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Nikon MHG 8x30 vs Leica Ultravid HD+ 8x32 (1 Viewer)

Xlr8n

Well-known member
I had the PLUS Ultravid and no, it really was not updated. I had a retailer in UK look at all 5 of the Ultravids they had in stock and one here in the states looked at 4. So out of 9, plus the one I had....all were the PLUS and all had issues with the focus wheel. Leica has a problem that somehow, they cannot fix it...

It's a shame that high end optics are still struggling with mechanics such as you describe.
I recently bought a Swaro SLC and as much as I tried, I could not get over the gritty, sluggish focus wheel and not-so-smooth hinge. In addition I found silver specks of tiny metal shavings stuck to the interior of one optical barrrel. It didn't affect the view, but it soured me on the experience. I returned it and jumped on the refurbished MHG for $499. 1/3 the price. The Nikon focuser is miles ahead of the Swaro and the interior is flawless clean.
 

pbjosh

missing the neotropics
Switzerland
Yes ! I wish the Uvid worked better for me.

I've looked through a good number of UV's over the years. The 8x32 was by far the one I preferred, amazingly sharp and lovely color, but the ER doesn't work for me, the FOV is restrictive, and so I've never considered one.

I am always curious about the 7x35 Retrovid, though I've never seen one. It might actually be a bin I could get on with very well, even though it's hamstrung in waterproofing and close focus, and even though it's objectively not a "great value." I would be happy to have a Leica that I really loved, but have never found one that I even genuinely liked, unfortunately. I don't say that to diss Leica - this is all personal.

Cheers!
 

chill6x6

Well-known member
I've got three UVHD+ binoculars right here and used a whole bunch of them here and there including the 8X32 and I've never had anything but an excellent focus adjustment. The latest one is an 8X50 and is the best of the ones I have.

I've tried and tried to get the 8X32 UVHD+ to work for me with glasses. It's close but it really doesn't have quite the ER. The good thing is plenty of others DO!
 

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
Yes, I did. FL 8x32 would fare very well. I recall perceived resolution was pretty awesome (!). I prefer the colors in the Ultravid Plus and also my old Swaro CL. This is just personal preference. The FL has a top tier level image IMO.

I think the Monarch HG 8x30 is high quality, but not quite reaching the level of these classic alphas (FL, Ultravid HD+). For the price I paid for a 'refurbished' bino, I feel I'm getting a lot. It has great contrast and it's a very easy view with glasses for such a small binocular. The view is noticeably warm (to me at least). It's more apparent right after looking through the CL. I don't mind a warm view. Warmish colors can be relaxing on the eyes during prolonged viewing. Also, it's nice and bright for 30mm.
Howdy GiGi :) :hi:

I'm sorry the latest dalliance with the 8×32 UVHD+ didn't work out as hoped.

I certainly understand the allure of a bargain ! Using the ZR ED3 is almost like engaging in criminal activity ! o:D

However a couple of things puzzle me - unless you've turned Hindu since the last time we spoke and grown an extra set of arms - I'm struggling with the concept of 'needing' another bin :brains: ..... are you sure it's just not a case of antz in your pantz ?! :stuck: (lol - you should look up the "Sic 'em Rex" very famous Oz TV ad on YouTube - would post a link but it's a bit risque' ! :eek!: 3:) )

I thought you were an 'alpha gurl' through and through now ? :h?:

I wonder how long it is before a CL B 8×30 arrives on the scene as the one bin to rule them all ? :cat:

Apols - but I also can't remember what the 8×32 FL did to offend and gain it's marching orders ??

Please fill me in on the goss ! :) ..... after that DT/JB 'mathematics' debate, could do with less uncertainty in life right now :-O









Chosun :gh:
 

dries1

Member
Leica makes a good focus mechanism, I have had a couple of the BRs and a bit of stiction, but that is it. MY HDs and HD+ glass are fine, no issues.
The difference in transmission between the HD and HD + is minimal, and I believe it only really noticeable in the 8X32. If you can get an HD at a bargain price go for it.

