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Who is the best binocular maker?

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Old Monday 12th March 2018, 03:41   #1
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Who is the best binocular maker?

Based on your experiences with the quality of their products, new product innovation, customer service, reputation and warranty service who do you think is the best binocular manufacturer? This is an opinion poll.
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Old Monday 12th March 2018, 04:17   #2
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Zen Ray HAHAHAHAH! LOLOLOLO!


Seriously though, I guess I'd say Swarovski.
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Old Monday 12th March 2018, 06:32   #3
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Based on your experiences with the quality of their products, new product innovation, customer service, reputation and warranty service who do you think is the best binocular manufacturer? This is an opinion poll.
1 Swarovski
2 Zeiss
3 Leica
4 Meopta
5 Nikon
6 Kowa
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Old Monday 12th March 2018, 06:48   #4
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Almost the same as VB:

1 Zeiss
2 Swarovski
3 Leica
4 Meopta
5 Nikon
6 Kowa

Last edited by Troubador : Monday 12th March 2018 at 09:44.
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Old Monday 12th March 2018, 07:21   #5
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For now I say Nikon. High quality and affordable, especially the monarch 5 and 7.
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Old Monday 12th March 2018, 07:49   #6
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When you ask manufacturer, are you meaning just that or including brands that sell optics manufactured by a third party ?, as this is a great many

If the former....

1. Swarovski
2. Meopta
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Old Monday 12th March 2018, 08:11   #7
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When you ask manufacturer, are you meaning just that or including brands that sell optics manufactured by a third party ?, as this is a great many

If the former....

1. Swarovski
2. Meopta
Good point John and I have amended my list.
Not sure where this leaves some of Nikon's models but on the basis of their EDG I am leaving them on my list.
Lee

Last edited by Troubador : Monday 12th March 2018 at 08:15.
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Old Monday 12th March 2018, 08:24   #8
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As far as I know, Nikon, Kowa and Opticron do not make any binoculars themselves. You would need to credit Kamakura Koki and Light Optical works amongst others for those. We know Zeiss uses OEMs, and I don't known if we know for sure that we can rule out the other two either? We know Meopta has made optics for others as well, but it's also alleged that the Meopro has Chinese input? It's a very murky area.

David
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Old Monday 12th March 2018, 11:09   #9
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As far as I know, Nikon, Kowa and Opticron do not make any binoculars themselves. You would need to credit Kamakura Koki and Light Optical works amongst others for those.

David
Very interesting.
I'd thought that the WX was a pure Nikon product, but who knows...

It may be that someday the rules regarding branding will be tightened to ensure that products are what it says on the tin, but thus far the trend is in the opposite direction. That in turn encourages consumers to disregard the brand and to shop on price wherever possible.
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Old Monday 12th March 2018, 11:27   #10
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Thumbs up

This whole issue of component supply is just global manufacturing all over these days. Look at the Airbus A380.

The OEM thing though is something a little different again - ranging from collaborations, design specifying, to outright badge engineering - even by some of the top dawgs.


My vote goes to Swarovski.

Honorable mentions to Leica, Nikon, and Zeiss in that order.

A special mention to Zen-Ray, whose ED3 has the best ergonomics I've encountered.



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Old Monday 12th March 2018, 11:40   #11
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Based on your experiences with the quality of their products, new product innovation, customer service, reputation and warranty service who do you think is the best binocular manufacturer? This is an opinion poll.
Just to simplify, going with the name on the binocular and current products.

Quality of product- Swarovski, Leica, Zeiss
New product innovation- Zeiss, Leica, Nikon
Customer Service- Swarovski, Maven
Reputation- Swarovski, Zeiss
Warranty- Zeiss has the best WARRANTY but Swarovski follows thru with the better- Swarovski

1. Swarovski
2. Leica
3. Zeiss/Nikon
4. Maven
466. Zen-Ray
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Old Monday 12th March 2018, 11:42   #12
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Very interesting.
I'd thought that the WX was a pure Nikon product, but who knows...
I heard it was actually made by LOW, but I don't know for sure either.

David
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Old Monday 12th March 2018, 11:48   #13
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AS far as build quality and customer service Kowa is very near the top. They don't for whatever reason push their Bins like they do their scopes and they aren't coming with new models like some brands but I have never seen a better built bin tha the Kowa Genesis. The problem is that far too many people have never seen a pair.
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Old Monday 12th March 2018, 12:20   #14
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Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by chill6x6 View Post
..... 466. Zen-Ray
LOL ! ..... Thanks heaps Chuck !



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Old Monday 12th March 2018, 12:27   #15
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LOL ! ..... Thanks heaps Chuck !



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LOL!! You took it well!
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Old Monday 12th March 2018, 12:31   #16
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AS far as build quality and customer service Kowa is very near the top. They don't for whatever reason push their Bins like they do their scopes and they aren't coming with new models like some brands but I have never seen a better built bin tha the Kowa Genesis. The problem is that far too many people have never seen a pair.
Steve
Kamakura built I'm assured.

