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NIKON introduces new Monarch HG 8x30 and 10x30 Binoculars

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Old Wednesday 24th October 2018, 16:29   #201
ChisaiTori
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>The CL seems to be a better bin

Strongly weighting any single feature can favor either conclusion. After reading Herr Merlitz' report, a neutral summary is more like "both are excellent binoculars." His numerical scores slightly favor the Nikon (wider, lighter, cheaper, better close focus, etc).

On a side note, faulting lack of edge sharpness without considering total FOV punishes a wide FOV simply for being wide. I like peripheral vision and don't expect critical sharpness there. A score based on "inner 5 degrees, plus next 2 if present, plus next 2 if present ..." would reward wide and narrow equally in the center while giving bonus points for extra FOV. And yes, in this instance, Merlitz does find the CL a bit sharper away from center.

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Old Monday 29th October 2018, 18:08   #202
yarrellii
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Today I finally got to try the MHG 8x30.
The binoculars feel really impressive in the hands, solid, substantial, well made. They feel heavier than the advertised weight, and the feel is that of a very robust metal body tightly wrapped in a quality rubber armour. The lens caps look great, but I found putting them back in place a little more difficult than with other models. The eyepiece looks wide and bright, really inviting, promising an amazing clear view. But then, the moment I put the eyecups against my eyes... disgrace, I got more kidney beaning than with any other binocular I've tried :'(

The view is great (when not interrupted by the blackouts or blackened parts of the fov). I have compared them side by side to the Kite Lynx 8x30 and the view was a little brighter, but what really surprised me is how much sharper the focus was. Once you focused an object it looked much crispier and sharp than the Kite Lynx. I was also pleasantly surprised by the threedimensionality of the image (which is probably related to the sharp focus mentioned above). Compared to objects seen through the Kite, whatever I focused with the Nikon seemed to be full bodied, bolder, more like a sculpture than a picture (obviously it's not a Nikon EII or any other porro, for that matter, but they displayed a great sense of volume).

As for FOV, not a great difference at first sight between the MHG and the Lynx.
The MHG really appeals to me (performance-wise and size/weight), but the eyecups in my case seem to be a dealbreaker if I look to invest nearly 1000 € in a new pair of binos. I had no blackouts problem with the Kite Lynx, though.

Regarding the dreaded glare problems, I did experience some (the Lynx was clearly worse in this respect), but it wasn't terrible to my eyes.

I would like to love the Lynx, but there is something about them that doesn't make them feel like a pair of 500 € binoculars (my partner's Kowa Prominar XD 8x32 give a feeling of much better quality and roughness at a much lower price). Furthermore, and as has already been mentioned in the forum, the eyecups of the Kite don't have intermediate positions and don't seem to lock in place firmly (this and the feel of the rubber armour probably spoil their quality feeling).

So the question in my case remains whether continued use could lead to a better handling of the MHG and make the blackouts disappear (which seems a pretty risky bet given their high price).
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Old Monday 29th October 2018, 20:28   #203
james holdsworth
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Try using them with the eyecups mostly or all the way down and rest the bin on your brow - this eliminates blackouts on most of my bins and can provide a sensational wide-open view. Works an absolute treat on my Conquests, which can also be finicky.
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Old Monday 29th October 2018, 20:45   #204
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The "brow technique" is not without drawbacks: you get more side light into your eyes, which might make the view thru the binos look dimmer, and can also cause stronger reflections from the ocular lenses.
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Old Monday 29th October 2018, 22:46   #205
james holdsworth
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I find losing the black edge of the field stop opens up the view a lot and gives [me] an impression of greater brightness. True that intrusive light can be a problem but you adapt your grip after time and it becomes second nature.
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Old Tuesday 30th October 2018, 15:01   #206
yarrellii
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James, thank your your input and the very sensible advice. I think (probably a lot of binocular users come to the same conclusion) that the features of my face must be a bit uncommon, because I tend to get blackouts (or "kidneybeaning") quite easily, so over the years I've adopted the "brow technique" while using binoculars quite often, since it allows me, as you say to solve the problem. With the Zeiss Conquest (8x42) I would use the binos with the eyecups all the way down when I wanted to scan and enjoy a superbly bright and wide fov. I did try this with the MHG too, but was not that comfortable or useful. Hence my question whether a continued use could lead me to finding a stable usable position. I did arrive to that the other day if I managed to stay absolutely still, but the moment I moved to "follow the movement of a bird" (so to speak), or simply scan the fov, I got blackouts again.
Notable exceptions to this within the 8x30-32 league (again, to my eyes) are the new Swarovski CL 8x30, where the eye placement was easy as it can be, and the Zeiss Victory 8x32 T FL, which I can use easily without any obtrusive shadow or black area within view (funnily enough, I've read some forum members complain about the Victory FL 8x32 being a "difficult" binocular in this respect, where finding the right position was a bit finicky).

