I got back from the Shot Show a few hours ago. Yes, it was worth the trip.
I saw a few very worthwhile new additions to the Wonderful World of Optics
In no particular order (I am extremely sleep deprived as I am typing this so bear with me)
Nikon's new Trailblazer Waterproof ATB Binocular in 8x42 and 10x50. Nice roof prism binocular, waterproof (it's right there in the name) smooth focus, nice and crisp (No, not a best in show, but I would say best in or near its price point) @ less than $200.00, which is awesome for a quality roof prism.
The Zeiss Classic Riflescopes and their new RapidZ Ballistic Reticles. Zeiss also showed the new DC4 Digiscope eyepiece for their Spotting Scopes. Very cool. It is an all in one eyepiece and digital camera. Takes all the setup and complications out of Digiscoping. Remove your existing eyepiece and replace it with this DC4 and you are ready to take pictures. Way cool. (Keep in mind I am a camera gearhead)
*IMO, Best at Show* Swarovski Z6 Riflescopes. Wow. Sharp as all get out, bright, even clarity edge to edge and 6x zoom. Not a bad thing to say about it unless we start talking price and if you expected it to not be at the basic "I am looking at a Swarovski" price point then just skip on to the next mfg .
$1449.00 - $1769.00
Also available with mounting rail and also in illuminated versions (of course for more money ).
Pentax has a new binocular that they put out to compete with the Euros. It is their DCF ED series. Nice, very nice as a matter of fact. I'll have to do some stack tests when they come in, but after looking thru them at the show I ordered a bunch. Great higher end glass without crashing thru the $1000.00 mark.
They also showed the new PF63 Zoom Spotting Scope. A welcome addition to the world of spotting scopes. A waterproof and nitrogen filled body with a very handy side focus knob for very user friendly focusing and it zooms from 20x-50x, with a full rubber armoring and under $350.00. This definitely fills a void that has been in the scope market.
I had a chance to spend some time over at the Vortex booth playing with their offerings. They had some worthwhile glass at very favorable prices. I looked for rugged build, smooth focus, edge to edge sharpness and how they felt in my hands. Overall I think they are trying hard to become a player and are under pricing their line in order to make it more appealing. More to come on them.
Leica has introduced the CRF 900. Looks and acts just as the CRF 1200 but with less distance and a bit smaller price tag. Those of you who want the best small (put it in your pocket) laser rangefinder that is truly waterproof, not just water resistant can now choose the CRF 1200 or if you don't need that much distance save a couple of bucks and go with the CRF 900.
I am looking forward to the next week or two as I expect to be getting huge shipments of demo/samples arriving from this show. As they come in I will post them here as we always do.
If I can answer anything for anyone just let me know.