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Leupold Leupold Katmai 6x32 same as Opticron Traveller 6x32?

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Old Monday 4th June 2007, 00:15   #1
MacGee
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Leupold Leupold Katmai 6x32 same as Opticron Traveller 6x32?

These two bins share several characteristics. Katmai first, Traveller second

Field of View: 8.1; 8.1
Minimum Focus: 1.5m; 1.5m
Eye Relief: 19.2mm; 19mm
Interpupillary Distance: 57-72mm; 57-71.5mm

It seems likely that they're clones produced in the same factory. The Katmai which is a quite attractive design, is only available in this country at approximately twice the US price. The Traveller can be had for only about 30 more than the US price of the Katmai, which is not bad for the UK, but it's a sinfully ugly design.

Has anyone used one or both of these? Does anyone disagree (or agree) with my aesthetic assessment? How is Leupold pronounced? Is it lee-oh-poled, lay-oh-poled, lew-poled or loy-poldt?

Michael.
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Old Monday 4th June 2007, 00:30   #2
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How is Leupold pronounced?
It's loo-pold.
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Old Thursday 23rd August 2007, 00:34   #3
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Focus dial position

Well, the focus dial on the Traveler is forward of the bridge between the objective lenses and the Katmai has the focus dial between the eyepeice lenses. While there might be a coating difference on the prisms, I think the duck analogy applies.
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Old Thursday 23rd August 2007, 14:01   #4
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Originally Posted by MacGee View Post
. . . The Katmai which is a quite attractive design, is only available in this country at approximately twice the US price. . .
I love my Leupold Katmai 6x30. I would gladly pay twice, even thrice, to own a pair of these amazing binoculars.

Here is an interesting thread discussion over at Cloudy Nights on the Leopold Katmai and five other compact roofs: http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthrea.../o/all/fpart/1.

--Bob
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Old Thursday 23rd August 2007, 23:38   #5
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Originally Posted by BobinKy View Post
I love my Leupold Katmai 6x30. I would gladly pay twice, even thrice, to own a pair of these amazing binoculars.

Here is an interesting thread discussion over at Cloudy Nights on the Leopold Katmai and five other compact roofs: http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthrea.../o/all/fpart/1.
Thanks, Bob. Very informative thread. I was interested in your mention of feeding the Katmai strap through your fingers. I did notice from an auction picture of the Katmai how the strap lugs are further away than the focus wheel and thought they might be uncomfortable in use. As John points out, Opticron has chosen to place the focus wheel at the front of the bridge, presumably to avoid this problem. You're obviously happy with the Katmai at the moment, but you've only had them a few days; do you think there's any chance that the strap placement might come to bug you in the future?

Michael
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Old Friday 24th August 2007, 01:07   #6
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I was interested in your mention of feeding the Katmai strap through your fingers. . . do you think there's any chance that the strap placement might come to bug you in the future?

Michael
No, the strap placement is not a problem. The strap feeds nicely through my first and second fingers.

And yes, I am very happy with the Katmais.

Story #1: Today I went out to the garden and watched several cabbage white butterflies flutter about some mint that has now come in bloom. I placed a chair five feet from the mint plants and observed the cabbage whites, as well as several flying insects, for 30 minutes.

Story #2: I have a pair of doves who also like the garden. They spend several hours a day among my tomato plants. I enjoy observing the doves with the Katmais.

Story #3: The Katmais are also very good in low light situations. There is a herd of deer about two miles from my house on some government land. Several nights at twilight, I go over and observe the deer. There are about 30 deer and they run freely. Right now the fawn have white spots and frolic about.

. . .

I think the placement of the focus wheel on the katmais is in the right location. It also operates very smoothly.


. . .

Can you go to a store and try them out? I am fortunate in that I purchase my binoculars from dealers that allow a 30-return if I am not happy for any reason. Is there any online merchant or retail store close to you that will allow you to do something similar? I really think a person should use the binoculars for several days before making the final decision.

--Bob
Kentucky, USA

Last edited by BobinKy : Friday 24th August 2007 at 14:23.
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Old Friday 24th August 2007, 01:44   #7
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Eagle Optics, www.eagleoptics.com, has a 30 day no questions asked right of return as long as they are in new condition. (don't attach the strap!) Check their website on it. You will find it under their service warranty.
Bob

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Old Friday 24th August 2007, 13:01   #8
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Actually, you can attach the strap, keep the bag it came in. I would not risk dropping a test pair.
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Old Friday 24th August 2007, 14:21   #9
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Actually, you can attach the strap, keep the bag it came in. I would not risk dropping a test pair.
Good point!

I should have said, "Use a spare strap."

Bob
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Old Tuesday 28th August 2007, 19:46   #10
MacGee
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No, the strap placement is not a problem. The strap feeds nicely through my first and second fingers.
Bob, do you, by any chance, happen to have a photo?


