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Review of Meopta B1 MeoStar 8x32 (1 Viewer)

looksharp65

Well-known member
Thanks for the review Lee :t:
I have one since a couple of years, and I wrote a review too.
http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=251175
While I own and have owned other high-end binoculars, the Meostar is the one I tend to bring most often. It is very sleek, which gives plenty room for my thumbs underneath. That is pretty much the opposite of the 10x32 FL I had, which is chubbier and more complex with regard to thumb placing. The Nikon HG 10x32 was also a bit awkward, and the Minox HG 8x33 was not as good as the Meostar. Despite my big hands and its small size, it fits perfectly.
The focus knob has loosened up with use and is considerably less tight than the EDG or the E II. It is still not my main choice for warblering, but it is more than OK.
The AFOV is very good, and with my spectacles it works exactly as you described. Without them it does not work very well, just like you described.

My only gripe with it is the colour rendition, and to some extent the CA. It is decidedly yellowish, and very similar to my old man's Zeiss Classic 10x40 albeit a wee bit brighter.
It is very obvious when looking at Blue Tits, whose blue caps look dull and greyish. That's when I miss the contrasty, punchy colours of the EDG and the EII. Frankly, the Vortex Fury is better, and so is the ZR 7x43.

Still, this is the binocular I'd buy again in a heartbeat. It is indispensible for me.

//L
 
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jremmons

Wildlife Biologist
I've tried both the Meostar 8x32 and Euro HD 8x32. The HD version is a definite improvement for me, providing a neutral image with reduced CA; this isn't a slight to the standard B1 which is a very good binocular with good ergonomics and a sharp image. Surprisingly, I found the low eye-relief to work just fine with my glasses and provide minimal blackouts - something with which I often have issues.
 

Holger Merlitz

Well-known member
Since many years I have been a fan of the Meostar. Not only the 8x32, but also the 8x42 and the 10x50 (which I currently use for astronomy). I particularly like the precise operation of the focus wheel - something rarely found in recent high end optics, and the excellent suppression of stray light. The yellowish tint of the image was quite notable in the early versions almost 10 years ago, and since then it seems to have gradually diminished. I guess these changes are due to improvements of the mirror layer on the Schmidt-Pechan prisms. Altogether a great binocular for its price (in Germany the 8x32 can be found new for less than 700 Euro).

Cheers,
Holger
 

Troubador

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
Thanks for the review Lee :t:
I have one since a couple of years, and I wrote a review too.
http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=251175
While I own and have owned other high-end binoculars, the Meostar is the one I tend to bring most often. It is very sleek, which gives plenty room for my thumbs underneath. That is pretty much the opposite of the 10x32 FL I had, which is chubbier and more complex with regard to thumb placing. The Nikon HG 10x32 was also a bit awkward, and the Minox HG 8x33 was not as good as the Meostar. Despite my big hands and its small size, it fits perfectly.
The focus knob has loosened up with use and is considerably less tight than the EDG or the E II. It is still not my main choice for warblering, but it is more than OK.
The AFOV is very good, and with my spectacles it works exactly as you described. Without them it does not work very well, just like you described.

My only gripe with it is the colour rendition, and to some extent the CA. It is decidedly yellowish, and very similar to my old man's Zeiss Classic 10x40 albeit a wee bit brighter.
It is very obvious when looking at Blue Tits, whose blue caps look dull and greyish. That's when I miss the contrasty, punchy colours of the EDG and the EII. Frankly, the Vortex Fury is better, and so is the ZR 7x43.

Still, this is the binocular I'd buy again in a heartbeat. It is indispensible for me.

//L
I echo your findings. FL does feel chubby compared with the MeoStar which just feels so right in the hand.

Lee
 

Troubador

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
Holger Merlitz;3380946 I particularly like the precise operation of the focus wheel - something rarely found in recent high end optics Holger[/QUOTE said:
Couldn't agree more Holger, the focus wheel is a tactile delight to use.

Lee
 

jgraider

Well-known member
I agree with all of the accolades mentioned here. I've been using the Cabelas Euro 8x32HD for 3 years now and am as impressed with it today as I was when I got it. It seems a bit sharper, and has a more neutral rendition than the Meopta 8x32.

I also have the S2 as well, and after owning the Nikon 82ED, Kowa 884, and Zeiss 85T FL, I find the S2 has no peer.
 

Vespobuteo

Well-known member
Nice write-up Troub,
what I really want to know is:
Is it better than the Conquest HD?
Since it's 100€ more expensive here.
 

Troubador

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
Nice write-up Troub,
what I really want to know is:
Is it better than the Conquest HD?
Since it's 100€ more expensive here.

Hi VB

I haven't compared these two directly, mainly because, as I have mentioned many times, Conquest HD 8x32 is my go-to instrument for quick-focusing habitats eg a marsh in summer where I might want to get on to a dragonfly nearby and then quickly on to a distant Marsh Harrier and then back again. The MeoStar I have can't do that due to a stiff and therefore slow focuser. So it would be an unfair comparison and would, I think, put the MeoStar's focuser in an unnecessarily unfavourable light because apart from the quick-focus application it is lovely to use.