Andy W.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
Beth. If you got the MHG 8x30 for $500.00 that is a great deal and you made an excellent choice. I understand what you mean about tunnel vision and the Leica. Once you get accustomed to a bigger like the MHG has it is hard to back to a smaller FOV as in the Leica. The bigger FOV spoils you for smaller FOV. I had the Leica Ultravid HD 8x32 and I too liked the saturated colors also but even without glasses it didn't work for me because the eye cups were too short for the eye relief. The little Leica was probably one of the best 8x32 binoculars I have seen for glare and it is small and compact so it does have it's strong points. My Leica Noctivid 8x42 had a sticky focuser and I have had several of the older Leica Trinovids BA and BN and since they use a greaseless focuser they were not as smooth as a Nikon EDG but still fine. My Leica Retrovid 7x35 had an excellent smooth focuser but although I see the attraction of 7x I usually end up going back to 8x for that little extra magnification and bigger AFOV. I understand you wanting a 8x30 because they are so nice to carry versus a 8x32 or 8x42. With a 8x30 you don't even feel any weight around your neck.
 
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Gilmore Girl

Beth
Supporter
United States
Howdy GiGi :) :hi:

I'm sorry the latest dalliance with the 8×32 UVHD+ didn't work out as hoped.

I certainly understand the allure of a bargain ! Using the ZR ED3 is almost like engaging in criminal activity ! o:D

However a couple of things puzzle me - unless you've turned Hindu since the last time we spoke and grown an extra set of arms - I'm struggling with the concept of 'needing' another bin :brains: ..... are you sure it's just not a case of antz in your pantz ?! :stuck: (lol - you should look up the "Sic 'em Rex" very famous Oz TV ad on YouTube - would post a link but it's a bit risque' ! :eek!: 3:) )

I thought you were an 'alpha gurl' through and through now ? :h?:

I wonder how long it is before a CL B 8×30 arrives on the scene as the one bin to rule them all ? :cat:

Apols - but I also can't remember what the 8×32 FL did to offend and gain it's marching orders ??

Please fill me in on the goss ! :) ..... after that DT/JB 'mathematics' debate, could do with less uncertainty in life right now :-O









Chosun :gh:

I don't need another binocular. Nobody needs more than one really. If I was like most people and I used the binocular as just a tool to view birds or other wildlife you would never see any comments from me here in the optics forum. I probably would have a 10 year old Vortex or Nikon and nothing else. I would never have experienced any other binoculars and never spent so much money as I have over the years. It would be more frugal to live this way, but I'm glad to have this other interest in binos to go along with my birding and interest in nature in general. It makes it a little more fun and adds dimension to my hobby. But, I do need to stop spending at this point.
I got a great price on the Nikon, so I do feel real good about that (!) It only comes with 90 day warranty though ... I need to make sure I don't drop it !

I have only 2 binoculars now and I still have just 2 arms

I chose the HG over the CL-b (which I was considering) since the Nikon was half the price from Nikon direct and reviews implied it's just as good. Also, I considered the fact the HG has a wider FOV, closer focus and quicker focus compared to the CL-b. Plus, I'm keeping my original CL.

The FL was replaced by my current CL. When I owned the FL, I spotted the discounted sand/brown CL and grabbed it due to it being hard to find and also out of curiosity. I used to own one in the same color years back and wanted to see how I liked the view now that I have more experience with binoculars. I decided I like the CL's colors and ergonomics better even though the FL is better optically.

I ordered the used Ultravid HD+ 8x32 after finding it for a cheap price from a dealer online. I wanted to see how it did against the HG.


I'm done buying binoculars for now

I don't feel too much of a need to try the CL-b since it's twice the price of the Nikon which I really like a this point.
 
