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Meopta Meostar B1 Plus 8x32 mishaps (1 Viewer)

HenRun

Well-known member
Sweden
Andy: I have no idea as I don't follow the Covid situation that closely any more, I just keep up with the latest here. I know Czechia eventually got hit bad.
Meopta factory seemed to have a strict protocol according to their global web site but once the spread outside the factory is a fact people don't show up for work.

I think the materials are not the problem in a production line when it comes to quality: for these components they are either available or they are not.
If they are not, production halts.

For the workforce they can probably reassign staff to other tasks temporarily - or try to have less people do more - but I think Meostar binocular build is not on top of their priorities if they have to scale down. They have bigger fish to fry! But that is speculation on my part.

From own experience going by the local agent they are behind schedule and ship out less binoculars.

I do have the latest Meopta catalogue (came with the 10x42HD) and in the (German) catalogue they state that the "Scharfeeinstellung" is improved on the B1 Plus in the bullet point list. Scharfeeinstellung means Focusing/setting focus and they probably mean the Focuser itself.

I don't know if I will pin up an argument based on the sales literature but it does imply they have done something with the focuser.

Interestingly the 12x50HD is separated from the B1 Plus group on that double spread page with the wording: Das Beste Binokular von Meopta - which translates to "the Best Binocular from Meopta". It is written in an encircled five star logo with "Top 2020" over the wording.
 

dries1

Member
If the serial #s on the B1s were from earlier than say November 2019 Covid would not be involved. Any from 2020, perhaps. I have three B1s from 2012 and from 2018, and no problems, (2) 8X42s and a 7X42. I hope something works out for you.

Andy W.
 

HenRun

Well-known member
Sweden
Hey Andy:

I have three B1 Plus binos with no problems, all made within the last year and a half. All focusing wheels are slightly different but stable in action.

Despite my trantrum I am still open to, preferrably, a B1.1 8x32 since I liked the grip and format better than the B1 Plus.
Also, it would be a perfect addition to the existing kit in the lower magnification range.

I just have to hope to find one eventually and be really patient. I just can't bear to order one more, I feel stupid enough as it is.
But a used one might pop up, who knows? Hope is the last thing I will lose, my sanity is the first.
 

HenRun

Well-known member
Sweden
As for candidates:

I have the Zeiss 8x32FL which apart from ocular reflections is "the best" for my eyes and glasses.

I have today tried the 8x32 Ultravid HD+ which surfaced second hand at a good price. It was certainly optically good enough - but it too gave me ocular reflections, very much the same as the Zeiss does. At the same store I tried the Leica Retrovid/Trinovid 7x35 and 8x40. Standing in exactly the same spot the Retrovids give me no reflections at all despite similar size oculars. Also they have a very, very nice imaging.

The 8x40 Retrovid works really well with glasses, but has a very poor 4m min focus. I want a minimum of 3m, preferrably 2m, like most of the better ones are capable of. The 7x35 works well with glasses too, close range focus is 3m, which I could live with but the view is not as immersive as the 8x40 and none of the two are weather/water proof.
 

HenRun

Well-known member
Sweden
Update: I finally got myself a working B1.1 8x32. I really did.

But, not without a quirky start. The "keeper" Meopta arrived with a very smooth focusing wheel which worked well and then... ...not so well.
But then it got smooth a while and then got stuck again!

I decided to take a good look at the construction to try and find out what part of the bino could possibly affect the focusing wheel and when I popped up the dioptre adjustment knob the focusing wheel got unstuck and was supersmooth again.

When I popped down the dioptre adjustment wheel in locked position the focusing got harsher and eventually got semi stuck again.

Upon examining the axle for the focuser it turns out there is an o-ring / seal between the dioptre and focuser. When the dioptre is in locked position it seems to pinch the o-ring against the focuser.

This would not be so bad you might think but in the Meopta the dioptre wheel is fixed and does not rotate with the focuser so anything pinching is effectively braking the focuser.

On the Leica Ultravid for example the dioptre adjustment rotates in unison with the focuser and even if there would be a seal between the two you can use either the dioptre part or the focusing knob as they turn together when you are focusing and will cause no problems.

To make things worse on the Meopta the o-ring/seal is very sloppy which means that when - or if - it is pinching it becomes stretched out as an oval and deformed and that is when the focuser starts to behave erratically and eventually seize up because the o-ring will slip out of its seating.

