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Advice need please re. eye strain with Monarch 7 8x30 (1 Viewer)

SueG

Active member
Hi everyone,

I've just joined the forum so this is my first post so hope I'm in the right section.

I have just bought myself a pair of Monarch 7 8x30 binoculars to use for a mix of viewing shorebirds, garden birds and views when we go walking. The only previous binoculars I've owned were a 30 year old pair of Ranger County which I don't think were a particularly quality binocular. Having tried the Monarchs briefly twice now I'm finding that I'm getting eye strain/headache above the eye after only around 5 minutes of use. I find myself having to concentrate quite hard adjusting them to get a sharp focus so don't know if this is causing the eye strain. I also find when looking through them I sort of strain a bit to see things as large as I want (a bit like wearing a pair of reading glasses that aren't quite strong enough), am I perhaps expecting to much of them? I also wonder whether I could do with deeper eye cups as I find I get tempted to hold them very slightly away from my eyes. To give a bit of background I'm in my mid 50's and just wear +2 reading glasses. Also I'm noticing there is a bit more shake that I had expected but can't be sure whether that's down to my age/technique or make of binoculars.

Is the problem that they are 8x30? I'd gone for these as they are lightweight which is an important factor for me. i don't know whether another/higher quality make would make a difference or whether it's a lens size issue and I would be better with a 10x30 for more magnification? This may be a silly question but is there a difference between makes in that some are more prone to being harder to hold steady than others? I have discarded the idea of an 8x42 due to the extra weight.

I would really appreciate any advice as to whether it might be down to me, the make/model I've bought or size I've gone for and whether anyone has experience of this problem with this make/size. I bought them from a branch of the London Camera Exchange so I'm not sure whether they would allow me to have a refund if I can't get around the problem, they have only been used very carefully for around 2x10 minutes. I would also appreciate anyone's suggestions of makes/models I could try. Looking on the LCE website there doesn't seem to be that many makes that are lightweight and good quality as I appreciate good optics. The ones that stood out for lightness were the Monarch 7 HG although wondered if I could run into same problem and the Swarovski's which I can see are considerably more expensive (gulp!) but although I'm not being flippant about the cost, I do intend to keep them for a very long time which in my mind helps to swallow (to a certain degree) the cost of more expensive ones.

I'm really sorry this has turned into a bit of a long ramble but I just wanted to give you as much information as I can. Many thanks Sue
 

Binastro

Well-known member
Hi Sue and welcome.

It may be that the binocular is out of collimation or alignment.

It could be that your eyes need a prism correction, although that would be seen at an eye test.

If the IPD or interpupillary distance is set correctly one shouldn't get a headache after 5 minutes unless perhaps in very bright light.

Regards,
B.

P.S.
The unsteadiness is probably partly because the eyecups may be too short.
Others will advise on how to deal with this, as I haven't used your particular model of binocular.
 
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[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
Hi Sue. A 8x30 binocular is a little more finicky binocular than a 8x42 especially the M7 and I think that could be your problem. What I would do is try the Nikon Monarch 7 or Monarch HG in a 8x42 depending on how much you want to spend and see if they feel better to you. I am thinking they well. A 8x42 is just a more comfortable binocular to use because of the bigger exit pupil.
 

A2GG

Beth
Supporter
United States
I hate to ask something so obvious, but did you set the diopter properly ?
If the diopter was set then it's probably out of alignment as Binastro suggested.

You could always send it back and get a different unit to see if it was defective.

I recently purchased the Monarch HG 8x30 and think it's wonderful. Just mentioning it in case you want to try this one instead.
 

SueG

Active member
Hi Sue and welcome.

It may be that the binocular is out of collimation or alignment.

It could be that your eyes need a prism correction, although that would be seen at an eye test.

If the IPD or interpupillary distance is set correctly one shouldn't get a headache after 5 minutes unless perhaps in very bright light.

Regards,
B.

P.S.
The unsteadiness is probably partly because the eyecups may be too short.
Others will advise on how to deal with this, as I haven't used your particular model of binocular.

I hope I'm replying the right way as I'm a bit new to all this. I did have an eye test back in March this year and all was reported as fine. It could be a good point that you mention about the eyecup being a bit too short.
 

SueG

Active member
I hate to ask something so obvious, but did you set the diopter properly ?
If the diopter was set then it's probably out of alignment as Binastro suggested.

You could always send it back and get a different unit to see if it was defective.

