness ect. but just impossible to get a good complete view of the picture presented. I had to run the eye cups all the way down to even get close. Its not just a problem with the big eye cups as I did not have any problems with the Zen Ray Prime I owned, seems to me the problem is beyond just the eye cups. Not much more to say as its a complete failure in my book. I would have a hard time believing that the 8x would be much better. Why it is getting such good reviews baffles me?

Optically I put the McKinley at the bottom of the list of all the 10x42's I looked through today. I would take the Viper HD or Nikon Monarch 7 over it any day of the week.

I would also have a very hard time deciding between The Zen Ray Prime HD and the Nikon M7 or Vortex Viper HD. Even though the prime I had was decent I would not say it was better than either, also the build quality seems better on the M7 and Viper HD.

Here are my thoughts on the other Binoculars with best at the top.

Swarovision -best resolution I have seen still to this day.

SLC HD and Zeiss Victory HT tied for second place ( I would place my late victory FL in this group also, not much difference.)

Leica Ultravid HD

Leica Trinovid (new), Zeiss Conquest HD, Meopta Meostar HD and Vortex Razor HD (new) all tied. the Meopta was my pick, I like the weight and ergonomics in the 10x. If you are looking to spend $1000 pick from these three but I see Leica not selling to many Trinovids at $1400 when the other three are just as good.

Nikon Monarch 7, bested the viper hd in sweet spot and FOV. Best buy at $500 if you don't want to step up to the $1000 class. I was not expecting it to be as good as it was because of all the negative reviews.

Vortex Viper HD- it only lost to the M7 because of its smaller FOV, very good glass.

Zen Ray Prime HD

Leupold McKinley HD

The sole 8x42 I looked through today was a lightly used Leupold Golden Ring HD on the used market, yes I bought it and yes it is a much better binocular than the McKinley. This golden ring 8x42 HD easily performs in the $1000-1400 class mentioned above if not higher .

Last edited by jnielsen : Tuesday 26th March 2013 at 04:56.
jnielsen is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 26th March 2013, 13:05   #87
FrankD
Registered User
 
FrankD's Avatar

 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Eastern Pennsylvania
Posts: 8,404
J,

Thank you for posting your comparitive impressions of all of these binoculars. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it not just for the information but for your writing style as well.

I do want to bring up a discussion on the McKinley though. When I first read through your review the initial impression I got of your experience with the McKinley was that it was dismissed because of the poor user-binocular "interface" with the eyecups/eyepieces.

Let me preface the rest of my comments by saying this. I don't doubt your experiences. If you go back and read my review of this model my chief nitpick was the same issue. For me the size of the eyecups required an entirely different, and initially uncomfortable, positioning with regard to my facial features.

Second preface would be that I reviewed the 8x42 and not the 10x42. In most situations 8x bins have more eye relief than 10x (whether it is published that way by the manufacturer or not). If the 8x had less eye relief than it does then there is no way I would have even been remotely able to see the full field of view which would then make them unusable for me as well.

So I guess my question is this....

If we disregard the binocular/human interface at the eyepiece then was there anything else objectionable about this model?

Of course this is a huge point of concern and can't be dismissed in the grand scheme of things but I am curious about your impressions beyond that.
__________________
Visit our Optics Review site......
http://opticstheviewfromhere.com/
Digiscoped videos .....
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAf...1LMvsLF0DExoog
FrankD is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 26th March 2013, 13:13   #88
gcole
Registered User

 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: new york
Posts: 955
The one time I had a chance to use the Swarovision 8.5x42 was to my eyes truly amazing & will agree with you that optically they are the king of binoculars in that power range. The Mckinley 10x I have never handled & can't give an opinion but I really like the Mckinley 8x. I would buy 5 pairs of 8x Mckinley like the one I now own before I would pay out what the Swarovision cost or any other binocular on your list that cost 2 to 5 times as much because I think they are that good. This is only my opinion based on what my eyes see when using the Mckinley ... gwen
gcole is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 26th March 2013, 13:30   #89
gcole
Registered User

 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: new york
Posts: 955
Frank ... Your mention of the large eyecups combined with ones physical face is a good point. I know many people on this forum do not like this in a binocular. Iam one who does, that along with the 8x mckinley's added long eyerelief , wide flat field view really works for me. ... gwen
gcole is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 26th March 2013, 14:23   #90
Steve C
Registered User
 
Steve C's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Klamath Falls, Oregon
Posts: 3,467
Well, we have at least been comparing some of the same binoculars. On some we agree, on some we don't . Here we go, top to bottom.

