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Euro HD 8x32 - My thoughts

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Old Sunday 30th September 2018, 16:41   #1
jremmons
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Euro HD 8x32 - My thoughts

Picked these up used/NiB from a forum member at a great price. I've had them for about 5 days and probably used them for about 20hrs of birding/survey work. On hand I've got a few different optics, but overall I've owned the following 8x32s : Leupold Gold Ring (non-HD), Vortex Viper HD, Zeiss Victory T*FL, Swarovski Swarovision. This is in addition to all the various 10x42s, 8x42s, and 7x42s I've owned...

Initial impressions are as follows, and as I think I plan to hold onto these for some time I intend to update this thread with more thoughts...

Build Quality: Outstanding, for a binocular at this price point, not sure I've seen one better built. I would easily expect these to last as long as any of the alpha models. I would've preferred the rubber armoring of the Meopta B1 series as opposed to the Euro, but they do not offer that model in HD for whatever that's worth. Rainguard and strap are very high quality (rainguard almost 'locks' into place), but the objective covers are loose/prone to opening and the case is just a mediocre little bag.

Mechanics: Eyecups have firm detents, better than the Zeiss FL series. Focus Knob has absolutely no backlash or play; to some this may come off as almost stiff, but to me it seems very precise. Somewhat slower than I'm fond of at 1.5 turns, but not so slow that it is unusable (I used it birding for woodland songbird migrants without issue). Diopter works through a range of micro-clicks which hold firmly in place and did not drift during use in the field. Hinge tension seems fine.

Ergonomics: I'm a big fan of the hand positions/balance provided by these 8x32s. They are very lightweight and 'chunky' which lends itself to being well balanced in my hands; some lightweight binos have resulted in excess shake in my hands, but I think the shape of these prevents that (I have large hands). Eye-relief is just barely adequate for my eyeglasses, but I do notice issues with blackouts that I've noticed in basically all 8x32s excluding the Swarovision series.

Onto optical performance...

Chromatic Aberration: Very good control, not on the level of the Zeiss Victory T*FL or Kowa Genesis XD, but certainly on par with the SLC-HD or Swarovision and superior to the Ultravid and Conquest HD series. I don't notice any in the central field of view, and what is along the edge is still below what I found in most binoculars.

Color: Held up to pure white paper, I do notice a very mild yellow tinge. Colors tend to appear very 'saturated' and pleasing to the eye, and when locked onto moving targets I do not notice this yellow cast.

Brightness: I'd probably put them below the T*FL and SV in brightness, but on par with the Ultravid series. Certainly bright enough for woodland birding and hunting at dusk.

Resolution/Contrast: Very, very good contrast and sharpness in the central FoV, which is wider than average. Distortion to my eyes starts after 50% of the field, but the view is not noticeably worse in this portion of the view. I do not know if these are 'flat-field' binoculars, but they appear flatter and more distortion free than the T*FL.

Glare/Stray-light: Superb control of glare/stray light. I didn't notice this at all in these binoculars, and would put them on par with the Ultravid and far superior to the Swarovision.

Overall Impression: As always, I have found binoculars (particularly 8x32s) to be a series of compromises; I have yet to find 1 truly 'perfect' pair of binoculars that ticks all the boxes. That being said, when considering the whole suite of pros and cons, I'd rate the Meostars right up there with the alphas. They are not as bright as the Victory T*FL, but the colors are more pleasing to the eye and seem to have less distortion/easier eye-placement. It seems to be a bit sharper and control CA better than the Conquest HD, which is brighter and has less fall off at the edges and a quicker focus. They don't offer as flat of a field as the Swarovision and are not as easy on eye-placement, but are far better at managing poor light conditions which absolutely ruined the SVs for me. Always compromises (except maybe the EDG, for what that's worth)... These punch far above their price tag and I honestly don't see how at present you can do much better with the current slate of 8x32s (owners of the Conquest HD and 8x33 Kowa Genesis probably feel the same)...

This review may be redundant given how many positive reviews of the Euro HD currently exist, but take it for what it's worth. I'll keep it updated in the future as I see no reason to change these out at any point with another 8x32.

Justin

Last edited by jremmons : Sunday 30th September 2018 at 17:44.
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Old Sunday 30th September 2018, 18:28   #2
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Nice write up Justin.

Lee
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Old Sunday 30th September 2018, 23:39   #3
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Nice write up Justin!

I've always actually liked that binocular over the FL 8X32. It's a great binocular. Focus a little stiff as you say, otherwise really no issues! Meopta makes good stuff for sure.
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Old Wednesday 3rd October 2018, 12:48   #4
jremmons
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Thanks Lee and Chuck.

The more I use these little guys, the more I like them. I'm going to try to get a different set of glasses frames this next time I go to the optometrist to get them to fit closer to my face. I think that would make a real difference with eye placement.

The FL is a standout performer in many ways, but I just really enjoy the image of the Meopta; it reminds me a lot of a Leica Trinovid/Ultravid but with less chromatic aberration and I am able to see the full field with glasses.
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Old Wednesday 3rd October 2018, 15:17   #5
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Hi jr,

Agree! I have and use a lot a Meopta Meostar 8x32. Since 2010. I cannot be more satisfied with its performance. Outstanding as a general purpose binocular.
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Old Wednesday 3rd October 2018, 18:23   #6
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I just sold a pair of these. I had bought them for my wife, and they went largely unused. I agree with most of your findings too. I too had used the Leupold GR 8x32, Swarovski EL SV, SLC WB 8x30.

