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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.

I am thinking the new 32 mm alphas from Swarovski and Zeiss are the best birding binoculars you can buy right now. (2 Viewers)

Binocollector

Well-known member
Germany
I got an excellent super wide angle Eschenbach 8x30. Mine looks definitely like it was made in Japan (it has no JB or JE numbers however but not all vintage Japanese binos have them) and it's probably from the 70's. Eschenbach was always an importer when it comes to binos. I think the only thing they manufacture are spectacles.
Most of the binos they sell nowadays look like made in China to me. But there might be some more expensive models made elsewhere. And they have some cool designs like the "Regatta" model.
IMG_20220311_114706.jpg IMG_20220311_114743.jpg IMG_20220311_114806.jpg
 

Binocollector

Well-known member
Germany
It states a 10° FoV which is probably a bit overstated. But it is very wide. I only have one 10° 8x30 that is even wider but my eyelashes touch the glass on that one - it's a "Luna Super" (interestingly enough also sometimes sold under the Eschenbach brand but mine is just labeled "Luna Super"). I'm a big fan of those vintage 8x30s. Nothing has a wider view for the price (maybe except for some 7x35s). But most of them have a lot of field curvature.

Cheers, Philipp :)
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
It states a 10° FoV which is probably a bit overstated. But it is very wide. I only have one 10° 8x30 that is even wider but my eyelashes touch the glass on that one - it's a "Luna Super" (interestingly enough also sometimes sold under the Eschenbach brand but mine is just labeled "Luna Super"). I'm a big fan of those vintage 8x30s. Nothing has a wider view for the price (maybe except for some 7x35s). But most of them have a lot of field curvature.

Cheers, Philipp :)
That is a beautiful binocular and I definitely like porro binoculars, but I have tried a lot of the older WA porros and as you say there is a lot of field curvature compared to the more modern porros. Personally, I find when you start getting into a 10 degree binocular for me, it is almost too WA and the huge FOV is too much to take in at once, especially when the edges start dropping off in clarity. it is almost like looking at a picture that you have to roll your eyes around in to see it all. I still like the older porros for their classic appearance and vintage appeal, though. I wonder if the new line of Eschenbach are made by Kamakura now or as you say MIC. They look very similar to the GPO line.
 

Thotmosis

Well-known member
Netherlands
It states a 10° FoV which is probably a bit overstated. But it is very wide. I only have one 10° 8x30 that is even wider but my eyelashes touch the glass on that one - it's a "Luna Super" (interestingly enough also sometimes sold under the Eschenbach brand but mine is just labeled "Luna Super"). I'm a big fan of those vintage 8x30s. Nothing has a wider view for the price (maybe except for some 7x35s). But most of them have a lot of field curvature.

Cheers, Philipp :)
Interesting old tread where they say some are MIC and the better ones in Japan.

I had an old vintage Steiner 8x30 but gave it away because it was not as i expected. I guess you have to do your homework about these vintage 7x30's to know which ones are good or not good. Nice study :)
 

Binocollector

Well-known member
Germany
I had an old vintage Steiner 8x30 but gave it away because it was not as i expected. :)
Not that I wanna completely spam the thread but I got one of those, too -- the rubber armored "Marine/Military" model and it is awful. It seems like about 10% of the FoV are sharp -- the rest is a blurry mess -- it's so bad in fact that sometimes I think there might be something wrong inside, maybe fungus or some dirt on the lenses. Too bad since I actually like Steiner, as one of my first "better" binos (better than a pocket size Tasco 8x21 that is) was a 10x50E. The model with the typical shape but without the rubber armor. And I live about 40 minutes from Bayreuth, so I might one day visit the company headquarters, look through a few and if I find a good one, I might get another, but the 2 I have are not that good.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
Not that I wanna completely spam the thread but I got one of those, too -- the rubber armored "Marine/Military" model and it is awful. It seems like about 10% of the FoV are sharp -- the rest is a blurry mess -- it's so bad in fact that sometimes I think there might be something wrong inside, maybe fungus or some dirt on the lenses. Too bad since I actually like Steiner, as one of my first "better" binos (better than a pocket size Tasco 8x21 that is) was a 10x50E. The model with the typical shape but without the rubber armor. And I live about 40 minutes from Bayreuth, so I might one day visit the company headquarters, look through a few and if I find a good one, I might get another, but the 2 I have are not that good.
I have tried a lot of Steiner's and the only one I liked was the Night Hunter 8x56. The rest of them were just average. Not too many birders use Steiner's and that is probably why.
 

