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Best 7x50 large porro (1 Viewer)

Hello,my name is Alex and i live in Bucharest, Romania this is my first post here so im sorry if i make mistakes writing in english,because its not my first language.
Ever since i was a kid a had a passion for optics,my father worked in the military and at one point when i was 9 years old he brought to me the IOR 7X40 from work, i was so impressed by that binocular that i made the decision that i will buy one for myself. Because in the 90s IOR didnt sold products for civilians here in Romania this was impossible,only after 2004 IOR 7x40 started to appear on the market,mainly used old stock from the army.In 2008 i finally realized my dream and bought the IOR 7X40 and thats when all started.
I have a passion for porro binoculars,altough i have also roof binoculars,the likes of Meopta meostar and Nikon Hg.
Now if you want to buy a 7x50 binoculars,which is my favorite magnification,on the roof binocular market you have verry little choices,and in my opinion if you want a really good 7x50 you have to buy a porro
So today i will make a review of 4 porro binoculars which i believe are among the best in the world in the 7x50 class.

1.Omegon Nightstar 7x50 ED(BA8)
2.Lunt Engineering 7x50
3.Nikon Prostar 7x50
4.Fujinon FMT-SX 7X50

1.Omegon Nightstar 7X50 ED
This binocular is from the famous BA8 series produced by United Optics Kunnming,it is a clone of the Fujinon FMT series,in my opinion the chinese did a pretty good job in the imitation of the optical characteristics of the Fujinon and is a very good binocular.
External and internal build quality and accesories
The Omegon Nightstar 7x50 ED comes in a simple black box,in a typical black case and with a cleaning cloth and a simple standard manual on how to use binoculars,also there is a tripod adaptor made of quality material.
The external appearance is identical to that of the Fujino FMTR-SX but there are some slip ups,the rubber is not so tight around the binocular,the rubber is lower quality and the fit around the binocular is not perfect as it is in the Fujinon.It weighs around 1 kilo,and is build like a tank.The eyecups are similar to that of the Fujinon but a little bit soft and mushy.
Looking inside the barrels one can see that it is well made,blackened very good,prisms are set nicely in positions,glue is correcly positioned ,but the metal frame interior is not so polished and is very crude compared to the Fujinon for example.
In a scale o 1-10 i would rate the build quality of the Omegon to 7!

2. Lunt Engineering 7x50
This binocular is and update of the BA8 series also made at the Kunming factories,it has a different eyepiece construction and made from magnesium composites.Quality is a step above the BA8
External and internal build quality and accesories
The Lunt came in a larger carboard box,also plain with a nicer case,green this time,cleaning cloth, tripod adapter and basic manual,the same as the Omegon.
The finish of the body is a step ahead,it has vulcanized skin very evenly applied with no marks but thinner than the vulcanized skin of the japanese competitors,in my opinion the ocular construction is better that that of the Omegon and Fuji without rubber just machined metal,mechanically there are no reservations.
The inside of the barrels is similar to that of the original BA8,just like the BA8 the metal frame interior is not polished,made a little bit sloppy.
In a scale o 1-10 i would rate the build quality of the Lunt to 8!

3.Nikon Prostar 7x50
I had a very hard time finding this binocular,i bought the last set available on Amazon Uk, in my opinion this binocular represents the highest class of porro binoculars, i think it is made by Nikon themselves, not outsurce to Kamakura or any other OEM, i also have thye Nikon Tropical but about that i will write on another topic.
External and internal build quality and accesories
In my opinion this binocular has one of the nicest set of accesories ever to come with a binocular,the box is gold coloured and of very high quality,inspribed very simple Nikon SP, the case is the best case ive ever seen with a binocular,black,fully made in japan and from leather in the style of old Jena products,you also have two sets of eyecups,one set with the horned style and one with the traditional style,a manual and warranty.
The binoculars external appearance is of something made for NASA to take in space,the leatherete on it is perfectly applied,has a bad smell when you first open it but is of very high quality,it is applied uniformly and doesent have any imperfections,i studied it thoroughly.The metal barrels of the ocular are slimmer than that of the BA8,Fujinon or the Lunt but is perfectly machined and turns semi hard but smoothly.
Looking inside the barrels i have to say the following,they are perfectly darkened,the prisms are huge,bigger than the aforementioned binoculars,the glue is higher quality and is perfectly applied,in contrast to its chinese counterparts the interior is polished perfectly and very clean.
 

