Alpha glass “ownership” experience - and a rehash of “is it worth it…”

Bluto

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Jan 16, 2014
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460
Let’s say the answer to the below has never changed, and I’m down to Swarovski and Zeiss. EL and Victory SF, 10x42’s. No RF’s, etc.

Is their a discriminator in ownership from personal experiences? Warranty, customer service, maintenance/repair, things I haven’t thought of? Sometimes I think that’s silly to wonder about, but if I’m gonna pay more for binos than my first two cars, then nah. Those things had better be good.

On the rehash, I’m considering Maven B.6’s. Almost every measurement meets or exceeds the alpha players. Now, that can’t measure glass quality, etc., but we’re also talking quality Japanese stuff and not Chinese garbage. I get it - I don’t think there’s any way they can be better. But, if I can get a brand new pair of Maven’s at my doorstep for $787, are they really 3-4 times better? Seems a tough pill to swallow, and I know it isn’t a linear graph of price vs quality, but it’s starting to get silly.

Or maybe not. 😃

In that case, Swaro or Zeiss to own?
 

MidGAHunter

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Feb 28, 2019
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575
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MS
No one can answer that for you. You need to spend time behind them in various light conditions on a tripod. Some people cannot tell any measurable difference and can save the money. I'm not one of those. The cheaper binos give me headaches very quickly. I can and have sat behind my Swaro ELs for hours on end without issue. For me it was worth the investment.
 

bayoublaster7527

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Jul 17, 2017
Messages
446
Super happy with my used swaro 10x42 ELs. Broke an eyecup and the warranty/customer service was better than any I have ever witnessed. Can’t really compare to Zeiss, had a pair of conquest HD 10x42s but sold em shortly after, no warranty customer service experience with Zeiss either.
 

2five7

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Jul 15, 2017
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583
You can buy some EL's, use them for a decade, and sell them for just about what you paid. I'd say that is an excellent investment for your hobby.
 

nobody

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Sep 15, 2020
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912
Let me preface this by saying I own/have owned optics from lots of companies. Off the top of my head, I've owned Swaro, Vortex, Zeiss, Leupold, Sig, Maven, SWFA, I'm sure I'm forgetting something. So I'm far from a fanboy of any company.

If customer service means anything to you, then Zeiss and Swaro should be low on the list. Yes, optical quality is great, but my buddy and I have each fought these two companies on separate occasions. I fought swaro for several months on a rangefinder, and my buddy has had a heck of a time getting Zeiss to respond to him on him wanting to send in his used binos for a checkup and cleanup. There's nothing broken on his binos, he just wants them to check them out and has even said he's willing to pay for the service, and they won't help him out or reply to him or give him the time of day.

I know lots of guys will chime in and say warranty doesn't matter on the hill, and they're right. But when the off season hits and you need a clean up and tune up, you need to know you'll be taken care of. Optics are mechanical devices with hinges and bearings and seals that can and do eventually go bad, and the insurance policy of a company's customer service means a ton to me and all the guys I hunt with. Judging based off of my experiences, I don't have as much confidence that Swaro or Zeiss will take care of me. I'm one guy, one single data point, so take my input for what its worth.

There's a certain manufacturer who, like them or not, has set the bar for how customer service is viewed in the optics/hunting/shooting/outdoor industry. I could call that company right now and I know within 2 minutes I would be speaking to a real person who seems genuinely happy that I called. Maven is the same way, they answer and seem eager to help. Every time I've called them they've been nothing but helpful, and have even cut hunting buddies deals from time to time.

To be clear, I'm also not a guy who thinks his $200 binos are as good as $3k NL pures. But dollar value does not equate overall purchasing and use experience. I run $1800 chest binos and am the first to tell guys to save pennies and buy nice or buy twice. I DO believe you should buy high end, I just don't know if you need to jump that far into it. Those B.6 and B.2 binos are REALLY nice, and do a nice job of pushing hard on Alpha glass companies without breaking a sweat.

If I was in your shoes, I would pick up the 10x50 B.6 and not think twice.

But hey, I'm just some random guy on the internet...
 
Last edited:

Hoodie

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Joined
Aug 6, 2020
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895
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Oregon Cascades
The 10x50 B6 is a sweet binocular. It really handles like a 10x42. Maven has great customer service in my limited experience.
 

Matt G.

