Would You Spend More than $500 on Binoculars? – Meopta Meostars

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The two pairs of 10x42 Meopta Meostars on the right have been a part of my adventures for about a year now. On the left is the monster new 15x56. The difference between them is about the same as the size difference between them.  Because while the 10x42HDs are brighter, clearer and more comfortable to glass through for long stretches, the 15x56HDs are closer, even brighter, and the HD view, edge to edge, is something to behold. I want em!

The two pairs of 10x42HD Meopta Meostars on the right have been a part of my adventures for about a year now. On the left is the monster new 15x56HD. The difference between them is about the same as the size difference between them. Because while the 10x42HDs are brighter, clearer and more comfortable to glass through for long stretches, the 15x56HD are closer, even brighter, and the HD view, edge to edge, is something to behold. I want em!


Meopta Meostar Binoculars
at Meopta:
http://www.meoptasportsoptics.com/meostar
at EuroOptics:
http://www.eurooptic.com/meopta-meostar

It is really hard to review a product that will be sticker shock to most people. That is the realm of high end optics in general, and especially binoculars. There are only a few makers of high end optics for which I personally would pay more than $500, and Meopta is one of them. In fact I bought two of these 10x42HD Meopta Meostar binos that you see here in the pictures (on EuroOptic for $689). So when the opportunity came up to review their newest 15×56 pair, I jumped at the chance, and I may actually buy these as well. The MeoStar 10x42s are HD and they were the only HDs in the line until the introduction of the new MeoStar 12x50HD and 15x56HD.

If like me, you have spent your life looking through Walmart quality binos, stop in at your local big box store or large gun dealer and check out some of the higher end glass that you may never realized existed. The difference will astound you, even in the store, and when you get them out in the field, a whole new world of High Def will be much clearer and closer than you could ever imagine. With cheap binos your eyes fight each other, and get tired quickly. When the glass is of a higher quality, with precision alignment and flawless materials, that feeling completely goes away. You want to strap them to your head and look through them forever.

The light gathering ability of the 56mm lens is super HD even at far distances.

The light gathering ability of the 56mm lens is super HD even at far distances.


The new 56mm in 15x is not even on the Meopta website yet as I write this, but I found them also on EuroOptic for $1,599. That’s a huge ouch for most people, but that gets back to the title of the article, would you spend more than $500 on binoculars?

My answer is yes because of where you usually use binoculars. In regular life, I don’t use binoculars at all. So that leaves special trips, either hiking, sightseeing, or hunting, and when I take trips I spend a decent amount of money on the trip. Once you see the difference in high quality binoculars, apply even a $1,599 pricetag to the cost of a lifetime of trips (because these binos are heirloom quality and will most likely last your entire life). When you think about them in those terms, it is a lot easier to convince yourself and possibly significant other that they are worth the investment.

The 15x are not shown on the Meopta website yet, but EuroOptics has them for $1,599 and there is a link in the text.  If you think about what you spend on a hunting trip, is a lifetime of comfortable glassing and HD long distance views worth it?

The 15x are not shown on the Meopta website yet, but EuroOptics has them for $1,599 and there is a link in the text. If you think about what you spend on a hunting trip, is a lifetime of comfortable glassing and HD long distance views worth it?


Hunting trips are the extreme case scenario. Searching a ridge or treeline with Meostar binos, even the low powered ones, will greatly increase your chances of picking out game from the surroundings. That was my original reason for buying my Meostars, and I am only on hunts as a writer and don’t even shoot anything. There is a world of difference between quality binos and cheap binos.

So without trying to sound like a press release, why do I think Meopta are really the best buy in optics, and especially binos? Because you aren’t paying for the name. I mean who ever even heard of Meopta? We have done a number of articles on them already, but 99% of the people reading this column probably still won’t recognize the name. Yet Meopta has been making high end optics since before World War II. Located in what is now the Czech Republic, Meopta has been a manufacturer of several products from names you know and trust, including Zeiss. Meopta makes all of their own stuff with their own technology, so they are in a completely different world than the Japanese companies that get parts and components from China, Malaysia, and all over the world.

One of the more interesting technologies is called “MeoBright.” (Yes, I think it is silly that everything has to start with Meo, but hey, they are trying to build a brand.) It is a coating that allows 99.7% light transmission per lens surface. You will notice the difference at dusk when the woods are still popping in your eyepieces, even though your regular eyesight is starting to fail. They also grind an polish their prism system to what is called a 1 second of variance, so you can look through the binos for hours without any eye strain. All of the Meopta products are completely waterproof, fogproof, and have a lifetime warranty. You just don’t get this stuff with a $500 pair of Nikon binos.

The diopter adjustment is in the middle on the Meostars. You close your right eye and focus, then close your left eye and bring the right eye into focus with the diopter. Mine are pretty close to the middle, but the adjustment makes a big difference.

The diopter adjustment is in the middle on the Meostars. You close your right eye and focus, then close your left eye and bring the right eye into focus with the diopter. Mine are pretty close to the middle, but the adjustment makes a big difference.


