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NIKON introduces new Monarch HG 8x30 and 10x30 Binoculars (1 Viewer)

pbjosh

missing the neotropics
Switzerland
Can anyone comment on the edge-to-edge sharpness of their 8x30's? Compared to the old 8x30 E (first version), how does it fare?

My 8x30's, with my accommodation (early 40's), are sharp to about 80% of the field edge or so. I can notice the fall off if I look for it, but it's far enough out that it never bothers me in typical use. Of the various complaints against this bin, I notice CA more than glare (invariably when I try to track a flying pigeon or swallow against a bright / harsh sky). I do sometimes notice glare, though I don't typically take them to the beach or at dusk so I also don't ask more of them than they can give.

I should have time this evening and will try to sort out a flat scene/wall/etc to aim my HG at and try to get a useful picture demonstrating how much of the field is sharp.

I can try the same for glare in comparison to a couple other bins as well, though that's a bit more of a trick to arrange and photograph, so no guarantees there :)
 

lmans66

Out Birding....
Supporter
United States
Don’t know about that but they have incredible glare. The Maven 8x30 is so much better in optics and build quality for about half the price. They have a 30 day inspection period so you could get them and the HG to compare easily.

No way..... I compared the MHG 8x30 with the Maven and the Maven had tons of glare....very obvious. The MHG is really good with glare control. With edge to edge....I say about 75-80% too which again, beats the Maven hands-down. The Maven might be a good $500 bin although I feel the Opticron Traveler beats the Maven. The MHG might not be worth $950 US, but going thru Sports Optics here in America I picked it up for $806, which is a nice price for the quality.

MHG also is much better than the Monarch 7.....exterior quality alone, let alone the coatings they put on the glass.

The MHG is my main bin now......light, fantastic view....As Pepe stated:

'Today the package came to me via express service (ordered yesterday) and I had already prepared all my other binos on the terrace as a precaution. It didn't take a minute and the new bino was torn out of the packaging and then the exciting first look ...

WOW, what a perfect perspective! Regardless of whether with or without glasses, a wonderful wide angle, super bright, no shading ... the little one is absolutely gigantic. The mechanical processing is also at the very highest level, no question ... what more could you want !?I am sure that in the near future I will be using binoculars when I am exploring the nearby forest ... but the SW EL 8x32 will probably also be there for the time being so that the various aspects can be compared directly. With the Monarch HG 8x30, Nikon has really succeeded in making great binoculars."...

I couldn't agree more.
 
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Upland

Well-known member
Upland, are you talking about the MHG 8x30 or M7 8x30? In my samples my MHG has much better glare characteristics than my M7. For a short, wide FOV binocular I don't find the glare unreasonable and it doesn't typically bother me.

I’ve owned two of the M7s and the glare made them look like someone had smeared vasoline on the lenses. I’ve only checked the 8x30 HGs in store parking lots but did notice a level of glare that was annoying to me although not as bad as the M7. The Mavens are delightful and are pretty good controlling glare. Much better build quality and materials than the Nikons which are full of plastic. If the eyecups were longer I’d still own my pair. I talked to Maven about this awhile ago and they said it was a common complaint and they were going to get a longer eyecup option but I haven’t seen it yet. Also of note is that I did own a pair of HGs in 8x42 and found the glare problematic for my eyes. Lots of others love them though and say glare is not a problem so it shows why it’s so important to try them yourself. The HGs get rave reviews here and elsewhere so they must be great for many.
 

eitanaltman

Well-known member
Glare and eyecups.... man everyone has a different experience with these two factors!

I found the M7 to have pretty bad veiling glare in many field conditions, but my wife (who's binoculars there were primarily) found them virtually unusable in certain lighting and complained about it constantly.

I have a pair of Swaro 8x30 CL right now and find them pretty solid for glare control, good but not great. In harsh sunset lighting they show some crescents and flares but I can minimize them by adjusting the exit pupil / eye position, and in most lighting I find glare to be a non-issue. I had my wife try the Swaros and she immediately commented on how bad the veiling glare was, and this was in decent lighting where I saw no glare. Who knows?

