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Styrka Optics

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Old Tuesday 29th December 2015, 19:28   #1
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Styrka Optics

Calling all observers:

I have been called on to offer a review of Styrka Binoculars and Rifle Scopes. I am not interested in "the one that got away," so as to keep admin happy. However, I would love all with experience with the Styrka line to give me your input on the quality level you perceive in the company's binoculars and scopes, as well as your feelings on their customer service.

Many Thanks.

Bill
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Old Thursday 31st December 2015, 03:37   #2
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Calling all observers:

I have been called on to offer a review of Styrka Binoculars and Rifle Scopes. I am not interested in "the one that got away," so as to keep admin happy. However, I would love all with experience with the Styrka line to give me your input on the quality level you perceive in the company's binoculars and scopes, as well as your feelings on their customer service.

Many Thanks.

Bill
With 120 views so far, with no additional information, I think that alone answers most of my questions.
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Old Thursday 31st December 2015, 11:21   #3
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Hi Bill,
Who makes Styrka binoculars? I ask because the small ones look a lot like the Maven B3.
Happy New Year,
Gijs
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Old Thursday 31st December 2015, 15:34   #4
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Bill,

Keep an eye on your PM box.
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Old Thursday 31st December 2015, 16:40   #5
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Bill,

I posted a thread similar to your when they first debuted several months ago and there was some discussion. I didn't follow through with contacting them about a review pair or two as I didn't have time for it then. I am happy to see you are going to be reviewing them.

It does seem like there are quite a few of these companies popping up over the last year.
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Old Tuesday 5th January 2016, 21:30   #6
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Hi Bill,
Who makes Styrka binoculars? I ask because the small ones look a lot like the Maven B3.
Happy New Year,
Gijs
Hi Gijis:

Sorry for the late response; I just got my PC back from the shop and I don't dare use my iMac for the internet. I don't know who makes it. But, I doubt it's any different than MANY others.

Bill
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Old Tuesday 5th January 2016, 21:35   #7
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Bill,

I posted a thread similar to your when they first debuted several months ago and there was some discussion. I didn't follow through with contacting them about a review pair or two as I didn't have time for it then. I am happy to see you are going to be reviewing them.

It does seem like there are quite a few of these companies popping up over the last year.
Hi Frank:

You're right: Same stuff--different day.

In my review, I won't be addressing all the stuff BF members would want me to.

I'll be addressing stuff that makes for a good view and longevity; not that which creates fodder for endless (and mostly useless) comparisons.

Cheers,

Bill
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Old Tuesday 5th January 2016, 21:59   #8
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From what I gather, the Styrka guys are ex-Kowa guys. Products are Chinese. This is no slam on a product I've never laid eyes on, but every chinese binocular I've ever owned, inc ZR ED, Terra, McKinley, Endeavor, and a couple I've forgotten off the top of my head, all have the same characteristics. They have great optics and mediocre build quality.
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Old Tuesday 5th January 2016, 22:27   #9
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Hi Frank:

You're right: Same stuff--different day.

In my review, I won't be addressing all the stuff BF members would want me to.

I'll be addressing stuff that makes for a good view and longevity; not that which creates fodder for endless (and mostly useless) comparisons.

Cheers,

Bill
Thank you
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Old Wednesday 6th January 2016, 15:35   #10
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If perterra bought a Styrka, it would be a Perestroika!

<B>
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Old Tuesday 19th January 2016, 18:40   #11
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Thank you
Although I have been on BF for years, I have yet to offer a review of anything. The reason has always been that no matter what is said, there is always someone out there who knows more. So, finding no future in chasing my tail, I have avoided the opportunity.

However, I was asked to offer the review I was planning for another when I finished it. I have finished it and it is below. My findings were my findings, and since I don’t have a horse in the race, I don’t plan on wasting my time “defending” them. As Aristotle might have said: “It is what it is.” … C’Mon, he might have said that … sometime … maybe.

And while I'm not endorsing hunting, it was reviewed for a hunter.


STYRKA OPTICS
The New Kid on the Block

Knowing I spent my career working in optical instrument repair, a friend asked me to offer an opinion of some new Styrka instruments he had just acquired. With Styrka being a relative newcomer to the American market, I was pleased to help, and knowing I would probably end up trying to market it to magazines catering to hunters and other outdoor enthusiasts, decided to offer that opinion as if I were writing an engine for a magazine article.

THE BINOCULAR—MECHANICAL

The binocular, an 8x42 S7 Series instrument, comes packaged in a more robust and professional fashion than many other instruments in the same price range which, with an Internet search, I found to be $719.95. It was, however, indicated that the wary shopper could find lower prices.

