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Help me replace my Nikon LX-L's

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Old Thursday 16th November 2017, 21:06   #1
justabirdwatcher
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Help me replace my Nikon LX-L's

I've enjoyed using my very old and VERY beat up Nikon LX-L 10x42's for a while now. The view suits my eyes as good or better than any binocular I've ever used, including any of the big three alphas. In fact, I sold a pair of Swaro SLC's when I came across those Nikons years ago because I preferred the view of the Nikons (mostly color balance).

However I'm intrigued by all the new offerings these days from Opticron, Maven, GPO, Tract and others and I'm interested in sporting something new for the winter hunting and birding seasons.

I'm open to suggestions. Looking for something with a comparable view to my LX-L's but hopefully a little more trim and light if possible. I also really want a tripod socket, which my LX-L's lack, for extended glassing sessions on my Western hunts.

Finally, like most folks I'm always in the mood for a bargain.

So what's out there that I need to look at? The number of choices these days is mind-numbing!
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Old Thursday 16th November 2017, 22:19   #2
ceasar
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Just a Bird Watcher,

Why change brands if you liked your LX L so much?

Get a Nikon 10x42 EDG which is a 10x42 LX L upgraded. The EDG is visibly brighter with its Dielectric prisms. It has ED glass to control CA better. It has a wider FOV and longer eye relief. It has the same "Flat Field," sharp to the edge of the view. It has the same famous ultra smooth focusing but a bit slower so you can focus more precisely. You can put a tripod adaptor on the front of the hinge. Its eye cups are removable to clean the oculars easily. It comes with stretch on horned eye cups for use in difficult sun conditions.

It is ranked #1 in the 10x42 binocular category by Allbinos.

See their review here: https://www.allbinos.com/215-binocul...10x42_EDG.html

Your 10x42 LX/L-HG/L is ranked #6 among all 10x42s.

You can also scroll down to the #8 ranked binocular where the much more economical (Just under $1000.00) Monarch 10x42 HG is ranked. Of course you will get what you pay for. The Monarch HG doesn't have a built in Tripod mount or removable eye cups but it is much lighter in weight with its magnesium housing and it has Dielectric prisms. It does have a "Field Flattener" to improve the view and the sweet spot but it does not have a "flat field" to the edge of the view.

https://www.allbinos.com/314-binocul..._HG_10x42.html

Bob

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Old Friday 17th November 2017, 00:44   #3
BruceH
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I was thinking along the same lines as Bob when reading your post. The Nikon HG came instantly to mind when I read " hopefully a little more trim and light if possible". The Nikon Monarch HG is probably the lightest and smallest 42mm that I have used. It handles well for me and the wide FOV is noticeable. As Bob mentioned, it is not sharp edge to edge but it does have a generous center view.

I have never used a LX-L so I am just going by what I have read in your post and elsewhere. The Nikon Monarch HG color balance is more toward neutral than what Nikon is normally known for. That may be a concern since you like the balance of the LX-L which I understand to be more toward the warm side.

The Nikon EDG color balance is more toward the warm side as compared to the Monarch HG. The concern of the 42mm EDG is it is noticeably larger and heavier than the HG and it has a little less FOV. Each has trade-offs.

My HG does have a removable screw on cap at the front of the hinge. I just assumed that was a cover for a tripod mount so I will let Bob comment on that. If it is for mounting on a tripod, then an adaptor would be required. You will have to check to see if there are any out their that work. Below is a picture of the front of the hinge with the cover cap removed.

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Old Friday 17th November 2017, 04:05   #4
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Bruce,

I have a Monarch 8x42 HG and I can't get the blind cap on the front of its hinge to budge!

I can't see any concentric holes around the top of the hinge in your picture that could be used to tighten the hinge if necessary like there are on my 10x32 EDG and I cant find anything in the literature that came with my Monarch 8x42 HG that says it is tripod adaptable. In fact, I seem to remember reading somewhere that Nikon recommended their Binoc-U-Mount accessory for it.

http://www.nikonsportoptics.com/en/n...c-u-mount.html

My 8x42 does indeed have a very generous "sweet spot."

Incidentally, the 10x42 EDG and 10x32 EDG both have the same FOV of 341' @ 1000 yards which is 21 feet less than the 162'@1000yards that the Monarch 10x42 HG has.