Her Leica Ultravid 8x32 however, they are outstanding for glare control for both of us. Just some minimal edge crescent in the harshest conditions.

On eyecups... I don't understand why more manufacturers don't provide different eyecup size / length options? When you buy a decent pair of in-ear headphones (earbuds) they usually come with different sized rubber tips that you can swap because, you know, people are shaped different. Why not with eyecups? The eyecups are removable on Meopta Meostar, Kowa Genesis, Leica, Zeiss, Swarovski... why not sell a few different size options so people can find the one that's right for their face??
 

pbjosh

missing the neotropics
Switzerland
I didn't manage to find a flat brick wall or similar flat detailed scene in order to try to demonstrate the sweet spot / edge performance of my HG 8x30, will try tomorrow or over the weekend.

I did spend 20 minutes or so comparing glare performance as the sun was setting between a random assortment of bins. This is off the cuff and non scientific, but observing the same fixed objects very close to the sun in order to try to induce veiling glare, performance from best to worse was:

1st - Canon 12x32mkIII - Excellent performance, the best by a good margin. As soon as the sun was not in the field of view, glare was near zero.
2nd - Zeiss SF 8x42 - Good performance. Veiling glare can be induced but only quite close to the sun and the glare is mild to moderate.
3rd - Swaro SV 10x42 - Good performance, slightly worse than the SF. Veiling glare can be induced at about the same angle as the SF and is just a bit more apparent.
4th - Monarch HG 8x30 - Good performance, nearly equal to the Swaro. Veiling glare is a small bit easier to induce but about the same intensity when induced.
5th (tie) - Kowa BDII 6,5x32 - Very middling performance, pretty easy to induce veiling glare and the glare really washes out the image - much more obviously than in the above bins.
5th (tie) - Monarch 7 8x30 - Very middling - again easy to induce veiling glare as well as flare/ghosts. Perhaps can get a slight bit closer to the sun in angle but the glare when present washes out the image and frequently presents ghosts and at times bright crescents across a significant portion of the field.

An interesting little experiment. Confirmed that my SF, SV, and HG are all good enough for my standards at handling glare, but definitely not perfect. Confirmed that the M7 and the BDII are notably worse. As well, I hadn't realized just how well the Canon performs in this regard.
 
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pbjosh

missing the neotropics
Switzerland
I had no luck trying to take representative photos of the glare in the binoculars, but for chuckles here is a photo of the exit pupil of the MHG 8x30 just as the sun is setting.
 

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lmans66

Out Birding....
Supporter
United States
I didn't manage to find a flat brick wall or similar flat detailed scene in order to try to demonstrate the sweet spot / edge performance of my HG 8x30, will try tomorrow or over the weekend.

I did spend 20 minutes or so comparing glare performance as the sun was setting between a random assortment of bins. This is off the cuff and non scientific, but observing the same fixed objects very close to the sun in order to try to induce veiling glare, performance from best to worse was:

1st - Canon 12x32mkIII - Excellent performance, the best by a good margin. As soon as the sun was not in the field of view, glare was near zero.
2nd - Zeiss SF 8x42 - Good performance. Veiling glare can be induced but only quite close to the sun and the glare is mild to moderate.
3rd - Swaro SV 10x42 - Good performance, slightly worse than the SF. Veiling glare can be induced at about the same angle as the SF and is just a bit more apparent.
4th - Monarch HG 8x30 - Good performance, nearly equal to the Swaro. Veiling glare is a small bit easier to induce but about the same intensity when induced.
5th (tie) - Kowa BDII 6,5x32 - Very middling performance, pretty easy to induce veiling glare and the glare really washes out the image - much more obviously than in the above bins.
5th (tie) - Monarch 7 8x30 - Very middling - again easy to induce veiling glare as well as flare/ghosts. Perhaps can get a slight bit closer to the sun in angle but the glare when present washes out the image and frequently presents ghosts and at times bright crescents across a significant portion of the field.