David
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Old Monday 12th March 2018, 12:45   #17
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Swaro-- hands down the best all around.

Meopta--other alpha makers trusted meopta to be their OEM. Enough said. Great service.

Nikon--high quality in several different price ranges. Warranty is now competitive

Zeiss--high quality, competitive warranty, CS can take a long time.

Leica--high quality products backed by a clueless Leica USA bunch. Warranty is pathetic, CS hit and miss.
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Old Monday 12th March 2018, 12:48   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Mark View Post
AS far as build quality and customer service Kowa is very near the top. They don't for whatever reason push their Bins like they do their scopes and they aren't coming with new models like some brands but I have never seen a better built bin tha the Kowa Genesis. The problem is that far too many people have never seen a pair.
Steve
I have to agree-I have owned Swaro and currently a pair of 8x42 Leica Ultravids is my "main" pair (and have owned Leupold, Nikon, Steiners, etc.) My Kowa Genesis was the most well built pair I've ever had, with a close second being Leupold Gold Rings with the UPS brown armor.
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Old Monday 12th March 2018, 12:48   #19
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As far as I know, Nikon, Kowa and Opticron do not make any binoculars themselves. You would need to credit Kamakura Koki and Light Optical works amongst others for those. We know Zeiss uses OEMs, and I don't known if we know for sure that we can rule out the other two either? We know Meopta has made optics for others as well, but it's also alleged that the Meopro has Chinese input? It's a very murky area.

David
Nikon's E2s are still being made in Japan, unchanged from when they were introduced about 18 years ago. Assuming that Nikon made its own binoculars then there is no reason to assume that some other manufacturer is making them now.

I expect that the EDGs are still made by Nikon just as they made the HG series before them going back 18 years or so. These are, and were, Nikon's top of the line binoculars.

I think it is highly unlikely that Nikon has completely removed itself from the binocular making business even though almost all of its lower priced binoculars have been farmed out to China except for at least one of them, the Monarch HG being made by another Japanese manufacturer.

Bob

Last edited by ceasar : Monday 12th March 2018 at 13:04.
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Old Monday 12th March 2018, 13:03   #20
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Bob,

I found a Nikon post reorganisation report online from around 2010 I think. At that time the sports optics division had 12 employees in Japan, no manufacturing facilities anywhere, and a procurement office in China. I was told they were already contracting out in Japan some time prior to that date.

I'm just passing on what I've been told by various individuals in the industry. I can't say how reliable it is, but it seems credible to me.

David
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Old Monday 12th March 2018, 13:17   #21
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Leica/Nikon (Tie)
Zeiss
Meopta
Swarovski
The Rest

A.W.
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Old Monday 12th March 2018, 13:41   #22
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I think you should read "best binocular brand".

The "brand" is still responsible for the quality of the final products, product innovation (to some extent at least), customer service, reputation and warranty/service.

Zeiss and to a smaller extent Leica get a minus from me for their OEM adventures. It smudges the brand reputation IMO.

Don't even think of going there Swarovski...
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Old Monday 12th March 2018, 13:57   #23
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Originally Posted by Torview View Post
When you ask manufacturer, are you meaning just that or including brands that sell optics manufactured by a third party ?, as this is a great many

If the former....

1. Swarovski
2. Meopta
Either one. Thanks, for you input.
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Old Monday 12th March 2018, 14:05   #24
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Bob,

I found a Nikon post reorganisation report online from around 2010 I think. At that time the sports optics division had 12 employees in Japan, no manufacturing facilities anywhere, and a procurement office in China. I was told they were already contracting out in Japan some time prior to that date.

I'm just passing on what I've been told by various individuals in the industry. I can't say how reliable it is, but it seems credible to me.

David

This is what Nikon states in its monthly news releases going back to 2008. (There is some interesting information here in these news releases if one wants to take the time to prowl through them.) The announcements about the binoculars come from Nikon Vision Co. LTD, a subsidiary of Nikon Corporation.

The EDGs were introduced in 2010 by Nikon Vision Co. LTD, a subsidiary of Nikon Corporation.

http://www.nikon.com/news/2010/0312_...oculars_01.htm

In 2012 the same corporation introduced the Monarch 7 series:

http://www.nikon.com/news/2012/0712_monarch7_01.htm

And incidentally the Monarch HGs were introduced by the same Nikon subsidiary in 2016.

http://www.nikon.com/news/2016/0714_monarch_hg_01.htm

Proof of where they are made hasn't appeared yet.

Bob

Last edited by ceasar : Monday 12th March 2018 at 14:10.
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Old Monday 12th March 2018, 14:05   #25
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It sounds like Swarovski is about the best according to popular opinion with Zen Ray Oops! I mean Zeiss a close second. Interesting about Nikon. It sounds like they are farming more and more of their stuff out especially the low end stuff. That is kind of sad.

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