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Tract or Meopta? (1 Viewer)

kellyguinn

New member
I hate this being my first post but searching on reviews and such I have found that the folks here are way more versed is giving an honest review and advise.

I have the opportunity to purchase either the Meopta MeoPro Air or the Tract Toric Schott HT for basically the same price in the 10 x 42. Most of my use would be over dusty almost desert like conditions at times in Western Oklahoma. I have been using the older Nikon Monarch ATB and also a Vortex Diamonback that I am not at all impressed with as far as its low light capability.

So I guess my question is would either the Meopta or the Tract be a significant upgrade over say the Monarch 5 and if you could pick them up for roughly the same price ($650 ish) would one be much better than the other.

Thank you for your time as I have no local stores that carry them to get a good feel for them.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
How is the warranty on their refurbished items?
"All Nikon refurbished binoculars, rangefinding binoculars, fieldscopes and rangefinders include a 90-day limited warranty against defects in material and workmanship."

Personally, I wouldn't worry about it. They probably wouldn't charge you that much to repair your binoculars anyway if they ever need it.
 

lofapco

Member
I will give a shout out to Oberwerk Binoculars. The owner personally inspects each pair he sells to make sure they pass his quality control expectations. I have personally talked with him and he knows his stuff. I purchased the 10x42mm Sport ED after seeing great reviews on Cloudy Nights bino board. For the $300 price, it rivals most others in all of the spec ranges up to $1000 competition. I love mine and I am comparing them to my 1960's Japanese Canon Camera Co 7x35mm and my 1970's Japanese Bushnell Custom 9x36mm. The Sport ED blows them both away!

https://oberwerk.com/product/oberwerk-sport-ed-series/
 

jgraider

Well-known member
Forget denco's NIkon rec. Nikon Sport Optics warranties and customer service are about 1" above pathetic. I've owned the Toric and Meostar HD at the same time and since the MeoPro Air supposedly has the same optics, I can say that the view between the two is excellent and it would be hard to pick a winner, optically speaking. I prefer the ergos of the Toric over the Meostar with the exception of the eyecups that seem to be a bit flimsy on the Toric. The Meostar gives the feeling of superior build quality rather easily.

I am interested in a new Meopro Air myself since I gave my Meostar HD to my nephew. Meopta is a great company with great customer service right here in the USA. Good luck.
 

Upland

Well-known member
The Torics are excellent and you won’t be disappointed with them. Haven’t seen the Air so can’t comment but it is confusing that they are called MeoPro and supposedly have the same optics as MeoStars. FWIW Meopta’s website still says the MeoStar is there best bino but I don’t find the Air on there.
 

Mark9473

Well-known member
Belgium
I have the opportunity to purchase either the Meopta MeoPro Air or the Tract Toric Schott HT for basically the same price in the 10 x 42. Most of my use would be over dusty almost desert like conditions at times in Western Oklahoma. I have been using the older Nikon Monarch ATB and also a Vortex Diamonback that I am not at all impressed with as far as its low light capability.

Assuming you're now also using 10x42, then as far as low light capability goes your proposed upgrade is going to be pretty insignificant.

Look for a pair of 10x56.
 

eitanaltman

Well-known member
I happen to have an old Nikon Monarch ATB (wife's old pair, close to 15 years old now!), owned the Tract 10x42 for many months, and own a Meostar 8x32.

First, either the Tract or a Meopta will be a HUUUUUGE upgrade over the Monarch ATB. Your eyes will pop when you see the immense difference in clarity, brightness, sharpness, and reduced color fringing. This is way better glass. Both the Tract and Meopta will play ball optically with anything in the $1k-ish price point.

IMO, the Toric UHD 10x42 Schott HT version has the best optics of ANY glass I've looked through that is under $1,500 retail (i.e. the Swarovski SLC level). It is very bright and clear with a wide FOV, a large sweet spot, very gradual roll-off at the edge, extremely neutral, and EXTREMELY sharp. Like super crazy sharp, sharper at long distance than anything I've tried below $1,500 other than the Kowa Genesis with their XD lenses (which are widely praised for having terrific "micro contrast").

The MeoPro Air are so new that there aren't many reviews, however the Meostar line is beloved and always on the short list for best glass in the $1K range. I adore my Meostar 8x32 and think they punch way above their prices optically. Meopta makes GREAT glass.

If the Airs are 95% of the Meostar HD optically, they will be worth every penny and certainly be competitive with the Tracts optically. Based on my experience with Tract and Meopta, and measurements of various Meopta models, I would predict:

- the Meoptas will be slightly warmer, with a bit more depth and color contrast/saturation, and superior chromatic aberration control (less color fringing)

- the Tracts will appear more neutral (even slightly "cool") in comparison, and perhaps a wee bit "crisper" in terms of microcontrast that makes them feel a tiny bit sharper when resolving tiny details (that said, the Meoptas should be very sharp as well)

I bet it will be close to a draw optically, depending on your tastes, and again both will be about as a good as it gets for a "sub alpha".

