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Meopta 10 x 42 Rangefinder Binoculars Review

If you’re a hunter looking for a high-end optical system for distance measurement, these Meopta 10 x 42 rangefinder binoculars could be just what you’re looking for.

Specifically, I’ve been looking at (and through!) the newly-introduced Meopta Optika LR 10 x 42 HD rangefinding binoculars.

Let’s be clear, quality rangefinding binoculars are an expensive accessory. This Meopta model sells for $1,499. In fact, that’s an average sort of price at the quality end of this market.

But here’s the question. Given that I can buy a decent monocular rangefinder for as little as $200, why would I possibly want to spend more than 7X that amount on these binoculars?

Fifteen hundred Bucks? Yes, it’s a lot of money, but the user experience has amazed me every time. Never have I used these Meopta 10 x 42 rangefinder binoculars without being blown away with the quality of the product. So why is that?

In this review, I’ll do my best to explain why. But – in the end – you’ll just have to use them to understand. In this case, seeing really is believing…


First Impressions

Just picking-up these binoculars gives an immediate impression of quality. At 2 Lbs 3 Oz with the included neck strap, there’s a feeling of solidity in what is a relatively compact product. It’s about 6 Inches long and 5.5 Inches wide.

 

The manufacturer’s specifications tell us that Meopta 10 x 42 rangefinder binoculars have a magnesium alloy body under that olive green rubber armored covering. They also tell us that the optical system incorporates high quality glass roof prisms. These allow the “straight through”, compact appearance of the tubes.

The tactile feel of the rubber surface makes the binoculars a delight to handle. It provides a good grip even when wet (tried that!) and the almost seamless appearance exudes a subtle quality.

The weight feels “just right”, balanced in my hands. Pointing is therefore quite intuitive, these binoculars feel almost like an extension of yourself. I found it possible to hold them for longer than I expected without muscle ache or undue shaking.

The focusing knob is large and perfectly located. My forefingers naturally found the surface and rotation for focusing was very easy and comfortable. The signature Meopta “interlocking arrows” black rubber surface was pleasantly grippy. It allowed focus changes without my fingers slipping off of the knob at any time.

There are two buttons just ahead of the focusing knob. Again, these fall easily to hand and are textured for immediate identification without needing to remove the binoculars from your eyes.

The right side button operates the rangefinding system. Just one push provides a reading of distance and angle from your position. I searched for a way to turn off the rangefinder, but that’s not necessary. The rangefinder switches itself off automatically about 10 seconds after use.

As a spectacle-wearer, the rubber eyecups were of particular importance to me. These rotate in- and out, with one intermediate detent position.

Meopta 10 x 42 Rangefinder Binoculars Review

I found that I could use the binoculars wearing my glasses with the eyecups in the “in” position. However I preferred using them without glasses and with the eyecups “out”. Personal preference.


Glassing For A Target

These Meopta 10 x 42 rangefinder binoculars function as “straight” binoculars until you depress the rangefinding button. With a Field Of View of 32.5 Feet at 100 Yards range, you see roughly three times the width (and height) compared to a typical riflescope set to a comparable 10 X magnification.

Then, of course, these binoculars are also significantly lighter than any air rifle plus scope combination at not much more than 2 Lbs weight. This makes it so much easier to survey the scene for an extended period of time.

Manoeuvrability is far easier, too, compared to swinging round a scoped rifle. Even if you can use a prone or supported position for your rifle – with a bipod for example – it’s far easier and more convenient to use binoculars. You don’t run out of traverse or elevation range as you do with a bipod.

This is why knowledgeable hunters prefer “glassing” with binoculars rather than relying on the riflescope attached to their gun. The significantly broader Field Of View, lighter weight and ease-of-use make it so much easier to find the target – especially when it could be anywhere out there downrange!

Then – when you have found the target – just press that button to see the range. That’s so much easier than fumbling round to find yet another piece of equipment – a separate rangefinder – before you take aim with your air rifle.

As with monocular rangefinders, you can choose between read-outs in Yards and Meters. These Meopta 10 x 42 rangefinder binoculars also indicate the angle subtended between yourself and the target. In addition, there’s also a choice of measurement methods – Auto, “Golf” or “Hunting”. The brightness of the red, illuminated OLED display can be adjusted, too.

Meopta 10 x 42 Rangefinder Binoculars Review

All this is fairly standard stuff for rangefinders. It’s easily selected using the two top-mounted buttons.

Meopta estimates the lifetime of the included, replaceable CR2-type 3 Volt battery is around 1,200 measures. Sorry, I didn’t count the number of rangefinder measures, but I’m still happily using the original battery!

