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Which sub-alpha bino

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Old Saturday 21st July 2018, 16:47   #26
dries1
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At this level, ergonomics determine many a glass in the end. How they feel on your face is right up there with the optics, for me it was the Meopta 8X32, while I loved the optics, the eye-cups could not work with the contour of my sockets.
Additionally, That quote from Bill is so true, and now, many a choice of excellent glass for half the price of the premium glass out there. IMO if you want to get a premium glass, get one used for over 1/2 the price of a new one.
As a side note IMHO, the FL 10X56 is a premium glass-even today (as well as the others in the FL line), I use it extensively, as is the SLC X56 series. I have only tried the smaller aperture SLC 10X42 once in the field briefly, and IMO it is indeed a premium glass.

As a side note I hate the description "Alpha", I leave that term for the animal world.

Andy W.
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Old Saturday 21st July 2018, 17:02   #27
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As a side note I hate the description "Alpha", I leave that term for the animal world.

Andy W.
My dog is quite small ... a chug. Even so, I don't get to be Alpha. Anyone with a chug in the family knows what I mean.

Bill
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Old Saturday 21st July 2018, 18:08   #28
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Bill,

I know exactly what you mean.

Andy W.
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Old Saturday 21st July 2018, 23:07   #29
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Originally Posted by Troubador View Post
[..]but the reasons why different folks buy binos are as varied as the numbers of people buying them.
[..]
There is room for all shades of bino-obsession on Birdforum, which is just as well.....
Quite so! I certainly wouldn't want to suggest otherwise. Nor would I suggest my variety of bino-obsession would necessarily suit anyone else. I'm certainly glad of those who buy (and especially report on) the higher-end stuff. They do the rest of us great favours. As do those who explore high value yet lower cost bins.

...Mike
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Old Sunday 22nd July 2018, 02:14   #30
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The term may not be popular but there is no denying it's usefulness on a forum like this. You say the word and everyone is aware of the handful of the instruments being referred to. For my part, ""sub-alpha"in the heading was purely a cost factor. The ones listed as far as i am aware are the current "second-tier" from a cost perspective relative to the "upper tier". And asking which "second-tier"optic in the heading doesn't have nearly the ring to it (or attention grabbing ability)

As discussed, everyone is different and taking their own path. As someone that doesn't intend to have a high bino turnover I would prefer to own one very good product as opposed to multiple of a lower quality. For my use, the benefits of slight aperture or magnification differences isn't important. If i need more aperture and magnification I will take a spotting scope as a better tool but not everyone feels this way.

Having also dabbled in photography the cost of the best binoculars looks downright cheap in comparison. Someones $2000 to $4000 camera body is not going to last and will be out of date a well before their $2000+ binocular. Current model alpha camera body is the Canon 1Dx II which is $5499 at B&H. Then throw the cost of lenses on top. This makes owning a quality binocular for 10+ years look cheap in comparison.

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Old Sunday 22nd July 2018, 03:23   #31
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In what way/s is the SLC considered to be less than "alpha"?
Thanks. A question, seeking information, not a criticism.
(If close focus is an issue we can consider the previous model.)
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Originally Posted by Canip View Post
adhoc (post #22),

Tobias Mennle wrote this about the SLC:
„I suspect the SLC has been downgraded a bit compared to its predecessor to conquer a new niche below the premium model Swarovision. The SLC looks a bit softer than the others, especially below 10 meters, and does not quite achieve the wowing view of an alpha bin. That´s annoying because the design is well balanced, the view is very comfortable, and the price and brand suggest premium quality....“

For the rest of his review, see
http://www.greatestbinoculars.com/al...2shootout.html

This is one (serious) view, and I am sure Tobias is not alone with his opinion.

I for myself think a bit more highly of the SLC 8x42 and 10x42 and rate them among the alphas, so the debate could go on (well, at least the x56 models of the SLC series seem almost universally recognized as alpha).

But then, didn‘t we have a very looooong debate here recently about what is „alpha“ and what not?

Canip
Thanks Canip. Sometimes Tobias can be a bit individualistic!
Personally I would rate the SLC "alpha" but
I may have missed testing it for this or that criteria.
The "lo...ong debates" tend to be, shall we say, philosophical.
During this delay in my responding it seems that happened right here!
At times more useful is specific info. such as I seek,
in regard to a particular model or particular optical aspects.
I hope whatever responses to my query are useful to Oxygen (the OP).
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Old Sunday 22nd July 2018, 03:37   #32
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Having also dabbled in photography the cost of the best binoculars looks downright cheap in comparison. Someones $2000 to $4000 camera body is not going to last and will be out of date a well before their $2000+ binocular. Current model alpha camera body is the Canon 1Dx II which is $5499 at B&H. Then throw the cost of lenses on top. This makes owning a quality binocular for 10+ years look cheap in comparison.[/quote]



Then perhaps you could also look at the more premium glass too.

