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My Quest for the Perfect 8x32 (1 Viewer)

lmans66

Out Birding....
Supporter
United States
My continued Quest for the perfect 8x32 (or 8x30) binocular to use as my only bin. (https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=389434)

So, my quest has been fun. My requirements were that the bin ‘not be an alpha’ (Swaro EL, Zeiss FL, Leica Ultravid) or that it can be an entry bin. I am under the 'current thought' that one can get an excellent pair of binoculars w/o spending $2000 or more. While I have had my share of Alpha's and have promoted them, I wanted to concentrate on the sub $1000 US line of binoculars but I did toss in a few odd ones such as the Maven, GPO and the Frontier Hawk Ed X. The rest of my lineup included the Zeiss 8x25 (just because I wanted to try), Zeiss Conquest, Kowa Genesis, Leica Trinovad, Swarovski CL, Meopta Meostar, and the Nikon Monarch HG, Since this is supposed to be my only birding and travel binocular, I wanted to also have a requirement that quality was built into the binocular.

I am not an optic expert so haven’t gotten into any finer details that many of you have the knowledge base to pull from. I listened to advice from many on this forum including Lee, Chuck, Steve, Bob and others, as well as You Tubing it, talking to the companies and reading the basic literature on. The things I concentrated on were: (a) All day birder as well as a traveling bin, (b) Durability, since this is my only bin, (c) size and weight, (d) quality of optics, ( e) FOV, (f) sweet spot, (g), focal wheel smoothness being ‘just right’ , (h) practical use of in a birding situation as opposed to close to infinity, more like 5 meters to 30 meters for focus and quickness going back and forth, (i) close focus and (j) ergonomics and feels good. The following are my findings:

Zeiss 8x25: Wow….what a binocular. Impressive in the box, the box, the case, ergonomics, quality, focus wheel, up close, quickness in birding to focus, durability. Excellent…but as an all-day birder? No I am thinking not. But it would be a great travel birding binocular or biking or backpacking but not as a full day birding bin. But what a binocular!

Zeiss Conquest 8x32:…I really like Zeiss products and the ergonomics of this bin is right there with all others (HT, SF etc). Price wise was fine, and many people are happy with this binocular. Smoothness of wheel might be a bit ‘too lose’ in my thinking as it reminded me of the Victory HT. Focus though is fine from 5-30 meters in everyday birding situations. Great all-day birder. I feel the bin is a bit bulky, or that is my impression. The close focus of 8+ feet is too high. The weight of 24.7 ounces is too much. FOV is 384 feet which is not good and unacceptable in my eyes for my only binocular. Price wise this is a good buy though. Overall a good bin but I feel the Conquest line is getting ‘old’ and needs to be refreshed. Overall optics was comparable but to my eyes, didn’t stand out. Sadly, I ruled out the Conquest.

Kowa Genesis: 8x33… Excellent in quality, durability, optics…. Diopter works well. FOV is 420 so nice wide range. Size and weight are doable at about 5.5 with cups extended and 22+ ounces (a bit high), so size is ok. Ergonomics was ‘okay’ for me, but not standout. The focus wheel is a bit slow but not as bad as the Swarovksi CL and on a par with the Meostar. Close focus at 5 feet which is excellent. With Kowa optics, my eyes see too much ‘yellow’ and for me coloration and lightness is not to my appeal. Optic wise, my eyes looked at a binocular that was the same as the rest of the pack in clarity, sweet spot etc…I felt the Meostar, Conquest, Swaro, were all on a par with the Genesis and didn’t quite see the hype around this bin. The Genesis was also priced at $1000-1100 US so the second highest of those I tried with only the Swarovski costing more. Given some issues, why go ‘that $ high for a pair that has too many ‘if’s for my criteria.

