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Deciding between Nikon Monarch 60 and Field scope EDii

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Old Friday 31st May 2019, 09:42   #1
waynehe
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Deciding between Nikon Monarch 60 and Field scope EDii

New member here.

I am thinking of buying myself a first scope. I can choose from:

a) Monarch 20-60 x 60ed set new in box, with bag, manual, etc. unsure about sample variation, no return;

b) edii with 38x wds ep(30x on 60mm iirc) second-handed, a good sample from a relatively trusted dealer, Ediii is also available for a bit extra money.

At similar price around 600-700 USD, which one would you recommend. After-sales service is nonexistent where i am anyway.

Any input would be much appreciated.
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Old Saturday 1st June 2019, 09:17   #2
jring
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Hi,

first of all, welcome to birdforum.

A new 60mm Monarch fieldscope with 20-60 EP (which will be 16-48x on the 60mm btw) for 600-700 USD seems very cheap - but if you can't try it, there is some risk of getting a not so great example... otoh it probably could be sold on as used without much loss then.
There is not a lot of reviews out there except for this one from the italian site Binomania https://www.binomania.it/spotting-sc...e-impressioni/ (there is a translate button on the left). This one is fairly positive on optics, but those were demo units which I would assume to be of at least average quality...

The old ED II and ED III (main difference is waterproofing on the newer) are well known and liked - and with a 30x wide it has the favorite EP too. Price at 600-700 is ok for both used in good condition - can you try the ED II - that would be a bonus.

So it's a tough decision - if you are daring and get the Monarch, we would appreciate a review!

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Old Sunday 2nd June 2019, 16:48   #3
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The Coatings on the ED II are inferior to the ED III and contrast would suffer ,plus glare and ghosting will increase,..also the waterproofing ,of course...600 /700 is expensive for the EDII ,that.can be.found for 250 ,but ok for an EDIII with the newer 30x.(the vintage of the eyepiece is also a factor ,because coatings have been improved with time)
,The Monarch is a good deal no doubt..but.Where would you be buying it , that can not be returned?
If its Grey market overseas,You might want to get the used ED III(worth the extra $,a very good scope ,top quality)to avoid problems ..

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Old Monday 3rd June 2019, 01:18   #4
waynehe
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Many thanks to your advice.

The 30x eyepiece has already been sold separately, so I have to look for other options if I really want to buy the ED series.

The Monarch is from a private seller from another city, I can return it if it is broken, defected or obviously different from the description given by the seller, but I cannot return it because it does not perform as I expected, So I need to be committed.

I found a Nikon showroom nearby, I plan to make a visit to try the Monarch, though it is more for DSLRs, I saw a picture showed that they have a scope or two exhibited.

Thank you both again.
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Old Monday 3rd June 2019, 12:44   #5
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Hi,

I would not recommend to get a Nikon fieldscope ED w/o EP - those are not that easy to get any more... If you really want one, get the EP you want and then hunt for a body. If you should have an extra EP after that , it should not be difficult to sell.

Could you do the deal with the private seller of the Monarch in person - maybe together with a little vacation?
If you now start laughing hysterically as the distance is a few thousand miles, please forgive me, I'm from europe where distances are fairly short...

Joachim
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Old Monday 3rd June 2019, 15:12   #6
waynehe
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Hello Joachim,

It is a bit different here, ED eps can still be found easily, not cheap though(200~280 USD). The eyepieces of Monarch, on the other hand, are very hard to see, at least not at fair prices. It seems that there are very few Monarch users, I am not sure if it is that the optics of the Monarch are really disappointing or just because it does not have the Nikon red ring and it is made in China.

LOL, it could be like you said, but in this case the distance is not too bad, about the same from Stuttgart to Munich, still not too easy though. :-D But who knows, I will contact the seller if I have good impression about the Monarch in the Nikon showroom.

Thank you for your reply.
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Old Monday 3rd June 2019, 20:26   #7
Alexis Powell
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You are interested in the 60 mm, but it still perhaps relevant that Henry Link reported that the Monarch 82 is one of the best birding scopes he has tested. See post number 3 in this thread: https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=375846

In post 7 in this thread from a few days ago, he says he will have a review out soon: https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=377158.

--AP
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Old Monday 3rd June 2019, 21:26   #8
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I've no affiliation with the seller, but this appears to be a screaming bargain. Indeed if I didn't already have the bigger (and smaller) brother I'd be all over it.
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Old Monday 3rd June 2019, 23:15   #9
jring
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Originally Posted by dwatsonbirder View Post
I've no affiliation with the seller, but this appears to be a screaming bargain. Indeed if I didn't already have the bigger (and smaller) brother I'd be all over it.
Yes, this is a really good price, even with the zoom which is a matter of taste. Quite sharp but also quite narrow.

Joachim
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Old Tuesday 4th June 2019, 13:06   #10
waynehe
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Thank you all!

Long story short, I have bought the Monarch ED60-a.

