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Monarch HG 10x42 - chromatic aberration (1 Viewer)

Mark5man

Member
After quite a bit of research, I recently purchased a Nikon Monarch HG 10x42.
As this model was not available in any local shops, I had to order it online, so I did not have the opportunity to try it out beforehand.

I received it last week, and I was immediately impressed with the quality of the view, with one exception: it shows what I would consider to be a significant level of chromatic aberration.
The effect is mostly noticeable when viewing high-contrast images (black raven against the sky, mountain crest against the sky, etc.)
Specifically, what I am experiencing is, I believe, lateral chromatic aberration. In the center of the image, the object appears surrounded by a very slight green halo. When the same object is viewed off-center, there is purple and green color fringing, increasing in magnitude as the object moves toward the edge of the field of view.

While I do understand that all lenses exhibit some degree of chromatic aberration, I was surprised to find it to such an extent in the Monarch HG.
For one thing, my understanding was that the ED lenses are supposed to significantly reduce this effect.
Also, of all the reviews I've read/watched, none of them mentioned chromatic aberration as being an issue with these binoculars.

I have to admit I do not have a lot of experience with binoculars, and this is my first purchase of a decent pair of binoculars.

So I guess my question is, what degree of lateral chromatic aberration would be considered "normal" in a good pair of binoculars?
And specifically for owners of the Monarch HG, are you experiencing the same issue, and to what extent?
 

PeterPS

MEMBER
I have reviewed an early example of MHG 10x42 about four years ago. Here are some excerpts that answer your question about CA.

"Here is the bad about the MHG: on axis it is sharp (almost SV/SF sharp) and the CA is well controlled, but just off axis the CA becomes visible and the image starts to soften; in the last 25% the CA is excessive, and the image is very soft (does it really have a field flattener?)."



"Without any doubt my MHG 10x42 example has too much CA. Color fringing is very conspicuous in difficult cases, such as black branches against a cloudy sky, but also in regular use of the bins: if the bird is just a bit off axis it gets the well-known green/pink halo. Fortunately birders put the bird in the center (!), which is why I suggested that MHG is quite usable for bird watching."


Also some people are not sensitive to CA.
 

giosblue

Well-known member
I tried the Nikon MHG 10x42 for a couple of weeks and I didn't notice any ca unless I looked for it.
After all the rave reports about the Nikon I was going to buy it and sell my Vortex Razor 10x42.
However, after extended viewing I decided to keep the Vortex because to my eyes the colours are more natural.
I Don't think one is any better than the other, just different.
 

18000bph

Well-known member
CA might become less of an issue once you get more time with the binocular and getting your pupils perfectly aligned becomes second nature.
 

Conndomat

United States of Europe
Europe
Hi,

I only know the MHG 8x42 this glass had CA too clear for me, one of my biggest criticisms of the glass!
With "eye alignment" etc. has little to do, I had set the lens exactly to eye position!
Even if you are not susceptible to CA, they reduce the sharpness and contrast, which I could clearly see with the MHG 8x42!
Most likely that these CAs are even clearer in 10x42.

Andreas
 

NDhunter

Experienced observer
United States
I have used the MHG 10x42 for several years. I have found the wide field of view enjoyable and bright.

The CA is normal, nothing to be concerned with at all. You can push and find lateral CA on the edges of any binocular, even the very best.

I find the subject here just a ho-hum, that means nothing.

Jerry
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
The Nikon Monarch HG 10x42 does show quite a bit of CA on the edge. If you are sensitive to CA try the Zeiss FL 10x42, Zeiss SF 10x42 or the Nikon EDG 10x42. These three are better at controlling CA especially on the edge. The Zeiss FL is probably the best. It is an oldie but a goody for CA hater's. If you like 8x the Kowa Genesis 8.5x44 and Genesis 8x33 control's CA very well also.
 
Last edited:

Mark5man

Member
I have reviewed an early example of MHG 10x42 about four years ago. Here are some excerpts that answer your question about CA.

"Here is the bad about the MHG: on axis it is sharp (almost SV/SF sharp) and the CA is well controlled, but just off axis the CA becomes visible and the image starts to soften; in the last 25% the CA is excessive, and the image is very soft (does it really have a field flattener?)."

"Without any doubt my MHG 10x42 example has too much CA. Color fringing is very conspicuous in difficult cases, such as black branches against a cloudy sky, but also in regular use of the bins: if the bird is just a bit off axis it gets the well-known green/pink halo. Fortunately birders put the bird in the center (!), which is why I suggested that MHG is quite usable for bird watching."

Also some people are not sensitive to CA.


I wish I had read your review earlier!

I have the same experience with mine now.
I was starting to think that there might be something wrong with this particular pair, but I guess that's just normal for the Monarch HG then.
 

