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2020 Interview with Meopta Product Manager

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Old Thursday 7th May 2020, 16:12   #1
Troubador
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2020 Interview with Meopta Product Manager

This interview, as with all the previous Meopta interviews is with Milos Slany, Product Manager.

Troubador: Hello Miloš, these are difficult times for us all and Birdfair 2020 has been cancelled so I cannot interview you in the usual way. Instead I sent you a short series of questions and I would like to thank you for investing the time to answer them. Before we discuss Meopta optical products Miloš, could you tell us what is happening at Meopta Optika now that life has been changed by Covid-19? Is the factory closed or is production continuing? Are many people working from home, and have there been any cases of Covid-19 confirmed? How are you managing?

Miloš: I have to say generally that the whole Covid-19 issue is under control in the Czech Republic and managed very well, thanks to fast and strict restrictions. There was no case of this disease confirmed within Meopta employees at the time when I answered the question. The company continues its production in a very special regime, all employees are scanned for the temperature at the entrance and wearing the mask. Most of technicians and administrative people work from home. The restrictions started to be released step by step this week due to very good Covid-19 development. Surprisingly, our revenue didn’t show dramatic drop down, but we are aware there is a long inertia and the demand will decrease.

Troubador: Moving on to Meopta products, there have been interesting developments in the product range in recent times. First can you tell us about the development of Meopta MeoPro Air and how they fit into the product range? What performance and price gap were you aiming at?

Miloš: MeoPro Air binoculars are planned to fill the gap between MeoStar and MeoPro products both in performance and in attractive pricing.

Troubador: Are the MeoPro Airs made using out-sourced components in the same way as the MeoPros, and assembled in Czechia?

Miloš: Yes

Troubador: Moving up the range, there have been changes to MeoStar, first with the new dioptre adjuster of B1.1 and more recently with the new armour of B1 Plus. Has B1 Plus replaced B1.1?

Miloš: Yes. Of course, both lines are going to be offered side-by-side for a certain length of time.

Troubador: Have there been any specification changes from B1.1 to B1 Plus apart from the introduction of MeoLux coatings?

Miloš: No. Optically they are identical.

Troubador: Please tell us what benefits the MeoLux coatings bring compared with MeoBright and also why it has taken so long for MeoLux to take the step from riflescopes to binoculars. Also, can we expect MeoLux to be applied to the S2 spotting scope?

Miloš: MeoLux coatings have as good a performance as MeoBright during the day but are designed to perform especially well during the period of scotopic vision, i.e. during twilight. This characteristic is much more important for hunters than for birders so this is why MeoLux was applied to riflescopes first. Because MeoLux coatings have this additional capability we are spreading their use to the wider range of our products incl. the spotter scopes.

Troubador: Now, no interview with Meopta would be complete without a question asking for news of B2 binoculars. So, please tell us what is happening to B2 and has this project been further delayed by Coronavirus?

Miloš: Yes, there is a delay as the Coronavirus found us in very sensitive stage of prototypes assembly. Current schedule counts on having B2 as a news for 2021 year.

Troubador: The investment made in B1.1 and B1 Plus suggests that B1 Plus will not be replaced by B2 and that B2 will represent a higher level of performance. Is this a fair assessment?

Miloš: Yes and no (Germans would say “Jein”). B1.1 and B1Plus are based on a concept of MeoStar B1 being more than 15 years on the market. B2 definitely represents the new binocular generation and it is sure it will attract most of B1 customers. For those who are looking for more cost effective solution there will be MeoPro Air. So I think B1 Plus demand will naturally fade down after launching B2 and MeoPro Air.

Troubador: Is it possible for you to hint at the improvements we might expect B2 to bring compared with B1 Plus?

Miloš: Sorry, but I can only tell that B2 is designed to compete the top models on the market.

Troubador: Thank you again Milos and we look forward to future interviews in more normal circumstances.


