Zeiss HT 10x42 showed up

Aron Snyder

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I've been bouncing back and forth between several set of optics, but the HT's came in a couple days ago and now I have something new to test out.

At this point, I'm running Zeiss FL's, Meopta HD's, Swaro SLC's Vortex Razor HD's and now, Zeiss HT's (all in 10 power).

I do cardio in the morning while the ground is still frozen, so I was at the top of Green Mountain before the sun came up. This gives me a realistic look at light gathering ability in a hunting situation. There's also a shit load of deer, so that makes it even more realistic:)

Using a tripod is more accurate for testing, so I packed a couple of those along as well. Going back and forth between hand held glassing and tripod glassing is also exactly what I do when hunting/scouting.

I've got a few friends that will be joining in on the testing tonight and they are bringing a few other sets as well (Zen Ray, Leica, other Swaro and Gold rings).

When we get finished up tonight I will post up some of our thoughts.
 

fillthefreezer

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sweet, ive been waiting for something like this.
in conclusion can you add which you'd choose if leaving for a hunt asap and why?
 

armyjoe

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Dude those HT's were really nice yesterday. Gonna be tough to beat those. The Meoptas I think are still my all around favorite binoculars.
 
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squeekieslayer

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AWESOME! with my line of work I have access to Zeiss stuff for a large discount, but they are still expensive even at half off haha. I have been waiting to pull the trigger on the HT untill i could get my hands on them. You getting your hands on them is the second best option hahaha.

Joe
 

Shrek

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That sounds like an awsome test. A couple different people testing them at the same time and under the same real hunting field conditions. Thats about as good as it gets.
 

JNDEER

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Awesome!

I still plan on doing this myself, but a good detailed report could help in my own selection process. I have plans to hit up Cabelas in a few weeks to at least get some of those bins in my hands just in case I can eliminate some out of the gate.
 
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Aron Snyder

Aron Snyder

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I'm heading out of town for a couple days, so I'll keep this somewhat short and just hit the key points.



Binoculars Tested: Zeiss 10x42 HT's, Zeiss 10x42 FL's, Vortex Razor HD 10x42, Swaro SLC HD 10x42, Meopta HD 10x42, ZenRay ED3, Swaro EL 10x42, Swaro SLC, Leupold Gold Rings and Vortex Viper HD.

Out of all the optics tested, the Zeiss HT was chosen more than any other, but that didn't surprise me to much as I looked through them ahead of time. The SLC HD and EL's were close behind and if I had 5 different guys with me, the test could have gone another direction.

The HT's had a bright and natural color compared to the Swaro (especially the EL). The EL and SLC HD was just as bright, but the colors weren't as natural as the HT model. We did not have a scale with us, but the HT and Swaro HD were very close in weight, but the HT has a slightly longer body. The focus nob on the HT was also a huge improvement over the FL's and the diopter adjustment has changed on the HT's as well (for the better).

The Meopta HD's were the biggest surprise out of all the optics, and were a fraction of a difference between the Swaro and Zeiss. We actually had to keep going back and forth between the SLC HD and Meopta (they were on tripods) to say for sure there was a difference. These are priced at $1,000 MSRP and were rated as "best bang for the buck" by everyone. The Meopta's do have one down side, and that is there weight, coming in 4 oz heavier (that is a guess), than the comparable optics.

Vortex Razor HD was a close second for the "bang for the buck" and they only lost out by one vote! The clarity and light gathering were very close, but the Razor's are much lighter than the Meopta's and Vortex has a warranty that is second to none. Again, if I had a different group of testers, this could have gone in favor of the Razor's. I would add that the Meopta and Razor were both picked above the older SLC's and I only bring this up because the price point between a used set of SLC's and a new set of Razor/Meopta is going to be about the same.

Seeing as the best "Bang for the Buck" optic was still $1,000, we figured that we would have a lower price option as well. The Viper HD was an easy choice for everyone, as they were pretty close to the Razor's and Meopta HD's and ahead of the others. The normal differences were noticed in the Viper's (lower light gathering and edge to edge clarity), but keep in mind that they were being compared to all the optics for this and not just the lower priced models.

NOTE:

My eyes have never liked the EL's, and I have always chosen the SLC HD's ahead of them. The HD's are also slightly lighter and smaller than the EL's, so that was one of the reasons as well.

The decision between the Meopta HD's and Razor HD's is going to be tough, and it would be hard for me to point someone in either direction. The Meopta has a slight clarity advantage, but the Razor is lighter and the Vortex warranty is at the top.

We will be doing this test again pretty soon, but the test dummies will be hunters who have not looked through high end glass.
 

HellsCanyon

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Glad to hear your thoughts Aron, my Razor HD 12x50s will be here next Thursday, hope they are as nice as I think they'll be!
 

OutdoorAg

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Looking forward to this report.

If its anything like the talk on the birder forums, I suspect the HTs impressed...
 

JNDEER

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Thanks for the quick report.

Where any pair of bins NOT good while glassing off a tri-pod? Hard to stabalize the image, etc?
 

blb078

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Aron did anyone compare the zen ray's to anything?

Interested in this myself since I'm in the market for something in the $500-$600 range. Right now leaning towards the Viper HDs, but I've heard good things about the Zen Ray ED3 and they're a little cheaper than the Viper HDs. Also considering the ZR Prime HD
 
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armyjoe

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I own the Zen Rays and have compared them with Arons Meopta HD's, Zeiss FL and HT's. And without a doubt the Zen Rays are far behind the curve. It truly isn't an apples to apples glass comparison because of their make though too.

I thought the Meoptas were the best all around for me. I might look at upgrading my Zens for those.

Aron has spent a ton more time behind glass then I will ever so I'm positive his review will add way more to this then my. 02cents about the Zen Rays
 
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