Leica Trinovad 8x32… It is a Leica, right? …. I love their camera’s so I have a soft spot for this binocular. Some of the specs are great such as height, close focus, quality and durability with a Leica are always there. But the FOV in this binocular is only 372 feet or 123 meters. That is unacceptable for my only bin. I was looking for a FOV of over 400. I believe the weight is on the higher side near 23 ounces. This binocular and the Conquest were on ‘a par’ and I felt this was also a binocular in need of an update. I ruled out the Trinovad without giving it much of a thought.

Swarovski CL 8x30B… This was one of those bins that comes to you in a market presentation that pleases the eye. The box, the case, the images, the overall ergonomic feel of this bin is fantastic. I could hold this binocular ‘all day’ …lovely bin. Body armor was fantastic
So given that, why is the close focus around 3 meters? Many times I like to look at insects on the ground, a snake, turtle etc. But 9 meters? Come on Swaro and then you charge me over $1200 US dollars? The overall optics was good but not exceptional in my eyes, and yet selling over $1200, I expected more in optics. FOV is only 384 feet. Which is not good. They did fit nicely to my eyes with that optic-box…The focus wheel turn in practical birding situations was slow. The slowest of all the bins I tried. Depth of Focus was solid although the Meostar beat it in my eyes. There was nothing spectacular about the view, no pop…just a good image though. No distracting yellow color like the Kowa. This binocular is over-priced and while I liked it, for my every-day birding pair, I want a better close focus, more FOV, focus wheel in birding needs to be tighter from 5 meters to 30 meters. Overpriced, tempted…but overpriced & thus ruled out.

Meopta Meostar 8x32… I like this binocular and appear to be under the radar of many in this forum. Size wise this fits…not heavy but not as light as other bins coming in at 21 ounces. The fit is great although not as ‘feel good in my hands’ as the Swaro. The eye-cups need to rest below my eye-brows and I can see would be good for someone wearing glasses. Body armor is nice and durability of this bin is super. Close focus is 5.58 feet so really nice. I find the focus wheel in practical birding to be about average from 5-30 meters. Again doable. Faster than the Swaro but on a par with the Kowa and surely slower than the Nikon HG or Maven or GPO. This pair was in my running throughout the entire quest. The colors had a pea-green feel to it as I looked thru the glass and light transmission was fine. My wife saw POP in the focus. My initial copy had clunkiness in the focus wheel and I had to return it, so you have to find the ‘right copy’ of this to make it work. Currently no clunkiness but not as smooth as other bins. Thas me worried. It has old technology and styling from 2005 dating back to B1 series, but honestly, what glass they have’ works well’ and I find this Meostar compares over, above or at the least, equal to all other bins I tested. And it is a binocular which I can purchase for $800. So a lot cheaper than the Swaro, Kowa and Nikon.

Nikon 8x30 Monarch HG…Spec wise...perfect. FOV is 435 which makes this the highest FOV of all the bins I tried. Height was perfect and weight is only 15.9 ounces so perfect in respect to that. Close focus is 6.6 on paper but in reality I have this actually less than the Meostar so around 5.5 feet. The diopter is ‘locking’ and easy to use. I found this bin to be the sharpest with great contrast and for me, the view has “POP”. The focus wheel is tight and feels like a micro-scope so easy to bird with as well as being very easy to focus, much like the Maven. I liked the feel in my hands and placement of fingers on the focus wheel and bridge, and although slight ‘kidney bean’, it is only slight. Overall quality and durability is apparent. I see some people stated on the forum that this binocular is finicky but I haven’t seen anything like that. Very precise and checks off all of the boxes. Price wise this comes in essentially on the more expensive side at near $950 US but I think you can pick this on sale for 10+% at Sports Optics.

