Meopta has long had a great reputation for quality European glass at reasonable prices. So, you can imagine how excited I was to learn that they were introducing the Meopta Optika LR 10×42 HD Rangefinding binos. I’ve been field testing them since they came out and can say they are a solid option.
I find it difficult to really determine how good glass is just by looking through it because light and conditions make it so hard to determine exactly what you’re seeing. So, I compared the Meopta Optika LR glass to what I consider the absolute best, the Swarovski EL 10×42 bino’s that I’ve been using for years and that cost about $2200. I compared the rangefinder to what I consider the best civilian rangefinder, the Sig Sauer Kilo 3000BDX (MSRP $1319.99).
Both eyepieces on the Meopta adjust and I had no problem getting them to focus for a clear crisp picture.
Compared to the Swaro’s in low light, the Meopta’s aren’t as good but held up quite well. The glass is however excellent and I’m sure that has to do with the HD Floride lenses and Meopta’s new coatings that are used on these binos. Meopta claims 85% light transmission and I have no reason to doubt that claim.
To my eyes, the Meopta’s are better glass than the SIG Kilo 3000BDX and have better color. The Optika LR’s were also easier to focus than the SIG. I compared all three binos in low light, bright light, and light rain. The Swaro’s have the best and brightest picture. It’s hard to say how far behind the Meopta is, but it’s very good. I will say that it’s not a totally fair comparison to put non-rangefinding bino’s (Swaro’s) against binos with a rangefinder (Optika). The non-rangefinding bino always has a slight optical advantage. This is due to the coatings needed for the internal rangefinder and the fact that there are additional electronics in the barrel of the objective of a rangefinding bino.
As far as rangefinding, the Meopta Optika LR works great out to 2000 yards on just about everything. They are not, however, as good as the SIG Kilo 3000BDX at ranging. The absolute furthest I could get the Optika LR’s to range on the day I tested was 2798 yards. The SIG Kilo3000’s went 4459 yards.
Don’t get me wrong. 2798 yards is darned impressive for the Optika and a few years ago would have been industry-leading. I even got it to read 2157 yards on a cow. However, it wasn’t super consistent at that distance. The Meopta Optika LR read very consistently on cows out to about 1000 yards, which is plenty far.
As you can see in the photo above, the Optika’s gives an angular measurement in the display. This can be set to show the angle in degrees, the height difference of the target, or a corrected for angle horizontal distance. To be clear, the Optika LR features no ballistics.
The user can choose between yards and meters. The display brightness can also be adjusted.
The Meopta’s have three ranging modes that the user can switch between. Auto, golf, and hunting. Auto is going to give you what you’re pointed at. Golf is going to give you the closest target and is good for ranging small items in open spaces. Hunting is going to give you the furthest targets.
The ergonomics of the Optika’s was excellent. You’re going to use that big focus wheel more than anything else and it is easy to feel and adjust for perfect focus.
The textured button on the right is how you activate the laser rangefinder. Its easy to feel without having to look.
The button on the left is how you open the rangefinder menu for changing modes or settings.
The Meopta Optika’s feature a magnesium housing for weight reduction. They are armored in textured rubber coating that feels great. They’re also waterproof.
The Optika’s come with lens covers/guards, a neck strap, and a cloth carrying case.
The Meopta Optika LR’s are a great set of rangefinding bino’s. I think you’d be hard-pressed to find better glass paired with a rangefinder for the money.