Skip to main content

Meopta Optika HD 8×42 Binoculars: Our Review

These comfortable, well-constructed binoculars deliver a bright, colorful image that loses some sharpness at the edges. We rated them a Solid Choice.

At A Glance

gray/green binoculars with black eye rings, ends and focus wheel
Meopta Optika HD 8×42 binoculars. Photo by Marc Devokaitis.


  • Solid construction
  • Comfortable, no-nonsense aesthetics 
  • Bright image with good contrast


  • Noticeable softness at the edges of the image


  • Price: $450 MSRP at press time. Prices often fluctuate, so check with retailers
  • Close focus: Listed as 8.2 feet (250 cm). In tests, we could focus these binoculars down to about 7.6 feet (230 cm)
  • Field of view: 7.5° (394 feet at 1,000 yards). More about field of view 
  • Weight: 27.4 oz (776 g)—that’s about 1.7 oz (47 g) heavier than the average for 8×42 binoculars in our review
  • Eye relief: 17 mm

Viewing Experience: We enjoyed birding with these comfortable and solid-feeling binoculars, though we did notice some softness at the edges of the image. Watching a feeder at a distance of more than 150 yards, the relatively tiny patch of rose-pink on a male House Finch flashed clearly and brightly. With a horde of American Goldfinches at a much closer feeder, on a February morning, we enjoyed seeing the first hints of approaching spring in the brightening of the males’ yellow plumage and even one or two black cap feathers molting in. The image contrast made it easy to appreciate the many tones of gray, brown, buff, and yellow on display. However, when moving the binoculars just enough to shift a bird from the middle of the view to the edge, we noticed the image losing sharpness. These binoculars have a wide field of view, but this edge blur makes it feel narrower. When studying one bird at a time this won’t be much of an issue, but when trying to appreciate a flock or watch a fast-moving bird it may compromise your viewing a bit.

Feel and Build: These binoculars are solidly built, comfortable, and well detailed. The eyecups and focus wheel are black with olive-green barrels, coated in a fine-grained, grippy but soft armoring. The focus wheel is firm but with a steady, dependable motion. The eyecups click satisfyingly into three positions. According to the manufacturer, the eyecups are metal and the frame is made of a magnesium alloy—a light and durable combination. The neck strap could almost be called luxurious, with a long, wide, thick, padded strap that attaches with quick-release buckles.

This article is one in a series of mini-reviews. To see how these binoculars compare to others we’ve tested, see our full review of affordable 8×42 binoculars.  

The Cornell Lab

All About Birds
is a free resource

Available for everyone,
funded by donors like you

American Kestrel by Blair Dudeck / Macaulay Library