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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 tried a slug of $1K roof-prism binoculars and I think the Zeiss Conquest HD 8x32 is still the best for the money! (1 Viewer)

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They really are nice. There is a lot to say for that $1000 price point. No doubt we’re getting a serious piece of optical equipment. It truly is a happy medium. I was out today with my 8x42HG, 8x32UVHD+. & 8x30 Habicht‘s. The HG never fails to impress and feels so good in the hands. You could say as a birding or hunting tool you might never miss the true Alphas with a $1000 bino. But for us optics enthusiasts the view in breathtaking in the alphas.

When looking through the Leica or the Habicht’s, you just notice it immediately. Theres a clarity in detail on objects that you don’t know you’re missing with the lower-priced ones until you look through them.

I love them all. I got my eye on a Tinovid Classic in 7x35. I’m musing the possibilities. Im reading that optically these are better than the Trinovid HD.

merry Christmas
You're correct! You get to thinking the $1K binocular is perfect, and then you look through a Habicht, UVHD+, NL, or SF and you are jolted back to reality. The $1K binoculars are excellent, but the alphas are no doubt a little better!
 

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They really are nice. There is a lot to say for that $1000 price point. No doubt we’re getting a serious piece of optical equipment. It truly is a happy medium. I was out today with my 8x42HG, 8x32UVHD+. & 8x30 Habicht‘s. The HG never fails to impress and feels so good in the hands. You could say as a birding or hunting tool you might never miss the true Alphas with a $1000 bino. But for us optics enthusiasts the view in breathtaking in the alphas.

When looking through the Leica or the Habicht’s, you just notice it immediately. Theres a clarity in detail on objects that you don’t know you’re missing with the lower-priced ones until you look through them.

I love them all. I got my eye on a Tinovid Classic in 7x35. I’m musing the possibilities. Im reading that optically these are better than the Trinovid HD.

merry Christmas
I think the newer Trinovid 7x35 is very close optically in the daytime to a UVHD+ 7x42, because I had them both for a while.
 

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You know, those Abbe-Koenig prism binoculars are becoming more available within that $1000 price class. Take the Maven B2. It comes in 7x45, 9x45, and 11x45. Maven claims 93.7% light transmission. It has field flatteners too. Plus you get that extra couple millimeters of aperture and the field of view is 377' at a 1000 yards in the 9x. Not bad. I'd love to get my hands on one of those just to have a look. The drawback though is they come in at 33 oz. I suspect for a $1000 they outperform the Schmidt-Pechan prism binoculars. The optical design is just better to begin with, just heavier because of the big prism. The vortex razor UHDs are also AK prisms, so are the Sig Sauer Zulu9s. The sig and mavens look like they might even be the same optics in a different body. Pretty sure they are made in the same factory. At least the specs are identical. In comparing the Vortex Razor hd vs the UHD, the UHD is better optically. If I were getting another $1000 class binocular, I would take a hard look at the Mavens and would have to weigh that extra weight vs performance trade off.
I think all the binoculars you are talking about are by Kamakura. Kamakura does make good binoculars. They make the Zeiss Conquest HD. The Maven's do tend to be heavy The Maven 9x45 is very nice optically and with the AK prism is one of the best Maven's, but it is a little heavy and big. One bad thing about Mavens and Tract Torics is they don't make anything, really. All their binoculars are made by Kamakura, and they just market them, so it makes you wonder if they will be around in 5 years. Remember Styrka?
 

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I was speaking generally about the whole package. It’s optical quality, size, weight, light transmission, color rendition, CA control, build quality and so on, All in a package. Not just pick and choose what’s better hear and there. I don’t believe the conquests or Trinovids are built better than Swaro EL, NL Zeiss FL and so on.

Conquest suffers from the cheapest eye cups I almost ever seen on a binocular and the Trinovids are horrible with CA. But then, as we been saying you pay for what you get.

it’s obvious that the manufactures in most part are giving what the consumer is asking for, mostly. If more consumers wanted Porros, there would be more porros , I love them. If they could sell more roofs with AK prisms, there would be more options for them.

Theres no denying the quality difference in a UVHD to a Tinovid or a Nikon HG, or a SF to a conquest. Good is good, excellent is excellent. When I look through many of the Alphas, I go wow. That to me is worth money, I don’t know if it’s worth double or triple. Although I have been paying for it. But the difference to my eye and how it feels is way more than 5%.

