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A Brief Introduction to the New MeoStar B1.1 Binoculars (1 Viewer)

Troubador

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The clue is in the name: these MeoStars are designated B1.1 which is just a 0.1 uplift from the original B1 MeoStars. Actually, this modesty is a breath of fresh air in an industry where a minor facelift is sometimes presented as a brand-new model.
But what is new about B1.1, what is new and what remains unchanged?
The body shape and armour are familiar and are as handsome and as comfortable as before, while the view through these instruments remains beautifully transparent and engaging. They are still delightful to handle and look through.
The main up-grade is the locking dioptre which replaces the non-locking arrangement of B1 that I found did occasionally move accidentally when a day’s outing included scrambling over rocks, and fences, and laying down to photograph flowers and other subjects. During these processes I would often tuck the B1’s inside my jacket or under my arm and just occasionally would find afterwards that the dioptre had moved. On less rugged outings when simply walking along with nothing more than a gate, a stile or some stepping-stones to negotiate, the dioptre never moved.
The new arrangement is shown in the first photo below. As usual you simply pull the dioptre adjuster up, set it as required and then push it back down. Now the first time I did this I was slightly disconcerted by the short distance that the adjuster moved, and wondered if I had really pulled it up far enough, as there was no click or other indication that I had pulled it to the right position. Pushing it back in was similar, with no audible click to tell you that all was done. However, after having done this several times now, I don’t think about it anymore as on every single occasion the adjustment has been successfully made and, in addition, I have noticed that there is a red ring under the adjuster that is visible when it is pulled out, so you have a visible warning to inform you of the adjuster’s position. In the second photo the nearest bino has the adjuster pushed down whereas the bino furthest away has the adjuster still pulled up and the red ring is clearly visible.
The other change is that the eyecups now have an intermediate position as well as the fully-up or fully-down ones. This is a welcome additional adjustability because the more you try out different models of binos, especially if you were spectacles and change them from time to time, the more you realise that the golden rule stating non-spectacle wearers always need the eyecups up, and spectacle wearers always have the eyecups screwed all the way down, isn’t as golden as it purports to be: it is just a starting place. For sure, since changing to frameless spectacles with thin lenses I have had to make adjustments that a couple of years ago I would never dreamed of, so I welcome any change, however modest, that increases the adjustability of binos.
Those are the updates that B1.1s have, and since it is some years since I tried out a MeoStar 10x42 I have borrowed a B1.1 10x42 HD, and will be reporting on these shortly.

Lee
 

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bartd

Well-known member
Great info, Thank you! I am a big Meopta fan and love my MeoStar B1 binos. I also recently picked up a pair of Optika 10x42 binos, also by Meopta. At under $300 they will not let you down and have already spent over 100 hours in the field with me.
 

Troubador

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The improvements made to B1.1 are nice but they don't make B1 models suddenly 'out of date' so continue to enjoy your B1s.

Lee
 

RobMorane

Well-known member
Lee, one quick question: How's the "Grip" of the focuser?
Do you think it can be used with gloves?
 

Gilmore Girl

Beth
Supporter
United States
Hi L,

Is the focus on both binos still stiff like the old focus?

Does the 8x32 also have the HD optical design or only 10x42?
 

Troubador

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Lee, one quick question: How's the "Grip" of the focuser?
Do you think it can be used with gloves?

I have used wooly gloves, both dry and wet, also gloves with a waterproof outer skin and all of them worked just fine.

Lee
 

Troubador

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Hi L,

Is the focus on both binos still stiff like the old focus?

Does the 8x32 also have the HD optical design or only 10x42?

The focus was a little stiff at first and then became easier after a few hours. I find this very nice to use.

The 10x42 is the only HD model but absolutely honestly, the others don't need HD-help at all. The biggest difference by far between the 8x binos and 10x42 HD is the extra magnification because the chromatic aberration control on the 8x42 and 8x32 is so good.

Lee
 

Gilmore Girl

Beth
Supporter
United States
The diopter is practically the same invention/design from Leica (Ultravid).
I guess Leica didn't patent their design.
 

tenex

reality-based
The focus was a little stiff at first and then became easier after a few hours.
I would find such variation unsettling. Has it changed further since?

The diopter is practically the same invention/design from Leica (Ultravid).
I guess Leica didn't patent their design.
The Swarovski design is functionally identical also, just different cosmetics. I actually don't remember who did it first -- probably Leica with the Trinovid BA, which didn't have two separate knobs but did pop up to adjust diopter. But you're right, they must not have patented the basic idea of it. Curious.
 

Gilmore Girl

Beth
Supporter
United States
The Swarovski design is functionally identical also, just different cosmetics. I actually don't remember who did it first -- probably Leica with the Trinovid BA, which didn't have two separate knobs but did pop up to adjust diopter. But you're right, they must not have patented the basic idea of it. Curious.

Yes the Swaro diopter pops up and also the FL diopter pops up too.
But, this is the first time I've seen another diopter with a window dial at the top of the wheel exactly like the Ultravid. This new Meostar diopter looks like a direct copy of the Ultravid design.
Also, the Meostar now has split the focus wheel into two separate mechanisms (both wheels) same as Ultravid .
Only difference is Meostar diopter wheel is smaller than the focus wheel right underneath.
The 2 focus wheels on the Ultravid are the same size.
 
