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Meopta Meopro HD 8x32--first impressions and thoughts (2 Viewers)


Well-known member
Hi guys and gals.
So I came across a slightly used Meopta Meopro HD 8x32. Always wanted to try a Meopta and the price was about half of a new one (didn't we have that discussion about resale value? One man's loss is another man's gain, I guess :D).
It arrived yesterday and I compared it to a few others, so here are a few first thoughts.
The one I got is the standard, not the "HD+" version.
AFAIK in case of the Meopro, the "HD" stands for actual ED-glass (some type of flouride-glass) and is not the usual unspecified "high density" or "high definition" glass -- like in a Vortex Diamondback that also is called a "HD"-model but has no ED-glass and actually sucks at controlling chromatic abberation.

The design is the typical one-hinge, straight tube, no-nonsense construction used for probably 99% of roof prism binos.
From the info I found, parts for the bino are from "far east" (be that China or Japan) -- my guess is, that the chassis ist sourced from a third party. The rubber has a nice texture and the exact same rubbery smell as a Kowa BDII.
My model is the older version that still has the "Assembled in USA" on it. I think the newer ones are all assembled in Czechia in the main Meopta-plant.

Meopta doesn't specify where the glass comes from but since they mention for more expensive optics like the "Meopro Air" that they use "European optics". This one doesn't. But in the end, that probably accounts for the relatively low price of around 470€ that the 8x32 sells for new.
The handling is very nice with the magnesium body, which fits my hands perfectly. One finger on the focuser, two on the bridge and the pinky wraps nicely around the barrel.
Focuser is pretty fast and super smooth. Diopter setting nice and tight. Clicks of the eye cups could be a bit more "robust" but they work nicely with 2 click stops.
Eye relief is a bit short for me with using my glasses. Eye cups could be a tad more comfy. Something that Kowa BDII or Fuji HC do better. But then again, they are also not horrible. Definitely better than the eye cups of a Vortex DB for example.


They are spec'ed at 8.2° FoV. It is slightly wider than my Fuji HC so that seems to be about right. Views are wide enough for me. Panning seems nice, low pincushion, low curvature. Just about right. Eye placement a little finicky compared to an 8x42 (naturally). But once IPD was perfectly dialed in, it works really good.
The view itself is really very good. CA is absent in the middle and very low even at the edge. The focus really "snaps" into sharpness. Excellent. I read in a review that someone complained about the focus wheel itself "feeling cheap". That is absolutely not the case on mine. Focus is very smooth and fast. Feels like a well oiled machine when using it. 10/10 points for that and it seems to make them ideally suited for birding.
One weakness I saw so far is that it has quite a bit of reflections around the exit pupils -- they don't seem to affect the view though but I guess baffling could be better. I haven't tested yet if that has an effect on glare. But I will update the thread as soon as I do.

I cannot really see any color tint, even though I have read elsewhere that it favors the greens. If it does, it is definitely not visible for me. It feels like it performs flawlessly. Maybe not quite as good as the Fuji HC 8x42 but very, very close. The comparison is not quite fair since the HC is 8x42 and the Meopta Meopro HD is 8x32.
The coatings are a dark green, very similar to the Fuji FMTR or HC or my Canon 8x32WP.

It is quite a notch above something like a Vortex DB or Svbony SV202 8x32. But that should be expected since it is about twice as expensive than the Vortex DB and 4x as expensive as the Svbony SV202 (which considering the price performs just fine but not "above its weight class" as I have read in reviews -- my 60€ Celestron "Ultima" 8x32 porro, MiC, is just as good optically as an Svbony, so the usual "pay twice for roof vs. porro to achive same quality" seems to apply pretty well in those low price categories. Maybe not so much in higher price brackets.)
I'll definitely be taking this one on vacation to the Lüneburger Heide (a nature reserve in Germany's north) next week to use together with my beloved Fuji HC.

So first impressions for now:
-- great optics, very low CA, good color fidelity, low pincushion distortion, nice panning behavior, fairly wide view
-- solid construction, great ergonomics
-- nice rubber armor, pretty grippy, slight rubbery "car tire" smell
-- fast and smooth focus
-- eye cups might get slightly uncomfy with time -- edges should be a bit more rounded -- depends on face geometry, too, of course -- I don't think it will be a real "issue" though
-- some reflections around exit pupil
-- not very good for glass wearers in combination with deep-set eyes
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I forgot to mention one detail - the strap is really nice. It clips on two smaller parts that stay connected to the bino and even the rainguard. So you could take off the strap for use at home but still have the rainguard tethered to the bino. Good solution to avoid the lenses getting dusty for instance. And the strap has these nice little "bumps" on it for extra comfort. Almost like bubbles in bubble-wrap foil.
Also it is long enough to wear bandolier style. Which I prefer for longer walks.
ive read the meopta strap is really good my meostars never came with one (bought secondhand ebay for a steal) but just cannot get one anywhere ive even tried meopta but never hear back

enjoy your meoptas a great brand
I have to correct myself about the use with glasses. It is not as bad as a first look with glasses on suggested. When I push the glasses as far up on my nose as they go (without pressing them into my face) they do work pretty well and the view is just slightly truncated. So with a smaller glass-frame and slightly shorter nose than I have, they might actually work pretty well with glasses. But of course that needs to be tested in a store at best.
Thanks for the report BC, i always like your pictures for some reason!
Thinking of getting myself a Meopta as well (x56 model) but want to see it first in real life because i have narrow IPD an i read somewhere that these models (the ‘56’s) have a somewhat wider IPD.

