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Leupold Gold Ring HD 8x32 versus SV 8x32

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Old Wednesday 22nd October 2014, 22:27   #101
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I'd love to see one in person and try it. But, they are so rare nowadays.
I almost purchased one of the switch power ones (7x/12x or something) on ebay once.
I had a GR 7/12x32 for a while. Actually two of them. The first one had some issued with the power change lever and Leupold replaced it with a new one the second time I sent it in. The 7x was a very nice, small 32 mm binocular. It pretty much sucked at 12x. Got fuzzy with distance real fast. However it was stunning at 12x up close.

Once upon a time Swaro had an admittance to using Hoya glass on their website. I have had two Swaro reps at shows tell me they use Hoya when Schott is short on what they need.
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Old Thursday 23rd October 2014, 01:53   #102
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Thanks for posting that picture of the Blind Cap on the hinge cover. I've never seen a Meopta binocular. I wonder if Cabela's in house version they sell under their own name also says that?


Bob
The Cabelas Euro has the identical hinge cover as the Meopta Meostar.
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Old Thursday 23rd October 2014, 02:54   #103
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The McKinley is A LOT behind the SV. I sure as hell wouldn't have spent an extra $1500 on them if they weren't.
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As to Bruce's reference to the McKinley vs SV in relationship to his Pinto vs Grand Prix analogy...come are you KIDDING.... The Swarovski is the better instrument to be sure...IF you don't have rolling ball issues (no I'm not trying to be Brock's replacement here) . However the McKinley is just a little behind, the difference is not as great to most people as you infer.

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Old Thursday 23rd October 2014, 03:02   #104
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The Cabelas Euro has the identical hinge cover as the Meopta Meostar.
Thanks.

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Old Thursday 23rd October 2014, 03:46   #105
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The McKinley is A LOT behind the SV. I sure as hell wouldn't have spent an extra $1500 on them if they weren't.
You know I think the Mckinley has nice glass in it. Maybe the newer model has solved some of the ergonomic problems I had with them. A lot of the Chinese binoculars have nice optics it is just that they need to iron out a few of the details related to quality that make a difference in the overall performance of the binocular.
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Old Thursday 23rd October 2014, 03:49   #106
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I had a GR 7/12x32 for a while. Actually two of them. The first one had some issued with the power change lever and Leupold replaced it with a new one the second time I sent it in. The 7x was a very nice, small 32 mm binocular. It pretty much sucked at 12x. Got fuzzy with distance real fast. However it was stunning at 12x up close.

Once upon a time Swaro had an admittance to using Hoya glass on their website. I have had two Swaro reps at shows tell me they use Hoya when Schott is short on what they need.
Is Hoya glass considered lower quality than Schott in general or does it depend on the specification or grade of the individual blank of glass used?
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Old Thursday 23rd October 2014, 03:51   #107
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I've always wished there were switch power bins available...from any company. It's a nice idea.
It is a nice idea but it seems like it is hard to implement. It must get really complex in design and then of course there must be a lot of compromises that must be made in the optics.
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Old Thursday 23rd October 2014, 03:58   #108
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That was certainly part of it. Another aspect, unfortunately, was the fact that they were not German...everybody knows only Germans can build binoculars for that price . Remember that this dated to 2006 or thereabouts. Steve Ingraham's BVD review of the Gold Ring HD is spot on the money. There was all sorts on nonsense posted about them in various forums. Still another aspect was the fact that Leupold was entering a new area for them and they were not and likely still are not viewed as a prime binocular source. Their first Gold Ring was a stout, expensive binocular that lacked phase coating and could not compete against the cost equal binoculars that did come from Germany (or Austria). Rifle scopes are another matter. Another aspect was the weight...everybody went nuts over the spec sheet and never bothered to seriously look at one. The weight is glass...good glass. Good glass with proper balance .