Swarovski SV. Since you brought it into the discussion, I agree it is the top of the list. For what is costs it should be there. However, I'd really like to see the links to independent lab tests that give the SV a 5-6% increase in light transmission over the EL and SLC Neu that you were using over on Optics Talk.

SLC-HD. Top of the list with the above. Again for the cost it is where it should be. I like the ergonomic package of the SLC-HD better than the SV.

Leupold Gold Ring. There is so little difference to the true alpha glass here as for those differences to be inconsequential. The ergonomics of this glass for me are the best I've tried, and I still place it pretty high in my list of top ten roof prism views.

Vortex Razor HD (new). Really nice glass, super view, nice ergonomics. The downside is I don't quite think it is worth $300 more than the glass below. I put this one over the Zeiss only because the eye relief, eye cup extension is just right for me.

Zeiss Conquest HD. Really nice binocular. The one I've seen is quite satisfying, nice ergonomics, but the eye relief or the eye cup extension is just not right for me. I like the just slightly warmer color balance of this glass better than I do the Victory FL.

ZEN Prime HD Leupold McKinley HD. Even up. If it were not for the larger size and the larger oculars giving the binoculars a slight ergonomic advantage to the Conquest and Razor HD's they would all rank even up here. The oculars and the eye cups on the 10x versions of these two are identical. Identical. The eye relief is identical too. I can imagine no explanation for the problems you see with the McKinley since you had none with the Prime. I guess it boils down to personal differences

The next bunch are basically even up in my book.

Kruger Caldera. It is just a bit sharper than the Monarch 7 below. The color saturation and contrast are on par with the Monarch 7 below.

Monarch 7. Very nice binocular. Compact, well built, with very pleasing ergonomics. If this was my binocular I'd go forth and use it with no fear of missing anything. The edges are better than some posts have claimed. But while the image is nice, it does not have the color saturation or overall brightness to get it in a higher tier. This is the Monarch that should have happened to upgrade the original Monarch. Forget the Monarch 3, the 5, and the X.

ZEN ED 3. Lots has been said about this binocular. I don't need to repeat anything here

Vortex Viper HD. If the 42 mm was as nice as the 32 mm, this would go higher. Considering where other price competitors are today this needs a more competitive fov. I actually think the optics are better than the Monarch 7. But overall, if this were my binocular, id go use it and not fear I was missing anything.

Consider a lot of this preliminary. I don't see where I'll ever be able to arrange to do a proper side by side.

The differences are pretty slim. I think the ranking (mine and mine alone) is pretty indicative of the optical quality advances we've been seeing over the last several years.
__________________
Steve

"Do what you can, where you are, with what you have" Teddy Roosevelt.

Last edited by Steve C : Tuesday 26th March 2013 at 14:30.
Steve C is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2009 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Tuesday 26th March 2013, 20:02   #91
jnielsen
Registered User

 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: northern utah
Posts: 62
Frank, thanks for your interest in my post.

As per your question, I was not able to get a full clear view of the picture through the Mckinley at all, seems to be a eye relief problem (too much) even with the cups all the way down. This prevented me from really getting a good look at the optical quality. There was no point to continue with the binocular any further.

I will continue to look through them every chance I get to verify my findings. Perhaps a few bad ones slipped past QC at Leupold? Time will tell.

I think Leupold is going to have a hard time selling these to the average hunter/binocular user as the interface ergonomics as you called them are so bad. Its a shame. Same can be said of the Prime HD to a lesser degree.

