Meade Safari Pro 8x42


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Brand and Model:Meade Safari Pro 8x42
Price ($USD):$179.00
Attributes:un-checked Waterproof checked Armored
Objective Lens Size:42 mm
Magnification:8 x
Prism Type:BAK4 Porro
Coatings:Multi-Coated
Field of View:8.2 degrees
Eye Relief:13 mm
Near Focus:21 ft
Weight (lbs):25.5 oz.
Dimensions (w/h/d):
Description:Meade Safari Pro™ Binoculars
Super-High-Performance Binoculars for the Discriminating Observer
If you are serious about birding and nature study, or if you simply wish to purchase a truly first-rate binocular for general-purpose observing, then a Meade Safari Pro model is right for you. For whatever Safari Pro model you choose, you will notice the difference immediately and dramatically between your Meade Safari Pro binocular and other brands of mid-priced binoculars.

Compare these advanced features: BAK-4 Prisms–All Meade Safari Pro binoculars incorporate expensive BAK-4 (barium crown) high density optical glass prisms (most competing models do not) that yield full-field illumination to the extreme field edge. Super-High-Transmission Multi-Coatings–The same sophisticated multi-layer lens coatings included with exquisite Meade RainForest Pro binoculars. Long Eye Relief—If you must wear eyeglasses while observing, Meade Safari Pro models, particularly in 8 x 42mm WA specifications, permit comfortable, full-field observing without eye strain; these models also include a non-slip Focus Lock.

For a lifetime of high-resolution observing Meade Safari Pro compact and standard porro prism binoculars satisfy the most demanding observing requirements. Each includes soft Nylon carry case, deluxe wide neck strap, ocular guard, and lens covers, and Limited Lifetime Warranty.


Meade's Safari Binocular Site
Scope City's Meade Safari 8x42 Page
Meade Full-Size Binoculars Page

Vote Highlights Vote
Meade Safari Pro 8x42
Reading the previous comments makes me wonder what binoculars those guys were looking thru. I ordered 4 pair of the Meade Safari Pro for an astronomical function that I host. They are slated as door prizes. They were a special price, approximately $70.00 each. I will say that they are well worth $70.00, but they are not worth the $200 which is a typical discount cost for these.

The binoculars do have some nice features such as the focus lock and the rubber armoring. Attention to small detail is lacking. The stick on labels on the upper and lower bridge hinges which tell one the direction of focus and how to lock the focus are poorly applied and real cheezy. As others have said the case and strap are somewhat poor.

My real fault finding with these binoculars has to do with the optics. In short, these binoculars suffer from excessive field curvature. I tested all 4 pair and optically they are identical; at least the consistency between pairs is good. Not having a flat or even relatively flat field, they cannot be recommended for astronomy. The image starts to degrade noticeably within about 25 % of the way out from the field center; so approximately 75% of the field (by area) is not acceptable for astronomy. What is acceptable for a good pair of astronomical binoculars? - pinpoint stars free of astigmatism, bloating or coma. Yes, the image at the edge can be refocused somewhat in these making stars at the perimeter much more acceptable, but then stars at the field center are out of focus.

In addition, as with most wide angle binoculars, the field as listed, 8.2 degrees, is not actually what most observers will see at one time. Even without glasses, with the rubber eyecups up, there is some marked field loss, irregardless of image quality. My measurements would indicate that this loss is approximately 1 full degree. If the eyecups are folded down you can increase your field, but you will notice much more in the way of image blackout as well unless you try to find the proper spot for your eyes behind the binoculars. Typically the reason behind this loss of field is that the internal field stops (which give a sharp cut-off to the viewable field) is not matched to the field edge of the eyepieces. To see more field you have to peer laterally across the field. This never allows you to see all the field at one time. (Always look for binoculars with the appearance of a razor sharp cutoff at the field edge. The Fujinon FMT-SX, Pentax PCF, and Adlerblicks all have this. Their listed fields seem smaller and more conservative, but they are accurate!)