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Gilmore Girl

Beth
Supporter
United States
Beth. If you got the MHG 8x30 for $500.00 that is a great deal and you made an excellent choice. I had the Leica Ultravid HD 8x32 and I too liked the saturated colors also but even without glasses it didn't work for me because the eye cups were too short for the eye relief. The little Leica was probably one of the best 8x32 binoculars I have seen for glare and it is small and compact so it does have it's strong points. My Leica Noctivid 8x42 had a sticky focuser and I have had several of the older Leica Trinovids BA and BN and since they use a greaseless focuser they were not as smooth as a Nikon EDG but still fine. My Leica Retrovid 7x35 had an excellent smooth focuser but although I see the attraction of 7x I usually end up going back to 8x for that little extra magnification and bigger AFOV. I understand you wanting a 8x30 because they are so nice to carry versus a 8x32 or 8x42. With a 8x30 you don't even feel any weight around your neck.

Yes, the MHG 8x30 is even 1 ounce lighter than my old CL 8x30.
 

Gilmore Girl

Beth
Supporter
United States
Ultravid controls glare and CA better than the HG.

Ultravid is very slightly sharper than the HG (which is already quite sharp); There is very little difference here, but it came to me as I kept using them.

Ultravid resolution is overall a little better. The image appears subtly smoother and cleaner.

Ultravid focus on this unit was super smooth … real nice.

HG image is a little warmer (yellow).
HG ergonomics are a little better to me.
HG is about 3 ounces lighter and was noticeable.
HG ease of view and comfort with eyeglasses is definitely better for me.
HG focus is faster and it takes adjusting to get the image sharp due to the quicker focus action. I'll need to get used to it over time.

.

Yesterday, I typed up my OP very quickly. I want to add a little to the bolded part above.

Glare: The HG produces glare as frequently as my CL which is pretty often.
It's just a crescent of whitish haze at the bottom or sides depending on sun angle. At times it can be a little worse and creep into a larger portion of the view. I just used the HG for an hour this morning and glare was present at times. It's no worse than my CL, so I'm sort of used to this. However, the Ultravid was quite a bit better with glare control. I saw a small bit of haze on the bottom at one point, but it was less noticeable seems less intrusive in the view. It also happened much less frequently.

CA: The Ultravid showed a little less. Both the HG and Ultravid looked free of any CA in the center. On the outside color fringing seemed a little more pronounced in the HG. The Ulravid had a thinner and slightly less pronounced color fringe around the birds and branches against that grayish/whitish dull sky.

Please note I had little time comparing the bins and I don't feel concrete in my perceptions. I would need more time and you may experience different results.
 
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Gilmore Girl

Beth
Supporter
United States
Used the HG for one hour this morning at my local park in town.
Wow, it's really colorful ! I can see why some people say it's sort of Leica-esque in the view.
It has rich colors and strong contrast. Really sharp at all distances and significantly better in this respect compared to my old CL. The CL lacks sharpness I need at longer distances and this is why I was looking into other binoculars. It's fine close and middle distances, but once you get to about 50 yards out (?) and beyond it seems a bit soft. That was my only complaint about it. The HG is a clear step up in edge contrast and provides great detail at distances that are somewhat lacking in the older model CL.

If you appreciate a neutral or very accurate as possible representation of colors this binocular is not for you. I know some have mentioned the colors in Leica bins look too saturated. The HG is similar IMO with rich colors and great contrast, but the quality to the color tones is a little different than the Ultravid HD+.
 
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[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
Used the HG for one hour this morning at my local park in town.
Wow, it's really colorful ! I can see why some people say it's sort of Leica-esque in the view.
It has rich colors and strong contrast. Really sharp at all distances and significantly better in this respect compared to my old CL. The CL lacks sharpness I need at longer distances and this is why I was looking into other binoculars. It's fine close and middle distances, but once you get to about 50 yards out (?) and beyond it seems a bit soft. That was my only complaint about it. The HG is a clear step up in edge contrast and provides great detail at distances that are somewhat lacking in the older model CL.

If you appreciate a neutral or very accurate as possible representation of colors this binocular is not for you. I know some have mentioned the colors in Leica bins look too saturated. The HG is similar IMO with rich colors and great contrast, but the quality to the color tones is a little different than the Ultravid HD+.
The color transmission between the Leica Ultravid HD 8x32 and Nikon Monarch HG 8x30 are pretty similar. As you say the HG is bit less saturated. That is probably a big reason you like the HG along with the bigger FOV.
 