Another thing not to be taken lightly either is the made in USA stuff. People likely got offended that they were not 100% made here. But as Bill has pointed out more than once that has not happened for a long time. The death of made in the USA binoculars, and the trend toward better quality for less expense probably arrives with the advent of the JTTI. As far as I know (and this may not be right) the last mainstream USA binocular was probably the B&L Zephyr. Even the last several years of the Zephyr were made in Japan.
"The weight is glass...good glass. Good glass with proper balance ."

Exactly correct. I wonder if it is leaded glass used in the GR's?
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Old Thursday 23rd October 2014, 04:00   #109
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They are purely a high end telescopic sight maker manufacturing in Germany and in Hungary.

Their products are tailored to the sports, hunting, law enforcement and military markets.

This is the standard : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Craig_H...n_%28sniper%29

Very many people would buy S&B bins if only they made them !
Those look like some awesome scopes.
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Old Thursday 23rd October 2014, 04:05   #110
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To each of course their own . I perhaps should have substituted "vast majority" for only. But the point still stands. They do not handle nearly as heavy as one might expect. There are some 30 oz binoculars that handle like 40 oz binoculars and then there are 30 oz binoculars that handle like 24 oz. The old Alka-Seltzer commercial comes to mind..."try it, you'll, like it!"
True. The GR's carry their weight very well. It all depends on where their balance point is. The Zeiss SF is 27 oz. but Zeiss claims they feel lighter due to their revolutionary balance point. It can make a difference. For example, the Nikon EDG 8x42 always to me felt heavy for it's weight. I think because it is long.
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Old Thursday 23rd October 2014, 04:12   #111
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Whoa there Dennis!

You are back to your old tricks!

Samandag said that he saw Hoya boxes in the dumpster! Not Hoya Glass; which would imply that it was being thrown away!

Read it here again:

http://www.birdforum.net/showpost.ph...0&postcount=67
Yes. What else does Hoya make? Just because there are boxes in the dumpster doesn't mean they are using Hoya glass though. Could be though.
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Old Thursday 23rd October 2014, 05:15   #112
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Do you think there would be some people that would consider the idea of the optics being made in the USA inferior to say Japan because Japan has a reputation for high quality optics.
I'm sure there would be a wide variety of opinions on the idea of American made optical components, including some who would be skeptical that they could match Japanese components. However, I'd like to think that most would be optimistic about American-made optics, or at least open-minded to trying them.

I believe we're long past the days when optics were all hand ground/ figured/ polished by experienced craftsmen. If one looks at how quickly Chinese firms started producing high quality optical components, it lends itself to the notion that making quality optics these days is more a function of having the right technology in place. Of course one still needs a skilled workforce to use that technology, but there's less of an emphasis on that these days than in the past. So I would be pretty confident that, if a well-financed American outfit decided that it wanted to start making its own optical components, then it could pretty quickly start producing components at a high quality level.
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Old Thursday 23rd October 2014, 05:18   #113
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The rules for designating "Made in USA" are generally .... the item has to have been substantially transformed in the US or the US manufacturing costs must comprise more than 75% of the total manufacturing.This is a loose definition but still applies to the best of my knowledge. "Assembled in the US" means that it doesn't meet the above definition so probably has more than 75% of non-US sourced components but simply put together in the US. Again, this is a very general definition and it is a very complex calculation that manufacturers have to do if they want to be able to defend their "Made in USA" designation. ...gwen
Thanks, gwen.
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Old Thursday 23rd October 2014, 06:41   #114
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I'm sure there would be a wide variety of opinions on the idea of American made optical components, including some who would be skeptical that they could match Japanese components. However, I'd like to think that most would be optimistic about American-made optics, or at least open-minded to trying them.

