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Leupold Gold Ring HD 8x32 versus SV 8x32

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Old Saturday 18th October 2014, 02:12   #1
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Leupold Gold Ring HD 8x32 versus SV 8x32

I always wanted to try a Leupold Gold Ring HD 8x32 because they are ranked 2nd out of all the top 8x32's by Allbinos plus there are many on Bird Forum who have given them positive reviews in the past but they are extremely hard to find now that they are out of production. I finally found a pair on Ebay for $600.00 so I purchased them to see if they really are any good. I used my Swarovski Swarovision 8x32 as a comparison.
The only detraction of the Leupold's is that they are heavy for an 8x32 at 27oz. On the other hand it is obvious that they are well built and very quality. They hold up nicely to the SV's. The SV's have the advantage of sharper edges but the Leupold's have the advantage of better glare suppression. Contrast, sharpness and brightness are really pretty similar on both. CA is well controlled in both with both having HD glass. The focus is very smooth and not too tight on the Leupold. The Leupold comes with a nice case,tethered objective lens covers and a nice rainguard. Overall they are a real bargain especially at the price point they sell at used IF you can find a pair. Good luck.

http://www.allbinos.com/184-binocula...g_8x32_HD.html
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Old Saturday 18th October 2014, 14:28   #2
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I always wanted to try a Leupold Gold Ring HD 8x32 because they are ranked 2nd out of all the top 8x32's by Allbinos plus there are many on Bird Forum who have given them positive reviews in the past but they are extremely hard to find now that they are out of production. I finally found a pair on Ebay for $600.00 so I purchased them to see if they really are any good. I used my Swarovski Swarovision 8x32 as a comparison.
The only detraction of the Leupold's is that they are heavy for an 8x32 at 27oz. On the other hand it is obvious that they are well built and very quality. They hold up nicely to the SV's. The SV's have the advantage of sharper edges but the Leupold's have the advantage of better glare suppression. Contrast, sharpness and brightness are really pretty similar on both. CA is well controlled in both with both having HD glass. The focus is very smooth and not too tight on the Leupold. The Leupold comes with a nice case,tethered objective lens covers and a nice rainguard. Overall they are a real bargain especially at the price point they sell at used IF you can find a pair. Good luck.

