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

OP
Bluto

Bluto

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jan 16, 2014
Messages
460
Bought clean used EL's from a guy who just had to have the NL Pure. Very happy.
I’m looking, it would help if I had decided which ones I suppose. The used bino market has gotten hotter than the housing market lol!

While I avoid Amazon at all costs, and I would never do this to a retailer, I think I might just order each from Amazon and then return them. I don’t have any option to see anything in person other than EL’s, maybe, if I drive an hour.
 

JiminAZ

Member
Joined
Dec 23, 2020
Messages
65
Location
Phoenix, AZ
Hunting season is upon us. Buy in Dec-January, everyone is broke from Christmas etc and some hunters unloading stuff from their one time needs.

Also buying last gen stuff right about the time the buzz peaks on new gen stuff works as I noted. Always some guy has to have the latest and greatest and usually those guys aren't very hard on the equipment, because they don't own it that long.
 
Last edited:
OP
Bluto

Bluto

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jan 16, 2014
Messages
460
Thats a solid idea as well. I’ve considered renting for this season and doing just that.
 

Mojave

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jun 13, 2019
Messages
958
I currently own 10x56 Zeiss Victory's and a Swarovski STS 65mm spotter.

I just recently sold a pair of 12x50 Swarovski EL's because they were not immersive enough for my eye glass requirement. I talked to Swarovski and they have zero plans to introduce a 8x42 with 22mm of eye relief. Or that is what I would own in a EL or NL pure.

Everyone's eyes are different, and your eyes at 30 are not your eyes at 47 or 67 or 87.

I prefer top end glass. Mostly because I am heavily myopic. 20-450 in each eye. With tons of eye relief.

So I am kind of regulated to 8x56 binos, as they are the only optics made by anyone with enough eye relief to give me the full experience.

The 10x56' Zeiss' are on their way back to Germany for repair, and when they get home they are headed to ebay. Again not enough eye relief.

A lot of options out there.

I also own Minox 8x56 (excellent), Multiple Japanese and Chinese Brunton 10x56, 10x42, and 8x42, Bushnell 10x50 Engage (excellent).

Previously owned multiple Steiner 8x42, Canon 8x32, Swarovski SLC 8x56, SLC 7x42, EL 8x42 (should have kept those), Nikon 10x50, 10x56, 8.5x56 among others.

I probably buy and sell 5-6 pairs a year trying to find Optical Nirvana. I have not found it yet, but I believe it does exist somewhere out there.

There are a ton of good enough companies that most people with normal 20-20 vision or reasonably myopic vision will not have a problem with a good enough product.

Those with older eyes, or personal eye issues will want or need a higher grade product.

Meopta, Zeiss, Minox, Fujinon, Nikon, Kahles, Docter, Noblex, GPO, Swarovski, DD Optic, there are a ton of companies in the field that makes mid-high grade glass.

There are even companies making mid-grade stuff in China with German or Japanese lenses.

Though the quality will eventually suffer with an erector or mirror.
 

mxgsfmdpx

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Oct 22, 2019
Messages
2,753
Location
Central Arizona
How do these compare to slc

Sent from my SM-G991U using Tapatalk
I’ve spent quite a bit of time sitting behind both SLC and Meostar…


Swaros are handier, lighter, sleeker. Feel better in the hands but we are talking 15 power binos. They are almost always on a tripod. Meoptas sort of feel like a tank and aren’t “pretty” haha. They do feel more durable than the swaros.

Eye relief in the swaros is better and adjusting the cups feels crisper. Close up images on the swaros are “clearer” to my eye. Mid range to long range the edge to edge clarity favors Meopta, especially the center focused image. Crazy how clear the Meopta image is.

The natural “color” my eyes see matches closer to meoptas “warmer” image. The swaros were more “cool” with green trees and grey rocks looking much more blue in color vs what they look like to my naked eyes.

Chromatic aberration which I’m highly susceptible to is much better with the Meoptas. Not sure if it’s due to prism design or what, but the swaros didn’t relieve it anywhere near as much as meoptas do.

Low light conditions they are both fantastic with a slight edge going to Swaro to my eyes. They just feel “brighter” in low light but the image does get distorted easier than meoptas.

I would be more than happy to use both and have used both for hours and hours. Sticking with the meoptas for now.
 