Quote:
Originally Posted by BobinKy View Post
Can you go to a store and try them out? I am fortunate in that I purchase my binoculars from dealers that allow a 30-return if I am not happy for any reason. Is there any online merchant or retail store close to you that will allow you to do something similar? I really think a person should use the binoculars for several days before making the final decision.
As far as I know there are no longer any dealers in the UK that sell the 6x32 Katmai. So if I'm going to buy one it'll have to be from the US via eBay.



Quote:
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Eagle Optics, www.eagleoptics.com, has a 30 day no questions asked right of return as long as they are in new condition. (don't attach the strap!) Check their website on it. You will find it under their service warranty.
Bob, Eagle don't ship outside North America.

Michael
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Old Wednesday 29th August 2007, 03:47   #11
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Bob, do you, by any chance, happen to have a photo?

Michael
I am sorry, but I do not have a photo of my own with strap attached. Here are some photos and specifications from the Leupold website: Leupold Katmai.

I decided to take the strap off and just carry the binoculars in the case. I removed the strap because I wanted a quicker view--and had no interest to carry them around my neck. In the case, they are small enough to fit in a coat pocket.

I hope this helps you.

--Bob
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Old Saturday 17th May 2008, 00:29   #12
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has anyone been able to compare the traveller and katmai side by side yet ? the specs do seem similar however the traveler has hlt coating while the katmai has phase coating.
the katmais are a bit heavier. i am guessing that the katmais are of higher quality.
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Old Saturday 17th May 2008, 17:29   #13
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has anyone been able to compare the traveller and katmai side by side yet ? the specs do seem similar however the traveler has hlt coating while the katmai has phase coating.
the katmais are a bit heavier. i am guessing that the katmais are of higher quality.
The Opticron site doesn't, AFAIK, say that the Traveller is phase-coated, but other sites do and I would be very surprised if it weren't. What I do notice is that the Leupold site doesn't, AFAIK, say that the Katmai has BK7 prisms, whereas other sites do. The Opticron site says the Traveller has BAK4 prisms. Maybe the type of prism is one of the options available (to Leupold and Opticron).

It seems to me that Leupold, though they buy in their optics from the far east, do customise them heavily so that they fit the house style, whereas Opticron just seem to buy off the shelf, taking whatever design the Japanese designers have designed. I always prefer Leupold's looks over Opticron's.

Michael
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Old Monday 19th May 2008, 04:34   #14
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I really wished they sold Opticrons over here in the States. I would love to get me paws on a pair....

In the time being, I think that I am going to order some 6x32 Kats next week to try out. Hopefully they are as good as everyone says they are.
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Old Monday 19th May 2008, 15:23   #15
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i have just spoken to a chap from opticron on the phone and was told the travellers do not have phase correction. so the katmai is looking more like the verano in spec with its phase correction and 64 layer L/oasis coatings,
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Old Wednesday 28th May 2008, 08:34   #16
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just got some new leupold 8x32 katmai from usa ( worked approx 155 with delivery etc :>) . i have been able to comapre directly to opticron traveller 8x32. imho the katmai blows the opticron away in every possible aspect. i was pleasantly surprised to see that the katamai only weighed 475 grams and is as small as the traveller, however the crafmanship, feel , looks, etc etc are far superior. the katmai is phase corrected and l coated while the traveller is not. brightness and sharpness is stunning and a very noticable improvement over the traveller. i love these katmais already.
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Old Wednesday 28th May 2008, 09:30   #17
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just got some new leupold 8x32 katmai from usa ( worked approx 155 with delivery etc :>) . i have been able to comapre directly to opticron traveller 8x32. imho the katmai blows the opticron away in every possible aspect. i was pleasantly surprised to see that the katamai only weighed 475 grams and is as small as the traveller, however the crafmanship, feel , looks, etc etc are far superior. the katmai is phase corrected and l coated while the traveller is not. brightness and sharpness is stunning and a very noticable improvement over the traveller. i love these katmais already.
That's very interesting. I'd like to try a pair of the 6x32, but unless a pair appear on eBay UK for a good price that doesn't look as if it'll ever happen.

But I'm still concerned about the placement of the strap lugs. All Leupold models, except for the Mesa and Yosemite, have the lugs below the focus knob, which seems an anti-ergonomic approach. You hold the bins in the natural way with your hands clear of the straps and then have to reach back to change focus. All the European top of the range bins have the focus knob below the lugs.

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Old Wednesday 28th May 2008, 16:50   #18
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That's very interesting. I'd like to try a pair of the 6x32, but unless a pair appear on eBay UK for a good price that doesn't look as if it'll ever happen.

