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Has anyone compared Nikon 10x42 SE vs MHG? (1 Viewer)

yarrellii

Well-known member
Supporter
Yes, I know it can be a weird comparison, a long gone classic versus the latest addition to the Nikon 10x42 stable. Since I know many forum members have used or actively use the 10x42 SE and many others (I'm not sure if actually even more) are enjoying the recent 10x42 Monarch HG (which always seems to get so much praise), I'd be grateful if those of you who have used them both could elaborate a bit on the things these two binoculars have in common or not, and the improvements (or not) the MHG may offer.

(I've read Allbinos take on both SE and MHG and Roger Vine interesting account on the SE)

Background:
10x42 has never been my favourite configuration (I love 7x42 and 8x32), but living by the sea, I think it has its merits (like 12x binoculars). However, I've been enjoying a 10x42 SE for a while now, and it has captivated me with its charms. This device is such a joy to use: the feel in the hands is just great, perfect, and the view is quite relaxed (for a 10x... for me), there is something in the image that reminds me of the 8x30 EII, and the word that comes first is calm, relaxed view. Curiously enough, I don't find the 8x32 SE to give such a relaxed and pleasurable view (it could be the eyecups, though).

I tend to value ease of view over sheer performance (8x30 Habicht or 8x32 Ultravid HD are great performers, but not the easiest on the field or on the eyes), so the huge AFOV coupled with the very light weight of the MHG really sound appealing. In the past I've tried (in the shop) both the 8x30 and 8x42 (I went there with the idea of actually buying the 8x30, since I love the M7-8x30, but I got terrible kidney beaning and I found them frankly a bit of a pain to use; unfortunately I've tried them twice on different opportunities with the same outcome).

So, can the 10x42 MHG be as pleasurable to use as the SE? And, does the new MHG outperform the classic SE? (I know, I know, this is such a personal question; but the more experiences and opinions, the better).
 
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NDhunter

Experienced observer
United States
I will give you my opinion on these 2 models. I have owned all 3 of the SE models, and currently own
the 8x32 and the 12x50 which I find to be the best 2 of the series. The 10x42 is very good but just does
not do as well as those, for me. I will admit my Nikon 10x42 models include the EDG, MHG and M7, so that is
one reason.
I have owned the 10x42 MHG for a while now, and I really like it, and I have not compared the 2 you
mention side by side.
So, this is not an easy question to answer, but I think you would like the handling light weight and wide FOV
of the MHG.
My advice would be for you to try one out before you buy, as they are both very good.

Jerry
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
I have had both of those binoculars and they are both very good. They are right next to each other on Allbino's ranking and you can compare their scores in each area and decide how important it is to you. If CA is important the SE is better for you and if distortion is important the MHG is your binocular. The SE being a porro will have much better light transmission then the MHG. The MHG has a much better close focus at 1.65 m versus 3.3 m for the SE. Probably the most noticeable difference between the two is the much larger FOV of MHG so that could be a deciding factor also. One thing I notice about your post is how many times you say the SE gives you a calm, relaxed view. I have noticed this calm relaxed view in porro's that I have and it comes from the simplicity of the optical design in a porro versus a roof which is a more complicated instrument and a harder binocular to make optically perfect. A big aperture roof like an 8x56 will give you a calmer more aberration free view than a smaller roof like a 10x42. That is the reason some people like an 8x56. I don't think the MHG will give you the same relaxed, calm view that the SE gives you if that is what you like.
 
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yarrellii

Well-known member
Supporter
Jerry, Dennis, thank you very much for taking your time and explaining this, it is a delicate and difficult matter, since we are talking about very good devices.

I have the SE both in 8x32 and 10x42. I like them both, but I think I like the 10x42, maybe because I have more and better 8x32 (in my case, the eyecups of the 8x32 greatly spoil this magnificent binocular).
I tried the MHG both in 8x30 and 8x42, but not in 10x42. So far the SE 10x42 is the only of its kind that have given the relaxed view I so much like in 7x and 8x. I don't know if it's the fact that the SE are of porro construction (oddly enough, I've had a 12x40 porro -Nikon E Criterion- and a 12x42 roof -Nikon M5- and preferred the handling of the roof!).
One of the main points I wanted to raise is wether a "dated" design like the SE (which first hit the shelves at the end of the last century) could keep up with a modern "upper middle class with alpha aspirations".
As you both say, the big FOV and the light weight of the MHG sounds so attractive, I think it could make for a really comfy view.
Where I like I have extremely limited access (to say the least) to quality binoculars, so it will be some time before I can test the MHG.

