Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!
Magnifying the passion for nature. Zeiss Victory Harpia 95. New!

Welcome to BirdForum.
BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE! You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread
Old Friday 9th June 2017, 17:34   #1
Richard Costin
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: UK
Posts: 8
Monarch HG binoculars and hello from a new member

Hi all.

I have been a lurker here for some while now and though it would be prudent to give something back if possible :) Don't just like to take..take..take.

I was intently watching the Monarch HG threads here as I was soon to buy myself a new top end (give or take) pair for my work. I am a wildlife photographer that uses my bins for spotting and observing out in mostly Africa, but also more gloomy UK haunts as well. I have been privileged enough to trial bins from all the manufacturers in Africa (mostly the top ends) as well as trying the wide variety my clients bring on tour. I also speak off an on at the Rutland Birdfair so get to play with at the stands there.

My final choice came down to the Kowa 8x33's and the monarch HG 8x42 after what was actually 5 years of testing so to speak.

I now have the Nikons permanently in my kit bag and would be happy to answer any questions people have about them, especially vs most of the Alphas. Seems there is a lot of interest in first hand opinions and I would be happy to chip in. For reference I personally wouldn't have gone 'full alpha' as I am not endlessly flush and as well do respect the law of diminishing returns. They are just a tool for me at the end of the day, but I do appreciate a finely made bit of kit.

Also, as a non 'full-on' twitcher my views are perhaps not too pertinent to many of you? Either way I look forward to lurking no more and simply say hi to you all if nothing else.

Richard Costin.
Richard Costin is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 10th June 2017, 01:32   #2
John Frink
Registered User

 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Delaware, USA
Posts: 110
Hi Richard! Welcome!

Cheers,

John
John Frink is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 10th June 2017, 02:02   #3
jremmons
Wildlife Biologist

 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 930
What made your decision re: vs the 8x33 Kowa? These two bins, as well as the 8x32 Zeiss Conquest HD and Meopta Meostar HD (Cabela's Euro HD branded) are on my radar as a second/lightweight bin.

For reference I've owned/own many of the top alpha models including Zeiss Victory FL, Swarovski Swarovision and SLC-HD, Nikon SE, and Leica Ultravid BR.

Last edited by jremmons : Saturday 10th June 2017 at 02:05.
jremmons is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 10th June 2017, 02:36   #4
Chosun Juan
Given to Fly
 
Chosun Juan's Avatar

 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Central West NSW, Australia
Posts: 3,480
Welcome to the forum Richard. I think you've made an entirely understandable and logical choice (I imagine weight, and ease of use quickly and low light ability of the 5.25mm EP were important factors - is that the reason why you didn't go 10x42 MHG?).

I'm sure many here would welcome your opinions versus other options.


Chosun
Chosun Juan is online now  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2016 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Wednesday 14th June 2017, 13:12   #5
Richard Costin
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: UK
Posts: 8
Hi all, sorry for the delay in replying.

One of the main factors was that I mainly use these from a large 4x4 out in the Masai Mara. Seemed logical to lean towards a larger size as I won't be on long treks with them. That and I had tried them out a fair amount and got on really well with them.

I use Nikon camera equipment and find it very reliable. The large field of view was a big point too as well as it being a more or less very up to date design.

If you are after a pair to travel light then I perhaps would err to the Kowas, those are my first recommend if you don't want to go full size. I am finding the HGs just as sharp though and of course a touch brighter with the larger optics. The Kowa has maybe a very slight edge with regards to CA control. I also found the Kowa 8x33 and these HGs to have noticeably less fringing than my guides Swaro ELs which were rather purple on contrast edges on the outer side of the view, I believe they are the 8x42s he has.

As much as I love the Kowa 8x33 I never seemed to get on comfort wise with the big Kowas (8x44 I believe?) so they weren't an option. That's just down to my face shape probably!

I did a little write up on the Kowas on my site and will probably do the same after my trip to the Mara next month for the Nikons.

http://www.richardcostin.com/article...culars-review/

Cheers,
Richard.
Richard Costin is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 21st June 2017, 05:55   #6
Themoog
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Kent
Posts: 99
Hello and welcome

Hello Richard,

Welcome and thanks for the offer of answering questions.

The MHG is on my shortlist.

Frustratingly, I'm finding it very difficult to put my paws on a set of MHGs in my hunting ground which is predominantly (but not exclusively) London. I won't buy blind and we don't really have the sale or return/get two- send one back options that seem possible in the USA.

I'll keep looking but where I was confident of securing a play when I shortlisted them, I'm less so now. Still trying though.

Anyway. Questions.

I noticed you mention CA in the SV EL when set against the Nikon MHG. How did you feel other bins you have experienced stack up on this metric?

