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Next step up from our 6.5x Pentax Papilio? (1 Viewer)

Hi,

We currently have a pair of Pentax Papilio 6.5x (version 1). We love them for their close focus, compact size, light weight, and ease of handholding - basically anyone in the family can use them for anything they want to look at.

However we find that it can be hard to pick out details on birds, and it’s a bit like looking through a tunnel. Also the light can cause them to flare quite badly (I think that’s the term - basically the image loses a lot of contrast and sort of gets too bright), and the image is rather dim as the light fades.

Specs-wise, the Nikon Monarch 7 8x30 are an obvious next step. Still pretty light, brighter image, a nice big field of view, and the same 15mm eye relief as the Papilio which is just OK for the glasses wearers among us. And very reasonably priced here in the UK (£279).

I know a lot of people say you’d need to go to 10x to see significantly more detail than 6.5x, but that makes them much harder to handhold and noticeably bulkier. Will the M7 8x30’s slight magnification increase, brighter image, and wider fov will combine to give a noticeable improvement in how much detail we can see, and how immersive the image is?

Am I on the right track with the M7 8x30, or should I be looking elsewhere? We could probably pay a bit more if it would improve the weight and/or field of view in particular.

(I will keep the Papilios for my children - or maybe even swap them for the version 2, as I believe they are brighter and suffer less from flare, depending on whether it’s a noticeable improvement.)

Thanks!
 

yarrellii

Well-known member
Supporter
I think a nice and light 8x32 will surely be a great step up, and the Monarch 7 is full of charms. I have the Papilio and enjoy them a lot, but if one day I grab them as my only device for an excursion that involves a decent amount of birding... what I notice the next day I'm back with a 8x30/32 like the Monarch is just what an incredible leap they represent. I'd say it's the combination of both a bigger FOV and more magnification which makes for an incredibly better birding experience. I'd say that 8x magnification is plenty for general birding, especially if many family members with different needs are to use them.
So, yes, a vote for the Monarch, but don't forget there are many nice 8x32 for that price. Do check the likes of Hawke or Viking, and of course Opticron, they offer great value too.

Bonus track: As an inexpensive alternative offering great performance for very little money, try the Opticron Adventurer W TP 8x32 if you have the chance, I can't praise them high enough. Maybe if you fear the new binoculars could get lost or damaged, they can be a good alternative, since they cost so little (in fact, you could buy a couple so that many members of the family can watch at the same time :) )
 
Thanks, both, that’s incredibly helpful.

So what does the 32 give over the 30? I assumed it would mainly be more weight, but the Opticron Traveller actually looks similar, and the fov is basically the same too. Is it simply that the image is brighter, or is there more to it?

And I’m always up for cheaper, and those Opticron Adventurer W TP 8x32 look like a great deal, but they do seem noticeably heavier and bulkier. Would they really be a step up from the Papilio at that price, and how close are they to the M7 or Opticron Traveller? (I only want one pair, as we hike a lot and I want to keep the weight down for the children. And me!)
 
There is an Opticon Traveler 8x32 for sell in the our classifies. ( I think it's available). That would sure to be a step up, yet still small and light.
Those seem to be in the USA, and I’m in the UK, so I think most of the £60 saving would go shipping. But they look like a good alternative to the Monarchs, if 20% extra is worth it.
 

pluton

Well-known member
Hello,
The Swarovski Habicht 8x30 is fantástic..
Indeed, best than the Monach?
 
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paddy7

Well-known member
I can speak for the Nikon M7 8x30 as being an excellent, lightweight all-rounder. When launched the only real issue raised by some users was of veiling glare when looking below the sun, although i rarely found this a problem - certainly no more or less than in many other models. Of particular note is the bright image and the wide field of view, although i always thought this was obtained by some odd optical tricks occurring at the periphery of the image.
Some others mentioned the armouring not being of the top order, although again, not something i encountered. Mine are now with my partner, who always liked them and gets on well with very few binoculars.
However, reading this thread, i've just looked up the Adventurer, and might be tempted by one as a car bin!
 

paddy7

Well-known member
I can speak for the Nikon M7 8x30 as being an excellent, lightweight all-rounder. When launched the only real issue raised by some users was of veiling glare when looking below the sun, although i rarely found this a problem - certainly no more or less than in many other models. Of particular note is the bright image and the wide field of view, although i always thought this was obtained by some odd optical tricks occurring at the periphery of the image.
Some others mentioned the armouring not being of the top order, although again, not something i encountered. Mine are now with my partner, who always liked them and gets on well with very few binoculars.
However, reading this thread, i've just looked up the Adventurer, and might be tempted by one as a car bin!
 

paddy7

Well-known member
Further to this, just having had a look round online: there is the Adventurer T WP which is a supposedly-waterproof porro prism binocular, but there also seems to be an Adventurer II WP, which looks to be a roof. I'm assuming Yarelli is talking about porro in the post above. The roof prism has a considerably-reduced field of view.
 

Maljunulo

Well-known member
When we went to shop for binoculars for my daughter, I stayed out of the conversation and let my Other Half choose.

The Nikon Monarch 7 10X30 was the only one where she said "Wow!" so that was what we bought. (They didn't have an 8X30in stock)
 
Thanks all. I think the porro’s just aren’t quite light/pocketable enough, and the Swarovski’s don’t have enough eye relief for glasses which limits their use among our family.

I think the front runners are probably the M7s or similar:

Good: Nikon Monarch 7 8x30, £279

Better: Opticron Traveller BGA ED 8x32, £329

Best: Maven B3 8x30, £470

From reading around here, I think the Opticrons might be the sweet spot - noticeably better than the M7 for 20% more, while the superior Mavens probably aren’t worth the extra 70%.
 

chill6x6

Well-known member
Thanks all. I think the porro’s just aren’t quite light/pocketable enough, and the Swarovski’s don’t have enough eye relief for glasses which limits their use among our family.

I think the front runners are probably the M7s or similar:

Good: Nikon Monarch 7 8x30, £279

Better: Opticron Traveller BGA ED 8x32, £329

Best: Maven B3 8x30, £470

From reading around here, I think the Opticrons might be the sweet spot - noticeably better than the M7 for 20% more, while the superior Mavens probably aren’t worth the extra 70%.
Just a consideration... I had the B3 8X30 and the ER just wasn't QUITE enough for me. I'd say I'm pretty middle of the road where ER is concerned too... I have no problem with the Monarch 7 8X30 though.... Zeiss Victory Pocket AND Terra ED 8X25s both have enough. Swarovski CL Companion 8X30 has enough. Monarch HG 8X30 has enough....
 
I had the B3 8X30 and the ER just wasn't QUITE enough for me. I have no problem with the Monarch 7 8X30 though.

Thanks. That’s actually another reason I’m leaning towards the Opticrons - they have even more ER than the Monarch 7, I believe.

I don’t think I can justify the Swarovskis or Monarch HGs.
 

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