GPO 8x32… This is one of those binocular lines, like the Maven which is just starting to take off and you can purchase in stores. I picked up a demo copy from GPO-USA though. Like the Swarovski, the packing and marketing on this binocular is excellent. The ergonomics and feel of this bin, like the Swarovski and Conquest is beautiful. You can tell Jensen came from Zeiss. In fact the body armor reminds me of the Victory HT. Absolutely beautiful to hold. The price is only $430 and you can get it cheaper if you are going thru a retailer at times. The size is perfect and weight is 17.6 ounces. These fit into my hands, the ergonomics was fantastic. FOV is 410 feet so right where I want it to be. Close focus is 6.6 feet which is fair, and not nearly as bad as the Swaro. The eye-cups were okay, as I can tell they cheapened out here a bit but they fit nicely into my eye-sockets like the Swaro. Quality wise, I can’t say or durability. I do know these are made in china and Mike Jensen states they are then shipped to Germany for quality control and shipped out from there. My demo copy sucked though with a few mm’s of play in the focus wheel so it makes me ‘suspect’ quality given that. Who provides a demo copy that is not quality? Optic wise I feel this is below the Conquest / Meostar, Swaro line… This is above the Terra line, but not up to speed with the $1000 or near bins. This to me would be an excellent 2nd pair of binoculars but not as my main and only pair.

Maven 8x30. Another 8x30 (like the Swaro and Nikon) but this pair has a FOV of 430 feet so way above most of the only bins I tested with the exception of the Nikon, so super here. The size is doable for a travel or every day and in some cases, almost ‘too small’ as my fingers had to squeeze to fit on the half-bridge or tubes. By far this was a surprise to me as I ordered in a demo copy. It was ugly with orange, black, silver and gray colors. Who does that? But close focus is 5.5 feet with only the Kowa beating it. Weight was 16 ounces so on a par with the GPO, Nikon or Swaro. The focus wheel in practical birding was superb and I loved the sharpness and POP to this binocular. I found this binocular to “POP” on an equal basis to the Nikon HG. Surprisingly my wife thought that POP came from the Meostar, so one person’s pop, is obviously not the other person’s pop. But the sweet spot is not as large and in my copy a definite haze was apparent outside of the sweet spot. This was by far the easiest binocular to get into focus, near to far, in-between etc. Color to me was warm and contrast was the highest. The eye-cups are large and they fit my face very well. This appears to be quality (Japan materials and manufactured in San Diego CA, USA) and durability appears to be ‘right up there ‘ with all the big boys. I wasn’t a fan of the lack of armor on the focus wheel. The armor otherwise is okay, and the ergonomic feel is just okay too. But overall, this binocular sells for $525 and is definitely comparable to all of the bins I tried including the high priced Swaro CL, the high price Kowa, and the Meostar, Conquest etc. I find it hard to believe that after all of my tests on all of these name-brands, that the Maven comes out so strong. I would definitely purchase this as a second bin if not my prime binocular.

Frontier Ed X… I wanted to look at this binocular since it did win some awards a few years ago. I have a feeling it is akin to the Opticron Traveler, Kites, etc… I feel it is an excellent product for the cost. The overall feel is great. The CASE is the best I have seen out of all of the binoculars I have tried. I love the case! The focus is really easy to use and perhaps a bit too loose as it makes it hard to fine tune it. The focus from mid to mid-far takes an extra turn, or more so this is a bit like some of the others which in practical birding situation requires that extra motion with a finger to get it in focus. The placement of the harness on the binocular is a bit odd but I got over it birding a few times with it. I feel the $400 line-up as represented by the Frontier is a solid investment. Not too sure on durability as I have purchased in this range before and little things always go wrong, hence the reason I wanted to concentrate on the sub $1000 level.

WHO IS IN THE RUNNING? So far the Meostar has checked off all of the boxes, a bit midway in weight but excellent in durability, quality, Close Focus, Optical quality is on a par with all (all of them are pretty close here) ….the smoothness of the focus wheel might be suspect but it works well and focuses fairly easy. The price is discounted now to $800. The Maven is in the running as only the lack of an armored focus wheel and the haze outside of the sweet spot. But this might be the sharpest of the binoculars other than the Nikon , and the two are on a par for ease of focus. It is also the cheapest.