The pics below are L>R MeoPro Air 10x42, MeoPro Air 10x42, MeoStar B1 Plus 8x56 and MeoStar B1 Plus 10x42


Lee
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Old Friday 8th May 2020, 13:55   #2
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Interesting interview. I am a big Meopta fan, but what baffles me even more after reading this interview is that the new Meopro air was stated to bridge the gap between the Meopro and Meostar, but it is reported that the Air will have Meostar glass. Something doesn't add up in this equation in my feeble brain.
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Old Friday 8th May 2020, 15:27   #3
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Enjoyed that Lee!
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Old Friday 8th May 2020, 17:15   #4
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Originally Posted by jgraider View Post
the new Meopro air was stated to bridge the gap between the Meopro and Meostar, but it is reported that the Air will have Meostar glass. Something doesn't add up in this equation in my feeble brain.
Perhaps they make the distinction between glass and the optical formula (number of lenses, their accuracy, degree of polish)? Just speculating.
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Old Saturday 9th May 2020, 06:42   #5
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Originally Posted by Mark9473 View Post
Perhaps they make the distinction between glass and the optical formula (number of lenses, their accuracy, degree of polish)? Just speculating.

Using the word 'glass' to mean 'binoculars', 'optical train' and sometimes just 'glass' as in the stuff that lenses are made from, gets confusing occasionally.

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Old Sunday 10th May 2020, 00:33   #6
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I recently read a blog post by Prusa Research, a well-regarded manufacturer of 3D printers also based in the Czech Republic, and it looks like the Czechs had a very well-managed response to the pandemic.
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Old Sunday 10th May 2020, 01:27   #7
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Hello Lee,

Thanks for the interview.

I have high regard for the Meopta products, which do very well at their price points.

Stay safe,
Arthur
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Old Sunday 10th May 2020, 01:54   #8
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Originally Posted by jgraider View Post
Interesting interview. I am a big Meopta fan, but what baffles me even more after reading this interview is that the new Meopro air was stated to bridge the gap between the Meopro and Meostar, but it is reported that the Air will have Meostar glass. Something doesn't add up in this equation in my feeble brain.
But perhaps a small improvement over the Meostar, hence 'upping' the quality of that line. Of course they could have done that and still keep the Meostar. I do like the 'loss' of the little bumps on the outside, as I never was a fan of that look ...
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Old Monday 11th May 2020, 06:49   #9
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But perhaps a small improvement over the Meostar, hence 'upping' the quality of that line. Of course they could have done that and still keep the Meostar. I do like the 'loss' of the little bumps on the outside, as I never was a fan of that look ...
Jim there was a time when I said I could never own a MeoStar due to the spots they have. I should have kept my mouth shut until I had seen them in real life and looked through them. The spotty appearance in the pics just doesn't dominate the eye in real life and the view through the binos sealed the deal for me and I now have several.

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Old Monday 11th May 2020, 14:55   #10
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I like the exterior/armor redesign. Does anyone know if the B2 is going to be alpha priced?
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Old Tuesday 12th May 2020, 13:24   #11
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I like the exterior/armor redesign. Does anyone know if the B2 is going to be alpha priced?
It is not expected until next year Scott so no price indications have been release yet.

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Old Tuesday 12th May 2020, 18:14   #12
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Thanks Lee, I look forward to seeing these.
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Old Monday 18th May 2020, 15:56   #13
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A bit confusing....... let's see if I have this right.

The B1.1 is what is currently around for the MeoStar

But soon (not sure when) the B1 Plus Meostar will come on board and will eventually take over. Essentially the plus is the same as the B1 but w/o the knobby coating as the optics are the same. When is the Plus 'out'?

But sometime in the future the B2 will come about and they have no idea of 'when' nor do they speak of how it will be different other than be more expensive I am sure. Right now they imply that the current B1 is competitive with the Alphas but at half the price. With the Plus, will the price go up? With the B2 the price will surely go up, but what do you envision can occur to the optics to take the current 'competitive' nature of the B1 and turn it into what?

I know the SF32 line took Zeiss up a notch (not sure if it shouldn't have a different label in itself)...do you envision the B2 to be SF32 quality now?
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Old Monday 18th May 2020, 15:59   #14
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Originally Posted by Troubador View Post
This interview, as with all the previous Meopta interviews is with Milos Slany, Product Manager.

Troubador: Hello Miloš, these are difficult times for us all and Birdfair 2020 has been cancelled so I cannot interview you in the usual way. Instead I sent you a short series of questions and I would like to thank you for investing the time to answer them. Before we discuss Meopta optical products Miloš, could you tell us what is happening at Meopta Optika now that life has been changed by Covid-19? Is the factory closed or is production continuing? Are many people working from home, and have there been any cases of Covid-19 confirmed? How are you managing?