http://www.allbinos.com/184-binocula...g_8x32_HD.html
I wonder if Leupold will add a 8x32 to their McKinley line up & if they did how they would compare optically to the Golden Ring HD. Now that the Japan sourced Leupold HD are now out of production, if they did come out with a Mclinley version 8x32 I doubt the China model would have the same high build quality that the HD's have. The McKliney's have very nice glass & now being their flag ship model, it seems it would make sense to add a compact 8x32 in their lineup. .. gwen
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Old Saturday 18th October 2014, 15:37   #3
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I wonder if Leupold will add a 8x32 to their McKinley line up & if they did how they would compare optically to the Golden Ring HD. Now that the Japan sourced Leupold HD are now out of production, if they did come out with a Mclinley version 8x32 I doubt the China model would have the same high build quality that the HD's have. The McKliney's have very nice glass & now being their flag ship model, it seems it would make sense to add a compact 8x32 in their lineup. .. gwen
I am sure the Japanese sourced older version of the Leupold 8x32 HD GR would still be higher quality than a Chinese Mckinley. I have not myself seen a Chinese built binocular that had that same quality look and feel as the Japanese built binoculars. I would bet the older GR would be ever bit as good optically as a new Mckinley and probably better. I had the 8x42 Mckinley and although it is hard to compare with an 8x32 this older GR is definitely better optically. In fact it is one of the best binoculars I have looked through. I would say it is better than older Swarovski 8x32 EL , Nikon 8x32 SE and even the Zeiss FL optically. It has a magnesium body and when Leupold was asked why they couldn't make it lighter they said they couldn't because they shaved off weight ever way they could without lowering the optical and build quality of it. It has a LOT of obviously high end glass in it to get the excellent images it puts out. If you are looking for a bargain glass and can't afford the $2K alphas it is an excellent alternative. Two of them were just sold on Ebay. You don't see them very often but they are excellent.
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Old Saturday 18th October 2014, 18:30   #4
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I am sure the Japanese sourced older version of the Leupold 8x32 HD GR would still be higher quality than a Chinese Mckinley. I have not myself seen a Chinese built binocular that had that same quality look and feel as the Japanese built binoculars. I would bet the older GR would be ever bit as good optically as a new Mckinley and probably better. I had the 8x42 Mckinley and although it is hard to compare with an 8x32 this older GR is definitely better optically. In fact it is one of the best binoculars I have looked through. I would say it is better than older Swarovski 8x32 EL , Nikon 8x32 SE and even the Zeiss FL optically. It has a magnesium body and when Leupold was asked why they couldn't make it lighter they said they couldn't because they shaved off weight ever way they could without lowering the optical and build quality of it. It has a LOT of obviously high end glass in it to get the excellent images it puts out. If you are looking for a bargain glass and can't afford the $2K alphas it is an excellent alternative. Two of them were just sold on Ebay. You don't see them very often but they are excellent.
Right On ! ... The Leupold 8x32 HD has got to be one of the most under rated 8x32 binocular I have ever looked thru. The lack of used Leupold's for sale supports what I have been thinking ever since I put a pair to my eyes. When " Proudpapa56 " , who post here quoted me a real nice price(lowest I found) thru his shop for a new Swarovski 8x32 SV I came very close to retiring my Leupold 8x32 HD. When I compared the two again at a local shop here, I decided there was not enough of a difference if any in the optical view so I did not buy the Swarovski. I was tempted but the robust construction of the Leupold along with the huge eye lens I liked better. Again ... personal choice between two very good 8x32 binoculars. .... gwen
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Old Sunday 19th October 2014, 00:53   #5
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Dennis,
Is yours made in Oregon? These would be too heavy for me, but I've always wanted to try one.
I've always heard the optics are top quality and have super smooth focus too.
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Old Sunday 19th October 2014, 01:03   #6
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Right On ! ... The Leupold 8x32 HD has got to be one of the most under rated 8x32 binocular I have ever looked thru. The lack of used Leupold's for sale supports what I have been thinking ever since I put a pair to my eyes. When " Proudpapa56 " , who post here quoted me a real nice price(lowest I found) thru his shop for a new Swarovski 8x32 SV I came very close to retiring my Leupold 8x32 HD. When I compared the two again at a local shop here, I decided there was not enough of a difference if any in the optical view so I did not buy the Swarovski. I was tempted but the robust construction of the Leupold along with the huge eye lens I liked better. Again ... personal choice between two very good 8x32 binoculars. .... gwen
Yes. It didn't really surprise me the Leupold GR HD 8x32's were as good as they are. They have achieved almost legendary status on Bird Forum. I guess they went away because of their weight but really they are no heavier than the new Zeiss SF. The build quality reminds me of a Leica. They are built like a tank.
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Old Sunday 19th October 2014, 01:28   #7
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Dennis,
Is yours made in Oregon? These would be too heavy for me, but I've always wanted to try one.
I've always heard the optics are top quality and have super smooth focus too.
Good to hear from you Annabeth2. It has been a long time. I have been keeping a low profile. I remember you were always looking for a pair.That's what spiked my interest in them. You know I assumed they were made in Japan but after looking all over the binocular and the box the only thing I see is Beaverton, Oregon on the box. Maybe they are made in Oregon! Does anybody know for sure. They seem like a made in USA product with excellent build quality and they are remarkably robust. I don't think I have ever seen a binocular built so sturdily! That is why they are heavy at 27 oz. for a 32mm. But they do have very nice comfortable eyecups and very nice armour on them and as you said a great smooth focus with just the right tension. These could be your dream pair of binoculars if they were not so heavy. The guy that sold them on Ebay looked for two YEARS to find these and then he found 2 pairs so he sold these keeping the other pair. I have a search function set on Ebay that alerts me when certain binoculars go up for sale and it has probably been about two years since I have seen any of these for sale. People KEEP them. They are beautifully made and must use some good glass in them with good coatings because their light transmission is phenomenal. How have you been? It is nice to hear from some of the "Old Timers" on Bird Forum because it seems a lot of them have went away. We used to get in some good natured arguments!

