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Monarch 82ED, a Perfect Ten (2 Viewers)

Did you use a star for this?
I apologize, but this is the best I can do with my phone. I have the scope at 60x, and the phone camera at 4x optical zoom. I then cropped it to get this size image. I tried to keep the exposure as low as possible, but regardless the image showed up slightly smeared on the phone screen. I de-focused approximately 1/8th turn both directions.

The image at the ep is much crisper. The "oblongness", vertically outside of focus, and horizontally inside, is definitely present as at the ep. Other than the smearing of the rings, everything is pretty true to life in these photos.

I believe the rings are actually truly concentric, meaning that they are evenly spaced from each other as they expand from the center. Sort of like an actual bullseye target, but that is roughly oval rather than perfectly circular.

Due to the "rays" spiking off of the outer ring, I wonder about roughness, which might not be a huge deal. (?).

Also, inside vs outside shows more of the "roughness" and broken lines or zones (?) in the outside image.

Obviously, there is the brighter image inside vs the outside, which is not good, but how bad is it?

For what it is worth, the in focus star shows a bit of the classic seagull type pattern as it comes to focus. More pronounced coming into focus from one way vs the other. I tried looking at the image with and without my glasses. It looks the same to me. So, I am guessing that it is the optics and not my eye.

How bad is it, if you can even tell from these images? Thank you!

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How people attach their phone to this scope to perform the start test?
Also have a Canon M6Mark II EOS-M need to figure out that attachment also.
Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Best too All!
Got my Nikon Monarch 82 scope today and started doing the star test. I'm doing this outside, dark and temperature is ~30deg F. Placed the glitter (led flash light covered by aluminum foil with a tiny hole in it) at least 40m away.
Repeated the test 10 times, however what I see is this:

-perfect concentric circles
-dont see any coma or astigmatism difraction patterns.
-image is not 100% stable and see noise on top of the circles, like light sparkles etc. The example images telescope-optics.net don't have anything like that but those are theory. Is that it?

Could you guys please comment, did I just get a very good scope (1st one)?

I would really appreciate your help (maybe Henry could offer his expert opinion)...

Grazie mille!
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So far so good. What does it look like if you de-focus to just two or three rings? What about symmetry on different sides of focus?

The lack of stability and sparkle seems like effects of air currents in the air between the scope and the star, or inside the scope if it has not reached thermal equilibrium. Star test photos are almost always still photos, and what the eye sees is never a still photo.

If you look at the Kowa thread, you'll see photos by Bolden Eagle that have been taken with a smartphone through the eyepiece. Photos like that would help us evaluate. They don't have to be perfect. That scope does not look very good, btw.

- Kimmo
Hi Cipriani,

Noise at the top seems to be air currents.

Best to test at about 16C with air, ground and water the same temperature.

Or maybe indoors in a large temperature stable hall or basement.

From the description the scope seems to be good.
But photos would help if taken at stable temperatures.

Thank you B and Kimmo, really appreciate your help. Don't have a smartphone adapter yet, coming tomorrow, and thus could not take any pics.
Will definitely post pics once I get them...Just don't have 40m line in my house as Henry suggested.
One other thing: outside I was 40m away however when I got between 2-5, 6 circles, the image was kinda small at max magnification. So maybe be closer?
Thank you Henry, a bunch! Will do it inside at a shorter distance (already planned) and post back.
Something is wrong with my glitter, way too many light sparkles all over, like I'm looking at a snow flake...
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So got the adapter and managed to find some time, but boy it is very difficult to accomplish this. Although I'm not new to photography, I'm new to scopes and this little test. Moved the scope back and forth and the best I could do are the attached photos, no idea which ones are inside out of focus or outside.
The thing is, when I look through the scope with bare eyes, I see all circles concentric (more or less perfect?) however to capture all that, even if inside proved very difficult.
FYI: for new comers: you need camera +2 app on the phone, because the standard camera app does not allow ISO/ shutter speed adjustments and other things, and your photos will always be overexposed.

Guys, could you please chime in? Thoughts, what to do to improve it? Curious what Henry would have to say since he's been doing it for a long time.

Best to All!

So far I don't see any problems , but we really haven't seen what we need to see yet. Some of these appear to be down to about 6 rings. If you can get down to 3-4 they will be more useful. It's important to get photos from both sides of focus, sometimes referred to as inside (focus toward infinity) and outside (focus away from infinity). It's the difference between the two sides that indicates spherical aberration. A good copy of this scope can show near complete symmetry between the two sides at the eyepiece, but that's hard to photograph.
Thanks Henry. I see what you are saying (all rings are symmetrical on both sides), just hard to photograph those scenarios. Will do another round again. Thanks so much for not forgetting about me.

