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Kahles helia 42

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Old Monday 4th February 2019, 22:44   #1
ofl0926
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Kahles helia 42

Hello everyone. I have a chances of snatching these up but I can find any info on them. Any input on them? Are they comparable to swaro slc? What do they compare to?


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Old Monday 4th February 2019, 23:05   #2
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There is plenty of info about them on the web, including several review articles and videos, for instance:
https://www.bestbinocularsreviews.co...Review-229.htm
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWfUK1q-fe0
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Old Tuesday 5th February 2019, 02:11   #3
ofl0926
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Originally Posted by PeterPS View Post
There is plenty of info about them on the web, including several review articles and videos, for instance:

https://www.bestbinocularsreviews.co...Review-229.htm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWfUK1q-fe0


Appreciate that
Wish there was more info on them. Exactly where the glass is from? Is it just like the slc?


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Old Tuesday 5th February 2019, 03:33   #4
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Allbinos formally reviewed the Kahles-Helia 10x42 in March 2017. It is ranked 29th out of 85 10x42 binoculars rated. See the link below for details.

https://www.allbinos.com/313-binocul...lia_10x42.html

Allbinos lists a total of 8 Kahles binoculars in its data base 3 of which are Helia and 2 are Helia RF. The other 3 are earlier models. See their specifications in the link below.

https://www.allbinos.com/22-Kahles-binoculars.html

Kahles is an Austrian Corporation that seems to specialize in Rifle Scopes. Its binoculars are not manufactured in Austria.

I have the 8x32 version which was made in 2011. It has been reviewed by Allbinos and ranked 11th out of 31 8x32 binoculars. I think that is a fair ranking. It is very ruggedly constructed and its exterior is reminiscent of the original Leica Trinovid BA/BN binoculars. I believe that it was manufactured in Japan.

https://www.allbinos.com/181-binocul...hles_8x32.html. Mine has a Green exterior rather than Camoflage.

Bob

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Old Tuesday 5th February 2019, 05:22   #5
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For that kind of money....I'd probably look at a few others. There are a LOT of binoculars at this price that are proven entities. I'd look at those.
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Old Tuesday 5th February 2019, 06:35   #6
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Kahles is part of the Swarovski Group and Mike Jensen used to work for the brand in the USA before joining Zeiss and latterly starting his own business under the name GPO USA.

Made in the Far East and priced as they are, I think of Kahles as the Swaro equivalent of Zeiss's Conquest or Leica's Trinovid, although unlike those two, Swaro markets the product via a separate company rather than simply a brand, but I have no experience of the binos.

Lee

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Old Tuesday 5th February 2019, 06:53   #7
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Lee,

Khales's serial numbering system is very similar to Swarovski's but since they don't make binoculars on a yearly basis like Swarovski does I haven't been able to decipher it although I know that my 8x32 was made in 2011. I also have an older 8x32 (possibly 8 years older; that is from the last previous year that they were made) which has the same inscrutable numbering system.

Bob

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Old Tuesday 5th February 2019, 07:14   #8
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Bob I have no knowledge of their serial number system but it seems logical that they would issue their own serial numbers to the actual Far Eastern factory where the binos are made and if they use more than one factory they might each have different numbering systems so that they can immediately see from the serial number who manufactured the bino without having to search through a database. This could account for the inscrutability!

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Old Tuesday 5th February 2019, 08:12   #9
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This is the info I have on the Kahles Helia:

„In 2016, Kahles started to sell a new line of binoculars, the Helia series. At first, it consisted of an 8×42 and a 10×42 model, complemented more recently with two range measuring binoculars (“RF”) of the same size. In 2018, an 8×56 model was added to the series. Unlike its earlier binoculars, not only is the Helia not produced in Austria anymore (although some steps of the manufacuring process may possibly still occur in Austria), the x42 line of binos also shares all their basic characteristics, except some external details, with same size binoculars from other brands, specifically the Belgian Kite Ibis and the German DDpotics EDX, both produced in Japan. This suggests that the Helia is also essentially produced in Japan, and there is no explicit mention in the catalogue of “made in Austria” which would contradict that (whether this is also true for the x56 model remains to be verified). Like the mentioned two models from Kite and DDoptics, the Helia is a nice upper middle class binocular with good allround performance. Kahles targets primarily the hunting market with it.“

So this is another „clone“ of a good Japan made bino from somebody like Kamakura who sells the same optics and mechanics to a number of brands.

