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New old stock Mountaineer II's available on ebay (1 Viewer)

b-lilja

Well-known member
No connection. I've bought three pair, one for my brother, one extra for whatever. Really terrific glasses, and built like tanks. Waterproof. What Nikon could do with the Travelite when cost was no (or little) object. Just returned from vacation where I was using these along with my 8x32 Conquest HD's, which are great - the Conquests were definitely better in an HD sort of way, more pop, brightness, and resolution, but the Mountaineer's really stood up and are a pleasure to use - I reached for them often. https://www.ebay.com/itm/Nikon-Bino...562104&hash=item48a6d2fdea:g:4JoAAOSw9KhaCZuv
 

etudiant

Registered User
Supporter
These seem a later upgrade of the earlier 8x23 Venturer reverse porro version that was top rated at the time by Consumer Report.
It is very helpful that these are waterproof, my 8x23s were not and drowned while rafting. :(
The 8x23 was a nice small glass, obviously built to a budget, but the optical priorities were right.
 

adhoc

Well-known member
1 1/2 years ago in a thread titled "Bird or Bino?" [link] I posted: "I have now had binoculars in 6,7,8,10,12,16x and 24,25,30,32,40,42,43,50,56,70 mm, which I have given away or sold. But for years my only optics for bird watching, conservation and ornithology, day and night, in varied habitats, was a small 8x25 Nikon. It was very rarely felt to be inadequate."

It was the Mountaineer II. (I then started reading BirdForum...) At least twice it fell from my hand holding it (I don't like to have a strap) at mid-thigh height on to granite I stood on but it was found that nothing had happened except that the body was scratched/chipped. And this was without the thick rubber-like armor which I had stripped to make it lighter and smaller!
 

Alexis Powell

Natural history enthusiast
United States
In my experience, all of the Nikon 8x25 reverse porros, past and present, are quite good. The FOV is a bit narrow, but they have excellent performance in the center of the view, they are inexpensive, and they are durable and light enough to withstand casual handling. Some models are waterproof. Cheap and cheerful (as they bounce off rocks when dropped :)

These new old stock Mountaineer II are a fine bin, but for essentially the same price (when shipping costs, or lack thereof are figured in), one can get a new Nikon 8x25 ProStaff ATB (e.g. $127, shipping included, from B&H). It is a reverse-porro with essentially the same optical performance as the Mountaineer II (including being waterproof), but it has the advantages of being more compact, having slightly better eye relief for glasses, lighter weight, and perhaps slightly better coatings.

--AP
 
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adhoc

Well-known member
Actually the ProStaff is a little sharper and shows a little bit of 'rolling globe' which the Mountaineer II does not (these differences were seen both by me and a friend in '"side by side" testing of their 8x25 models 5-10 years back).
 

adhoc

Well-known member
Alexis that Mountaineer II did not bounce! The body (beneath the armor, removed in it) is metal. The sound of impact was anything but cheerful... :)
 

ceasar

Well-known member
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Alexis Powell

Natural history enthusiast
United States
The mountaineer would no doubt last longer than any reverse porro made by Nikon today.

Andy W.

No, like caesar said, I don't think the Nikon 8x25 ProStaff ATB is lacking in toughness (or, for that matter, is the current version of the Travelite if you don't mind lack of waterproofing and a bit more bulk. The Travelite is only slightly cheaper, which is why I don't bother to recommend it over the ProStaff).

--AP
 

NDhunter

Experienced observer
United States
I have a Travellite 8x25 V, and I find this small binocular to be a very nice alternative to the
more expensive roof prism types. Easier to get behind, as in a less fussy view, with eye relief, etc.

Nikon has several reverse porros, and I have wanted to start a thread on these.

I feel you have to get an alpha pocket binocular to compete in some ways to these.

Jerry
 

dries1

Member
Alexis,

IMHO they (Nikon) do not make Binoculars today for the long haul like they used to, the EDG is the last following the archived SE. Binoculars used to be made to repair (I know this from the military Hensoldt then Fujinon), now they are replaced. Even the HG by Monarch is replaced when sent in, you will get another glass, not the one you sent in.

Andy W.
 

Alexis Powell

Natural history enthusiast
United States
Alexis,

IMHO they (Nikon) do not make Binoculars today for the long haul like they used to, the EDG is the last following the archived SE. Binoculars used to be made to repair (I know this from the military Hensoldt then Fujinon), now they are replaced. Even the HG by Monarch is replaced when sent in, you will get another glass, not the one you sent in.

