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Alternative to Monarch 7 8x30?

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Old Sunday 6th May 2018, 22:39   #1
GBNova
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Alternative to Monarch 7 8x30?

So Iím thinking of picking up one of these. Iím a little scared of the lack of eye relief even though I donít wear glasses. (Yet)

Are there any other 8x30s I should be considering in that price range or a bit more? $600 max budget.

Thanks!
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Old Sunday 6th May 2018, 23:00   #2
jring
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Hi,

the M7 8x30 has 15mm ER, which is not too shabby for an 8x30... this might work fine - depending on the form of the glasses and the prescription.

I would not worry about the ER now, who knows if or when you will get glasses and what they will look like.

Unless you get a great deal somewhere, the M7 price is hard to beat. Over here I have seen 285€...

Joachim
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Old Sunday 6th May 2018, 23:07   #3
Alexis Powell
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The Zeiss 8x25 Victory Pocket may be worth your consideration. I just found one on sale for $650.

--AP
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Old Monday 7th May 2018, 13:21   #4
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Originally Posted by GBNova View Post
So Iím thinking of picking up one of these. Iím a little scared of the lack of eye relief even though I donít wear glasses. (Yet)

Are there any other 8x30s I should be considering in that price range or a bit more? $600 max budget.

Thanks!
They work fine for me with glasses... Pretty good binoculars!
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Old Tuesday 8th May 2018, 00:02   #5
Rathaus
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I keep the Nikon 8x30 M7 and a pair of older yellow cast Habicht permanently in the truck centre console as Ďbeaterí Binoculars. Under the right conditions, the M7 are excellent little bins but, if your eyes are up to it, the Habichts will out-resolve the M7. I find the yellow hue to be a superb feature in our often harsh light.
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Old Tuesday 8th May 2018, 12:15   #6
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I wear glasses and I find the eye relief of the M7 8x30 to be ample - in fact I have my eyecups one click out from the fully in position, otherwise they're a little prone to black outs. They're a great little binocular - light, bright, and with a generous field of view. They're what I have with me when I'm just casually birding, or don't want the bulk/weight of my Swarovski EL 8.5x42s (when I'm cycling or hiking in the mountains). Obviously, they aren't as good as the Swaro's, but when I'm using the Nikons, I enjoy them a lot and I don't have that feeling that "I'm missing out" that you can get with some less expensive binoculars.

You do need to have them quite accurately lined up with your eyes, though - they're quite sensitive in that regard. That's largely a consequence of large field of view combined with modest exit pupil size, just the laws of optics, rather than being a "defect". If you master that little bit of handling, they're great. I've had beautiful views of all kinds of birds through mine.

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Old Tuesday 8th May 2018, 14:31   #7
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I wear glasses and I find the eye relief of the M7 8x30 to be ample - in fact I have my eyecups one click out from the fully in position, otherwise they're a little prone to black outs. They're a great little binocular - light, bright, and with a generous field of view. They're what I have with me when I'm just casually birding, or don't want the bulk/weight of my Swarovski EL 8.5x42s (when I'm cycling or hiking in the mountains). Obviously, they aren't as good as the Swaro's, but when I'm using the Nikons, I enjoy them a lot and I don't have that feeling that "I'm missing out" that you can get with some less expensive binoculars.

You do need to have them quite accurately lined up with your eyes, though - they're quite sensitive in that regard. That's largely a consequence of large field of view combined with modest exit pupil size, just the laws of optics, rather than being a "defect". If you master that little bit of handling, they're great. I've had beautiful views of all kinds of birds through mine.
Yep! Good description... I use mine mostly on vacation....small, light, not TOO expensive if something happened to them. But they still provide a nice view and plenty of ER for me.
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Old Tuesday 15th May 2018, 17:05   #8
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Originally Posted by GBNova View Post
So Iím thinking of picking up one of these. Iím a little scared of the lack of eye relief even though I donít wear glasses. (Yet)

Are there any other 8x30s I should be considering in that price range or a bit more? $600 max budget.

Thanks!
Nikon 8x30 EII gives fine wide views.
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Old Friday 25th May 2018, 14:52   #9
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Originally Posted by GBNova View Post
So Iím thinking of picking up one of these. Iím a little scared of the lack of eye relief even though I donít wear glasses. (Yet)

Are there any other 8x30s I should be considering in that price range or a bit more? $600 max budget.

Thanks!
The M7 8x30 has a few close siblings:

The Kite Lynx HD 8x30 and the Ddoptics 8x30 EDX Fieldstar (the latter may not be available where you are), that e.g. have closer min. focus length and even wider FOV, are more or less equal and I suppose are made in Japan.

The Opticron Traveller BGA ED 8x32, has a bit more aperture, more ER and a bit less FOV. Don't know where it is made. In my eyes quite interesting bins.

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Old Friday 25th May 2018, 16:42   #10
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I had read that the Kite Lynx HD 8x30 was far superior to the M7 ..
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Old Friday 25th May 2018, 21:15   #11
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Wachi,

A while ago I had both the Kite Lynx and the M7 8x30 on loan for testing, and with the particular samples I had, there was very little difference between the two. The Lynx does have a slightly wider field of view, but the difference is noticeable only if one really looks for it. Optically, whatever slight differences there were came from sample-specific alignment or lens grinding differences. Explained, this means that I could see more differences between the left and right tubes of each binocular than between the overall binocular views of the two models.