I recently purchased the Monarch HG 8x30 and think it's wonderful. Just mentioning it in case you want to try this one instead.

Thank you and I don't mind you mentioning this at all. Although I'm not that experienced I did google how to set up your binoculars as I questioned myself that I might be doing something wrong but I was setting them up correctly but thank you.
 

WJC

Well-known member
I hate to ask something so obvious, but did you set the diopter properly ?
If the diopter was set then it's probably out of alignment as Binastro suggested.

You could always send it back and get a different unit to see if it was defective.

I recently purchased the Monarch HG 8x30 and think it's wonderful. Just mentioning it in case you want to try this one instead.

201022

Hi, GG,

There you go, throwing in logic, again. To save keystrokes—which is why I wrote those bino books—I'm attaching a snippet addressing collimation and focusing. I hope they help Sue. :cat:

Bill
 

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SueG

Active member
Hi Sue. A 8x30 binocular is a little more finicky binocular than a 8x42 especially the M7 and I think that could be your problem. What I would do is try the Nikon Monarch 7 or Monarch HG in a 8x42 depending on how much you want to spend and see if they feel better to you. I am thinking they well. A 8x42 is just a more comfortable binocular to use because of the bigger exit pupil.


That's a good point thank you. I would have previously looked at the 8x42 but I was just a bit put off by the weight which was why I was leaning more towards the 8x30. I had wondered whether the 8x30 was perhaps not so suitable for someone not that experienced.
 

SueG

Active member
201022

Hi, GG,

There you go, throwing in logic, again. To save keystrokes—which is why I wrote those bino books—I'm attaching a snippet addressing collimation and focusing. I hope they help Sue. :cat:

Bill

Thank you I'll have a read. Another thing is that I also intermittently get those black shapes that flick in front of your eyes and obscure some of your view when looking through the binoculars, I don't know if that has any relevance.
 

WJC

Well-known member
Thank you I'll have a read. Another thing is that I also intermittently get those black shapes that flick in front of your eyes and obscure some of your view when looking through the binoculars, I don't know if that has any relevance.

It does. Those blackouts just mean you don't have your eye in the proper position. Snippet attached. My very first sentence is incorrect as my friend Ed Huff for this forum has pointed out. The position in which I said "the image is formed in space" is actually the "eyepoint" or where the eye must be positioned in order to avoid blackouts and vignetting of the image. :cat:

Bill
 

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SueG

Active member
Hi Sue. A 8x30 binocular is a little more finicky binocular than a 8x42 especially the M7 and I think that could be your problem. What I would do is try the Nikon Monarch 7 or Monarch HG in a 8x42 depending on how much you want to spend and see if they feel better to you. I am thinking they well. A 8x42 is just a more comfortable binocular to use because of the bigger exit pupil.


You mentioned about the monarch 7 8x30 being a bit more finicky than others, I just wondered the reason for that and whether there might be an more forgiving 8x30 that might be worth trying. Many thanks Sue
 

WJC

Well-known member
You mentioned about the monarch 7 8x30 being a bit more finicky than others, I just wondered the reason for that and whether there might be an more forgiving 8x30 that might be worth trying. Many thanks Sue

I, too, wonder. I have never experienced an 8x30 being any more "finicky" than any other magnification and aperture. :cat:

Bill
 

A2GG

Beth
Supporter
United States
You mentioned about the monarch 7 8x30 being a bit more finicky than others, I just wondered the reason for that and whether there might be an more forgiving 8x30 that might be worth trying. Many thanks Sue

Yes, I agree with Dennis about smaller exit pupil being a little more finicky when it comes to aligning it to your eyes compared to 8x42 which has a larger exit pupil (provides an 'easier' view IMO).

A few more obvious questions if you don't mind to be thorough:

You don't wear eyeglasses when you look through the binocular, right?
And, without glasses, you have the eyecups screwed all the way up (extended all the way out) ?
 

SueG

Active member
Yes, I agree with Dennis about smaller exit pupil being a little more finicky when it comes to aligning it to your eyes compared to 8x42 which has a larger exit pupil (provides an 'easier' view IMO).

A few more obvious questions if you don't mind to be thorough:

You don't wear eyeglasses when you look through the binocular, right?
And, without glasses, you have the eyecups screwed all the way up (extended all the way out) ?

I do have to use +2 reading glasses but I don’t wear glasses with the binoculars, I did try them once but didn’t see any benefit. I normally have the eyecups extended out to their longest position.
 