How do I know this? I probed it and it flexed out of position so easily I could grab it and slide it over the dioptre knob. I guess this is how they put it in place and it needs some flex allowing it to be seated at the end of assembly.

Maybe Meopta has had a bad batch of o-rings or some part out of spec which has caused the seizures of the focusing wheels?
On my previous returns one of them stopped focusing one side altogether so that one must have had another fault too.

On this specimen the focuser is now very, very good. It has acted up once or twice in the beginning but popping the dioptre knob up and gently reseating it after some focus wheel rotation seems to keep it in check for now.

As long as I can reset the seal as per above I can live with the quirk. For now it has worked a full day and a half without acting up - fingers crossed!

I think that the precision of the parts involved in a construction like this has to be very precise. If one or two parts are just a fraction out of spec they will cause problems in a construction with a coupled, lockable and fixed dioptre connected to the focusing wheel on the same axle with only a gasket/ o-ring and two plastic disks separating them and where the o-ring is prone to slipping out onto the connecting disks, trapping the o-ring underneath the dioptre cowel.
 
Last edited:

Swift802

Member
Ireland
Hi HenRun. That’s good information to know for prospective buyers. I thought the design was the same as the Leica Ultravid where both turn together like you mentioned. Good to know that it’s not like this. I take it the B1 Plus model diopter is the same as the B1.1?
thanks,
John.
 

HenRun

Well-known member
Sweden
Yes, John, that is correct. The change from B1 to B1.1 included locking dioptre adjustment and it is the same in the B1 Plus.
I have two of the larger model B1 Plus and I have tried the 8x42 B1 Plus briefly and none of the larger binos have given me any problems.

I sent back three B1 Plus 8x32 and one B1.1 in total, all with varying degree of focus wheel seizure. All were made between 2019 and late 2020.

I hope for the B2 series they go with a dioptre adjustment that turns with the focusing wheel.
 

Swift802

Member
Ireland
Thanks for that. As you know from the other thread it’s a 10x32 B1.1 that I was contemplating purchasing. Strange that it only seems to affect the 32 models. I’ll wait until Meopta sort out/improve the dioptre before possibly buying one.
Also, I agree with you about redesigning so that it turns with the focuser, like the Ultravid. I would love if they did that.
Thank you,
John.
 
Last edited:

lmans66

Out Birding....
Supporter
United States
Update: I finally got myself a working B1.1 8x32. I really did.

But, not without a quirky start. The "keeper" Meopta arrived with a very smooth focusing wheel which worked well and then... ...not so well.
But then it got smooth a while and then got stuck again!

I decided to take a good look at the construction to try and find out what part of the bino could possibly affect the focusing wheel and when I popped up the dioptre adjustment knob the focusing wheel got unstuck and was supersmooth again.

When I popped down the dioptre adjustment wheel in locked position the focusing got harsher and eventually got semi stuck again.

Upon examining the axle for the focuser it turns out there is an o-ring / seal between the dioptre and focuser. When the dioptre is in locked position it seems to pinch the o-ring against the focuser.

This would not be so bad you might think but in the Meopta the dioptre wheel is fixed and does not rotate with the focuser so anything pinching is effectively braking the focuser.

On the Leica Ultravid for example the dioptre adjustment rotates in unison with the focuser and even if there would be a seal between the two you can use either the dioptre part or the focusing knob as they turn together when you are focusing and will cause no problems.

To make things worse on the Meopta the o-ring/seal is very sloppy which means that when - or if - it is pinching it becomes stretched out as an oval and deformed and that is when the focuser starts to behave erratically and eventually seize up because the o-ring will slip out of its seating.

How do I know this? I probed it and it flexed out of position so easily I could grab it and slide it over the dioptre knob. I guess this is how they put it in place and it needs some flex allowing it to be seated at the end of assembly.

Maybe Meopta has had a bad batch of o-rings or some part out of spec which has caused the seizures of the focusing wheels?
On my previous returns one of them stopped focusing one side altogether so that one must have had another fault too.

On this specimen the focuser is now very, very good. It has acted up once or twice in the beginning but popping the dioptre knob up and gently reseating it after some focus wheel rotation seems to keep it in check for now.

As long as I can reset the seal as per above I can live with the quirk. For now it has worked a full day and a half without acting up - fingers crossed!