Pinac
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Old Tuesday 5th February 2019, 09:14   #10
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I have written a condensed history of Kahles and a test of two 42 models. The results can be found on the WEB-site of House of Outdoor under "Verrekijkers testen en vergelijken".
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Old Wednesday 6th February 2019, 08:06   #11
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Originally Posted by Gijs van Ginkel View Post
I have written a condensed history of Kahles and a test of two 42 models. The results can be found on the WEB-site of House of Outdoor under "Verrekijkers testen en vergelijken".
Gijs van Ginkel
Thank you, Gijs.
Can you kindly provide the link (I found the nice July 2016 comparitive test of the Helia, but not the history)?
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Old Wednesday 6th February 2019, 08:57   #12
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A 2002 press release details Kahles history - see the attached copy

And it's current website has additional detail in 'click through' form, see: https://www.kahles.at/en/since-1898/#c481

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Old Wednesday 6th February 2019, 11:07   #13
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Canip, post 11,
The condensed history was part of the binocular test you refer to. It is essentially a short version of the paper referred to by John Roberts in post 12.
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Old Wednesday 6th February 2019, 17:19   #14
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FWIW - My 2003 vintage Kahles 8x32 binoculars were made in Austria. Not sure where they are made today though.
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Old Wednesday 6th February 2019, 21:16   #15
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Thank you for link and info, John (post #12) and Gijs (post #13).
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Old Thursday 7th February 2019, 03:01   #16
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Some further information . . .

Kahles is - and always has been - primarily a producer of telescopic sights
However, they have also intermittently offered binoculars, dating back to around 1910,
there are some early models on Hans Leichtfried’s excellent website ‘fernglasmuseum’, at: http://www.fernglasmuseum.at/adminis.../museum_k.html


2 LINES OF ROOF PRISM BINOCULARS
A) the first line was introduced in 2000 in both 8x42 and 10x42, with an 8x32 model added some time after
see the attached table from a 2007 catalogue; the 8x32 appears to have used the 10x42 eyepiece - compare the AFOV and eye relief spec's

B) the more recent Helia line is from 2016 in 8x42 and 10x42, with an 8x56 model added in 2018
(there are also 2 Helia rangefinder models which were introduced in late 2017)
again see the attached table from a 2018 catalogue; and as can be seen, the basic optical specifications differ from the earlier x42 series

The site ‘Hunting Binoculars Blog’ has reviews of:
- the 8x42 Helia vs the 8x42 Noblex ED at: https://huntingbinoculars.net/2018/0...octer-8x42-ed/
- the 10x42 Helia vs the current 10x42 Leica Trinovid, at: https://huntingbinoculars.net/2018/0...s-helia-10x42/
(the latter review also has clear photos of the both the Kahles ‘Waldkauz’ carry strap/covers, and Leica’s optional neoprene carry harness)


WHERE MANUFACTURED?
While the first series of RP binoculars was prominently marked ‘Austria’ on the focuser cover - there is no clear indication that any of the RP production was manufactured by Kahles
- as opposed to being assembled and tested in Austria *

A) the Allbinos review of the Kahles 8x32 makes clear that it is strikingly ‘similar’ to the Minox HG 8x33 - see the last photograph in the review (post #4 above provides a link to the review)
[and as indicated in the Minox sub-Forum on this website, there are various indications that Minox components are manufactured outside Germany;
also Minox catalogues carefully refer to German design, and German components (Schott glass), without ever claiming German manufacture]

B) the quote that Canip provided in post #9 indicates a similar situation in relation to the current Helia production

In contrast, Kahles main product lines of telescopic sights are both manufactured and assembled in Austria


* EDIT: see the 2002 History of Kahles document included in my previous post. In the 3rd and 2nd last paragraphs, it:
- describes in detail the manufacture of telescopic sights, and then;
- notes that the 8x42 and 10x42 binoculars are also assembled at the Vienna plant


John
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Old Thursday 7th February 2019, 23:56   #17
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I had an 8x42 Kahles binocular, one of the earlier models, and it was of high quality all around, but was limited by a smaller FOV, and offered very nice optics. I also have experience with their scopes.

If you want to research Kahles, it has been all about rifle scopes, they were at the forefront of the development, being the oldest riflescope mfr. in the world, since 1898.
They still are a sister company of Swarovski, and are located in the same building in Absam, Tirol, Austria.

Kahles tried to branch out on their own for repair in the US some years ago, but now all of that goes to Swarovski, in Cranston RI.

For Kahles, riflescopes continues to be their main product line. All of very high quality, and they often mesh with Swarovski, so their products don't compete with themselves, with models sold in the same size.

I think the current Kahles binocular models are a good thing, look at the quality, the smart case ideas and more.

This is a way for Swarovski to offer some nice optics in the midrange.

Jerry

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Old Friday 8th February 2019, 02:07   #18
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This Helia 42 looks to be a dead ringer for the Leupold BX-5 Santiam series. The BX-5 is an excellent binocular.

