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Looking for mid-range 8x32s

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Old Thursday 13th February 2020, 18:47   #26
jring
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Hi,

no offense meant by asking for eyecup extension... we just get people with all levels of knowledge asking questions in here...

The model which had the most feedback for too much ER was the Zeiss Conquest HD in 8x42. It is loved by wearers of bulky glasses with 18mm ER but the eyecups were just too short for most users without glasses. Zeiss still delivers free longer eyecups on request...

I think in your case it's more a matter of too slim eyecups which completely vanish inside large eyesockets... and I'm not sure if any of the siblings of the M7 from Kite, Opticron or Maven will change a lot.

I'd give the Kowa a try, either in 8 or 6.5x... in the forum post below it looks like it has quite a bit wider eyecups...

https://forum.optyczne.pl/viewtopic.php?p=531862

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Old Thursday 13th February 2020, 20:19   #27
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Originally Posted by Bob_McBob View Post
Whoops, meant to post this earlier but forgot to hit submit:

With respect to the frozen focus knob, temperatures the previous night were only a touch below freezing, so nothing particularly crazy. The low tonight is -19°C! I also didn't notice any issues using them outside for an hour, so it may be that I would have to avoid storing them in freezing conditions.
My M7 focus knob also freezes under -5 C (or so) and becames a burden to move...

I keep my eyecups non-extended and they have just right eye relief, when I put them on to my eybrows. I prefer that kind of tehnique instead of putting the binos to my eye sockets.
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Old Thursday 13th February 2020, 20:55   #28
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For comparison to your M 7 the B3 has an upper eye cup diameter on 40 mm. The eye cup extends upward 10mm there is 4mm between the lens and upper eye cup retracted. The Traveller has an upper eye cup of 39 mm. The upward extension travel is 8mm. The distance from the lens eo upper eye cup is also 4mm. Each appear to offer the possibility of 4-5 mm added extension using O-rings.

It would be hard to imagine worse, way too tight eye cup covers than found on the Traveller, there is a suction lock with them on. The B3 are just right. Should not be a deal breaker since after market accessories are available. For a nice light harness get a Rick Young outdoors.
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Old Thursday 13th February 2020, 21:37   #29
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Thank you for the dimensions Steve! After some careful caliper measurements, I would call the M7 eyecups 37.5mm outer diameter with 11.5mm of clearance from the glass at maximum extension (perhaps a smidge under 12mm if I'm really generous). The Viper HD 8x42 which provides a very comfortable view for me is more like 40mm diameter with 14.5mm clearance. It sounds like the B3 eyecups are closer to a full size binocular than the M7 and might actually work better for me than either the M7 or Traveller.

And jring, no offence taken, it's always worth considering the most obvious possibility of user error
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Old Friday 14th February 2020, 06:29   #30
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Originally Posted by Bob_McBob View Post
They also have removable eye cups that can take an o-ring unlike the M7 (I tried reverse threading the eye cups off several brand new M5 and M7 binoculars last year with no success).
Bob, regarding the threading of the eyecups on Nikon Monarch 5 models. I have a 12x42 M5 and the eyecups are indeed removable (see picture attached). I discovered this watching a Youtube video where a user of an M5 had a faulty eyecup, so he ordered some replacement from Nikon and (to my surprise), simply unscrewed the eyecups on his M5 (I can't recall whether it was a 8x42 or a 10x42; but a x42 for sure). So, it seems that M5, at least in x42 format, does have removable eyecups. The question remains whether or not the 8x30 M7 eyecups are removable. I have tried to unscrew my 8x30 M7 with, ahem, "reasonable torque" (reverse unscrewing; this is, clockwise to release, counterclockwise to tighten, opposite to most common threads, at least around here). But to no avail. I guess I could have applied more force, but I'm not sure if that could damage the eyecups. If someone volunteers

As you can see in the picture, the 12x42 M5 have a usual thread for the eyecup, I guess you could insert an O-ring there. However, both the thread on the binocular and the one on the eyecup are plastic and don't look particularly sturdy, so threading and unthreading is not something I would want to be doing on a daily basis. I have the sneaky feeling that the very thin and delicate thread could be damaged if not extra-carefully and slowly used.

While on the subject of eyecups, I'm sad the M7 didn't work for you because it's actually the eyecups on the M7 8x30 one of the parts I value more, after having tried other exceptional 8x30 models with too small eyecups for my liking. Two binoculars that I hated to let go because of issues with their eyecups were the Habicht and the new Companion CL. Both awesome binoculars... with too small eyecups for my face features. So "I feel your pain"
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Old Friday 14th February 2020, 12:07   #31
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Interesting... we definitely watched the same video, but "reasonable torque" didn't budge the eyecups for me on multiple brand new 8x42 M5s and M7s last summer, so I assumed they had started gluing them. Regardless, I definitely agree with you about the plastic threading.