Some things to consider: The Meopta line is being revamped. This means good prices on the Meostars for a binocular that is under-rated. Since the Meostar is ‘in the running’ but the line-up will improve; do I wait for the new improvements of the B1 Plus (not much change it would appear) or the B2 (when oh when will it appear? 2021 or 2022 for the 8x32 and do I want to wait that long? No….). The Maven is quality…period. Nicely done with that product. The Nikon though best fits what I want out of a binocular. It was the winner, all told and while it is only a 30mm, the FOV is actually larger than the entire group I tested. I am not usually birding at dawn or dusk so light shouldn’t be an issue.
 
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jgraider

Well-known member
I enjoyed reading your comparisons Iman, as I'm still in search of the perfect 8x32 myself. You looked at some very nice ones for sure. Thanks for sharing.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
Very entertaining post! I think these are the decision's everybody goes through when they are choosing any binocular and in your case it is an 8x30/8x32. You didn't mention the edges when you talked about the Nikon 8x30 HG Monarch and for me that is the deal killer with that binocular. It is supposed to have a field flattener but it doesn't perform like it has one! It has very blurry, fuzzy edges which are almost as bad as the Nikon M7 which is 3 times cheaper. In fact the Nikon M7 is almost as good in many way's and to me represent's a better value. Also, the Nikon 8x30 HG is not the best choice for glare because it is not blackened well enough by the prism's according to Allbino's. Even though the Swarovski CL 8x30 show's quite a bit of CA on the edge and has a smaller FOV I prefer it for the sharper edges, less distortion and better handling of glare than the Monarch. But we are all different so it depend's what criteria are important to you.
 
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18000bph

Well-known member
Have you considered the Leupold Bx4--around $350 on sale at Midway. Very solid--took them out Sunday--impressed.

I too was on a quest for a 8x32. I did not want to spend Alpha money.

How's the IPD? Spec says 58mm but usually small binos can go a little lower than that. I was hoping they could go another mm or two past spec.
 

lmans66

Out Birding....
Supporter
United States
I never made it to the 'vast array' of $400 and below products as there appear to be many. I thought I would take the Frontier Ed x as an example of one that appears to be on the high side. Another one might be the Opticron Traveler.

Regardless, my desire was to find the 'mid-level' bin to meet my overall criteria.

For Denco....I really liked the Swaro and have had the SLC, ...I have the ATS spotting scope etc...so have been a Swaro man. But the low FOV of the CL, high close focus, a more lengthy turn of the focus wheel, ...well, those three things just had me being turned off by it. A wonderful 'feel' to it, and ergonomically it fit. But I had to draw the line someplace and at $1200, it was just over-priced. The Nikon had all that the Swaro has and more. I didn't notice the edge being an issue with the Nikon. I was surprised by the close focus of the Nikon being a foot less then the specs say too. I have never been a Nikon man, so the whole outcome came as a surprise to me.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
You should try a Nikon M7 8x30. Almost as good as the Nikon HG 8x30 and as good as the Maven 8x30 for a lot less money. The Nikon HG 8x30 is exorbitantly overpriced for what it is. The M7 8x30 has almost as good of edges as the HG 8x30 for 1/3 the money. Next time you try the HG 8x30 look at the edges. Very soft for a $1K binocular.
https://www.allbinos.com/allbinos_ranking-binoculars_ranking-8x32.html
 
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Hermann

Well-known member
If you want the perfection of an alpha at the price of a beta, buy used.

Or try the Canon 8x20 IS. Shows you more detail than any of the alphas once you press that button. It's also cheap, and if it doesn't last as long as any of the alphas you just buy a new one.

I'm assessing the 8x20 IS at the moment, following Canips impressive review (https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=384155), and it looks as though I may be done with buying any more conventional binoculars. Sure, I wouldn't take it as my only binocular on long birding trips abroad or while seawatching or when I expect the going to get really rough, but OTOH I've got several good binoculars I can use in those situations or as a backup.

