anything optics>>>

Wurkkos

Kestrel

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Ya, since I posted about them back at #12, lol. ;)
There is a new US manufacturer that not many people have heard about yet; Maven Optics

https://mavenbuilt.com/collections/binoculars

A hunting friend here is getting ready to purchase a set; when we have some hands-on experience, I will post an update.

Very attractive design & appearance, certainly designed for the US market.
They are stepping in where Leupold exited :)(), making a top-quality binocular domestically.
Unlimited lifetime warranty like Leupold; we'll just hope they end up being around for the long term of course.

The attraction to me is that they have a mid-size 30mm-objective model, including the elusive 6x magnification - like my Lp Katmai & Vortex. :thumbsup:

Vortex always listens to customers, wonder if they'd reconsider doing some more 6x30s'
Am just not interested in Vortex binoculars since they moved all of that production to China; I'll be happy to stick with my Philipine-mfg Vortex DB 6x's.
 

Owen

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Oh, no. Where did this thread come from?
+

How about a thread on anything optics related,,
from binoculars/monoculars, hunting scopes, spotting scopes & everything else.

What you have, what you are looking to get, what you used them for or adventures, reviews, general questions and tips.
~all welcome

pictures = :thumbsup:
I fell into the optics rabbit hole over a decade ago.
I'd had cheap 7x35s when I was a kid, and had used Steiner 7x50s in the military. They were the only "real" bins I'd used, so I suppose it was natural that I bought Steiner Military/Marine 8x30s for personal use. Had those for maybe 15 years, and at some point became interested in upgrading.
Getting into optics had a lot in common with flashlights, but if you want to see people freaking out over binoculars, you go to a birding forum.
Much like with flashlights, cheap is cheap, no matter what. There were lots of budget options that got rave reviews, but didn't hold a candle to higher quality products.

In barely a year, I went through:
Browning 8x32(Bushnell Legend)
Eagle Optics 7x50 and Ranger 8x32
Pentax PCF WP 7x50
Pentax DCF SP 8x32 and 12.5x50
Steiner Safari 8x22
Vortex Razor HD 8x42
Meopta Meostar 10x42
Pentax DCF ED 8x32
Vortex Stokes DLS 10x42
...and escaped before springing for Meopta's new-at-the-time 8x32s, which were touted as being competitive with Swarovski's EL(Meostars actually *are* competitive with Swaro SLCs, IMO, but the ELs I checked out were like the Holy Grail).

And two spotting scopes:
Leupold 15-30x(ehhh), then Pentax PF65 EDII and a couple of XW eyepieces(awesome), as I briefly flirted with the idea of digiscoping.

I sold off almost all of it, upgrading along the way. The EOs weren't very good, the Razors had quality issues(tried twice), both 7x50 porros had wide FOV, but narrow AFOV, the Safaris were small and light, but sucked(like most compacts-I don't even like the high end ones), while the Meoptas were fantastic, but seemed big and unwieldy, at least as I recall, and suffered from too much CA.
Tripods went to a photographer girlfriend, while the Browning 8x32s(surprisingly good, just needed better coatings like the DCF SP to deal with glare), and a pair of 10x50s I don't remember the specifics of, went to my parents.
The DCF ED and Stokes DLS were maybe "too good" for me(?). Lots of detail, great color separation, much less CA than any of the others. I imagine the problem was me, something to do with my vision or brain, but "glassing" for any length of time was fatiguing for some reason. Like I got sensory overload from my eyes trying to focus on too many things at once. I don't know, it reminded me of looking into a kaleidoscope after a while.

The Pentax DCF SPs always felt comfortable, relaxed, and "right", even if they were inferior to the ED glasses in optical quality, so those are what I kept.
The 12.5s(and a monopod with a binocular rest) live in my kitchen, and are mostly used for watching birds, squirrels, and the expressions on the faces of my neighbors' dogs.
I often take the 8x32s places I'm being touristy, sporting events, out on open water, and occasionally when dayhiking in certain places.
Sometimes I still wish for a compact 20-22mm bin when backpacking out West, like when I see a mountain goat or bighorn sheep, but that's rare enough to keep me from buying any.

It's hard when you're constantly reading about things that are "better" online, then going and auditioning bins with quadruple digit price tags, but I probably should have stopped with the DCF SPs, as I was mostly content with them.
I'd still like a pair of those $900 8x32 Meopta MeoStars, though.
Thanks for the reminder...I think:ironic:
^^not happening!
 

orbital

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+

Very comprehensive post Owen :thumbsup:

The forum you mentioned I became a member of a long time ago, posted a couple dozen times in total.
Problem was, there was a certain percentage of people who had this idea that it was alpha bins or nothing & after while it just left a bad taste in my mouth.
..so I left it.
Optics are tricky, in that yes, you get what you pay for,, but also you can have very good optics for a far better value.