Personally, I couldn't detect any real issues with the two alphas I briefly tested (Leica NV & Zeiss SF T*) I see it in my current pair under certain difficult conditions but rarely smack in the sweet spot and I'm not ultra sensitive to its presence.I didn't even mention it in my last post. The two alphas have such large fields it may be less distinct to me. They may also have superior polarising qualities too. Since you've spotted it in the Swaro Im curious to know your thoughts on some of the others you've seen?

How does build quality, fit, finish and mechanical performance stack up?

I'm guessing you're confident they can deal with being travelled with as well as perhaps the odd knock and scuff in the back of a Defender/Landcruiser Troopie etc.?


How is the tonal range in wide contrast and high key/bleached out conditions? Does the MHG exhibit any richer tonal saturation in a particular part of the spectrum to you and in the conditions you mention?

Just two more...

If you wear glasses or shades, is there plenty of eye relief for you ?

Did you buy the MHG in a shop and test it first or from the internet blind?

Many thanks.

All the best

TM
Themoog is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 28th June 2017, 19:48   #7
Richard Costin
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: UK
Posts: 8
Hi TM, thanks! Sorry for the delay in replying. I'll try to answer your questions as best I can...

Frustratingly, I'm finding it very difficult to put my paws on a set of MHGs in my hunting ground which is predominantly (but not exclusively) London. I won't buy blind and we don't really have the sale or return/get two- send one back options that seem possible in the USA.
I am in London a lot at the moment, mostly around Oxford Circus. If I get a moment you are more than welcome to meet for a coffee and have a look at them. Else the Rutland Birdfair in August will have every pair under the sun to try out in person properly.


I noticed you mention CA in the SV EL when set against the Nikon MHG. How did you feel other bins you have experienced stack up on this metric?
I was surprised, near shocked when I used the swaros mentioned. Just shouldn't have any CA at that level. Leica Ultravids, Victory SFs from memory were both pretty much CA free. I will add that I def think the Kowa x33 genesis have a slight edge over the HG for CA. Slight being the operative word, I did get some very, very slight dancing CA on extreme edges. I am quite sensitive to CA and it didn't worry me though, you had to go looking for it.

Personally, I couldn't detect any real issues with the two alphas I briefly tested (Leica NV & Zeiss SF T*) I see it in my current pair under certain difficult conditions but rarely smack in the sweet spot and I'm not ultra sensitive to its presence.I didn't even mention it in my last post. The two alphas have such large fields it may be less distinct to me. They may also have superior polarising qualities too. Since you've spotted it in the Swaro Im curious to know your thoughts on some of the others you've seen?
I was impressed by the latest top end Vanguard binos for the money certainly (I forget their name at the moment, their big ones). The Kowas were in the same league as the equivalent top end Leicas (https://www.richardcostin.com/articl...culars-review/) and still would be my #1 choice of smaller travel bins at any price personally. I can also highly recommend the Kowa 10x25 compacts if size is really important to you. I actually own those as well and still enjoy the view when I need to travel ultra light.

How does build quality, fit, finish and mechanical performance stack up?
Fantastic. I mistreat all my gear as I am mostly focussed on getting the picture and not putting myself and clients in any danger. The one slight niggle is that the eye cups on the eye ball end could be a somewhat tighter fit. Focus is smooth and plenty of room to be precise.

I'm guessing you're confident they can deal with being travelled with as well as perhaps the odd knock and scuff in the back of a Defender/Landcruiser Troopie etc.?
Definitely, they will sit out of the case on the open land cruiser car for the whole trip out in the mara.


How is the tonal range in wide contrast and high key/bleached out conditions? Does the MHG exhibit any richer tonal saturation in a particular part of the spectrum to you and in the conditions you mention?
I'd describe the view as pin sharp and very neutral. Very, very hot bleached out views you may see a very small amount of twitchy CA as mentioned. Only under very hard lighting though.


If you wear glasses or shades, is there plenty of eye relief for you ?
No glasses, my Dad liked the view with glasses on though and without glasses they are very comfortable.

Did you buy the MHG in a shop and test it first or from the internet blind?
Tried at the birdfair last year and borrowed a pair from Nikon before deciding to buy.


Many thanks.
You're welcome!
Richard Costin is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 29th June 2017, 23:05   #8
Themoog
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Kent
Posts: 99
Many thanks Richard

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Costin View Post
Hi TM, thanks! Sorry for the delay in replying. I'll try to answer your questions as best I can...

Frustratingly, I'm finding it very difficult to put my paws on a set of MHGs in my hunting ground which is predominantly (but not exclusively) London. I won't buy blind and we don't really have the sale or return/get two- send one back options that seem possible in the USA.
I am in London a lot at the moment, mostly around Oxford Circus. If I get a moment you are more than welcome to meet for a coffee and have a look at them. Else the Rutland Birdfair in August will have every pair under the sun to try out in person properly.