Leupold needs to do some serious work on the eye cups, if that requires going to smaller oculars so be it. They will sell more of these to the general public IMO

Last edited by jnielsen : Tuesday 26th March 2013 at 20:05.
jnielsen is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 26th March 2013, 21:06   #92
chartwell99
Registered User

 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: houston, texas, usa
Posts: 621
Quote:
Originally Posted by jnielsen View Post
As per your question, I was not able to get a full clear view of the picture through the Mckinley at all, seems to be a eye relief problem (too much) even with the cups all the way down. This prevented me from really getting a good look at the optical quality.
I'm not sure I understand this comment. In my experience, too much eye relief means the eyecups aren't long enough for those not wearing glasses, resulting in blackouts. Moving the eyecups down only makes the problem worse. On a different, but partially related note, I agree entirely on the praise for the 8 x 42 HD GR, and would also encourage you to look at the Leupold Hawthorne 7 x 42, which is made in Japan (not China), somewhat narrow FOV, but very bright and sharp as a tack right to the edges.
chartwell99 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 26th March 2013, 22:32   #93
ceasar
Registered User

 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: NE Pennsylvania
Posts: 11,280
Quote:
Originally Posted by chartwell99 View Post
I'm not sure I understand this comment. In my experience, too much eye relief means the eyecups aren't long enough for those not wearing glasses, resulting in blackouts. Moving the eyecups down only makes the problem worse. On a different, but partially related note, I agree entirely on the praise for the 8 x 42 HD GR, and would also encourage you to look at the Leupold Hawthorne 7 x 42, which is made in Japan (not China), somewhat narrow FOV, but very bright and sharp as a tack right to the edges.
There are, to me anyway, 2 types of blackouts.

The first kind is the one you describe above. I don't wear glasses and in many cases (but not all) I have had the same problem; the eyecups weren't long enough for me and blackouts resulted. If I put sunglasses on the problem went away.

But in specific cases, particularly the Nikon 8 x 32 SE, there is a 2nd type. The SE has about 4mm more ER than the 8 x 30 EII but unless I hold the SE in a particular way (MOLCET) I get "kidney beaning" type blackouts. These are different from those I experienced in the 1st paragraph. I have never experienced blackouts when using my EII which has shorter ER.

This "kidney beaning" blackout must be a different type of blackout than the kind I experienced in my 1st paragraph above. I also experienced it while using my old Leitz 7x42 BN which has 22mm eye relief. These blackouts took on the shape of a "kidney bean" where upon the name. I got these "kidney beaning" blackouts while using the binoculars with AND without glasses. With the MOLCET technique they disappeared in both instances.

I suspect, and I could be wrong, that these blackouts come about as a result of the physiognomy surrounding ones eyes. That's the best I can do here.

The MOLCET technique, for those who do not know it, consists of bracing the top of the eyecups of the binocular firmly up against, and slightly under ones brow ridge and then VERY slightly tilting the binocular upward. This removes the "kidney beaning." It received it's name from Brock (who else?) and means "MooreorlessCeasar'sEyebrowTechnique" after Steve and Yours truly who originated it independently.

Bob

PS: I also have the discontinued precursor of the Leupold 7 x 42 Hawthorne; the BX-2 Cascade. It is very good for a $250.00 binocular. Sharp, bright, large sweet spot, real good edges and long ER. I've been keeping it in my car lately day and night. The only differences between it and the Hawthorne is that the Hawthorne is FMC and the BX-2 is MC and the exterior coverings have different designs.

Last edited by ceasar : Tuesday 26th March 2013 at 22:36.
ceasar is online now  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2010 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Wednesday 27th March 2013, 03:09   #94
jnielsen
Registered User

 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: northern utah
Posts: 62
Sorry, I ment to say the eye relief on the McKinley was too short, not too long/much.
jnielsen is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 27th March 2013, 04:10   #95
ceasar
Registered User

 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: NE Pennsylvania
Posts: 11,280
Quote:
Originally Posted by jnielsen View Post
Sorry, I ment to say the eye relief on the McKinley was too short, not too long/much.
I'm sorry but this is confusing me. I checked Eagle Optics and it seems, if their specs are accurate, that the 8 x 42 and 10 x 42 McKinley's both have 20mm eye relief. (I went to the Leupold website and it only had information for the 8 x 42 listed--20mm. It did not list a 10 x 42.)