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Joined
Aug 17, 2017
Messages
448
Location
Ohio
You also need to ask yourself, are you the the type that will be satisfied at the 1k level and be done or are you eve person that will wonder what you are missing and buy later. If you are the second type just buy the top and be done.

Sent from my SM-G981U using Tapatalk
 

R_burg

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Dec 15, 2016
Messages
456
Location
AZ
Let’s say the answer to the below has never changed, and I’m down to Swarovski and Zeiss. EL and Victory SF, 10x42’s. No RF’s, etc.

Is their a discriminator in ownership from personal experiences? Warranty, customer service, maintenance/repair, things I haven’t thought of? Sometimes I think that’s silly to wonder about, but if I’m gonna pay more for binos than my first two cars, then nah. Those things had better be good.

On the rehash, I’m considering Maven B.6’s. Almost every measurement meets or exceeds the alpha players. Now, that can’t measure glass quality, etc., but we’re also talking quality Japanese stuff and not Chinese garbage. I get it - I don’t think there’s any way they can be better. But, if I can get a brand new pair of Maven’s at my doorstep for $787, are they really 3-4 times better? Seems a tough pill to swallow, and I know it isn’t a linear graph of price vs quality, but it’s starting to get silly.

Or maybe not. 😃

In that case, Swaro or Zeiss to own?

Excuse my ignorance - but aren't Mavens more like 1000-1200?
 

SneakyThunderCat

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Dec 14, 2018
Messages
547
Man, every person is different. I couldn’t settle after I looked through really glass. I have swaro binos and a swaro spotter, and the spotter was a little harder pill to swallow because I knew I wouldn’t use it as much. The binos are always with me and I’ve never once regretted buying them. Knowing that I will never have to upgrade and knowing I’ll be holding on to them forever is a good feeling though. Only needed to use the warranty once and my experience was very good. Binos came back like new.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

willfrye027

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Dec 4, 2018
Messages
1,547
I think it really depends on what you’re using them for and how much extra cash you have laying around. If you do one or two western hunts a year the mid tier stuff will probably make you very happy. If you are living and breathing western hunting year round…sell some other stuff and pony up for the best
 

Steve O

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Feb 29, 2012
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Michigan
Can’t go wrong with any of those three. I typically have a mix of them; Swaro, Leica, and Zeiss. Bought my son some 10x42 Leicas a couple weeks ago for his college graduation. Have had great service from every single one of them as well. Flip the three headed coin…
 

Norm555

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Joined
Aug 27, 2017
Messages
299
I've had phenomenal experiences with Swaro customer service. To me the cost is worth it, but it is definitely a law of diminishing return. They're expensive so I totally understand why some can't justify the price.
 

ElGuapo

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Joined
Sep 30, 2017
Messages
112
Location
Reno, Nv
I've had phenomenal experiences with Swaro customer service. To me the cost is worth it, but it is definitely a law of diminishing return. They're expensive so I totally understand why some can't justify the price.
I completely agree with this, and I’ve dealt with their CS multiple times. They’ve been great
 

ArchStanton

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2021
Messages
26
What about Steiner binoculars? I have had several pairs of the AF Steiner binoculars and have been happy with their performance. Maybe Steiner aren't alpha glass but they're good quality and a good value. Steiner makes an AF and center focus in a 10x. I'm thinking about getting some big eyes for spotting and am looking at the Steiner HX 15x56 or something in the same power that's made in Japan or Europe.
 

Q child

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Joined
Nov 8, 2018
Messages
294
Both ELs and SFs are excellent. I've owned both. And both companies have taken care of me over the years. I wouldn't hesitate to buy either.
If you can afford it, then it is worth it to own some alpha binoculars. I also just like nice sh*t though.
 

mcr-85

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Joined
May 28, 2014
Messages
874
Location
Southern Utah
I started with Nikon Monarchs and traded/sold my way through Vortex and low line Meoptas to get to Zeiss Victory SFs. I love them. I have zero desire to buy myself binoculars at this point. I also have Maven 18x56 and they are pretty good to me. This last year I probably spent more time looking through the 18s than I did the 10s.
 

ArchStanton

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2021
Messages
26
I started with Nikon Monarchs and traded/sold my way through Vortex and low line Meoptas to get to Zeiss Victory SFs. I love them. I have zero desire to buy myself binoculars at this point. I also have Maven 18x56 and they are pretty good to me. This last year I probably spent more time looking through the 18s than I did the 10s.
Did you compare the Mavens to the Vortex Razor UHD 18x56?
 

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