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Old Saturday 12th August 2017, 21:17   #76
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Thanks Henry;

One other thing, if you try the experiment, use the eyecups as you normally use them.

I could duplicate Henry’s results, but only by fully collapsing the eyecups to the point I would get blackouts in any case, inside the exit pupil and using one eye.

Henry, are you using your normal eye relief setting? I am not able to get a blockage with my normal 1 click extended eyecup.
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Old Saturday 12th August 2017, 21:35   #77
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Henry,

I can't swear to the accuracy of those values but I hope we can agree that the HT 8x54 was a rather peculiar binocular. I checked the results for 9 binoculars in my current notebook. Two were worse on stopping down, most were modestly better and one was dramatically improved stopped down. I don't know how much sample variation plays a part but I imagine the distribution of aberrations is very much part of the optical design process.

Dr Dobler emphasised that they specified that their models were always at least10% better than the ISO standard. That technically would be 7.5" for a 8x54, but from his explaination I think he meant the smaller objective standard of 240/D or 4.4", so that would be about 4". His MTF profile appeared to be better than that for full aperture.

Many thanks for posting that page. This arguement has been rumbling on fairly acrimoniously for years, but I always supposed that the likes of Carl Zeiss and Ernst Abbe knew this stuff 150 years ago, it just got lost in the computer age. Nice you found someone who hadn't forgotten.

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Old Sunday 13th August 2017, 19:13   #78
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Ron, Henry

Ron, I apologize for not trying your experiment yet. Now, with this discussion being so lively, I'll try to find the time to do it. As you know, my experience with small binoculars such as an 8x20 is very similar to yours. I have never been quite at ease even with a 10x32.

It is interesting to compare your description of the opaque/translucent disc obstruction experiment with Henry's. It sounds that you are trying to emulate normal viewing and Henry is trying to the best of his ability match a test bench setting. There are some questions I need to answer for myself about the 2.5mm exit pupil Leica Ultravid still, and your results may help in this.

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Old Sunday 13th August 2017, 20:42   #79
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Hello Kimmo, thanks for dropping in.

I was going to take a 10x40 monocular with about a 35 mm obstruction and place it on a tripod and try from normal setting for me, which shows a 4.2
FOV and start backing off from the bino to see if as the FOV shrinks, indicating being on the optical axis, if the field would darken. But the weather here is not cooperating.

Based on your comments about bench test I went back to the bench and applied a rough shaped obstruction on the objective after aligning the camera and monocular optical axis. The camera was set to a 2 mm aperture. I tried to get to full FOV but the camera would no cooperate, so the pictures are from a little outside ideal viewing distance. I also got a little movement during the 1 and 2 second exposure times required for the small aperture.

This should have resulted in a 20 mm obstruction being able to obscure the view, but as can be seen it did not even obscure a 35 mm obstruction. I think the spot is a little off center because the stop is not centered very well.

Henry and I are still at the point of agreeing to disagree, hopefully you will see something we are both missing.
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Old Sunday 13th August 2017, 21:02   #80
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Henry, are you using your normal eye relief setting? I am not able to get a blockage with my normal 1 click extended eyecup.
Ron,

Yes, normal eye relief setting. If I move my pupil too close the central obstruction shrinks and kidney-beaning begins to intrude from the field edge. Too far back and the central obstruction also shrinks along with the AFOV.

Kimmo,

Yep, I'm trying to eliminate everything that might effect the result other than blockage of the pupil by the obstruction. I found it impossible to center both pupils simultaneously behind fixed obstructions, even if the obstructions match the pupil size. I think the obstructions would need to move along with all the constant small involuntary pupil movements, not to mention jitters from hand holding. Also, I find that I need about a 3.5mm opaque exit pupil obstruction to counteract pupil dilation (and probably some jitter) even when I'm looking at brilliant white clouds.

