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Optics of today verses thirty years ago #9009679 02/22/24 10:19 PM
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This should get interesting. I have a pair of Zeiss 8X30 B GA Safari binoculars I purchased over thirty years ago. I paid closed to $1100 back then. The optics and quality for the time were superb. I still use them today. With my eyes aging I set out on a search for a pair of 10X power binoculars. I wanted HD lenses. I looked at Leupold, Nikon, Vortex, Zeiss, Athlon, Hawke and MeOpta. My goal was to keep it to around $500.00. With retirement a year or so away, I'm watching what and how much I spend.

To be honest all of the $500 class 10X bino's I tried were outstanding. I settled with the MeOpta MeoPro HD 10X42. With the discounted sale price I got them for $380.00. I've had them out on the ranch a number of times during all hours of the day, evening and night. We have green lights on our feeders for hunting hogs at night. When I compare them to my Zeiss 8X30 binos there is no comparison. The Me Opta optics out perform my older Zeiss hands down in all categories. The Me Opta optics are just outstanding. The color, clarity, brightness and edge to edge sharpness is incredible. I'll attribute a little of the performance to the 10X verses 8X as well as the 42mm objective verses the 30mm objective of my older Zeiss. As well as the advancement in coatings. Again, my Zeiss optics are superb and have served me well for over thirty years.

Though I don't know for sure, I attribute a lot of the optic performance to newer more advanced designed in the binoculars as well as in the manufacturing of the optics. Me Opta is a Czechoslovakia company that manufactures their own glass. Not saying it's better than others out there, but they're rated very high on their optics. The other mentioned binocular manufactures I tried also had outstanding glass that would rival my older Zeiss.

What are your thoughts on today's optics verses thirty or even twenty years ago. My eyes say they're just much better.

Last edited by Alpine Hunter; 02/22/24 11:02 PM.
Re: Optics of today verses thirty years ago [Re: Alpine Hunter] #9009683 02/22/24 10:35 PM
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There have been some advances in the coating and lens materials and all that which play a role in the higher end glass, but budget glass is still budget glass. Meopta is a good brand, Zeiss is a higher end brand. I have a feeling you are comparing apples to oranges in that your 30 year old lenses are probably just not as perfect as new, no way they could be with use. You nailed the other issues with the 8x vs 10x and 30mm vs 42mm....those make a difference.

I think a "brand new" (unused) 30 year old high end set is going to be really close to the current high end stuff. Where the old will lose is in weather resistance and low light. But probably not by as much as we all think....again, unused glass, not used glass.

Re: Optics of today verses thirty years ago [Re: Alpine Hunter] #9009703 02/22/24 11:05 PM
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In my experience there are modern scopes under $200 with better glass than a old school Swarovski Habicht 6x42. This rifle dates back to 1974, scope probably does also.

Flip side to that, this is a 50 year old rig that has traveled and killed a pile of animals, and passed around through the family to get to me, and the scope was still on. I would not expect that kind of reliability out of s modern $200 scope.

Last edited by Bryan C. Heimann; 02/22/24 11:05 PM.

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Re: Optics of today verses thirty years ago [Re: Alpine Hunter] #9009809 02/23/24 02:09 AM
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$500 binoculars today are every bit as good as the alpha maker's binos 25 years ago no doubt. Glass quality, coatings, manufacturing processes, etc have come a long, long ways.

Re: Optics of today verses thirty years ago [Re: Alpine Hunter] #9009868 02/23/24 03:34 AM
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Yep the way things are made, and the equipment used to make it, it is so much easier and cheaper to produce lenses of a higher quality. Technology.

Spend a little more and it is unreal how far they have come.

Last edited by Bryan C. Heimann; 02/23/24 03:37 AM.

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Re: Optics of today verses thirty years ago [Re: Alpine Hunter] #9009897 02/23/24 09:04 AM
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I have a 10 power Zeiss B from W Germany that’s about 40 years old and the image quality is as good as my EL’s and my modern Zeiss.

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