Kimmo has been right all along.

Hermann
 

yarrellii

Well-known member
Supporter
Imans66, really interesting journey. When I first read the thread title I thought "well, I could have written this myself". And the same goes for most of the text actually.

It is always interesting to read the reasoned findings of fellows with the same interest. I started my journey like you, looking for a single do-it-all device, I found that 8x42 was bulkier and heavier that what I cared to carry, so I've been on the same quest for the perfect 8x32 for quite a while now. As many other forum members, I think I've discover that such a device simply does not exist, and all of them have some compromises.

If I was to choose, from what I've experienced so far, I'd create:
A roof device with the 3-D of a porro (I know, I know), ok, it could be a light but waterproof porro (like the Kowa YF, Leupold Yosemite, etc.), with the weight and form factor of a Nikon M7 8x30, the wide field of an 8x30 E2, the contrast of an 8x32 Leica UV, the sharpness and brightness of a 8x30 Habicht, the eyecups of a 8x32 FL, the sense of "nimble and solid" of an 8x30 CL (new), the feeling of lightness of an 8x30 Kowa YF.
That would be it, more or less :D :D

At the moment I have a FL and a UVHD which I'm planning to sell to fund an Swaro. Both are fantastic devices, but neither of them give me the feeling I aim for. The view through the UVHD is to my eyes the most perfect I've experienced in a 8x32, it reminds me very much of a good 7x42. But the eye position of the UVHD makes them a bit of a pain, and what's the point of having great views if you can't enjoy them (hello, Habicht). I've been thinking about the EDG, which I think I would really like (there's no Nikon I haven't liked), but I can't get over the size and weight. So I hope the Swaro chapter could be a nice chapter of the story... if not the last, as this is probably and endless, but oh so enjoyable, quest :)
 
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mfunnell

Registered Confuser
Imans66, really interesting journey. When I first read the thread title I thought "well, I could have written this myself". [..] I've been on the same quest for the perfect 8x32 for quite a while now. As many other forum members, I think I've discover that such a device simply does not exist, and all of them have some compromises.
[..]
At the moment I have a FL and a UVHD which I'm planning to sell to fund an Swaro.
I also embarked on a similar search, a few years ago now. I find it interesting that your idea of "perfection" (which, as you say, doesn't really exist) ended up so different from mine.

You're selling your FLs, while that's what I ended up with! :eek!:

That, of course, likely means that we differ in the compromises we're prepared to make. For example, I wasn't (and am still not) prepared to compromise too far on dimensions - I crossed the Swaro options off my list almost before I started because of just that. (And it's the reason that the new Zeiss SF is not something I'd consider, now it is available.)

I really didn't want to compromise on price, either. Which likely led me to spend too much looking for alternatives, as compared to just buying 8x32FLs immediately. Still, the search itself had it's own educational value so I'll not complain. My FLs remain my main and default "go to" bins, and I'm quite happy with that.

Since you're not, I really hope those Swaros do the job for you :t:

...Mike
 

yarrellii

Well-known member
Supporter
Mike, yes, binoculars are such a personal experience. :)
No matter how may opinions you read, we all are different, and you simply have to try the binoculars, use them for a while and see how you get on with them. As with people, we all have our personality, with virtues and defects, its just about finding the flaws you can tolerate :D :D

I have had the 8x32 FL twice, and I have really wanted to like them. I like the «feel» in the hands, although they are a bit thick/stubby, and I actually like the fact that they're made of plastic :D But to my eyes the view is simply not there (how I expect it to be). Oddly enough, the 7x42 FL is the best binocular I've ever looked through, my favourite, it just "wows" me every single time I use it, its 8x32 sibling however simply doesn't (neither of the 2 units I've had the pleasure of using).