The Kite feels a bit more solidly built, and maybe is a safer bet if you buy unseen, but there's not much between them in my view.

It is certainly possible that the Japanese made Kite would have better quality control, but I have no proof of that.

Kimmo
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Old Sunday 17th June 2018, 19:15   #12
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The M7 8x30s were the worst Binoculars I’ve ever owned. The flare was so bad in the right barrel of the first pair I had I was convinced they were defective and sent them back. The replacement pair was even worse! I showed them to a wildlife biologist friend and she said “you just need to clean the lenses”. When I explained they were brand new she said “Really? These would drive me crazy!” Maybe I had two bad pairs. They are made in China after all. I would suggest the Leupold Pro Guide 8x32 which is made in Japan. Maven makes a nice 8x30 model from what I’ve heard. Also the Opticron Natura 8x32 which is the same as the Leupold but made in China. The Traveller might be a good option. They get great reviews but the pair I tried was defective. Diopter did not work at all. Good luck and let us know what you settle on
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Old Thursday 4th October 2018, 13:59   #13
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I wear glasses and I find the eye relief of the M7 8x30 to be ample - in fact I have my eyecups one click out from the fully in position, otherwise they're a little prone to black outs. They're a great little binocular - light, bright, and with a generous field of view. They're what I have with me when I'm just casually birding, or don't want the bulk/weight of my Swarovski EL 8.5x42s (when I'm cycling or hiking in the mountains). ...
This meets my opinion. But now, as the days are growing shorter and daylight is vanishing much earlier this little 8x30 demonstrates its limits to me as would almost every 8x30. Sometimes I yearn for more magnification although a few months ago I tried to sell my Meopta B1 HD 10x42. Was I lucky that no one wanted to help me getting rid of them.

So, a 10x50 Meostar B1 would be fine. Unfortunately not available with HD-lenses. Or the 12x50 perhaps.
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Old Friday 5th October 2018, 07:13   #14
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The M7 8x30s were the worst Binoculars Iíve ever owned. The flare was so bad in the right barrel of the first pair I had I was convinced they were defective and sent them back. The replacement pair was even worse! ... The Traveller might be a good option. They get great reviews but the pair I tried was defective. Diopter did not work at all.
I've tried three different pairs of the M7 8x30 in different retail settings and two of them exhibited terrible glare in the right barrel. The other seemed fine. Of the limited binoculars that I've tried, the M7 is the only one that performs significantly better in x42 vs the mid size to my eyes. Interestingly, the only travelite I have tried had a completely toast diopter as well.
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Old Friday 5th October 2018, 19:05   #15
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I have the M7’s and am quite a fan, especially at the price. The eye relief is really borderline for me, basically a hair too little with my glasses so I have to mash them into my face a bit. That aside I think they are great and are certainly sharper than my M7 8x42 both in the center and at the edge, an opinion I have heard and read from several others as well.

I tried the Opticron Traveler BGA ED 8x32 which is reputed to be built from many of the same parts and some have said offers a hair more available eye relief. The eye relief seemed the same or if better only ever so slightly so. The sample I had was optically clearly inferior, probably a bad copy, so I did not keep them. Occasionally people claim there are large differences between the Kite Lynx, Maven B3, M7, and Opticron Traveler but as they are all largely clones of each other I think sample variation will probably account for more than anything else.

As far as what you can get that is clearly better for $600 retail, I doubt there is much that is substantively better. Ergonomics and personal preferences will be more important. If you can find a sale the Conquest 8x32 or the Monarch HG 8x30 would be The clear upgrades that I could think of. Despite one pervasive opinion to the contrary, most people seem to think the HG is a pretty excellent little bin, and I agree, having had mine for about a month now.
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Old Saturday 6th October 2018, 06:46   #16
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Try to find the Meostar B1 8x32 or Calabas Euro HD 8x32. You can find them used about $500 (that's what I think they recently sold for on BF classifieds). The Conquest HD 8x32 is also excellent, though I prefer the kowa Genesis 33 (a bit more expensive).

I though the M7 8x30 is not worth it. The eye cups didn't extend enough for me and I had blackouts. In the sub-$500 range, I thought the Minox BL 8◊33 HD was the best.
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Old Thursday 25th October 2018, 09:53   #17
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Just bought M7 8x30

I just bought M7 8x30 and it seems to just what I wanted! I have had experience only from cheap binoculars. Me and wifey take often pics with Nikon P900, so compact binos will be welcome to reduce load. I also like the fast Focus wheel of M7, as with my cheap binos (Focus Nordic outdoor) focus is too slow with 2 full rounds.

Both me and Wifey have glasses, but I use binos without glasses. Wifey tested M7 briefly and she said that they are ok with strong glasses. The eye relief is too short in M7 for me with glasses - I can't see the whole field. And eye positioning is difficult for me with glasses on... without glasses M7 goes well against my eye brow, where the right place is found instantly.

I was mostly worried that 30mm binos would be hard to use, but first impressions are positive in that regard.

So the M7 positives are.
- wide and bright picture
- fast focus and depth of field seems to be good
- handy size and weight

It might be possible that I never go back to 42mm, as the handy size is really welcome.
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