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Monarch HG (1 Viewer)

dries1

Member
There has been some talk (from a few) about the Monarch HG 8X42 not providing a sharp view. May I suggest to try a late serial #, not one that has been sitting on a vendors shelf for a while. I have noticed the difference with a 2017 and a very recent model.

Andy W.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
Chosun and I mentioned that although the Nikon Monarch HG 8x42 was a very good binocular we both agreed it wasn't quite as sharp as the alpha's but that was just our subjective opinions. The Nikon Monarch HG 8x42 I compared to my Swarovski NL 8x42 had S/N 0000494 on it. It was a refurbished model and IMO it wasn't quite as sharp as the NL but what is? You would have to do resolution tests on both of them to be sure. I returned it to the seller because it had a defective eye cup on the right side. There were no detents or stops like there should be. It went from fully closed to fully open with no in between. It makes me wonder how well Nikon is refurbishing their binoculars.
 
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Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
For the benefit of non-Nikonistas could someone simply and concisely explain (preferably with pictures - blot out the last 3 numbers if you like) how the Nikon serial number system works and how it relates wrt date of manufacture ? Thanks :t:

What is the delineation point we should be on the lookout for ?







Chosun :gh:
 

Kevin Conville

yardbirder
Mine is #2710. Can I assume it was built later than others listed in this thread?
It is sharp, but how it directly compares to current premium binoculars, I cannot say.
 

Gilmore Girl

Beth
Supporter
United States
My 8x30 is quite sharp. I haven't experienced a single moment yet when I felt it wasn't sharp enough at any distance. It won't match up with EL, NL, SF, NV ; it's not on that level. My previous Zeiss FL had a more impressive image. I like the colors a bit more in the Nikon.

Serial# 2000094
 

Ries

Well-known member
I experimented a lot with it (8x42) these past few weeks since I also have a Meostar (7x42). My impression is it's not sharpness that's lacking. It's something (forgive the laymen use of definitions...) in its contrast and brightness, combined with that I feel there's a tendency to júst overshoot precise focus. Not that general focus is too fast, it does not "snap into focus", to me. Can't really pinpoint how or why.
Besides that the choice in higher brightness seems to lessen contrast. For instance the Meostar (7x42) has better contrast; shadows are darker and (so?) colours pop out more. It's more natural in colour. In dull weather and twilight, the Nikon's "colour brightness" advantage is gone, and the larger exit pupil (and neutral colour and better contrast?) of the Meostar gives more light, colour and detail.
Nikon's "brightness" gives the colours a sparkle that's really nice, but seems to degrade contrast a bit (and thus apparent detail?). Still, when in focus, the Nikon surely is sharp, it's just a colour/brightness/contrast-thing in its optic design. My serial # is 0003409

(sorry for confusing optical terms like detail/sharpness etc, I'm not experienced and knowing enough to exactly be able to use the right terms in the right place. I just hope my point and experience is clear and comes across...)
 
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Gilmore Girl

Beth
Supporter
United States
Hi Richard,

The MHG focus is quick and I'm still getting used to it. I'm getting better with it, but I still
over-focus the birds at times. I agree , it doesn't snap into focus and I think the reason is the quicker focus.
I've experienced this with other bins that have a fast focuser.

Sometimes the FL 8x32 looked 'washed out' in certain lighting conditions due to it being so bright, but much of the time the FL rendered excellent contrast and nice colors. So, I think I know what you mean about a binocular being bright to the point where sometimes the image can lose a degree of contrast and look washed out. Also, color balance can factor in too. I haven't seen this in my 8x30 MHG yet, but it should be a little less bright than the 8x42 and also I haven't had enough time with it yet (just a few weeks). So far, I'm really enjoying very nice contrast and colors through the little 8x30.
 
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mpeace

Well-known member
I've had the 8x30 MHG and the Zeiss Pocket 8x25 for a couple of years and done a lot of comparisons and testing. I know what people mean about sometimes missing exact focus with the MHG. My suspicion now is that it's a combination of the fast focusser, the field flattener and sometimes a very slight difference in focus speed between left and right barrels meaning one eye can go slightly out and you need to focus back to get both in - sounds worse than it is, it's barely perceptible, but appears sometimes. I think it's a really sensitive binocular and takes some getting used to. The perception of slightly lacking sharpness for me is more to do with the flat field. I've changed it now to a more curved field with additional lenses over the eye-pieces and I get a much more 3-D view, but slight increase of blurring at the edges. It's helped the image snap into focus much better and the view seems more stable - the views much more immersive and I can really study detail in birds much better. The Zeiss 8x25s don't have field flatteners and the image snaps into focus better, appears slightly sharper and less sensitive. I'm now getting that kind of image in the 8x30 MHGs, but with the benefit of a wider fov and larger exit pupil so greater brightness, so I think the field flatteners on the MHGs have helped in increasing the size of the sweet spot, but negatively effected other important aspects. They're great bins though. I just have come to appreciate non-field flattened optics more now.
 

albie...

