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Old Saturday 2nd September 2017, 20:07   #1
ceasar
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Monarch HG rated #1 by Field and Stream.

http://www.fieldandstream.com/top-10-binoculars-2017

The Nikon USA Website is featuring this article.

http://www.nikonsportoptics.com/en/index.page

Currently they are on sale at $100.00 off. Direct from Nikon.

http://www.nikonsportoptics.com/en/n...rch/index.page

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Old Saturday 2nd September 2017, 21:22   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ceasar View Post
http://www.fieldandstream.com/top-10-binoculars-2017

The Nikon USA Website is featuring this article.

http://www.nikonsportoptics.com/en/index.page

Currently they are on sale at $100.00 off. Direct from Nikon.

http://www.nikonsportoptics.com/en/n...rch/index.page
Thanks Bob!

Does anyone know if there is a link to a chart showing a breakdown of the scoring?

I just received the 8X42 version of the new Nikon Monarch HG and so far, so good. I can see why the reviewers liked it. The two standout things that first struck me with the 8X42 is the great handling and lighter weight and then the beautiful panoramic like view that goes with the wide FOV (435 ft). I have not found anything not to like about it. No CA issues (but I am not bothered by CA) and no glare issues so far. It looks to resolve beyond my visual acuity (which is better than 20/20 but not quite 20/15).

Poor Leica, they keep getting dinged for leaks. The Tract Tekoa got some nice comments. I know nothing of the Bushnell Engage but it looks like one worth checking out. The Leupold Santiam scored low for the price and considering it looks to be a clone of the well received Maven. It would be informative to see the scoring breakdown showing how much the Santiam lost due to size and weight, a characteristic of a 15X56.
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Old Saturday 2nd September 2017, 22:16   #3
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Condensation for a couple of days in a $2700 bin is a ding?
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Old Sunday 3rd September 2017, 01:18   #4
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That is impressive the Monarch HG's beat the Noctivid. What is interesting is the Tract Toric 8x42 from last years test scored only .1 of a point behind the Noctivid or 88.2 versus 88.3 which is pretty good for a binocular that is 1/4 of the cost of the Noctivid. The Tract Tekoa impressed them also. Best image of any binocular under a $1000.00. Wow.

"Another standout bargain. Testers loved the size and feel of the Tekoa, which had the highest image-quality scores of any model under $1K."

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Old Sunday 3rd September 2017, 11:01   #5
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This does make interesting reading. The problem I have here is that it's extremely difficult to find dealers that stock top end Nikon's, not quite sure why this is the case.

I'd be very interested how you guys think the 8x42HG fairs against the Zeiss HT and SVFP. For half the price it does feel they should be given serious consideration. Plus my current go to bins are the 8x32 SE's.

Your thoughts would be much appreciated.
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Old Sunday 3rd September 2017, 12:17   #6
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Hi,

Leica U-boat disaster again... ouch. It would be interesting to see the actual result table for image quality. Stuff like ergonomics and value tends to make reviews a bit subjective.

Joachim
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Old Sunday 3rd September 2017, 13:27   #7
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Watch the Noctivid beat the nitrogen out of the Nikon Monarch HG:s....

http://www.outdoorlife.com/best-binoculars-2017
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Old Sunday 3rd September 2017, 13:44   #8
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At 3 times the price you'd expect nothing less. Otherwise the NV days would be numbered!!
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Old Sunday 3rd September 2017, 20:08   #9
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Sad is that most of these binoculars are rebranded bins from OEM's...
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Old Monday 4th September 2017, 08:31   #10
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James,

You're one of the great proponents of the Zeiss HT and as a consequence I'm about to pull the trigger today.

The information and discussions on product here on BF is simply fantastic and generally overwhelming. But non the less wise men still have to make decisions. :-)

The future's bright, the future's Zeiss!
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Old Thursday 12th October 2017, 17:48   #11
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Did you know, well you knew ...
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Old Thursday 12th October 2017, 19:05   #12
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Sad is that most of these binoculars are rebranded bins from OEM's...

What's sad about it? The consumer wins.
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Old Thursday 12th October 2017, 19:53   #13
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What's sad about it? The consumer wins.


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Old Friday 13th October 2017, 00:18   #14
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What's sad about it? The consumer wins.
kills the genuine binocular makers...sure prices come down but there is a need for Grandees. If everyone rebrands Kamakuras, eventually that's all there will be.
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Old Friday 13th October 2017, 01:52   #15
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kills the genuine binocular makers...sure prices come down but there is a need for Grandees. If everyone rebrands Kamakuras, eventually that's all there will be.

Only the strong survive. I have no problem with that.
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Old Friday 13th October 2017, 02:21   #16
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Trouble is that this really limits the product diversity.
You get a choice of whatever the manufacturer makes, customized a bit as dictated by the marketing people of the brand you buy. The feedback from the customer becomes very much attenuated, so improvement slows down with the manufacturer focusing on cost reduction.
That trend is very evident in outdoor clothing, where a few Chinese contract shops produce for all the big names. The offerings differ in down quality or waterproofing, but are obviously the same except for a few frills. That makes it difficult to develop brand loyalty or to produce something really new.
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Old Friday 13th October 2017, 02:36   #17
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Nice to have different brands which offer more affordable quality optics as an alternative to super expensive top
tier bins.

However, I agree with James the market is too saturated with Asian "clones" under different company brand names.
Some of these startups won't make it eventually especially if Asian goods become more expensive to produce over time.

