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Monarch HG 8x30 or Monarch HG 8x42 (1 Viewer)

54PAC

New member
United Kingdom
Being a spectacle wearer I am primarily interested in which of these 2 binoculars spectacle wearers have chosen and why
But I am also interested in all opinions comparing when these 2 binoculars but let me know if which camp you are in (Spec/Non Spec)

Thanks in advance

HG 8x30 is £85 cheaper, 215g lighter, 26mm shorter, 5 mm narrower, 9mm less deep
HG 8x42 has better eye relief by 1.6mm, better exit size by 1.5mm, better Twilight factor by 13.7


Best UK £Min Focus ftWeight gEye ReliefExit SizeT Factor[email protected]LengthWidthDepth
Nikon Monarch HG 8x30£764.006.545016.23.814.414511912647
Nikon Monarch HG 8x42£849.006.566517.85.328.114514513156
 

albie...

Well-known member
The last couple years I started wearing glasses to correct my vision for a few problems, one being astigmatism . It made a huge difference in the view wearing glasses with binoculars . This is what led me to getting the Nikon Monarch HG 8x42 . I find the 8x42 size to be the most comfortable of all the bins I've had and tried and always wanted a decent 8x42. The Monarch HG 8x42 ticked off all the boxes for me. Adequate eye relief , 5mm exit pupil for easy eye placement , light weight , wide fov , well made with great optics and feels good in my hands . It's my main bin now , my all rounder .
The Nikon MHG 8x42 has replaced the Nikon 8x30 and 10x35 E2's that I had . I wanted a binocular that gave me a view that was as good as the E2's or better and has good eye relief . The E2's just did not get along with my glasses whereas the MHG works fine so I sold the E2's . It was a bit depressing seeing them go .
 

Xlr8n

Well-known member
The 8x42's are as light and compact as you'll find for a 42mm. Very well balanced and fit the hands and face great. Haven't had a chance at the 30's.
 

Brink

Well-known member
I like the 42mm quite a bit. I chose them over when considering a sub alpha 32mm glass (Zeiss Conquest, Meopta Meostar, etc.) and went with the 42mm HG because it is practically as light as most 32mm bins and handles very nicely. That being said, I am a huge fan of the M7 8x30 as well, which is the MHG’s little brother. If the MHG 8x30 handles like the M7, eye placement is a bit finicky and takes some getting used to (as a non glasses wearer).
 

pbjosh

missing the neotropics
Switzerland
I wear glasses - middle weight / moderately bulky plastic frames. I can use the MHG 8x30 with no eye placement problems. I find it superior in basically every way to the M7 8x30, and notably it has a touch more eye relief, making use far more comfortable.

Both the 8x30 and 8x42 are among the best, and lightest, in their classes. Hard to go wrong with either one, in my opinion. If you do go for the 8x30 try to make sure you buy from a place with a generous return policy in case the eye relief is insufficient for your glasses and face.
 

chill6x6

Well-known member
Being a spectacle wearer I am primarily interested in which of these 2 binoculars spectacle wearers have chosen and why
But I am also interested in all opinions comparing when these 2 binoculars but let me know if which camp you are in (Spec/Non Spec)

Thanks in advance

HG 8x30 is £85 cheaper, 215g lighter, 26mm shorter, 5 mm narrower, 9mm less deep
HG 8x42 has better eye relief by 1.6mm, better exit size by 1.5mm, better Twilight factor by 13.7


Best UK £Min Focus ftWeight gEye ReliefExit SizeT Factor[email protected]LengthWidthDepth
Nikon Monarch HG 8x30£764.006.545016.23.814.414511912647
Nikon Monarch HG 8x42£849.006.566517.85.328.114514513156
Safe bet? Get the MHG 8X42. Really the only "advantage" the 8X30 has over the 8X42 is size/weight. They are very close to the same price as well. I'm an eyeglass wearer...I've got both of these binoculars and I like them both. BUT...The 42mm is going to be more user-friendly and has that extra eye relief just in case you need it. Very few(any?) are disappointed with the 8X42. Unless specifically shopping for a compact binocular I think the 8X42 is the way to go.
 

Quak

Member
8x42 all the way I agree. Smaller and lighter bins are nice to cary...but the entire purpose is to look through them. I wouldn't sacrifice the view for the sake of a lighter pair of binoculars around my neck or in my bag.

8x42 is the best bin to use without a tripod IMHO. Even the 7s have a FOV that is too wide for me...yea FOV can be too wide imho
 

grebly

New member
I actually joined the forum to ask this exact question, as I am in the same boat. I ended up with a Nikon warranty replacement credit, and I am having trouble deciding between the HG 8x30s and HG 8x42. Primary use is while camping and backpacking, so the 8x30s seemed like an obvious choice, being smaller and aproximately 0.5lbs lighter. However after reading allbino's harsh review, I started having second thoughts. I mean, if I could have optically nicer binoculars with better low-light performance at the same price, maybe it's worth lugging around the extra weight.