Based on your report in thread #86 I'm sure you know that 20mm is very long eye relief. Are you sure that short eye relief caused the problem you experienced when you tried them? Is it possible that the eye cups did not fully extend?

Bob
ceasar is online now  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2010 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Thursday 28th March 2013, 00:15   #96
jnielsen
Registered User

 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: northern utah
Posts: 62
I could not get proper eye relief even with the eye cups all the way down, extending them out only made the situation worse.
jnielsen is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 5th April 2013, 22:15   #97
NDhunter
Registered User
 
NDhunter's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: ND
Posts: 3,743
I was in a large sporting goods store yesterday, and they had the new Leupold in
the 10x42.
I really had no opportunity to evaluate them optically with just a quick look, but
did notice the large diameter ocular eyecup size. These are the largest I have ever
found.
The salesman that showed me these, has a small face, with a narrow IPD, and
I am not sure how he would get along with these.

They are a large binocular, and seem well built. As with any optics purchase, a proper
test takes time, to find out how you get along with them.

Jerry
NDhunter is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 5th April 2013, 23:54   #98
gcole
Registered User

 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: new york
Posts: 955
Jerry .. I agree, the Mckinley's do indeed have very large ocular eyepieces. From what I have read here & other comments on the web this seems to be the major complaint. If ones eyeset IPD & other face factors don't match the design of the McKinley then I can understand the strong negative comments. Iam very fortunate the design of the McKinley's fit my face very well & thats why my 62yr. eyes like that wide flatfield look that many seem to not. Again as you have mentioned along with many others here on the forum, any binocular or scope should be put to ones face just like buying a new pair of hunting boots because there is really no model that fits all. .... gwen
gcole is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 23rd April 2013, 13:09   #99
BruceH
Avatar: Harris Hawk
BF Supporter 2018
 
BruceH's Avatar

 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Arizona USA
Posts: 2,393
Dielectric Coatings?

Do the McKinley models have dielectric coatings? I did not see any mention of that in the reviews or on the Leupold website, but I could have missed it.

Steve's review says "the image is just a bit brighter than the Prime". The Prime has dielectric prism coatings, so with the McKinley being just a bit brighter, then that makes me think it may also have dielectric prism coatings. On the other hand, "dielectric" is one of the latest binocular marketing buzz words so I would think Leupold would mention it if is used on the McKinley.
__________________
It's all about the view!
vs.
A fool and his money are soon parted!
(The Yin Yang of the Binocular Forum)
BruceH is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2016 2017 2018 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Tuesday 23rd April 2013, 15:58   #100
Steve C
Registered User
 
Steve C's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Klamath Falls, Oregon
Posts: 3,467
Quote:
Originally Posted by BruceH View Post
Do the McKinley models have dielectric coatings? I did not see any mention of that in the reviews or on the Leupold website, but I could have missed it.

Steve's review says "the image is just a bit brighter than the Prime". The Prime has dielectric prism coatings, so with the McKinley being just a bit brighter, then that makes me think it may also have dielectric prism coatings. On the other hand, "dielectric" is one of the latest binocular marketing buzz words so I would think Leupold would mention it if is used on the McKinley.
Bruce,

Yes the McKinley is dielectric coated. The biggest difference in the two, now that I have had them for awhile is in the fact the McKinley has a little bit of a warm, reddish-brown-amber sort of a color bias. Similar to what is seen in Leica and Nikon models, but it is also different. The Prime is just about dead neutral in color balance, with only a very slight yellow shade.

For those of you who have experience with the Gold Ring from Leupold, you have a good idea of the image of the McKinley.
__________________
Steve

"Do what you can, where you are, with what you have" Teddy Roosevelt.
Steve C is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2009 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Advertisement
Reply


Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Leupold BX-4 McKinley cycleguy Leupold 16 Saturday 23rd February 2013 14:08
EOS-M review orbec Canon 3 Wednesday 31st October 2012 01:00
ep1 review michael23 Olympus 4 Tuesday 4th August 2009 00:18
Mt McKinley or Mt Denali? steve_nova Information Wanted 2 Tuesday 8th June 2004 19:43

{googleads}

Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Help support BirdForum

Page generated in 0.29743695 seconds with 36 queries
All times are GMT. The time now is 14:38.