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

Wow, That is quite a bit of a step up from the monarch 7. Definitely a world class end game pair of binos. Enjoy them in Good health!
 

SueG

Active member
Wow, That is quite a bit of a step up from the monarch 7. Definitely a world class end game pair of binos. Enjoy them in Good health!

Thanks, when I started out I had good intentions of not getting too carried away but i think after experiencing the eye strain with the Monarch 7's it made me realise how important it was to get the right pair as i intend to keep them a long time. From the first time I looked through the 8x30CL they just felt right and I think I'll always enjoy using them. Also thank you for mentioning about the other person who had experience eye strain with the M7's as after reading their post I felt I was able to mention it as a bit of back up when returning the M7's. Thanks again Sue
 

MandoBear

Well-known member
Hi Sue,
I've only come to this post late - and I'm sorry that I was therefore unable to help you. I live in Herefordshire, and have a pair of Monarch 7 8x30s (and you'd have been welcome to try them) which I find pretty good, though they are quite exacting in terms of eye placement, but it sounds like you ended up with a great pair of binoculars in the end. The Swarovski 8x30 CL are exceedingly good binoculars. I hope they serve you very well for many years to come. Good that you got this all sorted before the lockdown. Enjoy your birding!
 

SueG

Active member
Hi Sue,
I've only come to this post late - and I'm sorry that I was therefore unable to help you. I live in Herefordshire, and have a pair of Monarch 7 8x30s (and you'd have been welcome to try them) which I find pretty good, though they are quite exacting in terms of eye placement, but it sounds like you ended up with a great pair of binoculars in the end. The Swarovski 8x30 CL are exceedingly good binoculars. I hope they serve you very well for many years to come. Good that you got this all sorted before the lockdown. Enjoy your birding!

Hi MandoBear,

Sorry I've just seen your post. Thank was a kind offer to try your Monarch 7's. I hope I'll be pleased with my choice but they're a Christmas present to myself so I'll have to wait a little longer before I can really get going with them. Thanks again Sue
 
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
I have a pair of those and I love them. I do find that eye placement is crucial, and I have to position them on my nose a few mm backed off from my pupils. I can't press my eyeballs into the eyecups. At first I found it awkward/annoying but now it's automatic and they do give excellent views. i don't know if that helps or not.
Dave
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
Get a 42 mm or 50 mm, and you won't have to worry about eye placement or finickiness. A 30 mm or below is always going to be difficult for eye placement because your exit pupil is so small. An exit pupil of less than 4 mm begins to get make eye placement hard no matter what type of binocular you have.
 

Bob_McBob

Active member
I've had problems with eye placement with every 8x30 I've tried, and it seems to be not uncommon based on all the reading I did on the forum last year. The eye cups on many models simply do not extend far enough for the level of eye relief, so I would have to hold them slightly away from my face as described in earlier comments here to avoid blackouts. I came to a satisfactory solution with the Maven 8x30 by adding o-rings that slightly extend the position of the eye cups.
 

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Pileatus

"Experientia Docet”
United States
Get a 42 mm or 50 mm, and you won't have to worry about eye placement or finickiness. A 30 mm or below is always going to be difficult for eye placement because your exit pupil is so small. An exit pupil of less than 4 mm begins to get make eye placement hard no matter what type of binocular you have.
And your evidence for this is?
My wife and I have used 8X32 SE's for 16 years without complaint and her 8X32 SV has one of the "easiest" views I've ever experienced. A 4mm exit pupil shouldn't deter anyone. One last point about the 8X32 SV. The view of a clear night sky through this instrument is absolutely stunning, worthy of any amateur binocular astronomer.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
And your evidence for this is?
My wife and I have used 8X32 SE's for 16 years without complaint and her 8X32 SV has one of the "easiest" views I've ever experienced. A 4mm exit pupil shouldn't deter anyone. One last point about the 8X32 SV. The view of a clear night sky through this instrument is absolutely stunning, worthy of any amateur binocular astronomer.
A 4 mm exit pupil is usually satisfactory for most people but 5 mm and above gives you easier eye placement resulting in more comfort, usually less glare, better low light performance and fewer aberrations. Hence, the popularity of the 8x42 despite the fact that they are heavier and bigger than a 8x32. You don't really need any evidence it is a principal of Physics. A bigger aperture will always outperform a smaller aperture. For example, a 42 mm binocular brings in 40% more light than a 32 mm. You have to decide if the difference in weight and size is worth the difference in performance depending on how you use the binocular. Do you hike a lot? Do you do a lot of low light birding? Do you use your binocular in a lot of high glare situations? Those are questions you have to ask yourself.
 