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Old Friday 14th February 2020, 20:07   #32
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we definitely watched the same video
This is a small Youtube world

Reading your experience with some M5/M7, I guess you're right and maybe they've started glueing the eyecups, since my both units of the M7 I've tried resisted the unscrewing of the eyecups. I wonder why would they do it. Maybe they thought of the possibility of replacing eyecups, but then they abandoned it and simply thought of the M5/M7 as "disposable" units if something goes wrong (much like a lot of contemporary devices that cannot be repaired or have not being constructed in a way that makes repairing feasible or easy, including binoculars).
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Old Friday 21st February 2020, 01:23   #33
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After further research and discussion with current and former owners, I think I've narrowed down the choice to either the Maven B3 8x30 or Kowa BDII 6.5x32. Pretty much everyone who has a problem with the M7 eyecup length seems to have the same problem with every model built on this platform (Opticron, Kite, Maven, etc.), but Steve's measurements at least give me a little hope the Maven might work better. There is also the possibility of adding an o-ring, though I really dislike having to modify products like that.

Tomorrow I'm going to spend more time with the M7 and try to figure out whether the slightly larger eyecups and extension would make enough of a difference. The Kowa has such chunky eyecups I'm not too worried, I just still don't have a good feel for whether a heavier and lower magnification model would satisfy my expectations for purchasing more compact binoculars in the first place. I actually discovered there is a local Kowa dealer that sells the BDII line, but I'm waiting to find out whether they have them available to demo in-store.
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Old Friday 21st February 2020, 11:21   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob_McBob View Post
After further research and discussion with current and former owners, I think I've narrowed down the choice to either the Maven B3 8x30 or Kowa BDII 6.5x32. Pretty much everyone who has a problem with the M7 eyecup length seems to have the same problem with every model built on this platform (Opticron, Kite, Maven, etc.), but Steve's measurements at least give me a little hope the Maven might work better. There is also the possibility of adding an o-ring, though I really dislike having to modify products like that.

Tomorrow I'm going to spend more time with the M7 and try to figure out whether the slightly larger eyecups and extension would make enough of a difference. The Kowa has such chunky eyecups I'm not too worried, I just still don't have a good feel for whether a heavier and lower magnification model would satisfy my expectations for purchasing more compact binoculars in the first place. I actually discovered there is a local Kowa dealer that sells the BDII line, but I'm waiting to find out whether they have them available to demo in-store.
Why don't you get Maven to send you a B.3 demo? Try it for 2 weeks, no obligation.
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Old Friday 21st February 2020, 16:14   #35
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Why don't you get Maven to send you a B.3 demo? Try it for 2 weeks, no obligation.
I would have done that as soon as I realized the M7 wouldn't work, but I'm in Canada, so round trip shipping is $120+ along with a huge hassle to get a refund on the tax. I have to be pretty certain I'm going to like them before ordering, unlike any other model on my list.

And as it turns out, no, the local Kowa dealer doesn't have either model in stock, and the 6.5x32 would be special order even when they do get receive some inventory
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Old Friday 21st February 2020, 16:39   #36
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If eyecups are too short or too narrow, the easiest solution is to purchase accessory eyecups that stretch-fit over the ones that are already part of the bino. Since I wear glasses, I don't use such devices, but I know they are available. I see them used on microscope eyepieces sometimes, so maybe they are easier to find for that use than for binoculars. You will also find threads on BirdForum about how to make such extenders from sections of bicycle innertube.