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binomaniac

Well-known member
I have two good porro binoculars too: IOR 7X40 and an fabulous Steiner Nighthunter 8x56 last incarnation. What modell of Meostar and HG do you have ?
 
Thank you both for your kind words,i have the Monarch HG 8x42 and the Meostar 8x42,unfortunately i dont have any high end Steiners,only the Navigator Pro 7x50 and 7x30,but a Nighthunter is on my wishlist as well as an Docter Nobilem 8x56 or 7x50.
I will update my original post as soon as im going to end the test of all four binoculars, i want to be very thorough because i was searching for reviews of all 4 binoculars im testing now and didnt find any!
 
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PYRTLE

Old Berkshire Boy
In regard to the thread title, is the best 7 x 50 porro prism binocular, the Nikon WX ? I recall looking through a Swift 7 x 50 ( Navigator? ) during the 1980s and quite impressed by the image.
 
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binomaniac

Well-known member
Nice binoculars both Nikon HG and Meostar . As for the Nobilem 8x56 is on the first place on the Allbinos.com 8x56 ranking followed very closeley by the Steiner Night Hunter last model . I have an Meostar 8x32 and i think is not far behind optically to the SV 8x32 wich i had have couple years ago .
 

henry link

Well-known member
In regard to the thread title, is the best 7 x 50 porro prism binocular, the Nikon WX ? I recall looking through a Swift 7 x 50 ( Navigator? ) during the 1980s and quite impressed by the image.

The WX uses Abbe-Koenig prisms. It's been pointed out before that lots of the old 7x50s have very good looking images in daylight, since they're effectively stopped down by the eye to 15-20mm and function as low power f/10-f/13 scopes. They don't even have to be that good to look good.
 
I didnt say the binoculars im reviewing are the best 7x50 binoculars,just some of the best 7x50 porros.
I want to be an informative review for people looking to buy a good 7x50. I express my opinions only, i have no bias, i personally purchased all the binoculars. Expect more pictures of all the accesories and binoculars very soon. Thank you all for your support!
 
Nice binoculars both Nikon HG and Meostar . As for the Nobilem 8x56 is on the first place on the Allbinos.com 8x56 ranking followed very closeley by the Steiner Night Hunter last model . I have an Meostar 8x32 and i think is not far behind optically to the SV 8x32 wich i had have couple years ago .
Yes i also find allbinos a very informative site, i dont have an Alpha binocular of the roof prism design, altough i looked and analyzed an El 8.5x42 and a Slc HD 8x42 vs my Meopta Meostar briefly and found the difference to small for the extra money, i agreed the EL was better on edge correction and finish but not 1000 euro better. I feel alphas are overpriced, second tier binoculars are al ost as good for half price, it the law of diminishing returns, you have to pay exorbitant amounts of money for tiny increases în quality, a philoshophy that i dont agree with.
 

WJC

Well-known member
I didnt say the binoculars im reviewing are the best 7x50 binoculars,just some of the best 7x50 porros.
I want to be an informative review for people looking to buy a good 7x50. I express my opinions only, i have no bias, i personally purchased all the binoculars. Expect more pictures of all the accesories and binoculars very soon. Thank you all for your support!

Part of the attached might be useful. :cat:

Bill
 

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Part of the attached might be useful. :cat:

Bill

Thank you for the very interesting Information, but i didnt reached the end of my review yet, i agree with al that îs written în the pamphlet you posted. I will express just my opinion. People have different eye perception, what binocular seems best for me can be considered not so good by another person thats why im trying to be as obiective as I can în regards to things that are not inherently subjective în nature like quality of image, brightess etc.
 

WJC

Well-known member
Thank you for the very interesting Information, but i didnt reached the end of my review yet, i agree with al that îs written în the pamphlet you posted. I will express just my opinion. People have different eye perception, what binocular seems best for me can be considered not so good by another person thats why im trying to be as obiective as I can în regards to things that are not inherently subjective în nature like quality of image, brightess etc.