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[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
I've had problems with eye placement with every 8x30 I've tried, and it seems to be not uncommon based on all the reading I did on the forum last year. The eye cups on many models simply do not extend far enough for the level of eye relief, so I would have to hold them slightly away from my face as described in earlier comments here to avoid blackouts. I came to a satisfactory solution with the Maven 8x30 by adding o-rings that slightly extend the position of the eye cups.
Almost all 8x30 binoculars have that problem plus often times their eye cups are smaller in diameter, and they sink into your eye sockets which exacerbates the problem.
 

Pileatus

"Experientia Docet”
United States
A 4 mm exit pupil is usually satisfactory for most people but 5 mm and above gives you easier eye placement resulting in more comfort, usually less glare, better low light performance and fewer aberrations. Hence, the popularity of the 8x42 despite the fact that they are heavier and bigger than a 8x32. You don't really need any evidence it is a principal of Physics. A bigger aperture will always outperform a smaller aperture. For example, a 42 mm binocular brings in 40% more light than a 32 mm. You have to decide if the difference in weight and size is worth the difference in performance depending on how you use the binocular. Do you hike a lot? Do you do a lot of low light birding? Do you use your binocular in a lot of high glare situations? Those are questions you have to ask yourself.
Generalizations are often worthless. A crappy (that's a technical term) 42mm or 50mm binocular can look like junk (more techno-speak) compared to a well designed 32mm. As I see more and more 8X32 SV's in use I think it's obvious that viewing pleasure is not determined by size.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
Generalizations are often worthless. A crappy (that's a technical term) 42mm or 50mm binocular can look like junk (more techno-speak) compared to a well designed 32mm. As I see more and more 8X32 SV's in use I think it's obvious that viewing pleasure is not determined by size.
It is not really a generalization it is just Physics. I agree that a crappy 42 mm or 50 mm might not compete with an alpha 32 mm but even a good 42 mm or 50 mm will beat an excellent 32 mm most of the time. The 42 mm will pull in 40% more light than the smaller 32 mm regardless of the quality of the coatings or glass. Aperture by far makes the biggest difference in how bright a binocular is. You see a lot of 8x32 SV's because people don't want to carry the heavier and bigger 42 mm and 50 mm binoculars and the 8x32 SV is fine 95% of the time especially if they use them primarily in the daytime. When considering the same quality binoculars though a 42 mm or 50 mm will outperform a 32 mm giving you easier eye placement, better low light performance, better glare control and fewer aberrations on-axis.
 
Hi Sue,
I've only come to this post late - and I'm sorry that I was therefore unable to help you. I live in Herefordshire, and have a pair of Monarch 7 8x30s (and you'd have been welcome to try them) which I find pretty good, though they are quite exacting in terms of eye placement, but it sounds like you ended up with a great pair of binoculars in the end. The Swarovski 8x30 CL are exceedingly good binoculars. I hope they serve you very well for many years to come. Good that you got this all sorted before the lockdown. Enjoy your birding!
I too have the Monarchs and I purchased from Amazon a pair of eyecups, 32-36mm,, soft rubber, that extend the distance between ep and eyes, I now use them with these in place and the eyepieces twisted all the way down and get a far more comfortable experience viewing through them. they are an excellent pair of birding binoculars, for me I don't believe I would notice any improvement no matter how much money I spent. I think Nikon missed a trick here.
 

Pileatus

"Experientia Docet”
United States
It is not really a generalization it is just Physics. I agree that a crappy 42 mm or 50 mm might not compete with an alpha 32 mm but even a good 42 mm or 50 mm will beat an excellent 32 mm most of the time. The 42 mm will pull in 40% more light than the smaller 32 mm regardless of the quality of the coatings or glass.
It is not really a generalization it is just Physics. I agree that a crappy 42 mm or 50 mm might not compete with an alpha 32 mm but even a good 42 mm or 50 mm will beat an excellent 32 mm most of the time. The 42 mm will pull in 40% more light than the smaller 32 mm regardless of the quality of the coatings or glass. Aperture by far makes the biggest difference in how bright a binocular is. You see a lot of 8x32 SV's because people don't want to carry the heavier and bigger 42 mm and 50 mm binoculars and the 8x32 SV is fine 95% of the time especially if they use them primarily in the daytime. When considering the same quality binoculars though a 42 mm or 50 mm will outperform a 32 mm giving you easier eye placement, better low light performance, better glare control and fewer aberrations on-axis.
It is not really a generalization it is just Physics. I agree that a crappy 42 mm or 50 mm might not compete with an alpha 32 mm but even a good 42 mm or 50 mm will beat an excellent 32 mm most of the time. The 42 mm will pull in 40% more light than the smaller 32 mm regardless of the quality of the coatings or glass. Aperture by far makes the biggest difference in how bright a binocular is. You see a lot of 8x32 SV's because people don't want to carry the heavier and bigger 42 mm and 50 mm binoculars and the 8x32 SV is fine 95% of the time especially if they use them primarily in the daytime. When considering the same quality binoculars though a 42 mm or 50 mm will outperform a 32 mm giving you easier eye placement, better low light performance, better glare control and fewer aberrations on-axis.