Henry

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Old Sunday 13th August 2017, 21:24   #81
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Ron,

Is it possible that your camera lens entrance pupil is located somewhere inside, behind the front lens, so that it can't be brought up close enough to align with the monocular's exit pupil at the eye relief distance?

Henry
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Old Sunday 13th August 2017, 21:44   #82
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Ron,

Is it possible that your camera lens entrance pupil is located somewhere inside, behind the front lens, so that it can't be brought up close enough to align with the monocular's exit pupil at the eye relief distance?

Henry
Yes, I can not get the camera close enough, the lens are touching here, but this is the same thing I see with my eye and I can see full FOV but I can only keep the spot within a less than a quarter degree of center due to eye movement.

EDIT: I can get to the exit pupil by zooming but can not keep the 2 mm aperture, F2.8 best it does, F7.6 at 60mm only gets me down to 8 mm.
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Old Monday 14th August 2017, 08:17   #83
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Henry,

Your suggestion of a translucent block is a good one. With a black disc, at 20mm I can see the centre obstruction is expanding as I place the binocular to my eye but the pupil reacts too quickly to get anywhere near 100%. I needed about 30mm for that and that was briefly. I found a couple of tiny samples of fabric diffuser cloth. A very fine silk like material. The first seems to allow perhaps 5 to 10% of the light through and I needed 25mm with that to obscure the scene. The other looked about 3 fold better. It wasn't 100% obscured at 20mm, but it was close.

David

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Old Tuesday 7th November 2017, 15:27   #84
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Adhoc (from another thread) ....
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Chosun: By "8x SF seemed sharper" do you mean, vs the 8x42 MHG?
I had a lot of time with the 8x SF, had the 10x SF prised out of my hands too early by someone buying it, and only saw the 10x MHG for too brief a time. So my coments were in relation to the 8x SF being sharper than the 10x MHG (which was straight out of the box, so I didn't even check set up). The 10x SF didn't seem as immediately sharp as the 8x but I was really rushed with that, so don't put any stock in that - I needed to check setup and fine tune it for me, same goes for the 10x MHG. The 10x MHG was surprisingly free of CA in the centre though on what was a really brutal day for CA.

To put all this in context, I awarded the clearest, brightest view of the day to the Swarovski A-K SLC 8x56, ahead of the 10X50SV., which was a reversal of their last encounter in much brighter conditions. The MHG was very nice - it has a lot going for it.



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Old Tuesday 7th November 2017, 16:19   #85
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CJ ...... I am curious why you did not spend more time evaluating he Monarch 10X42 HG. I thought that was high on your list. I am assuming you noticed it was not sharp edge to edge even though Nikon states the use of lens flatteners. It appears you were not disappointed (as was Dennis), but I assume you knew that ahead of time from comments here on the forum.

Have you tried a Bushnell 10X42 Legend M? It is a refined clone of your Zen Ray ED3. If the ED3 is version 1.0, then the Legend M strikes me as version 1.1 containing some refinements to the model. I would be interested to hear what you think of the M compared to your ED3.
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Old Tuesday 7th November 2017, 17:34   #86
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CJ ...... I am curious why you did not spend more time evaluating he Monarch 10X42 HG. I thought that was high on your list. I am assuming you noticed it was not sharp edge to edge even though Nikon states the use of lens flatteners. It appears you were not disappointed (as was Dennis), but I assume you knew that ahead of time from comments here on the forum.

Have you tried a Bushnell 10X42 Legend M? It is a refined clone of your Zen Ray ED3. If the ED3 is version 1.0, then the Legend M strikes me as version 1.1 containing some refinements to the model. I would be interested to hear what you think of the M compared to your ED3.
Hi Bruce,

The Nikon guys were a no show which surprised even a few exhibitors! With the D850 camera hot off the presses I would have thought it would have been a great marketing opportunity for them. There's been a lot of advertising and promotions around the hundred year anniversary so maybe they are happy with sales this year? Or maybe they read the weather forecast!