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Old Sunday 19th October 2014, 01:41   #8
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I haven't seen a Golden Ring HD, but I had a first generation 8X42 McKinley here for about a month. They are about as close to an SV in optical quality as a Ford pinto is to a Grand Prix race car on the track.

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Originally Posted by gcole View Post
I wonder if Leupold will add a 8x32 to their McKinley line up & if they did how they would compare optically to the Golden Ring HD. Now that the Japan sourced Leupold HD are now out of production, if they did come out with a Mclinley version 8x32 I doubt the China model would have the same high build quality that the HD's have. The McKliney's have very nice glass & now being their flag ship model, it seems it would make sense to add a compact 8x32 in their lineup. .. gwen
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Old Sunday 19th October 2014, 01:45   #9
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Good to hear from you Annabeth2. It has been a long time. I have been keeping a low profile. I remember you were always looking for a pair.That what spiked my interest in them. You know I assumed they were made in Japan but after looking all over the binocular and the box the only thing I see is Beaverton, Oregon on the box. Maybe they are made in Oregon! Does anybody know for sure. They seem like a made in USA product with excellent build quality and they are remarkably robust. I don't think I have ever seen a binocular built so sturdily! That is why they are heavy at 27 oz. for a 32mm. But they do have very nice comfortable eyecups and very nice armour on them and as you said a great smooth focus with just the right tension. These could be your dream pair of binoculars if they were not so heavy. The guy that sold them on Ebay looked for two YEARS to find these and then he found 2 pairs so he sold these keeping the other pair. I have a search function set on Ebay that alerts me when certain binoculars go up for sale and it has probably been about two years since I have seen any of these for sale. People KEEP them. They are beautifully made and must use some good glass in them with good coatings because their light transmission is phenomenal. How have you been?
I've been ok thanks for asking Dennis...a bit stressed though lately to be honest.

I haven't been posting as much lately either, but I still find the time to
browse the new threads.

I always thought the Golden Ring line was produced in Oregon, but when
you mentioned Japan above in your post I began to think that perhaps they moved the GR line to Japan towards the end of their production years.
But, I'm pretty sure the GR line was always made in the US. It's the last binocular to be fully produced here.

You've got a rare and special specimen there...enjoy it for its high quality
and uniqueness.

Going to bed now...gotta wake up early tomorrow. Congrats on finding the GR HD. I've always liked Leupold bins...they were my very first binoculars.
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Old Sunday 19th October 2014, 01:52   #10
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I had the Mckinley for about 2 days when they first came out. It just didn't work for me that well. I believe the eyecups were too big. I think it has some good glass in it but It just never worked for me as well as the SV. On the other hand the Leupold GR HD 8x32 does not give up much to the top alpha's except weight. I wonder if these GR's are built in the good old USA. They have great build quality. Good to hear from you BH. What happened to all the long time members? I don't hear much from Henry or Brock or Steve anymore. We used to have some GOOD arguments when the moderators weren't around. Let's get the life back in Bird Forum. It is kind of dead anymore.

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Old Sunday 19th October 2014, 01:55   #11
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I've been ok thanks for asking Dennis...a bit stressed though lately to be honest.

I haven't been posting as much lately either, but I still find the time to
browse the new threads.

I always thought the Golden Ring line was produced in Oregon, but when
you mentioned Japan above in your post I began to think that perhaps they moved the GR line to Japan towards the end of their production years.
But, I'm pretty sure the GR line was always made in the US. It's the last binocular to be fully produced here.

You've got a rare and special specimen there...enjoy it for its high quality
and uniqueness.

Going to bed now...gotta wake up early tomorrow. Congrats on finding the GR HD. I've always liked Leupold bins...they were my very first binoculars.
Sorry, about the stress. We all have stressful periods in our lives. We just endured a stressful move from Thornton,CO. to Greeley,CO. I think you are right about the GR being made in the US. Goodnight and relax! Start posting more too. I like your posts. I remember our argument about that harness you bought. You got mad at me. Do you still have it? HaHa!