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lmans66

Out Birding....
Supporter
United States
Not sure why we should be comparing the MHG to the Ultravid....with the latter being twice the price. I agree with what all say about the Ultravid being better in many respects....and it should be for the cost! But that focus wheel is a complete turn-off for me on the Ultravid. Love the bin....so picked a a Lecia wanna-be....if that is what the MHG is! :)
 

Gilmore Girl

Beth
Supporter
United States
Not sure why we should be comparing the MHG to the Ultravid....with the latter being twice the price. I agree with what all say about the Ultravid being better in many respects....and it should be for the cost! But that focus wheel is a complete turn-off for me on the Ultravid. Love the bin....so picked a a Lecia wanna-be....if that is what the MHG is! :)

I became interested in the MHG after reading some reviews here which described the view as somewhat similar to Lecia. Then I saw that great price and placed my order. Since I had both the HG and Uvid at the same time I thought it could be beneficial to some to offer my impressions of them.

Maybe it would be more appropriate to compare MHG 8x30 with Trinovid HD 8x32.

I was super excited back when the Trinovid HD 32mm was announced, but very quickly disappointed by its weight, size and narrow FOV (by today's stanadards). I guess I was expecting too much from Leica. Here I thought I could get a small Leica 8x32 finally with sufficient eye relief. I'm sure the view is nice and I wouldn't mind trying it some day just out of curiosity if I ever get the chance.
 

Xlr8n

Well-known member
It's actually easy to compare the MHG's to the Alphas as they are really close. Much closer than the price gap suggests.
From my perspective, the MHG's by Nikon and Meopta Meostars are in a class of their own, somewhere between the European Alpha's and everything else at the level just below. Both are A-'s to the Alpha's but a bit better than the rest of the $1000 class.
 

eitanaltman

Well-known member
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with comparing a “value option” vs the more expensive “luxury option” to understand the incremental gains and decide if they are worth the extra cost.

On the topic of Leica focusers — I think if your expectation is that it’s going to be a silky smooth knob like the EDG or Kowa Genesis then you will always be disappointed. It’s a greaseless mechanism so it will never feel “buttery” or “silky” like a knob with goop inside to lubricate and dampen the mechanical action.

Leica made an intentional decision to sacrifice that gooey smoothness for (what they believe) is a more robust mechanism that will operate the same regardless of temperature.

When I got my first UV (the 8x32 HD for my wife) I was honestly shocked by the focus knob and was afraid something was wrong. Nobody else does a focus knob like that, and after some googling I realized it was just the deal with the Ultravid focus knob and I moved on. Same thing with Swaros, you’re never going to get a “silky smooth” or “buttery” turning action because they use a specific mechanical design with the spring et al; I’ve handled a lot of Swaro ELs and precisely zero of them had a focus knob that felt silky smooth like a Kowa Genesis.

I’ve currently got two UVHD, the Trinovid BR, and tried Foss’ UV BR. Every single one has some “weird” spots, maybe a little “stiction”, maybe a little “notchy” spot or two. But with every single one of them I have zero issues achieving quick, perfect focus in *actual field use*. Once the wheel is moving back and forth it rotates smoothly and consistently and I don’t notice the weird stuff. I’ve brought up the Genesis several times — while the 10x33 focus knob was indeed silky smooth and precise, I still found it easier to get sharp focus with the Trinovid 10x42 in the field. Go figure.

They aren’t going to come off well if you just sit there and spin the knob back and forth and compare to the Genesis, but in practice I have never felt hampered by the Leica focus knob in actual field usage. Is it magical like the EDG knob? Nope, but it gets the job done just fine.

The newer Trinovid HD is a Kamakura knob not a Leica knob, so I expect it to be more smooth like the Conquest or Razor Hd.
 

lmans66

Out Birding....
Supporter
United States
Good information Eltan.....nice to know.