The first thing I noticed was that the company’s binocular advertising was wanting, in that the first reference to binoculars was 23 entries down from the head of a Firefox search. There were certainly references to Styrka binoculars amid those entries. However, while clicking on those sites did take me to binoculars, none were from Styrka, and all the other sites were dedicated to Styrka riflescopes.

The instrument’s weight of ___________ might deter some bird watchers, as so many seem to be looking for a binocular filled with helium. But then, it should be remembered Styrka is first trying to make inroads into the hunting market. That being the case, the weight will probably be inconsequential. Although I am a bird watcher myself, and prone to hiking around a bit as a result, my experience in instrument repair tells me a couple of extra ounces can mean a lot relative to ruggedness and longevity.

Before checking a binocular’s optical performance, I instinctively check for problems in its mechanical features; using a binocular that must continually be adjusted for slippage in either focus or IPD (interpupillary distance) can be annoying. Consequently, I was pleased to see the movements of the hinge, center-wheel focus, and diopter adjustment were top-of-the-mark, as if manufactured and lapped by an aerospace machinist. [‘Sorry ‘bout that; I lived near Boeing for 35 years.]

At first glance, I thought there might not be adequate separation between the telescopes to accommodate some observers. Looking online for the IPD specs I had seen published there, my search left me empty handed, as did the specifications page in the user’s manual. Measuring the maximum IPD to be 74mm, I concluded the binocular would accommodate all but a sliver of the population.

The Binocular—Optical
Most people think this is the most important aspect of a binocular; I consider it a 50/50 proposition. If collimation (alignment), rigidity, and mechanical elements are lacking, the observer’s overall experience will be less than pleasing.

Here, too, the 8x42 S7 more than measured up. Rather than waste your time, however, with talk about “tack sharp,” or “crystal clear” images, and other such subjective nonsense, I hope to offer a somewhat more scientific analysis.

First though, let me say the instrument in my care displayed no greater chromatic aberration than many of the so-called “Alpha” level binoculars discussed by aficionados and had a brightness and clarity in the same league.

Okay, so much for my own subjectivity: let’s do the test.

SETTING THE STAGE

The instrument has an eye-relief of 18 millimeters, an exit pupil of 5.25 millimeters, a rear eye lens of 23 millimeters, and with twist-up eyecups, eyeglasses may be superimposed with the observer still being able to see the full field of view.

THE RESOLUTION TESTS

I used the 1951 US Air Force Resolution Chart (high contrast, one line per millimeter) at 15 feet with subdued indoor lighting (simulating light in bush country), using only my dominant eye, and performing the test three times—focusing anew for each. Of course, the chart grew dimmer and was beginning to go gray at the edge of the field. However, individual lines were resolved to the edge, which was impressive considering the field subtended 7.8 degrees.

The same test was performed outside in the same manner, with the only differences being the natural lighting and the distance, which was doubled to 30 feet.

As one might expect, the resolution chart started getting soft a little farther from the edge of the field. However, owing to better lighting (my assumption), the chart only went gray at the very edge of the field. Impressive.

Conclusion: With the way the binocular market has being evolving these last twenty-five years, the individual instrument, and the company’s customer service, means a great deal more to the observer than the name on the side of the box. This is especially true considering many European giants are merely rebranding some Asian products and using their reputations to keep prices in the stratosphere.

THE STYRKA WARRANTY

In reading about the Styrka warranty, I came across the following:
“. . . in the event of damage or malfunction, we will repair or replace your STYRKA product free of charge. No questions asked. No registration required. No receipt needed. No matter who bought it. The only caveat? The warranty doesn’t cover theft, loss or intentional damage.”

Pleased with what I had read, I continued to:

“It gets better. Send us your Styrka product and we’ll clean and tune it up once per year. Regular maintenance helps keep your STYRKA performing like the day you bought it.”

So, with a superlative product, neck strap, harness, case, removable objective and eyepiece covers, cleaning cloth with pouch, and a warranty second to none, do I have any complaints? Yes, I do; their owner’s manual needs a major tune-up and their advertising (binoculars, anyway) leaves a great deal to be desired. However, the next time you bring down a 10-point with an owner’s manual or sales flier … give me a call!
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Old Tuesday 19th January 2016, 19:29   #12
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Good review, thanks Bill
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Old Tuesday 19th January 2016, 19:59   #13
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Good review, thanks Bill
De nada fellow Texican.
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Old Tuesday 19th January 2016, 22:07   #14
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Nicely done Bill!
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Old Wednesday 20th January 2016, 05:31   #15
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Doing a Google search on "STYRKA OPTICS" displays this is the first web site to be listed .......

http://styrkastrong.com/

Clicking on the Binocular tab and drilling down, I believe this is the model line being discussed.......

http://styrkastrong.com/products-binocularsS7
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Old Wednesday 20th January 2016, 14:14   #16
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I may have missed it, but what class of glass do these Styrka's compare to in pure optical quality? Conquest HD?, Zen ED? or what????????
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Old Wednesday 20th January 2016, 15:02   #17
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I may have missed it, but what class of glass do these Styrka's compare to in pure optical quality? Conquest HD?, Zen ED? or what????????
The whole point to his superlative review was to avoid such shenanigans, in order to negate the 'He said she said, it's my ball I'm going home...' arguments that such comparisons generate.

