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ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

Any suggestions? (1 Viewer)


New member
United Kingdom
Hi all,

I've been looking for a good pair of binoculars between £500-£600 for a while, and I am setting off to Kenya soon so I thought it would be the perfect time to get some.
I've seen the vortex vipers HD 10x42 but also the Nikon M7 8x30, any opinions or suggestions would be greatly appreciated 😄
Pending input from others with more direct experience and expertise:

Over the last year I have used in the field the Viper HD 10x42 and the Monarch 5 10x42 courtesy of friends/fellow BF members but did not compare them directly against one another. I was impressed with both for the price but more so with the Viper FWIW.

I have never tried any Monarch 7 but do have a SW 8x30. if you are going to pick between the two you mention, and have to do so without direct comparison, always best if possible, it will likely come down to whether you want more magnification and a larger AFOV (the Viper 10x42) or whether a smaller lighter bin with a larger FOV and brighter, steadier image (Monarch 8x30) would suit you better. The Viper HD is small and light weight for a 10x42 and based on other reviews the Monarch 7 is small and light even for an 8x30 with a larger than average FOV for that format.

If I recall correctly both the older Viper 10x42 and the newer HD version are still generally available. Based on other reports elsewhere on the forum, the HD version is worth its higher price.

Hope this helps. Safe travels and good luck with the Quest.

Part of your decision might be whether you will be doing any safaris on foot. If you are then I would recommend taking the lightest pair you are comfortable with. Which in this case seems to be the Monarch 8x30.

first of all, welcome to birdforum!

The first question is, can you hold a 10x pair steady? On foot? On a Landrover with the engine on? While its moving?

Second question would be whether you will wear glasses when using the bins and thus need more ER.

As for what to get, unless you will be wearing glasses, the M7 8x30 will be adequate. Or one of its nicer brethren from Maven and Opticron...

Some ideas for used glass from the usual suspects:

Opticrons non-identical twin of the M7 8x30...

Another well regarded 8x32..

Nikons top 8x32 from 20 years ago... if you will be wearing glasses this is one of the few 8x32 models that has really good ER...

Swaro SLC 8x30 might be a tad better than an M7...

If you want to go 10x42, Leicas former top offering will probably beat the Vortex...

Or an M7 10x42 for cheap...


Opticron Aurora is available in both 8x and 10x 42mm. It might be a bit above your price range unless there is a sale or something 2nd hand. Very nice image but check the focus wheel.
I would definitely choose light, compact and therefore comfortable binoculars. And then the Nikon M7 8x30 is a very suitable candidate that is optically close to the top. I have used the previous model of the M7 8x30 for years with complete satisfaction. Because I liked the 30 format so much (after having had an 8x42 for years), I gave myself a Zeiss SFL 8x30 last year. But the Zeiss didn't give me the wow factor I expected. That is not due to the Zeiss, but I was simply spoiled by the Nikon, which offers very good optics for its price. The 30 or 32 models are a bit more critical in the eye placement and adjustment of the eyepieces than the larger 42 models.

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