Gilmore Girl.... I agree on the size and weight of the Trinovid... after looking at the MHG or other 30-32's...I was a bit taken back by the weight etc compared to size of others.
 

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
I don't need another binocular. Nobody needs more than one really. If I was like most people and I used the binocular as just a tool to view birds or other wildlife you would never see any comments from me here in the optics forum. I probably would have a 10 year old Vortex or Nikon and nothing else. I would never have experienced any other binoculars and never spent so much money as I have over the years. It would be more frugal to live this way, but I'm glad to have this other interest in binos to go along with my birding and interest in nature in general. It makes it a little more fun and adds dimension to my hobby. But, I do need to stop spending at this point.
I got a great price on the Nikon, so I do feel real good about that (!) It only comes with 90 day warranty though ... I need to make sure I don't drop it !

I have only 2 binoculars now and I still have just 2 arms

I chose the HG over the CL-b (which I was considering) since the Nikon was half the price from Nikon direct and reviews implied it's just as good. Also, I considered the fact the HG has a wider FOV, closer focus and quicker focus compared to the CL-b. Plus, I'm keeping my original CL.

The FL was replaced by my current CL. When I owned the FL, I spotted the discounted sand/brown CL and grabbed it due to it being hard to find and also out of curiosity. I used to own one in the same color years back and wanted to see how I liked the view now that I have more experience with binoculars. I decided I like the CL's colors and ergonomics better even though the FL is better optically.

I ordered the used Ultravid HD+ 8x32 after finding it for a cheap price from a dealer online. I wanted to see how it did against the HG.


I'm done buying binoculars for now

I don't feel too much of a need to try the CL-b since it's twice the price of the Nikon which I really like a this point.

A ~ half price bargain certainly brings the grins GiGi ! and helps live with the odd compromise (given that all bins - even the latest and greatest Swaro NL have them) o:D

I'm sure if you added up all the optics cost that you've spent on your hobby - less what you on-sell them for and then divided by all the usage and joy (and learning) that they have brought -> then it becomes very cheap rent (or amortised cost) indeed :)

The main thing is getting something that works well for you and is a joy to use. Particularly getting down to the potentially finicky 8x30 format, things like ease of eye placement and view, and ergonomics play a very big role. Perhaps that is what has led you to these bins over something a bit optically better like your old 8x32 FL - which is a chunky monkey indeed. :-O

Your Niki certainly is spec'd well - how do you find the clarity of the edge of the Fov ? Just crunching the Allbino's blurring numbers, the Swaro CL B actually has a wider sweet spot ~122m vs ~107m (~110m incidently for the Leica 8x32 UVHD+ so should be similar to the Niki). The little Niki sounds a lot like my old Swift Audubon which had a big bright field of similar width - but likewise fair sized blurred edges. I grew to find this a bit of a drawback - birds would sit motionless in this outer blurred Fov and I wouldn't even know they are there unless other senses kicked in - or I re-centred the view !

I'm sure the little Niki will bring lots of viewing pleasure - I really like the look and ergos of the MHG line, and I think the quality of construction is every bit up to the level of Swarovski :t:

I was a bit disappointed that the CL B didn't have a tan option - and then I spied these beauties ...... ! :D
They are s*x on a stick ! :loveme:
https://www.swarovskioptik.com/birding/cl-companion-nomad-c21010505/cl-companion-8x30-nomad-p5497475






Chosun :gh:
 
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mpeace

Well-known member
Your Niki certainly is spec'd well - how do you find the clarity of the edge of the Fov ? Just crunching the Allbino's blurring numbers, the Swaro CL B actually has a wider sweet spot ~122m vs ~107m (~110m incidently for the Leica 8x32 UVHD+ so should be similar to the Niki). The little Niki sounds a lot like my old Swift Audubon which had a big bright field of similar width - but likewise fair sized blurred edges. I grew to find this a bit of a drawback - birds would sit motionless in this outer blurred Fov and I wouldn't even know they are there unless other senses kicked in - or I re-centred the view !