The BirdFair is only in its infancy, so I think most exhibitors are in the "investment" phase still - and some pretty hard headed commercial decisions have been made (Canon have never been). Crowds were well down this year due to the cruddy weather all weekend, and quite a few exhibitors were saying they'd like to see about 5 times the numbers to make it worthwhile.

I didn't even think there were any Nikon bins there, and then just before closing I got a tip and a contact who was able to pull a couple of MHG treasures out of the half packed up kit. I only got to see the 10x.

I was a bit shocked really at how good it felt in the hand - it was like someone had just lopped the front hinge and tube past that off my Zens - it fell super naturally into my hands and felt nice to focus since I place my middle finger on the bridge of the Zens anyway so it was very very similar. At 100grams lighter than Zens/SF's/UVids, and a compact size there is a lot to like about them. I was also pleasantly surprised by the lack of CA, and yes I knew what to expect re the edges .....

The colour rendition is far more neutral than the Zeiss Conquest HD's (didn't even bother picking them up this year). It also struck me as having a quality construction and finish. Definitely one I will revisit - I hope I find it sharp.

I did get a chance to see the Bushnell M's earlier, and yes the optical train is a kissing cousin of the Zen. I honestly didn't spend that much time comparing optically, as that's when the Nankeen Kestrel put on a show right in front of me and I was keen to view through the SF's. The M's are going for $800 out here! The body is slightly different (not for the better - nothing beats that large knurled focus wheel of the Zens! :) , although I did think that backlash in the focus mechanism had been reduced slightly on the Bushnell body. The sales rep was grinning from ear to ear looking through the Zens and said he'd be quite happy with them as a one and only ....... I wasn't sure I was getting them back!

I think it's the ergos and bright naturally curved view (okay - rampant pincushion! :) of the Zens that gets such a wow, that and the lack of CA in the Centre. A quick analysis showed the same sort of distortion profile and CA performance in the M's. I didn't go into colour and brightness too much as there were bigger fish to fry, but the Zen might have been a p**fteenth brighter?

Anyway I'd have to look properly, but I think the Bushnell M's might be a bit of a value proposition goto at the sub $1000 level - especially when you can get big retailer support/ease-assurance of transaction.


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Old Wednesday 8th November 2017, 03:19   #87
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Chosun, thanks (for #84). I would think that a sharpness comparison between an 8x and a 10x will be tricky at the best of times unless the overall optical quality level is a good bit more different than between these two models. (In seeing detail, as you know, magnification favors the 10x, but stability of image in the hand, depth of field, hence easier focusing, favor the 8x...) Also your time with the MHG was brief, and your caution, "...so don't put any stock in that" is noted!

Yes, from what I have read, 8x56 seems to result in the clearest view among all (standard, hand-holdable) configurations. The new Minox BL-HD 8x56, with 7.8 deg. FOV, at USD 900 (in Europe) is tempting, but I cannot find a review of it, except a preliminary write-up in Binomania. The Bushnell Legend-M 8x42 (8+ deg. FOV) at < USD 220 currently at OpticsPlanet is hard to resist and I might go for it. Or if David recovers from his bad mood ;-) and awards a 9 or 10 to the MHG...
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Old Wednesday 8th November 2017, 04:09   #88
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Adhoc, jeez that's a good price on the Bushnell M !

The sharpness impressions were very much a put them up to your eyes and register response comment. It was not in reference to seeing or reading details. The dull conditions favored the clarity of the A-K prismed SLC 8x56 .... hard for anything to beat it on the day.

My quick impression (with caveats as per previous posts) of the Nikon MHG was that the sharpness etc was Zeiss Conquest HD, Swarovski SLC (42mm so S-P prisms), Zen ED3 etc level.