An interesting little experiment. Confirmed that my SF, SV, and HG are all good enough for my standards at handling glare, but definitely not perfect. Confirmed that the MHG and the BDII are notably worse. As well, I hadn't realized just how well the Canon performs in this regard.

I think you meant to say that the Monarch 7 and BDII are notably worse and not the HG.
 

pepe

Active member
Germany
A harness is surely an effective answer to binocular neck.
That said, an over the shoulder strap arrangement is equally effective and more flexible. The inexpensive Op Tech utility strap (https://www.amazon.com/OP-TECH-USA-...rds=op/tech&qid=1597020652&sr=8-8&tag=mh0b-20 )
is nicely cushioned and wide enough to comfortably allow even heavy glasses such as my Canon 10x42ISL.
The loop arrangement of this strap is a worthwhile safety feature imho, as the glass remains attached even if a connector fails.

Thanks for your tips @Sydneybirder and @etudiant :t:

Yes, I've been thinking about purchasing a harness for a looong time, but haven't yet realized it due to the lack of a specialist shop near me.

After spending many hours with the new Nikon Monarch HG 8x30 together with my Swaro EL 8x32 in my neighborhood in the past few days, I noticed again how much such a relatively small weight "increases" if you keep it for many hours one after the other around the neck!
That's why I decided to order the Zeiss carrying harness online ... OK, it costs a few euros, but compared to the cost of my binoculars, the amount is negligible and certainly easy to get over.

I'm curious whether it will actually bring the promised relief ...
 

eitanaltman

Well-known member
I've never understood why so many use binoculars with standard neck straps. As you point out, even with a relatively light binocular (~500g) having it pulling on the back of your neck is going to get uncomfortable after a while.

The best neck straps I've used are those which have a "contour" or "arch" so the strap doesn't actually pull on the neck much, but rather wraps around the base of the neck and distributes more to the shoulders. The standard Leica Ultravid strap is a great example of this, it also has a nice width and cushioning so I find it comfortable to use for a while. Very wide straps without any contour (like the Kowa Genesis strap) just ride up the back of my neck.

Plus when you wear it as a standard neck strap the binoculars are bouncing off your belly as you walk around! God forbid you break into a trot for some reason.

Personally, I nearly always go "bandolier" style worn diagonally for casual walkaround use (i.e. not full harness). It's much more comfortable having the weight across my shoulder and chest/back, no neck pain even after hours since nothing is pulling on my neck. And it's easy to slide them to your side or just behind you to tuck them in when you don't want them flopping around, and slide them back in front for viewing.
 

Ries

Well-known member
I've never felt discomfort with near a kg of bins around my neck for full days. Might be age/fitness, might discover that when I get beyond my midlife age, maybe.
 

pepe

Active member
Germany
...
Personally, I nearly always go "bandolier" style worn diagonally for casual walkaround use (i.e. not full harness). It's much more comfortable having the weight across my shoulder and chest/back, no neck pain even after hours since nothing is pulling on my neck. And it's easy to slide them to your side or just behind you to tuck them in when you don't want them flopping around, and slide them back in front for viewing.

Good idea @eitan, I'll try that immediately tomorrow, because my harness won't arrive here until the coming week!

I've never felt discomfort with near a kg of bins around my neck for full days. Might be age/fitness, might discover that when I get beyond my midlife age, maybe.

I also think that age plays a big role, @Ries ... at almost 80 years of age, 500 grams feels like 1.5 kg |8(|
 

mpeace

Well-known member
Good service story for Nikon - Sent my 8x30 MHGs in for repair/service on Friday last week and despite a bank holiday they've arrived back to me to me today just 7 days later. Great updates from Nikon at every step and I'm pleased with their service/repair.

I can't imagine a better service to be honest.
 

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