A point about the edges of the 8x30 HMG. They are basically close focussed, so you can bring them into sharp focus by re-focussing. If you're viewing over a lake, field, shoreline etc. this has the benefit that you can have the centre focussed at a distant bird, but have the entire bottom half of the view in sharp focus as the effect matches the changing distance of the scene from horizon to close to. I've found this useful when viewing distant waders, but have had a warbler or bunting fly into the reeds just in front of me and I've caught sharp sight of them in the lower part of the field of view. Similarly entire large flocks of birds sitting out on the mud can be in focus though over a large depth of field.

Obviously this is not unique to the MHG and although I'm sure the close focussed outer region is an unwanted limitation of not achieving a truly flat field, in practice on many occasions it presents itself as an advantage.

Now binoculars where you can't bring the outside area into sharp focus are just plain bad.
 

Gilmore Girl

Beth
Supporter
United States
...
Your Niki certainly is spec'd well - how do you find the clarity of the edge of the Fov ? Just crunching the Allbino's blurring numbers, the Swaro CL B actually has a wider sweet spot ~122m vs ~107m (~110m incidently for the Leica 8x32 UVHD+ so should be similar to the Niki). The little Niki sounds a lot like my old Swift Audubon which had a big bright field of similar width - but likewise fair sized blurred edges. I grew to find this a bit of a drawback - birds would sit motionless in this outer blurred Fov and I wouldn't even know they are there unless other senses kicked in - or I re-centred the view !



I was a bit disappointed that the CL B didn't have a tan option - and then I spied these beauties ...... ! :D
They are s*x on a stick ! :loveme:
https://www.swarovskioptik.com/birding/cl-companion-nomad-c21010505/cl-companion-8x30-nomad-p5497475






Chosun :gh:

Allbinos is correct. It doesn't seem like a flat field. The sweet spot is pretty big in the HG, but the edges outside of the sweet spot become increasingly blurry.
Yes, the CL has a slightly bigger sweet spot. I just compared them this morning after reading your post. It's tough for me to say, but I estimate the HG area of optimal sharpness is anywhere from 70-75% and the CL is about 80-85%. I'm not really good at estimating this. Both have some field curvature; when de-focusing the center, the outer edges come into focus a bit better. Also, I think the outer edges of the CL doesn't degrade quite as much. The HG's outer edges looked slightly worse (not a big difference). None of this is an issue for me in either bino. The area of sharpness for viewing is big enough in both.

Yes, the CL-b NOMAD edition is gorgeous ! If it was the same price or even 200-300 hundred bucks more than the regular CL-b I'd probably have it now. But, $2600 is just a bit ridiculous.

More thoughts: The CL is not as far behind on sharpness as I thought after comparing it this morning. The Nikon is obviously sharper, but CL is sufficient even at 50-100 yards out. I'm still satisfied with my older version CL and this is another reason why upgrading to the CL-b is unnecessary.
 
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Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
Yes, the CL-b NOMAD edition is gorgeous ! If it was the same price or even 200-300 hundred bucks more than the regular CL-b I'd probably have it now. But, $2600 is just a bit ridiculous.

Lol - Yes on both counts ! :-O

Stylistically, I like the blingy bits.
In fact I'd like to see a bit more - it's crying out for a big copper/gold coloured anodized knurled aluminium focus wheel. Something along the lines of this one:-
https://www.levenhuk.com/catalogue/binoculars/levenhuk-vegas-ed-10-42/

However, optically, I'm wondering what the shiny objective rings are going to do to denigrate the glare performance ?! :eek!: Even though they seem a type of burnished satin finish, you can see some bright spots just under the room lights of the photo. Surely they wouldn't handle direct bright sunlight ......

I do wish manufacturers would give these things a bit more thought so we could have our cake and eat it too :) :eat:

And of course at over $2&1/2K they are puffin muffins ... ! :hippy:
For that price they'd want to be hand finished by Harry and Megs, and embossed with a limited number signature - with a tour of the private grounds and afternoon tea thrown in for good measure ! :-O








Chosun :gh:
 

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