Of all the 8x32-30 format devices I've used, only 2 binoculars have given me a similar "wow/pop", or whatever you want to call it. I usually summarize that feeling with the idea that some binoculars "make you feel like if you had superpowers in your eyes", like a supervision: in 8x30-32, from the ones I've tried, the Habicht does it and the UVHD does it (for me, anyway). The FL does not. Yes, it is bright and nice, but the view lacks that "pop". The 7x42 FL has the most "pop/wow" of any binocular I've tried (but then, I love 7x, and my experience is limited: there are endless binoculars I have not tried). The 8x32 SE does this to a lesser extent, but it's more like an "enhanced" E2 than something like what I got from the Habicht.

I fully concur with what you say about bulk/weight in a 8x32 (basically, that's the reason you get a x32 instead a x42). In terms of performance/mass, the Nikon M7 or E2 give me the biggest pleasure (but the view through the M7 is more compromised). The HGL and the EDG have always appealed to me, but 695 and 655 g seem too much (a 8x42 MHG is in that league). The Swaro EL at the 600 g limit could be worth it if the view is as crisp as the UVHD (which I think it will be) and more comfortable. I've tried the Genesis 8x33 and the Conquest HD, on a similar weight/bulk; I found them on the limit (obviously I'd rather carry 535 g than 600 g). In the end... I always go back to the E2 and think that they are the ones that give me the best ratio performance/ease-of-use, regardless of price. They don't have the addictive pop I find on the UVHD, but the view is so plastic. The other day I was testing the FL against the UVHD (no contest for me, the UVHD is so much "crispier"), and I had at hand the E2. It was then that I just focused on a bougainvillea (see pic, through the E2) and stared with the three. With both the FL and UVHD the view was pleasant (a little more vibrant with the UVHD), but then with the E2 I could feel I was staring into something with a depth of 50 cm into the shadows, while both the FL and UVHD made it feel it was around 5-50 cm deep. I tested the 7x42 FL and, to my surprise (I always admire its 3D-esque feeling), the image was as flat as with the small SP porros.

But in the end, as you say, this is a journey, and some journey it is!!!! What a ride :D
 

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mfunnell

Registered Confuser
Mike, yes, binoculars are such a personal experience. :)
[..]
Of all the 8x32-30 format devices I've used, only 2 binoculars have given me a similar "wow/pop", or whatever you want to call it.
[..]
I fully concur with what you say about bulk/weight in a 8x32 (basically, that's the reason you get a x32 instead a x42).
I'm not going to argue "wow/pop" with you, for sure :-O A bit difficult to define, no? For me, my 8x32 FLs just kind of get out of my way, do their job and give me an excellent view with no optical flaws I especially notice (I'm not saying there are none, just not any I find especially bothersome). And I'm not especially bothered about weight so much as physical dimensions - I want something that packs away easily, and that's quite important to me. Any larger, in pretty much any dimension is too big for my preference, while anything smaller that I've found hasn't worked for me on the optical side. (BTW: the closest I get to 'wow' in a roof bin is probably with my 10x56FLs - but they're hardly compact |8.|)

You mention a number of bins I have very high regard for. I really like my EIIs - though I've tended to make more use of my 10x35s than 8x30s of late. I'd love to try an SE some time - I've not had the chance. And I'd really, really, like to get hold of some 7x42FLs - but nobody seems keen to let theirs go, so I've not had the opportunity. They're probably the only bins remaining that I'd buy more-or-less on sight (if I could find some). So if anyone has some surplus.... |;|

...Mike
 

Conndomat

United States of Europe
Europe
And I'd really, really, like to get hold of some 7x42FLs - but nobody seems keen to let theirs go, so I've not had the opportunity. They're probably the only bins remaining that I'd buy more-or-less on sight (if I could find some). So if anyone has some surplus.... |;|

Hi Mike,

In Germany they are still offered relatively often ...