I was really surprised (and saddened) to find this problem between the MHG and my face, since I didn't find any problem of this sort using the Kite Lynx (a very similar format binocular). I've never tried the Monarch 7, and now I'm really curious. I loved both the image and the shape/weight/usability of the MHG, but all this would be of no avail if the view is plagued by blackouts. I wonder if anyone else has had the same issues with the MHG 8x30.

On a related note; I wasn't very impressed by the "field flattened" image; compared to the Kite Lynx, there was nothing special that caught my eye (mind you I'm not saying that it isn't there, it just didn't seem relevant to me). Furthermore, given that eye placement was critical for me (and the moment I moved the eyes I got blackouts and lost the full fov), I don't think I care a lot about the edge of the field being sharp, since I didn't seem to be able to scan the image (this is, moving my eyes slightly around), because that would imply blackouts again.

Last edited by yarrellii : Tuesday 30th October 2018 at 15:03. Reason: Minor corrections
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Old Sunday 2nd December 2018, 18:29   #207
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Any more thoughts about this bin? I got one on a Black Friday deal, not sure if I'm gonna keep it. As others have said it's a fussy binocular with eye position and I find my eyes straining a bit. Also the focus is a bit quick for me, so easy to over adjust and need to search a bit - but I should get used to that. But after a bit and when not testing it or comparing with other bins the wide field of view, good colour and handy size come into their own and it's fun to use. The clock's ticking on being able to return it, so just wondering how others have got on with it over time and more comparisons with the Monarch 7 and similar would be helpful as I'm wondering whether to return the mhg and pick up a cheaper bin with a similar wide field of view. Thanks for any comments.

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Old Sunday 2nd December 2018, 19:26   #208
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Perhaps you could trade it in for a 8X42 MHG, could help with the eye placement, and it is a small and light for a 8X42. The eye-cups however, on the MHGs, may not be for everyone.

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Old Sunday 2nd December 2018, 21:38   #209
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I’ve had the MHG 8x30 for about 2.5-3 months and am still enjoying it. My impression remains about like initial: that while a critical analysis of tripod mounted bins might reveal resolution differences, the MHG is, for handheld use, perfectly sharp over the central field and the sharpness goes out quite a ways. This with what I feel is excellent contrast and good color, and the outstanding FOV, makes a very rewarding binocular. I get on with the ergonomics quite well. In short, I am a big fan and it is a clear step up, for me, from the M7 8x30.
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Old Wednesday 5th December 2018, 10:07   #210
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Thanks Andy and pbjosh. Andy I think the 8x42 MHG is probably a better option for most and if I didn't have a 8.5x42 EL FP I'd probably get it and not bother with the 8x30 MHG. But since I got rid of my SF for the Swaro I miss a binocular with a wide FOV and am hoping the 8x30 MHG will fit the bill whilst being a good travel binocular. As I'm getting used to it I'm thinking it's actually doing the job pretty well. I wear glasses, so the eye relief pbjosh has mentioned in earlier posts is important (I might not get on the 8x30 M7 with less eye relief). It may be that the 8x30 MHG suits glasses wearers better than non-glasses wearers. So for the moment I'm going to stick with it. By the way I also have the Zeiss 8x25 Victory Pocket and it's sharper and doesn't have the eye position issues of the 8x30 MHG - a true alpha view, but then it doesn't have the wide FOV of the MHG, so for those wanting a pocket-able high quality bin and won't miss the extra FOV of the MHG the Zeiss is the better option. I think it's the cheapest way to get a true alpha quality view.
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Old Saturday 8th December 2018, 23:34   #211
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Having spent a bit more time with the 8x30 MHG I think it's a great bin and definitely keeping it. Managed to compare to the 8x30 M7 and optically as well as ergonomically it seemed a big step up.
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Old Wednesday 12th December 2018, 04:09   #212
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I’m glad the HG is a big step up from the M7. The M7 nearly blinded me with the glare!
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Old Saturday 5th January 2019, 23:07   #213
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Quote:
Originally Posted by james holdsworth View Post
Try using them with the eyecups mostly or all the way down and rest the bin on your brow - this eliminates blackouts on most of my bins and can provide a sensational wide-open view. Works an absolute treat on my Conquests, which can also be finicky.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterPS View Post
The "brow technique" is not without drawbacks: you get more side light into your eyes, which might make the view thru the binos look dimmer, and can also cause stronger reflections from the ocular lenses.
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