It would indeed be sad to see the end of innovating optics makers like any one of the big 3 from OEM's copying the technology at cheaper costs. But, if any can survive I think perhaps the top makers have the better chances since they have the money to survive hard times while the smaller rebranders would essentially be competing with each other ("clone wars")..some won't make it.

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Old Friday 13th October 2017, 08:39   #18
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kills the genuine binocular makers...sure prices come down but there is a need for Grandees. If everyone rebrands Kamakuras, eventually that's all there will be.
There has always been cheaper but perfectly serviceable binos but this hasn't killed off the alphas. Don't worry it won't happen. These new brands offer great value but there will always be people who want the next step up in quality and innovation.

And I refuse to call all of these brands rebranders when some of them at least make significant changes to Kamakura specifications for example, GPO changed not only the design of the focus mechanism on one model but also the material and the surface finish that the parts were made from and also the type and grade of grease that is used. All because they wanted to achieve a particular quality of feel to the focus action. They also changed the eyecups from moulded plastic to machined aluminium. I am sure some other brands make changes too but I concede that probably they don't all do this. However the GPO example goes way beyond the rebrand notion of slapping new armour and logo on someone else's design.

Lee

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Old Friday 13th October 2017, 15:51   #19
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[quote=Troubador;3629487]There has always been cheaper but perfectly serviceable binos but this hasn't killed off the alphas. Don't worry it won't happen. These new brands offer great value but there will always be people who want the next step up in quality and innovation.

And I refuse to call all of these brands rebranders when some of them at least make significant changes to Kamakura specifications for example, GPO changed not only the design of the focus mechanism on one model but also the material and the surface finish that the parts were made from and also the type and grade of grease that is used. All because they wanted to achieve a particular quality of feel to the focus action. They also changed the eyecups from moulded plastic to machined aluminium. I am sure some other brands make changes too but I concede that probably they don't all do this. However the GPO example goes way beyond the rebrand notion of slapping new armour and logo on someone else's design.

Lee[/QUOTE



Maybe Kamakura made the HG and maybe not; but the super smooth focus wheel is pure Nikon!

Bob
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Old Friday 13th October 2017, 18:19   #20
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[quote=ceasar;3629627]
Quote:
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And I refuse to call all of these brands rebranders when some of them at least make significant changes to Kamakura specifications for example, GPO changed not only the design of the focus mechanism on one model but also the material and the surface finish that the parts were made from and also the type and grade of grease that is used. All because they wanted to achieve a particular quality of feel to the focus action. They also changed the eyecups from moulded plastic to machined aluminium. I am sure some other brands make changes too but I concede that probably they don't all do this. However the GPO example goes way beyond the rebrand notion of slapping new armour and logo on someone else's design.

Lee[/QUOTE



Maybe Kamakura made the HG and maybe not; but the super smooth focus wheel is pure Nikon!

Bob
I agree some models like Nikon HG, Conquest HD, Trinovid HD, etc. being fully designed by the brand shouldn't be labeled "clones".

But, there seems to be a glut of brand names nowadays. Just when I think I've heard of them all a new unfamiliar name will pop up. I do think there are quite a few "clone" bins out there. I guess the market for binos was always way bigger than I imagined. Seems like too many IMO...gets a bit confusing when a good amount are the same bino in a different wrapper.
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Old Friday 13th October 2017, 23:47   #21
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I've seen so many Swaros in the past few weeks someone must be giving them away. Alpha bins will disappear shortly after Mercedes and BMW close their factories.

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Old Saturday 14th October 2017, 03:20   #22
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Only the strong survive. I have no problem with that.
It ends up being only the cheap survive - cheap Chinese labour, materials and a penchant for copying rather than innovation.
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Old Sunday 15th October 2017, 13:37   #23
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It ends up being only the cheap survive - cheap Chinese labour, materials and a penchant for copying rather than innovation.
When did this happen in the world of binoculars James?

It didn't happen in the world of electric guitars although some feared it might when Japanese copies of the Stratocaster came out that were of such a high quality and so much cheaper than CBS-owned Fender was making in the USA at the time. Then when Fender began sourcing some Strats from Japan it seemed like the end was nigh. Since then, they have sourced Strats from Mexico and India as well as Japan so on paper Fender USA must have been destroyed by now, right? Well, no. They are going strong and their models made in the USA are doing better than ever. There are still thousands of folks who want the made in America cachet and specifications.

I personally see no reason why brands like Zeiss and Leica can't do the same.

And brands who don't make their own binos aren't always lacking in innovation. Look at Swift's use of 8.5x magnification, later taken up by Swarovski and currently featuring on the most popular alpha binos in the world, the EL, as well as some notable other brands too. You could argue that choosing a magnification isn't as earth-shattering as the invention of anti-reflection or phase coatings but inventions of this importance have been in short supply in recent years. Leica's Perger porro seems to have been a dead end and Zeiss's re-balancing of SF by reducing the objective lenses from 3 to 2 while still well controlling CA is dismissed by some as merely benefiting handling and not as exciting as some new optics innovation. I have heard Noctivid described by an industry insider as being as advanced as the original Swaro EL which launched nearly 20 years ago. In the meantime who's to say that GPO's search for a better focus feel by exploring different materials, suface finishes and greases might result in them finding a solution that even the alpha's might adopt?

Maybe I am being optimistic but I still think there will be Jameses and Troubadors buying alpha brands in 20 and 30 years time and in the meantime, those who want to spend less money on binos that guys like us are getting a better deal than ever before.

Lee

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