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Old Tuesday 19th November 2019, 17:34   #1
simpleman19
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Best bang for buck

Hello,

I'm looking for:
- Build Quality
- Depth of Field (minimal required focusing)
- Ease of focusing
- Ease on my eyes
- Tough/waterproof
- Clarity
- 350feet @ 1000yard minimum
- Japanese or European made
- Low light ability for dusk/dawn glassing

What I'm not too picky about:
- close focus
- I can deal with a bit of CA if required @ my price point
- eye relief
- branding

My specifics:
- Observing in a low light boreal forest (snow or summer) and on the ocean
- my eyes are better than 22 vision, although my right eye is starting to feel my age
- slight amount of celestial use (mainly moon)

Given the aformentioned criteria which of the following binoculars would you recommend, and if you have time why would you recommend them?(all prices include shipping and tax)?
- Tract Toric 8x42 SCHOTT HT @ $975 CAD
- Meopta MeoStar B1.1 8x42 @ $1347 CAD
- Leica Trinovid HD 8x42 @ 1379 CAD
- Nikon Monarch HG 8x42 @ 1438 CAD
- Kowa Genesis Prominar 8.5 x 44 @ 1609 CAD

Is the Kowa really worth the extra premium over the others?

**I should mention that I do not have the ability to check out any of these binoculars before purchasing due to the remoteness of where I live.

Last edited by Troubador : Sunday 24th November 2019 at 16:36.
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Old Tuesday 19th November 2019, 18:20   #2
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Hi and welcome.

The depth of field is the same for all the 8x binoculars.
I suppose a curved field could be interpreted as extra depth of field.

Avoid the word hunting here.

Others will advise on your specific choices.
However, there is sample variation in even the best makes.

Regards,
B.
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Old Tuesday 19th November 2019, 18:32   #3
simpleman19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Binastro View Post
Hi and welcome.

The depth of field is the same for all the 8x binoculars.
I suppose a curved field could be interpreted as extra depth of field.

Avoid the word hunting here.

Others will advise on your specific choices.
However, there is sample variation in even the best makes.

Regards,
B.
I here that is true for the most part as depth of field is product of magnification. However I hear that some 8x's roof prism binoculars appear to be better than others at giving apparent depth of field and ease of eye strain.

And thank you for the heads up.
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Old Tuesday 19th November 2019, 18:42   #4
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There's a pair of refurbished Nikon Monarch HG 8x42 available from Bhphotovideo.

The total would be around $1000 CAD with the shipping and the customs included.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...binocular.html
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Old Tuesday 19th November 2019, 18:54   #5
simpleman19
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Originally Posted by pfillion666 View Post
There's a pair of refurbished Nikon Monarch HG 8x42 available from Bhphotovideo.

The total would be around $1000 CAD with the shipping and the customs included.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...binocular.html
Thank you for the heads up, could I trust the condition of refurbished binoculars from them? Does it come with original factory warranty?
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Old Tuesday 19th November 2019, 19:00   #6
justabirdwatcher
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Best bang for the buck is a clean used pair of Japanese made, phase coated roofs from about 10-15 years ago, bar none. If you know what you're looking for, you can find used binoculars in the $150-200 range that will keep pace with nearly anything on your list.

Having said that, from your list I'd go Tract Toric UHD without hesitation. Or the refurb HG's mentioned above. Nikon's customer service has been nothing short of excellent for me.
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Old Tuesday 19th November 2019, 20:05   #7
pfillion666
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Bhphotovideo have a very good reputation but If I'm not mistaken, the warranty will only be valid for 90 days.
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Old Tuesday 19th November 2019, 20:33   #8
pfillion666
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BTW, I just saw that you can get the TRACT 8x42 TORIC for $929 at Amazon.ca (Shipping included and no taxes)
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Old Tuesday 19th November 2019, 20:50   #9
WJC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simpleman19 View Post
Hello,

I'm looking for:
- Build Quality
- Depth of Field (minimal required focusing)
- Ease of focusing
- Ease on my eyes
- Tough/waterproof
- Clarity
- 350feet @ 1000yard minimum
- Japanese or European made
- Low light ability for dusk/dawn glassing

What I'm not too picky about:
- close focus
- I can deal with a bit of CA if required @ my price point
- eye relief
- branding

