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Nikon Monarch 7 vs. Nikon Monarch HG (2 Viewers)

Puffins4Life

Puffins4Life
Not to beat a dead horse here, but I currently own a pair of Nikon Monarch 7 10x42's and am tempted to upgrade to Monarch HG 10x42's. Assuming I can maybe get $200 for my used (very nice condition) Monarch 7's - Is it really worth the expenditure for the upgrade?

I'm happy with the Monarch 7's but is their a big jump in quality between the two series? If their is a "night and day" type scenario or opinion, I may just upgrade. But if it is too close to call, I may not bother.

Any opinions/info/experiences appreciated!!!
 

PhilR.

Well-known member
That is a subjective evaluation that will be different for eveyone. Certainly an experienced bino user will see a great difference, but a casual user probably would not see enough difference to warrant the cost difference. So, it all depends on what you are able to see, and what you are able to distinguish.

Personally, if I had an M7, I would not make the upgrade to an MHG. I would either buy a used alpha, or save up for a new alpha. IMO the M7 is pretty good, so if I’m going to make a jump, it would have to be large jump in order to make it worthwhile.
 

chill6x6

Well-known member
That is a subjective evaluation that will be different for eveyone. Certainly an experienced bino user will see a great difference, but a casual user probably would not see enough difference to warrant the cost difference. So, it all depends on what you are able to see, and what you are able to distinguish.

Personally, if I had an M7, I would not make the upgrade to an MHG. I would either buy a used alpha, or save up for a new alpha. IMO the M7 is pretty good, so if I’m going to make a jump, it would have to be large jump in order to make it worthwhile.

I agree. Practically exactly what I was thinking! :t:
 

Royfinn

Well-known member
Not to beat a dead horse here, but I currently own a pair of Nikon Monarch 7 10x42's and am tempted to upgrade to Monarch HG 10x42's. Assuming I can maybe get $200 for my used (very nice condition) Monarch 7's - Is it really worth the expenditure for the upgrade?

I'm happy with the Monarch 7's but is their a big jump in quality between the two series? If their is a "night and day" type scenario or opinion, I may just upgrade. But if it is too close to call, I may not bother.

Any opinions/info/experiences appreciated!!!
I have had M7 8x32 for year and half. I think it's great bin and the difference to my previous 70 € bin is like night and day. I also bought Opticron Discovery to my GF, and the M7 is way better optically with wider fow and much better focusing knob.

Year ago I went to birdfair mainly with the idea to test many alpha bins etc. that were on the sale. To my surprise I didn't notice much of a difference between M7 and alpha bins.

In the spring I ended up buying EDG 8x32. I had time to evaluate difference to M7, and I didn't see much difference in overall pic quality. Yes, EDG propably has superior build quality, but that's it for me. EDG might also have better glare control, but I hadn't possibility to test the difference in serious birding, as this is slow time birdwise. EDG was too expensive toy for me to use, so I ended selling the EDG in newlike condition with some loss, as I need the money for the new scope.

So, I am not any kind of expert on bins, but my personal experience is telling me that with M7 I can make as good ID's of birds than with much more expensive bins. Maybe 10x bins might make more difference in migration watch etc...?

There is at least 3 possible reason why I can't see much optical (except glare) difference with M7 and alpha bins.

1. I am 50+ years old and my eye sight (that is not that premium) won't allow me to spot the difference.
2. I just don't have experience with bins to spot the difference.
3. The M7 is optically about 95% of the alpha bins, so spotting the difference is difficult.
 

Upland

Well-known member
If you can live with the added weight I’d go with the Kowa Genesis 10.5 x44, Meopta MeoStar 10x42, Tract Toric 10x42 or Zeiss Conquest 10x42 instead of the HG. They all are the same price, or less in the case of the Tract, as the HG. IMHO they all have better optics and build quality than the HG. I’ve owned the HG and they are decent but don’t approach the others. I believe you’re paying for the Nikon name. I’ve owned the HG as stated and Torics and Conquest so my opinion on those is based on that. I’ve owned the Kowa in 33 and if the 44s are as good I would say they are the best but also the heaviest. The Meoptas I’ve only used outside of stores. They don’t fit my face and eyes but many here and elsewhere speak highly of them. If you like the M7s and dont mind glare then you probably enjoy the wider fov and flat field of the HG. This is all my subjective opinion. I hope you can compare some of the others I’ve mentioned before you make your decision.
 

eitanaltman

Well-known member
The Monarch 7 is a VERY competent mid-level binocular. Nikon Monarchs have been reliable <$500 options for literally decades, and the M7 finally addressed the biggest flaw which was the persistently below-average FOV's. Throw in compact size, pleasant ergonomics, light weight, that predictably smooth Nikon focus knob, and bright modern coatings and it adds up to a very nice package. Sure, they don't have great edge sharpness or perfect CA control, but if you get the bird in the middle of the view it's 90% as bright and sharp as anything really.