Bob

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Old Friday 17th November 2017, 14:08   #5
justabirdwatcher
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Thanks for the replies. Bruce, that is a tripod adapter mount - exactly what I'm looking for. Cabelas has the new Nikon Monarch HG's in stock, so I think I'll drop by and compare them directly to my LX-L's.

My LX-L's do have a warmer color balance which to my eyes draws out contrast and looks more natural than bins with so-called "neutral" (bluish to me) color balance. That's what I just couldn't get used to with the Swaro SLC's. Everything looked like it had a blue tint. Hard to describe, but it was unpleasant after an extended period of viewing. I've used my LX-L's for hours on end to glass mountains for elk, and never had any sort of eye strain or discomfort.

I wish I could afford the EDG, but I'm not spending that much on a pair of binocs that I could leave somewhere by accident. Because I would. LOL
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Old Friday 17th November 2017, 15:22   #6
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Hi justabirdwatcher and Bruce,

Regarding the Tripod Adapter: Every website I go to that sells Monarch HG binoculars says there is an optional Tripod Adapter for it.

The problem I have with this is that the Nikon literature that came with my 8x42 Monarch HG makes no comment whatsoever about a Tripod Adapter for the Monarch HG, optional or otherwise. I did a google search to find an optional tripod adapter for the Monarch HG without success but I did find plenty of pictures of the Monarch HG without one of them on it.

https://www.google.com/search?q=Trip...w=1280&bih=606

I wonder if Bruce could try one on his Monarch HGs center column to see if that kind of screw in adapter will fit it?

At least this can pass for "trying before you buy one."

Bob

PS to justabirdwatcher.

I understand your reluctance to pay the prices asked for the Nikon EDGs. I was seriously considering whether or not to upgrade my 8x32 LXL and buy a Nikon 8x32 EDG when Nikon came out with the new Monarch 8x42 HG which weighs about the same as a new Nikon 8x32 EDG and costs over $1000.00 less so I decided to get the MHG instead. These MHGs cost about the same as the LXLs did when they were being sold.

Last edited by ceasar : Friday 17th November 2017 at 15:55.
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Old Friday 17th November 2017, 16:12   #7
justabirdwatcher
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Quote:
I wonder if Bruce could try one on his Monarch HGs center column to see if that kind of screw in adapter will fit it?
No need. I know my Celestron 1/4x20 adapter will work on that HG.

I think I paid $500 used for my LX-L's. I can't bring myself to spend over $1K for an item could lose so easily. There is no warranty that protects you from yourself when you leave a set of binoculars on a bumper or tailgate and drive off. LOL
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Old Friday 17th November 2017, 16:14   #8
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Incidentally, one reason I love my little, inexpensive Sightron Blue Sky 8x32's so much - aside from the incredible resolution - is the color balance on those and my LX-L's are for all practical purposes identical to my eyes.

I use my Sightrons almost daily. The full size 10x42's are reserved for serious birding/surveys and glassing all day for elk and deer, when I need resolution, light gathering and a wide field of view.
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Old Friday 17th November 2017, 19:33   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ceasar View Post
Bruce,

I have a Monarch 8x42 HG and I can't get the blind cap on the front of its hinge to budge!
............
Bob
Have you been able to get the cap off yet? Hopefully the photo above inspired you! Try pressing an ice cube against it for a bit. It is plastic so it may not be impacted much but it could help if things are close to giving loose. Also, using one of those rubber jar grip pads may help. Good luck!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ceasar View Post
.....
I can't see any concentric holes around the top of the hinge in your picture that could be used to tighten the hinge if necessary like there are on my 10x32 EDG .......
Bob
You are right, it is totally different than my EDG models. I am not sure if an owner can do a fix it your self on the HG if the hinge is loose. Fortuneately the HG is much better when it comes to hinge tightness as compared to the EDG which tends to be on the loose side.


Quote:
Originally Posted by justabirdwatcher View Post
..........
My LX-L's do have a warmer color balance which to my eyes draws out contrast and looks more natural than bins with so-called "neutral" (bluish to me) color balance. That's what I just couldn't get used to with the Swaro SLC's. Everything looked like it had a blue tint.
...........
I am thinking the HG tends to lean more toward the Zeiss color balance (slight yellow/green to me) rather than the white/blue of Swaro. The Swaro can get a little intense out here (AZ desert) in the summer with some colors. I have had no problem with extended viewing with either Zeiss models or the HG.

Quote:
Originally Posted by justabirdwatcher View Post
..........
I wish I could afford the EDG, but I'm not spending that much on a pair of binocs that I could leave somewhere by accident. Because I would. LOL
Consider looking for a used EDG.

