Received a pair of MeoStar B1.1 8x56 Binoculars on Christmas Eve, and I notice there isn’t much said about them on here. So here’s my initial thoughts.
First thing I notice is the case is very well made and I like that the strap can be used on the case or binoculars interchangeably with the clips. The case is a bit snug on the binoculars, but I kind of like it that about it (I just have to check the objective covers after pulling it out to see if they are on or have been pulled off). The strap on the other hand is well pretty minimal, not much to it.
The rubber on the binoculars is nice, I did notice a place on the hinge where there’s a hollow below the rubber and you can feel it flex in (not so sure how I fee about that considering the money I spent on these binoculars). The focus wheel, diopter adjustment and tripod mount plug are all plastic and perform extremely well except the tripod mount plug is recessed in past the rubber of the binocular which makes it hard to unscrew.
The ergonomics of the binocular are exceptional... I love how it feels in the hands or hand. I also love the eye cups and how well they fit. The eye-relief on these binoculars is unreal... absolutely huge and so is the eyebox. The mid stop of the eye cups is nice and holds well. There is also no play in the eye cups.
Now my one gripe so far about these binoculars... an issue I haven’t had on the Kowa bd ii xd’s but am having on a binocular 3x the price.... FOGGING! I am wondering why these are fogging so easily. I mean it’s winter here but I haven’t had them outside yet (I’m stuck inside with a cold that has been acting up poorly when I go outside). I find they do not fog if I hold my eyes slightly off the cups, but when placed comfortably on the cups they are fogging. The fogging is only on the outside of the glass though but still, what can I do to fix this or will I just have to live with it?
Now on to the view. For some reason as seen in the picture below there appears to be a crack in the internal glass or something... I guess I will have to return these for warranty. Other than that, the view is exceptional! Almost completely clear from edge to edge (maybe 90-95% from centre to edge); there is no darkening in the last 5-10% of the field of view from centre, just a slight blur that still allows me to see individual letters 1cm in height at 20 feet. As for field of view... it feels great, not tunneled at all. The depth of field/focus is great... slightly less than my Kowa BD ii 6.5x32’s XD but not much less... the depth of field/focus is significantly more than my old diamondback 10x50’s... Better than I had expected. The close focus is about 3m. There is also absolutely no glare observed.
When I look back through the objective to the ocular, the circle is clean, and unlike my Kowa BD ii 6.5x32 XD’s I cannot see any lines in the prism or anything. Very impressive internal construction. The exit pupil as seen from the ocular side is absolutely clean as well.
I will hopefully be comparing these side by side with the Fujinons at work, my boss’s Bausch and Lomb’s, my Kowa’s and Nikon action ex’s. The side by side comparison should be written up mid January.
I expect these to do extremely well, assuming meopta warranties my sample.
I will do my best to look for CA at that time. Too bad I won’t get a chance to give them the real test til spring, seals on ice give any binocular a run for their money on CA.
I am no professional reviewer, nor do I have a lot of experience with roof prism binoculars. As a navigation officer at sea I do have a lot of experience looking through porros in all kinds of sea, ice and weather conditions. So take my review with a grain of salt, but I will put my best foot forward.