In summary I loved the size, build quality, FOV. For better (albeit my opinion) optical quality my preference is the ELSV. Slightly brighter, bigger sweet spot, but at a much higher price point.

The one thing that didn’t work for me is the eyecups felt too small in diameter. Probably just a face shape thing.

Meopta deserves alpha quality consideration (especially with their S2 spotter). I would like to see them learn more from Leica on how to make a better appearing package. I love looking through Meostars, just not at them.

I don’t think you can get a better 8x32 at this price point.


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Old Wednesday 3rd October 2018, 21:42   #7
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I have heard so many positive responses for this model but have never found it to work for me. In 10x42 it knocks my socks off (but I'm not a 10x guy) and in the 8x32 it just doesn't.

I did try again with Cabela's most recent design and found it to be much more ergonomically friendly (for me of course) with the larger focus and diopter adjustment knobs and thought the view looked pretty good inside the store.

So I took one outside for a bit and found I was rolling the focus knob back and forth trying to find that extra bit of sharpness but was never able to. Unfortunately I had nothing else with me to perform a side x side comparison.

My general impression was not a bad binocular and probably in the ballpark with other approx $900 price point offerings - but certainly not top tier view.

A bit frustrating for me to not find what you all are seeing.

But even more frustrating is being wowed by the 10x42 and finding no 8x42 HD available for so many years. Why would they HD the 10x42, the 10x32, the 8x32, but not the 8x42????? I'm so bewildered by this!!!!!

My .02,

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Old Thursday 4th October 2018, 12:47   #8
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I would note that, yes they retail at $900, but often Cabelas has 20-30% sales on these.

The used market I’ve seen them $450-$550. Not nearly holding value like Leica or Swarovski.

Meopta does make the 12x50 and 15x56 in HD too.

It was always odd to me that Meopta had better offerings through Cabelas than their own Meostar line. I personally would have done it the other way around.


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Old Thursday 4th October 2018, 22:39   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AGPank View Post
I would note that, yes they retail at $900, but often Cabelas has 20-30% sales on these.

The used market I’ve seen them $450-$550. Not nearly holding value like Leica or Swarovski.

Meopta does make the 12x50 and 15x56 in HD too.

It was always odd to me that Meopta had better offerings through Cabelas than their own Meostar line. I personally would have done it the other way around.


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I think it is better to get the Meopta if it works for you. Cabela's does
not offer a transferable warranty on preowned optics, where Meopta has
a lifetime transferable warranty.

Jerry
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Old Friday 5th October 2018, 00:33   #10
jremmons
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NDhunter View Post
I think it is better to get the Meopta if it works for you. Cabela's does
not offer a transferable warranty on preowned optics, where Meopta has
a lifetime transferable warranty.

Jerry
Jerry,
Where did you hear that the Cabela's warranty was not transferrable? I was told the opposite by a Cabela's rep.
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Old Friday 5th October 2018, 00:44   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jremmons View Post
Jerry,
Where did you hear that the Cabela's warranty was not transferrable? I was told the opposite by a Cabela's rep.
It should transfer. https://www.birdforum.net/showpost.p...postcount=3248
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Old Friday 5th October 2018, 01:34   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coopershawk View Post

Thanks for that post, read both closely, the Cabela's wty. does not
transfer, the Meopta wty. is transferable.

I don't have any dog in the fight, just trying to educate.
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Old Friday 5th October 2018, 01:46   #13
jremmons
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Thanks for the post. Very odd regarding the warranty language; when I spoke to the sales rep I was told to just bring it in and if it was a manufacturer/non-user induced error they would replace or offer repair on the spot, regardless of status as the original owner.
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Old Friday 5th October 2018, 03:26   #14
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Originally Posted by NDhunter View Post
Thanks for that post, read both closely, the Cabela's wty. does not
transfer, the Meopta wty. is transferable.

I don't have any dog in the fight, just trying to educate.
Jerry
Ah I missed that last sentence in the second paragraph. I hadn't had dinner yet
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Old Friday 5th October 2018, 17:24   #15
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I do wonder if the reason for the discrepancy in the warranty language and what I was told by the salesperson is just to provide better customer service? I know Swarovski doesn't say anything about a transferable warranty but will extend it to other owners. And if you read through all the various forums, etc, there are multiple reports of Cabela's honoring the warranty to second owners. I also read that someone contacted Meopta directly Meopta replaced the Euro HD w/ a Meostar HD (10x42) Very odd...
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Old Saturday 6th October 2018, 01:28   #16
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I have also heard that Cabela's has become more sticky on warranty issues, since they
were purchased by Bass Pro.
A call to Cabela's customer service will confirm they will not transfer the warranty on pre-owned.
Call them yourself to find out.

If you go to a Cabela's store very often, I have found the sales help, mostly college part timers, and I would not trust anyone
in the store about this subject, as they simply don't know, they are just selling.

Meopta does not handle any Cabela's wty. like that directly, you have to go through Cabela's.


Oh, the fun of being an optics mfr. and a branded retailer, with warranty issues.

Cabela's puts their own name on lots of glass, at many price levels and many sources.


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Old Saturday 6th October 2018, 04:16   #17
jremmons
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Jerry - the issue with the BPS buyout may be the crux of it all. I did directly talk with their Optics person (I've seen him there a few of the times I've been there) just about two weeks ago, which is when I was informed that they would honor the warranty regardless of ownership. This policy may just be something the store does to improve customer service, as it would seem to violate the listed terms of the warranty.

The mention of Meopta replacing a Euro HD came from a post on another forum of that user's personal experience. I suppose the individual could have made up the story, for what gain I do not know.

Justin
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