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Feel the intensity, not your equipment. Maximum image quality. Minimum weight. The new ZEISS SFL, up to 30% less weight than comparable competitors.

$1K binoculars experiences - Conquest HD, Monarch HG, Tract Toric, GPO Passion HD, Trinovid HD (1 Viewer)

Binocollector

Well-known member
Germany
I'd add "specialty" items like the Nikon WX, Nikon 7x50 SP, and Fujinon FMT(R) to the "porro alpha" list. But all of those are IF and more aimed at astronomy/yachting than birding.
And when including "arguable" alpha I think the list might become too watered down and too long, as it would have to include other Kamakura-selling brands like Kite, some DDoptics models (HDX-line especially), some of the higher end Mavens, etc.
Some also claim the Canon 10x42IS to be "arguably" alpha.
I wonder though -- why are the Swaro SLCs only in the "arguable" alpha category? What makes them "lesser" than alpha? Is it FoV? Handling? Flat field? Because I was thinking about maybe getting a 10x56 SLC. But I am far from making a purchase. I'd have to raise the funds by selling a few other hobby items.
 

A2GG

Beth
United States
I'd add "specialty" items like the Nikon WX, Nikon 7x50 SP, and Fujinon FMT(R) to the "porro alpha" list. But all of those are IF and more aimed at astronomy/yachting than birding.
And when including "arguable" alpha I think the list might become too watered down and too long, as it would have to include other Kamakura-selling brands like Kite, some DDoptics models (HDX-line especially), some of the higher end Mavens, etc.
Some also claim the Canon 10x42IS to be "arguably" alpha.
I wonder though -- why are the Swaro SLCs only in the "arguable" alpha category? What makes them "lesser" than alpha? Is it FoV? Handling? Flat field? Because I was thinking about maybe getting a 10x56 SLC. But I am far from making a purchase. I'd have to raise the funds by selling a few other hobby items.
I think most people agree that Swaro SLC and Zeiss SFL would be premium/alpha class. I added them in the arguable section because there may not be across the board agreement and they’re priced lower than the top binos within the brand.

Yep the arguable list can get to be quite long. I tried to add some obvious binos in the arguable list based on consensus here over the years. Not everyone will agree and that’s why I labeled that section ‘arguable alpha’.
 

A2GG

Beth
United States
Cool thanks! I think that is a useful list. I can definitely see either an SLC or a MeoStar in my near future to add to the hoard.
There’s a like new Cabela branded Meostar (Euro HD) 8x32 in the classified now for cheap. It would have latest coatings making the image less yellow with better color fidelity.

Edit: oops just noticed your location. It may be a US sale only.
 

Paultricounty

Well-known member
United States
Undisputed current ‘alpha’:
Leica Noctivid
Swaro NL
Zeiss SF

Undisputed previous gen ‘alpha’:
Leica Ultravid HD +
Nikon EDG
Swaro EL
Zeiss FL

Arguable ‘alpha’:
Leica Trinovid (Retrovid)
Swaro SLC
Zeiss SFL
Kowa Genesis
Vortex UHD
Meopta Meostar
some may even add a few 1000-1200 usd bins here too

I didn’t add porro to the lists above but obvious would be Nikon SE and Swaro Habicht

I’m good with 1k binos these days. They’re close enough. But if I have the money I wouldn’t mind a Noctivid 8x32
It’s like I want to argue about something there , but I can’t because it’s worded so well. Nice post!

Paul
 

Ratal

Well-known member
Not really, it's on an 'only if you want to' basis. It feels like you're less interested in the answers though than the desire to poke away at the attempts to be helpful to what was assumed to be a sincere inquiry.
Thanks Trinovid, I felt 100% the same way - I bowed out and added this user to my ignore list.
 

rdnzl

Not Sure.
United States
Some very odd attitudes here. My questions were genuine. The more opinions from more people on what they think an alpha is, is a good thing. And the discussion branches out.

That said, I have made a purchase based on some user comments in this thread and some others.

I am getting a Leica Ultravid BR 10x25. Not sure if it meets the alpha criteria, but Leica seems to come up a lot in alpha conversations. I am wanting
a compact and pocketable 10 power binocular with superior optical qualities. Hopefully this will meet my needs. I don't have an unlimited budget for hobby things, so I am hoping it will prove to be the right choice.

If I rubbed some of you the wrong way, I have two things to say. 1. Sorry. 2. Lighten up a bit.
 

Rg548

Retired Somewhere
United Kingdom
Some very odd attitudes here. My questions were genuine. The more opinions from more people on what they think an alpha is, is a good thing. And the discussion branches out.

That said, I have made a purchase based on some user comments in this thread and some others.

I am getting a Leica Ultravid BR 10x25. Not sure if it meets the alpha criteria, but Leica seems to come up a lot in alpha conversations. I am wanting
a compact and pocketable 10 power binocular with superior optical qualities. Hopefully this will meet my needs. I don't have an unlimited budget for hobby things, so I am hoping it will prove to be the right choice.

