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Leupold Golden Ring 8x32 HD with Meopta 8x32 hd, Swarovski EL 8x32 SV

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Old Sunday 11th December 2016, 22:23   #1
AGPank
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Leupold Golden Ring 8x32 HD with Meopta 8x32 hd, Swarovski EL 8x32 SV

Well I've heard a lot about the elusive 8x32HD Golden Ring binoculars and during some recent trips by some pawn shops I stumbled across a pair in excellent condition and priced right. I don't need any more binoculars, but I figured I would either gift them to my family or sell them to someone who would better appreciate these binoculars.

http://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/2016...0c6b2f5a3e.jpg

They are pictured with my wife's Meopta Meostar 8x32 HD (Cabelas version), the GR 8x32 HD (a dark chocolate brown), and my 8x32 EL SV (traveler brown).

The Meostar are physically the smallest pair, shorter, lighter and a smaller feel in the hand. The GR pair had the thickest barrels, maybe a thicker armor. The EL's feel much different than either, due to the split bridge design. I think that smaller hands/face would fit the Meostar the best. They are short, skinny, and have small eyecups. The GR will fit bigger hands and face and the eyecups fit my face better than the Meostar. The ELs, felt best for me.

This pair seems to have seen very little field use and are in excellent condition. No visible signs of wear even to the neck strap. This pair came with an excellent neck strap and a unused Leupold shoulder harness. The case is also very high quality. The rain guard and ocular covers are industry average. Swarovski seems to lead the industry here in my opinion. Many mention the weight of the GRs and a deterrent, but they felt very good in my hands. This pair was highlighted by a silky smooth focus wheel, on pair with my Trinovids and better than either of the 8x32's I was looking at. The GR focus is about one turn from zero to infinity and both other pair were about 2 turns. While the smooth quick focus was nice, I often was struggling to find the sweet spot, which maybe is just lack of use on my part. The diopter adjustment on the GR is on the right eyepiece. I personally don't like this set-up on this or any manufacturer. The best I have used is the Leica (Trinovid and Ultravid) followed by Swarovski SLC/EL. I find it very hard to focus while removing a hand to adjust this adjustment. Once set, it does seem that it will stay in place. The GR does have a built in inter-pupillary lock on the opposite end of the focus wheel. It has a little play when locked, but keeps the adjustment fairly close.

I experimented with these in the park behind my house and during overcast lighting all 3 performed very well. I found a sign on a building about 250 yards away that I was only able to resolve the detail to read with the ELs. The other pairs I just wasn't able to make out the detail to read. As the light faded I preferred the image of the EL's. I know Allbinos rates the light transmission better on the GR, but my eyes preferred the ELs in low light. The ELs were obviously better in edge clarity with the field flattened lens, but the GR do have a nice full field of view, up to maybe 90% of the edge. I personally focus more on the center of the field of view and the final edge isn't as important to me. I was able to create a small amount of chromatic aberration in the GR at the very edge by looking at a backlist pole. The other pairs handled this much better.

They didn't outperform my ELs for me. Still very good performance for the price range.
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Old Monday 12th December 2016, 19:37   #2
Theo98
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Nice find, AG!

My 8x42 GR were also very nice...Well Built, substantial feel in hand and comfortable eye cups. They were very sharp to about 80% FOV and the focus was silky smooth and even. Accessories were top notch but overall, the 8x42's were a little too heavy and too big for an 8X. Found my EL 8x32 SV's much lighter, had better color fidelity, sharper with greater contrast and as you stated, better low light capability. I eventually found the GR 8x42 warm color bias too distracting and sold to a good home!

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