That's a very generous and kind offer Richard. I'll pm you in due course about that if you wouldn't mind? I'm almost certainly going to the Rutland Birdfair this year. Really looking forward to it. Funnily enough I'm not currently sure if I'm actually going to 'make it' that far without buying some bins. Mrs Moog wants us out and about in AONB's and parks this summer and a single pair between us can be frustrating. I do see her point though.


I noticed you mention CA in the SV EL when set against the Nikon MHG. How did you feel other bins you have experienced stack up on this metric?
I was surprised, near shocked when I used the swaros mentioned. Just shouldn't have any CA at that level. Leica Ultravids, Victory SFs from memory were both pretty much CA free. I will add that I def think the Kowa x33 genesis have a slight edge over the HG for CA. Slight being the operative word, I did get some very, very slight dancing CA on extreme edges. I am quite sensitive to CA and it didn't worry me though, you had to go looking for it.

Interesting. I should get a shot at some ELs in the next week or two. I'm anticipating being less sensitive too but the proof is in the view.

Personally, I couldn't detect any real issues with the two alphas I briefly tested (Leica NV & Zeiss SF T*) I see it in my current pair under certain difficult conditions but rarely smack in the sweet spot and I'm not ultra sensitive to its presence.I didn't even mention it in my last post. The two alphas have such large fields it may be less distinct to me. They may also have superior polarising qualities too. Since you've spotted it in the Swaro Im curious to know your thoughts on some of the others you've seen?
I was impressed by the latest top end Vanguard binos for the money certainly (I forget their name at the moment, their big ones). The Kowas were in the same league as the equivalent top end Leicas (https://www.richardcostin.com/articl...culars-review/) and still would be my #1 choice of smaller travel bins at any price personally. I can also highly recommend the Kowa 10x25 compacts if size is really important to you. I actually own those as well and still enjoy the view when I need to travel ultra light.

The Utravids would be great but for the ER. The 7x are in the ballpark but none of the others. Will head over to one of the London Leicas to check at some point.
Kowa's are just not an option due to their lack of shop presence sadly.


How does build quality, fit, finish and mechanical performance stack up?
Fantastic. I mistreat all my gear as I am mostly focussed on getting the picture and not putting myself and clients in any danger. The one slight niggle is that the eye cups on the eye ball end could be a somewhat tighter fit. Focus is smooth and plenty of room to be precise.

Not sure if that's something that could be sured up with a dab of silicon sealant or a bit of shim. Not suggesting you do that of course. Might be an interesting test of backup if you have the time.Someone on here will have a fix. Certainly doesn't sound something that's going to be a problem out in the field if known about.
Quite understand about that. Large fangs, clients and loss of periperal vision - closer to nature than one might have bargained for. Expect bins need to look after themselves at a push.


I'm guessing you're confident they can deal with being travelled with as well as perhaps the odd knock and scuff in the back of a Defender/Landcruiser Troopie etc.?
Definitely, they will sit out of the case on the open land cruiser car for the whole trip out in the mara.

Wow. Guess the fact they can be purchased almost two for one with a euro alpha is a fraction less of a blow should they fall lens down on a low range shift or take a boot. I'm not anticipating quite that level of routine exposure , at least not in such a short and professionally-based timeframe but it's amazing how kit one carries all the time either weathers well or gives up the ghost and won't perform eh?
Even an military grade EDC bag shows it's metal or not inside six months of negotiating nothing more than daily urban grind.


How is the tonal range in wide contrast and high key/bleached out conditions? Does the MHG exhibit any richer tonal saturation in a particular part of the spectrum to you and in the conditions you mention?
I'd describe the view as pin sharp and very neutral. Very, very hot bleached out views you may see a very small amount of twitchy CA as mentioned. Only under very hard lighting though.

Yeah, I'm guessing it's a lot of bleached out vistas with wildlife having the good sense to lurk in whatever shadow comes to hand. Very, very difficult to pull any detail out of those pockets of shadow when ones eyes are telling one to work in the opposite direction. Maybe that's just the situation for an EDG-like flared eyepiece cover. Certainly very testing conditions I imagine.


If you wear glasses or shades, is there plenty of eye relief for you ?
No glasses, my Dad liked the view with glasses on though and without glasses they are very comfortable.

Thats good to know. Thank you.

Did you buy the MHG in a shop and test it first or from the internet blind?
Tried at the birdfair last year and borrowed a pair from Nikon before deciding to buy.

That's the way it SHOULD be done in a perfect world.


Many thanks.
You're welcome!
Wishing you the very best out there in the Landcruiser with the MHGs and wherever else opportunities present themselves.

TM
Themoog is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 30th June 2017, 20:05   #9
Richard Costin
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: UK
Posts: 8
Thanks! If anyone is interested in my exploits, they will be up on www.richardcostin.com/africalive as of Saturday 9th.