The biggest differentiators are going to be ergonomics, build, and the companies.

The Tract build quality is just fine, they are solid and rugged, but the exterior materials (while comfortable) feel a bit cheap and the mechanical engineering quality isn't the best. Meoptas on the other hang are absolute tanks, with very high end build and finish that exude solidity and engineering prowess. Remember, Meopta makes their own glass and binoculars and has for decades, Tract is a new company who orders them to be built by others (Kamakura).

Secondarily, while I have nothing but praise for the high level of personal service I received when I had an issue with my Tracts, if this is a long-term investment and you want to use these for 10-20 years..... well, I know for sure which company I would put my money on still being there. And I also know where I would bet my money on the binocular to be still functioning mechanically almost as good as new when you hit that 10-20 year mark.

If the Airs are anywhere near the level of build quality of the Meostars, those should survive a lot of abuse and keep on chugging. And if they do eventually give out, Meopta will take care of you (and so will Tract.... if they are still around). The Meopta warranty is awesome and the company gets great marks for their customer service and you know the binocular will be repaired to be as good (or better) than new. And the superior brand reputation / longevity will also result in much better resale value if you decide to change in a few years.

So bottom line for me:

- long term investment? a big splurge for you? do you get anxiety buying something expensive and want to feel confidence that it will last? Meopta, no question. Even if the Tracts are 5-10% better optically (unknown at this point), the Meopta are a far better investment, based on the mechanical/build quality, company reputation / longevity / engineering prowess, and superior resale value... and I would bet money that these will be really, really good optically. Meopta is that good, that consistent, up and down their product line.

- just want the brightest, sharpest, crystalline view in a compact package and you won't be devastated if the company goes under and/or the binoculars fail in 5-10 years? like the idea of supporting an "upstart" brand / small business trying to make a name? the Tract Schott HT are about as good as it gets under $1500 optically, they are a proven and tested model with tons of glowing end user reviews

BUT

.... in a perfect world, you get both and decide for yourself :)
 

kellyguinn

New member
Thank you all for the insight. The warranty is a huge decision maker as being a disabled vet I don't have the cash flow to purchase a new set very often and as far as anxiety over a big purchase I am the worse, I try to look at all the reviews I can and would prefer to get them in my hands to try out first but there are no dealers close to me with Meopta and of course the Tract is straight from the site. Both said I could have a trial period first but would have to purchase them and I don't have 1500 just laying around to do so.

I do like the idea of the Tracts and may have to keep an eye on them but looks like I'm leaning toward the Meopta as long as they feel good in my hand. The nikons did me well however and the only complaint I have is the eye cups break when dealing with all the sand out here. I week long trip on the plains tends have sand getting in them and they jam up. I have sent them back to be repaired once and it seemed good except they glass came back with what looked like water spots that I have yet to get to come clean. I'll have to get a hold of Meopta and see if I can get a bit of info on the MeoPro Air since they said they don't ship till September. My first trip will be the 1st of October so it would be pushing it.

Thanks again
 

eitanaltman

Well-known member
Since you mentioned the eyecups -- the Tract eyecups are NOT removable, so if crap gets in there and jams it up they have to go to the shop for repairs. They also have a pretty generic mechanism with slots and shallow detents that will for sure get gritty if you're blasted by sand frequently.

The Binomania article on the Meopro Air mentions that the eyecups are removable, I would check and verify. They are removable on the Meostars. Being able to screw off the eyecup makes it a lot easier to clean things out without damaging the lens or eyecup barrel and then you pop it back on and off you go.
 

dries1

Member
I have both the Tract HDs 8 & 10X42 and the Meopta Meostar in 7 and 8X42. I also use a friends 10X42 Meostar. If it were my choice today knowing what I know at present, it would be Meopta all the way, every day.

Andy w.
 

Rob from Texas

Well-known member
Hello Kelly!

Just a quick input. Recently, I had my MIJ Vortex Viper 10x42 revamped. Vortex did a bang-up job and they really sing now. Great colors, compact feel, dazzling natural view. They are winners for what they are.

The one miss, I feel, is they were maybe a bit slack on micro-contrast.

Thanks to Eitan, I was able to try the Tract Toric in 10x42. These Tract are very strong on contrast. This helps me tremendously in resolution, both near and distant.

The Tracts have the typical click stop eye cups...nothing inspiring there, EXCEPT, that for me they work best at full extention, which just so happens to be the most solid position. There is no unwanted movement what-so-ever. So, not an issue,... at least for me.

The Tract ergonomics is simple. Straight, tapered tubes, nothing fancy. But they already feel like a favorite chair. The thumbs dents and palm swells are not in the wrong location, simply because there are none. Just an abundance of pleasant grey matt rubber that welcomes any hold you select.

The Focus wheel also seems very smooth and willing to help fine-tune the adjustment.

Sorry I can't compare these to much (other than the ol' friendship of my MIJ Vipers), but the view from these Tracts carries it's own wow factor.

You, certainly, could do worse.