I had the M7 8x30 for years (wife bin) until she upgraded to the Ultravid HD 8x32 earlier this year. I compared them pretty carefully before selling the M7's, and honestly if you just pick them up and look at stuff, just use them vs. inspecting the optics, the M7's were at least ~90% as good as the UV HD in terms of brightness / contrast / color / clarity on axis.

To put it another way: the different between a junker $50-100 binocular and the Monarch 7 (or any other top $400-500 binocular) is orders of magnitude greater than the difference between those $500 binoculars and the top dogs.

A good sample of a Monarch 7 is approaching 90th percentile of brightness and usable sharpness in the sweet spot for handheld field use. The only significant optical flaw (given the price point) is the glare problems, which seem to be worse in the 30mm models (ruined the 8x30's for my wife and I). Not everyone sees glare equally though, my wife is WAY more sensitive to the veiling glare than I am.

So, since everyone seems to be nodding along with the "keep the M7" advice...... I'll throw you a curveball instead: rather than taking a loss on the Monarch 7 doing the flip to a better Monarch in the same format, why not get something totally different to complement the 10x42's? I'll bring up again the Kowa Genesis 33 sale for $799 right now, ending soon. The Genesis 8x33 are spectacular (unless you're an edge peeper, and if you like the M7 then you probably aren't) and would add a new format to the stable. $800 is close enough to the gap between $200 profit selling the M7 and buying the MHG right? :D

I wouldn't be surprised if you get more usable sharpness in the field with the lower mag Genesis than you do with the 10x Monarch 7's as they are amazingly sharp and bright but have a wider, deeper FOV and will be steadier to hold. You may love them so much that they replace the M7's as your primary field optic and the M7's can be the backup option or for dedicated 10x usage for longer distance viewing.
 

Puffins4Life

Puffins4Life
Thank you everyone for your views and opinions. I really appreciate you all taking the time and responses you've given. I will certainly take everything offered in my decision.
Best Regards.
 

Rob from Texas

Well-known member
Here's the shoot out. Hopefully it's informative:

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?...s/search?q=optica+erotica+bincoular+reviews&q

I have to smile. It's all so human. The first 5 min of the Vid are dedicated to the Monarch 7 and how it's great and you don't need an upgrade. The next 5 minutes (after he starts viewing through the HG) are about how wonderful it is and how it's very pleasing and a bit better in every way.

So your right back where you started.


Rob
 

pbjosh

missing the neotropics
Switzerland
Perhaps I'll be in the minority here, but I see a pretty fair upgrade between the two, and a pretty fair upgrade from the MHG to an alpha level bin. However, they won't make much difference in your birding, the M7 is already all you need in 99% of cases. A casual look through any decent $300+ bin and they're all pretty good. At the mid tier (MHG and competitors), opinions are split between the MHG vs one of the others. Essentially if you like a light weight package with a large field of view and good contrast, nicely saturated colors, and aren't hyper critical of CA or glare, you will prefer the MHG. If you don't mind a heavier bin with a lesser field of view, but value glare control and chromatic aberration control more, you might prefer one of the other suggestions.

Getting ahold of, say, the MHG and something like a Conquest HD or Kowa Genesis would be informative.

As others also say, just picking up and glancing through the bins you don't actually notice a lot of difference. But with prolonged use you might really come to enjoy the better binocular. Whether it is worth the upgrade is really a personal question.
 

eitanaltman

Well-known member
Perhaps I'll be in the minority here, but I see a pretty fair upgrade between the two, and a pretty fair upgrade from the MHG to an alpha level bin.

I don’t think it’s a minority position on this forum, or even among those posting in this thread. I think it’s just the advice is leaning more to the practical side, ie the rest of your post.
 

Maljunulo

Well-known member
Threads like this make me wonder about the role of individual eyesight.

I bought Swarovski EL SV 10X42 because I saw a difference versus Nikon Venturer LX 10X42.

I am sure many would have seen and described them as "the same".
 

lmans66

Out Birding....
Supporter
United States
This is what I gather to be a huge difference between the Monarch 7 and MHG....exterior quality. I only have the 8x30 model of the HG but have compared it to the Monarch 7. I also have a friend who has a Monarch 7x42. My experiences with both the Monarch 7's is that the armor coating is cheaper and gets bubbles in it, the focus' gets a lot of play in it ..... the bridge collapses too easily. Now that is not to mention the lack of interior coatings. And there is too much glare.

The HG's from what I read... are better in terms of overall quality as listed above that the Monarch 7's experience. I couldn't tell you this for sure as I haven't had the HG's that long to really determine but from people I have talked to that have an HG for any length of time, they are still satisfied with the quality overall. While people I know who have Monarch 7's, while they don't complain about it too much, still have that quality control exterior problem, glare...... and the coatings might go un-noticed since the view between the Monarch 7's and HG isn't that much difference ( again in the 8x30, ) unless you count glare.