I will be going back to try it again and may even still go with it even if the next lot are not quite wow level optics because it's just such a nice, light, compact, quality bin to hold



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Old Wednesday 8th November 2017, 10:31   #89
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...... if David recovers from his bad mood ;-) and awards a 9 or 10 to the MHG...
I really had high hopes for the MHG. If I remember rightly it was my first stop at Birdfair that year, and as others have said, the compact size, lowish weight, wide view and handling tick a lot of boxes, but my immediate reaction was disappointment. That was reinforced by a fairly long comparison with the EDG. Some binoculars appear better in some light than others, so I stopped by the stand several more times that day having visited the Kowa, Meopta, Kite and a dozen other booths. It did nothing to improve my opinion.

That was the launch event, and it wouldn't be unusualy for companies to put preproduction samples on the stand so those first impressions might have been misleading. Since that occasion I've tried them on 3 occasions, and done side by sides with the EDG again, Kowa Genesis, Meostar HD, Kite Bonelli 2.0, several Opticrons and a few others. Yes the wide view and ergonomics are nice, but I'd still rate it two or three steps down from the best on centre field performance alone. Perhaps a telling comparison was with three other binoculars I'd rate 8, 9 and 10. There was a medium sized bird sitting on a pole several hundred yards away for about 20 minutes allowing multiple comparisons in pretty constant light conditions. With my elbows on a table, using the MHG it was a fairly well defined, but a fairly uniformly grey silhouette. With the 8 I could make out the neck banding and the 9 and 10 the colour shading of a wood pigeon. On other occasions the differences were more subtle but the ranking remained the same.

Just pointing out that as far as I can see, like Zeiss, Leica and Swarovski before them, Nikon has used centrefield sharpness to discriminate their second tier from their flagship model. Not really a surprise, but disappointing all the same. The MHG has many virtues and I'm sure many will decide it has all the optical performance they need. Others are bound to disagree. So what's new?

David

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Old Wednesday 8th November 2017, 11:17   #90
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I really had high hopes for the MHG. If I remember rightly it was my first stop at Birdfair that year, and as others have said, the compact size, lowish weight, wide view and handling tick a lot of boxes, but my immediate reaction was disappointment. That was reinforced by a fairly long comparison with the EDG. Some binoculars appear better in some light than others, so I stopped by the stand several more times that day having visited the Kowa, Meopta, Kite and a dozen other booths. It did nothing to improve my opinion.

That was the launch event, and it wouldn't be unusualy for companies to put preproduction samples on the stand so those first impressions might have been misleading. Since that occasion I've tried them on 3 occasions, and done side by sides with the EDG again, Kowa Genesis, Meostar HD, Kite Bonelli 2.0, several Opticrons and a few others. Yes the wide view and ergonomics are nice, but I'd still rate it two or three steps down from the best on centre field performance alone. Perhaps a telling comparison was with three other binoculars I'd rate 8, 9 and 10. There was a medium sized bird sitting on a pole several hundred yards away for about 20 minutes allowing multiple comparisons in pretty constant light conditions. With my elbows on a table, using the MHG it was a fairly well defined, but a fairly uniformly grey silhouette. With the 8 I could make out the neck banding and the 9 and 10 the colour shading of a wood pigeon. On other occasions the differences were more subtle but the ranking remained the same.

Just pointing out that as far as I can see, like Zeiss, Leica and Swarovski before them, Nikon has used centrefield sharpness to discriminate their second tier from their flagship model. Not really a surprise, but disappointing all the same. The MHG has many virtues and I'm sure many will decide it has all the optical preformance they need. Others are bound to disagree. So what's new?

David
David,

I have been meaning to catch up. As far as the specifications, packaging, ergonomics, and mechanical quality feel go - I was very pleasantly surprised - it is rather sensational!

Your comments on resolution and sharpness are interesting, and a bit disappointing that your several views of it didn't deliver even one eyeball cutting episode of razor sharpness. My earlier analysis of protectionist marketing (and optics & material specification, design, and manufacturing quality levels) pretty much agrees with your observations (and my own look - a boxed item of a regular production run that I would assume is no longer prototype, or pilot run level, and was indeed the final resolution level). ie. Unfortunately artificially nobbled.