It's a fine line,,, literally in your view.

I find it really interesting you have a Pentax scope that takes 1.25 eyepieces. I made the plunge into that area starting last year & very much enjoy it.
Purchased a SVBONY SV406P 80mm ED glass unit & the view is very good, focus is super smooth & fine. Got it for $280
(I did carefully remove the o-ring in the housing to allow eyepiece to seat fully,, no biggie)

If you get the urge to get an optic,, the Celestron 1.25" Ultima Edge Flat Field Eyepiece - 18mm is a razor sharp view & really a pleasure to use.

got it here:: https://agenaastro.com/celestron-1-25-ultima-edge-flat-field-eyepiece-18mm-93452.html


 
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harro

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Spotting Scopes, anyone into them??

Hi everyone, does anyone else enjoy spotting scopes/digiscoping? I carry this econokit when the wife and i travel. It is used for general spotting and birding, points of interest etc. Its a Vanguard Endeavor HD82A. The tripod is a Vanguard Veo2 235APB ball head and the case is a pressure relieving Vanguard 46 case. I could never afford one of the Euro ' big three ', and indeed i probably wouldnt use it enough to warrant the cost. Just about to buy a Phoneskope digiscope adapter for it after mehhhhh results handheld.
UJmhZvv.jpg
 

hsa

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Anything Optics

That is a nice spotter. Let me know how the phonescope adapter works. It's pretty hard to handhold the phone with good results. I just bought an Orion Grandview 65 ED for use at the range and it is working out nice. For birding I will probably use an Explore Scientific 24 mm 68 degree eyepiece. This scope takes telescope eyepieces and I have a bunch. I'm using a fluid panhead.
 
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harro

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Re: Anything Optics

That is a nice spotter. Let me know how the phonescope adapter works. It's pretty hard to handhold the phone with good results. I just bought an Orion Grandview 65 ED for use at the range and it is working out nice. For birding I will probably use an Explore Scientific 24 mm 68 degree eyepiece. This scope takes telescope eyepieces and I have a bunch. I'm using a fluid panhead.

No worries. I have tried the handheld method, but i'm just not steady enough to get anything other than blurred images. I am looking at Phoneskope's eyepiece adapter which fits the 52mm eyepiece of the Vanguard, and their universal phone holder for my old Samsung A21S and their bluetooth shutter release. The mono eyepieces would be nice, but as yet, Vanguard dont make them. Theirs is a 20x - 60x zoom which i guess is a good allrounder, but you will never get as good results as you do with mono eyepieces. Maybe down the track. The Orion is a nice looking scope. As a younger person a long time ago, i used to be into amateur astronomy, hence the 82 objective of the Vanguard, but my telescope then, had a 60mm objective, and it would let me see heaps invisible to the naked eye.
 

troutpool

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Re: Anything Optics

I got interested in birding in the 80's, and I have done well with just three binoculars over the intervening years. First, I got a pair of Leitz Trinovid 10x40. These were slim and lightweight and had good optics for the time. I modified the neck strap so that I could either hang them around my neck or clip them to the D-rings on the shoulder straps of my backpack, always at the ready. Eventually, I decided to replace them with an 8-power pair, to lessen eye fatigue, and I bought the Leica BA 8x42. These were heavy but still a pleasure to use. When I decided to replace them, I sold them for exactly $80 less than I paid for them ten years earlier. So I figure that it ended up costing me $8 a year to use these fine binoculars. Now I have a pair of Swarovski EL 8x32. I got them as much for the 20mm eye relief they have as for their excellent optics. It is nice to be able to use them with sunglasses on for casual birding and still have a decent field of view. I recently had a minor problem with them and sent them to Swarovski for repair. They sent them back completely rejuvenated, readjusted, and better than new. I also had a Kowa scope for a number of years. I saw some good birds through it, but I hated lugging it and a tripod around. It was a pleasure to use on a window mount, viewing from the car, though.
 

Bullzeyebill

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Re: Anything Optics

With my fading vision I wan some 6x binoculars that close up to 3feet.