Miloš: I have to say generally that the whole Covid-19 issue is under control in the Czech Republic and managed very well, thanks to fast and strict restrictions. There was no case of this disease confirmed within Meopta employees at the time when I answered the question. The company continues its production in a very special regime, all employees are scanned for the temperature at the entrance and wearing the mask. Most of technicians and administrative people work from home. The restrictions started to be released step by step this week due to very good Covid-19 development. Surprisingly, our revenue didn’t show dramatic drop down, but we are aware there is a long inertia and the demand will decrease.

Troubador: Moving on to Meopta products, there have been interesting developments in the product range in recent times. First can you tell us about the development of Meopta MeoPro Air and how they fit into the product range? What performance and price gap were you aiming at?

Miloš: MeoPro Air binoculars are planned to fill the gap between MeoStar and MeoPro products both in performance and in attractive pricing.

Troubador: Are the MeoPro Airs made using out-sourced components in the same way as the MeoPros, and assembled in Czechia?

Miloš: Yes

Troubador: Moving up the range, there have been changes to MeoStar, first with the new dioptre adjuster of B1.1 and more recently with the new armour of B1 Plus. Has B1 Plus replaced B1.1?

Miloš: Yes. Of course, both lines are going to be offered side-by-side for a certain length of time.

Troubador: Have there been any specification changes from B1.1 to B1 Plus apart from the introduction of MeoLux coatings?

Miloš: No. Optically they are identical.

Troubador: Please tell us what benefits the MeoLux coatings bring compared with MeoBright and also why it has taken so long for MeoLux to take the step from riflescopes to binoculars. Also, can we expect MeoLux to be applied to the S2 spotting scope?

Miloš: MeoLux coatings have as good a performance as MeoBright during the day but are designed to perform especially well during the period of scotopic vision, i.e. during twilight. This characteristic is much more important for hunters than for birders so this is why MeoLux was applied to riflescopes first. Because MeoLux coatings have this additional capability we are spreading their use to the wider range of our products incl. the spotter scopes.

Troubador: Now, no interview with Meopta would be complete without a question asking for news of B2 binoculars. So, please tell us what is happening to B2 and has this project been further delayed by Coronavirus?

Miloš: Yes, there is a delay as the Coronavirus found us in very sensitive stage of prototypes assembly. Current schedule counts on having B2 as a news for 2021 year.

Troubador: The investment made in B1.1 and B1 Plus suggests that B1 Plus will not be replaced by B2 and that B2 will represent a higher level of performance. Is this a fair assessment?

Miloš: Yes and no (Germans would say “Jein”). B1.1 and B1Plus are based on a concept of MeoStar B1 being more than 15 years on the market. B2 definitely represents the new binocular generation and it is sure it will attract most of B1 customers. For those who are looking for more cost effective solution there will be MeoPro Air. So I think B1 Plus demand will naturally fade down after launching B2 and MeoPro Air.

Troubador: Is it possible for you to hint at the improvements we might expect B2 to bring compared with B1 Plus?

Miloš: Sorry, but I can only tell that B2 is designed to compete the top models on the market.

Troubador: Thank you again Milos and we look forward to future interviews in more normal circumstances.


The pics below are L>R MeoPro Air 10x42, MeoPro Air 10x42, MeoStar B1 Plus 8x56 and MeoStar B1 Plus 10x42


Lee
A bit confusing....... let's see if I have this right.

The B1.1 is what is currently around for the MeoStar. Is the B1.1 the B1 Plus but just named a bit differently?

Or is the B1 Plus the same as the B1.1 with the exception that the Plus B1 Plus will lack the knobby outside coating as the optics are the same. With the Plus, will the price go up? Right now they imply that the current B1.1 is competitive with the Alphas but at half the price as I saw them state on You Tube.

I am guessing that the Plus is simply not here yet. And even further down the road comes the B2.

The B2 will come about and they have no idea of 'when' nor do they speak of how it will be different other than be more expensive I am sure. With the B2 the price will surely go up, but what do you envision can occur to the optics to take the current 'competitive' nature of the B1.1 to the existing Alphas and turn it into what?

I know the SF32 line took Zeiss up a notch (not sure if it shouldn't have a different label in itself)...do you envision the B2 to be SF32 quality now?

You have done reviews on both the upcoming SF32 as well as the Meostar 32 B1.1. Would you care to dig into your mind and recall what major differences their might be optically or ergonomically? I can see the specs .....but curious on those other two.....That way we might be able to get an idea of the upcoming B2.
jim

Last edited by lmans66 : Monday 18th May 2020 at 16:54.
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