The decision is to buy a cheaper Monarch 7 and replace it after awhile, or 2-3x your price on the HG and 'hopefully' buy it once.
 

dries1

Member
Just my opinion, stick with the Nikon. Personally I prefer the Nikon Hg to the Kowa and the Conquest. And I forgot, don't even look look at the Tracts for the retail price.

Andy W.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
This is what I gather to be a huge difference between the Monarch 7 and MHG....exterior quality. I only have the 8x30 model of the HG but have compared it to the Monarch 7. I also have a friend who has a Monarch 7x42. My experiences with both the Monarch 7's is that the armor coating is cheaper and gets bubbles in it, the focus' gets a lot of play in it ..... the bridge collapses too easily. Now that is not to mention the lack of interior coatings. And there is too much glare.

The HG's from what I read... are better in terms of overall quality as listed above that the Monarch 7's experience. I couldn't tell you this for sure as I haven't had the HG's that long to really determine but from people I have talked to that have an HG for any length of time, they are still satisfied with the quality overall. While people I know who have Monarch 7's, while they don't complain about it too much, still have that quality control exterior problem, glare...... and the coatings might go un-noticed since the view between the Monarch 7's and HG isn't that much difference ( again in the 8x30, ) unless you count glare.

The decision is to buy a cheaper Monarch 7 and replace it after awhile, or 2-3x your price on the HG and 'hopefully' buy it once.
If you think the M7 has poor exterior quality compared to the HG just get the Styrka S7 Series 8x30 ED Compact Binocular ST-35520 for $259.99. It is a clone of the M7 but has much better build quality than the M7 with tough armor and a silky smooth focuser with no play in it and slightly better optics than the M7 IMO. It is really an HG 8x30 for 1/3 the cost. They used to retail for $599.99.

https://www.amazon.com/Styrka-Compa...00XQ3JWDO/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8
 

pbjosh

missing the neotropics
Switzerland
The batch of M7 clones are not HG's for 1/3 the price. They're made in China as opposed to Japan, and have different optical formulas - or if not, they aren't M7 clones. Some people might not see a worthwhile difference in performance, but that's not the same as being the same binocular.
 

Royfinn

Well-known member
This is what I gather to be a huge difference between the Monarch 7 and MHG....exterior quality. I only have the 8x30 model of the HG but have compared it to the Monarch 7. I also have a friend who has a Monarch 7x42. My experiences with both the Monarch 7's is that the armor coating is cheaper and gets bubbles in it, the focus' gets a lot of play in it ..... the bridge collapses too easily. Now that is not to mention the lack of interior coatings. And there is too much glare.
You are right about dubious exterior quality of M7. I had 1,5 year of intensive use with it and the armor is off and in bad shape - partially it`s my fault as I have abused M7 a lot. Bridge is bit too loose for my liking. However, focus has no extra play.
 

lmans66

Out Birding....
Supporter
United States
If you think the M7 has poor exterior quality compared to the HG just get the Styrka S7 Series 8x30 ED Compact Binocular ST-35520 for $259.99. It is a clone of the M7 but has much better build quality than the M7 with tough armor and a silky smooth focuser with no play in it and slightly better optics than the M7 IMO. It is really an HG 8x30 for 1/3 the cost. They used to retail for $599.99.

https://www.amazon.com/Styrka-Compa...00XQ3JWDO/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8

Perhaps but chances are not....the answer is in the pudding and the pudding takes a few years to come out. Just about any binocular will look great in a store, out of the box etc..... it is only thru time that the true colors of a brand come thru.

I have seen a few Monarch's and they start out well....but end poor. I am guessing the Styrka's might be the same.

I would sooner take my chances on the MHG.....more out of pocket but better quality, inner and fit all around.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
The batch of M7 clones are not HG's for 1/3 the price. They're made in China as opposed to Japan, and have different optical formulas - or if not, they aren't M7 clones. Some people might not see a worthwhile difference in performance, but that's not the same as being the same binocular.
They are MIC but I don't see any difference in the quality versus the MIJ MHG. The optics are actually a little better with less glare than a M7 and the build quality including the armor and focuser are much better. Try one compared to an MHG. You might be surprised!
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
You are right about dubious exterior quality of M7. I had 1,5 year of intensive use with it and the armor is off and in bad shape - partially it`s my fault as I have abused M7 a lot. Bridge is bit too loose for my liking. However, focus has no extra play.
The trouble with the armour on the M7 is that it is loose when they are new and it just keeps getting looser and looser with use. If the armour is tight to begin with like on the Styrka you usually won't have a problem down the road.
 

dries1

Member
The armor of the M7 is probably ok if it is not used much, or if so, in a dry climate, however in a humid climate it will disintegrate. Face it, it is the worst armor on the market in a $400-500 glass. Nikon has put better armor on some of their older glass that still looks as new today, no M7 armor will last as long.
Andy W.
 

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