My specifics:
- Observing in a low light boreal forest (snow or summer) and on the ocean
- my eyes are better than 22 vision, although my right eye is starting to feel my age
- slight amount of celestial use (mainly moon)

Given the aformentioned criteria which of the following binoculars would you recommend, and if you have time why would you recommend them?(all prices include shipping and tax)?
- Tract Toric 8x42 SCHOTT HT @ $975 CAD
- Meopta MeoStar B1.1 8x42 @ $1347 CAD
- Leica Trinovid HD 8x42 @ 1379 CAD
- Nikon Monarch HG 8x42 @ 1438 CAD
- Kowa Genesis Prominar 8.5 x 44 @ 1609 CAD

Is the Kowa really worth the extra premium over the others?

**I should mention that I do not have the ability to check out any of these binoculars before purchasing due to the remoteness of where I live.
191119

Welcome Simpleman19:

People are often put off when counseled about their first questions concerning binoculars. PLEASE DON’T BE. You can’t make a Rolls-Royce by pouring water onto a chunk of steel wool and can’t get even close to what you have described without spending and great deal of money. So, lets take your questions one at a time.

— You ask some questions that CAN be answered by facts. Most answers you get, however, will be opinions. There is nothing wrong with that, considering your questions will be addressed by MANY who are familiar with binoculars and the binocular market. The caveat is you may also get some opinions from those who only THINK they are familiar with both. If you ask 200 people about some aspect of binoculars, you can expect 150 different responses. Ultimately, you will have to develop the knowledge to separate the wheat from the chaff. If you really know what you are looking for, you can narrow a field of 50 binos down to the one you want in 10 minutes ... 20 if you’re handicapped or a nitnoid. Nothing says you are clueless more than standing silently at the window for two hours looking at the same 3 binos. Most retailers love this, onacounta they know they have a “fish on the line.” Don’t let that fish be you.

— Build quality, ease of focusing, tough/waterproof, clarity, etc.

Who determines all those things? Can you describe clarity? It’s not a term used by engineers. What determines it? Low distortion, low chromatic aberration, little or no field curvature, little or no astigmatism, etc. In optics, one size does not fit all. At this point, you are not expected to know these things. Hopefully, it is why you came here.

— Japanese or European made.

Most binos out there are sourced from Asia or Europe. Some people want an American made bino. But as soon as the surplus from WWII was depleted that market went away. Prior to the war, even the big dog in American binoculars—Bausch & Lomb—bought much of their inventory from Zeiss.

— Who determines what “tough” is? And waterproof? I sold thousands of binoculars to the Alaskan fishing fleet and can say some manufacturers use that designation with impunity. Legally, there are 9 levels of watertight integrity. Which one do you want? Please see the attached for their description.

I won’t go any further. Just pay attention to what the others say and make your most logical decision based on what YOU think is right. Should you view 1,000 Asian binos, probably 600 are the same, differing largely in cosmetics, sales verbiage, and price. And the new XYZ bino might very well be the old ABC bino from 1962 in new clothes. Are you going to make the “right” decision? No! There is no “RIGHT” decision. There is only YOUR decision.

Buy something that will do, and use it until YOU see a reason to “upgrade”—that’s a word you will see used too often on binocular forums. Until YOU see that reason, keep your hand on your wallet. Our hobby is filled with honorable and well-meaning folks who would like you to spend YOUR money on what THEY would like to have.

Also, good advertising need not be accurate or even meaningful; it need only be believed.

Finally, you have been counseled well about hunting and hunters. I have one of the most celebrated “deer rifles” in history. However, as long as I have 6 cans of beans in the cupboard neither Bambi nor his dad have a thing to worry about from me. Yet, I could walk into an NRA meeting and be among friends, even with them knowing I choose not to hunt.

There is much knowledge and experience concerning binoculars here. But overall, it’s about protecting nature not destroying it.

Please let us know what you decide.

Cheers,

Bill
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Old Tuesday 19th November 2019, 22:00   #10
simpleman19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WJC View Post
191119

Welcome Simpleman19:

People are often put off when counseled about their first questions concerning binoculars. PLEASE DON’T BE. You can’t make a Rolls-Royce by pouring water onto a chunk of steel wool and can’t get even close to what you have described without spending and great deal of money. So, lets take your questions one at a time.