The maximum measuring range for the integrated laser rangefinder is 2,600 Yards.

Accuracy is given as being +/- 1 Yard at up to 1,000 Yards. From there out to 2,600 Yards, accuracy becomes +/- 2 yards, although – even with the ever-increasing performance of PCP air rifles – airgunners will be unlikely to shoot that far!

I found that the distance measurements produced by the Optika LR 10 x 42 very closely matched those displayed by other laser rangefinders and – at short ranges – a good, old-fashioned measuring tape, too!

Be aware that these binoculars focus closer than the minimum rangefinding distance. However I was able to obtain accurate distance measurements as close as 8.3 Yards. Let’s call that 25 Feet. The official Meopta specification is 12 Yards, to this unit was clearly performing better than the manufacturer’s claim.

So these Meopta 10 x 42 rangefinder binoculars are suitable for use at any practical airgun hunting range.


Optical Quality

Now for what – for me – was the highlight of these rangefinding binoculars. Image quality.

Meopta 10 x 42 Rangefinder Binoculars Review

As you would expect, the first thing to do is to set the diopter adjustment of the eyepieces for your own vision. This is easily done. The diopter setting rings are somewhat tough to rotate, but they stay in place once set, so this is a good thing.

Once the eyepieces and rangefinder modes were set up (a one time job), no other adjustments were required. Except – that is – for focusing.

Every time I use these binoculars, I was amazed at the amazing images they delivered. The optical quality is simply outstanding!

Meopta says that Optika LR 10 x 42 binoculars use high quality extra-low dispersion European fluoride glass. The lenses are coated with MeoLux coating. The BAK4 glass roof prisms are phase-corrected and dielectric-coated.

OK, so that’s the technology. For this review, it’s probably best for me to just concentrate on the results…

Meopta 10 x 42 Rangefinder Binoculars Review

For me, the most remarkable aspect of the optical performance was the uncanny ability of these binoculars to impart a dramatic three-dimensional look to the world.

When I focused – for example – on one tree trunk in a woodland, that specific tree really “popped” out from the others around it that were just slightly less in focus.

It’s a truly remarkable effect that I’ve never seen with other binoculars to the same extent. And it applied to any subject, not just trees! The result is that the subject you focus on “pops” clear of the background, making it easy to determine the range and study in detail.

That observable level of detail – a product of outstanding resolution and great contrast – was also just incredible, whatever the subject. Although our natural tendency is to concentrate on the center of the image, I found that this impressive detail capability extended right out to the edges of the field.

Meopta 10 x 42 Rangefinder Binoculars Review

Color correction was neutral. Subjects appeared to be the same color when viewed through the binoculars as to my naked (plus spectacles) eyes, too. And I saw no color fringing – those “halos” of many colors – that can be produced by optical imperfections in optics of lesser quality.

So, I saw images that were sharp, detailed and bright. They were definitely not washed-out and “dingy”. That’s the result of insufficient optical contrast that can be seen in low quality optics.

In twilight and deep woodland conditions the image looked perceptibly brighter than to my unaided eyes. This made it possible to pick-up details that I otherwise could not see under such conditions. Here, of course, is a critical advantage for hunters.

This is a result of light-gathering effect of the 42 mm objective lenses, combined with the very high, 85% system light transmission that Meopta proudly claims for these binoculars.

When looking deliberately at straight lines – fence posts and similar – straight lines really did look straight – even at the edges of the field. There was no sign that I could detect of “barrel” or “pincushion” distortion, the optical defect that causes straight lines to become curved.

At the risk of repeating myself…

Every time I use these binoculars, I was amazed at the amazing images they delivered. The optical quality is simply outstanding!


Accessories And Other Things

Meopta Optika LR 10 x 42 HD rangefinding binoculars are supplied complete with the usual accessories: lens caps, cleaning cloth and neck strap.

Meopta 10 x 42 Rangefinder Binoculars Review

There’s also a beautiful green and black carrying case that reeks of traditional central European style – at least to me. (Meopta is a Czech/US company).

Documentation is good too. There’s a multi-language user manual and information about Meopta’s lifetime transferable warranty coverage.

As you would expect, these binoculars are claimed to be exceptionally resistant to moisture, dust, temperature fluctuations and shocks. I didn’t try torture-testing them, but I’ll take Meopta’s word for it. What I can say is that they worked just fine while I was using them.

Is there anything I missed? Once or twice I wished for a tripod adapter, so that I could use the binos more like a spotting scope. But that was it…

The serial number of the product I tested was B20300185.

You can find out more information on the Meopta USA website.