I’m on a search for an 8×32 binocular, so I am reviewing the candidates in the field. My main comparisons are the Leica Ultravid BR 8×20 or Swarovski 8.5×42 FPro (yes, those are way more expensive than this pair).
I found the Meopta MeoPro 8×32 HD marginally usable. The eye relief is good, with 3 positions and the eye cups are comfortable. Blackout was not a problem. The diopter adjustment is stiff but usable. I find the focuser too fast and I end up tweeking it more than on others (like the Minox). The 3D effect is good, but I liked the Minox 8×33 better. Brightness was good. The objective covers are a standard cup that goes on the outside of the lens barrel. I liked that the carry case has a magnetic latch, which makes opening and closing quiet. It’s pretty snug so in field use might take a bit of time to get in and out, I did not test that.
It feels good on my face. The eye cups are 30.9mm diameter and they fit around my eyes well. The distance from the ocular lens to the top of the eye cup is a generous 14.16mm. They are very comfortable to look through. My eyes feel relaxed using them. This alone gives them a high ranking in my book. If it were not for the glare and strap eyelets, I’d really like this pair.
I did not like the feel in hand. It is a single bridge and my hand edges up into the strap eyelets, so I feel it in my thumb saddle. The annoyance comes and goes based on use. I could come to put up with it. They have a contoured thumb rest. If I use the rest, then my thumb saddle does not hit the strap eyelet, but my index finger needs to bend in a bit to use the focuser. If my grip is such that my index finger is comfortable, I hit the strap eyelet. As I note in reviewing binoculars, there are more subjective issues with picking a pair than objective factors.
The objective caps have a pronounced rubber bend to the rings that just seems weak. In fact, the rubber thins from 1.4mm to 0.85mm at the joint. As a comparison, the ones on the Minox vary from 2mm to 1.4mm, and it is done in a ripple pattern. The focuser has a nice feel and it is usually quick to lock on to a subject.
The Meopro have an amazing 3.3ft close focus distance. This is matched only by the much more expensive Leica Trinovid HD 8×32. If close focus is important to you, and you do not want to layout the cash for the Trinovids, then get these. They are comfortable, they have amazing close focus, and sharp view. The problem with flare I talk about next should not keep you from them if everything else is what you want in this price range.
I noticed quite a bit of flare. Even when viewing about 90 degrees off axis from the sun, I could notice some haze. Looking at objects closer to the sun resulted in some visible artifacts. When used under the same conditions, it is noticeably worse at controlling flare than the Leica Ultravid 8×20 BR (which cost almost twice as much). It is a very nice view, very sharp if not flaring.
- Weight: 619g (naked), 674g (with ocular and objective covers)
- Eye cup distance†: 14.16mm
- Verdict: Almost a keeper. I have soften my view on them after more use because they are so easy to use and so comfortable on the eyes. I think for me there is still too much flare and I still do not like the strap eyelets in my thumb saddle.
† With the eye cup fully extended, the distance from the top of the eye cup to the ocular glass.