I will have many things to learn from this forum.
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Old Tuesday 4th June 2019, 19:49   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waynehe View Post
a) Monarch 20-60 x 60ed set new in box, with bag, manual, etc. unsure about sample variation, no return;

At similar price around 600-700 USD...
A new 60mm Monarch ED60 for 600-700 USD? That doesn't make any sense at all. My suspicious mind would keep me from considering that.
Especially that "no return" part.

But, I wish you good luck.
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Old Thursday 6th June 2019, 07:54   #12
waynehe
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So I got the scope.

It is not completely new, the seller told me it was a showpiece in their shop window. It has obvious scratches at the bottom which was mounted on a crystal base, the cup of the eyepiece has some white mark, otherwise it is like new with caps, covers and should strap unopened.

Function wise I do not have much to say, as it is my first scope, before this I only tried 2 other Monarchs in a showroom and they could not focus properly behind the 2-layers glass wall of the mall. So I cannot tell if it is an okay sample or not. Having that said, the view is sharp and clear from 16x-48x, hardly tell any CA, BUT, very uncomfortable to see, at strong zoom, I have to put some effort to get a full circle, and constantly see a little bit black shadow or my eyelash. I don't know if it is the nature of any scopes, I am comparing it with my Leica Ultravid 10x42 hd, so it could be unfair.
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Old Thursday 6th June 2019, 11:35   #13
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Hi,

If the view is sharp at max magnification, that is a goodsign. You could try to do a star test at night, which is a very sensitive test for optimal defects.

You aim the scope at a bright star - polaris is nice, if visible as it doesn't move, but any will do.
You then defocus slightly and an equal amount in each direction and ideally see an identical pattern of concentric rings of decreasing intensity on either side.

There's a lot of examle images out there for ideal optics and the different aberrations. A good but quite in-depth guide can be found in

https://telescope-optics.net/star_testing_telescope.htm

You want to compare your image to the unobstructed example images.

As for the uncomfortable view at high mag - is it just difficult to find the right eye position (that will get better with practice) or do you actually see a dark area or floating objects inside the field of view?

Joachim
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Old Friday 7th June 2019, 13:51   #14
waynehe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jring View Post
Hi,

If the view is sharp at max magnification, that is a goodsign. You could try to do a star test at night, which is a very sensitive test for optimal defects.

You aim the scope at a bright star - polaris is nice, if visible as it doesn't move, but any will do.
You then defocus slightly and an equal amount in each direction and ideally see an identical pattern of concentric rings of decreasing intensity on either side.

There's a lot of examle images out there for ideal optics and the different aberrations. A good but quite in-depth guide can be found in

https://telescope-optics.net/star_testing_telescope.htm

You want to compare your image to the unobstructed example images.

As for the uncomfortable view at high mag - is it just difficult to find the right eye position (that will get better with practice) or do you actually see a dark area or floating objects inside the field of view?

Joachim
Hi,

Thanks for the guidance. I will try the test when I have a chance out town, light pollution is an issue here.

I think it is more eye placement, or because I only put the scope on a rack with my hand holding it rather than using a tripod. Speaking of which, I need your advice on the tripod and head. I have a quite old Manfrotto 290b tripod with a 141rc three-way head, but the quick releasing plate is missing, so I have yet tried it with my scope.

However I feel the Monarch is very rear heavy, I am afraid it wont balance on the three-way head, since the base is so small. I saw people recommending video head like mvh500ah, the plate of which is relatively longer, but I am not sure if it is going to help.

Should I buy the quick release plate for my 141rc head and be good with it, or spend $130 buy the 500ah? I don't want to waste money if the difference is not big, the tripod was bought many years ago when I was using DSLRs, but now I dont anymore.

Thanks.
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Old Friday 7th June 2019, 16:00   #15
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The 500ah head would be an entirely different experience--smooth, perfect balance, spring counterbalance, more efficient. It may be an overkill for a 60 mm scope, so you might consider something even lighter, like the Sirui VA-5.

--AP
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Old Friday 7th June 2019, 22:50   #16
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The 500ah head would be an entirely different experience--smooth, perfect balance, spring counterbalance, more efficient. It may be an overkill for a 60 mm scope ... [snip]
Overkill - yes. Definitely. That head works well with *really* heavy photographic gear. No problem at all. I use it with my Nikon ED82, and it's just about perfect. Best head I've ever used although a bit on the heavy side for long hikes.

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Old Saturday 8th June 2019, 06:49   #17
waynehe
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Wow, you guys speak very highly of the 500ah.

Ok, 500ah it is. It may be overkill now, but safe for the devices.

Sirui va-5 is very interesting, it is more compact and 300g lighter than the 500ah, just the diameter of its base is 5cm and flat, while my tripod top is 6cm with 3 fixing screws, so I had to pass.
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Old Saturday 8th June 2019, 07:28   #18
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Enjoy the scope!
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Old Saturday 8th June 2019, 09:55   #19
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Hi,

500AH user here too - got mine well used and quite cheaply in the classifieds here - some dust from an unknown desert included... still works fine.

Even of the supplied plate will not bring your scope to balance, there is long plates available...

The tripod should be fine.

Joachim
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