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Old Saturday 29th February 2020, 03:31   #37
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I couldn't resist that expiring 10% discount, so I finally bit the bullet and ordered the Mavens in black just now. If they don't work for me then I'll eat the $120 two-way shipping and get the Kowa 6.5x32 and be done with it. The M7 will be sent back on Monday and I'll post an update when the Mavens show up in a couple weeks. Thank you again for all the advice I've received.
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Old Sunday 1st March 2020, 02:41   #38
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I couldn't resist that expiring 10% discount, so I finally bit the bullet and ordered the Mavens in black just now. If they don't work for me then I'll eat the $120 two-way shipping and get the Kowa 6.5x32 and be done with it. The M7 will be sent back on Monday and I'll post an update when the Mavens show up in a couple weeks. Thank you again for all the advice I've received.
I think the Maven is a good bet. It's really hard to say exactly what binocular someone is gong to take too. I really liked the 8X30 Maven...it just didn't have QUITE the ER I needed. I have thought of giving it another try... I'm certainly interested in what you think of it. It's certainly a better instrument than the Monarch 7.
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Old Tuesday 10th March 2020, 19:58   #39
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The Mavens arrived this afternoon along with a nice customs bill. I haven't had a chance to really try them yet, but my first impressions are quite positive. They feel a more solidly built than the M7, and the view is crisper and more contrasty with considerably less CA. They have the same issue with the eyecups being too short, but in the limited testing I've done it doesn't seem to require quite as careful positioning and can sit a bit deeper in my eye sockets. I like the form factor enough I will probably keep them if that pans out in field use. All-in-all a nice upgrade over the M7. I'll update when I've had an opportunity to try them more
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Old Wednesday 11th March 2020, 17:51   #40
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Another quick update. The eyecups on the B3 are absurdly easy to remove, and adding a spacer considerably improves viewing comfort for me in terms of eye placement and blackouts. They have regular threading and just twist off counter-clockwise after the stop. I haven't figured out how much width I can get away with yet, but the diameter is about 29.5mm. A black square o-ring would fit right in and look like it came from the factory that way.

I have to say though, I don't understand why so many manufacturers are using eyecups that are just a bit too short in this size of binocular. It's such a common complaint, and it's not like a few mm extra would make any real difference. At least Zeiss actually addressed the issue with the Conquest 8x32.
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Old Wednesday 11th March 2020, 20:29   #41
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Another quick update. The eyecups on the B3 are absurdly easy to remove, and adding a spacer considerably improves viewing comfort for me in terms of eye placement and blackouts. They have regular threading and just twist off counter-clockwise after the stop. I haven't figured out how much width I can get away with yet, but the diameter is about 29.5mm. A black square o-ring would fit right in and look like it came from the factory that way.

I have to say though, I don't understand why so many manufacturers are using eyecups that are just a bit too short in this size of binocular. It's such a common complaint, and it's not like a few mm extra would make any real difference. At least Zeiss actually addressed the issue with the Conquest 8x32.
If you want perfect eye cup extension length try a Nikon EDG 8x32 or a Zeiss 8x32 FL.
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Old Saturday 14th March 2020, 18:18   #42
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If you want perfect eye cup extension length try a Nikon EDG 8x32 or a Zeiss 8x32 FL.
Uh. The title of the thread is looking for some “Mid-Range” 8x32s!
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Old Saturday 14th March 2020, 18:34   #43
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And, the member has purchased some - helpful to occassionally read the latest post but denco does enjoy promoting his beloved Nikon EDG at every opportunity.
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Old Monday 16th March 2020, 22:47   #44
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The o-rings I ordered arrived today. There's a little slot at the base of the eyepiece threading you can see in my previous photo, and they're a perfect fit; they extend the eyecups just enough to let me settle them comfortably into my eye sockets without major blackouts, and the action and click stops function perfectly. I wouldn't call it a comfortable view compared to the Viper HD, but that's to be expected, and I'm very happy with the result.

Now I can actually give the Mavens a proper workout, but I think it's safe to say I'll be keeping them. With spring just around the corner I had a good time watching a great blue heron and some beavers today. It's nice to have something I can easily tuck into a hoodie or coat pocket, and I don't even mind the chintzy drawstring bag since it doesn't increase the size much (I also ordered the hard storage case which is nicely made). Overall I still definitely feel they're well worth the price difference over the M7.

For reference, the o-rings are M2 x 29 (i.e. 29mm ID, 33mm OD), just standard Buna-N.
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Old Thursday 26th March 2020, 02:26   #45
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The o-rings I ordered arrived today. There's a little slot at the base of the eyepiece threading you can see in my previous photo, and they're a perfect fit; they extend the eyecups just enough to let me settle them comfortably into my eye sockets without major blackouts, and the action and click stops function perfectly. I wouldn't call it a comfortable view compared to the Viper HD, but that's to be expected, and I'm very happy with the result.

Now I can actually give the Mavens a proper workout, but I think it's safe to say I'll be keeping them. With spring just around the corner I had a good time watching a great blue heron and some beavers today. It's nice to have something I can easily tuck into a hoodie or coat pocket, and I don't even mind the chintzy drawstring bag since it doesn't increase the size much (I also ordered the hard storage case which is nicely made). Overall I still definitely feel they're well worth the price difference over the M7.

For reference, the o-rings are M2 x 29 (i.e. 29mm ID, 33mm OD), just standard Buna-N.
Thanks for the o-ring tip! Planning to try adding them to mine as well.
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