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Weaver Super Slam - an Interesting Oddity? (1 Viewer)

John A Roberts

Well-known member
Australia
In the Binocular Bargains thread, SteveTS recently posted about Weaver Super Slam 8.5x45’s that were on sale for $399 US, see: https://www.birdforum.net/showpost.php?p=3889001&postcount=3840
These were a premium priced model produced briefly from around 2009

While they don’t have particularly attractive styling, they do have 2 unusual features

Firstly, there is an interesting implementation of the focuser location on an open bridge design
It’s attached to the front face of the rear bridge, so it’s like that of the later Zeiss SF - but without the SF’s secondary bridge in front of the focuser
see the attached images (the first is from: https://www.rokslide.com/forums/threads/weaver-super-slam-binos-8-5x45.64579/ )

Also of interest is the knob on the front bridge. It can be used to lock the IPD setting (in the page from the 2012 catalogue it’s incorrectly referred to as a focus lock!)
While a useful feature, it’s a much less sophisticated version of the one on early Zeiss Porro binoculars

The Zeiss design used a notch and an adjustable pin to record the IPD:
- the binocular could than be folded and put in it’s case, and
- when taken out and opened, the pin would fit into the notch at the set IPD
see the image from Anna & Terry Vacani’s website: http://www.binoculars-cinecollectors.com/html/body_educational_t_p2.html

While long out of fashion, it’s not an idea without merit, particularly as roof prism binoculars typically don’t include an IPD scale to enable checking the setting

And as an aside:
- on dual bridge designs like the Swarovski EL, it would be simple to place an IPD scale on the rear face of the front bridge for easy verification of the setting, and
- on other designs a scale could be placed on the front face of the bridge (a less convenient location than one visible from the rear while holding the binoculars, but nonetheless useful)



John
 

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John A Roberts

Well-known member
Australia
SteveTS PM’d about my post

He raised the point that ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’, and thinking about that led to me responding with the following:

‘Of course you’re right about the subjective appeal, but what irritates me when looking at the Super Slam is that it seems like an opportunity lost
- you can see a much better binocular in it, than the one they made

A) At it’s original price point aesthetics matter a great deal i.e. the idea that ‘you only get one chance to make a first impression’

B) The then unique ‘upside down’ placement of the focuser is a very good idea
The handling it makes possible should have been the main point in all the advertising - but the focuser placement and handling are not even mentioned!
(in contrast, think of the way Zeiss promoted the SF which externally is the same)

C) And with any open bridge design a high priority should be to maximise the size of the opening
But the knob of the IPD lock means that the front bridge is at least a 1/2” (c. 15 mm) further to the rear than it would otherwise need be, which would make a big difference for many

. . . but maybe that’s just me?’


- - - -
in addition see this bizarre image from the 2012 catalogue showing the ‘official hold' - What were they thinking?


John
 

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Gilmore Girl

Beth
Supporter
United States
I used to think this was a good idea when I first saw this bino, but placing the focus below the bridge means less room between the barrels making a smaller cramped area. The SF at least has more room there since it's a bit longer.

With my CL I rest my middle finger on the bridge and index finger on the focus and this way your fingers are resting straight across with no need to reach/stretch back to focus the wheel.

Chosun has mentioned this many times in the past and I remembered this after using the CL for awhile.
Without thinking I was holding it this way b/c it felt natural. Then I remembered CJ mentioning she holds her Zen Ray the same way.
In this case there's no need to move the wheel forward/down.

With that said, I do find SF very comfortable to hold and realize some people may not find CJ's or my way of holding the bino the best for them. It just came natural to me and I find it very comfortable to use it this way.
 
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SteveTS

Well-known member
A gentle bump to this thread.

At it’s original price point aesthetics matter a great deal i.e. the idea that ‘you only get one chance to make a first impression’

Yes, John, ‘only one chance to make a first impression’ on you, who knows what the next man thinks?

The then unique ‘upside down’ placement of the focuser is a very good idea. The handling it makes possible should have been the main point in all the advertising - but the focuser placement and handling are not even mentioned!

To some, perhaps even many, the focuser placement and it's benefit to handling were immediately apparent from the photographs, no need to be told.

This binocular was (is still being) sold as new old stock with objective lens covers, a one piece neoprene ocular cover, case & case strap, bino strap, the Weaver binocular harness, IPD locking nut, and an end screw to cover the tripod exit.

I re-fabbed mine, replacing the strap and the lens covers and have pictured it alongside another gem also little appreciated on here but in the outside world very rarely seen for resale...I wonder why...

Regards, Steve
 

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A gentle bump to this thread.



Yes, John, ‘only one chance to make a first impression’ on you, who knows what the next man thinks?



To some, perhaps even many, the focuser placement and it's benefit to handling were immediately apparent from the photographs, no need to be told.

This binocular was (is still being) sold as new old stock with objective lens covers, a one piece neoprene ocular cover, case & case strap, bino strap, the Weaver binocular harness, IPD locking nut, and an end screw to cover the tripod exit.

I re-fabbed mine, replacing the strap and the lens covers and have pictured it alongside another gem also little appreciated on here but in the outside world very rarely seen for resale...I wonder why...

Regards, Steve

@steveTS

sorry for the bump...

Steve, Forgive my ignorance, what Leupold is that in the picture above? Thanks.
 

18000bph

Well-known member
I find the Weaver Super Slam 8.5x45 to have a glare problem. Glare is substantially worse than any other set I have compared to, head-to-head.