All the best from you neighbour from The Netherlands ;)

EDIT: p.s. Nice shirt btw.
Thanks for the report BC, i always like your pictures for some reason!
Thinking of getting myself a Meopta as well (x56 model) but want to see it first in real life because i have narrow IPD an i read somewhere that these models (the ‘56’s) have a somewhat wider IPD.

All the best from you neighbour from The Netherlands ;)

EDIT: p.s. Nice shirt btw.

I've been tempted by the 8x56 Meopro's at what looks like a great price. Only minor criticism of them I could find was the fairly narrow FoV. Whether I need 8x56's when I've got the 7x50 SLCs is my dilemma...
Richard, I love my 8X56 MeoPro binos. As you would expect, they are great in low light, and we are very impressed with the clarity and ease of focusing. I also have the MeoStar B1 Plus 8x32. I love them! I got them as a gift for my wife for a European River cruise. We love how easily they fit into a jacket pocket or are easily accessible in a day pack. I discovered Meopta 5 years ago and have turned dozens of friends into Meopta believers since my first pair of binos. Their S2 Spotter is truly a thing of beauty for long-range viewing. I just wish they had a compact spotter.
It was my initial understanding that the new ‘ Meopro air’line-up was to take it up a notch from previous older Meopro… which they might have done as I read this post. Although not ‘as good’ as the ‘old’ Meostar B1 and B1.1 line and yet $-wise… the same. Interesting, but as expected.

The Old Meostar B1/B1.1 line ( still have in stores as a B+ version) will eventually be supplanted by the B2 series of bins which will be a step-up in overall quality ( and $). So far they have reached the upgrade in $ but not in quality ( B plus version) over the B1/B1.1

I suspect that when ( if ever) the B2 line of bins comes out…the price will rise closer to $2500 while the quality will surely pass the current B-plus line.

For Meopta, it just gets complicated explaining this shift . The real questions are will the B2 match an Alpha quality ( most likely), will the size / dimensions continue to get larger ( like the Meopro airs), and more importantly, has COVID placed the stoppage of the B2 line entirely?
So a little update -- I took it on a 1 hour walk yesterday. Weather was kind of crazy -- first sunny then clouds moved in very quickly from the west.

As suspected the Meopta Meopro HD 8x32 was slightly susceptible to glare and flare. It can be largely eliminated when I twist in the eye cups a half click. So I might have to get some rubber o-rings to fix the eye cups in that position. It is no real dealbreaker and the rest of the optical performance is still very, very good. But it is definitely a weakness. My Fuji HC performs much better in that regard as I can not induce glare in it but of course it is almost 400€ more expensive (list price is about 470€ vs. 850€ for the Fuji HC).
I should do a comparison to my good old Canon 8x32 WP which performs just as good when it comes to control of chromatic abberation but has a far narrower FoV at 7.5°.
Still I think the Meopta Meopro HD has a very nice optical performance with low CA and low distortions. And that focuser is just so smooth.
So the small amount of glare will not do much to change my verdict but it is something to be aware of. And it seems it is very much a question of facial geometry. I often have issues with "fuzzy field stop" syndrome on many models that other people seem to have no problem with.
It's the combination of deep set eyes and chunky, long nose that causes these issues for me.
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Just a little update. After using it for a while during vacation I still think it's a very nice bino. By using the first click stop position of the eyecups and then bracing it to my brow, I was able to completely eliminate the glare.
The binoculars would be probably described as "führig" in German. It means basically easy to use, nimble and quick. Quick focus, good handling, relatively wide view.
I do notice a tiny amount of globe effect when panning which is due to the almost complete lack of pincushion distortion.
Will it replace my Fuji HC 8x42 as my favorite? No. The Fuji just has the more comfy eye cups, no issues with glare, is sharper at the edge. But they perform almost equally well in suppressing CA.
The Meostar HD has a faster focus and slightly larger FoV.
At the moment I use them equally, one day the Fuji, the other the Meopta and I'm planning to write a slightly more in-depth comparison and field report from the Lüneburger Heide.
I'm not sure I'll have enough material and pics though, there are more birds around the little A-frame that we rented compared to the actual "Heide". Probably picked the wrong time of the year.
I have been looking around and I believe this might the only rendition of the Meopro HD 8X32 binocular. I did not find out any changes over time as the Meopro HD 8X32 is currently out of production.
I have been looking around and I believe this might the only rendition of the Meopro HD 8X32 binocular. I did not find out any changes over time as the Meopro HD 8X32 is currently out of production.
And so is the 10x32 and 8x42 (the 10x42 seems still available).
My understanding is: the Meostar B1.1 became the Meostar B1 Plus with very little change, but the price was increased substantially as of late, and even prior to inflation. The Quality was the same. The MeoPro or Air or whatever it was called used to be the $500 price-point that Meopta offered and when they came out with the MeoPro they did up the quality, but also upped the price to around $1000, which does not in any way equal the older B1.1 which was offered for $1000. I think it was Meopta's way of simply justifying a price increase as quality wise the Meopro does not equal the Meostar, even though offered at a price that the Meostar B1.1 was, just two years ago.

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