Another thing to keep in mind is that (unless recently changed) EU law stated that only 10% of the work needs be done in the parent country for it to be perfectly legal to carry the "Made in Germany" (or wherever) label. This has been brought up here several times before.

If I were prone to betting, I'd lay my money on Kamakura.
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Old Friday 8th February 2019, 03:54   #19
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This Helia 42 looks to be a dead ringer for the Leupold BX-5 Santiam series. The BX-5 is an excellent binocular.

Another thing to keep in mind is that (unless recently changed) EU law stated that only 10% of the work needs be done in the parent country for it to be perfectly legal to carry the "Made in Germany" (or wherever) label. This has been brought up here several times before.

If I were prone to betting, I'd lay my money on Kamakura.
Very similar indeed!

https://www.leupold.com/binoculars/h...tiam-hd-8x42mm


Bob
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Old Thursday 14th February 2019, 03:07   #20
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When I sold Kahles, the bino came in a box marked “Made in Austria.” And it was ... the BOX I mean. It was a “dead ringer” for the Celestron Nobel—made in Japan—but cost considerably more. Even so, it was a bino for a lifetime.

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Old Thursday 14th February 2019, 03:16   #21
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I may have missed it here, but in case it wasn't' mentioned, the non rf binc is indeed made in Japan, but the RF (range-finding model) is made in China.
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Old Thursday 14th February 2019, 17:03   #22
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When I sold Kahles, the bino came in a box marked “Made in Austria.” And it was ... the BOX I mean. It was a “dead ringer” for the Celestron Nobel—made in Japan—but cost considerably more. Even so, it was a bino for a lifetime.

Bill
Bill,

I have that particular 8x32 Kahles and I still have the Box it came in. It does indeed have taped (or glued, if you will) on it a form with the bar codes that also says:

KAHLES
since 1898
AUSTRIA

8X32
9183016XX
MADE IN AUSTRIA

The real printing on the rest of the box only says AUSTRIA.


I found out that it was made in 2003. (The serial number is printed on the bottom of the hinge like on Swarovski binoculars.) It was updated in 2011 according to Allbinos. I have that one in the 8X32 version also. The coatings on the lenses are clearly different and the diameter of the oculars are slightly wider on the 2011 version.

Both these binoculars are tough as nails. It wouldn't surprise me if most of them that were made are still in use somewhere in the world!

Bob

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Old Thursday 14th February 2019, 18:26   #23
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Bill,

I have that particular 8x32 Kahles and I still have the Box it came in. It does indeed have taped (or glued, if you will) on it a form with the bar codes that also says:

KAHLES
since 1898
AUSTRIA

8X32
9183016XX
MADE IN AUSTRIA

The real printing on the rest of the box only says AUSTRIA.


I found out that it was made in 2003. (The serial number is printed on the bottom of the hinge like on Swarovski binoculars.) It was updated in 2011 according to Allbinos. I have that one in the 8X32 version also. The coatings on the lenses are clearly different and the diameter of the oculars are slightly wider on the 2011 version.

Both these binoculars are tough as nails. It wouldn't surprise me if most of them that were made are still in use somewhere in the world!

Bob

190214

Hi, Ceasar:

I know about Kahles’ history and that they pioneered telescopic rifle sights. They are prominently mentioned in an article I did for the 2012 Deer and Deer Hunting annual. But my data points don’t stop there. This might even include conversations between myself and my Swarovski rep. Don’t get me wrong; I am a major fan of Swarovski Optik and their repair department—Gail Fisher, manager.

But I also understand that in the name of profit, even some of the biggest names in Europe rebrand some Asian products. I believe all you said about performance, ruggedness, and dependability. But although they say one picture is worth a thousand words, I guess that all depends on who is evaluating the picture and what they understand about the industry.

On Swarovki’s request, I took shipment of a Kahles bino. But finding it virtually the same as the Celestron Nobel—at a greater price—I opted in favor of my customer’s wallet. Over the years, that stance has cost me plenty of money. But if you don’t have health, you HAVE nothing. If you don’t have integrity, you ARE nothing.

I make no bones about the Kahles being a world-class instrument. If it were my prime instrument, over my Nikon 8x32 SE, I could be a happy birder until my dirt nap. Do I have a problem with their marketing? I do. And, not being bashful, I have told them. Oh, what crap the novice consumer is expected to swallow. And he is expected to do it because he has a long track record of doing so. Hey, I could make you a special deal on some ENRON stock. What say?