— You ask some questions that CAN be answered by facts. Most answers you get, however, will be opinions. There is nothing wrong with that, considering your questions will be addressed by MANY who are familiar with binoculars and the binocular market. The caveat is you may also get some opinions from those who only THINK they are familiar with both. If you ask 200 people about some aspect of binoculars, you can expect 150 different responses. Ultimately, you will have to develop the knowledge to separate the wheat from the chaff. If you really know what you are looking for, you can narrow a field of 50 binos down to the one you want in 10 minutes ... 20 if you’re handicapped or a nitnoid. Nothing says you are clueless more than standing silently at the window for two hours looking at the same 3 binos. Most retailers love this, onacounta they know they have a “fish on the line.” Don’t let that fish be you.

— Build quality, ease of focusing, tough/waterproof, clarity, etc.

Who determines all those things? Can you describe clarity? It’s not a term used by engineers. What determines it? Low distortion, low chromatic aberration, little or no field curvature, little or no astigmatism, etc. In optics, one size does not fit all. At this point, you are not expected to know these things. Hopefully, it is why you came here.

— Japanese or European made.

Most binos out there are sourced from Asia or Europe. Some people want an American made bino. But as soon as the surplus from WWII was depleted that market went away. Prior to the war, even the big dog in American binoculars—Bausch & Lomb—bought much of their inventory from Zeiss.

— Who determines what “tough” is? And waterproof? I sold thousands of binoculars to the Alaskan fishing fleet and can say some manufacturers use that designation with impunity. Legally, there are 9 levels of watertight integrity. Which one do you want? Please see the attached for their description.

I won’t go any further. Just pay attention to what the others say and make your most logical decision based on what YOU think is right. Should you view 1,000 Asian binos, probably 600 are the same, differing largely in cosmetics, sales verbiage, and price. And the new XYZ bino might very well be the old ABC bino from 1962 in new clothes. Are you going to make the “right” decision? No! There is no “RIGHT” decision. There is only YOUR decision.

Buy something that will do, and use it until YOU see a reason to “upgrade”—that’s a word you will see used too often on binocular forums. Until YOU see that reason, keep your hand on your wallet. Our hobby is filled with honorable and well-meaning folks who would like you to spend YOUR money on what THEY would like to have.

Also, good advertising need not be accurate or even meaningful; it need only be believed.

Finally, you have been counseled well about hunting and hunters. I have one of the most celebrated “deer rifles” in history. However, as long as I have 6 cans of beans in the cupboard neither Bambi nor his dad have a thing to worry about from me. Yet, I could walk into an NRA meeting and be among friends, even with them knowing I choose not to hunt.

There is much knowledge and experience concerning binoculars here. But overall, it’s about protecting nature not destroying it.

Please let us know what you decide.

Cheers,

Bill
Hey Bill,

Build Quality:
I would like something that would be finished with tight tolerances and good finish (in my experience with most other things, it proves a lot about a manufacturers attention to detail on the overall package). I'd also like to not have to hold the binoculars off my eyes beyond the cups when the cups are fully extended. A locking diopter would be nice. I'd like the controls to be user friendly and not finicky.

Toughness:
I would like to be able to not be afraid to use them in more uncontrolled environments where they could bang against a tree or who knows; not saying i'd intentionally try to damage something, I am usually very careful. I'd just like them to be rugged.

Waterproofness:
similar JIS Class 7 at least. I may be out in the rain with them, or they may be exposed to salt water splashing on them. The may end up accidentally immersed in fresh water momentarily (hopefully not, once again I really take care of what I have)

Where Manufactured:
For MY ethical and moral reasons, I like to minimize how much I buy from China. I'd prefer it be Europe, North America, or Japan (Japan would be the most ideal due to their attention to detail in manufacturing).

Branding:
I am kind of hesitant to buy the Leica's just because I feel that a lot of the cost of them is in their name. I am probably wrong, and I am open to that, thats why I have left them on my list. In other words's, I'm not brand loyal, I'm just looking for the best product and the best value for my purposes of those listed.

Depth of Field:
I understand that all 8x's theoretically have the same depth of field; however, some have been reviewed to have less or more apparent depth of field than the others. I'd prefer to have a set of binoculars that are not too sensitive in its adjustments. I'd like to be adjusting them as little as possible, while keeping eye strain and clarity the best possible (as close as i can get to Fujijon 7x50 FMT's in a roof prism bino basically).