Andy W.
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Old Sunday 22nd July 2018, 07:50   #33
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Good point, Andy.

I personally think that in the end, premium binoculars are in no way different than other premium products, such as cars, or grand pianos, or expensive wines. They (hopefully) offer a better performance, but demand a much higher price.

I once worked with a very nice Englishman who was absolutely convinced that his Vauxhall was every bit as good a car as the BMW company car which I drove at the time, and of course, if you just look at getting from A to B, it is not unlikely that you will arrive at your destination every bit as fast and well in either car. Is the top speed and the acceleration better in the BMW, or the smoothness of the engine, or is the interior more nicely finished? Yes, they are. But that did not impress my colleague, because he was only interested in the basics of transportation and could not understand how one would pay almost double the price for the BMW compared to the Vauxhall.

If you offer me a very nice glass of Chateau Margaux, I will enjoy that, but if you tell me that you paid an unbelievable price for that bottle, I would have to say that such a fabulous wine is wasted on me, because I will probably not be able to tell the difference between this top wine and other very good French red wines which cost half or less; my taste buds my just not me that refined. However, I am sure many forum members would see it differently.

When it comes to optics, I believe that after almost 45 years of observing, collecting and comparing, I can perceive the difference in optical performance between a good pair of binoculars and a top glass, and I enjoy the quality of the top glass and am willing to pay for that experience. But I fully appreciate that many people looking at my binoculars cannot see the higher contrast or brightness (which can possibly be measured, of course, but that is not what visual observation is about) of an EL SV 10x50 compared to a same size Action EX.

And so while some of may colleagues buy very nice cars (I am driving an Opel=Vauxhall these days) and expensive wines, I am spending money on optics, both on „premium“ instruments and also others because I collect and I like to compare, as long as my aging eyes allow me to see the difference.

To sum up my point: paying a lot of money for premium products seems a waste of money to some, but seems justified to others. This also holds true for optics in general and binoculars in particular. I will not be able to change my Vauxhall driving colleague‘s opinion about cars, and he will not be able to change mine on premium optics.
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Old Sunday 22nd July 2018, 09:13   #34
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When it comes to optics, I believe that after almost 45 years of observing, collecting and comparing, I can perceive the difference in optical performance between a good pair of binoculars and a top glass, and I enjoy the quality of the top glass and am willing to pay for that experience.
[...]
But I fully appreciate that many people looking at my binoculars cannot see the higher contrast or brightness (which can possibly be measured, of course, but that is not what visual observation is about) of an EL SV 10x50 compared to a same size Action EX.
I think it's unreasonable to assume that those who won't pay the extra money don't see the extra performance. Some probably do, but are not in a position to pay for it. Others may have a different stopping-point when chasing ever-more money for ever-less performance improvement. Your choices in this regard are your own, and I'm fine with that.

I'm sure that many people who can see the optical differences ask themselves "how much am I prepared to pay for that?" I don't think they're wrong if their choices are different from yours.

...Mike
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Old Sunday 22nd July 2018, 10:15   #35
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Mike,
I was not writing this properly.
Of course there are also many who do see the difference but for some reason cannot or will not spend money for it.
I couldn‘t agree more with you.
Canip
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Old Sunday 22nd July 2018, 10:55   #36
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Mike,
I was not writing this properly.
Of course there are also many who do see the difference but for some reason cannot or will not spend money for it.
I couldn‘t agree more with you.
Canip
Fair enough. And thanks.

...Mike
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Old Sunday 22nd July 2018, 12:07   #37
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And while discussing the finer points of binos and their qualities, don't let us forget what we look at with them.

And just as Brahm's Violin Concerto and Jeff Beck's 'Cause we ended as Lovers' are still stunning pieces of music whether listened to via a Linn system at home or the CD player in your car, so is a good view of a Whinchat or Golden Eagle absolutely thrilling whether seen through a Zeiss Terra or Zeiss SF (insert your own choice of lower-priced and upper-priced models here).