I know it sounds like I have bashed these binoculars. My frustration lies in the fact that I thought we might have a reasonably priced pair of binoculars useful for astronomy. For that purpose they do have to be rejected. For day use for birding and football games, they will probably be quite useful as the optical demands are far less stringent as compared to astronomy. They are worth the discounted price of approximately $70.00 if you want a reasonably built pair of binoculars for every day use.

Barry Simon

Overall Rating: 6
Weight: 20 (Notable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.104.29)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=41585


Meade Safari Pro 8x42
I just don't understand Barry's complaints. I just went out with my pair last night and checked for edge sharpness. Yes, they degrade with about 25% of the field left (leaving somewhat less than a 50 degree AFOV very sharp). However, this was noticeable only on the moon, and who observes the moon with binoculars at the edge of the field? I moved Vega from the center to the edge and could not detect all that much noticeable distortion. If you use these the way binoculars were intended, that is, to concentrate on the center and move them to center whatever interests you, they are wonderful. I checked star fields and could find no objectionable distortion while looking toward the center. My peripheral vision just can't perceive the distortion that Barry seems to be able to perceive with his apparently excellent peripheral vision. If he is swiveling his eyeballs instead of the binoculars to view off axis objects, he's using his binoculars incorrectly for hand held use.

It would be nice if he would have pointed out what binoculars cost under $100 like these and that perform pinpoint to the edge of a 65 degree AFOV. I couldn't find any. These came closest for me.

Overall Rating: 9
Optics:8 Value:9
Weight: 8 (Veritable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.141.127)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=126551


Meade Safari Pro 8x42
I got mine from a closeout (from amazon.com? I forgot).
Needless to say, the eyepieces in these binoculars resemble
Konigs. Sharp in the middle and curvy at the sides. These
are a good pair of terrestrial binoculars. For astronomy, these
frankly aren't enough magnification for my personal tastes. Though
since I got them so cheap, I really don't mind. It's sometimes nice
to be able to fit a small constellation within a pair of binoculars (I forgot
which constellation housed the ring nebula, but you can see the whole constellation,
barely). I agree, not worth $200, but definately worth what I got it for. the
plastic strap is cheap, but I don't use it (just use the case that it
comes in, it has a strap on it that is much better).

Overall Rating: 8
Optics:8 Value:9
Weight: 7 (Veritable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.144.53)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=67018


Meade Safari Pro 8x42
Got my pair from Astronomix last week. Armouring excellent, well coated lenses [objectives not quite fully MC, but better than my Orion 8x40 pair]. Larger oculars mean more freedom for moving around the field. 19mm eye relief VERY nice, but maybe overkill for non-eyeglass wearers. I don't mind, though!

Rubber cups fold down to allow for eyeglasses - I do this anyway, as I find that I can hit the "sweet spot" to take advantage of maximum field and clarity. Field curvature is noticable, but may be compensated by "averaging" focus [more on this below], and getting in to the view more. Then, 85-90% field is usable. 8.2 degree FOV awesome for panoramic views of swaths of sky, and great for daytime, too! On axis sharpness VERY good. I get some of the best stellar images I've seen in ANY pair I have viewed through below US$200. Great value! Jupiter resolves easily as a disk, moons a cinch too. For 8x, this isn't always easy to do. It is now! Saturn shows as a planet with "ears", Mars is excellent [more on planets to follow]. Vega surprisngly free from major flaring, as are other bright stars. Mizar is a cleaner split than other pairs I've used. Albireo is beautiful in these, and there's less flaring on the main component in these to make the pair really stand out. Excellent color saturation with most stellar targets. Example: M45 - gorgeous. M42 shows more nebulosity than some of my other pairs, even with moonlight present. Very impressive light transmission/contrast for the size of optics used. The pair's 5.25mm exit pupil may be better suited than others' 5.0mm for nighttime use. The moon is superb in these, with almost no chromatism present at all - very good contrast on limb detail. Some ghosting nearer to full moon, but this is not at all objectionable considering the wide field and size of the pair. The ghosting is less than competing 8x40WA Scenix pairs from Orion [I own one too]. Overall, flaring is very well controlled. This makes planets much easier to enjoy at such a low power - also allows one to take advantage of the on-axis resolving capability of the pair. Close focus on my set is below the rated 10'! I can go to 8' with this pair! Awesome for birders and nature lovers, IMO.