Eyestrain:
Coming from a set of 2015 generation 10x50 diamondbacks, I do not want to go back to that kind of eye strain. My eyes did not agree with those binos. Hence the big price jump and magnification decrease. Still wondering if one of these is better than the other.

Low light Ability:
I'd like to be able to use them at dusk/dawn. I take it a lot of this is down to coatings and optical design.

Field of View:
I am okay with taking a hit on field of view as long as my other more items can be met; with that said I'd like to keep field of view at least 350 feet or more at 1000 yards (which all of the binos mentioned have)

Value:
Is the Kowa $700 better than the tract, $200-300 better than the Nikon, Leica and meopta? Which offers the best bang for buck at what I’m looking for. I am not looking to compare these to top tier binoculars, I am just looking to compare them against each other.

So of those mentioned, which would you recommend, I have followed some of your reviews on snipers hide and talked with you over there, I feel that you would be a good one to help me narrow it down here too.

Thank's again on your scope recommendation, I am just waiting on somethings to happen to move ahead with a scope. However, I just sold my bino's and am wanting a replacement.

Andrew

Last edited by simpleman19 : Tuesday 19th November 2019 at 22:08.
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Old Wednesday 20th November 2019, 00:25   #11
WJC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simpleman19 View Post
Hey Bill,

Build Quality:
I would like something that would be finished with tight tolerances and good finish (in my experience with most other things, it proves a lot about a manufacturers attention to detail on the overall package). I'd also like to not have to hold the binoculars off my eyes beyond the cups when the cups are fully extended. A locking diopter would be nice. I'd like the controls to be user friendly and not finicky.

Toughness:
I would like to be able to not be afraid to use them in more uncontrolled environments where they could bang against a tree or who knows; not saying i'd intentionally try to damage something, I am usually very careful. I'd just like them to be rugged.

Waterproofness:
similar JIS Class 7 at least. I may be out in the rain with them, or they may be exposed to salt water splashing on them. The may end up accidentally immersed in fresh water momentarily (hopefully not, once again I really take care of what I have)

Where Manufactured:
For MY ethical and moral reasons, I like to minimize how much I buy from China. I'd prefer it be Europe, North America, or Japan (Japan would be the most ideal due to their attention to detail in manufacturing).

Branding:
I am kind of hesitant to buy the Leica's just because I feel that a lot of the cost of them is in their name. I am probably wrong, and I am open to that, thats why I have left them on my list. In other words's, I'm not brand loyal, I'm just looking for the best product and the best value for my purposes of those listed.

Depth of Field:
I understand that all 8x's theoretically have the same depth of field; however, some have been reviewed to have less or more apparent depth of field than the others. I'd prefer to have a set of binoculars that are not too sensitive in its adjustments. I'd like to be adjusting them as little as possible, while keeping eye strain and clarity the best possible (as close as i can get to Fujijon 7x50 FMT's in a roof prism bino basically).

Eyestrain:
Coming from a set of 2015 generation 10x50 diamondbacks, I do not want to go back to that kind of eye strain. My eyes did not agree with those binos. Hence the big price jump and magnification decrease. Still wondering if one of these is better than the other.

Low light Ability:
I'd like to be able to use them at dusk/dawn. I take it a lot of this is down to coatings and optical design.

Field of View:
I am okay with taking a hit on field of view as long as my other more items can be met; with that said I'd like to keep field of view at least 350 feet or more at 1000 yards (which all of the binos mentioned have)

Value:
Is the Kowa $700 better than the tract, $200-300 better than the Nikon, Leica and meopta? Which offers the best bang for buck at what I’m looking for. I am not looking to compare these to top tier binoculars, I am just looking to compare them against each other.

So of those mentioned, which would you recommend, I have followed some of your reviews on snipers hide and talked with you over th
ere, I feel that you would be a good one to help me narrow it down here too.

Thank's again on your scope recommendation, I am just waiting on somethings to happen to move ahead with a scope. However, I just sold my bino's and am wanting a replacement.

Andrew
191119

Hi, Andrew:

Now you’re being more specific; that’s great! I have to start supper for my teacher wife, so I don’t have time to answer all your questions right now. I will, however, get started. The fastest way to carve a wooden Indian is to take a 6-foot stump and cut away everything that doesn’t look like a wooden Indian. We have started carving, but even keeping the shavings is a waste of time.