The bad news for those that buy a new EDG at normal pricing is they have significant depreciation. The good news for those that buy a used EDG is that they have significant depreciation. I have on occasion seen like new EDG 32 mm models sell for less than the street price of a new HG. If going for a used EDG, stay with the EDG-II unless the EDG-I price is to good to refuse. I have an EDG-I in a 10X32 and it is great, just as good as the EG-II, but I am the original owner covered by the 25 year or whatever warranty Nikon is honoring at the moment.

As I recall, your Sightron disappeared for a while some time ago so I understand your concern for misplacing an expensive binocular.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ceasar View Post
.......

I wonder if Bruce could try one on his Monarch HGs center column to see if that kind of screw in adapter will fit it?
.........
After posting that photo last night I had a recollection of buying a tripod mount as a fill item to get free shipping. That motivated m to tear the place apart and to see if I could find it. I did find it and some other cool stuff I forgot about!

The screw does fit but for at least this particular brand, the bolt is longer than the hole and it does not screw in far enough to tighten the mount. The moral of the story is to choose your brand well. There is no label on mine but I think is may be a Bushnell. I think I can use a metal or plastic washer or spacer as a collar for a work around.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by justabirdwatcher View Post
........
I use my Sightrons almost daily. The full size 10x42's are reserved for serious birding/surveys and glassing all day for elk and deer, when I need resolution, light gathering and a wide field of view.
I had a Sightron 8X32 BS on trial but returned it for lack of over travel in the focus. The view was very good but I think you will find it more on the dull side contrast wise relatively speaking compared to what you will see in the HG or the EDG. The EDG shows even a little more contrast to me as compared to the HG.
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Old Friday 17th November 2017, 21:00   #10
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As I recall, your Sightron disappeared for a while some time ago so I understand your concern for misplacing an expensive binocular.
Your memory is clearly better than mine! You are absolutely right. I was in a mild panic because my Sightrons had slid under a seat in my car and for the life of me I could not find them. I looked under that seat at least twice too! LOL I was just about to buy a replacement pair when the third search was a charm, and I put my hands on them. I was very relieved to have them back, even though they were never really gone.

If I paid more than $1K for a pair of binocs and lost them, I would be very upset with myself.
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Old Friday 17th November 2017, 21:01   #11
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The screw does fit but for at least this particular brand, the bolt is longer than the hole and it does not screw in far enough to tighten the mount.
Those are problems I consider easy to fix with a bench vise, hacksaw and file.
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Old Friday 17th November 2017, 21:33   #12
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Here is my Monarch HG with the Nikon Tra-3 adaptor, it fits very well on the binocular.

Jerry
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Old Saturday 18th November 2017, 01:16   #13
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I only know what I have read about the EDG, but some have reported that they are "dark" when compared with other top makes.
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Old Tuesday 21st November 2017, 03:23   #14
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Spent quite a bit of time at my nearest Cabelas today, comparing the Nikon HG to other known commodities including the Zeiss Conquest 10x42 HD (same price as the Nikon HG), the Vortex Razor (another $150), the new Cabelas Euros (still made by Meopta), some Swaro CL 10x30's, and a few others.

To me at least, the Nikon HG's were very sharp but not nearly as bright as the Zeiss or Cabela's (Meopta) or even the Vortex Razors.

The Razors were definitely the lightest, but I don't know how they could be as expensive as the others. The optical quality just wasn't up to par with the other $1K bins. Close to the Nikon HG, bit I'd give the HG the edge over the Razors today in everything except weight.

The ones I kept coming back to were the Zeiss Conquest HD's. They just "snapped" and were easily as bright or brighter than any others. The focus knob was very sensitive compared to the others, and that would take some getting used to. Also the diopter adjustment didn't lock in place, but that's never bothered me on any other pair of binoculars, so I would not be concerned about that.

So unless something else comparable comes along at a lower price, I'm now on the hunt for either a sale on the Conquest HD's (not holding my breath) or a clean used pair. To my delight, they even had the "stock" 1/4x20 thread for a tripod adapter. Size was very nice, eyecups were definitely my favorite. Only negative at all was they felt the heaviest of all the bin's I picked up. Maybe as heavy or just heavier than the Cabela's/Meoptas, which is saying something since those are like bricks.