I think that the precision of the parts involved in a construction like this has to be very precise. If one or two parts are just a fraction out of spec they will cause problems in a construction with a coupled, lockable and fixed dioptre connected to the focusing wheel on the same axle with only a gasket/ o-ring and two plastic disks separating them and where the o-ring is prone to slipping out onto the connecting disks, trapping the o-ring underneath the dioptre cowel.
I wonder if 'your' findings account for many of Meopta's 'stuck' or sluggish focus? I know I have a pair of 8x32 B1.1's and they are fantastic but the first pair I bought I sent back due to the same reason you dealt with. So perhaps it isn't anything that can't be fixed with just a bit of 'popping up and down' of diopter knob. Makes me wonder..... Nice find, jim
 

HenRun

Well-known member
Sweden
Hey Jim, another new finding today was that the binding of the focuser is also dependent on the hinge position; the focuser was running like a charm for me all day but the I handed it over to a friend who has a different IPD and when he repositioned the hinge it started binding the focuser again...

...flexing the hinge causes the focuser to bind and also to release again. Hinge is not overly stiff so I can't say if a too tight hinge adds to the binding.

This together with the dioptre knob means there are two things working against the focuser... Obviously a design flaw, at least relevant to this model. I wish I could have tried this on the B1 Plus models I sent back.

On the larger Meoptas I don't have that problem and I tried different hinge positions and the focuser stayed the same as far as I could tell.
 

tenex

reality-based
I haven't tried the earlier B1 with its simpler diopter knob, so I'm curious whether the mechanism has changed or the B1.1 dial is just a cosmetic improvement to resemble Leicas. It sounds like the diopter is independent and merely concentric in both cases, but now there's also a problematic o-ring? (I saw nothing wrong with the previous design, which Swaro also once had...)
 

HenRun

Well-known member
Sweden
I am not familiar with the B1.

On the B1.1 and B1 Plus the problem is twofold: the O-ring slippage and binding and hinge position are related.
Binding does not happen on its own accord (unless in a IPD/hinge position where it does bind) but together with the adjusting the hinge.

At the moment the focusing is supersmooth. Actually better than most other binos I have/had.

But, If I adjust the hinge in any direction the focuser binds and then releases or binds even more depending on direction.
In some positions the bind is so severe that just releasing the dioptre knob does not free the focusing wheel.

Going back to the original position I can free it up - but not all the time. At my IPD setting it is (thankfully) buttersmooth and if I have the dioptre knob a fraction up from the bottom/locked position it works really well. If I push it down to fully locked there is no wiggle room with the hinge at all.
If I touch it a mere mm in any direction it starts to act up.

With the dioptre knob all the way up the focusing is sometimes to loose at my specific IPD/hinge setting and it feels awkward having it up as it exposes the joint to dirt/dust etc - not to mention accidentally turning the dioptre.

As long as I don't hand it out to anyone else it is fairly stable. I don't know about the long run. With some luck it will keep easing up but going by how easy it is to cause a bind I am not so sure. It is a keeper for me - but I could never sell it with good conscience as it is faulty in my book.

I have registered it for extended warranty so if it fails completely I will send it in to Meopta and I trust they will take good care of me but of all the Meoptas I have had this is the one bino model I don't particularly trust.
 

HenRun

Well-known member
Sweden
Or you can send it directly to our factory.
Here is the address:
Meopta - Optika, s.r.o. – service
Kabelíkova 1
750 02 Přerov
Czech republic
Please enclose to the package letter with follows information:
  • description of your item, (type and serial No.)
  • description of defect
  • contact to you (full name, address, phone No. email address)
  • receipt or warranty card
Thank you.
Please let us know your decision.
My best regards,
Jana Stískalová
Area Sales Manager
 

hebog

Well-known member
Thank you for your reply, Viking do not seem to stock Meopta anymore, I am a bit reluctant to send it back to the factory. So will have to think a bit.
 

Troubador

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
Thank you for your reply, Viking do not seem to stock Meopta anymore, I am a bit reluctant to send it back to the factory. So will have to think a bit.
Viking stopped being the UK importer a couple of years ago. The new importer is:

RUAG Ammotec UK Ltd RUAG Ammotec UK Limited
Upton Cross
Liskeard
Cornwall
PL14 5BQ

Email: [email protected]

Tel: 01579 362319

Monday: 8.30am - 5pm
Tuesday: 8.30am - 5pm
Wednesday: 8.30am - 5pm
Thursday: 8.30am - 5pm
Friday: 8.30am - 4.30pm

Lee
 
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

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