Hello Henry/All, Please see below my recent attempt. I have been looking at these dots a lot more than birds tees or the sky (lol). As Henry said, it is very hard to capture all of these. When I look through it, I see all circles being concentric and not noticeable aberrations (at least to my eyes, and my fam), although hard to even see clearly the 3-4 circles instances due to noise overlapping on the images. I'm guessing this noise is due to the air currents, dust, our eyes not being perfect etc. Tried outside and inside, no noticeable difference. My return window closes next Thursday, so I don't have much time to think about. Due to delay of the package, amazon gave back $100, so I got this for $1476.
I truly appreciate you guys helping me with this, and I apologize for being a bit slow with my results (sax activities took priority over this lol)
Best to All!


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Hi Cipriani,

I think the partially obscured and distorted diffraction rings in these photos probably come from the inherent limitations of using a cell phone camera for this and are not scope aberrations. At least I can't see anything that I think is definitely a scope problem. If you see a good star-test at the eyepiece and a nice sharp image at 60x in calm air then I think you've got nothing to worry about.

Hi Cipriani,

I think the partially obscured and distorted diffraction rings in these photos probably come from the inherent limitations of using a cell phone camera for this and are not scope aberrations. At least I can't see anything that I think is definitely a scope problem. If you see a good star-test at the eyepiece and a nice sharp image at 60x in calm air then I think you've got nothing to worry about.

Thank you Henry. Yes that's what I see, abs nothing related to the image distortions shown on that web link. I will keep it.
Best to you!
I recently spent a pleasant few hours evaluating a scope that exceeded my expectations in nearly every way. The Nikon Monarch 82ED has been around for over 2 years now, but it doesn’t seem to have made much of an impression in the market or been much reviewed or discussed in optics forums.

A friend recently bought one and lent it to me to test. I had a hunch that it might employ the optics of the old 82ED Fieldscope in a new body combined with new bayonet mount eyepieces. One excellent feature that has definitely been retained from the old angled Fieldscopes is the oversized Schmidt prism that allows the light cone from the objective lens to pass through the erecting system without being split by a roof edge as is the case with every other angled scope that uses a Schmidt prism. The rest of the optical design appears to be at least somewhat new. The focal length is a little shorter than the old 82mm Fieldscope (about 505mm vs 525mm) and judging from the pattern of reflections returning from the eyepiece lenses the new 20x60 zoom is not the same design as the old 25-75x. Eye relief in the new zoom is longer, while the AFOV over the zoom range has remained nearly identical to the old one. The focuser on the new Monarch has a variable speed, faster at close range and slower at longer distances. It works so well that you don’t notice it’s there.

It was evident in the first thirty seconds of observing fine details at 60x that this was an unusually good telescope. Image quality is superb, with natural colors, very high contrast and sharpness that holds up so well at 60x that it almost seems as if there is no loss at all compared to 20x. When I did a star-test I was amazed to find this particular sample had probably the best corrections of axial aberrations I’ve seen in any spotting scope. The only other single scope that I remember being in the same class was a Kowa TSN-823 about ten years ago. I’ve seen no specimens of more recent Kowa, Zeiss, Swarovski or any other birding scope that equals this one when it comes to freedom from spherical aberration and this specimen showed no sign of any of the other common defects like coma, pinching or astigmatism. In my experience only the Kowa TSN-883 has equally good correction of longitudinal chromatic aberration.

I placed an artificial star at 10m indoors and at about 30m outdoors, in both cases using an Astro-Physics Stowaway as a reference scope. The out of focus diffraction patterns were essentially identical on both sides of focus in both scopes at 30m indicating sensibly perfect correction of spherical aberration, not a surprise for the Stowaway, but very rare to see in a spotting scope. I was also surprised to see that the Nikon did nearly at well at 10m, so unlike most spotters the close focus image is very high quality. There was no detectable longitudinal chromatic aberration around the focused star at 60x and also no significant color fringing at the edges of unfocused objects like tree branches in front or behind best focus. I think CA correction this good can only be explained by the use of an ED glass type with a very high Abbe value close to Fluorite, perhaps Nikon/Hikari’s J-FKH2 (vd 91.36).

At 10m the Nikon’s resolution measured 1.43” using a USAF 1951 glass slide. That works out to 117/D, better than any other spotter I've measured. I’m confident the resolution would improve to a perfect 115/D at longer distance, but it was already so close that I didn’t bother with outdoor measurements.

These are amazing results for a $1600 scope and easily place this particular Monarch ED unit at the head of the “alpha” class optically in almost every way except aperture size. It’s certainly by far the best scope I’ve seen in its aperture class, regardless of price. I can’t say what percentage of other Monarch units are this good, but finding just one specimen means that the optical design is not a limiting factor, as it appears to be for all the other medium priced scopes as well as most of the very expensive ones I’ve seen.

