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Nikon Monarch HG 10x42 - Off centre prism ring (1 Viewer)

notchy

Roger
Season's greetings to all. New poster here. I'm after some advice, if I may. I bought a new pair of Nikon Monarch HG 10x42s a few days before Christmas. I've taken them out three times so far and they're everything I hoped they'd be, so that's great.

However, when inspecting the barrel interiors yesterday, I noticed that both barrels had un-coated grey rings, one of which was significantly off-centre (please see attached photos). A quick Google search highlighted the allbinos.com review of the same model in which the reviewer notes the following about the reviewed pair:

"Black tubes, quite matt and very strongly baffled. Black bottom but a prism rim sticks out and it is made of gray metal, not covered by anything at all. Very clear interior."

I don't know what a "prism rim" looks like when viewed down a barrel, but I'm wondering if it's the same thing I'm seeing. Although the Monarchs are classed as "outstanding" in that review, the reviewer nevertheless notes that the exit pupils (the left one in particular it appears) are "unfortunately a bit truncated". The reviewer doesn't make a connection between the protruding prism rim and the exit pupil truncation, but I'm wondering if the former could be the cause of the latter and if any of the optics experts on this forum could advise? Perhaps truncated exit pupils are caused only by the configuration of the the eyepieces themselves and would not be affected by anything in the prisms or barrels, I don't know.

Anyway, if people here feel that the protruding ring is likely to be causing significant optical issues, I'll return the bins and request a replacement from the retailer. I can't say that I've noticed any problems with the view through the affected eyepiece and barrel, and I know that these aren't "Alpha" grade binoculars, but I bought them (partly, at least) in an attempt to avoid the worst of the problems caused by the hit-and-miss manufacturing standards that afflict many cheaper models and so feel a bit miffed that something in the barrel appears to have been so shoddily assembled.

I gave up trying to light the interior of the barrel evenly and so I settled on two views of the wonky grey ring, one of its less protruding side and one from the opposite. I hope it illustrates the issue. The third image is just a shot of the Monarch HGs for the benefit of anyone who hasn't seen a pair and is wondering what they look like :)
 

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Binastro

Well-known member
If both photos are taken dead centre, and the illumination is central, then it may be that the collimation process has pushed one optics side quite far over.

Looking at out of focus star images one may see if they are off centre.

But if the view is good and a resolution test is O.K. it may just be luck as to how far off these rings are.

If bought from a shop then just compare with another same binocular

B.
 

Steve O4B

Optics4Birding.com
I just looked at one here in the store that was a display unit "refurbished" by Nikon. I see no evidence of the off-center gray ring and the exit pupils seem perfectly round.
 

notchy

Roger
If both photos are taken dead centre, and the illumination is central, then it may be that the collimation process has pushed one optics side quite far over.

I was unable to evenly illuminate the barrel while keeping the camera's lens over its centre point. I had to offset the lens slightly in order to shine some light down to the level of the grey ring (which appears to be between the focussing mechanism and the prism - part of the prism housing perhaps?). A macro ring light might have worked well, but I don't possess one of those for my current camera system.

The first image shows one side of the right barrel, the second, the opposite side. The grey crescent in the second photo is the ring I'm talking about, jutting alarmingly in to the barrel interior.

Looking at out of focus star images one may see if they are off centre.

Thanks for the suggestion, I'll try this.

But if the view is good and a resolution test is O.K. it may just be luck as to how far off these rings are.

The resolution seems good compared to other 10x42s I've owned and those that I've tried. I can't detect any differences between the views from the two eyepieces, so perhaps I'm worrying about nothing. The asymmetry of the view down the barrel is slightly alarming though, with that grey ledge protruding (seemingly) in to the optical space on one side.

If bought from a shop then just compare with another same binocular

Despite my best efforts to support my local photography and optics store (Castle Cameras in Bournemouth, UK) on this occasion they didn't have the product I wanted in stock. I was told that an order would likely take 10 days to arrive, so I ordered from Park Cameras who had the Monarchs in stock ready for next day delivery. So I don't have access to another copy for comparison purposes, frustratingly.

Thanks for your reply Binastro.
 

notchy

Roger
I just looked at one here in the store that was a display unit "refurbished" by Nikon. I see no evidence of the off-center gray ring and the exit pupils seem perfectly round.

Thanks Steve. Something I should have added in my reply to Binastro above, I also have a pair of Monarch 7s here, which have a very similar barrel interior (albeit with fewer baffles than the Monarch HGs). They also have the grey rings in the same position (i.e. seemingly between the front of the prism and the focussing lens/mechanism). The Monarch 7's rings are quite accurately centred within each barrel, which just makes me feel more uneasy about the off-centred one in my MHG's barrel.
 