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Old Sunday 19th October 2014, 02:21   #12
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I even started a thread about Brock's absence. I believe the "characters" on here are what make it interesting and fun, and I'm sure I go outside the rules more than I should at times. I do understand the need for rules, but there should be a little wiggle room.

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Good to hear from you BH. What happened to all the long time members? I don't hear much from Henry or Brock or Steve anymore. We used to have some GOOD arguments when the moderators weren't around. Let's get the life back in Bird Forum. It is kind of dead anymore.
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Old Sunday 19th October 2014, 03:37   #13
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Dennis,
Is yours made in Oregon? These would be too heavy for me, but I've always wanted to try one.
I've always heard the optics are top quality and have super smooth focus too.
I just read a old Cabela's advertisement on the internet, that said the Golden Ring 8x32 was upgraded with the new HD lens in 2007 & that the 8x32 HD Golden Ring are made in the USA. ..... gwen
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Old Sunday 19th October 2014, 04:52   #14
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I just read a old Cabela's advertisement on the internet, that said the Golden Ring 8x32 was upgraded with the new HD lens in 2007 & that the 8x32 HD Golden Ring are made in the USA. ..... gwen
WOW! The first binocular I have owned that is "Made in the USA". The quality of the binocular is really top notch. I guess we can still make something quality in the USA. I wonder why it wasn't super expensive with the high US labor rates. The magnesium hinges on it show real craftsmanship.
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Old Sunday 19th October 2014, 04:57   #15
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I even started a thread about Brock's absence. I believe the "characters" on here are what make it interesting and fun, and I'm sure I go outside the rules more than I should at times. I do understand the need for rules, but there should be a little wiggle room.
Yeah, I mean what happened to all the characters that used to argue about some binocular being better than another one. Where is the binocular whiz Henry Link? Where is Brock? Where are the two Steves? Is Frank still here?
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Old Sunday 19th October 2014, 10:23   #16
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Yeah, I mean what happened to all the characters that used to argue about some binocular being better than another one. Where is the binocular whiz Henry Link? Where is Brock? Where are the two Steves? Is Frank still here?
If they feel as I do then there`s no point in posting what you think about a binocular if there`s a chance some owner or fan might feel they`v been personally violated by anothers opinion.

The optics section has been ruined, there is no debate, no banter, no point.
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Old Sunday 19th October 2014, 11:34   #17
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Sorry, about the stress. We all have stressful periods in our lives. We just endured a stressful move from Thornton,CO. to Greeley,CO. I think you are right about the GR being made in the US. Goodnight and relax! Start posting more too. I like your posts. I remember our argument about that harness you bought. You got mad at me. Do you still have it? HaHa!
Thanks.
No, don't have that one, but I have the Bino-Pac which is a simple
harness that works well.
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Old Sunday 19th October 2014, 11:53   #18
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WOW! The first binocular I have owned that is "Made in the USA". The quality of the binocular is really top notch. I guess we can still make something quality in the USA. I wonder why it wasn't super expensive with the high US labor rates. The magnesium hinges on it show real craftsmanship.
Yep, and that's another reason why so many people would like to have one; it's the last of its kind, the end if an era.

It would be nice to see the Golden Ring come back and be produced
again at Leupold's factory. It's unlikely, but you never know.

Back when I purchased my very first bin for bird watching (Yosemite), I remember seeing the Golden Rings on the Leupold site and thinking wow those are nice, but I'm not ready for it. A few years later I thought, ok I'd like to buy the HD 32mm. They were gone...removed from the site...I waited too long. I then bought the Katmai 8x32 which was my first roof. Then I realized they no longer made any bins in Oregon. I then did some quick research online of American optics makers and discovered none were being produced here anymore.

I think Leupold still makes their remaining GR optics (no binoculars) in Beaverton.
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Old Monday 20th October 2014, 00:38   #19
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If they feel as I do then there`s no point in posting what you think about a binocular if there`s a chance some owner or fan might feel they`v been personally violated by anothers opinion.

