Minox HG 10x52 VS. meopta,Razors,pentax,zeiss
stokes broadwings and nikon monarchs and i want something with better glass i put a zeiss scope on my hunting rifle and got spoiled,the minox are the originals 10x52 HG
part # 62161 they have a price tag of $600.00 how will these compare to the pentax,sp or ED's or the Vortex Razors or meoptas,Zeiss there is no where i can test all these at the same time,the meopta's i was looking at were the cabela euros and they went back up $100.00 today
Don't get the Minox. Every Minox I've ever looked through has been at minimum a mild disappointment. I have a set of BV's that don't come close to the optical goodness of my Pentax DCF's that cost less than half as much. Perhaps their porro's are good -- I don't know -- but there's no way I would get another roof from them.
I've read great things about the Vortex Razor, and good things in general about Vortex as a whole. However, as good as the glass is, I have to wonder about overall build quality. Perhaps is is as good as the Euro stuff, but I've not been able to read anything about someone putting a Razor through hard and long use. Until their high-end glass establishes a long-term track record, I would not spend a lot of money on one. If however I needed a set of inexpensive binoculars, I would have no problems getting a set from one of their lower lines.
If you want inexpensive ED glass such as a Razor, then you might also look at the Zen Ray too. Evidently they provide the same optical performance as a Razor, but at a slightly reduced cost.
I know what you mean about Zeiss. I have a set of their binoculars, and it is great. They used to be just under $500, and at that time was a good deal. Not so sure what they cost now, but you might look at the Conquest line. I have the 8x30 Conquests, and using them is like looking with new eyes. Whether or not it's optics are any better or worse than a Razor I cannot say, but I have preferred to have a European binocular with the build quality from a major manufacturer.
As for Pentax - I think that when compared to other popular brands of the same price, that they provide more performance than just about anything else you can get. Very often they are better than popular brands that cost substantially more. Of all my dozen or so sets of binoculars, it is my Pentax that provides the most bang for the buck.
As for Meopta -- that is one of the few brands that I've not been able to use. However, all comments I've ever read have been good, and they often say they are built like a tank. Not my cup of tea, but I don't think you would go wrong with one.
the Minox i was looking at are the 10x52 Hg BR ASPH
i think they are a couple of steps above the BV model
and one more question would the wider field of view with a 10x43 or 10x42 be worth the trade on the 10x52 for light
gathering at first or last light
The HG ASP is indeed a different bino with excellent optics and definitely one to consider. I've also tested one of the old Minox EDs and it was excellent. Not to be confused with the BLs or old BRs.
Any of these will provide excellent low light performance, but, if money was not an option, I would give the Zeiss Victory FLs a slight edge for low light performance by virtue of their t* coatings. I have seen the difference this makes. However, you are really spitting hairs, here and you will spend a truck load of money to get that little extra low light performance with the Zeiss. I don't think you would be disappointed with any of them, from the Pentax SP on up.
The only Razor I tested had an issue with rough focusing, though that may have been a fluke, but one thing I can tell you is that Vortex is rock solid in customer support. You will not have an issue in that department.
All Euro binos are going to be up for 2010 due to the dollar imbalance and no sign of that getting any better. Japanese binos will be up, too, but not as much, so if you are wanting the best value, I would, look at the Pentax, as Phil says. The DCF ED is absolutely superb and will, optically, put your right up there with the Euro stuff at nearly twice the price.
The biggest difference between the 10x42 vs the 10x53, out in the field, where it counts, is going to be a matter of weight and size, not low light performance. If you are carrying a bino for long periods of time, no, I don't think the extra weight of the 10x52 is worth the little extra gain in low light performance over a 42 and, in my experience, a good 42 will do anything you need to do in low light. Choose, carefully, here. A bino left back in camp or the vehicle because you didn't want to carry the weight, anymore, is a huge waste of money. If you are blind hunting, sure, go for the 52. Weight is not an issue, then.