You said:

— “For MY ethical and moral reasons, I like to minimize how much I buy from China. I'd prefer it be Europe, North America, or Japan (Japan would be the most ideal due to their attention to detail in manufacturing).”

Your first sentence is understandable. But your second sentence is not. As I mentioned in my previous post, there are no American-made consumer binoculars. The name some people see as manufacturers are really importers ... yes, them too! And if you have 100 people tell you there are, then 100 people are wrong. I once offered $50 (on CN) to anyone who could PROVE that Leupold (pronounced Loo-pold, not Leo-pold) MADE binoculars. For three days, I was sent photos of ladies cleaning riflescope lenses and heard all manner of wild opinions. But at the end, I still had my $50. Then when I came to BF, it started, again. And there were those who equated ASSEMBLY with MANUFACTURING.

It seems that having been in the plant and had a Leupold rep for my store was not good enough to allow my facts to be taken seriously. For a while, 2 POCKET models were assembled there. That’s all.

— Toughness:

I put 3 children through school repairing “shockproof” binoculars. Some binos are tougher than others, but there are no shockproof binos. I’m sure others on BF can direct to a good candidate in that category.

— Low light

Brand has NOTHING to do with this. That is largely a property of aperture and enhanced by nearly a dozen other factors, not the least of which is you own physiology and the environment. Coating and design are not nearly as important as aperture.

— Eye strain

Unless you buy garbage, brand has nothing to with this, either. Eye strain is caused by poor alignment (collimation), poor focusing (see attached), and improper IPD placement.

— Depth of Field and Apparent Field

They’re entirely TWO DIFFERENT THINGS.

— Brands

Zeiss and Swarovski have just as much in name recognition as LEICA. And they’ve earned it. Today, you can buy 95-97% of those giants for 40-50% the price.

— Recommendations

I learned years ago to keep that to myself. My birding glass is a Nikon 8x32 Superior E.

— I think you have me confused with someone else. I’ve never been a sniper. I was a Chief Opticalman for the Navy. In the last few years, I have done a scope article for Deer & Deer Hunting which, thanks to F+W Publishing overrunning their financial headlights is in Chapter 11, and a review for Styrka. But that’s it.

Let all that sink in and we can talk later.
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Old Wednesday 20th November 2019, 01:11   #12
[email protected]
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I would get these new Nikon 8x42 EDG II's from Japan on Ebay for $1698.88 with free expedited shipping. Best Bang for your buck.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Nikon-EDG-8...QAAOSwDINdiLb1
https://www.allbinos.com/allbinos_ra...king-8x42.html
https://www.allbinos.com/224-binocul..._8x42_EDG.html

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Old Wednesday 20th November 2019, 01:17   #13
simpleman19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WJC View Post
191119

Hi, Andrew:

Now you’re being more specific; that’s great! I have to start supper for my teacher wife, so I don’t have time to answer all your questions right now. I will, however, get started. The fastest way to carve a wooden Indian is to take a 6-foot stump and cut away everything that doesn’t look like a wooden Indian. We have started carving, but even keeping the shavings is a waste of time.

You said:

— “For MY ethical and moral reasons, I like to minimize how much I buy from China. I'd prefer it be Europe, North America, or Japan (Japan would be the most ideal due to their attention to detail in manufacturing).”

Your first sentence is understandable. But your second sentence is not. As I mentioned in my previous post, there are no American-made consumer binoculars. The name some people see as manufacturers are really importers ... yes, them too! And if you have 100 people tell you there are, then 100 people are wrong. I once offered $50 (on CN) to anyone who could PROVE that Leupold (pronounced Loo-pold, not Leo-pold) MADE binoculars. For three days, I was sent photos of ladies cleaning riflescope lenses and heard all manner of wild opinions. But at the end, I still had my $50. Then when I came to BF, it started, again. And there were those who equated ASSEMBLY with MANUFACTURING.

It seems that having been in the plant and had a Leupold rep for my store was not good enough to allow my facts to be taken seriously. For a while, 2 POCKET models were assembled there. That’s all.

— Toughness:

I put 3 children through school repairing “shockproof” binoculars. Some binos are tougher than others, but there are no shockproof binos. I’m sure others on BF can direct to a good candidate in that category.

