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Old Sunday 30th August 2009, 15:30   #26
mooreorless
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I agree with Frank. These are all Alphas to me. Especially the Nikon EDG after looking through NDhunter's 10x42EDG.
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Old Sunday 30th August 2009, 15:31   #27
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Do you consider a Swarovski SLC an alpha? To me alpha's are Zeiss FL's, Swarovki EL's, Nikon EDG's and Leica Ultravid HD's. I would call Swarovski SLC's, Zeiss Conquest's, Nikon LXL's ,Leica Trinovids and Ultravids semi-alphas. The rest of the binoculars we should term sub-alphas. What do you think?

Dennis
Dennis,

Yes the SLC is an alpha. Same glass as the EL, different package. So the Nikon SE isn't even sub-alpha? I look at it as image quality and build, not price. Seems like you are defining alpha on the basis of what is newest and most expensive. YMMV.
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Old Sunday 30th August 2009, 16:44   #28
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Dennis,

Yes the SLC is an alpha. Same glass as the EL, different package. So the Nikon SE isn't even sub-alpha? I look at it as image quality and build, not price. Seems like you are defining alpha on the basis of what is newest and most expensive. YMMV.
So you could have an alpha like Nikon SE that is only $500.00. So price does not define an alpha. I didn't know the Swarovski SLC's had the same optics as the EL's. Same coating too? Not quite the cutting edge style but the same view. They are a pretty good buy then. I guess there are alot of alphas then! I always thought they were the top models by the big three. So these would all be alphas:
1)Swarovski EL,SLC,Habicht.
2)Nikon LXL,EDG,SE.
3)Zeiss FL, Conquest
4)Leica Trinovid,Ultravid,Ultravid HD.

What about the other smaller manufacturers like Minox, Opticron, etc. I think we need to define what really is an alpha binocular.

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Old Sunday 30th August 2009, 17:33   #29
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that good?
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Originally Posted by mooreorless View Post
I agree with Frank. These are all Alphas to me. Especially the Nikon EDG after looking through NDhunter's 10x42EDG.
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Old Sunday 30th August 2009, 17:41   #30
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So you could have an alpha like Nikon SE that is only $500.00. So price does not define an alpha. I didn't know the Swarovski SLC's had the same optics as the EL's. Same coating too?
What about the other smaller manufacturers like Minox, Opticron, etc. I think we need to define what really is an alpha binocular.

Dennis
As far as I am concerned we can also add the Steiner Peregrine XP to the alpha list. From reading comments, and reviews (see Renze's review in review section and reviews from Holger Merlitz) we should probably add the Kowa Genesis. I even think the argument could be made for the Meopta Meostar because I think it's view is too close to the SLC to call a difference that matters to any degree. Hey, maybe even the new Minox APO, but I have yet to see one of those, so can't comment. Same with anything Opticron. But if we get to Meopta on the lower level, then, well, pretty soon anything goes. Can China apply?

It might make for an interesting discussion to define alpha class entrance requirements. But back to the original question, does having a 7x42 constitute an basic entry requirement or not?
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Old Sunday 30th August 2009, 21:07   #31
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the conquest is not an alpha IMO, it never was the best line for Zeiss.
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Old Sunday 30th August 2009, 23:45   #32
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308 beat me to the punch. Though I would be happy to own an 8x40 Conquest ABK again I have to agree that it is not an alpha. The only thing "Alpha" about it is the ABK prism design which promotes Alpha-level brightness.

CA was worse in the Conquest ABK (in comparison to any of the others Alphas listed above) and the field of view was narrow (at 360 feet) without the benefit of the edge to edge sharpness of the LXL.

It is above average optically but not in the same class as any of the others mentioned...including the Meopta.
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Old Thursday 3rd September 2009, 05:21   #33
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My vote here for top 7x42 is the Swaro SLC... As for the Alpha Bit I see it more as a bin manufacturer thing with Swarovski, Zeiss, Leica, and Nikon being the alpha builds. Meopta, Kowa, Steiner, Docter being that tier right below but not of the same overall build...
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Old Thursday 3rd September 2009, 09:13   #34
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It's interesting how the discussion about ranking quality bins parallels the world of pianos, from the angst about durablility when buying Chinese/Far Eastern products, the use of non-European quality parts, the different quality(sound/view) of models produced by one manufacturer, down to the fact that some people's ears/eyes simply prefer one model's or manufacturer's sound/view over anothers.

One comment that I've taken to heart about pianos is that, in these days of the gobal economy when anyone can buy in the best components to build a piano, what becomes increasingly important in a Tier One piano is the quality of build and finish.

You can rarely use a manufacturer to blanket-describe a Tier One product. Also, price is only an indicator that the product is likely to be of Alpha quality.
I'd go along with FrankD's definition as the best, that an alpha binocular is an optical instrument significantly above average with respect to optic and build quality.
When it comes to Nikon for example, their EDG models probably qualify as alphas, but not some other models.


