Camera Land's 2014 SHOT Show Report
Today was the opening day of SHOT Show and a busy day it was.
My first meeting was over at Vortex and I think it was very productive.
I saw lots of their new optics and I must say, as in years past, they did not disappoint.
I was very impressed with the new Razor riflescopes (all of which are made in Japan). The new Razor HD Gen II 4.5-27x56 should become a top seller for them.
In the Razor Gen II they also introduced a 3-18x50 which will fill a popular power range.
These two scopes are heavy 48.5* and 46.5* but they are built to funtion next to the best of the best and perform.
Designed and engineered for dialing percision long range shots in extreme environments. APO objective lens system and HD extra-low dispersion glass gives high resolution images and great color fidelity.
6x power range, 34mm tube and one piece aircraft alluminium alloy construction.
They say that most of the new product line should be available by April. I have hope but we shall see as all delivery times are suspect.
I had a great surprise looking at and through their new Vulture HD 15x56 bincoular. It is a little heavy @ 43.6 ounces, however, the weight is easily overlooked when I saw the optical quality and the price of just $499.99. They will have a great seller in this BigEye unit IMO.
In the Crossfire II line up they have added a 1x24 Muzzleloader with 3.8" of ER and 95' @ 1000 yards FOV. This Utah Special @ $99.99 will be a great addition for them.
They also added a 3-12x56 AO Hog Hunter @ $299.99. Big objective for lots of light and an illuminated dot reticle.
One new scope I saw, which I am not to sure of popularity on, but they seem excited about, is their Viper XBR Crossbow scope @ $599.99. It is a 2.5-10x44 with an XBR-1 (MOA) reticle.
On the special side of things they have lowered the price on their Raptor 8.5x32 to only $99.99 making it a fantastic value in a knock around/truck binocular.
I know many of you were hoping that we would be reporting that we would be getting more of the 6.5-20x44 Viper's we had on special last year. That is something still in the works, however, this Summer we will take delivery on a Viper 4-12x40 V-Plex at a special Forum Member price.
I had a few minutes before my next meeting over at Leica so I stopped by a few smaller vendor booths that were on my list.
1st was T-REIGN Outdoor Products who make retractable gear tethers and cases used to secure electronics or tools when hunting, fishing, hiking, tracking or for any outdoor activity. T-REIGN products are rugged and corrosion resistant, and many offer a lifetime service policy. Every retractable gear tether is designed and assembled in their factory in California.
I have had great success with their line at my offshore fishing store, Pelagic Outfitters and thought it was time to add their products to the Camera Land product line-up.
Next stop was to at ScopeCoat to visit with Annie and see what was new. Part of what makes coming to SHOT great is seeing all the folks that I only see but once a year and Annie is one of those folks. I was excited to see they have added covers for the Leica CRF-1000 and 1600 series. We'll be getting these in shortly after I return.
We will also be carrying their spotting scope neoprene covers for Zeiss and Swarovski spotters.
Having grown up in the industry I know many of the industry people basically all my life as they have been selling to Camera Land for decades. One such person is now with Carson so I stopped by to say hi. I was thrilled when he showed me their new Universal Optics Adapter. This unit pairs your smartphone to spotting scopes, microscopes, binoculars, telescopes or night-vision scopes for easy viewing and close-up photography. It attaches in seconds to all popular smartphones, with or without a case, and self-centers automatically. An easy to use unit that we will be able to offer for about $70.00 and will work with any phone with pretty much any optic.
It was time to run over to Leica for a meeting with the boys in charge to see what was what. Things are progressing on the Geovid HD-B delivery status. They say that 2014 should be a better year. We sat down and formulated a plan to keep inventory levels flowing. I believe it will make things much easier and prevent many of the out of stock issues we have had.
They also, as in years past, sold us the contents of the booth. Hopefully we will have the delivery within a week or so and be able to offer great savings across the board on these now sampled Leicas.
Off to Steiner I went, with great reservation. In 2013 they went through 3 management changes and confusion was all that became of it. I have always liked their products and thought for the money they offered a great value. They have improved upon that now with their Steiner Heritage™ Warranty. Covering all binoculars and riflescopes sold in North America, it offers the repair or replacement of any damaged or defective optic for the life of the product. Not only to the original owner but for generations to come that inherit the optic.
They showed me their new GS3 Hunting Riflescope which for the features I think is priced right. It is built well and features "game sensing” CAT (color adjusted transmission) lens coatings to amplify contrast in the peak human vision sensitivity range. The optimized contrast effectively separates game from leafy or shadow-dappled backgrounds, exposing your target to a clean, accurate shot. The GS3 5x zoom range lets hunters from eastern whitetail country to western big game ranges pair their new scope with their favorite centerfire, rimfire or muzzleloader rifle.
These are priced from $799.99 - $999.99
We worked out a very nice opportunity for continuing a demo program so please feel free to contact us if there is something you may be interested in.
The buzz at the Zeiss booth was their new 15x56 Conquest binocular. At $1599.99 it is a big $$$$ jump in their Conquest line, however, with the change in the now discontinued Swarovski 15x56 SLC @ $1599.99 being replaced with an upgraded $2500.00 version it should be a lateral replacement for the now discountinued Swarovski with what they claim is equal quality (Obviously, I had no way to do a side by side of those two but this is their claim). Zeiss is also adding a host of new riflescopes:
3-15x50's in all reticles
5-25x50 #20 Plex Hunting
They have also added 42mm & 50mm Terra scope sunshades.
Word is all new product will be available March/April.
I had a nice sit down meeting with Trijicon. We discussed delivery times, product development and what direction our future working together is headed. More to be revealed later this year.
Time to get an ice cream cone for my burning throat and call it a day. I think I walked at least 5 miles and talked 3 days worth. Nothing like the first day of SHOT.
Please see other thread for balance of the report as it was too long for one post