Ultimately, binoculars of extremely high quality are a luxury that only some of us can afford, but rather than just post a quickie product review of these new 15x56HD monsters, I thought it worth a discussion on the merits of great binos, and of great optics in general. Even a few years ago the American market balked at paying more for a rifle optic than for the rifle itself, yet today it is commonplace. Maybe Americans will now finally stop patting themselves on the back for paying $300-$500 for a Japanese brand of binos probably made in China and take a glance through some Meopta Meostars this turkey season?
The strap that comes with Meostars is filled with gel pods and pretty comfortable, though I would get a harness for the big 56mm pair.

The strap that comes with Meostars is filled with gel pods and pretty comfortable, though I would get a harness for the big 56mm pair.


The rubber front lens cover that comes with Meostars can be threaded onto the strap.

The rubber front lens cover that comes with Meostars can be threaded onto the strap.


The neck strap has clips so you can clip them to the binos or to the case. It is pretty sweet actually.

The neck strap has clips so you can clip them to the binos or to the case. It is pretty sweet actually.


The cases for the Meostars are wool like, which means they annoyingly pick up leaves and twigs, but they sure  look classy.

The cases for the Meostars are wool like, which means they annoyingly pick up leaves and twigs, but they sure look classy.


Meopta also makes a scoping adapter for your phone or video camera. It is called Meopix (figures) and costs $49. EuroOptics seems to have most sizes so get the correct one.

Meopta also makes a scoping adapter for your phone or video camera. It is called Meopix (figures) and costs $49. EuroOptics seems to have most sizes so get the correct one.

{ 17 comments… add one }
  • Bill April 29, 2017, 6:52 pm

    The Meopta Meostar Binoculars suck….check out a great pair of Sworski or Leica ….no comparison

    • Bill April 29, 2017, 6:55 pm

      There is ZERO moderATION.

    • Jim May 12, 2017, 10:30 am

      Bill’s comment about “Meostar Binoculars Suck” is ridiculously WRONG !! While Swaros quality, warranty and customer service are amongst the best, they are considerably more expensive. Leica Ultravid products are also very good and very expensive, but do some reading up on the issues with Leica’s questionable customer service issues before laying out your money for them. The Meostar HD line (also Cabela’s Euro-HD which is openly announced as a Meopta HDs rebranded for Cabela’s – and has an excellent warranty) is certainly a very high end binocular that is worth consideration. This article is one of many praising the quality of this line for good reason and there are many others if you look around, but go to the stores if you can and see for yourself by looking through them and seeing how their ergonomics feel for you. There are some good choices available in the market place when you compare them side-by-side. If you do choose the Meostar HD line, you’ll be happy, great glass, ergonomics, coatings, specs, workmanship and warranty. Well done Meopta and on a personal note, thanks for making glass I could actually afford.

  • Jupiter's Storm February 26, 2015, 10:17 am

    Good review. I look forward to specific tests for all three of your models. If we engage a little common since… Though I insist on premium optics regarding rifle scopes I actually utilize my scope a minute fraction of the time I depend on my binocular.

    Not only do I scan for wildlife, they provide excellent entertainment in watching birds, squirrls, bobcats and other game as I sit in my stand for hours waiting for big game. So… would I pay $500. for a binocular? Absolutely… and much more.

    The thought of buying a Meopta has never entered my mind, but now… I just might. a Meopta
    A word about Bruton; This company is no longer in the optics business and their support for their products is limited at best.

  • NICK G February 23, 2015, 6:49 pm

    I have been using binos of different High end brands for 40 years of hunting , They are well worth the hard earned bucks , But you should never go higher then 7 or 8 power if you glass a lot like me , I tried 10 x power and they are tiresome when you glass a lot ,Save your money and stop at no Higher then 8x H D

  • Campbell King February 23, 2015, 4:31 pm

    A friend showed me a Meopta spotting scope a few years ago..I was sold..I got my 10×42’s for about $900 new with some xtras..What a bargain..Price has increased but they are definately worth the money…look through good glass and u will see the difference..

  • Mikelasnicov February 23, 2015, 3:47 pm

    I got a pair of Brunton roof prism full size 10×42 binoculars as a trade for hanging a big screen TV for a friend. I didn’t know anything about them but I looked them up and they are $400.00. I had never used an expensive pair of binoculars before and wow, these things are amazing. They have all the bells and whistles like fully multi coated lenses, nitrogen purged, fog proof, water proof, and some other stuff I can’t remember. You can focus on something as close as 6 feet. These are the older model so they are a bit on the large side but still some great glass. I can imagine what the newer more expensive stuff looks like.

    I had them on outside my hotel in Sedona AZ and a birder spotted me with them, and he immediately approached me to investigate my glass. He said he could tell I had some good stuff, I guess these birders really take their optics seriously. He seemed pretty impressed with them. When I first got them they were missing one of the attached larger front lens covers. I called Brunton and asked if they could sell me a replacement. They said no but that they would send me one for free, so they sent me two so now I have an extra. I cleaned both surfaces with acetone and glued it on and it’s great.