I believe we're long past the days when optics were all hand ground/ figured/ polished by experienced craftsmen. If one looks at how quickly Chinese firms started producing high quality optical components, it lends itself to the notion that making quality optics these days is more a function of having the right technology in place. Of course one still needs a skilled workforce to use that technology, but there's less of an emphasis on that these days than in the past. So I would be pretty confident that, if a well-financed American outfit decided that it wanted to start making its own optical components, then it could pretty quickly start producing components at a high quality level.
If optics manufacturing is just a matter of setting up a high tech plant then why does Zeiss and Swarovski have such a long intern program training their optic technicians. I believe there is still a lot of human skill in producing a high quality set of binoculars. That is probably why the Chinese even though they may have the technology and money to produce a high quality set of binoculars have still not quite caught up with the alpha manufacturers.
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Old Thursday 23rd October 2014, 07:02   #115
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If optics manufacturing is just a matter of setting up a high tech plant then why does Zeiss and Swarovski have such a long intern program training their optic technicians. I believe there is still a lot of human skill in producing a high quality set of binoculars. That is probably why the Chinese even though they may have the technology and money to produce a high quality set of binoculars have still not quite caught up with the alpha manufacturers.
For most purposes, they have. Asia will sell you what you have the money to buy. Japan can equal Europe's quality (for a price) and China is not far behind (for a price). 'You want junk? They got it. 'You want "Alphas"? Get up off the dollars. That's the way it is with Asian optics.

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Old Thursday 23rd October 2014, 11:27   #116
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For most purposes, they have. Asia will sell you what you have the money to buy. Japan can equal Europe's quality (for a price) and China is not far behind (for a price). 'You want junk? They got it. 'You want "Alphas"? Get up off the dollars. That's the way it is with Asian optics.

Bill
Agreed, I think the alphas are a niche market, there may be status in the upper realms of the alphas but the money is in the lower to mid range stuff. So what we see is lower to mid range. After using the ZenRay prime HD's for a few months, they have the ability to produce anything they want to produce.

I also agree they are feeding on the efforts of the upper tier companys in R&D. They have taken the developments of the big guys and reproduced it. Easy to get there if you let someone else do the work. Though that has got to turn around as they grow.
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Old Thursday 23rd October 2014, 12:00   #117
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That's the deal. Status means nothing to me, as I'm decidedly lowbrow. I decided I wanted the best optics, so I paid for them.

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'You want "Alphas"? Get up off the dollars.
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Old Thursday 23rd October 2014, 12:10   #118
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As far as I know, Meopta and Schmidt & Bender are the only ones who grind and polish their own glass, in house.
Zeiss, Leica, Swarovski, Schmidt&Bender, Meopta, Optolyth, Steiner (Porro) grind and polish Schott, Hoya and/or OHara optical glass. They buy glass in bulk and/or in blanks.
And believe it or not they all throw away the boxes. No secret about that!!

I find it hard to believe that a Swarovski employee would confide to a factory visitor, on the moment he finds normal trash, that Swarovski private labels.
But than again, this was 14 years ago.......

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Old Thursday 23rd October 2014, 12:43   #119
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I don't think the GR HD or McKinley HD give up much to the SLC HD (which I personally prefer to the SV), and I'd agree that if you put the GR and McKinley side-by-side it'd be hard to differentiate between the two, optically.

But everyone's eyes are different so discussion on optics often doesn't matter much when you are looking through a pair of binos, it seems.

Justin
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Old Thursday 23rd October 2014, 13:26   #120
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Zeiss, Leica, Swarovski, Schmidt&Bender, Meopta, Optolyth, Steiner (Porro) grind and polish Schott, Hoya and/or OHara optical glass. They buy glass in bulk and/or in blanks.
And believe it or not they all throw away the boxes. No secret about that!!

I find it hard to believe that a Swarovski employee would confide to a factory visitor, on the moment he finds normal trash, that Swarovski private labels.
But than again, this was 14 years ago.......

