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Bino Recommendations (1 Viewer)

Jhconnected

New member
Hi everyone,

I’m in the market for a new set of binoculars and, with the amount of experience and very thorough analysis that everyone here has shown, I thought that you would be able to give me some good advice and maybe some pros and cons.

I am looking in the ~$1000 price range. The main contenders seem to be Zeiss Conquest HD 10x42, Leica Trinovid HD 10x42 and the upstart Maven B2 9x45.

Could you provide your thoughts on these? I am also open to other suggestions. Thanks!

-Jared
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
Of those three I would probably choose the Zeiss Conquest HD 10x42. The Maven B2 9x45 is a great binocular but at 33 oz. it is a little heavy if weight is important to you. The Nikon Monarch HG 10x42 is very nice and it is smaller and lighter than the Zeiss Conquest HD at 24 oz. and has a bigger FOV and it is about the same price. You should check out one of those also. The best thing is to try them all yourself.
 
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mfunnell

Registered Confuser
Hi everyone,

I’m in the market for a new set of binoculars and, with the amount of experience and very thorough analysis that everyone here has shown, I thought that you would be able to give me some good advice and maybe some pros and cons.

I am looking in the ~$1000 price range. The main contenders seem to be Zeiss Conquest HD 10x42, Leica Trinovid HD 10x42 and the upstart Maven B2 9x45.

Could you provide your thoughts on these? I am also open to other suggestions. Thanks!

-Jared
Before answering, I'm going to have to ask: what do you plan to use the binoculars for?

That would colour my answer a great deal. While I have, and frequently use, binoculars of 10x power, my belief is that absent some specific use (eg. engaging or identifying over long and relatively unobstructed distances), the consensus is that 7x or 8x magnification (mostly, these days, 8x) binoculars are better - if only for the wider field of view.

But you might well have a use where 10x or similar is entirely sensible. I just don't know.

...Mike

[BTW: if you can, check out the Tract Toric 10x42 bins. My impression (from an older-generation 8x42) is that Tract does a good job. Maybe as well as Maven (who I have no problem with; and also binoculars from), maybe not. But the strict equivalent Tracts tend to go for $150 to $200 less than the equivalent-spec Maven. Only you know if the difference is worth the additional cost.]
 
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pbjosh

missing the neotropics
Switzerland
Agreeing with others here, in my view the Nikon MHG is the bin that ticks more boxes for me in this price range - light weight, great FOV, great ergonomics, great optics. The Zeiss Conquest is a nice bin as well, no doubt, but a touch heavier and narrower FOV - though perhaps slightly better optically, though this depends on what factors you weight. I would take either over the Trinovid, personally. The Maven is by all accounts a nice bin but is indeed quite heavy.

Purportedly similar to the Conquest optically but at a more attractive price is the Tract Toric HD or the Opticron DBA VHD+. I've not seen the Tract but have seen the Opticron, it's a very nice bin though I would need more time with it and with the Zeiss to make a better comparison.
 

Jhconnected

New member
I haven’t considered the Nikon MHG yet but will have to take a look. The weight isn’t as big of a concern as the performance. I currently use a pair of 10x50s that are much heavier than most of the 42 or 45 mm objective bins on the market today.

I would mainly be using this for hunting and other wildlife observation.
 

CMB

Well-known member
Also consider the Kowa Genesis Prominar XD 8.5x44 or 10.5x44.

Camera Land NY (a sponsor here) usually seems to have them in stock. Price is right in there with the Zeiss Conquest HD line. But you get larger objective leses and slightly more magnification.

ED glass, good amount of eye relief, nice exit pupil size.

Good luck.
 
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eitanaltman

Well-known member
Honestly you don’t really have bad options in this group. It’s all really good glass in the $1k range and differences will be mostly about size, weight, ergonomics, and minor differences in the optical characteristics like color balance, field of view, color fringing, sweet spot size, etc.

The best thing you can do is get some of these in your hands and try them as personal fit will be a major factor. It’s less about which one is absolutely the “best” and more about your priorities vs the given options strengths and weaknesses.

If you don’t mind the extra weight the Kowa 44 and Maven 45 are attractive for their slightly larger objective and great optics. The Trinovid HD and Monarch HG will be the most compact and light weight, the Monarch HG in particular is very light for a 42mm. And the MHG has a class leading field of view if that matters to you.

The Conquest HD in my mind is kind of a “middle ground” option in this class as it’s very good all around but not really exceptional in any one way. It’s not too heavy not too light. FOV is wide but not the widest. The control of color fringing is ok but not great. Good but not great color balance. Its best attributes are brightness, sharpness and rugged build.