Active member
I hope I haven't gone too far off topic here but I have been considering the 8x42 MHG as a replacement for both my E2's as I can't comfortably see the entire fov in the E2's with my glasses on . I do use the E2's without glasses and as good as the view is I know it is better with glasses on , especially on the night sky.
I have been doing a fair amount of reading and can't seem to get enough user comparisons from those that have compared both with and without glasses .
Is the MHG as sharp or sharper than the E2 and is it eyeglass friendly ?
 

Gilmore Girl

Beth
Supporter
United States
This differing opinions in the bino forum just goes to show how we can have very different priorities.
Some people place high importance on sharpness and search for the very best 'perceived resolution'.
Some look for widest true FOV or best edge sharpness. I place high importance on colors and ease of view with my glasses. Sharpness is important and essential, but it's not at the very top of my list. I don't need to have extreme edge contrast. The HG seems to be more than acceptable for me.

Regarding the MHG focuser, I think it may be the smoothest focuser of any binos I've owned. I recall the Nikon Premier SE 8x32 being excellent as well, but it has been years. The Zeiss FL very nice too, but I think the HG slightly better. It will take more time to get better at quickly snapping the birds into optimal focus.
 
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Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
I hope I haven't gone too far off topic here but I have been considering the 8x42 MHG as a replacement for both my E2's as I can't comfortably see the entire fov in the E2's with my glasses on . I do use the E2's without glasses and as good as the view is I know it is better with glasses on , especially on the night sky.
I have been doing a fair amount of reading and can't seem to get enough user comparisons from those that have compared both with and without glasses .
Is the MHG as sharp or sharper than the E2 and is it eyeglass friendly ?

The Nikon MHG is eyeglasses friendly for me. 8x42 more so, 10x42 just.

For reference I need about 17-18mm usually, and back the eye cups of the Swarovski SV's, Zeiss HT, and SF, back out by the same amount ~ 2mm.

Regarding the focuser, I like a fast focuser and a generously large focusing wheel (preferably knurled metal so that there is no 'play' introduced into the mechanism by the embedded or rubber covered wheel).

I agree with GiGi - the MHG's is one of the best - feeling luxuriously smoove .......






Chosun :gh:
 

eitanaltman

Well-known member
I experimented a lot with it (8x42) these past few weeks since I also have a Meostar (7x42). My impression is it's not sharpness that's lacking. It's something (forgive the laymen use of definitions...) in its contrast and brightness, combined with that I feel there's a tendency to júst overshoot precise focus. Not that general focus is too fast, it does not "snap into focus", to me. Can't really pinpoint how or why.

I kind of agree with this, while the MHG 8x42 is very nice optically -- bright, clear, mostly neutral color, very large sweet spot, plenty sharp -- there is something a bit "flat" about the view to me. I don't mean "flat" in terms of disortion/curvature, but in terms of "depth" or "pop" visually.

I actually don't think they have great "global contrast" to use a term that Tobias mentions in his reviews. When I look at the night sky with them vs. the Leica UVHD 7x42, the black background is not nearly as black, there's a "milky" look. If I compare them the daytime, the Leica (and my EDG) just has another level of saturation, depth, vibrancy, pop.... not sure the right word, but it's the biggest difference I notice.

In terms of brightness / clarity / resolution the MHG lets me see anything those alphas can see, but the image just is "missing" something that the UVHD and EDG have. I even notice the increased "depth" or "vibrancy" with the Swaro 8x30 CL, so it's not just about the warm look of the UV/EDG with the extended deep red transmission.

That said, of course, the Ultravid HD and EDG retail for >2x what the MHG do, so they should be better. The MHG holds up very well against the ~$1K sub-alpha competitors, in fact the only binoculars I've seen at that price point that have that "extra something" in terms of contrast/depth are the Kowa Genesis and Meostar HD.

None of this is to hate on the MHG, which is a great binocular and maybe THE best "jack of all trades" birding binocular on the market that doesn't cost alpha money.
 

giosblue

Well-known member
There has been some talk (from a few) about the Monarch HG 8X42 not providing a sharp view. May I suggest to try a late serial #, not one that has been sitting on a vendors shelf for a while. I have noticed the difference with a 2017 and a very recent model.

Andy W.

Did you compare the 2017 and the latest MHG side by side in exactly the same light conditions? If not then your post doesn't carry much weight. Memory is fickle and lighting conditions have a huge effect on the view. It's all about the light.
 

Gilmore Girl

Beth
Supporter
United States
I'm using only the MHG 8x30 now. It's my only binocular. When I compared it to Ultravid HD+ 8x32, the Leica was just better and had something extra; the darks looked real dark and the colors and resolution impressed me more. But, now that I'm using the Nikon exclusively and not comparing it to anything else, the view looks just wonderful each time I use it. I'm glad I have nothing else on hand to compare it to. I'm enjoying the things it excels at. The key is to not compare it to the top premium models. It will always look and feel like 'The Best' when it's the only one you have :)
 

dries1

Member
Hg

Did you compare the 2017 and the latest MHG side by side in exactly the same light conditions? If not then your post doesn't carry much weight. Memory is fickle and lighting conditions have a huge effect on the view. It's all about the light.

Thanks for the education.

Andy W.
 

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