— Low light

Brand has NOTHING to do with this. That is largely a property of aperture and enhanced by nearly a dozen other factors, not the least of which is you own physiology and the environment. Coating and design are not nearly as important as aperture.

— Eye strain

Unless you buy garbage, brand has nothing to with this, either. Eye strain is caused by poor alignment (collimation), poor focusing (see attached), and improper IPD placement.

— Depth of Field and Apparent Field

They’re entirely TWO DIFFERENT THINGS.

— Brands

Zeiss and Swarovski have just as much in name recognition as LEICA. And they’ve earned it. Today, you can buy 95-97% of those giants for 40-50% the price.

— Recommendations

I learned years ago to keep that to myself. My birding glass is a Nikon 8x32 Superior E.

— I think you have me confused with someone else. I’ve never been a sniper. I was a Chief Opticalman for the Navy. In the last few years, I have done a scope article for Deer & Deer Hunting which, thanks to F+W Publishing overrunning their financial headlights is in Chapter 11, and a review for Styrka. But that’s it.

Let all that sink in and we can talk later.
Thanks for the document, liked the read.

The reason I didn’t consider the Zeiss Conquest was because of many saying it is not advertised as waterproof (I just searched into it a little harder and found that the Zeiss is waterproof to 400 mbar - over 13 feet in salt water... so I take it they are waterproof) and Swarovski seems to be out of my price range. I wasn’t trying to say LEICA was unlike those two... as per advertised spec, it seemed that the Leica Trinovid HD was the only one of the three that met my price and waterproof criteria, but now the Zeiss conquest HD has been added.

As for low light, I am familiar that aperature is the big key here, and for awhile I was considering the Meostar B1.1 8x56, but from what I hear, it gives up depth of field...

Last edited by simpleman19 : Wednesday 20th November 2019 at 02:18.
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Old Wednesday 20th November 2019, 04:42   #14
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My experience is that there is good "bang for the buck" at a number of different price points. From the cost of the candidates you have listed I would recommend you consider the Maven B2 9x45 for ~$1,000 US new. There have been many reviews and much discussion of that model here. I have a pair and they are excellent both during the day and at night. Maven also has an excellent try before you buy policy and they've been a pleasure to work with them.

Alan
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Old Wednesday 20th November 2019, 06:37   #15
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Originally Posted by simpleman19 View Post

Toughness:
I would like to be able to not be afraid to use them in more uncontrolled environments where they could bang against a tree or who knows; not saying i'd intentionally try to damage something, I am usually very careful. I'd just like them to be rugged.
Commenting specifically on the Nikon Monarch HG 8x42 although they offer a fine view they are lightly built, I would not want to drop one or give one a hard knock.

For your purposes (hunting and sea viewing, night sky aside) a Zeiss Conquest HD 8x32 or 42 might be a good choice, works well enough for me amongst others.

Regards, Steve

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Old Wednesday 20th November 2019, 07:16   #16
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Simpleman, post 1,
From your list of binoculars I would go immediately for the Meopta, price is a little higher but you get very good quality.
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Old Wednesday 20th November 2019, 14:58   #17
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Commenting specifically on the Nikon Monarch HG 8x42 although they offer a fine view they are lightly built, I would not want to drop one or give one a hard knock.

For your purposes (hunting and sea viewing, night sky aside) a Zeiss Conquest HD 8x32 or 42 might be a good choice, works well enough for me amongst others.

Regards, Steve
Agreed on the Conquest HD's. I've owned 2 pair and they are a no-brainer in the $1K (new) range.
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Old Wednesday 20th November 2019, 15:27   #18
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The Zeiss Conquest is also shotgun proof Blown off a stump twice by a 12 gauge.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qri4RuT7Bk
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Old Wednesday 20th November 2019, 15:33   #19
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For what you are looking for and for the proposed use I am with Gijs on this, I have the B1 8X42 and 7X42, very durable with excellent optics.