Overall best feature is the focus lock - I wish more pairs had this capability. It is very practical, and welcome. I can tweak my focus, then lock it in. If I wish to hunt for daytime planets [Jupiter, Venus, Mercury, etc...] having the locked focus at infinity greatly enhances the chance of seeing these in broad daylight. Using the lock also adds some structural rigidity to the bridge assembly, making the pair more suitable for travel, and for ease of rolling down the eyecups without risking overstressing or loss of optimal focus. They are also very light and comfortable to use hand-held for long periods!

Cons: Build quality is adequate for general use, but they aren't overly rugged, so heavy field use may compromise them in the long term. Armoring good, and use of focus lock does help this, however. Eyecups a bit stiff to roll back, but this may be due to they're being new. Type of finish on armoring tends to collect dust and lint more than average. Fully MC optics would be a definite improvement, as would slightly better baffling. Slight vignetting of exit pupil on upper corners.

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 3 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.163.186)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=41583


Meade Safari Pro 8x42
These are great binoculars for the price! They are light,making it easier to hold for longer periods of time.The 19mm eye relief is great,even though I don't wear my specs while observing.The eye-cups are comfortable but a little bit of a pain to fold down.The 8x is perfect for terrestrial viewing;just enough more than 7x so you can see more detail,yet low enough to keep a steady image.The 42mm objectives bring in the right amount of light for me.Especially when it gets dim outside,by then it's time to look at the stars anyway,which I haven't done yet.The focus is smooth,and the lock is nice too.They present a bright,clear image to within a few degrees of the edge,but not all the way.If I were picky,I would have to dock it points for that,however,I don't buy bino's so I can look at the edge! Being that these are WA's,I literally have to LOOK at the edge to notice this minor fault.(minor to me)Thus the 9 rating.

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.221.109)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=41582


Meade Safari Pro 8x42
Bright and clear! There may be some better bino's out there,but you'll have to pay substancially more.

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.221.77)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=41581


Meade Safari Pro 8x42
I generally agree with previous review. They have a bit more spherical aberration than I might like, though this might represent some effort to improve sharpness at field edge. There are some stray reflections and ghost images viewing quarter moon. Looks like two or three multi-coated surfaces. Outward appearance similar to Orion Ultraview 8x42; probably made in same factory, though I think Orion's are fully-multi-coated. Currently on clearance sale at Edmund Scientific "Scientifics" for $99.

Overall Rating: 7
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.207.74)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=41578


Meade Safari Pro 8x42
These binoculars, at 8 power and 42mm objective, are easy to hold for long periods of observing without fatigue or jitteriness due to their light weight and good balance. They are sharp to within the last 5 degrees on each side of the 65 degree apparent field of view. The best feature is the 19mm of eye relief which makes viewing with eyeglasses very comfortable. They can be had for $150 to $170 usually. I picked up my former demo model on clearance for $90. They have more eye relief and better edge sharpness than the Swift Audubons I tried. The rubber armoring is nicer feeling than the leather on the Swift's as well. The focus lock is nice to have as well.

Overall Rating: 8
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.232.21)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=41577


Meade Safari Pro 8x42
addendum to above:

Add to the list of cons the poorly offered strap [lousy really] and the use of a double cover for the oculars, versus individual caps commonly used. The case appears to be of lesser quality than competing models, but the optics seem to overshadow this.

Overall Rating: No Vote
Weight: <none>
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.163.186)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=41584


Meade Safari Pro 8x42
Close focus excellent. Center resolution falls off 2/3 the way to the edge. Edge sharpness is fair. Slightly faceted exit pupils. Great for eyeglass wearers. Give rating of 8 out of 10.

Overall Rating: No Vote
Weight: <none>
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.252.4)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=41580

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