https://www.ebay-kleinanzeigen.de/s...l-vorfuehrgeraet-wie-neu-/1436284945-245-2451

Andreas

P.S.The store often has old FL glasses ... https://www.foto-wannack.de/fernglaser/zeiss_fernglaser/zeiss_victory_fl/victory_fl_42.html
 
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yarrellii

Well-known member
Supporter
And I'm not especially bothered about weight so much as physical dimensions - I want something that packs away easily, and that's quite important to me. Any larger, in pretty much any dimension is too big for my preference,

Mike, this is very interesting. For quite a while I've been thinking about the idea of "density" in binoculars. Actually, I think I might as well open a thread about it, not to hijack this thread :)

As for the FL 7x42, I think you will love it. You'll find everything good from the FL, but with a view to die for, the 7x "relaxed view" and stability, the depth of field that makes for a more 3D-esque view and "all the things 7x" that people love from 7x binoculars, plus an astonishing clarity and sharpness. I have never tried a x56 FL (I've tried different flavours os x32 and x42 FL), but my guess is that it must be like x42 but boosted on sharpness. I've read Henry Link (who has a knowledge of optics simply galaxies bigger than mine) rave about the 8x56 FL, so the 10x56 must be something special as well. Actually, the 7x42 FL are so bright, wide and nice, that 8x56 FL really must be something out-of-this world to be worth the extra bulk and weight.
 

lmans66

Out Birding....
Supporter
United States
You should try a Nikon M7 8x30. Almost as good as the Nikon HG 8x30 and as good as the Maven 8x30 for a lot less money. The Nikon HG 8x30 is exorbitantly overpriced for what it is. The M7 8x30 has almost as good of edges as the HG 8x30 for 1/3 the money. Next time you try the HG 8x30 look at the edges. Very soft for a $1K binocular.
https://www.allbinos.com/allbinos_ranking-binoculars_ranking-8x32.html

I am not buying this argument or suggestion on several levels...but I do agree with what others state in that a binocular is a personal thing and what goes for me, doesn't always go for the other guy. .

First...Yes I agree that optically the HG is not going to be that much better than then M7 8x30, just as optically the Frontier Ed X is not that much worse either, or the GPO or a Opticron Traveler or CONVERSELY is the FL8x30 or Swaro EL etc going to be that much better than the HG. But, by price point, they all do step up the game a bit. A $400 is better than a $200, a $900 is better than a $400 and a $2000+ is better than a $900. It is all relative.

Second, what I don't like about the M7 is the same thing I don't like about the M5 or my Eagle Optics brand, or my $400 Talon. They fall apart prematurely. You pick the cause, but it will be there and I don't want that. One of my requirements was durability and I feel that from what I have read and seen the HG is better mechanically (outside that I can view) than the Monarch 7. Is it worth 'that much more $ wise?" ...just depends on a person's needs and willingness to spend. But I have had my share of Monarch 7 types and know that you play that 'lifetime warranty game quite often' and I am not going there anymore.

Now, ...is the HG overpriced? First look at the specs and you will see that it beats out the specs of the Swaro CL, the Kowa Genesis, the Conquest, Meostar, and the Trinovid. So spec wise it beats out 'all'. The HG has better FOV, lighter weight, Clarity, Close Focus, etc.

Price wise...who is more expensive than the HG at $949? (you might be able to get on sale for 10% off)... But, the Swaro is well over $1200, the Kowa is $999, the Conquest is $929, the Trinovid is $900 and the Meostar (but on sale now as new model approaching) was $900. So to say it is over-priced just doesn't register as being a fair statement.

Either they are all overpriced or , if anything, the Swaro is GROSSLY overpriced for a 'sub standard' product. The Kowa is overpriced. Conquests have had more issues to fix by Zeiss than your average Fiat car and yet it is still $930 and showing it's age and needs to be updated. The Trinovad needs updating and yet commands a $900. The Meostar is being updated as we speak and you can get that binocular for near $800, so if there is a buy to be had, it is in the Meostar at the moment. .

