Binoculars review

Leupold Mesa 10x50

Leupold Mesa 10x50
16 February 2011
The American Leupold company is known in Poland mainly among hunters who value highly its riflescopes. If you want to purchase a Leupold set of binoculars, though, you will have a much bigger problem because they are not widely available in our country, despite the fact this producer’s line-up features a really wide range of binoculars.

The Mesa series consists of two porro-prismatic pairs of binoculars with the parameters: 8x42 and 10x50, available in two colour versions (normal and camouflage).

The binoculars are waterproof, nitrogen-filled and all of their air-to-glass surfaces are covered by antireflection multilayer coatings.

  • Lornetka Leupold Mesa 10x50
  • Lornetka Leupold Mesa 10x50
  • Lornetka Leupold Mesa 10x50
  • Lornetka Leupold Mesa 10x50
Manufacturer data


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Distribution / Sales:

ACME Import
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Magnification Lens diameter Angular field of view Prisms Eye relief Weight Price
10 50 96/1000(5.5o) BaK-4/Porro 18 mm 917 g 1127 PLN
Results of the review
Real front lens diameter Left:   50+/- 0.05 mm
Right:  50+/- 0.05 mm
8 / 8.0 pkt
Real magnification 9.8+/- 0.2x 3/3.0
Transmission 90+/- 3% 17.5/25.0
Chromatic aberration Low in the centre, medium on the edge. 6.8/10.0
Astigmatism Corrected in the right way. 7.7/10.0
Distortion The distance between the first curved line and the field centre compared to the field of view radius: 38% +\- 4% 4/10.0
Coma Very low. 8.1/10.0
Blurring at the edge of the FOV Blur occurs in the distance of 80% +\- 3% from the field of view centre. 5.5/10.0
Darkening at the edge the FOV Slight. 4.2/5.0
Whiteness of the image Light purple. 4/5.0
Collimation Perfect. 5/5.0
Internal reflections
Left: Right:
Leupold Mesa 10x50 - Internal reflections - Left Leupold Mesa 10x50 - Internal reflections - Right
Housing Comfortable against the face and quite comfortable to hold. Slippery rubber on the casing which sticks out a bit near objectives. Twist-up eyecups moderately stable. 6.6/8.0
Focusing Quite comfortable central wheel (360 degrees) but it doesn’t move smoothly and squelches. The eyepiece bridge can be defocused under pressure. The ring on the right eyepiece with sharp edges; it is hard to turn and it moves the outer lens. 2.7/5.0
Tripod There is a comfortable exit. 3/3.0
Interpupilary distance from 57.5 to 73mm 4/6.0
Closest focusing distance 4.2 m 2/2.0
Eyepieces FOV Apparent field of view of 51.7 deg (according to simple formula) and 48.6 deg (according to tangent formula). 4/20.0
Field of view Measured by us amounted to 5.28 +\- 0.03 degrees and it was by 0.22 of a degree narrower than stated in the specifications. 4/8.0
Quality of the interior of the barrels Black and matt inner tubes. Grey and small bottom. Black glue and black screws. Diminutive specks of dust. 4.3/5.0
Left: Right:
Leupold Mesa 10x50 - Vignetting - Left Leupold Mesa 10x50 - Vignetting - Right
OL: 1.7%, OR: 3.5%.
Slightly truncated pupils.
Prisms quality Good BaK-4. 8/8.0
Antireflection coatings Blue-green on the objectives. Green on the prisms. Green-purple on the eyepieces. Low intensity. 5/5.0
Warranty [years] 2 2/6.0
Final result
127.4 / 190 pkt
Econo result 0pkt.


  • good transmission,
  • quite solid casing,
  • very low coma,
  • slight astigmatism,
  • negligible brightness loss on the edge of the field,
  • good correction of chromatic aberration,
  • good whiteness rendition,
  • high quality of prisms and coatings,
  • right blackening inside the binoculars.

  • truncated exit pupils,
  • too narrow field of view,
  • not stable ocular bridge,
  • a bit too high distortion.

The Leupold Mesa 10x50 is a solid position on the 10x50 class binoculars’ market. The level of its build quality and optics is more or less the same as in the case of very well-known Konica-Minolta Activia and Nikon Action EX. There’s just one Leupold’s problem - the field of view. It is narrower by about one degree than that of its competitors and it’s hard not to have an impression that the binoculars performed well at least in some categories, such as coma, chromatic aberration or brightness loss on the edge, just because its field is limited. Taking into account the presence of the Activa and the Nikon EX on the market with their better than Leupold’s results and significantly wider field of view, and keeping in mind that they can be bought for a price similar to that of the Leupold, it would be difficult to find reasonable arguments for choosing Leupold instead …