That's why I offered a subjective test on two of the better 7x50s out there. :cat:

Bill
 

typo

Well-known member
The WX uses Abbe-Koenig prisms. It's been pointed out before that lots of the old 7x50s have very good looking images in daylight, since they're effectively stopped down by the eye to 15-20mm and function as low power f/10-f/13 scopes. They don't even have to be that good to look good.

Henry,

Keep in mind that the ISO (and I suspect Mil-spec) resolulition standards for 7x50 binoculars are pretty lax. For a 'high quality' 7x50 is just <8.5", or 428/D.The 'general purpose' standard is 10.7", or 535/D. I've not tried any of the binoculars being considered here but I would hope these being reviewed in this thread would exceed these limits by some margin, but there are some pretty attrocious ones on the market too.

David
 

henry link

Well-known member
My Nikon Prostar has resolution of about 3.5", so around 175/D, handily beating the sorry ISO standard while still being a pretty poor lens by diffraction limited standards.

As you know most of the old Porro 7x50s, including the Prostar, use ordinary cemented achromats with focal ratios around f/3.8. Only so much should be expected of such a lens and only so much is really needed at 7x and full aperture given the very poor acuity of the eye when dilated to 7.1mm.

The resolution of my Prostar when stopped down to 18mm is about 6.7" or 121/D. Still not quite diffraction limited, but good enough at 7x to look perfectly sharp to most humans.

Henry
 
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Hello,my name is Alex and i live in Bucharest, Romania this is my first post here so im sorry if i make mistakes writing in english,because its not my first language.
Ever since i was a kid a had a passion for optics,my father worked in the military and at one point when i was 9 years old he brought to me the IOR 7X40 from work, i was so impressed by that binocular that i made the decision that i will buy one for myself. Because in the 90s IOR didnt sold products for civilians here in Romania this was impossible,only after 2004 IOR 7x40 started to appear on the market,mainly used old stock from the army.In 2008 i finally realized my dream and bought the IOR 7X40 and thats when all started.
I have a passion for porro binoculars,altough i have also roof binoculars,the likes of Meopta meostar and Nikon Hg.
Now if you want to buy a 7x50 binoculars,which is my favorite magnification,on the roof binocular market you have verry little choices,and in my opinion if you want a really good 7x50 you have to buy a porro
So today i will make a review of 4 porro binoculars which i believe are among the best in the world in the 7x50 class.

1.Omegon Nightstar 7x50 ED(BA8)
2.Lunt Engineering 7x50
3.Nikon Prostar 7x50
4.Fujinon FMT-SX 7X50

1.Omegon Nightstar 7X50 ED
This binocular is from the famous BA8 series produced by United Optics Kunnming,it is a clone of the Fujinon FMT series,in my opinion the chinese did a pretty good job in the imitation of the optical characteristics of the Fujinon and is a very good binocular.
External and internal build quality and accesories
The Omegon Nightstar 7x50 ED comes in a simple black box,in a typical black case and with a cleaning cloth and a simple standard manual on how to use binoculars,also there is a tripod adaptor made of quality material.
The external appearance is identical to that of the Fujino FMTR-SX but there are some slip ups,the rubber is not so tight around the binocular,the rubber is lower quality and the fit around the binocular is not perfect as it is in the Fujinon.It weighs around 1 kilo,and is build like a tank.The eyecups are similar to that of the Fujinon but a little bit soft and mushy.
Looking inside the barrels one can see that it is well made,blackened very good,prisms are set nicely in positions,glue is correcly positioned ,but the metal frame interior is not so polished and is very crude compared to the Fujinon for example.
In a scale o 1-10 i would rate the build quality of the Omegon to 7!

