12x Binos vs 15x Binos

Patruck825

Primer Poker
Mar 4, 2017
1,099
198
63
Northern VA
#1
Morning Hidesmen,

I've been using some 15x cabelas euros HD (meopta meostars) and they were fantastic. I had the chance to sell them off for well over what i had into them, situation aside, i need to replace them with something.

I am debating on another high quality bino, but this time considering 12x.

For those of you that use binos strictly for spotting, more specifically, PRS competition. I know 15x work great, but are 12x enough? I suspect the reduction in power would help a bit on those heavy mirage days, but want to make sure i am still able to spot hits without issue.

thanks!
 
Likes: hookedonbrass
Jan 15, 2005
6,449
990
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VA
#2
I was using my 10x42 EL's yesterday and was watching trace on every shot, spotting impacts, misses, and even spotting hit location on targets. Furthest steel was just shy of 900 yards but it was no issue. I've got no doubts about their ability to spot impacts quite a bit further.

I'm a huge believer that glass quality does more for what you can see at distance than sheer magnification.

The advantage that I see to a little bit more magnification would be better reading of mirage. 10x seems to need a decently heavy mirage to read it well whereas 15x will pick up most mirage enough to read. 15x still isn't going to hurt you too bad in heavy mirage either.

If I was buying a pair of binos for matches only it would hands down be the 15x SLC's. They live up to every bit of the hype and then some.
 
Jun 13, 2014
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#3
Agree w above. I wanted some binos for spotting in PRS matches. Initially got some Vortex Razors 12x and Zeiss Conquest 15x both went back. The 12 had not enough power in my opinion and the glass was just meh. I didn't like the Zeiss glass due to chromatic aberration (my buddy had his Swaros EL so that the comparison was pretty evident). Anyway picked the Swaros 15x SLCs and the glass is better than the Zeiss, no question about it. As above, the Swaros are the gold standard for a reason. Finally, I am not sure that there is a great difference in mirage between 12x and 15x if you're worried about it and we get lots of that around here (Southern Nevada).
 

Patruck825

Primer Poker
Mar 4, 2017
1,099
198
63
Northern VA
#4
Agree w above. I wanted some binos for spotting in PRS matches. Initially got some Vortex Razors 12x and Zeiss Conquest 15x both went back. The 12 had not enough power in my opinion and the glass was just meh. I didn't like the Zeiss glass due to chromatic aberration (my buddy had his Swaros EL so that the comparison was pretty evident). Anyway picked the Swaros 15x SLCs and the glass is better than the Zeiss, no question about it. As above, the Swaros are the gold standard for a reason. Finally, I am not sure that there is a great difference in mirage between 12x and 15x if you're worried about it and we get lots of that around here (Southern Nevada).
Thanks for the info, that helps my decision a bit. Just not sure i am prepared to drop the coin on some SLC's unless i can snag them second hand. ill keep an eye out!
 
Jan 15, 2005
6,449
990
113
VA
#5
I've only seen one pair of 15x SLC's listed here in the last year or so and they were the old generation and sold for only a few hundred less than what you can get a deal on a new pair for.

I'd recommend calling Jason at Euro Optic, he can make you a very sweet deal on a pair.

They're still not cheap, but they're worth it. They blow away all of the other 15x binos in glass quality and your eyes will appreciate it if you're spotting for long periods.
 
Jun 4, 2006
255
36
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Bozeman, MT
#10
I guess I’ll be the dissenting opinion. I use the Cabelas branded Meopta HD 12x50’s for match use (including being a squad RO) and I love them. I’ve used the Swaro 15’s, and they are great as well. At this glass quality I think they both work very well for the purpose. I initially got 12’s as a compromise between match use and hunting use, but now I REALLY like them.

The Meopta glass is great, but the newest Swaro stuff does have an edge. If I was getting a new set of binos for match use only, and money was truly no object, I’d have to spend a few hours on the range with 12x EL’s and 15x SLC’s next to each other.
 

Patruck825

Primer Poker
Mar 4, 2017
1,099
198
63
Northern VA
#11
I guess I’ll be the dissenting opinion. I use the Cabelas branded Meopta HD 12x50’s for match use (including being a squad RO) and I love them. I’ve used the Swaro 15’s, and they are great as well. At this glass quality I think they both work very well for the purpose. I initially got 12’s as a compromise between match use and hunting use, but now I REALLY like them.

