Another interesting optic released by Meopta USA during SHOT Show 2019 was their American made MeoPro 80 HD spotting scope with a straight eye-piece. Not exactly a new product, as the angled eye-piece version had been available for few years now, but for the types of shooting that I do, I much prefer using a spotting scope with a straight eye-piece.
I had previously reviewed the top of the line Meopta MeoStar 82mm spotting scope, the MeoPro 80 HD models are placed just below that with few minor trade offs. The most obvious is the slightly small 80mm objective lens with single element, instead of 82mm objective with dual-element found on the higher-end MeoStar model. Just noted that the objective lens element on both are made from special HD Fluoride crystal, an expensive feature that usually only found on spotting scope at twice the price.
The second of those is the fixed eye-piece on the MeoPro 80 HD. If you never change eye-piece on your spotting scope like me, this is not a problem. I am glad that Meopta finally released an universal smart phone adapter for the eye-piece that you can use any kind of phone to do digiscoping.
The control is fairly simple with the zoom ring and diopter adjustment on the fixed eye-piece. The focus control is the large center wheel on the body. It is well-dampened for smooth action. Next to that is a lockable collar that allows the scope body to rotate it to any orientation you preferred. Under that scope body, there’s a build in QD plate for any Manfrotto style tripod head.
The MSRP of the Meopta MeoPro HD 80 is $1599 but it could be usually found for under $1400. For the optical performance this offers, it’s a good deal.
Also released with the MeoPro HD 80 is the new Meopta carbon fiber tripod. The package included the 4 pound carbon fiber tripod, an universal smartphone adapter, and 2x heads: a ball head and a fluid pan-and-tilt head, plus 4x QD plates (two for each head). One of the leg is detachable to be use as a monopod. The MSRP is $299, and if purchased with the MeoPro HD 80 spotting scope is just $100 more than the spotting scope itself at $1699.