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Old Wednesday 20th November 2019, 16:55   #20
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Alright, so, Upon further research, I have noticed the conquests HD’s have a known eye cup issue... they are made of thin plastic and tend to crack easily. This I find weird considering the binocular torture test video I watched... then again, when all the torture was being inflicted the eye cups were always fully retracted, or at least appeared that way. Anyways, I have narrowed my list down further:

- tract toric gen 2 8x42
- meopta MeoStar b1.1 8x42 or 8x56
- Nikon Monarch HG 8x42

I’m leaning towards the meopta s and Nikon’s. Although, something does feel wrong about spending over $1000 on meopta and not getting ED glass in there anywhere, or not getting a magnesium body or an Abbe prism or something... you figure it would have at least one of these features.
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Old Wednesday 20th November 2019, 17:28   #21
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The Conquest eyecups do leave something to be desired. Not sure why they went that direction, or why they didn't make them extend far enough to cover the amount of eye relief originally. But after having requested extended eye cups, they were fine. And I had no issues with their durability.

I would caution you to not choose on spec's alone, since the way a particular binocular looks and feels and functions to you, will outweigh any specs in the long run.

And I'm not sure who is trying to sell you Meoptas for $1K without ED glass. All the new Meostars have ED glass.
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Old Wednesday 20th November 2019, 17:32   #22
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The Conquest eyecups do leave something to be desired. Not sure why they went that direction, or why they didn't make them extend far enough to cover the amount of eye relief originally. But after having requested extended eye cups, they were fine. And I had no issues with their durability.

I would caution you to not choose on spec's alone, since the way a particular binocular looks and feels and functions to you, will outweigh any specs in the long run.

And I'm not sure who is trying to sell you Meoptas for $1K without ED glass. All the new Meostars have ED glass.
Oh okay, it’s just only some are labeled HD while others like the 8x42 and 8x56 are not. As per meoptas website.
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Old Wednesday 20th November 2019, 20:43   #23
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Hello Simpleman19,

Your question of which binocular gives the "best bang for buck" has no simple answer at all , each individual person is different.

FOR ME the "best bang for buck" binocular , believe it or not has been the Nikon Action EX 8 x 40 Porro.

I however DO have MUCH more expensive binoculars , but the Nikon was the best value for the money , Another very close runner-up has been the 8 x 30 Kowa YF porro.

I must admit that the more expensive binoculars are better , but then again you DO get what you pay for.

Others WILL differ from me , but this is just fine , what a boring place the world will be if everyone was exactly the same .

Cheers.
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Old Thursday 21st November 2019, 00:06   #24
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Hello Simpleman19,

Your question of which binocular gives the "best bang for buck" has no simple answer at all , each individual person is different.

FOR ME the "best bang for buck" binocular , believe it or not has been the Nikon Action EX 8 x 40 Porro.

I however DO have MUCH more expensive binoculars , but the Nikon was the best value for the money , Another very close runner-up has been the 8 x 30 Kowa YF porro.

I must admit that the more expensive binoculars are better , but then again you DO get what you pay for.

Others WILL differ from me , but this is just fine , what a boring place the world will be if everyone was exactly the same .

Cheers.
Andrew,

And, I think I mentioned that my birding binocular Nikon 8x32 SE. I failed to mention my favorite, handheld binocular for astronomy was the 7x50 Nikon Prostar. But what is my favorite binocular might not rate as well with others. When I bought my SE, I had money and swam, every day, in a sea of Swarovski, Zeiss, Leica, Kowa, and other great names. But as far as “bang for the buck,” Nikon was the clear winner ... for me ... at THAT time.
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Old Thursday 21st November 2019, 20:27   #25
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Anyways, I have narrowed my list down further:

- tract toric gen 2 8x42
- meopta MeoStar b1.1 8x42 or 8x56
- Nikon Monarch HG 8x42
Is weight part of your considerations?
The Nikon is 3oz lighter than the Toric and 8oz lighter than the Meopta.
It also has the widest field.

Someone commented the HGs have a lighter build and therefore may be less rugged.
First, the bigger they are, the harder they fall. Mass doesn't necessarily make anything more impact resistant. Unless you're shooting them with a shotgun.

And, if you do believe that more mass makes them better in a fall or impact, consider that one carries and holds the bins 99.999% of the time relative to the split second they might take a tumble. And it's assuming that tumble is on a hard surface and lands on a susceptible area of the bin and actually causes damage.

This seems like a bad trade. Very expensive insurance, so to speak.

My opinion, FWIW, is that the Monarch HG probably has the best combination of features out there. Taking everything into account.
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