The Meopta glass is great, but the newest Swaro stuff does have an edge. If I was getting a new set of binos for match use only, and money was truly no object, I’d have to spend a few hours on the range with 12x EL’s and 15x SLC’s next to each other.
After my time spent using the Cabelas 15x i have no doubt that the Meoptas are sufficient, i dont plan on forking over the extra money for the SLC as i think the meopta offer plenty for what i need. My only decision now is to choose 12x, or go back to 15x.

Have you experienced any trouble with the 12x and spotting hits from these little 6mms out there?
 

Sheldon N

Blind Squirrel Finds a Nut
Sep 24, 2014
2,816
720
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Pacific Northwest
#12
After my time spent using the Cabelas 15x i have no doubt that the Meoptas are sufficient, i dont plan on forking over the extra money for the SLC as i think the meopta offer plenty for what i need. My only decision now is to choose 12x, or go back to 15x.

Have you experienced any trouble with the 12x and spotting hits from these little 6mms out there?
I shoot Dasher and have 15’s, and it can get harder out at 1k yards to spot misses depending on the conditions and terrain, and impacts depending how heavy the plate is and how it is hung (absent a flasher).

One thing to remember is that any of these has to be on a good tripod to really be effective. So the question becomes what’s the benefit of getting 12’s if the whole setup is already big and heavy? Totally makes sense for hunting or if you will be handheld, but if match use only the weight/price difference might not be big enough to make you choose 12’s over 15’s.
 
Likes: gconnoyer

Patruck825

Primer Poker
Mar 4, 2017
1,099
198
63
Northern VA
#13
I shoot Dasher and have 15’s, and it can get harder out at 1k yards to spot misses depending on the conditions and terrain, and impacts depending how heavy the plate is and how it is hung (absent a flasher).

One thing to remember is that any of these has to be on a good tripod to really be effective. So the question becomes what’s the benefit of getting 12’s if the whole setup is already big and heavy? Totally makes sense for hunting or if you will be handheld, but if match use only the weight/price difference might not be big enough to make you choose 12’s over 15’s.
I shoot a 6BR so i'm right there with you. You're right, having to carry a tripod for either negates any of the advantage a 12x might have. 15x it is.
 
Likes: Sheldon N
Jun 4, 2006
255
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Bozeman, MT
#16
I’ve used my 12’s for spotting the little 6mm’s in some pretty iffy conditions out to 1200. While I won’t ever argue they’re the best tool for THAT job, they still pulled it off, which impressed me.
 
Likes: Sheldon N

BLopina

For Sale Access
Feb 14, 2017
90
9
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33
Rancho Cordova, CA
#19
I should have added, with the 12x EL... spotting to 1200 is no problem unless mirage is aweful. And they can be used handheld fairly easily due to the wide FOV and small size.
 

BLopina

For Sale Access
Feb 14, 2017
90
9
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Rancho Cordova, CA
#21
I compared the 2... the SLC is very nice.

The EL is just on another level. The FOV is so big for a 12x... and you don’t have to keep your eyes in the sweet spot. You can literally examine the FOV feom edge to edge just by moving your eyes around.

Theoretically the FOV is as big as some 8x and 10x Binos that blur outside the sweet spot
 
Likes: Sheldon N
Jun 4, 2006
255
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Bozeman, MT
#22
A couple of years ago I picked up a Swaro “match support package” from our local rep with 12x EL’s, 15x SLC’s, and a couple 80mm spotters. I took the opportunity to spend a couple hours comparing that batch of glass off my deck.

I’ve owned two pairs of Leica Ultravids and a pair of SLC’s, and those 12x EL’s were a new level of “wow”. They got me interested in 12x binoculars in general, which I’m currently enjoying (as I’ve mentioned) at the Meopta level. If a Swaro cert ever comes my way, I expect it will go towards 12x EL’s. I REALLY like my Meopta’s, but the EL’s were soooooo good...
 
Likes: Sheldon N

BLopina

For Sale Access
Feb 14, 2017
90
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Rancho Cordova, CA
#23
Been seeing a lot of swaro certs on prize tables for NRL. They’ve been an amazing support of NRL.