Pianists waste a ridiculous amount of time discussing the ratings of brands and their models given in Larry Fine's "The Piano Book", which has annual supplements where small ranking changes of instruments in tiers and sub-tiers can provoke traumatic debate.
God forbid anyone ever publishes "The Binocular Book"
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Old Thursday 3rd September 2009, 17:20   #35
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Pianists waste a ridiculous amount of time discussing the ratings of brands and their models given in Larry Fine's "The Piano Book", which has annual supplements where small ranking changes of instruments in tiers and sub-tiers can provoke traumatic debate.
God forbid anyone ever publishes "The Binocular Book"
Haha, funny with parallels like these. That book would certinily wreak havoc on bf

Lots of other forums share the views shown here on bf about products made in Europe/China etc, just like you mentioned. The most unexpected perhaps Sanchos richa forum
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Old Thursday 3rd September 2009, 19:36   #36
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Meopta, Kowa, Steiner, Docter being that tier right below but not of the same overall build...
CL,

Respectfully I have to disagree with this statement at least from the standpoint of the Meopta. I have seen these binoculars withstand conditions (personally and in the link below) that totally blew me away. I have no doubt in my mind that they would stand up to any abuse that a Leica Ultravid, Zeiss FL or Swarovski EL would.

Truth be told, I would not be entirely surprised if they bettered at least one of those three in terms of overall durability.

http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/co...ars_large.html

Granted, the above link is just a glorified infomercial with questionable data in the first minute or so of the presentation but it was what occurred after 1:15 that impressed and continues to impress me about these binoculars.

Also interesting are the 120+ reviews that these binoculars have received. Though you have to take them with a grain of salt because you don't know the reviewers experience level/background the simple fact that 120+ people took the time to post about them says quite a bit about their performance and price in my opinion.

http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/te...oductid=712421

Last edited by FrankD : Thursday 3rd September 2009 at 19:42.
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Old Thursday 3rd September 2009, 21:00   #37
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Yea Frank I am impressed with the hot water, frozen etc. These guys must have super vision to see 3.7 without a booster though .:-)
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Old Friday 4th September 2009, 01:54   #38
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Yea Frank I am impressed with the hot water, frozen etc. These guys must have super vision to see 3.7 without a booster though .:-)
Yep, hence my comments about disregarding the first minute or so of the video.

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Old Friday 4th September 2009, 06:57   #39
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CL,

Respectfully I have to disagree with this statement at least from the standpoint of the Meopta. I have seen these binoculars withstand conditions (personally and in the link below) that totally blew me away. I have no doubt in my mind that they would stand up to any abuse that a Leica Ultravid, Zeiss FL or Swarovski EL would.

Truth be told, I would not be entirely surprised if they bettered at least one of those three in terms of overall durability.

http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/co...ars_large.html

Granted, the above link is just a glorified infomercial with questionable data in the first minute or so of the presentation but it was what occurred after 1:15 that impressed and continues to impress me about these binoculars.

Also interesting are the 120+ reviews that these binoculars have received. Though you have to take them with a grain of salt because you don't know the reviewers experience level/background the simple fact that 120+ people took the time to post about them says quite a bit about their performance and price in my opinion.

http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/te...oductid=712421
No doubt about it! Meoptas are some of the finest and toughest built binos on the market! They are on a very short list of bins that I would spend my hard earned money on and that says a lot... at least to me! I have been in the field a glassed along side of many meoptas and probably knew what meostars were before most ever heard that the Chech republic made a world class bin! I have even owned a Meopta Rifle scope Funny though I have never seen a Meopta spotting scope in the field? Having said all this I do see a difference between the Meoptas and thier almost clone the Swarovski SLC. Its not a big difference but the overall quality and the the overall view is just a bit better in the SLC. When glassing in the lowest light conditions and trying to resolve at extreme distances I see a difference.... As I said though, not much and only by the smallest of margines! The Docters are the same way... I have had a pair of 10x40 Aspherics that are 15 years old now that are built every bit as tough as any of the alphas and probably tougher! They are also in the same league optically! But there still is a difference.... Small as it may be, it is there. And this is what puts them and the Meoptas just below the top four...
This is why I was so totally blown away by the performance of the SE's when I finally woke up and purchased the set of them... No they are not as tough as the Docters or Meoptas but they are better bins in most ways. They are a Alpha bin and deserve to be talked about the way they are!
And I was not trying to make a blanket statement about bin quality by saying manufacturers are the way to rate bins.....
Yes two of the top four have made more affordable and less quality bins but this does not take away that these four bin makers are THE authority in the optical world! And this makes them Alphas!
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Old Friday 4th September 2009, 18:24   #40
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Ahh, now I understand what you were saying. I had thought your earlier comment was in reference to build quality, not optics.

From an optical standpoint I personally find the Meostars competitive with the SLCs and Trinovids. If they utilized an ED glass design I think they would then subsequently be comparable to the ED "Alphas".
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Old Saturday 5th September 2009, 07:02   #41
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Ahh, now I understand what you were saying. I had thought your earlier comment was in reference to build quality, not optics.

From an optical standpoint I personally find the Meostars competitive with the SLCs and Trinovids. If they utilized an ED glass design I think they would then subsequently be comparable to the ED "Alphas".
I agree, they are right there and really very, very good bins! The SLC's have been continually improved optically and use the same glass, coatings, and prisms as the EL's. Only the bodies are different. So there is a big difference in a SLC of the last 6 years or so and the Trinovids. Having said this the trins are a great bin too!

Last edited by CLRobles : Saturday 5th September 2009 at 07:05.
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