The Meopta Meostar HD 10x42 is another worth option too consider, especially if you don’t mind the weight. Excellent European glass, not Japanese outsourced to Kamakura like most of the options at this price.
 

fazalmajid

Well-known member
Supporter
United Kingdom
Eitan's recommendations are spot-on, as usual.

Nothing wrong with Japanese glass, the Zeiss Victory Pocket 8x25 (made by Kamakura) is outstanding, as are the Nikon MHG, EDG and WX. My concern with companies like Tract or Maven is that they might not be around in 10 years' time, unlike Swarovski, Zeiss, Leica, Nikon or Meopta. Binoculars in that price range should be lifetime purchases, as in lifetime of the owner, not of the importer/marketer shell company.
 
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WJC

Well-known member
Eitan's recommendations are spot-on, as usual.

Nothing wrong with Japanese glass, the Zeiss Victory Pocket 8x25 (made by Kamakura) is outstanding, as are the Nikon MHG, EDG and WX. My concern with companies like Tract or Maven is that they might not be around in 10 years' time, unlike Swarovski, Zeiss, Leica, Nikon or Meopta. Binoculars in that price range should be lifetime purchases, as in lifetime of the owner, not of the importer/marketer shell company.

Lifetime purchase? With as many people looking to "upgrade" 3 times a year? What does it matter? Talk is cheap; good binoculars are not. :eek!::cat:

Bill
 

eitanaltman

Well-known member
Since the Opticron was mentioned above, if you’re willing to consider an 8x42 there’s an Opticron VHD 8x42 for sale in the classifieds for a great price. Optically it should be on par with other Japanese glass like the Conquest, and it’s quite compact and light for a 42. Would make a nice complement to the 10x50 so you’d have two different options for different environments.
 

jremmons

Wildlife Biologist
I would consider the Kowa Genesis, Meopta Meostar, or Nikon Monarch HG over the options listed in the OP (excluding the Maven for which I have no point of reference as they are not readily available for testing).
I have owned the Kowa, Meopta, Zeiss, as well as the Vortex Razor HD in this range (although in their 8x format, not 10x) and found the Kowa to have the best overall optics but in the heftiest frame, and I thought the Meopta right on its heels in terms of optics but with better ergonomics. The Monarch HG I've only tried, never owning it, but it was impressive and particularly handy from an ergonomic standpoint.
The Conquest HD was good in most aspects, and had excellent brightness, but I wouldn't recommend it over the others ; it just didn't particularly excel over them in terms of optics or mechanics. The eyecups were also a constant pain and seemed poorly designed in comparison to the rest of the binoculars.

Justin
 

Jhconnected

New member
What do y’all know about the warranties of the various companies assuming they are around to fulfill them. Maven is supposed to have a great one. I’ve heard Leica is suspect. What have y’all experienced?
 

Jhconnected

New member
Also, concerning lifetime purchase and quality. I would like these to last a long time for me but there are usually diminishing returns as you go up in price on most things. Would y’all say that above this price point the added cost has lesser Gains in performance than going from $500 to $1000. If so, at a certain point the added cost would be better spent on other gear/things/etc.
 

CMB

Well-known member
I’ve used Zeiss’ warranty repair service for a pair of Conquest HD binoculars. The Conquests have a five year warranty covering any type of damage. Turn around time was about a week. The customer rep stayed in contact with me during the process. When I got them back the issue had not been corrected so they were immediately sent back. Once again turn around time was a week. Zeiss stayed in contact. The issue was properly fixed the second time around and has not been an issue since.

Kowa USA’s service has been talked about in the Kowa binocular sub-forum by people who have used it.
 
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chill6x6

Well-known member
I haven’t considered the Nikon MHG yet but will have to take a look. The weight isn’t as big of a concern as the performance. I currently use a pair of 10x50s that are much heavier than most of the 42 or 45 mm objective bins on the market today.

I would mainly be using this for hunting and other wildlife observation.

Lots of good recommendations have been made BUT....for uses such as yours...no doubt I'd want a binocular completely armored. Often times I'd just put my binocular and strap into my backpack without the binocular case. So I'd pick the Conquest HD OR a Meopta Meostar. Both are completely armoured and tough. I've had a total of three Conquest HDs....the eyecups are stiff when new but work in just fine. I still have two Conquest HDs...been at least 3 if not 4 years. Either would be a fine choice!
 

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