Bill
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Old Friday 15th February 2019, 05:58   #24
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190214

Hi, Ceasar:

I know about Kahles’ history and that they pioneered telescopic rifle sights. They are prominently mentioned in an article I did for the 2012 Deer and Deer Hunting annual. But my data points don’t stop there. This might even include conversations between myself and my Swarovski rep. Don’t get me wrong; I am a major fan of Swarovski Optik and their repair department—Gail Fisher, manager.

But I also understand that in the name of profit, even some of the biggest names in Europe rebrand some Asian products. I believe all you said about performance, ruggedness, and dependability. But although they say one picture is worth a thousand words, I guess that all depends on who is evaluating the picture and what they understand about the industry.

On Swarovki’s request, I took shipment of a Kahles bino. But finding it virtually the same as the Celestron Nobel—at a greater price—I opted in favor of my customer’s wallet. Over the years, that stance has cost me plenty of money. But if you don’t have health, you HAVE nothing. If you don’t have integrity, you ARE nothing.

I make no bones about the Kahles being a world-class instrument. If it were my prime instrument, over my Nikon 8x32 SE, I could be a happy birder until my dirt nap. Do I have a problem with their marketing? I do. And, not being bashful, I have told them. Oh, what crap the novice consumer is expected to swallow. And he is expected to do it because he has a long track record of doing so. Hey, I could make you a special deal on some ENRON stock. What say?

Bill
Bill,

Kahles's marketing?

What marketing?

Every now and then somebody will throw them a bone like Shooting Editor Terry Wieland did in an article in the Feb/Mar 2006 issue of Gray's Sporting Journal in a 4 page article titled "8x30. Who could ask for anything more?"

Wieland believed that "cheap optics wore out good boots."

The article was about the size of hunting binoculars. He recommended high quality 8x32 binoculars; specifically Zeiss, Swarovski and Leica, which were the "creme, " but there were others he mentioned like Kahles which was the first time I had ever heard of it.

He liked the size and weight of the 8x32s, especially on safari's in Africa where he had previously carried 8x42s.

He ended up recommending the Leica Trinovid and Ultravid; the Zeiss Victory 8x32T*FL, 8x30 B T* and 8x30 Classic,; the Swarovski SLC 8x30 WB and the new Swarovski 8x32 EL and the 8x32 Kahles.

He commented that the "Kahles falls somewhere in the middle of all of them, and if seen by itself one might swoon."

Bob
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Old Friday 15th February 2019, 16:53   #25
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Bill,

Kahles's marketing?

What marketing?

Every now and then somebody will throw them a bone like Shooting Editor Terry Wieland did in an article in the Feb/Mar 2006 issue of Gray's Sporting Journal in a 4 page article titled "8x30. Who could ask for anything more?"

Wieland believed that "cheap optics wore out good boots."

The article was about the size of hunting binoculars. He recommended high quality 8x32 binoculars; specifically Zeiss, Swarovski and Leica, which were the "creme, " but there were others he mentioned like Kahles which was the first time I had ever heard of it.

He liked the size and weight of the 8x32s, especially on safari's in Africa where he had previously carried 8x42s.

He ended up recommending the Leica Trinovid and Ultravid; the Zeiss Victory 8x32T*FL, 8x30 B T* and 8x30 Classic,; the Swarovski SLC 8x30 WB and the new Swarovski 8x32 EL and the 8x32 Kahles.

He commented that the "Kahles falls somewhere in the middle of all of them, and if seen by itself one might swoon."

Bob
'Morning Bob:

A little or a lot, everything said or printed is marketing. I believe it should all be truthful. That being my mantra is why no optical firm wants to hire me. My track record in business has not made me wealthy but it has sure profited the few companies I worked for. I proved the experts ... wrong. They don’t understand because the world is so far removed from business practices based on gospel principles.

Today’s 20-year old will have 8 jobs and 3 careers before retiring. There is no way with that kind of job-hopping anyone can focus enough on one discipline to be an "expert" appreciated by the consumer. For 21 years in my shop, NO ONE WAS ON COMMISSION! Commission can cause one to skirt dishonesty. I told my people:

“Do the right thing, for the right reason, or do it somewhere else.”

Know your craft, train your customers in what they need to know*, provide the best customer service, and there is no way you can help but make a profit. The know-it-all business magnates will know you are a fool. But that’s okay, you can laugh all the way to the bank ... riding in the car with one of your customers, while you discuss your business model.

Bill

* Try as you will, you can’t save some people from themselves. One customer sold his 17.5-Coulter Dobsonian and bought a 4 & 1/4” Astroscan from me, with me doing ALL mortally possible to share the realities of optics with him. He wanted the stars MAGNIFIED. I told him what he was doing was like trading a Silver Cloud for a tricycle. He couldn’t believe it. In many ways, we are all ignorant. That’s normal human frailties. But when it metastasizes into willful stupidity ... it’s terminal.
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