General RE LEE

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Dec 28, 2019
Messages
809
Glass ownership for me has been a 15 year process. I started out with Nikon Monarch 8x42s, currently own Zeiss Conquests and considering maxing out with the NL Pures. I think with each level, knowing there is something better makes it a hunt to go to the next level.
 

frogman43

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2022
Messages
26
I'm somewhat in the same boat. Been slumming Minox Bino's and spotter for the last ten years or so, but granted haven't done a whole lot of hunting lately due to work constraints, moving, and divorce. Retirement is in the viewfinder....approaching fast it seems.

My plan is to move to Wyoming as it is centrally located to all the Western states hunting, and just spend the rest of my life running around the West, hunting and exploring at will and as the Tag genie allows! LOL

So, with that in mind.....been seriously considering an upgrade for all of my glass, just for the future adventure......I've been using a Swaro LRF for many years but have considered the newer Bino RF models.....decisions, decisions! LOL
 

Novahunter

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jan 24, 2022
Messages
176
I started with cheap glass, went up to mid tier, and now have a ZCO scope and Swaro SLC 15x binocs. They're awesome, wouldn't trade them.

I also use many scopes in the mid-tier ($1k to $2k) range. Right now, a Bushnell LRHS and older Gen 1 ERS. Sold off my Gen 1 Razor. These scopes have their place and I am a bit picky on which ones I have (I consider the Gen 2 LRHS from GAP to be one of the best values that exists for a $1k scope). The Bushnell's have also been extremely durable for me both hunting and PRS comps, so I tend to trust them.

The glass quality on the Swaro's and ZCO are really amazing. And, it feels effortless to stare into them all day at a match and watch targets. The details I can pick out vs. lower quality glass is exceptional.

Before the ZCO, my best scope was the Bushnell ERS which was a $1500+ scope 5 or 6 years ago. Shot alot of competitions with the ERS. With the ERS, I could always see targets clearly. With the ZCO, I can see every impact crater, texture detail, and color difference on a target clearly. That difference is important at a competition when shooting KYL racks for example. At 500 yards, on a 12in plate, I could see with the ERS that I hit the target. With the ZCO, I can see exactly WHERE I hit the target and discern which way it's swinging. So, if I hit the edge of the 12in target, I have more info from seeing more detail and can correct and make a better shot at the 8in target.

Translating to hunting: I'm moving my ZCO over to my 300 RUM this month to take to Newfoundland for a moose hunt in October. I want my best scope, I know it's bomb proof, and I'll be able to see details much better with it vs. my ERS. My backup rifle is a 20in .308 that has a Bushnell Gen 1 LRHSi on it, and I'm taking that rifle too.

If I had to hunt with my ERS, would I feel like I'm handicapped? No, not much. The ERS is a bit less in glass quality, but still very good. It's bomb proof, dials reliably, and has been through some awful weather, and been beat up in matches.

The difference in Alpha glass is worth it to me now. But, it isn't worth it for everyone though. I would encourage trying to find other people that have different scopes and binoculars and trying them to see if you can tell a difference.
 

SoloWilderness

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Apr 5, 2013
Messages
361
Location
Pine, CO
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.
I have a set of Steiner Predators in 10x42 that I've had for at least a decade. They are great, maybe not quite Alpha, but damn good binos for the money. I have been eyeing some Mavens, and even toying with the idea of Swaros, but so far haven't found a legitimate reason to swap them out other than the occassional... "Oooo shiny!"
 

OspreyZB

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jul 20, 2018
Messages
108
And of course add into the mix the SLC’s. Gotta buy used, I know, but that doesn’t bother me too much with Swaro
Not to complicate things more, but you may want to add the Leica Ultravid HD/HD+, Zeiss victory FL, and victory HT to your list, if you're considering buying used and flat-field isn't a priority.
 
OP
Bluto

Bluto

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jan 16, 2014
Messages
460
Haha, it does, but that’s okay. I’ve settled on step 1 being to order an alpha glass and some not so alpha that I can return (to Amazon, not a decent human running a shop) and at least compare them from the yard. That will give me some range to stretch out the things that are important to me and how my eyes see through them. If I’m clearly seeing the gap, that will at least narrow my search down.
 
Top