Lee
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Old Sunday 22nd July 2018, 12:21   #38
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Mike,
I was not writing this properly.
Of course there are also many who do see the difference but for some reason cannot or will not spend money for it.
I couldn‘t agree more with you.
Canip

And then again, there are those that think they can see these differences because the label on the binocular tells them they should.
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Old Sunday 22nd July 2018, 12:40   #39
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Old Sunday 22nd July 2018, 14:02   #40
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Mike,
I was not writing this properly.
Of course there are also many who do see the difference but for some reason cannot or will not spend money for it.
I couldn‘t agree more with you.
Canip

Or just dont particularly care. I'm usually looking at something other than admiring the view of the binocular. Which is probably the reason I use a oair of Leupold Yosemite 6X30 a lot more often than I do the Conquest.

The views between the most expensive and the middle line is usually negated in my case by dust on my glasses, watering eyes and myriad other issues.
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Old Sunday 22nd July 2018, 14:46   #41
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I owned the SLC 8x42... I'd argue that they are comparable to the 8.5x42 Swarovision and 8x42 HT, so I'd put them at the top of your list in terms of pure quality... that being said, I'd go with the Monarch HG. I just struggle to put so much value into the optics anymore, when even the stuff being produced at the $200-400 mark is, in many traits, better than some of the alpha quality stuff several years ago (which at the time was hailed as amazing). I've actually "downgraded" myself to optics even below the sub-alphas, such as the Meopro HD and Leupold BX-4.

The Monarch seems (from my limited experience and the reviews present on this and other forums) to have great optics and ergonomics, and is backed by a solid company. The Conquest HD is also very good, but I've never been as big a fan as some, relative to the competition at their price point. The Meostar/Euro HD and Kowa Genesis are also up there.

I'll disagree with a common notion, as I simply can't seem to get along with most 8x32 binoculars, and would always recommend a 42mm if you only have one pair of optics (ALTHOUGH, I have a lot of interest in the 8x30 CL as the 8x32 Swarovision was one of the few 32mm I enjoyed aside from glare)- but as with all things optical, your mileage may vary greatly...

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Old Sunday 22nd July 2018, 15:18   #42
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If someone spends time like I (some here) do, looking through different glass, don't you think they would eventually see differences in quality of view of different glass. I have no brand loyalty any more, I used to because I did not look through other brands of glass. I have come to realize what Canip said, while I have my health, and good vision, I like to collect and compare. While I enjoy the reviews of others, I like to check glass for myself with my own eyes to compare/contrast. What I have found out is comfort of use is as important as the optics, and all of the manufacturers have had hits and misses. Additionally, I have realized that the prices are going up, so be patient and buy used and not abused.

Andy W.
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Old Sunday 22nd July 2018, 15:37   #43
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If someone spends time like I (some here) do, looking through different glass, don't you think they would eventually see differences in quality of view of different glass. I have no brand loyalty any more, I used to because I did not look through other brands of glass. I have come to realize what Canip said, while I have my health, and good vision, I like to collect and compare. While I enjoy the reviews of others, I like to check glass for myself with my own eyes to compare/contrast. What I have found out is comfort of use is as important as the optics, and all of the manufacturers have had hits and misses.
Andy W.
This pretty much sums up my feelings these days. Of course I have my favourites but they tend to be quite varied now as different binos can appeal for quite different reasons, sometimes based on solid performance characteristics but by no means always so.

Lee

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Old Monday 23rd July 2018, 15:31   #44
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For me in 8X42, it would come down to the Monarch HG and the SLC. Not that the Conquest HD 8X42 isn't a nice binocular but it just doesn't have the FOV of the other two. I realize the added benefit of more FOV as my birding experience evolves.
I would disagree based on my personal experience.

The Monarch HG isn't the same IQ as the Conquest HD. It's just not as bright. I have looked at them side-by-side multiple times, and quickly ruled out the Monarch by comparison. It should be priced $200 less than the Conquest IMO.

The SLC is a heavy bin, and considerably more expensive. I don't consider it in the same class as either the Monarch or the Conquest HD.

For me at least, the Conquest HD provides the highest image to price ratio of any binocular I've ever seen, and I've seen a lot. I don't own one currently, but it will be my next binocular purchase.
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Old Monday 23rd July 2018, 15:45   #45
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I would disagree based on my personal experience.

The Monarch HG isn't the same IQ as the Conquest HD. It's just not as bright. I have looked at them side-by-side multiple times, and quickly ruled out the Monarch by comparison. It should be priced $200 less than the Conquest IMO.