  • mr nico February 23, 2015, 1:08 pm

    They look an awful lot like damn near an exact copy of the best binoculars on the market, the Swarovski 10×42 SLC I have. And yes, they are worth it. A lifetime investment that WILL improve your hunt’s chance of success and WILL greatly enhance your enjoyment of using binos.

  • Russ February 23, 2015, 12:23 pm

    “Would you spend more than $500 on binoculars?”
    Simply put; No.
    To elaborate; HELL NO!

  • Cea February 23, 2015, 10:44 am

    I’ve got two pair of Leica binos. 8×42 BN ($950) and 8×32 BN ($800). Very nice!!!
    I also have a fixed 6x scope from Meopta ($500). It too is very nice, but not Leica nice.
    But it was half the price, and it is in a different category being a scope. but good optics are good optics, regardless the category.

  • hANNAbONE February 23, 2015, 10:13 am

    mmm…I think I’ll stay with my Steiner’s.
    Clean – Clear – Affordable
    What’s not to like..?

  • Bill February 23, 2015, 9:32 am

    When it comes to optics, you get what you pay for period. I bought my 10×42 Swarovski binos when the price was less than half what they are now. As one of the other gentlemen stated, the common expression you get when someone looks through them is “Oh sh..!” The quality is exceptional. I have since bought my wife a pair of Meopta 10 x 42. They are much less expensive than Swarovski, but for the money almost as good. I am 67 and my eye sight is not as good as it once was. Quality optics are worth paying the extra money. My cousin’s 10 x 50’s were taken on a big game hunt to Colorado. The outfitter wanted very much to keep them.

  • Scott February 23, 2015, 9:21 am

    Most people do not know these are sold under Cabela’s Instinct and Euro name brand binoculars. I had a pair of the 10×42 Euros back in 2009 and low and behold the Meopta name was on them. I have used these without any problems what so ever and are very clear edge to edge. I have put them up against my Zeiss without and discernible difference. After tipping my guide with them (I wish I never did that) I now need to buy another pair. Buy ’em now before the word gets out.

  • putkowski February 23, 2015, 8:26 am

    It’s been years since I bought my 10×50 Swarovski’s so I got a relatively good deal compared to the current rates. I went to the store set on Zeiss or Leica only to have my head snapped-around. I live on a lake and the glass is just wonderful.

    I usually hand guests a pair of Nikon 10 by’s. These are considered by most to be expensive. On almost every occasion, after a few with the Nikons, changing to the Swarovski’s elicits a severe gasp and an ‘Oh, my god!”

    You get what you pay for. If anything, given Meo’s reputation for value, I am surprised by the price of the 12x’s

    P

    • mr nico February 23, 2015, 1:11 pm

      I keep a small pair of Nikon binocs in my truck glove box, and refer to them as my ‘cheapie Nikons’ which they are compared to my Swarovskis. Leica and Zeiss are not as good either.

  • DDKIRK February 23, 2015, 7:01 am

    Purchasing the 12×50 Meostar B1 Binoculars by MEOPTA changed my view on optics—literally. The binos are marvelously clear edge to edge, no haze or doubts when looking at great distances, and delighted that I can for the first time see sharply for horns and fur in hunts, My eyes are getting older and need this kind of help to spot, stalk, and ethically take good game. The B1 Meostar glass is as good as my very high priced spotting scope in the 20x80x80 configurations and very superior to my other US and European binos, so I highly recommend MEOSTAR Binoculars by MEOPTA. The optics amaze folks at the gun club working .22 holes at 200 meters, and several have borrowed them for big game hunts in Alaska and Africa scoping with binos instead of heavier weights in scopes— and the guides and PHs were wanting a pair—just not getting mine.

  • Mr James February 23, 2015, 12:27 am

    The article suggests that optic’s from Meopta are less expensive than other makes. Crap is Crap, Using premium optics is more a necessity than a luxury when seeing detail is the objective. Sure you can get buy with little more than bottle bottom field glass but speaking as a land surveyor, ocean sailor and part time hunter, good eyes make everything less dangerous. Over the many years in the field seeing detail at a distance more than sneaking, yelling makes getting in and out faster, productive, belly filling. As with competing with a High country Mule deer’s natural evasion skills, setting accurate bench marks miles inland on foot or by helicopter , peering through the night fog for that Coastal Island anchorage a high end glass system cant be beat. My eyes are going fast in my later life and I’ll choose to see better further than shoot a fancy bullet with fancy engraved long gun every time. I don’t know this company if they make the goods, just spend the doe on the goods that really matter’s. I repurposed Wild surveying equipment for all my outdoor optical needs. A great scope is on the list of must have necessities for me and this new Flir system will be a counter part. I wish I could make a better living these days but it doesn’t look very good with all the bitching and back stabbing I’ll be to old before these silly ninnies are trough..

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