The underlying issue (one that interests me a lot) is what exactly makes a particular binocular have that ease of view for each individual (regardless of magnification; I am well aware that lower magnification have less shake, bigger DOF and thus a calmer view). Maybe we could open a poll or thread where people can point out the binoculars that gave them the easiest view (maybe sorted by size) and explain why.
Thank you again.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
Here is a thread on binoculars with an "Easy View."
https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=376722&highlight=binoculars+relaxed+view


Here is an excellent answer from that thread by Henry Link detailing what he think's makes a binocular have an "Easy View." I agree with him on the 8x56 because my Zeiss HD Conquest 8x56 is one of the easiest and most relaxed views of all my binoculars, as well as, having the clearest aberration free view.

"In my experience the optically "easiest" view requires that nearly every item on the list of criteria below be present in the same binocular, which is rare. The list is arranged roughly in order of importance.

1) very low axial aberrations and defects in daylight when eyesight is good enough to notice their effects.
2) very large exit pupil for uncritical pupil position, 6-7mm
3) low enough magnification for wide DOF, 8x or less
4) large enough sweet spot for comfortable pupil roaming, about 25º AFOV minimum
5) low veiling glare
6) at least moderately wide true AFOV, about 58º minimum
7) low enough spherical aberration of the exit pupil to avoid kidney-beaning
8) objective spacing narrow enough to avoid large parallax effects at close distances, maximum not much wider than eye spacing
9) distortion managed for moderate pincushion and low angular magnification

The only binocular in my collection that meets all these requirements (some just barely) is the Zeiss 8x56 FL, which I've used as a primary birding binocular for the last 12 years. I imagine there are a few others that are just as good or maybe a little better, like the Swarovski 8x56 SLC, but I've found no smaller binocular that equals it for a totally relaxed, easy and transparent view. Certainly nothing in the 30-32mm class comes even close (I own the 8x30 Swarovski Habicht, Nikon 8x30EII and 8x32 SE and have fully evaluated the Swarovski 8x32 SV). Unfortunately every large exit pupil binocular is not equal. The Zeiss 8x54 HT I tried completely failed the first item in the list."
 
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zzzzzz

Well-known member
Roger Vines take Nikon Monarch 10x42 HG vs Nikon 10x42 SE (HGP)

http://scopeviews.co.uk/NikonMonarchHG10x42.htm

Nikon’s SE 10x42s are my old reference standard in 10x42 binoculars and share much in common with the Monarch HGs, apart from the ‘HG’ label. Both were Nikon’s mid-market option but with top optics and had a similar new price. Both aimed at very low weight for their class. Both claimed a flat field. So how do they compare?

· Remarkably, the Monarch HGs are slightly lighter and much smaller
· The Monarch HGs have 0.9° of field extra – quite a lot
· The SEs field is flatter and has less astigmatism at the edge, so better for astronomy
· The HGs have worse stray light performance overall (though slightly better in-field ghosting)
· Chromatic aberration is virtually identical, though the Monarch HGs boast ED optics
· Resolution is very high in both
· The SEs have several mm more eye relief for better comfort with glasses, but worse blackouts
· The Monarch HGs are fully waterproof; the SEs are not

For general use, you’d take the Monarch HGs. For astronomy, the flatter field of the SEs remains a winner.
 

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Sancho

Registered User
Supporter
These Monarch HGs are for sale on an Irish website. I know this pair well, I used to own them! I bought them new, but decided I didn't need them, and sold them on to a guy who bought them for his son.
https://www.adverts.ie/telescopes-binoculars/binoculars/19394108
I don't know why they're for sale, -I just want to give you a heads up on a mint pair of MHG 10x42 at an excellent price.
 