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Troubador

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I would find such variation unsettling. Has it changed further since?

No and I don't expect it to. Why? Because the same thing happened with my first MeoStar in 2016 and it stayed the same all the time since then.

Lee
 

Pileatus

"Experientia Docet”
United States
The Ultravid diopter allows you to pop the knob up thus disengaging the two focus wheels. While viewing, you can individually adjust left/right focus. Pushing the diopter down reengages the two focus wheels for normal use. It's extremely user-friendly and there's no guessing since the diopter adjustment is visible in real time.

Note:
If you push the diopter down from the center (there's a black circular piece of plastic) you may fracture the clear window resulting in one or more hairline cracks. Press on the edges and this will not occur. I've seen quite a few diopter windows with hairline cracks, including mine prior to repair by Leica.
 
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Gilmore Girl

Beth
Supporter
United States
The Ultravid diopter allows you to pop the knob up thus disengaging the two focus wheels. While viewing, you can individually adjust left/right focus. Pushing the diopter down reengages the two focus wheels for normal use. It's extremely user-friendly and there's no guessing since the diopter adjustment is visible in real time.

Note:
If you push the diopter down from the center (there's a black circular piece of plastic) you may fracture the clear window resulting in one or more hairline cracks. Press on the edges and this will not occur. I've seen quite a few diopter windows with hairline cracks, including mine prior to repair by Leica.

Did you look at the first photo Lee provided in his initial post?
It's practically the same diopter as Ultravid. It has the window dial with
black plastic center piece and pulls up so that both wheels can be used independently. It even has red line in the middle when pulled out ... just like
Ultravid.
 

Troubador

Moderator
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The diopter is practically the same invention/design from Leica (Ultravid).
I guess Leica didn't patent their design.

GiGi

We can only see the outside of the binocular so we can't see the internal mechanics of either the Leica or Meopta dioptre adjustment. They could be very different for all we can tell.

Lee
 
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Troubador

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Also, the Meostar now has split the focus wheel into two separate mechanisms (both wheels) same as Ultravid .

GiGi it is incorrect to state that the MeoStar NOW has a split wheel. MeoStar has always had a split wheel, or to put it another way, two separate wheels side by side, but the dioptre wheel on B1 didn't need to be pulled up. See the pic below of a B1 8x42.

Lee
 

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Gilmore Girl

Beth
Supporter
United States
GiGi

We can only see the outside of the binocular so we can't see the internal mechanics of either the Leica or Meopta dioptre adjustment. They could be very different for all we can tell.

Lee

That's possible ... maybe I'm the only one but it seems Meopta borrowed
the basic design from Leica. There are very minor differences , but in general
it seems a copy of Ultravid basic design and function.
 

Gilmore Girl

Beth
Supporter
United States
GiGi it is incorrect to state that the MeoStar NOW has a split wheel. MeoStar has always had a split wheel, or to put it another way, two separate wheels side by side, but the dioptre wheel on B1 didn't need to be pulled up. See the pic below of a B1 8x42.

Lee

I briefly owned the Cabela's Meostar 8x32 and remember that diopter well because I thought it was the easiet diopter to set ... easier even than Ultravid for me. I really liked that it had increments which helped get the setting easier.
I wish they didn't change it but I guess people demanded a locking diopter.
I didn't view it as a split focus wheel at the time. I suppose the new diopter is not exactly split like the Ultravid because it's smaller ... still though it's difficult to not think immediately of the Ultravid diopter when looking at pics of this new Meopta design. It looks basically the same and the way it functions as you detailed in your review also seems the same.
 

Troubador

Moderator
Staff member
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That's possible ... maybe I'm the only one but it seems Meopta borrowed
the basic design from Leica. There are very minor differences , but in general
it seems a copy of Ultravid basic design and function.

Yes it looks the same on the outside.

Lee
 

Troubador

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
That's possible ... maybe I'm the only one but it seems Meopta borrowed
the basic design from Leica. There are very minor differences , but in general
it seems a copy of Ultravid basic design and function.

GiGi

I got Troubadoris's Ultravid 8x32 out and had a B1.1 8x32 as well to investigate what the two dioptre adjusters feel like. As you rightly point out, they look very similar on the outside, but as we know from how different from each other bino focusers can feel, even if they look similar on the outside, I wanted to find out if the two dioptres felt different in use.

Long story short: they feel quite different.

The Ultravid's dioptre has some kind of 'safety lip' which prevents the dioptre from being pulled out accidentally, so when you pull on the dioptre it moves loosely a tiny bit then you need to pull harder to overcome the resistance of the 'safety'. When you do this you pull past the stiffness of the safety and then the dioptre moves very loosely to the end of its travel where it hits the stop quite noisily.

The Meopta is totally different. When you pull back on the dioptre it is stiff to move all the way to the end of its much shorter travel. There is no 'safety lip' with a bit of loose movement on one side of it and a lot more loose movement on the other side. The Meopta's dioptre only moves 1mm so when it hits the stop at the end of the movement it does this either silently or only with a soft sound depending how much force you were applying.

When you rotate the dioptres to make an adjustment, the Uvid turns easily, the MeoStar turns stiffly.

So these two systems certainly look similar on the outside but feel totally different when you use them.

Lee
 
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