Thotmosis

Well-known member
Netherlands
Not that I wanna completely spam the thread but I got one of those, too -- the rubber armored "Marine/Military" model and it is awful. It seems like about 10% of the FoV are sharp -- the rest is a blurry mess -- it's so bad in fact that sometimes I think there might be something wrong inside, maybe fungus or some dirt on the lenses. Too bad since I actually like Steiner, as one of my first "better" binos (better than a pocket size Tasco 8x21 that is) was a 10x50E. The model with the typical shape but without the rubber armor. And I live about 40 minutes from Bayreuth, so I might one day visit the company headquarters, look through a few and if I find a good one, I might get another, but the 2 I have are not that good.
Sorry for the spam on my behalf also but just one more... I like the form factor of the rubber covered Steiner's as i like it in my Habicht GA and Zeiss 15x60 BGAT. Im looking for a nice pair of Zeiss FL for this reason.
 

Thotmosis

Well-known member
Netherlands
I have tried a lot of Steiner's and the only one I liked was the Night Hunter 8x56. The rest of them were just average. Not too many birders use Steiner's and that is probably why.
Also because a lot of the Steiner's has IF i guess, but they surely look like they can take a beating. For my that is really important.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
The Steiner's are tough looking. I don't think they have ever caught on with birders too much. It seems more boaters and such use them more. The Zeiss FL's are very nice, but they are getting hard to find, and they command a pretty high price because of that.
 

HenRun

Well-known member
Sweden
Thotmosis; not to give too much of false hope but my former pair of Zeiss 10x32 FL might be up for sale. I need to ask my friend who has them if he is still considering selling them. Right ocular is a bit stiff on them I haven't looked into if it is just a case of some minor love and attention to fix them up. Other than that they are in good condition.
 

HenRun

Well-known member
Sweden
How was the brightness on the Meostar 8x42?
It was very good, weather was nice and sunny with clear skies so it was not challenging for the bino, but the image was bright and uniform with no major image degradation towards the edges. Some minor CA, on par with the Leicas (comparable to some Ultravids) but overall great performance for the price point. Little less contrast than later Ultravids but great performance. Main drawback is weight, it is about as heavy in hand as the 10x42HD Meostar which is a better binocular all in all. At least I think.
Have you ever tried a Noctivid 8x42 for CA?
Yes, when I was trying out the Ultravid 7x42. Noctivid felt light in hand and had great imaging, however a slight trace of CA on high contrast subjects. Too expensive for me, but as with the rest of the high end Leicas: if you get past the CA the imaging is extremely nice.
 

HenRun

Well-known member
Sweden
HenRun, i guess im one of those lucky ones who -until now at least- barely notices CA. Having a Duovid 8-12x42 im very satisfied with the double magnification. The FOV at 8x is rather narrow comparing to other 8x though. When comparing the Duovid at 8x with my UVHD 8x32 (not plus) i do't see a lot of difference at day time. The smaller 8x32 is maybe even brighter. White is more white. So when compactness and weight is an issue the UV 8x32 would be a good choice.
Well, that is nice - lucky you! Binocular life would be so much easier for me if I wasn't CA sensitive. CA is a deal breaker for me in most cases.

A good friend has the Ultravid HD Plus 8x32 which was on my short list to get myself. I get too much reflections from them using them with my glasses but the optics are great - really nice punchy contrast and a very handy format. Looking through them without glasses I think they are fantastic. He got a bargain buy on them, less than half price from new - and they are the HD Plus variant.

On the last group birding I signed up for a loaner tube. It was an Olivon and that thing was so poor I only looked through it once during the day. Massive CA and low contrast. I could not get a sharp image from it no matter what I tried.
Despite the difference in magnification there was nothing that Olivon gave more detail of compared to the Meopta 12x50. I had to drag the tube and tripod around all day.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
It was very good, weather was nice and sunny with clear skies so it was not challenging for the bino, but the image was bright and uniform with no major image degradation towards the edges. Some minor CA, on par with the Leicas (comparable to some Ultravids) but overall great performance for the price point. Little less contrast than later Ultravids but great performance. Main drawback is weight, it is about as heavy in hand as the 10x42HD Meostar which is a better binocular all in all. At least I think.

Yes, when I was trying out the Ultravid 7x42. Noctivid felt light in hand and had great imaging, however a slight trace of CA on high contrast subjects. Too expensive for me, but as with the rest of the high end Leicas: if you get past the CA the imaging is extremely nice.
The Meopta's do tend to be on the heavy side. They are built like a tank.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
Well, that is nice - lucky you! Binocular life would be so much easier for me if I wasn't CA sensitive. CA is a deal breaker for me in most cases.

A good friend has the Ultravid HD Plus 8x32 which was on my short list to get myself. I get too much reflections from them using them with my glasses but the optics are great - really nice punchy contrast and a very handy format. Looking through them without glasses I think they are fantastic. He got a bargain buy on them, less than half price from new - and they are the HD Plus variant.

On the last group birding I signed up for a loaner tube. It was an Olivon and that thing was so poor I only looked through it once during the day. Massive CA and low contrast. I could not get a sharp image from it no matter what I tried.
Despite the difference in magnification there was nothing that Olivon gave more detail of compared to the Meopta 12x50. I had to drag the tube and tripod around all day.
What is an Olivon? I have never heard of them?
 

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