I think those improvements across the board, the fit and finish of most of them and the wow factor looking through them is substantially more than 5% boost. But again that’s only an opinion of one man. Possibly thousands of others as well. 😏


Merry Christmas
I agree that the alpha attraction goes beyond the optics. Most are a step above the $1K binoculars in build quality, and they are just SO delicious!
 

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Im not sure how I feel about about having the AK for the sake of having AK prisms. they’re heavier and longer. I compared the vortex HD, UHD and almost undetectable difference until you get into very low light conditions. Sig Zulu a tank from the future, lots of CA. The Mavens I haven’t tried. The Zeiss 56 also use AK, but are over $1000.

I wonder if some manufacturers are using the AK to squeeze out a little more light transmission to cover or compensate for some other shortcomings of the optical train. I have compared so many good and excellent binoculars over the last year, so many are wonderful and enjoyable Binoculars. it’s really becomes difficult to choose sometimes, but overall the differences are small in each price point.

I am of the opinion that it’s the whole package of glass choice, optical design, coatings, and build materials that make the difference from a good binocular to an excellent binocular.

I see and enjoy these differences in quality (don’t like paying for it, but that’s relative I guess) from a quality usable tool to a work of art. Everybody has their opinions about the level of difference on the high priced alphas. But I’m pretty certain that if people had the choice and it was handed to them they would choose the alpha every time.

We all like to use the car analogies, it’s like a Chevy cobalt will get you from point A to point B. Same as a Mercedes S550 or a BMW M5, but there’s more than A 5% increase in quality and performance there. Some feel that, others don’t. We could debate the facts about if someone agrees there’s a difference or not, but you can’t debate the fact that one is a much higher quality machine.

PS, the GPO ED in 56 series also uses the AK and they’re under $1000.

Paul
Interesting point on the AK prisms. I don't think they have the advantage they used to have with current technology over the SP. If Swarovski and Zeiss are using the SP prism in their NL and SF line, they must think they are pretty good. I agree on build quality in the alphas. The SF, NL, UVHD+ all have sensational build quality and are a pleasure to use and even look at. The Monarch HG is a very nice binocular, but it is not as beautiful as a top alpha from the big three.
 

Paultricounty

Well-known member
United States
Interesting point on the AK prisms. I don't think they have the advantage they used to have with current technology over the SP. If Swarovski and Zeiss are using the SP prism in their NL and SF line, they must think they are pretty good. I agree on build quality in the alphas. The SF, NL, UVHD+ all have sensational build quality and are a pleasure to use and even look at. The Monarch HG is a very nice binocular, but it is not as beautiful as a top alpha from the big three.
MHG is a gorgeous Binocular for the price point. I think it’s on the top of heap with the conquest and I hate to say the Trinovid, soooo much CA, but still a beautiful well made binocular. The HG are warm binoculars, not overly though. Some say it’s in the yellow, I think I see more red. But for a 42mm, the weight , size and feel are real nice. It’s my favorite in the price point.

merry Christmas
 

KevinL

Well-known member
One bad thing about Mavens and Tract Torics is they don't make anything, really. All their binoculars are made by Kamakura, and they just market them, so it makes you wonder if they will be around in 5 years. Remember Styrka?
Right, I suspect that many, many binocular brands are made by Kamakura. I do think they make nice binoculars too, but they create the illusion of different brands and competition when there are really only a few different manufacturers out there who make optics. The lines are getting more blurred all the time. Just search spotting scopes on Amazon. You see weird names like SVBony, Gosky, gravitude, emarth, Healsun etc. They all look almost identical to more common brands. Without having tried them, I assume they are basically knock offs, might even be the exact same thing. They might have different components though, hard to know. All are probably made in the same factories as the more common brands. Vortex, Athlon, Celestron, and others seem to be the most copied. I wouldn't be surprised at all if I found out that the Tract Torics UHDs optics are the exact same Kamakura made optics as Zeiss Conquest in a different chassis. I swear, I could not see a hair of difference between the two when I had them side by side in terms of optical properties. Only the magnification looked slightly different to me, and who knows, maybe I was imagining that. Even the coloration was the same. You don't see knock offs of some brands as much though. Nikons for example seem to be unique without knockoffs. Same with the Euro brands, not many knock offs.
 