Third...Some talk about the loss of clarity on the edges. Well....show me any of those (perhaps the Meostar is the best one of bunch from my testing) that lacks a bit of clarity on the edges. That is why you pay the bigger dollars and get the Alphas, Just as you pay less for the Monarch 7 and get much more edge blurriness etc. It is all built into the price point. In my testing of the near $1000 price point, the most overpriced of the lot; the Swaro CL, had the worst edging issue in my eyes.

Now, to be honest...I have never been a fan of Nikon so I am not coming into this with any prejudice to support Nikon. But after handling these in my hands, at my home and birding with them in the field, I clearly see value and quality based upon 'my perception'...

Anyhow...just some thoughts.
 
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Conndomat

United States of Europe
Europe
Third...Some talk about the loss of clarity on the edges. Well....show me any of those (perhaps the Meostar is the best one of bunch from my testing) that lacks a bit of clarity on the edges.

Hi,

then Nikon should refrain from advertising!

"The field flattening lens system compensates for the field curvature and ensures excellent detail sharpness right up to the edge over the entire large field of view (60.3 °)."
https://www.nikon.de/de_DE/product/sport-optics/binoculars/monarch/monarch-hg-8x30

When I had the 8x42 as a sample, I wondered where the flat field lenses are now, my search was in vain ...

Andreas
 

lmans66

Out Birding....
Supporter
United States
Hi,

then Nikon should refrain from advertising!

"The field flattening lens system compensates for the field curvature and ensures excellent detail sharpness right up to the edge over the entire large field of view (60.3 °)."
https://www.nikon.de/de_DE/product/sport-optics/binoculars/monarch/monarch-hg-8x30

When I had the 8x42 as a sample, I wondered where the flat field lenses are now, my search was in vain ...

Andreas

yes.....so true...so true!!!!... I watched a You Tube that spoke of the Flattening lens and knew coming into this from our Forum that 'it was not be had'...so I suppose I wasn't looking for it. :)
 

Torview

Registered User
Supporter
I enjoy these threads which reveal how differently we rate the binoculars on offer. I had the Meopta for a couple of years, I persevered with it because I really liked it when trying it in a store, ultimately I did`nt like that there was no objective tubes to hold, the eye cups were way too small for my sockets, it had poor stray light control and a yellowish cast.

I liked the CLFPro initially but it did`nt work well for me so it got sold as well.

I can`t say I find the Kowa overpriced, in fact given its magnesium body, four XD lenses and excellent build I`m surprised it does`nt cost more. Apart from the 32mm SF I`v owned or tried everything else and find the Kowa is my perfect 30mm binocular.

Imans I`ll be interested to read your final decision as I can`t think of a model you`v not listed.
 

lmans66

Out Birding....
Supporter
United States
If I was to choose, from what I've experienced so far, I'd create:
A roof device with the 3-D of a porro (I know, I know), ok, it could be a light but waterproof porro (like the Kowa YF, Leupold Yosemite, etc.), with the weight and form factor of a Nikon M7 8x30, the wide field of an 8x30 E2, the contrast of an 8x32 Leica UV, the sharpness and brightness of a 8x30 Habicht, the eyecups of a 8x32 FL, the sense of "nimble and solid" of an 8x30 CL (new), the feeling of lightness of an 8x30 Kowa YF.

I didn't include Porro design. I have had the Bushnell and Swift Audubon (might be the same), and I did love them and still have both pairs. I find them not as easy for travel purposes. I feel they do have advantages but are not in my radar now. I am not familiar with the Kowa YF, Yosemite. I do think that at the cheaper price point they are, they are actually better quality and durability than that same price point for roofs. Not sure why? Do you feel they are made better or just not as expensive to make for good quality?

Torview....I have decided to keep the Nikon 8x30HG as well as the Meostar 8x32. I love them both.
 
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