Jan
I believe you're incorrect about that, but it's not worth arguing about. You do know that Meopta was the OEM for the previous generation Zeiss FL T spotting scopes, and some of the Leica spotters as well? They also were the OEM for some of the Zeiss hunting scopes.
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Old Thursday 23rd October 2014, 15:56   #121
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I believe you're incorrect about that, but it's not worth arguing about. You do know that Meopta was the OEM for the previous generation Zeiss FL T spotting scopes, and some of the Leica spotters as well? They also were the OEM for some of the Zeiss hunting scopes.
To take it to the next level:
I read somewhere that TCI invested 40 million US$ in Meopta in 1998 and we all know who is behind TCI, but that does not mean Swarovski outsources their products.
AFAIK is Swarovski the ONLY optic giant that produces their optical products in house. Ofcourse they let an other firm make their magnesium body and optical glass suppliers deliver the glass, just like Zeiss does with the HT and SF.
It is correct that in the past Meopta made inhouse the complete scopes for Leica and Zeiss, but they also outsourced the production of the scope and bin housings.
The only thing these firms make inhouse are the tubes for the riflescopes. These are CNC constructed products to prevent tentionproblems.
100% PRODUCTION is impossible for every optic brand.

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Old Thursday 23rd October 2014, 15:57   #122
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Zeiss, Leica, Swarovski, Schmidt&Bender, Meopta, Optolyth, Steiner (Porro) grind and polish Schott, Hoya and/or OHara optical glass. They buy glass in bulk and/or in blanks.
And believe it or not they all throw away the boxes. No secret about that!!

I find it hard to believe that a Swarovski employee would confide to a factory visitor, on the moment he finds normal trash, that Swarovski private labels.
But than again, this was 14 years ago.......

Jan
So none of these companies make their own glass. They buy it in blanks and grind their own lenses. Of course price determines the quality of the glass and the quality of the glass determines the quality of the optics.
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Old Thursday 23rd October 2014, 15:59   #123
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I don't think the GR HD or McKinley HD give up much to the SLC HD (which I personally prefer to the SV), and I'd agree that if you put the GR and McKinley side-by-side it'd be hard to differentiate between the two, optically.

But everyone's eyes are different so discussion on optics often doesn't matter much when you are looking through a pair of binos, it seems.

Justin
It could be the optics are similar but the ergos on the two are different. At least on the first generation Mckinley.
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Old Thursday 23rd October 2014, 17:12   #124
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So none of these companies make their own glass. They buy it in blanks and grind their own lenses. Of course price determines the quality of the glass and the quality of the glass determines the quality of the optics.
Dennis,

Right.
A while ago an optical glass brand (Hoya) bought an optical manufacturer (Pentax) and much earlier coöperated Schott and Zeiss. So you are right and.....right.
There is no difference in quality between the products of Hoya and let's say Schott.
It's more an issue of price and availabilaty of the products from those suppliers that justifies the choice for Swarovski, Meopta etc. to buy that type of glass.

Jan
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Old Thursday 23rd October 2014, 17:48   #125
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One thing that sort of fascinates me is how people will "fixate" on a brand. For instance, since the discussion is optical glass, you see Schott glass elevated to a nearly mystical status. This is particularly true on a certain Hunting Optics forum I post on occasionally. If it has "SCHOTT GLASS" it has to be the holy grail. I wonder if people think Schott has some sort of magic pixie dust, or maybe some "known only to them" sort of proprietary mixture that makes Schott somehow better than, say Hoya, or (insert another optical glass maker). While certain processes and abilities may well make for mixing and curing a good batch of glass, it matters not who mixes and cures the pot. What is needed is the right type of glass with the correct optical properties to fill a need in whatever spot in the optical design that piece of glass will go. I think is is highly likely that any optical concern has multiple sources to get the materials it needs for the finished product.

Big time glass makers, like Schott have factories all over the planet.

I have enclosed an article about Steiner Optics from 2010. They clearly state that their glass came from Malaysia at that time. Interesting read and I doubt the general theme is much different if one were to remove Steiner from the article and replace it with another name.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf SF-Steiner-May-2010.pdf (1.13 MB, 620 views)
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