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A request for a review on the BX4 Pro Guides. (1 Viewer)

mskb

Well-known member
Hello Everyone,

Just a suggestion for the knowledgeable optics reviewers here - could any of you review the BX4 Pro Guides when you get a chance - as an 8x, and perhaps also as a 10x option?

I am staring at it alongside an 8x MHG, and a 9x demo B2. The build quality of the BX4 is just plain awful! That on-axis view, however, is darn impressive, and appears quite competitive with tricky FoV specs. A comparative review with something like the M7 / MeoproHD would be valuable I think.

Cheers,
Kumar
 

dries1

Member
MkSB,

Perhaps you could also peruse the Hu...ng forums, since they use them. After that you will give up, spend more $$ and get a premier glass. While I like the HG I wonder how it and other mid range glass will last before sending them for repair service, replacement under warranty. These replacement policies makes me wonder how cheap these are to make, and how over priced the mid-range glass actually is.

Andy W.
 

mskb

Well-known member
Hey @Steve, thanks! I came across that - isn't that the Mojave BX-3 & BX-3 PG? I was requesting a review for a BX-4. Or do you think they are rather similar?

Haha @Andy, yes, looking at a few of those forums as well! I also wonder about the value of the mid-range. I haven't owned any over long periods of time, so can't comment on their longevity. At least in the case of B1/B2, our own Steve, Alan and Chuck have been very happy with them, and appear to think they have good value. Now with the MHGs though, I am not sure. :-D
 

Steve C

Well-known member
Hey @Steve, thanks! I came across that - isn't that the Mojave BX-3 & BX-3 PG? I was requesting a review for a BX-4. Or do you think they are rather similar?

Haha @Andy, yes, looking at a few of those forums as well! I also wonder about the value of the mid-range. I haven't owned any over long periods of time, so can't comment on their longevity. At least in the case of B1/B2, our own Steve, Alan and Chuck have been very happy with them, and appear to think they have good value. Now with the MHGs though, I am not sure. :-D

mksb,

Yes, that was the Pro Guide BX-3. ;) There was no BX-4 designation at the time and as far as I know, the present BX-4 pro Guide was then the BX-3 PG, in other words the same binocular. The BX-3 PG was elevated to the BX-4 designation due to the use of Fluorite in some form in the glass, which is not used in the BX-3.

In general, I pretty well disagree with Andy's evaluation. However in certain circumstances that opinion is correct. I may well skate out to the thin ice here, but I do not say this to demean, or to be critical of, any particular person or viewpoint. There is the plain fact that any binocular has faults, and if anybody looks hard enough they will find them. They may even elevate minor points to major ones. I get the impression that you are going to be pretty critical in your evaluation of whatever binocular you choose. That is just fine, since it is your money you spend, and you that has to use it. You have to like it, not anybody else ;). You mention the Maven B2. You have said nothing about it until now when you make the statement about it and the MHG. Now, if the B2 does not suit you in terms of the image it provides, Andy's post becomes correct. If the B2 or the MHG does not do it for you, NOTHING in the mid range glass will either. That likely includes Leupold's BX-5 Santiam which is a remarkably better binocular than the BX-4.

It has been my position for some time now that any particular users satisfaction level with any product you care to name, is dependent upon what it takes that user to be able to shut off the little voices we all have whispering in our ear telling us there has to be something better. We all like the idea of getting premium quality at whatever level our disposable income budget deems affordable. The main advantage of spending the $$ for a top tier binocular is that at that point those little voices calm to the point where the user can tune them out and just use the binocular. The reason is that there is the realization that there is nothing better to be had. That is the prime reason for spending cash on a Swarovski, Zeiss, or Leica, at least in my opinion ;).

As far as binoculars go I evidently can tune out the little voices better than some others. I have been looking for the right alpha binocular for me sine 1993. Still looking. From my perspective the big guns make lots of noise, but they don't live up to their hype by long shot. My perspective tells me that the mid range delivers 95%++ of the top end for way less than half the price. At that point my little voices go quiet, the voices of others do not. That is simply a difference in different perspectives, I do not say this to say any particular individual perspective is either right or wrong. Simply put, if the mid range glass does not attain the level of satisfaction you want, then Andy's perspective is the correct one for you to follow.
 
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mskb

Well-known member
Hi Steve,

Thanks for the insights and advice, as always!

Not sure if there is a miscommunication here, but I certainly like the B2's image quality, I am just debating whether I could handle the weight, hence the second time demo-ing business. I personally have no issues with its build quality as well. MHG on the other hand, I have a "love & really hate" relationship. Hence the back and forths. Also, I was citing "Steve/Alan/Chuck" to indicate that experienced people love it - not in a disrespectful way.

I am just fine with the optical quality one gets from the mid-range. Hence, sticking to the $1000 mark as much as I can and not dabbling with the next in line SLC WB ... yet. I just need to know the trade offs I make are based on my preferences, which I find evolves over time as we try different binoculars in the real world, and talk to experts. With the B2, it was the weight. With the MHG, the resolution. With BX4 (which admittedly isn't a $1000 "mid-range" but I find to be extremely competitive), the FoV.


Thanks,
Kumar
 
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Steve C

Well-known member
Kumar,

OK, I wasn't sure about your reactions, thanks for clearing it up. I agree the B2 is s big binocular. The B1 offers a somewhat smaller package than the B2 without appreciable optical sacrifice. The BX-5 is in the $1,200 range, but is very nice optically.
 

mskb

Well-known member
OK Cool! Glad everything's sorted out now. Sorry about my writing!

Going back to the subject of the thread, I spent a good bit of time with the BX4 PGs outdoors again today, and thought I would share my experience.
1. Terrific sharpness & clarity, contrast, CA & glare control.
2. Great colors - strong reds and bold blues! Do the yellows/greens take a hit? I am not sure, I suspect so but it is worth checking by an expert. Altogether fantastic looking robins, bluebirds and softy-soft-cutesy-balls of chickadees with nice feather detail. I didn't think I would ever say this - I preferred the PG's colors over my MHGs.
3. I felt it to be marginally better in low light as well.
4. Major major ding in the experience for me, is that 7º FoV and the sub-par MIJ build quality.

@Steve, if the Santiam even retains the same level optically, while improving on the close focus (5ft instead of 10) and .2 degree increase in the FoV, all in a 23.6oz package, it must be a neat option. Whether it is worth ~$1200, when EuroHD / B1 / B2 runs around <$1100, I don't know.

I will end by saying this : I personally think it is well worth the effort to try the BX4PGs / the Santiam, at least once. And when one decides to order it, despite all of this being MIJ, just hope that he/she gets a good copy.

I sure hope we get a proper BX4-PG review from an experienced reviewer!

Cheers everyone!
 
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jgraider

Well-known member
I hunted for 3 months with the BX4's in 10x42, and found them optically excellent, average build quality, but solid feeling in the hand. They give up little to the mid range ($1000) glass IMO. I am much like Steve C, and you can call that blessed, or cursed in that I can see little difference optically between the sub alpha Toric, Meostar HD, or Conquest HD class glass and the so called alpha stuff like the SLC HD. I have no brand bias, but find that the 10x50 SV has no peer. I still say that for the $600 I paid, the Tract Toric is an absolute steal and runaway best optic for the buck I've ever seen, owned, or used, and I've seen a boat load of top level glass.
 
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