Optically, on balance, they are close.

Lee
 

Ries

Well-known member
Can it be seen by the bins, or serial number, if it's a B1 or an earlier non-B1 version, without having the box/papers?
 
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Troubador

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
Can it be seen by the bins, or serial number, if it's a B1 or an earlier non-B1 version, without having the box/papers?

Ries

B1 stands for Binocular Series 1 and was Meopta's first MeoStar family, so there were no MeoStars prior to B1.

You can easily recognise B1 because the dioptre adjuster is a tapered wheel mounted directly on top of the focuser. See first pic.

B1.1 is the same as B1 except the dioptre adjuster was changed to the kind that you pull up to enable you to rotate it and then push it back down to lock it when you have made the adjstment. See second pic.

Lee
 

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Ries

Well-known member
Okay thanks. I thought there was a non-b1 because I saw a test where a b1 (2016) was compared to an earlier version (2011) but not named b1. But that was probably just to mark the difference in coatings. Any knowledge on how the serial number reflects production year? My 10x42 hd starts with 18 so that's 2018?
 

eitanaltman

Well-known member
My understanding is that the Meostars have upgraded the coatings over time like some other brands do. While they couldn't advertise them as "HD" like the Cabela's Euro versions, I've read that the coatings updates that the newer "Euro HD" models acquired also went to the Meostars.

Gijs' review of the Meostar 8x32 (to which you appear to be referring) compares a 2011 production version to a 2016 version and confirms that there have been significant coatings upgrades: https://www.houseofoutdoor.com/wp-c...an-de-Meopta-Meostar-B1-8x32-def-mei-2016.pdf

I just looked and I can see he didn't use "B1" in the name of the 2011 model which is probably the confusion. But it's been Meostar B1 since the beginning.
 

Ries

Well-known member
Surprisingly, I totally couldn't get along with this 8x32...the eycups were too small for my sockets and I just couldn't get my eyes placed right without getting black kidney beans on the edges... Real annoying. View was ok, but not fantastic in terms of ca and sharpness but I had an early model, 2012 or 2014, not sure. There wasn't a new version at hand to test. So that's that.

There were other used Meostars as well, all 2012-2015. Eye placement on the 8x42 was fine, view as well but not as I'm used from the 10x42 hd, and also my Nikon mhg gives a overall somewhat better view (brighter and at least just as sharp).

There also was a 2015 non-hd 10x42 which nicely showed difference with my hd.

Most surprising was they had a used 7x42! That just about wowed me. I put them on my eyes and they felt so good...trusted almost. In meters no wider view than the 8's but it did feel that way. Very little ca, very clear view and so calm and steady... It is that I'm a bit done with the solid brick heavy feel of these 900grs Meostar, and I don't see a real use for it among my Kowa 6.5x32 and Nikon mhg 8x42 which are real nice, but it's very tempting, so great was handling and view...

Tried a Kowa bd xd2 8x32 as well and that surprised again after the 6.5, less sharp and bright but not that crazy far behind the Meostar 8x32, certainly not a distance of €500...
 
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dries1

Member
The eye-cups were also the only reason I could not get along with the Meostar 8X32, if the eye-cups were the same size as the 8X42/7X42 which have, I would have kept them, nice glass.
Regarding the BD II 8X32 from Kowa , I would take the meostar 8X32 all day every day, it is worth the extra $$ in my book.

Andy W.
 

Ries

Well-known member
Yes, I thought so too though I hadn't much time and calmth to test everything thoroughly, the Kowa's still amaze for half the price...for anyone wanting budget bins...

Damn, how can a set of bins grab you (7x42), they are haunting my mind...worth the extra 300gr over Nikon mhg? Big jump from earlier 10, to 8 and now maybe 7...? The view was so comfortable... Maybe I'll go there with my Nikon to compare them and settle it.
 

dries1

Member
I also have the Nikon HG 8X42, the Meostar 7X42 is not made anymore mine is from 2012, I bought it on closeout here in the US. The 7X42 format is great in lower light/depth of field, but the Nikon is a very versatile glass also, and much lighter in weight than the Meostar. I think I have seen some Meostar 7X42s for sale on-line in Germany, there are none here in the US currently that I have seen.
I have heard that Meopta might make a few new 7X42s but that would depend on demand, although I cannot confirm that info.
If you like the 7X42, and do not mind the weight, I would grab one since there might not be made anymore. The good thing is that Meopta provides excellent service, that has been my experience.

The Meopta are the only 7X bins I have save some NVA 7X40s and a Docter IF 7X40.

Andy W.
 

Ries

Well-known member
Chances are high the Nikon is indeed the keeper because of its weight and brightness (and handling/design) that might give it the edge over Meopta's very relaxed view and eye placement...In the lineup I tried it was a like a breathe of fresh visual air. Goes to show what difference in exit pupil does... It is real tempting to pick it up, if it was 200gr lighter it was no-brainer and it would probably replace my Nikon ánd Kowa! Well, will be fun to compare those two.
 

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