Mark5man

Member
I guess I was just surprised initially to encounter that much color fringing with these binoculars.
Considering the price point, and Nikon's marketing, I was expecting a little bit better.
Perhaps my expectations were too high.

I will still keep these, as there are a lot of things I like about them, and I intend to use them as "general purpose" binoculars.

If I were looking strictly for bird watching binoculars though, I would probably consider other options, as the color fringing would be too much of a distraction. For my eyes, at least.
 

Conndomat

United States of Europe
Europe
I find the subject here just a ho-hum, that means nothing.

So we can stop any further discussion about binoculars!:cat:

Hello Jerry,

everyone is different in their perception of CA, somewhat comparable to the rolling ball, some people are very sensitive to it, others do not notice the RB at all.
I found the CA in the 8x MHG very annoying just outside the middle when a black bird against a light background gets a colorful halo ... not very handsome!
Of course you can generate CA in every pair of binoculars, but the question is when they start and how strong they are and there are big differences!
To say apodictically the subject is nonsense is probably of little help to the questioner and suggests that their opinion is absolutely valid.

Andreas
 

dries1

Member
Some folks are more sensitive to CA, I am not one of them so the MHG 8X42 works quite well for me as a grab and go glass. It does not have the perfect flat field as an SV but it is significantly less $$. It is a compromise.
Still better than a Vortex IMHO.

Andy W.
 

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
After quite a bit of research, I recently purchased a Nikon Monarch HG 10x42.
As this model was not available in any local shops, I had to order it online, so I did not have the opportunity to try it out beforehand.

I received it last week, and I was immediately impressed with the quality of the view, with one exception: it shows what I would consider to be a significant level of chromatic aberration.
The effect is mostly noticeable when viewing high-contrast images (black raven against the sky, mountain crest against the sky, etc.)
Specifically, what I am experiencing is, I believe, lateral chromatic aberration. In the center of the image, the object appears surrounded by a very slight green halo. When the same object is viewed off-center, there is purple and green color fringing, increasing in magnitude as the object moves toward the edge of the field of view.

While I do understand that all lenses exhibit some degree of chromatic aberration, I was surprised to find it to such an extent in the Monarch HG.
For one thing, my understanding was that the ED lenses are supposed to significantly reduce this effect.
Also, of all the reviews I've read/watched, none of them mentioned chromatic aberration as being an issue with these binoculars.

I have to admit I do not have a lot of experience with binoculars, and this is my first purchase of a decent pair of binoculars.

So I guess my question is, what degree of lateral chromatic aberration would be considered "normal" in a good pair of binoculars?
And specifically for owners of the Monarch HG, are you experiencing the same issue, and to what extent?
I would say I'm fairly sensitive to CA - something that I find that even if it doesn't show up until high contrast situations, seems to provide a certain 'mushiness' to the view at most times. Therefore it's a key selection criteria for any bin for me. I should also mention that I always wear glasses to correct for short-sightedness - so alignment is critical.

I have the Zen-Ray ED3 8x43 which is widely regarded as having excellent CA handling. The head honchos at Swarovski were Very impressed with it. It also has a fairly wide field (like the Nikon MHG). I have compared it extensively against all the major competitors over wide ranging conditions.

In the centre 1/3 of the field it is right up there with the best (only a tiny smidge behind the very best). It is certainly the equal of the Swarovski SV in the centre. In the next third of the field it is noticeable if you look for it and in very high contrast situations. In the last third of the field it gradually increases to become noticeable at the edge in the right (wrong) situations. In contrast the SV handles that middle 1/3rd better, and then becomes a bit more noticeable at the edge - near Zen levels (though with a much sharper, flatter edge of the field). The SV has more tolerance for off-axis viewing due to it's sophisticated randpupille design.

The Nikon MHG is in the ballpark of this. It is similar in the middle third, and exhibits perhaps a bit more CA at the edge of the field. It is not the equal of the best of the best (Zeiss FL in the centre of the field, and the SF over a goodly portion of it). Even though the MHG has ED glass, it's probably not FL grade, and the relatively short physical design means it's not going to top the leader board. There are many more expensive bins that are worse though.

The MHG is a fantastic bin - many great features in an outstanding package of excellent quality. I would rate it's sharpness on a par with my Zen (that is to say on par with the well regarded Swift Audubon 8.5x44 ED porro in the centre) , though perhaps not the best of the best of the modern bins (Swaro SV and Zeiss SF). That would be my only wish for the MHG - a bit more sharpness. Then again it is less than half the cost of those SV and SF bins. It is also much lighter. I would hands down pick it ahead of its peers - Zeiss Conquest etc.

I think it's probably a matter of expectation. Provided there is nothing wrong with your particular unit, I think the MHG is fine. A real gem, and excellent value for money. Try and keep it lined up, look down the centre and enjoy :t:







Chosun :gh:
 
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
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