A professed porromaniac
Hi Beth,Hey Brock,
Welcome back. I decided not to buy the SV 8x32. It's a lot of money and it comes with extra weight and size. I've gotten so used to the 8x30 Monarch HG's super light weight and compact size. The SV is better optically and the best I've experienced in a 8x32 with eyeglasses, but I've been quite happy with the Nikon overall. It has a very pleasing image and I really love the smooth, quick focuser. I've found the faster focus speed helpful.
The pre-SV EL sounds like it could be great and perhaps I would prefer it over the SV, but it's even a little heavier than the SV according to the specs online and also has shorter ER. I'm going to stick with my Nikon. If something amazing in an 8x32 comes out down the road which I feel rivals the HG I may try it out. I don't think I'd go for another 30mm. I'd rather go up to 8x32 with long ER for better comfort with glasses. I don't think there's a better 8x30 out there for me. I compared the HG directly with the new CL-b and I found the HG more suitable all around for me.
The only minor complaint I have of the HG is that it's slightly picky with eye placement with my glasses due to the smaller EP and the ER is just barely enough. I couldn't go any smaller than 30mm. I'm getting by fine with it despite these issues. You can't have it all; I'm working with it and it's been a great little bino so far. I got it for the "refurb" price at $566 which is a very nice bargain.
The pandemic has messed a lot of things up for me, but at least I still have my job and I can work from home. Others have it way worse, so I shouldn't complain.
I'm happy to see you're well too
The pre-SV ELs circa 2009-2011 have all the SwaroSuperDuper coatings, but they don't have is the field flatteners and click stop eyecups (all the way up or down), and the ER is only 15mm, which might not be sufficient for your eyeglasses. While the pre-SV ELs are quite long for an 8x32 roof, they are very lightweight @ 21.5 oz. What I liked best about them were the ergonomics. They fit my hands like a glove, and it didn't matter whether or not I wrapped my fingers around the barrels, they were comfortable to hold and steady. Having large hands, good ergonomics on roofs are high on my checklist for since they are usually harder for me to hold comfortably and steady than porros. What good is a great view if the birds are bouncing around?
Closed bridge roofs with large bridges and stubby barrels such as the Nikon 8x32 LX, I'm asking "Where's the beef?" The sloped strap lugs didn't work for me and pushed my hands past the end of the barrels, and light reflected off my palms into the binoculars. I had to add Bushwacker covers to the stubby barrels to get a better grip and stop reflecting light with my hands. There were also no thumb indents underneath, so I had to scrunch up my thumbs. The result is that I was holding the LX by pushing from the sides, which caused them to sway from side to side, subtly, but those bad vibrations a' happenin' with her took away from the resolution, which wasn't as good as the 8x42 model or my E2s or SEs. The focuser was too fast for me (so was Sherry, a girl I dated in Junior High . So for me, ergonomics are a big deal. For others, they never met a roof they couldn't hold steady.
I have some palm wrestling going on with my Nikon 8x42 EDG since I can only wrap fingers from one hand around the barrels. The focuser is so close to the EPs and the bridge so large, that my other hand has to be situated near the EPs to turn the focuser. I liked the open bridge design in the EDG 1 better although Nikon could have made the top and bottom edges beveled for greater comfort. Given the open bridge craze among Alphas these days, Nikon's NextGen EDG III might have an open bridge.
As long as Swaro doesn't threaten to sue Nikon like they did 60 seconds after it brought out the EDG, which if if I recall correctly wasn't about the open bridge design but the focuser design, which was terrible. The focus knob kept falling off it was so loose, and the diopter adjust drifted. Nikon won't have any legal issues if they use EDG focuser design, which is way better than any focuser Swaro ever made; however, I do see from Yarelli's post that if you get a crappy EL focuser (chances are good you will), Swaro now has the ability to make it turn smoothly in both directions, which is an improvement that I think a lot of Swaro fans have wanted for a long time. I know I have. I also read a review by a BF member who recently purchased a CL Companion, and he said his sample focused smoothly in both directions, so perhaps the Wizards of Absam have finally discovered the secret sauce for making smooth focusers (grease) . If so, it's about time!
That was a great deal you got on the HG. I know a guy who just bought an 8x32 HG for a little over $900, and he thought he got a great deal (he has to pay 16% import tax, so he will always pay more than US buyers). US buyers actually have it pretty good compared to buyers in foreign countries. We can buy an EL for cheaper than birders can in Austria and Leicas and Zeiss alphas cheaper than birders can in Germany. But then, Austria and Germany have free health care and college, so they make up the higher price of sports optics elsewhere, but they pay for it in higher taxes. If there's one thing Americans don't like is higher taxes. Sure they want smooth roads and safe bridges, good teachers and well equipped schools, quick responding police and fire departments, and we all want affordable health care, but only as long as we don't have to pay for them with taxes.
What your search for the perfect 8x32 shows is that there's no such thing. To quote Roseanne Roseannadanna: Well, [Beth] it just goes to show you, it's always something — if it’s not one thing, it's another." Every pair of 8x32 binoculars has some compromise(s) built into it. The trick is finding an 8x32 that has compromises you can live with and that fits your budget. Then and only then, will you have achieved Nirvana and spend eternity with Kurt Cobain (ahhhh! .