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MHG is a gorgeous Binocular for the price point. I think it’s on the top of heap with the conquest and I hate to say the Trinovid, soooo much CA, but still a beautiful well made binocular. The HG are warm binoculars, not overly though. Some say it’s in the yellow, I think I see more red. But for a 42mm, the weight , size and feel are real nice. It’s my favorite in the price point.

merry Christmas
The HG's are more red. Almost all Nikon's are warm in the red. The Trinovid does have a lot of CA. The HG's do have great build quality, but they are just not in the same class as the big three alphas IMO, which is to be expected at twice the cost. The Swarovski EL and NL, Leica UVHD, and Zeiss SF are probably the highest quality binoculars you can buy, and you can see it. The Zeiss Conquest HD's are just a little sharper on-axis than the HG, which is why I like them a little better. The HG total package is probably preferable though because of it' compact size and lightweight.
 
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Right, I suspect that many, many binocular brands are made by Kamakura. I do think they make nice binoculars too, but they create the illusion of different brands and competition when there are really only a few different manufacturers out there who make optics. The lines are getting more blurred all the time. Just search spotting scopes on Amazon. You see weird names like SVBony, Gosky, gravitude, emarth, Healsun etc. They all look almost identical to more common brands. Without having tried them, I assume they are basically knock offs, might even be the exact same thing. They might have different components though, hard to know. All are probably made in the same factories as the more common brands. Vortex, Athlon, Celestron, and others seem to be the most copied. I wouldn't be surprised at all if I found out that the Tract Torics UHDs optics are the exact same Kamakura made optics as Zeiss Conquest in a different chassis. I swear, I could not see a hair of difference between the two when I had them side by side in terms of optical properties. Only the magnification looked slightly different to me, and who knows, maybe I was imagining that. Even the coloration was the same. You don't see knock offs of some brands as much though. Nikons for example seem to be unique without knockoffs. Same with the Euro brands, not many knock offs.
You're correct. That is one advantage of buying a Nikon or one of the European brands like Leica or Swarovski. You know, Leica's top models like the UVHD are made in Germany and Swarovski's EL and NL are made in Austria. A Gosky is probably as good as a Maven for less money because they are both made in the same plant by Kamakura. Maven could be specifying higher quality glass or components and inspecting their binoculars better after production, it is hard to say.
 
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Troubador

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Lee. Do you mean all Leica binoculars? Most of the UVHD and Noctivid say Made in Germany on them. How long ago did they do this? Thanks!

Dennis, it wasn't me that was saying this, it was Tobias, so you should really ask him.
But what he said was no surprise as dealers have visited the Leica site in Wetzlar on more than one occasion and they haven't seen bino production there.

Lee
 

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Dennis, it wasn't me that was saying this, it was Tobias, so you should really ask him.
But what he said was no surprise as dealers have visited the Leica site in Wetzlar on more than one occasion and they haven't seen bino production there.

Lee
Thanks, for the information. Nice to get some inside information like that!
 

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Thanks Beth for the heads up, and Merry Christmas.
I think every Leica UVHD 8x42 I have owned have said Made in Germany on them. The compact Leica's like the 8x20 Trinovid and Ultravid say Made in Portugal, but the bigger aperture models say Made in Germany. If they are NOT made in Germany, how could they say that? It would be a lie!
 
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A2GG

Beth
United States
I think every Leica UVHD 8x42 I have owned have said Made in Germany on them. The compact Leica's like the 8x20 Trinovid and Ultravid say Made in Portugal, but the bigger aperture models say Made in Germany. If they are NOT made in Germany, how could they say that? It would be a lie!
My Uvid plus also said MIG. I think they recently moved all production to Portugal.
Perhaps someone here knows what year this happened. Sorry, if this has already been mentioned here.
 

ZDHart

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United States
Yes, my understanding is that most (all?) of their binocular production now takes place in Leica's Portugal factory, as of earlier this year, I believe.

My 10x32 UVHD+ which I bought back in summer is marked Germany. My 8x32 UVHD+ which I bought later in the fall is marked Portugal. I am unable to detect any quality difference at all, between the two. Materials, build quality, mechanicals, image quality - all consistent from the Germany to the Portugal plant.
 

Allen

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Slight deviation but still concerning Zeiss Conquests. I had not realised there were original Mk1's such as 10 x 30 B T*. Were these MK1's any good? I presume not HD?
 

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