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yarrellii

Well-known member
Supporter
That was exactly the thread I was thinking about opening. Thanks for saving the work, now I just have to read it all :)
However, the first thing that strikes me is the comment about parallax. It's a known fact that close-up views with a porro are, ahem, "challenging" ;), but some of the binoculars that give me the easiest view are actually porros.

zzzzzz said:
Roger Vines take Nikon Monarch 10x42 HG vs Nikon 10x42 SE (HGP)
How is it possible that I've missed that. As I said in the opening post, I've read Roger Vine's take on the SE... but somehow I missed the one about the MHG with the exact comparison I was asking for! Thank you very much for pointing that out. It is clear that I have to get my vision checked ;)

Sancho said:
These Monarch HGs are for sale on an Irish website. I know this pair well, I used to own them!
Thank you so very much, that's a great tip. A real bargain if it is in a good condition. Really too tempting to pass!
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
These Monarch HGs are for sale on an Irish website. I know this pair well, I used to own them! I bought them new, but decided I didn't need them, and sold them on to a guy who bought them for his son.
https://www.adverts.ie/telescopes-binoculars/binoculars/19394108
I don't know why they're for sale, -I just want to give you a heads up on a mint pair of MHG 10x42 at an excellent price.
Sancho. C'mon! I know if they were your binocular's they probably look like a well worn shoe!;)
 

Sancho

Registered User
Supporter
Sancho. C'mon! I know if they were your binocular's they probably look like a well worn shoe!;)
:-O
Unfortunately Dennis, most of my binos over the years have been like yours...costly, used twice to view a goat or a cloud, then lovingly returned to the box. Obsession...it's not just a perfume by L'Oreal!
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
:-O
Unfortunately Dennis, most of my binos over the years have been like yours...costly, used twice to view a goat or a cloud, then lovingly returned to the box. Obsession...it's not just a perfume by L'Oreal!
I hate to admit but you are right, especially about the goat.;)
 
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Patudo

Well-known member
...I've been enjoying a 10x42 SE for a while now, and it has captivated me with its charms. This device is such a joy to use: the feel in the hands is just great, perfect, and the view is quite relaxed (for a 10x... for me), there is something in the image that reminds me of the 8x30 EII, and the word that comes first is calm, relaxed view.

To be honest amigo... it seems from what you've written above that you have reached that fortunate state of being really happy - both image and handling wise - with what you are using. I'm sure you know a good binocular when you look through one now, as you've owned quite a few really good ones. If that's the case, there is something to be said for stepping back from Birdforum and simply enjoying the experience of using a great pair of binoculars, instead of wondering whether what you are already using, and which, as you said, you are already very happy with, can "keep up" with what's out there.
 

yarrellii

Well-known member
Supporter
Patudo. Those are really wise words. Thank you for the reminder that what matters is actually enjoying the birds :) Yes, I guess I plead guilty of the endless pursuit of that "oh-most-definitely-difference-in-performance-can't-you-see-it-it's-clearly-there" :D
You could not be more accurate in your diagnose. It is always a nice eye-opener when someone points out the important, showing the rest to be what it is. Thanks for that!
 

kevin-h74

Member
Some interesting comments in this thread comparing the 10x42 SE with the 10x42 Monarch HG.
I currently use the 8x32 SE as my primary binocular but I am considering a 10x binocular to get some more reach for wetland and coastal viewing.
A smooth/fast focusing wheel is important to me. I like the focusing wheel of my binocular and would like to know how the Monarch HG focusing wheel compares to that of the SE?
Thanks
 

14Goudvink

Well-known member
According to Allbinos the 8x32 SE takes 530 degrees from 2.05 meters to infinity and the 10x42 HG 580 degrees from 1.65 meters to infinity.

George
 

kevin-h74

Member
Thank you George, although I have nothing to reference to, the numbers sound broadly similar for the amount of turn on the focusing wheel.
I was actually more thinking about how smoothly the wheel turns. The 8x32 SE has a very smooth action. I was hoping to hear the Monarch HG has a similarly smooth focusing wheel.
 

NDhunter

Experienced observer
United States
According to Allbinos the 8x32 SE takes 530 degrees from 2.05 meters to infinity and the 10x42 HG 580 degrees from 1.65 meters to infinity.

George

They are both very nice binoculars, any differences in focusing are not important at all. Your numbers confirm that.

Jerry
 

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