Pileatus

"Experientia Docet”
United States
I think you're worrying about the wrong end of the bin.
I see a lot of "gray" stuff when I shine a light into the objective of my Leica Ultravid BUT...the view is GREAT when I look through the eyepieces.

Personally, I don't care if they use lemon jello for lenses and/or baffling. If the view satisfies my needs I'm happy.

Happy New Year!
 

henry link

Well-known member
I agree with Pileatus. The gray colored surfaces that face forward are of no concern. The surfaces that cause glare run parallel to the optical axis and reflect glancing light back toward the eyepiece. Reflections from front facing surfaces harmlessly exit the front of the binocular through the objective lens. The eye can't see them.

If you can manage it better photos of the interior would help us figure out what is going on in there, including photos through both barrels for comparison and photos of the interior made through the eyepieces. The eyepiece photos should show if a ring of some sort (or possibly the moving focusing lens) is positioned so far off as to change the shape of the exit pupil. Also, photos from the front made at infinity and close focus would show whether the focusing lens is involved. Finally, maybe you could use your computer's photo software to brighten the deep shadow areas in the photos you already posted.

Henry
 
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notchy

Roger
Thanks henry link and Pileatus. I'm going to be otherwise occupied this evening (UK time here), but will attempt to create clearer images tomorrow.

Just for the record, these grey metal (they appear to be metal) rings are much lighter than the rest of the barrel interior which is uniformly matte black. They not only have a forward facing surface, but also a flat inner edge parallel to the length of the binocular barrel and there's no sign that the surface facing rearwards towards the prisms and eyepieces is coated, although I can't confirm this. The relatively light grey and reflective surface looks rather incongruous in the otherwise matte black, non-reflective barrel interior.

Anyway, will post hopefully better images tomorrow.
 

notchy

Roger
OK, sorry for the delay in responding. I managed to drop in to my local photographic shop which had a pair of Monarch HG 8x42s in stock (mine are 10x42). That pair also had the same unpainted grey rings between the prism and the focussing mechanism. The rings in the pair in the shop also had a few shiny scratches and were also slightly off-centre within the barrel, although not quite to the same extent as the ring in the right barrel of my pair.

Given the description of these rings in the allbinos.com review (linked to above) as "prism rims" and in view of binastron's comment above, I'm guessing that these rings are used to align the prisms? Anyway, I can't honestly say that I can detect any ill effects of the significantly off-centre ring in the right barrel of my pair. If (as it appears) these rings have a degree of acceptable movement for adjustment purposes then one wouldn't expect to see any ill effects, presumably. Pileatus is probably right, I should just stop worrying and enjoy the binos.

In view of the comments above and having now seen a similar pair in my local shop (and realising that a pair of Monarch 7s I have here also have the same grey rings), I'm less alarmed than I was. Thanks to those who have responded.

Henry link asked for some more shots so here are some. Hopefully the rings in question at the back of the barrels are obvious enough. Just to recap, it's the ring in the right barrel that's particularly off-centre. I avoided over exposing, cranking up the ISO and boosting the shadows of these images too much because it just reduces the contrast between the rings in question and the rest of the barrel. When the barrel interiors are lit with artificial light the rings don't appear to be much lighter than the rest of the barrel interior. However, in ordinary daylight they appear significantly lighter than the other components and areas within the barrel.
 

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Binastro

Well-known member
I just looked at my very early Nikon 8x42 Monarch HG.

I was the first to review one here, as I thought it would meet my needs, and nobody had taken the plunge to buy one and review it.

Unfortunately this early example has excessive glare near the Sun in daylight or near street lights at night.

The inside of the barrels is shiny black not matte black.

I think that these binoculars were delayed into the U.S. until they became acceptable with modifications, but I don't know if this was the situation or not.

Many here find these binoculars to be first rate.

I should have returned mine but didn't.
In fact this policy saved me money, as I stopped buying binoculars.
I have only bought maybe one or two since then, and low priced at that.

I would like a Canon 8x20IS but again I am cautious about buying any optics, as I have most observing well covered.

As to my 8x42 Monarch HG.
The rings are bright, but on my example both sides are pretty well centred.
I think it is possible that collimation may dictate how much off centring is needed, but am not sure.

I may actually use this binocular, now that I have got over my regrets.
I just need to avoid glare situations.

The Canon 18x50 IS does have one sided coloured stars when the IS is near the limits of travel, but this doesn't bother me. If necessary I turn the IS off, recentre and reengage.
Despite its foibles the Canon 18x50 IS is the binocular that most impresses me, and if it failed after 18 years or so I would replace it.

It is the actual view that counts when observing rather than testing.

