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Leupold Golden Ring vs. Golden Ring HD

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Old Thursday 2nd April 2015, 21:52   #1
Elmer Fudd
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Leupold Golden Ring vs. Golden Ring HD

According to other threads dealing with the question if to buy a now discontinued Leupold Golden Ring 8x42 with HD or non-HD it seems that the HD version will outperform the older one without HD.

But when did Leupold start to make the HD versions.

When browsing for pictures of the Golden Ring it's always unvisible if they show the HD or non-HD version of the binos.

So how do I know if I have a HD or non-HD pair of binos of the Golden Ring series?

When did they start with phase coating the Golden Ring bino series? On some pictures there is a label with the inscription of being phase coated.

Last edited by Elmer Fudd : Thursday 2nd April 2015 at 21:58.
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Old Thursday 2nd April 2015, 22:55   #2
ceasar
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They were phase coated long ago. Leupold was on the cutting edge then. Below is Allbinos rankings of 8x32 binoculars. Leupold's 8x32 Golden Ring HD came in a close second to Zeiss. Check the comments they made about them and their transmission graph.

http://www.allbinos.com/allbinos_ran...king-8x32.html

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Old Thursday 2nd April 2015, 23:05   #3
David in NC
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I had the HD model..."HD" was engraved on the metal rings on the barrels...I guess they all were like that...so if it is HD it should say "HD" on the ring.

From my original sales thread:

http://www.birdforum.net/showpost.ph...41&postcount=3
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Old Friday 3rd April 2015, 00:11   #4
Steve C
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I think the HD version appeared about 2007. This review from Better View Desired is from 2006 and I think his is the non HD, due to eye cup design.
http://www.betterviewdesired.com/Leu...-Ring-8x42.php

The eye cups are different on the HD. The original ones had the slight ring around the outer edge, the HD did not. There is an HD stamped on the end of the focus knob, but the eye cups will be the giveaway.

With my 8x42 GR HD, take the Allbinos review, substitute the 8x32 with 8x42 and the review matches my GR.

Leupold had some their in house assembly and some of those were not so good. The later runs were straightened out, but the damage was done. Even switching assembly back to Kamakura did not work.
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Old Friday 3rd April 2015, 15:22   #5
chartwell99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve C View Post
I think the HD version appeared about 2007.

The eye cups are different on the HD. The original ones had the slight ring around the outer edge, the HD did not. There is an HD stamped on the end of the focus knob, but the eye cups will be the giveaway.

With my 8x42 GR HD, take the Allbinos review, substitute the 8x32 with 8x42 and the review matches my GR.

Leupold had some their in house assembly and some of those were not so good. The later runs were straightened out, but the damage was done. Even switching assembly back to Kamakura did not work.
My Leupold HD 8 x 42 is optically astounding with a totally confidence inspiring robust build quality. The binocular is really too heavy for comfortable birding but the images are so superb I use it any way. I assume my example was assembled in Beaverton, Oregon, and I remember some discussion in the past on this forum that it may have been based on a Kowa design, or used Kowa components or both. At one time, I owned a non-HD 8 x 32 version, and found the oversize eyecups unusable and the optical performance OK but not special.
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Old Friday 3rd April 2015, 17:17   #6
Steve C
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chartwell99 View Post
My Leupold HD 8 x 42 is optically astounding with a totally confidence inspiring robust build quality. The binocular is really too heavy for comfortable birding but the images are so superb I use it any way. I assume my example was assembled in Beaverton, Oregon, and I remember some discussion in the past on this forum that it may have been based on a Kowa design, or used Kowa components or both. At one time, I owned a non-HD 8 x 32 version, and found the oversize eyecups unusable and the optical performance OK but not special.
At one time I had the idea it was Kowa, asked the question here of an ex Leupold guy who was posting here at the time. He never answered that query directly. However I have since learned it was Kamakura.

Lots of people assumed that all assembly was done in Beaverton. There was some fuss when it was found out that the early runs came from Kamakura as Leupold was not really ready to do the assembly. I think they pushed it a bit and got into some QC troubles. There are comments and opinions in forums about people not being able to like the GR. I think this was the result of those QC issues.
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