The other issue is that the eyecups are not indexed, so you can only extend them all the way out. All the way in results in bad blackouts and all the way out gives me the tunnel effect with significantly reduced FOV. They have enough eye relief that they would probably work well with spectacles.

Those two issues have resulted in very little use from me as I can't really trust it as a go-to set. I have been happier with them for casual star gazing than for daytime birding use.

For the good, these are very well made. They are well balanced and the focus wheel is nice and smooth. Most roof prisms over 42mm are out of the question for me since I have a narrow 56mm IPD, but these collapse down with some room to spare which was the primary reason I bought them. Optically they are quite nice, but not a big enough improvement from other options to outweigh the glare and eye relief issues for me.
 

John A Roberts

Well-known member
Australia
Hi CB (post #6),

The other binocular in post #5 is a Leupold Golden Ring 8x32 HD (or perhaps the rarer 10x32 HD). It was generally highly regarded but heavy at 765g/ 27 ozs!

There’s a review of the 8x32 by AG Pank here at: https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=336344

And there’s also a review at Allbinos: https://www.allbinos.com/184-binoculars_review-Leupold_Golden_Ring_8x32_HD.html

There’s also a 13 page thread (!) which started comparing the 8x32 to the Swarovski EL SV at: https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=293105

The comparative photo is from AG (the 2 other binos are the Cabelas version of the 8x32 Meopta Meostar and the sand version of the 8x32 Swarovski EL SV)


John
 

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Nixterdemus

Well-known member
A while back, after receiving e-mail, I eased over to Natchez Shooting Supplies. Sadly the last bastion of the oft unheralded Weaver Super Slam finally ran out of the 8.5X45 old school warrior. Yes, it is heavy and incorporates a funky IPD locking device that was designed around the glory age of the trebuchet.

More inline with cutlass than rapier were one in need of defending honour, or life in face of ruffian or bounder whilst in close quarters, the Super Slammy would be a good choice amongst bins of lesser girth.

Somewhat brutish in appearance all the weight isn't hidden in large barrels that ne'er be confused with svelte. Inside lurks the fortress of solitude that defends against chronic level of chromatic aberration that subject lesser bins to wilt leaving owners to weep. And this ballet is performed without Globe Effect AKA Rolling Ball.

Perhaps a 1, 2 combination of Unobtanium blended with Kryptonite in an Alchemist's laboratory. Maybe the design placed more importance on the view than light weight and less glass.

In 2010 bestbinoculorsreviews awarded the Kowa Prominar Genesis XD 10.5x44 with its best Bino of the year award. Also MIJ weighing in on the hefty side, 34 ounces, employing BaK4 and SK prisms, presume SK15 in Weaver offering, costing around a grand and known for ability to defeat CA. [Years ago the Super Slam was also available in 10.5x45 configuration.]

It would be the acme of foolishness proposing to inform lingering enlightened sleuths; that is a clue.

Take not my word. Should you own a Super Slammy stack it up against highly touted names in repelling CA.

ETA: Perusing for specs I note BHphoto still has the Weaver listed as special order to the tune of seven bills.
As well BH lists identical FOV for 8.5x45 slammy & 8.5x44 Genesis 367.5' \1000yd 7* wKowa minimum focus 5' 6" and Weaver at 62.3' typo. I tested mine at 5' 8"
 
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18000bph

Well-known member
This Genesis vs. Super Slam comparo is something I have also recently wondered about.

I bought the Super Slams when the deal was posted last fall. My initial reaction was a little disappointing for the reasons I shared in post #7 above (poor eye cup adjustment and glare control). I intended to return the Super Slams, but the minor non-refundable shipping charge and my own laziness resulted in them getting stashed in the box in my garage.

Around the time I made my previous post I decided to actually take the Slams out in the field and give them another chance. To compensate for the lack of eye cup adjustment I have to use the brow method of placement which I do not consider ideal. I brought a few other pairs to compare to including Bushnell Legend M 8x42, Genesis 8x33, and a few others that I can't remember. Immediately I was struck by how familiar the views were between the smaller Kowa and the Super Slam.

After using them almost daily for a month I finally had to admit that the Slams present a slightly better view than the much more expensive Genesis 8x33. Some of that "wow factor" could probably be attributed to slight increase in magnification and significantly larger exit pupil. FOV is smaller in the Slams but only barely so and noticed only when compared head to head against a quantifiable subject like power line poles or bridge columns. I have never clearly experienced "rolling ball" before, but I think the Slams might have a hint of it? When quickly panning along a horizontal image (sky line, river bank, etc) I notice the horizon will appear to curve up or down near the edges.

I think the glare that I complained about in post #7 was due to initially only using them in a glare challenged environment. Two of the binoculars that I would have been comparing to have outstanding glare control (Genesis 8x33 and Canon 14x32) though I did compare to others as well. I suspect that viewing the nearby wetland from my property during evenings in the fall probably would have presented a problematic sun angle that I was not properly taking into account. The eye cup criticism on the other hand is still valid.

After a while I began to consider that maybe the Genesis 8.5x44 would be a worthwhile "upgrade" for me since I had developed such a liking to the optics of the Slams. I began eyeing the auction deal that was posted a couple of weeks ago and noticed the obvious similarities in specs and production date between the Kowa and Weaver.

I am considering coming up with some home made or 3D printed spacers that I can fit in around the eye cups to solve the problem of lack of indexing... very poor design choice. Some binoculars (Zeiss Terra ED 8x25 come to mind) can get away with it because there is enough friction in the eye cup movement to hold them in place, but the Slams are super smooth and glide right back to fully seated as soon as they touch my face.
 

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