Rob
 
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[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
I think I would still take the Nikon HG 10x42 with it's 362 foot FOV and 24 oz. weight over the Tract Toric 10x42 with it's rather narrow 341 foot FOV and 27 oz. weight or the Meopta Meopro Air 10x42 with its "tunnel like" 335 foot FOV and 29 oz. weight. Tracts have good optics, but they always lag behind in FOV and the Meopro is WAY behind! The latest alpha binoculars like the Zeiss SF and Swarovski NL are getting a larger and larger FOV. Tract and Meopta are lagging behind IMO. I think if you tried all three binoculars side by side you would pick the Nikon HG. Even the Meopta Meostar 10x42 which is supposed to be Meoptas best binoculars is way behind the Nikon HG 10x42 in Allbinos ranking which is the most objective review we have versus a subjective opinion. The Nikon HG is ranked 9th place and the Meopta is ranked 32th. The Nikon HG scored much better than the Meostar on astigmatism and distortion if those are important to you and also there was some quality issues with the Meostar with the interior of the barrels as described below.

Meostar
Quality of the interior of the barrels Dark tube, area near prism cell is grey. Grey bottom but slightly shiny. On both prisms you can notice delicate streaks (damp patches?). In the left tube there are hardly any specks of dust, in the right one there is either a bigger speck of dust on the prisms or a splinter of glass. 1.5/5.0

Nikon MHG
Quality of the interior of the barrels Black tubes, quite matt and very strongly baffled. Black bottom but a prism rim sticks out and it is made of gray metal, not covered by anything at all. Very clear interior. 4.6/5.0


https://www.allbinos.com/allbinos_ranking-binoculars_ranking-10x42.html
 
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pbjosh

missing the neotropics
Switzerland
I've not seen the newest edition of the Tract, but have seen the original release. I don't think anyone here has seen the Meopro Air, or if so just a couple of people. Very few reviews or opinions out yet. I also have an old Nikon ATB kicking around for comparison (8x36 in my case).

The other "standard" recommendations in this price range are the Nikon Monarch HG mentioned above, and the Zeiss Conquest HD. I don't know if you can find the Zeiss on sale at the moment to make it price competitive with the prices you have on the other three, but it's also excellent.

I think you'll get a great bin with any of the above, or the Nikon Monarch HG. None of them will hold you back in any way, and any of them will be stunning in comparison to your older Nikon ATB. I personally would prefer the Nikon Monarch HG for its lighter weight, greater FOV, excellent ergonomics, and excellent image quality (really saturated colors and lots of contrast).
 
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Upland

Well-known member
I contacted Meopta USA and asked them directly if the new MeoPro Air had the same optics as the MeoStar B 1.1. Their response was it’s too early to tell. Very strange but that’s what they said. Not sure how a 341’ fov is substantially different than 336. Either is pretty respectable for a 10x42. I’ve checked out both the MeoPro and MeoStar several times. The MeoPro eyecups are way to large for my face and the MeoStar too narrow. Hopefully the Air is just right!

Having said that everybody’s face and eyes are different. I guess if I could get the Air for $650 while the retail is $999. I’d try those first and if you don’t like them it should be easy to get your money back.
 

eitanaltman

Well-known member
Not sure how a 341’ fov is substantially different than 336. Either is pretty respectable for a 10x42.

Because he's a clown. It's not a big difference, and yes a 6.4-6.5 deg FOV for a 10x42 is well above average even if some of the newest options have pushed things further.

Consider the following top 10x42's with 6.3 deg FOV (330'): Swarovski 10x42 EL SV and 10x42 SLC, Meopta Meostar 10x42 HD, Zeiss Victory FL 10x42

Don't hear too many complaints about any of those. The Leica 10x42 Noctovid and 10x42 Ultravid HD have a 6.4 deg FOV (337'), the Nikon EDG 10x42 has 6.5 deg FOV (341').

And yet suddenly the Toric's 341' is horrible and the Meopta's is "tunnel like".

How many times have you heard anyone refer to the binoculars I listed above as "tunnel like"?

Total clown show. I wish there was a way to block him from an entire thread so he doesn't poop all over it vs. just putting him on ignore and still having to deal with him.
 

eitanaltman

Well-known member
Recently, I've spent extensive time with:

- Tract Toric 10x42 (341' / 6.5°)
- Minox HG 10x43 MiG (341' / 6.5°)
- Trinovid (2012) 10x42 (324' / 6.2°)
- Kowa Genesis 10x33 (357' / 6.8°)

So the full gamut from 6.2° to 6.8° with extensive comparisons. Do I notice the difference? Yeah, the wider bins feel more "walk in".

But the Tract does not feel limited in FOV in any way, the 10x42 has a very relaxed, wide open view. The "reputation" for that is because of the 8x42 model which is only spec'd at 7.2° / 377' which is definitely below average (on paper) vs premium 8x42's (which are usually 7.5-8.1° range). The 10x42 Tract is actually above average for FOV as is obvious looking at the examples I gave above, as nearly all premium 10x42's are in the 6.2° to 6.5° range.
 

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