He even says so himself.
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Old Wednesday 20th January 2016, 15:07   #18
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I may have missed it, but what class of glass do these Styrka's compare to in pure optical quality? Conquest HD?, Zen ED? or what????????

Being from West Texas . . . you can handle it, so . . .

'Don't know and don't care! From my standpoint, these endless comparisons are a massive waste of time. There are hundreds of brands and models of binos being generated in Asia, originating at a handful of factories. That should say much. Remember, I have no horse in the race; I was just doing a review for a friend, which I will peddle to some unwary magazine for burger money. Having said that, I will hurry on to say that I felt the bino was as good as most "alphas" I have used, and I have used PLENTY.

My reading and contacts seem to indicate their advertising is getting better every week. That is not to say, however, that they are not into showmanship:

"Virtually eliminates chromatic aberration . . ."

Yeah, right!

Yes, it is good. But, "virtually eliminates" is over the top . . . except for Aunt Myrtle, who is still enjoying her 20-280x50 ZOOM bino.

Bill
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Old Wednesday 20th January 2016, 15:33   #19
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The whole point to his superlative review was to avoid such shenanigans, in order to negate the 'He said she said, it's my ball I'm going home...' arguments that such comparisons generate.

He even says so himself.
Yes, but it's undoubtedly a Maven B1 clone, or vice versa, or good lord I don't even know anymore. Might as well say that. It's probably a real nice bino too.

Thanks, Bill, a great review.

Mark

PS: how do you pronounce "Styrka," and I'm not even talking about the "sometimes Y" part. Pat, can I buy a vowel?

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Old Wednesday 20th January 2016, 16:28   #20
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Yes, but it's undoubtedly a Maven B1 clone, or vice versa, or good lord I don't even know anymore. Might as well say that. It's probably a real nice bino too.

Thanks, Bill, a great review.

Mark

PS: how do you pronounce "Styrka," and I'm not even talking about the "sometimes Y" part. Pat, can I buy a vowel?
I think it's STEERKA.

BC
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Old Wednesday 20th January 2016, 17:05   #21
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I think it's STEERKA.

BC
Thanks, Bill. I figured there was a vowel in there. "Styrka" certainly looks better, even if it makes no sense...in English...which makes no sense anyway.
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Old Wednesday 20th January 2016, 19:44   #22
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My guess would be that the pronounciation may be close to "stalker" as they are addressing the outdoor/hunting market? I initially thought Bill had typed it wrong - Stryka ("striker") was how I read it first time!

Maybe they used the David Bowie Scrabble bag of lyrics technique... "Turn and face the strange" etc

Sheesh, and I thought getting people to know to call our bino "Verano" and not "Verona" was a tough call :-)

Pete
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Old Wednesday 20th January 2016, 20:57   #23
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My guess would be that the pronounciation may be close to "stalker" as they are addressing the outdoor/hunting market? I initially thought Bill had typed it wrong - Stryka ("striker") was how I read it first time!

Maybe they used the David Bowie Scrabble bag of lyrics technique... "Turn and face the strange" etc

Sheesh, and I thought getting people to know to call our bino "Verano" and not "Verona" was a tough call :-)

Pete
I think on their web site they say it means strength or strong or something similar in some language.
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Old Wednesday 20th January 2016, 21:45   #24
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Some time ago, I was contacted by a dealer acquaintance of mine, his business is Optics Camp (oddly enough http://opticscamp.com/). Brad asked me if I had ever heard about Stryka. Bill is spot on in his pronunciation by the way. This is evidently a Nordic word for strength. Anyway, he was interested in getting me a set for review. So far that has not happened. Various reasons, mostly including some nagging physical issues I have nearly behind me now. At any rate his comments on the binoculars pretty much mirror what Bill has said about the Stryka.

So this is a place that has stock if anyone is interested. They are supposed to be unveiling an S9 series high end glass. What high end is I don't know.

I wholeheartedly agree with Bill's comments about not caring much how what compares to what.

I can not disclose much, but they are not from Kamakura, eliminating the Maven clone observation.

The only thing I tend to wonder about is that the mantra..."we are getting really close to unleashing a major advertising campaign..etc" is the same now as it was some months ago.
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Old Thursday 21st January 2016, 13:36   #25
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I wholeheartedly agree with Bill's comments about not caring much how what compares to what.
And yet you compare what to what as much as anyone hereabouts??
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