The Conquests just felt very solid and "dense" to me. But optically and ergonomically they were my favorite of the bunch.
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Old Tuesday 21st November 2017, 12:59   #15
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I only know what I have read about the EDG, but some have reported that they are "dark" when compared with other top makes.
I can confirm this. Not as bright as either the Zeiss Conquest HD or the Cabelas/Meopta.
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Old Tuesday 21st November 2017, 13:19   #16
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I only know what I have read about the EDG, but some have reported that they are "dark" when compared with other top makes.


It might have something to do with the fact that Nikon's EDGs show the brightest portion of their light spectrum at the "darker" Red end of the light spectrum unlike Swarovski which has the brightest portion of their light spectrum in the "lighter" Violet end of the light spectrum.

You can review these brightness graphs in Allbinos rankings review of binoculars. Here is the 10x42 EDG ranked #1 by Allbinos. The graph is at the bottom of the review.

https://www.allbinos.com/215-binocul...10x42_EDG.html

The same thing goes for the 8x42 EDG which is ranked 2nd and the 8x32 EDG which Allbinos ranks 1st.

Here is the Monarch HG 10x42s chart with the review. It is ranked 8th among the 10x42s.

(The older and now discontinued Nikon 10x42 LX L is ranked 6th by Allbinos. Its review does not have a Brightness graph.)

https://www.allbinos.com/314-binocul..._HG_10x42.html



To just a bird watcher:

The Zeiss Conquest HD is ranked by Allbinos 15th among 10x42s, although the review is favorable. Its spectrum is quite good but it is not as flat overall as the EDGs which are ranked much higher as there are other things involved in the rankings besides brightness.

https://www.allbinos.com/306-binocul..._HD_10x42.html

Bob

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Old Tuesday 21st November 2017, 21:05   #17
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Bob, after reading that, my eyes cannot agree with the Allbinos ranking. In Cabelas yesterday, the Zeiss Conquest HD's were the clear winner in every way except FOV vs. the Cabelas/Meoptas. That was the only exception, and not enough IMO to make me want to pay extra for the Cabela/Meoptas (although they are optically very, very good).
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Old Tuesday 21st November 2017, 23:05   #18
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Originally Posted by justabirdwatcher View Post
Bob, after reading that, my eyes cannot agree with the Allbinos ranking. In Cabelas yesterday, the Zeiss Conquest HD's were the clear winner in every way except FOV vs. the Cabelas/Meoptas. That was the only exception, and not enough IMO to make me want to pay extra for the Cabela/Meoptas (although they are optically very, very good).
Allbinos agrees. The 10x42 B1 HD Meoptas are ranked 28th overall by Albinos and they aren't as bright as the 15th ranked 10x42 HD Conquests.

The Conquests also have 18mm ER to Meopta's 15mm ER and I would pick the Conquest over the Meopta for that reason alone, all other things being equal. I find that long ER give me more comfortable viewing because it makes it easier for me to find the exact place to brace the eye pieces against my eye brows.

https://www.allbinos.com/310-binocul..._10x42_HD.html

Bob
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Old Tuesday 21st November 2017, 23:20   #19
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I think I was misunderstood. Optically, the Cabelas branded Meoptas (Meostar) were every bit as good as the Conquest HD's. Just as bright. Resolved just as well. I could read the tiny numbers on the small dials on a clock across the store - that was my "test target" - and being white, it offered a nice contrasty object to gauge brightness.

The Meoptas had a slightly wider FOV, but the heavier, bulkier body and added price were not appealing to me compared to the much more compact and slim (and cheaper) Conquests.
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Old Wednesday 22nd November 2017, 12:32   #20
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I think I was misunderstood. Optically, the Cabelas branded Meoptas (Meostar) were every bit as good as the Conquest HD's. Just as bright. Resolved just as well. I could read the tiny numbers on the small dials on a clock across the store - that was my "test target" - and being white, it offered a nice contrasty object to gauge brightness.

The Meoptas had a slightly wider FOV, but the heavier, bulkier body and added price were not appealing to me compared to the much more compact and slim (and cheaper) Conquests.
I have had the two mentioned on tripods, side by side several times, and I have the same thoughts and conclusions as you do.
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Old Saturday 2nd December 2017, 01:37   #21
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Maven C1 10x42's arrived and after a day and a half in the field, I am very impressed. Can't find anything about the image to nitpick whatsoever.

Too soon to say if they are "it" for my 10x42's but out of the gate they are in the lead.
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