Rich.
Richard Costin is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 31st August 2017, 20:05   #10
Richard Costin
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: UK
Posts: 8
Just thought I would chip back in and say they were every bit as good as I hoped they were out being used properly in Africa.

Utterly made tracking and watching even more of a pleasure than usual and were fine to use for extended periods.

For whatever you consider my opinion's worth, I can highly recommend them. I do believe they represent a sweet spot of quality/price if you are willing to invest some money in a decent high end pair.

Rich.
Richard Costin is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 1st September 2017, 05:22   #11
chill6x6
Registered User
 
chill6x6's Avatar

 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Alabama
Posts: 834
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Costin View Post
Just thought I would chip back in and say they were every bit as good as I hoped they were out being used properly in Africa.

Utterly made tracking and watching even more of a pleasure than usual and were fine to use for extended periods.

For whatever you consider my opinion's worth, I can highly recommend them. I do believe they represent a sweet spot of quality/price if you are willing to invest some money in a decent high end pair.

Rich.
Thanks for the follow up and I AGREE with your conclusion!
Happy safaris!
__________________
Chuck
chill6x6 is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2017 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Friday 1st September 2017, 08:48   #12
Richard Costin
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: UK
Posts: 8
:)
Richard Costin is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 2nd September 2017, 19:58   #13
Dorian Gray
Registered User

 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Paris
Posts: 162
The Monarch HG binoculars are surprisingly lightweight. Id want to know how the low weight was achieved, in terms of mechanical construction, before laying out close to a grand. It is the mechanical design and quality that will determine durability, lifespan, and the possibility of lubricating and adjusting components after years of service.

That said, Allbinos rave about them.

Which Swarovski EL version does your guide use?
Dorian Gray is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 2nd September 2017, 20:22   #14
ceasar
Registered User

 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: NE Pennsylvania
Posts: 10,743
They probably get their light weight from the Magnesium Alloy used for their body construction. You can see a picture of the magnesium body skeleton in this link:

http://www.nikonsportoptics.com/en/n...h-hg-8x42.html

Scroll down to it.

Bob
ceasar is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2010 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Tuesday 5th September 2017, 17:15   #15
pbjosh
Registered User

 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Buenos Aires
Posts: 336
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dorian Gray View Post
The Monarch HG binoculars are surprisingly lightweight. Id want to know how the low weight was achieved, in terms of mechanical construction, before laying out close to a grand. It is the mechanical design and quality that will determine durability, lifespan, and the possibility of lubricating and adjusting components after years of service.

That said, Allbinos rave about them.

Which Swarovski EL version does your guide use?
My Monarch 7 8x42's are also very light weight for their size. I haven't thrashed them the way I have my Conquest HD 8x42's (which have weathered serious abuse with no qualms) but the build quality and finish seems impeccable and I've never experienced a problem, nor have I heard of problems with that model. Not sure if these are coming from the same factory.

Do we know who is making the Monarch 7's and the HG's actually?
pbjosh is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 6th September 2017, 00:26   #16
NDhunter
Registered User
 
NDhunter's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: ND
Posts: 3,506
Quote:
Originally Posted by pbjosh View Post
My Monarch 7 8x42's are also very light weight for their size. I haven't thrashed them the way I have my Conquest HD 8x42's (which have weathered serious abuse with no qualms) but the build quality and finish seems impeccable and I've never experienced a problem, nor have I heard of problems with that model. Not sure if these are coming from the same factory.

Do we know who is making the Monarch 7's and the HG's actually?
Nikon is making these models of course. They have factories in China where
the Monarch 7 is made, and the Monarch HG is made in Japan.

I also own both of these models, and over the years I have found that
Nikon has very good quality control over all of their optics.

For example, that means you don't find a sloppy focuser with any Nikon
binocular, no matter where it is manufactured.

This is what distinguishes Nikon from the short line makers who do not
have their own people in control.

Jerry
NDhunter is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 6th September 2017, 09:09   #17
Richard Costin
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: UK
Posts: 8
Hi!
I don't treat my equipment well when working and I have no concerns with the build quality, seems very sturdy and took a few knocks with no problem.
Richard Costin is offline  
Reply With Quote
Advertisement
Reply


Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
ED 50 vs. Monarch 20x56 binoculars DRodrigues Nikon 5 Monday 15th September 2014 17:16
Nikon Monarch 5 8x42 Binoculars colhot Nikon 0 Wednesday 1st January 2014 16:03
Nikon 10X42 Monarch Binoculars? JPAC Nikon 38 Sunday 27th June 2010 17:17
8X42 Nikon Monarch's have to be the best binoculars under $200.00 denco@comcast.n Nikon 22 Thursday 5th November 2009 00:54

{googleads}

Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Help support BirdForum

Page generated in 0.20924497 seconds with 28 queries
All times are GMT. The time now is 00:05.