The SLC is a heavy bin, and considerably more expensive. I don't consider it in the same class as either the Monarch or the Conquest HD.

For me at least, the Conquest HD provides the highest image to price ratio of any binocular I've ever seen, and I've seen a lot. I don't own one currently, but it will be my next binocular purchase.
Like everything else opinions vary see Rokslide's review by Matt Cashell aka The Optics Professor

http://www.rokslide.com/review-nikon-monarch-hg-10x42

Discussion thread.

http://www.rokslide.com/forums/optic...-cashell.html?

My vote is for the SLC.

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Old Monday 23rd July 2018, 20:47   #46
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If money isn’t an issue than the SLC is probably the best choice. For the value I would say Tract Toric. I own the 10x42 and like them more than the Conquests I’ve owned. Primarily because of the focusing speed. One turn for the Toric which is just right for me. The Conquests are faster and I was constantly fidgeting with it. Even when I had things in focus the depth of field was lacking as well. Many times I would get an object perfectly in focus and then neither fore or aft objects were in focus. The Toric 8x42 is being closed out for $524. Nothing at the price will come close. I also noticed a review on here said the actual fov is quite a bit wider than the specs. Not sure about that but I do know my 10x42s close focus 2 feet closer than the spec.
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Old Tuesday 24th July 2018, 04:06   #47
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Like everything else opinions vary see Rokslide's review by Matt Cashell aka The Optics Professor

http://www.rokslide.com/review-nikon-monarch-hg-10x42

Discussion thread.

http://www.rokslide.com/forums/optic...-cashell.html?

My vote is for the SLC.
Huh, I thought that link was going to take me to a review of the Monarch HG compared to the Conquest HD. Funny thing is I had the Monarch, the Conquest and the Meopta all out for a test, side by side and the Conquest beat both the Monarch and the Meopta, much to my surprise - because I consider the Meopta to be a great bin.

And yea, of course everyone would take the SLC if we're just talking about IQ. But the lighter weight and size and price of the Conquest is why I would choose it over even the SLC.
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Old Tuesday 24th July 2018, 07:21   #48
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Since depth of field in binos is governed by their magnification all 8x binos have the same depth of field. If this statement is too simplistic I would be happy to be shot down in flames by any more knowledgeable member who would care to correct this.

A fast focuser such as the Conquest HD's can give the impression of a smaller depth of field as a small adjustment of the focuser can lead to a larger shift in the point of focus with a consequent more dramatic shift of the band of field depth. For me this is one of the Conquest's biggest assets as it allows fast focus change from nearby subjects to distant ones and then back to close subjects and all without time-wasting finger-pumping on the focus wheel. I don't find this fast focus tricky to manage but I can understand some people finding it difficult to adjust to.

I wouldn't consider the latest model SLC as the close focus is miserable and greatly reduces this model's versatility but for just birding it wouldn't be a problem.

Lee
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Old Tuesday 24th July 2018, 13:30   #49
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Huh, I thought that link was going to take me to a review of the Monarch HG compared to the Conquest HD. Funny thing is I had the Monarch, the Conquest and the Meopta all out for a test, side by side and the Conquest beat both the Monarch and the Meopta, much to my surprise - because I consider the Meopta to be a great bin.

And yea, of course everyone would take the SLC if we're just talking about IQ. But the lighter weight and size and price of the Conquest is why I would choose it over even the SLC.

Funny how we perceive things. I had my Toric, SLC HD, Meopta HD, and my bud's Conquest HD side by side several times. I found the Meostar, Conquest, and Toric "too close to call" and the SLC a slight frontrunner. I agree with Upland that the Toric's are really, really good. I find the Conquest eyepeices terrible to deal with.
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Old Tuesday 24th July 2018, 13:55   #50
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Funny how we perceive things. I had my Toric, SLC HD, Meopta HD, and my bud's Conquest HD side by side several times. I found the Meostar, Conquest, and Toric "too close to call" and the SLC a slight frontrunner. I agree with Upland that the Toric's are really, really good. I find the Conquest eyepeices terrible to deal with.
That is funny. Just goes to show all our eyes are a little different! Also, the eyepieces are a bit tricky on the Conquests, I'll give you that. But the eyecups fit my eyes perfectly and I prefer eyepieces that stay put when you extend them. I returned a pair of Maven C3's for exactly that reason. The eyepieces would collapse on their own through normal use. Drove me nuts. It was a shame since the optics on those were superb.
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