2. Lunt Engineering 7x50
This binocular is and update of the BA8 series also made at the Kunming factories,it has a different eyepiece construction and made from magnesium composites.Quality is a step above the BA8
External and internal build quality and accesories
The Lunt came in a larger carboard box,also plain with a nicer case,green this time,cleaning cloth, tripod adapter and basic manual,the same as the Omegon.
The finish of the body is a step ahead,it has vulcanized skin very evenly applied with no marks but thinner than the vulcanized skin of the japanese competitors,in my opinion the ocular construction is better that that of the Omegon and Fuji without rubber just machined metal,mechanically there are no reservations.
The inside of the barrels is similar to that of the original BA8,just like the BA8 the metal frame interior is not polished,made a little bit sloppy.
In a scale o 1-10 i would rate the build quality of the Lunt to 8!

3.Nikon Prostar 7x50
I had a very hard time finding this binocular,i bought the last set available on Amazon Uk, in my opinion this binocular represents the highest class of porro binoculars, i think it is made by Nikon themselves, not outsurce to Kamakura or any other OEM, i also have thye Nikon Tropical but about that i will write on another topic.
External and internal build quality and accesories
In my opinion this binocular has one of the nicest set of accesories ever to come with a binocular,the box is gold coloured and of very high quality,inspribed very simple Nikon SP, the case is the best case ive ever seen with a binocular,black,fully made in japan and from leather in the style of old Jena products,you also have two sets of eyecups,one set with the horned style and one with the traditional style,a manual and warranty.
The binoculars external appearance is of something made for NASA to take in space,the leatherete on it is perfectly applied,has a bad smell when you first open it but is of very high quality,it is applied uniformly and doesent have any imperfections,i studied it thoroughly.The metal barrels of the ocular are slimmer than that of the BA8,Fujinon or the Lunt but is perfectly machined and turns semi hard but smoothly.
Looking inside the barrels i have to say the following,they are perfectly darkened,the prisms are huge,bigger than the aforementioned binoculars,the glue is higher quality and is perfectly applied,in contrast to its chinese counterparts the interior is polished perfectly and very clean.
4 Fujinon FMTR-SX2 7X50
I have specifically chosen the fmt-sx version because i like the vulcanized finnish better than the rubberized one.
External and internal build quality and accesories
It was a dissapointment for me regardin the accesories of the device,the former version the FMT-SX 1 came with a nice sturdy hard case in the style of that of the Nikon Prostar,but grey with Fujinon inscribed on her,the FMT-SX2 version comes with a simple cordura style case made in china.
You also get a cleaning cloth,and a manual!
The build quality is higher than that of both the Lunt and the BA8, almost as good as the Nikon Prostar, what suprised me was that both the Nikon Prostar and the Fujinon FMTR-SX have the same nasty smell once you get them out of the box,maybe the vulcanized skin contains some chemicals but the smell is exactly the same,that made me think that maybe both binoculars have a common supplier for the vulcanized skin.
The ocular barrels are perfectly machined and the rubber on them sits flawlessly unlike the Omegon.
Looking inside the barrels one can see they are perfectly blackened,just like the Nikon Prostar but the prisms are slightly smaller,still very big but just a bit smaller than those of the Nikon,glue is applied sloppier than the Nikon but better that its applied on the chinese counterparts,the metal frame is as good as that of the Nikon in the inside.

After finnishing reviewing the looks and construction of the four binocular i would like to say this, the difference în construction between them is more pronouncent when you compare the chinese ones to the japanese.The japanese ones are made more professionaly,better care was taken in the internal construction and applying of the glue,and polishing the internal metal frame.Maybe this things dont affect them optically but its just a mark of quality that maybe justifies in part the price difference you have to pay between the chinese and japanese ones.

I will continue speaking about the handling of the binoculars,balance,feel in the hands,ease of use and after that i will review the optical characteristics.Im sorry because i did not put yet more photos but i was at work,in the weekend i will have more time to take photos!
 

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Patudo

Well-known member
Interesting posts sir! What do you use your 7x50s for? I have tried them at sea (the classic use for this format) where the low magnification and easy eye placement allowed by the extremely generous exit pupil really shine. The ones I tried were fairly average but the view through them was still surprisingly good, I'd really like to look through something like a Fujinon (or indeed one of the PRC-made clones) some day. I did try the Meopta 7x50 Meostar (roof) which offered a very pleasing image. It's a shame (as with 8x56 to an even greater extent) that the superb view they offer is most times outweighed by their size and bulk.
 

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