Andy W.

I guess I don't agree. _If_ there has been any recent change in Nikon repair policy (in the past, they did extensive repair work at the CA facility. e.g. I had a _very_ cheap pocket roof repaired there a couple years ago), I think it has either to do with thinking that customers would be more satisfied with the quick turn-around and freshness of a new bin rather than waiting for a repair, or from analysis of the economics of maintaining a high level of repair capacity. I don't think that modern designs from Nikon lack in robustness or repairability. I've not seen one that is intended to be disposable. Unless I missed the news, Nikon has not done away with its repair facilities (I hope they haven't, because in my experience they've done exemplary work), and I suspect that they still do plenty of repair work judging by the (last time I looked, which I admit has been months ago so perhaps something has changed) regular availability of refurbished binoculars from Nikon. I think that if your bin is replaced it stands a good chance of being refurbished if it is a current model. If you have an older model, check if they will repair rather than replace, and if not, send it to Suddarth Optical Repair.

--AP
 

dries1

Member
I don't myself see buying anything these days from Nikon, unless they come out with a premium glass to replace the EDG. I will keep the Monarch HG (MHG) but for now I am sticking with Zeiss and Swarovski because of their repair service and other things. My Leicas all have performed quite well over time with no repair issues, not really sure how they handle it here in the US.
My experience with Nikon is very recent, and I own over 15 binoculars from them, all have been archived except the MHG. So in summary I only have my own experience which has made me feel this way.
I have sent glass to Cori Suddarth for repair, he has been at for some time now.

Andy W.
 

b-lilja

Well-known member
I have been a long time appreciator of the Travelite and Nikon reverse porros for a very long time, back to the early 90s when I picked up a used pair of II's in Cambridge, which I sadly lost track of somewhere along the way. The Travelite is sort of the VW Bug/Honda Civic of binoculars, which is saying a lot. I have given many pairs away.

I have sent several pairs of Travelites back to Nikon over the years for repairs over the years. They always actually repaired them - except the last time, when a new replacement pair arrived. I was struck by a very good image, but they just felt cheaper and more disposable, and I gave them to a friend (as a side note I noted that they were now made in China). Part of the fun is using a quality piece of gear, and life is too short to waste on crap.

I have always been intrigued by the Better View Desired reviews of the Diplomat, which seem to be borderline unobtanium because I never see them on ebay or elsewhere. A nice pair of Mountaineer I's showed up a year or two ago, and I have really loved them. I have thought they are perhaps essentially waterproof Diplomats.

These Mountaineer II's showed up, and I really love them. They are even better than the I's (which themselves are a clear step up from the Travelites). They are chunky as hell. I just bought a pair for my brother, who runs a fire ladder truck, and he said they were going in his go bag. That kind of tough - heavy cast alum frame, etc.. The heaviness is an asset as they stabilize the glasses for clearer viewing.

I was unaware of the Prostaffs, and they sound intriguing. Polycarbonate is not all bad, with bounce replacing stiffness/brittleness. I am curious about feel and optical quality. If they are similar to that last pair of Travelites, I'll pass.

The B and L 7x26 series 4's from the mid- and late 90s are yet another branch...to be discussed elsewhere.

I am waiting to get my pair of 8x25 Zeiss Victory's to see how they fare against the Mountaineer II's...
 

Bill Atwood

Registered User
Supporter
United States
I happen to have a couple Diplomats sitting around. Would be interesting to see how they do against Nikon's newer offerings.
 

b-lilja

Well-known member
I am jealous. Those are hard to find. I've been very curious how they compare to the Mountaineers - are they simply waterproof versions of the Diplomat or ???
 

elkcub

Silicon Valley, California
United States
Also, how favorably do these compare with Bushnell Custom 7x26 reverse Porros?

Ed
 

Bill Atwood

Registered User
Supporter
United States
IIRC the Mountaineers seemed a little larger and heavier. For some reason the Diplomat's run was pretty short. Come to think of it Diplomat was a strange name for a bin.

I'd be willing to let go of one or both pairs. I didn't have them long before I had to ditch contacts for glasses and the useful FOV for me became pretty bad. They've pretty much been closet queens and have original straps and cases. Maybe even the boxes.
 

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