Don't sweat the difference in FOV, either. A difference of even 30 ft is mostly a difference on paper, not something that translates to anything important, out in the field.
now this what i can get and i want the best i can get for the dollar but i would like to get out of it as cheap as possible and like i said in the first post i had a pair of nikon monarchs and i would like something optically better that would pick out browns and greens good
whats the best bang here
minox HG BR ASPH 10x43 $600.00
pentax 10x42 DCF SP $399.00
pentax 10x42 DCF ED $1000.00
cabela euros/which are meopta meostars B1 $799.00
which would do the job best for hunting
As I somewhat inferred, every Minox I've ever looked through has been a disappointment, and I would not get any Minox at any price level. There are too many other better choices in any of the price ranges in which they compete.
I would go for the DCF SP. The reason why is that they will be pretty darn good - good enough to do whatever you could possibly want. The reason why I wouldn't go with the ED is that if I were going to spend a grand on binoculars, then I would go with an 8x Swarovski. I wouldn't get the Cabelas'/Meoptas as they tend to be very heavy, and you could get a set of Zeiss' for that price.
But if you are seriously considering spending a grand, then you might as well get a set of Swaros and be done with it....
Well, that's what a forum is all about, so, thanks, Phil, for your input. My comments on the HG ASP and the DCF ED are based on actual tests on optical resolution charts, so take that for what is worth. The HG ASP is an excellent bino, optically, based on my yesys. The Pentax DCF ED, though, will outscore the Swaro SLC and the Minox, albeit by a slight margin, but it is there. Of course, brand preference is also a an important basis for choosing a bino, and who could argue with choosing a Swarovski? Your call, there
I do, however, agree that the DCF SP is a great bargain and, if you have read some of my previous posts, one of my most recommended binos under $1000 and, yes, you will have to spend $1000 or more to do better.
I'm surprised you have had such a poor experience with the Minox binoculars. I bought the HG 8x33 binoculars for birding about 7 months ago and was so impressed I bought the HG 10x52 for stargazing. I'm totally satisfied with the optical quality, mechanical build, and handling. It made me sad when Minox discontinued the line in favor of the new, much more expensive APO HG line.
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I was as surprised as anyone else too. Granted, I've not seen every model in their line of binoculars, but I've seen enough to know I won't be buying any more. It's not that they are bad -- it's just that their performance does not justify their cost, and I don't have any problem telling others that IMO there are better ways to spend their money.
Your birding/stargazing setup is very similar to mine. I have a nice 8x30 for birding, and a 10x50 I keep in the truck for impromptu stargazing. I also use 15x70 and 20x90 for stargazing too, but they are too large to keep stashed in the truck......
It's been awhile since I have been on the forum, but I just now noticed your thread. I may be too late with this post, but I figured I'd throw it out there anyway, as I have direct experience with some of the binos you mentioned.
I too am a hunter, not a birder, and had the Pentax DCF SP in 10x50 for a year or so. Liked them a lot, but sold them when the Zen Ray ED2 10x43s came out. That turned out to be a mistake as I had real problems with flare/glare in the Zen's, so I returned them. Fortunately for me, shortly after that I too came across the Minox HG 10x52 for the price of $600. I had always read great reviews (on hunting websites) of these Minox and wanted them, but could not afford them at near $1,000. When the price dropped, I jumped.
Anyway, I love the Minox and they are in my experience, better optically than my Pentax were. I think they are worth the $200 extra cost over the Pentax. There is a vendor who has both of those available and will allow you to purchase them both to see what you like better and then allow a return of the other pair. If you are interested in this possibility, send me a message.
Oh, one other thing. The weight issue of having 10x binos means nothing to me, as I use them from elevated box blinds hunting over large CRP fields and food plots. The extra 2x of magnification over 8x is very valuable to me for judging antlers at long distances. So your hunting style/application may factor into what you end up buying.
Good luck with your choice.
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Let us know what you think of your Zens, Tedster. I know a lot of folks would find that quite useful.