I note that earlier in the thread you rated it a '7' on your typo resolution scores. Could you be so kind as to translate that into an arc second resolution score, and also list what the different ISO standards specified ranges are, and then translate all of those into a 20/ ___ visual acuity score.

Are increases in acuity linear? and what about your scoring system too?

And finally what would you estimate the CA performance as - centre - and at what percentage of the field it becomes bad. My own observations surprised me in this regard, as I know I'm really susceptible, conditions were pretty brutal for it, and I have read of quite a few instances of it, so wasn't really expecting anything special.

Thanks as always



Chosun

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Old Wednesday 8th November 2017, 12:15   #91
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Thanks David, for that explanation, thorough and helpful as usual.

Is it a coincidence that the models that rank 9-10 in your resolution score are heavy/very heavy compared with the others? The one exception is one of the Zeiss Terras - somewhat, as it is not all that light. May be it is a freak specimen, considering also the great difference with the other Terra specimens?

PS. What was the x of the MHG and of the '8', '9' and '10' binoculars you used on the pigeon? Thanks.

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Old Wednesday 8th November 2017, 16:26   #92
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Chosun,

I have covered some of those details in other posts in this thread.

The Upper limit for the ISO resolution standard is 240/D and the Dawes limit is 116/D. For reasons I've explained I normally do stopped down resolution testing. For an 8x that would be 20mm so that range becomes potentially becomes 12" down to 5.8" if the aberrations were uniform. In terms of visual acuity that corresponds to 20/16 down to 20/7.7. This means that at 12" or 20/16, a binocular could be resolution limited for around half the population and eyesight limited for the other half. All decent binoculars should meet this standard, but I've argued before that a more stringent test is warranted.

In practice I can often discriminate with a line chart down to about 7.5". Beyond that detail will be limited by my eyesight. This detail range I scored 1 to 5. However I can still distinguish further qualitative improvements in the colour and contrast of detail, which is sharpness. With around 30 binoculars tested so far, there appears to be a direct relationship between improvements in sharpness and measured effective resolution, though theoretically these are different metrics. So my scoring from 6 through to 10 seems to correlate so far with the range of 7.5"" down to 5.8", so scores 1 to 10 are not linear.

This appears to suggest that improved effective resolution beyond the limit of my own visual acuity does reap a benefit in sharpness within my acuity range. Obviously this is very much a personal scoring system based on using both eyes in ideal light condition. I know a few have posted comments on the forum that appear to regularly match my opinions, some that match sometimes and many others rather rarely match at all. Withough supporting resolution data, VAs and potentially other metrics, it's impossible to pin down these differences in opinion. However it does seem that those who regularly claim differences in sharpness are likely to have somewhat better VAs than those that don't. I don't have enough data to pin down any hard and fast rules, but it seems like a binocular with 10" effective resolution attacts quite a lot of criticism and something <6" keeps everybody happy. I personally find anything worse than 7.5" unacceptable, 6.5" satisfactory and get excited by anything better than that. I'm over 60 now and unfortunately my eyes obviously are not as good as they once were. It's quite sobering to witness a teenager in seconds pronounce a binocular as either "rubbish" or "amazing" and then sometimes struggle myself to spot the difference myself. There are a lot out there who are obviously more demanding than I am. Shame they don't write reviews. I'm sure 140 characters would not do any binoculars justice. Maybe 280 make a difference?

I did dither somewhat over whether to score the MHG as a 7 or and 8. It was very close but it did not quite match one of my reference binoculars which I score an 8, and that has an effective resolution of 6.8" and 6.5".

Hope that's clearer.

David

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Old Wednesday 8th November 2017, 16:40   #93
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Adhoc,

You missed that the Fujinon clone of the Sightron BSII was also a 10. However wider, flatter views, and more eye relief need more glass, therefore more weight, for a start. Then there is the difference in the metal to plastic ratio in the engineering. I'd accept it's possible that the Fuji's excellent result was just good luck, whereas the Kite and Noctivid are the products of first class design and execution. I don't think weight is a particularly good indicator of centre performance.