Billl
 

orbital

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harro

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Re: Anything Optics

Here are some pics with the Vanguard HD82A. Still hand held, not with a proper adapter, which i'm waiting on from PhoneSkope. The subject light tower is on a football oval and is 510M from the scope. Its still fairly hot here, so heat haze and dirty air dont help much either, but you get the idea. Ohh, and the blurriness is just from me shaking.

As the eye sees it
ukQ7mYg.jpg


at 20x
ELqrwr4.jpg


at 40x
IQrjkIw.jpg


at 60x
WF6cH5K.jpg
 

harro

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Re: Anything Optics

Heat shimmer will always kill the image at that distance and mag. Looks good for handheld though.

Thanks, yep, its not an ideal time for digiscoping here atm. Springtime with clean air and new birdlife etc. Will post some pics when the adapter and holder show up.
 

harro

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Re: Anything Optics

Finally, my Phoneskope stuff showed up, i think Covid might have affected delivery, ohh well.

This is the phone holder and scope eyepiece adapter and the Bluetooth shutter remote, and an 18650 for scale.
8Xi9gTh.jpg


The holder/adapter together and ready to mount on the eyepiece.
VYOuKCg.jpg


These pics are a 200' communications tower at 900M from the scope. Its a crappy, cloudy day here, so light wasnt too good. Ohh, the phone is a Samsung A21S. Pics are 20x, 40x, 60x on the scope. Forgive me, i am still learning how to take these pics. The 60x is blurry cause i think the phone was trying to focus as well as me focussing the scope. Ohh well, practice will overcome that.
aqvwQON.jpg

LkXDDqD.jpg

mPQnXqv.jpg
 

Owen

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Re: Anything Optics

Kinda makes me miss my spotting scope and tripod. Even just the tripod with a binocular mount, for what little I'd do with it.
I only tried with a smartphone once last year, and it was handheld, after sunset, and through a double-paned window, with my 12.5x50s.
FTqbAvl.jpg


Some years before, though, my P&S was a little Nikon P310 with only 4.2x optical zoom, and this is all it would do in this instance(these are downsized photos copied from facebook):
0pdcGd8.jpg


I thought it did pretty good with its little lens stuck in the eyepiece of my DCF SP 8x32s, and zoomed just enough to fill the screen(not a crop):
CkxQBit.jpg


Y'all are gonna have me trying to capture closeups of birds on my deck:eek:
 

harro

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Re: Anything Optics

Hahaha, ohh well, restarting an old interest isn’t always a bad thing. It’s a new interest for me, and mainly birding and general viewing is my interest. Handy to throw the case in the car for a day out, and if we end up somewhere scenic, or wetlands, then so be it. As you see though, I need plenty of practice yet. That comes with time though.
 

orbital

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Re: Anything Optics

+

Eagle Optics was the go-to place for optics online, any forum mentioned EO everywhere.
Located in the same building as the original Vortex headquarters, I drove down several times* to just to view some nice glass... EO encouraged it.

The reason EO wanted you to look through more expensive binoculars was to hopefully upsell.
So I'v looked through some very nice stuff $$$$

A while back on a pair of binoculars I was looking at, there was a deal not to be passed, such an incredible deal, was certain it was a typo (they were new)
Pulled the trigger and to my amazement, were the sharpest view I'v ever looked through,, ever.
I got the 8x42 MasterClass Pro ED, just a breathtaking view!!!


I'd be remissed not to mention this deal on the 10x42 version at $289
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B083QP58CN/?tag=cpf0b6-20


*less than 90 minutes away
 

orbital

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Re: Anything Optics

Hey Orbital, could you tell us where those Meade Instruments binoculars are made?

+

Meade Instruments are made in China, not a huge surprise. https://www.meade.com/masterclasstm-pro-ed-10x42.html

If these were exactly the same binoculars, except saying Germany on the bottom,, they would be $1200.

___________________________________________________________
btw: I said Eagle Optics was in the same building as Vortex, it was actually immediately next door, not inside Vortex.
The building was an industrial strip mall setup.

Eagle Optics closed a few years ago.
 

KITROBASKIN

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Re: Anything Optics

Thanks, yeah if one reads about Meade Instruments history... no shortage of lawsuits and bankruptcy. But that is a tempting offer for those binos.
 

orbital

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Re: Anything Optics

+

One last thing on the MasterClass Pro ED & the Field Flattener tech.

Field Flattener isn't just some bs spec, no way. You can tell by viewing for sure & looking at the objective lens, it has a type of concave look to it at a certain angle (from the outside/front of the bins)
I'v never seen that in any objective lens.
 
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