I stupidly missed it on the prize table, it was 50% off. Then I bought 12x ELs a month later! FML
 

Sheldon N

Blind Squirrel Finds a Nut
Sep 24, 2014
2,816
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Pacific Northwest
#26
Anyone know if the 12x ELs have a direct tripod mount like the 15x SLCs?
I believe that the EL series do not have a tripod mount, but Outdoorsmans will modify them and install their stud for a fee. Most guys who run them on a tripod are using that mounting system. The alternative is the flat base with strap across the top.
 

Renomd

Full Member
Feb 13, 2017
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#29
Anyone know if the 12x ELs have a direct tripod mount like the 15x SLCs?
For the ELs outdoorsman makes the best mounting system, mail them your binos and it’s $59 for stud installation another $19 for the stud, and $7 return shipping. If received before Thursday they will get it installled and back the following Thursday and then mail out.

Otherwise like Sheldon was saying u can do the strap over mount which is more expensive if u buy the swaro brand and not as stable.
 
Oct 29, 2017
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#33
For the ELs outdoorsman makes the best mounting system, mail them your binos and it’s $59 for stud installation another $19 for the stud, and $7 return shipping. If received before Thursday they will get it installled and back the following Thursday and then mail out.

Otherwise like Sheldon was saying u can do the strap over mount which is more expensive if u buy the swaro brand and not as stable.
Fantastic mount!
 
Jul 15, 2017
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#34
after talking with Doug at camera land yesterday i went with the meopta meostars HDs 15x56s also ordered the outdoors mans tripod set up for them and for my steiners. should have all by friday and have 2 matches this weekend so i will post back after ive tried them out...glad theres a couple of matches this way i can let some other guys look through them and compare to other binos and spotters.
 

scocoabeach

New Hide Member
Aug 11, 2018
91
45
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#35
after talking with Doug at camera land yesterday i went with the meopta meostars HDs 15x56s also ordered the outdoors mans tripod set up for them and for my steiners. should have all by friday and have 2 matches this weekend so i will post back after ive tried them out...glad theres a couple of matches this way i can let some other guys look through them and compare to other binos and spotters.
Can you provide an update on the performance of these following your match?
 

Pintail55

New Hide Member
Oct 28, 2018
5
1
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#36
I need a tripod for 15x. I just sold my 12x Votex razors and went with Swaro 10x. I like the 10 because I’m not as shaky. Plus when you get into the Swaro’s that changes everything.
 

Ornery

Full Member
Aug 13, 2010
143
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S. California
#38
Europtics has a bunch of Swarovski Demos, for decent prices. I saw 15 x 56 SLC listed. A lot of binoculars and spotting scope bodies. They also had a Zeiss 10 x 42 Victory SF for a decent price.
 
Jul 7, 2005
720
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Western Kansas
#41
I've wanted a pair of the Swaro SLC 15x56s for a long time, just never could manage to keep saving up my Cabelas Club points until they were within what I'd be willing to spend on them. Kept looking at Vortex Kaibabs, but after reading several rather negative reviews on how they compare to the SLCs, lost interest in them. Then Leupold announced their BX-5 Santiam HD 15x56, and since I've been very pleased with a set of their discontinued 8x42 Gold Ring binos, I started looking for reviews & a deal on these new ones. Late this past summer, they announced a $250 reduction in MSRP. I had $200 worth of Cabelas gift cards, plus around $154 in club points, which would get me into a pair of the BX-5s for well under $900, so I pulled the trigger.

Have been pleased with these binos to date. Only used them to spot/score in one 600yd prone match so far, but was very satisfied with the lack of eye strain when using both eyes, and excellent resolution of bullet trace. I used the somewhat flimsy elastic velcro strap tripod mount that came with the BX-5s and was still OK with the results, although I'll be looking for a rigid 1/4-20 tripod mount this winter. I'm always looking for an excuse to get these binos outdoors & use them - know from past experience that I wouldn't be doing this if there were any lack of satisfaction with the purchase.
 
Nov 23, 2010
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Missouri
#44
I got the Meopta MeoStar B1 12x50 HD and the B1 15x56. My father have the swaro 12x50 EL and one of my buddy the 15 slc.

For the 15x both are the same optically but the Meopta as a little bit more sharpness and no chromatic aberration where the SLC as some.

The 12's it's a wash too but maybe the EL is a tiny bit better but it's hard to see for me.

I'd love to have Swaros but honestly I cannot understand why they price them so high vs Meopta.

I bought my two for the same as the SLC or EL...