Now for a caveat. While the 20-60x zoom is excellent in most respects it's only average when it comes to lateral color. I mounted it on my Stowaway and compared it to five other zooms I have around. The Nikon zoom is completely clear of CA across about the center 6-7 degrees of AFOV, but outside that area the lateral color gradually reaches what I would call a moderate level at about 6 degrees off axis and is what I would call moderately high at the field edge. That’s similar to my old Nikon 25-75x MC zoom, so not terrible like my Pentax XF and Brunton ICON (Kamakura) zooms, but not as good as the Baader Hyperion, which has very little lateral color except near the field edge. I was able to determine that virtually all the lateral color in the Nikon scope image comes from the eyepiece by mounting the Baader Hyperion on the Nikon scope body. The Baader performed just as well matched with the Nikon objective lens as it does with the Stowaway. If I could find a way I would certainly use the Hyperion instead of the “kit zoom” (yes, the Hyperion does reach infinity focus).

Unfortunately, unlike in the UK and probably most other places in the world the Nikon marketing geniuses in the US do not sell the Monarch body alone, much less provide a 1.25” adapter which could easily be accommodated by the large bayonet mount. The scope has to be purchased here with the 20-60x zoom or a fixed 30x with a reticle. The optional wide angle 30-60x zoom and a fixed 38x eyepiece have be bought as expensive extra items. On paper the 30-60x looks interesting, but its lateral color might be worse or there might be some other problem that makes it less desirable than the standard zoom, which actually performs pretty well overall, very much like the old MC with longer eye relief.

I can’t think of much else to say about this scope. For once a scope does exactly what it’s supposed to do. Scopes with problems require more writing.

Henry Link
Baader hyperion eye peice is compatible with the monarch?...

Discussions of adapting non-Nikon eyepieces to the Monarch scope start at post # 115 and continue intermittently to the end of the thread. If you are talking about the Baader MK IV Hyperion zoom eyepiece all the relevant adapters are listed in post # 139.

The Kowa 883 has the finest overall view in its class. Mine is deadly sharp from 25-60 and edge-to-edge sharpness is superb. The near total absence of CA dramatically improves the quality of the image and the overall color saturation is, in my opinion, visually accurate. I absolutely love the precise dual focus.

The only fault is my zoom has a few minute specks at 35-40X. My wife can't even find them when told what to look for so I just zoom +- if I encounter them, which is more infrequent than I thought. I could send it back for replacement but, truthfully, the image is so good I do not want to risk replacing one problem with another.

Since we also own a Nikon ED82 I look forward to seeing the Monarch scope. I enjoy surprises!

Enjoy your 883!
I have an old Nikon Fieldscope ED82 with 30xDS, 50xDS and 25-75x zoom since 2005. But now I will buy the Kowa 883 with the 25-60x eyepiece. I tried the Nikon Monarch ED82 + 30-60x zoom at home, but I have to say that I didn't like it. To me..the Monarch ED82 isn't as good as either the Kowa 883 or the old Nikon Fieldscope ED82. Actually..it does not even play in the same league as the Kowa 883 or the old Fieldscope!
Hi Kingfisher,

I don't think your experience with a single Monarch 82ED can be applied quite so generally. When individual scopes perform poorly there's always a reason that can be discovered with a star-test. When those tests turn up a consistent problem in a number of units then it's safe to conclude that the model itself has problems. Since the other Monarchs tested on this thread so far have been good to extremely good a lemon was really past due. It's too bad we don't know what was wrong with it.

I have been thinking about getting a spotting scope for more than a year. Finally purchased the Monarch 82ED-A with 20-60 zoom eyepiece from BF classifieds a week ago. The seller was great to deal with and the scope looked new in-box. I did a few backyard tests resting the scope on cushions and blankets, without a tripod to take into field. Clear images edge-to-edge at 20x. No visible CA with sun behind black bark of pine trees. Zoom to 60x reduces the fov considerably, but the image is still sharp. Colors just pop like my Leica UVHD bin.

It was easy to read tiny fonts on packages, and notice striations in leaves at 20-25 meters. At max zoom, minute focus adjustments are required to bring objects into focus. Personally, I don't think I'll use zoom over 40x that requires constant adjustment. The central barrel zoom is easy to use once you get the hang of it.

Many thanks to Henry for the recommendation(y). I wouldn't have considered the Nikon without coming across his star test.
Ordered a Monarch ED82 with Baader zoom.

Printed out an adapter for the MC 25-75x zoom as I have found the 75x on my old Fieldscope ED82 great for terrestial and astro viewing when the viewing conditions allow.

Nikon have a 30 day trial offer at the mo so I will only keep it if I get a cherry example.
Think my Fieldscope ED82 is a good copy so no point upgrading if I get a worse scope.


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