Regards,
B.
 

dries1

Member
Binastro,

There is a new binocular from the east it is called the Bitsa Series, it comes in all the the major X32, and 42 formats and are built with left over parts, Zenray, Alpen etc. (you coined this term in another post and I just thought it was hilarious). By the way, give the HG 8X42 another shot.

Have a great new Year,

Andy W.
 

NDhunter

Experienced observer
United States
I just looked at my very early Nikon 8x42 Monarch HG.

I was the first to review one here, as I thought it would meet my needs, and nobody had taken the plunge to buy one and review it.

Unfortunately this early example has excessive glare near the Sun in daylight or near street lights at night.

The inside of the barrels is shiny black not matte black.

I think that these binoculars were delayed into the U.S. until they became acceptable with modifications, but I don't know if this was the situation or not.

Many here find these binoculars to be first rate.

I should have returned mine but didn't.
In fact this policy saved me money, as I stopped buying binoculars.
I have only bought maybe one or two since then, and low priced at that.

I would like a Canon 8x20IS but again I am cautious about buying any optics, as I have most observing well covered.

As to my 8x42 Monarch HG.
The rings are bright, but on my example both sides are pretty well centred.
I think it is possible that collimation may dictate how much off centring is needed, but am not sure.

I may actually use this binocular, now that I have got over my regrets.
I just need to avoid glare situations.

The Canon 18x50 IS does have one sided coloured stars when the IS is near the limits of travel, but this doesn't bother me. If necessary I turn the IS off, recentre and reengage.
Despite its foibles the Canon 18x50 IS is the binocular that most impresses me, and if it failed after 18 years or so I would replace it.

It is the actual view that counts when observing rather than testing.

Regards,
B.
B
I don't think you are well enough informed to post about thinking your glare thing has to do with any such issues with the Monarch HG.

Yes, you should actually use the binocular for several weeks under many conditions before giving it a diss.:C

Why you mention Canon on this post is another subject altogether?

As you mentioned many find the Monarch HG to be first rate, and they are.

There are no problems with glare, flare or anything else. Nikon knows how to make optics and binoculars, for over 100 years. |:d|

Jerry
 

Binastro

Well-known member
Jerry,
You persist in telling me what I can or cannot see in my Monarch 8x42 HG.

I tried my sample again today in dull overcast weather.

It still has bad false colour towards the edges.
It is only sharp to 50% to 60% of the way to the edge.

I was fortunate to have a magpie pruning itself on top of the chimney pot at 124 metres distance.
It sat there a long time.
Towards the edge the magpie was unrecognisable. It was a mush.

This sample 8x42 HG is very bright, much brighter than my Swift 8.5x44 HR/5.
Centrally the view of the magpie was excellent.
The resolution centrally hand held was equal to the Swift 8.5x44 HR/5.

Last night near street lights there was glare and ghosting with this sample Monarch 8x42 HG.

Every company is capable of making a lemon.

You have been personally critical of me since the first day I joined birdforum.
You don't know me.
You don't what experience I have with optics.

You are out of order.

As to the Canon 18x50 IS, I mentioned this as an example of what happens where optics are thrown off centre, in this case by the stabilizer.

The Monarch HG 10x42 mentioned by the OP seems to have off centring in one barrel, but this may not be a problem in actual use.
I was merely saying what happens when the Canon 18x50 IS, as an example, has the optics off centre.

What right have you to tell me that I have to use the binocular for weeks, when the problems with this sample of the Monarch 8x42 HG are obvious to me, and probably to any experienced optical tester, within less than half an hour.

As to Nikon being infallible.
An old Nikon 30cm f/4.5 telephoto lens in good condition is optically pitiful compared to the TTH 12inch f/4, probably just as old.

Some of the Nikon compact cameras were very wanting.

Usually Nikon optics are very good, but not always.

As to your writings about me personally, I accept that you are unlikely to change.
Similarly, your opinions about my capabilities as an optics tester are unlikely to change, despite the fact that I have tested thousands of optics.

So, in short, at least three of your five sentences in post 15 are wrong.

And, I accept Jerry, you are as you are.

B.
 

Rico70

Well-known member
In my opinion it is always a shame when any brand makes a bad impression with specimens or defective projects and puts them on the market leaving customers unhappy. I have often used Nikon in photography and I have always found a moderate average quality in economic optics and better quality levels in more expensive ones. But I have also seen the transition to the worst low cost productions, with poor quality controls and bad results, especially among cheap binoculars (within $ 500). Lemons should be "squeezed-crushed-trampled" directly from the company that produced them. And not sold to users. And I've seen too many Nikon lemons.

Today, before taking Nikon binoculars, I would analyze it up to split the hair into 24 parts and I would immediately return a specimen like the OP. Although I can understand that if everything works, there is no reason.
But since there are always other choices, if I can, I prefer to have and keep an excellent specimen, without defects.
 

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