But I'm still concerned about the placement of the strap lugs. All Leupold models, except for the Mesa and Yosemite, have the lugs below the focus knob, which seems an anti-ergonomic approach. You hold the bins in the natural way with your hands clear of the straps and then have to reach back to change focus. All the European top of the range bins have the focus knob below the lugs.

Michael
hi michael, i dont notce the strap lugs they just feel like part of the body. the focus wheel is in a perfect position for my big long hands. i feel that these bins were made for me. i took a gamble getting from the states but glad i did.
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Old Thursday 29th May 2008, 00:51   #19
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Had some Katmai's 6x32's. They are kind of the like the Nikon Monarch's in that they are pretty sharp but they have only fair contrast at best. Once you compare them to a Leica or Zeiss and see how dead and lifeless their view is it's hard to keep them. Sold mine once I got the Leica's and really compared the difference. The view just doesn't have that feeling that the view has been magically moved up closer to your eye's with no loss in image quality. I guess that is what you pay for in alpha binoculars.It is that electric like view which is contrast. It really is hard to go back once you have had them or looked through them.

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Old Thursday 29th May 2008, 12:41   #20
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My experience with the Katmais is quite different. I recently a-b'd at length a pair of the 6x32 Katmais with my 8x32 Zeiss FLs and 10x42 Nikon SEs. The Katmais don't have quite the resolving power due to the lower magnification, but in terms of brightness and the ability to see into shadowed areas they were right there with the big boys. They certainly gave nothing away to the Zeisses. With the long eye relief, wide field of view, large exit pupil and adjustable eyecups, the Katmais give a super and very easy view. That's my opinion.
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Old Thursday 29th May 2008, 23:45   #21
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Try looking at some areas where there are a lot of bright contrasting colors and you will see how flat and dead the Katmai's are compared to Leicas. Monarch's are the same way. You get what you pay for but if the Katmai's are satisfactory for you that's great because you are saving money BUT there really is a big difference between a $300.00 pair of binoculars and a $1200.00 pair. Look for the difference in contrast. I don't want anybody to be misled thinking they can get comparable optics for a third the price. It just ain't possible!

Dennis
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Old Friday 30th May 2008, 16:47   #22
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Well, I guess that's why they say "your mileage may vary." Whether it's differences in our eyes, or sample-to-sample differences in the binoculars, or some other factor, our impressions of this bin are quite different. I'm not saying they're the equal of the best in the world, but I do say they are close. From what I saw, their color rendition, shadow detail and brightness were strengths, not failings.

On the other hand, I wonder how many people feel that the "big three" are always by definition unapproachably better than anything else where optical quality is concerned. Is a pair of Zeiss FLs 5 times as good as a pair of Katmais? More like 10% better, if that. I own and have owned in the past several bins that anyone would agree are "alpha class," and the fact is that there are much less expensive bins that are optically very comparable to those in the "top three." I would, for instance, put the Nikon 8x30 E2's I recently sold (due to insufficient relief for my newly-necessary glasses) up against any 8x32 roof prism bin you could name in terms of optical quality. In fact, my recent experience suggests to me that the deluxe roof prisms are still struggling to meet the optical benchmarks of the best porros. Among roofs, the best offerings from Pentax or Swift give the Euro glasses a serious run for their money. The Euros are of consistently fine optical quality, and they may be more rugged, more waterproof and have better warranties than the competition. Even there, I don't think they want anyone to compare their customer service (especially Zeiss or Leica) with Leupold, who have led in that area for decades. The Euros cost more and are more prestigious, no question. They certainly have higher resale value. But they are not better by definition.
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Old Friday 30th May 2008, 20:04   #23
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Some year ago I compared the Katmai 6x32 to the Zeiss Victory FL 7x42.
Yes, I experienced the Zeiss to be better. But I have to say that the difference was not nearly as big as the difference of price. I think the katmai 6x32 is a very good binocular. It actually has an interesting combination of properties:

*not much larger sized than a standard 10x25
*Brightness beating a 10x50
*providing a steady and comfortable view

The eye relief is good as well, well suited for eyeglasses, better than any 8x32.

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Old Friday 30th May 2008, 23:40   #24
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But poor contrast! The view is just dead to me! No life in it. Of course that is just my opinion. It's just they really let me down after being use to Zeiss and Leica. I had heard so many good things about them. They are really no better than Monarchs. In other words not bad for a $300.00 pair of binoculars.

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Old Saturday 31st May 2008, 18:03   #25
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through my eyes, perception, and the physical bins on hand to comapare ..... i liked the monarchs a lot for what they are, but can see impoved sharpness, brightness and contrast in the katmais. the katmais are also smaller and lighter.to me the katmais look alive, real and bright. it was interesting to note that the guy working at the nature reserve was very surprised by these little bins he had never heard of before and seemed a bit upset that he had paid so much for his leicas.
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