A2GG

Beth
Supporter
United States
I do have to use +2 reading glasses but I don’t wear glasses with the binoculars, I did try them once but didn’t see any benefit. I normally have the eyecups extended out to their longest position.

Ok thanks, was just making sure. It's good you don't use the reading glasses while using the binocular.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
You mentioned about the monarch 7 8x30 being a bit more finicky than others, I just wondered the reason for that and whether there might be an more forgiving 8x30 that might be worth trying. Many thanks Sue
If your getting black outs with the eye cups fully extended the eye cups are not long enough for the eye relief of the binocular because your eye sockets could be shallow like mine. If you move the binoculars away from your face do the black outs stop? I had that trouble with the M7. The Swarovski C L 8x30 B will work better for you because it uses optical box technology meaning you can move your eyes back and forth from the oculars to a greater degree without getting blackouts. A 8x42 like the Nikon 8x42 HG will give you a bigger 5 mm exit pupil and because of the bigger exit pupil you will have less chance of black outs with easier eye placement. The 8x42 HG is also relatively light also at about 23 oz.
 

SueG

Active member
If your getting black outs with the eye cups fully extended the eye cups are not long enough for the eye relief of the binocular because your eye sockets could be shallow like mine. If you move the binoculars away from your face do the black outs stop? I had that trouble with the M7. The Swarovski C L 8x30 B will work better for you because it uses optical box technology meaning you can move your eyes back and forth from the oculars to a greater degree without getting blackouts. A 8x42 like the Nikon 8x42 HG will give you a bigger 5 mm exit pupil and because of the bigger exit pupil you will have less chance of black outs with easier eye placement. The 8x42 HG is also relatively light also at about 23 oz.

Thanks that's helpful. I haven't had chance yet to try your suggestion of moving the binoculars away from my face to see if that helps as it was dark when I read your message last night and I left for work this morning before it got light, but will try your suggestion when I get home this afternoon.

Interesting your comments about the Swarovski 8x30 possibly being more forgiving. I'm seeing a friend on Monday who has the Swarovski 10x30 but I'm not sure if it's the CL or a higher model but I thought I would ask her if I could give them a try. If all things were equal I think I would prefer the x10 magnification but I'm just aware of the risk people report of them being harder to keep stable. Do people ever find they buy a x8 and wished they'd gone for the x10 and vice versa?
 

SueG

Active member
It does. Those blackouts just mean you don't have your eye in the proper position. Snippet attached. My very first sentence is incorrect as my friend Ed Huff for this forum has pointed out. The position in which I said "the image is formed in space" is actually the "eyepoint" or where the eye must be positioned in order to avoid blackouts and vignetting of the image. :cat:

Bill


Thanks for attaching this it was really helpful in understanding the blackouts.
 

SueG

Active member
201022

Hi, GG,

There you go, throwing in logic, again. To save keystrokes—which is why I wrote those bino books—I'm attaching a snippet addressing collimation and focusing. I hope they help Sue. :cat:

Bill


Your article on focusing was helpful, thank you. I thought I had tried to be patient when focusing, I was just finding that I had to really get the focus spot on and the slightest tiny adjustment would put it out of focus so I was finding it would seem to take a lot of concentration to get the focus right.
 

A2GG

Beth
Supporter
United States
Thanks that's helpful. I haven't had chance yet to try your suggestion of moving the binoculars away from my face to see if that helps as it was dark when I read your message last night and I left for work this morning before it got light, but will try your suggestion when I get home this afternoon.

Interesting your comments about the Swarovski 8x30 possibly being more forgiving. I'm seeing a friend on Monday who has the Swarovski 10x30 but I'm not sure if it's the CL or a higher model but I thought I would ask her if I could give them a try. If all things were equal I think I would prefer the x10 magnification but I'm just aware of the risk people report of them being harder to keep stable. Do people ever find they buy a x8 and wished they'd gone for the x10 and vice versa?

Hi Sue,

10x30 will have an even smaller exit pupil compared to &x30 and it could be even more picky aligning it to your eyes. But of course you should still try it to see how it works for you, perhaps you'll like it. I've tried 10x bins and I'm not much of a fan. I prefer the calmer view of lower power binos (less shake).

Dennis has given good advice here; I think the new 8x30 Swaro CL-b with its easier eye placement, very sharp image and slower focus could be a very good one for you. A slower focus speed makes it easier to snap the image into sharp focus. It will be an improvement over the Monarch 7 8x30 and should be easier to use. But you may also like your friends and 10x30 if it's the latest version CL.
 

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