If I rubbed some of you the wrong way, I have two things to say. 1. Sorry. 2. Lighten up a bit.
Ultravid 10x25's are indeed top drawer as far as optical quality goes.
Alpha for pockets bins 👍
I'm sure you will enjoy them... good luck
 

Paultricounty

Well-known member
United States
Some very odd attitudes here. My questions were genuine. The more opinions from more people on what they think an alpha is, is a good thing. And the discussion branches out.

That said, I have made a purchase based on some user comments in this thread and some others.

I am getting a Leica Ultravid BR 10x25. Not sure if it meets the alpha criteria, but Leica seems to come up a lot in alpha conversations. I am wanting
a compact and pocketable 10 power binocular with superior optical qualities. Hopefully this will meet my needs. I don't have an unlimited budget for hobby things, so I am hoping it will prove to be the right choice.

If I rubbed some of you the wrong way, I have two things to say. 1. Sorry. 2. Lighten up a bit.
For me, apology accepted.

1. You will find some of the best people here on BF, that will go out of there way to give you there knowledge, opinions and information anytime you ask. 2. As you can see there was more than one person here that was assuming you were poking at attempts to be helpful.

Enjoy the new binos, let us know how you like them.

Paul
 

Binocollector

Well-known member
Germany
I think the occasional refreshed "alpha"-discussion is certainly useful for me, too as I just got into the hobby about 2 years ago. So far I have been more "Binohoarder" than "Binocollector" but I might be getting there with time. In the end maybe "Binoconnoisseur"?
 

Paultricounty

Well-known member
United States
I think the occasional refreshed "alpha"-discussion is certainly useful for me, too as I just got into the hobby about 2 years ago. So far I have been more "Binohoarder" than "Binocollector" but I might be getting there with time. In the end maybe "Binoconnoisseur"?
Been there, done that. Then I tried the high end glass and was hooked.
 

Binocollector

Well-known member
Germany
Strange fact -- sometimes you never know, especially for astronomy which I do more than birding. Some glass that nobody would even remotely consider for birding might really kick behinds on the night sky. Just this night with finally no cloud in sight I used: 10x45 "Pirschler" with AK-prisms (DDoptics) -- roughly 600€, 10x56 "Nighteagle" (DDoptics -- a new model, pretty good, probably MiC though) -- 450€, 7x50 Fujinon FMTR -- 700€, 7x50 "Scope" super wide angle -- 60€, 9x63 AK-prism bino Made in Japan from probably the 80's -- also 60€, and then, just for fun, I thought I could just grab my 10x50 Tento which I bought for 17€ (!) to see how it compares. And it showed razor sharp, pinpoint stars. It was not far behind the Fujinon in fact -- difficult to compare though since it is 10x50 vs. 7x50. But those old USSR binos rarely disappoint for astronomy -- I probably use them more in the dark than during the day because of the tint they have. My 12x45 Komz (also a cheap ebay purchase) easily beats my Vortex Diamondback 12x50 for astronomy. Sharper, cleaner, tighter stars. So to see a real difference optically between a good old porro and a modern roof -- I think the old rule of thumb to spend twice as much money might not even be enough.
Some of my 500-600€ binos are not that much better optically than some of the old porros. They are better in handling, construction, materials for the body, etc. But not when it comes to the important bits.
Yeah, I guess to be really "wowed" I would need to spend big bucks. Otherwise the upgrade from a vintage 30€-Komz or old Japanese wide angle 8x30 to a Chinese mid-range roof prism is not worth it, except for longer eye-relief or water proofing.
I am still after an NVA 7x40 EDF though.
 

Trinovid

mountain and glacier watcher
United States
Some very odd attitudes here. My questions were genuine.
I am getting a Leica Ultravid BR 10x25. Not sure if it meets the alpha criteria, but Leica seems to come up a lot in alpha conversations. I am wanting
a compact and pocketable 10 power binocular with superior optical qualities.
That was how a few of us felt due to some of your rapid 'next question' types of responses and if you could have just helped us a bit by putting the same effort into your replies it would have been more obvious that you really were looking for assistance.
I like your choice of the small Ultravid so much that I have three of them, and hope you'll post up in the thread here after you get them. Mine are all 8x20 and it'd be nice to hear how your 10x25 works out for you.
One complaint regarding the small Ultravids has to do with getting them properly aligned with your eyes. I've had the same issue at times, but can make it go right away by just bringing the sides of my index fingers to my brows, and it works so well for me that it's become my default mode for all binoculars now.
 

moose907

Member
United States
I picked up a used pair of Fujinon FMTR 7x50s. I find them amazing. The more I have used them the more I like them. The individual focus is not a big deal at all. My son uses them and when I grab them, I know where the eye pieces should be adjusted to for distance. I adjust them before bringing them to my face and no further adjustment needed. Very clear and beautiful. I want to find a pair of 16x70s now!
 

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