I am not coming from a background of high-end binoculars, so my eyes may not be as sensitive to minor distortions and the noted loss of edge clarity. I also previously had a pair of 10x25s, so I am hesitant to jump to a "big" pair of 42mms. Any thoughts from some more experienced users? Thanks in advance
 

grebly

New member
Thanks dries1 and AlphaFan. I totally agree -- if I were not backpacking so much, I don't think I wouldn't even consider the 30s, given the praise for the 42s. I guess I'm just wondering if those on the forum who have used the MHG 8x30 agree with the shortcomings mentioned in the very critical allbinos review (and if that should be enough to not consider them altogether). Thanks again
 

pbjosh

missing the neotropics
Switzerland
I have been a happy owner of the 8x30 MHG for almost 3 years now, and use it a LOT. It's a tremendously capable binocular, very light weight and compact, with a nice focuser and nice ergonomics. The view is very good. If I critically compare it to my Zeiss SFs or Swaro NLs, you can see that it is not quite at that level. But for actual birding, it gives up very little to the top of the line alphas.

The 8x42 MHG shares the colors, saturation, nice large FOV, great focuser, great ergonomics of the 8x30. You just get a bit better view and a bit more relaxed eye placement in a bit bigger package.

Both are among the most compact you can get for the respective format, and both perform within the top of their price range.

I don't think you'll be unhappy with either, honestly.
 

eitanaltman

Well-known member
I actually joined the forum to ask this exact question, as I am in the same boat. I ended up with a Nikon warranty replacement credit, and I am having trouble deciding between the HG 8x30s and HG 8x42. Primary use is while camping and backpacking, so the 8x30s seemed like an obvious choice, being smaller and aproximately 0.5lbs lighter. However after reading allbino's harsh review, I started having second thoughts. I mean, if I could have optically nicer binoculars with better low-light performance at the same price, maybe it's worth lugging around the extra weight.

I am not coming from a background of high-end binoculars, so my eyes may not be as sensitive to minor distortions and the noted loss of edge clarity. I also previously had a pair of 10x25s, so I am hesitant to jump to a "big" pair of 42mms. Any thoughts from some more experienced users? Thanks in advance
Either will be a huge upgrade in viewing comfort coming from a 10x25.

I think the question you have to ask yourself is how “serious” of a binocular user are you?

If you are talking about casual use, like occasionally checking out a hawk perched up in a tree or scanning the view for wildlife or scenery, and mostly in the daytime, then I would prioritize the small size and reduced weight of the 8x30.

But if you’re a serious birdwatcher, where you will be using the binoculars for hours each day, or you want to be able to glass at the extremes of dawn/dusk, then the increased aperture and exit pupil size of the 8x42 will be worth it.

In the simplest terms, the difference between 8x30 and 8x42 is going to be (1) viewing comfort and (2) low light performance. If you’re only using the binoculars 30-45 minutes total the whole day, why carry the extra weight for marginal improvements in those areas? If you’ll be using them several hours each day, then it’s different.
 

eitanaltman

Well-known member
Also I would not concern myself one iota with the “critical” Albinos review. If you read the commentary and look at the scores, it wasn’t really negative, just a sentiment of “it should have been better for the price compared to the Monarch 7 8x30”. But even then he conceded it is better than the M7, with superior finish and build quality.

The total score of 144 puts it right in the mix of the second tier group that includes excellent binoculars like the Kowa Genesis 8x33, Zeiss Conquest HD 8x32, and Meostar 8x32, among others. And there’s no shame in being slightly better than the M7, which is a really good binocular for the money.

So take a step back and you’ll see that Allbinos rates it a notch or two down from the alpha class, and a notch or two above the M7. That seems reasonable to me.
The only real criticisms were (1) mediocre edge performance and (2) mediocre stray light control. These are known weak points, so this also seems reasonable to me.

Is it overpriced at $949? Perhaps, but the competition at the price/quality point like the aforementioned Kowa and Zeiss are significantly larger and heavier. Is a tiny reduction in optics worth saving 150g? It might be. And you can often get the 8x30 at significant discount, at $600-700 it’s quite a good value.
 

AlphaFan

Active member
United States
Agree with everything said above. All great points of consideration. Just wanted to add one final thought. While inexperienced with the 8x30s, I’ve used and own the 8x42s. They are by far the lightest, easiest handling full-sized binocular that I know of. At 23.5 oz they are within an oz or two of most 32mms and handle similarly. The view is simply spectacular. To my eyes they are the most underrated binocular in their class = bright, super-crisp, wide-FOV, and can really only be outdone by a true Alpha. Personally, in a 1-binocular stable I’d have a tough time giving up all the 8x42s have to offer. But, if they will primarily be used for glancing rather than glassing, and space/weight is the ultimate decision criteria, then the 30mm might be the way to go.
 

Robert Wallace

Well-known member
A factor which is often ignored in these discussions is the age of the user. Eyesight deteriorates with age and the size of the dilated pupil reduces, I would check with your optometrist/optician. Some years ago pre retirement, I was informed by my optometrist that my pupil struggled to reach 4mm.
I therefore used my wife's Nikon 8x32s in favour of the Classic Zeiss 7x42s, with no apparent disadvantage. The 6mm exit pupil is wasted on me and I have no problems using 8x32s.
 

grebly

New member
Thanks everyone for your comments. Like some of you said, these binoculars will primarily be used for "glancing" while hiking and not dedicating observing trips, so I ended up going with the 8x30s. Sounds like they will serve me well. Thanks again for the warm welcome to the forum.
 

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