It was the 8x42 MHG I was comparing. The 8, 9 and 10 I referred to were also 8x binoculars but I also used an 8,5 and a 10x in the comparison. The magnification does make a difference to line chart limits as you might expect, but it seems to make much less difference for sharpness.

David

Last edited by typo : Wednesday 8th November 2017 at 17:30. Reason: More info
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Old Thursday 9th November 2017, 01:48   #94
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Thanks David. The reason I asked about the sharpness-weight relationship (in one direction only of course, very sharp implies heavy, not the other way round!) is to see if they could improve the MHG to the highest level of resolution at the same, very light, weight, that is, without changing its lens materials or lens system.
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Old Friday 10th November 2017, 05:14   #95
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I really had high hopes for the MHG. If I remember rightly it was my first stop at Birdfair that year, and as others have said, the compact size, lowish weight, wide view and handling tick a lot of boxes, but my immediate reaction was disappointment. That was reinforced by a fairly long comparison with the EDG. Some binoculars appear better in some light than others, so I stopped by the stand several more times that day having visited the Kowa, Meopta, Kite and a dozen other booths. It did nothing to improve my opinion.

That was the launch event, and it wouldn't be unusualy for companies to put preproduction samples on the stand so those first impressions might have been misleading. Since that occasion I've tried them on 3 occasions, and done side by sides with the EDG again, Kowa Genesis, Meostar HD, Kite Bonelli 2.0, several Opticrons and a few others. Yes the wide view and ergonomics are nice, but I'd still rate it two or three steps down from the best on centre field performance alone. Perhaps a telling comparison was with three other binoculars I'd rate 8, 9 and 10. There was a medium sized bird sitting on a pole several hundred yards away for about 20 minutes allowing multiple comparisons in pretty constant light conditions. With my elbows on a table, using the MHG it was a fairly well defined, but a fairly uniformly grey silhouette. With the 8 I could make out the neck banding and the 9 and 10 the colour shading of a wood pigeon. On other occasions the differences were more subtle but the ranking remained the same.

Just pointing out that as far as I can see, like Zeiss, Leica and Swarovski before them, Nikon has used centrefield sharpness to discriminate their second tier from their flagship model. Not really a surprise, but disappointing all the same. The MHG has many virtues and I'm sure many will decide it has all the optical performance they need. Others are bound to disagree. So what's new?

David
I agree with you Typo. I thought the on-axis sharpness of the Nikon MHG 8x42 was pretty average. The Euro HD 8x32(Meostar HD) I bought at Cabela's is a much better binocular optically and build quality wise and it was 1/2 the price of the MHG. The view through the Euro is really, really good. Put's the MHG to shame.

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Old Friday 10th November 2017, 17:18   #96
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I agree with you Typo. I thought the on-axis sharpness of the Nikon MHG 8x42 was pretty average. The Euro HD 8x32(Meostar HD) I bought at Cabela's is a much better binocular optically and build quality wise and it was 1/2 the price of the MHG. The view through the Euro is really, really good. Put's the MHG to shame.

Dennis,

Did you compare your MHG and your Euro HD for sharpness with each other at the same time?

Bob
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Old Friday 10th November 2017, 18:19   #97
BruceH
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Arizona USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denco@comcast.n View Post
I agree with you Typo. I thought the on-axis sharpness of the Nikon MHG 8x42 was pretty average. The Euro HD 8x32(Meostar HD) I bought at Cabela's is a much better binocular optically and build quality wise and it was 1/2 the price of the MHG. The view through the Euro is really, really good. Put's the MHG to shame.

In order to add some perspective, do you know your corrected vision? (i.e. 20/22, 20/20, 20/18?) Is it your own estimate or is it what was told to you during an eye exam at some date?

Thanks.
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