The optics section has been ruined, there is no debate, no banter, no point.
Torview. Your right. You have to be so careful what you say on Bird Forum anymore. It is just no fun anymore. That is why I don't post much anymore. Good to hear from you. You still like your porro's?
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Old Monday 20th October 2014, 00:47   #20
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Yep, and that's another reason why so many people would like to have one; it's the last of its kind, the end if an era.

It would be nice to see the Golden Ring come back and be produced
again at Leupold's factory. It's unlikely, but you never know.

Back when I purchased my very first bin for bird watching (Yosemite), I remember seeing the Golden Rings on the Leupold site and thinking wow those are nice, but I'm not ready for it. A few years later I thought, ok I'd like to buy the HD 32mm. They were gone...removed from the site...I waited too long. I then bought the Katmai 8x32 which was my first roof. Then I realized they no longer made any bins in Oregon. I then did some quick research online of American optics makers and discovered none were being produced here anymore.

I think Leupold still makes their remaining GR optics (no binoculars) in Beaverton.
The Gold Ring HD 8x32 is really an unusual binocular. I compared it again this afternoon to my SV's and it really holds it's own to a $2K binocular. The SV is lighter which is nice but optically that GR is very close. The GR is not a big binocular either. It is just built solid. The GR's focus is smoother than the SV's also. It is very smooth as you say Annabeth. Leupold probably couldn't make the binocular any lighter so they just discontinued it. Too bad really.
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Old Monday 20th October 2014, 06:16   #21
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Torview. You still like your porro's?
Very much, back when I picked up my 550***SE I was able to put it alongside a 32mm SV, which for me is the only roof that`s comparable, doubt the chance will ever come my way to try a Gold Ring.

I`m looking for a top 7x42, my Opticron was good but fell at the fov hurdle, I`m actually leaning towards a BGAT, maybe !

Is the GR a keeper then ?, or will it be back on eBay ? considering how rare they are and your rating compared to your SV I`d Squirrel it away as a keeper.
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Old Monday 20th October 2014, 08:28   #22
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Very much, back when I picked up my 550***SE I was able to put it alongside a 32mm SV, which for me is the only roof that`s comparable, doubt the chance will ever come my way to try a Gold Ring.

I`m looking for a top 7x42, my Opticron was good but fell at the fov hurdle, I`m actually leaning towards a BGAT, maybe !

Is the GR a keeper then ?, or will it be back on eBay ? considering how rare they are and your rating compared to your SV I`d Squirrel it away as a keeper.
Yes ,even though the GR is rare they don't seem to bring much more than about $600 I think because of their weight and the fact that there is so many really good binoculars on the market at that price point so it is not like I could flip it and make a big profit. It makes a good knock around glass when I don't want to worry about my SV. I still have my Swarovski 8x30 CL which I have been taking to the Greeley Philharmonic Orchestra performances of all things and it works nice as an opera glass and of course as a nice light birding glass.
If you are looking for a good 7x42 you might look at a Leica Trinovid. Sometimes you can pick them up at a reasonable price. Opticron's are sharp as a tack like most porro's but to me the narrow FOV got to me after awhile. 7X is certainly appealing at first but I always came back to 8X feeling 7X is just underpowered or weak or something. I have tried a lot of different magnifications and apertures but I always come back to 8x32 or 8x30 for birding for an all around glass.
I like the porro's too but there is something about the view of a top roof that keeps me buying them and just their all around versatility.
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Old Monday 20th October 2014, 19:42   #23
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If they feel as I do then there`s no point in posting what you think about a binocular if there`s a chance some owner or fan might feel they`v been personally violated by anothers opinion.

The optics section has been ruined, there is no debate, no banter, no point.
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Old Monday 20th October 2014, 19:59   #24
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Old Tuesday 21st October 2014, 01:08   #25
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I think the GR is one of the most unique and unusual binoculars I have ever had. It is sad that there is no more USA made binoculars. We can make a quality binocular here. Is this really the last USA made binocular?

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