is. You see a lot of 8x32 SV's because people don't want to carry the heavier and bigger 42 mm and 50 mm binoculars and the 8x32 SV is fine 95% of the time especially if they use them primarily in the daytime. When considering the same quality binoculars though a 42 mm or 50 mm will outperform a 32 mm giving you easier eye placement, better low light performance, better glare control and fewer aberrations on-axis.

It is not really a generalization it is just Physics. I agree that a crappy 42 mm or 50 mm might not compete with an alpha 32 mm but even a good 42 mm or 50 mm will beat an excellent 32 mm most of the time. The 42 mm will pull in 40% more light than the smaller 32 mm regardless of the quality of the coatings or glass. Aperture by far makes the biggest difference in how bright a binocular is. You see a lot of 8x32 SV's because people don't want to carry the heavier and bigger 42 mm and 50 mm binoculars and the 8x32 SV is fine 95% of the time especially if they use them primarily in the daytime. When considering the same quality binoculars though a 42 mm or 50 mm will outperform a 32 mm giving you easier eye placement, better low light performance, better glare control and fewer aberrations on-axis.
1385 804 72 exit pupil
 

eitanaltman

Well-known member
Small comment since this thread got bumped — I had the M7 8x30 for years before selling it about a year ago. I always felt eye position was finicky and glare excessive, but otherwise it gave very nice views.

I just got its “cousin” the Opticron Traveler 8x32 ED and I think it’s just fabulous and it has very easy eye positioning. I am also one who gets annoyed by small eyecups and/or eyecups that don’t click out far enough for the eye relief. The baby Opticrons do fall into the latter category a bit BUT the eyecups are relatively large diameter and so it’s easy to rest them on the edge of the eye socket, and with the forgiving “eye box” they don’t cause blackouts even if I press the eyecups a little deeper — as long as I don’t shove them into my face too hard it’s no problem getting comfortable views. And from what I remember of the M7 the Opticron is superior optically overall, and glare control is not the best but definitely superior to the M7.

So if you want something with that form factor but don’t find the M7 that comfortable, give the Opticron a try!
 

yarrellii

Well-known member
I just got its “cousin” the Opticron Traveler 8x32 ED and I think it’s just fabulous [...]. So if you want something with that form factor but don’t find the M7 that comfortable, give the Opticron a try!
I have to agree wholeheartedly with Eitan. I've had two Nikon M7 8x30 and it is a model I love. Pesonally I've never had problems using it, but now I have a 8x32 Traveler ED and I think I like it a bit more (I also think the Opticron controls glare better; mind you my two units of M7 8x30 had noticeable differences in performance, so there's some sample variation). Maybe optically they're really very close, but somehow the sum of the parts and little details makes the Traveler more complete.

Other thing to notice is that with the Opticron you can unscrew the eyecups (I think they're glued on the M7), so you can add an O ring or try to customise it.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
I have to agree wholeheartedly with Eitan. I've had two Nikon M7 8x30 and it is a model I love. Pesonally I've never had problems using it, but now I have a 8x32 Traveler ED and I think I like it a bit more (I also think the Opticron controls glare better; mind you my two units of M7 8x30 had noticeable differences in performance, so there's some sample variation). Maybe optically they're really very close, but somehow the sum of the parts and little details makes the Traveler more complete.

Other thing to notice is that with the Opticron you can unscrew the eyecups (I think they're glued on the M7), so you can add an O ring or try to customise it.
There is a big difference in comfort and performance between a 8x30 and a 8x32 in most cases. It is not a huge incremental size increase in aperture but for me going from a 8x30 to a 8x32 makes quite a difference.
 

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