I've had my Nikon MHG 8x42 for 17 days now , the more I use it the more I like it . I have not noticed any issues with it that sours my feelings towards it , wonderful bin . It does have the focus stiction that others have mentioned and it's very slight . The stiction only seems to show itself after a period of non use and stays away until another period of non use . I am not sure if it's even worth worrying about .
So, the stiction was not the reason that I sent the binoculars in for warranty service.
It was the tendency of the focuser to become very stiff to operate when the hinge was opened. This behaviour was dependant on the direction of movement of the hinge, and was apparent especially when the hinge was opened all the way. I also felt the focuser sometimes started showing a bit of slop/backlash, which is not a known feature of this model's focuser.
This however did not change my impression of the product (things can go wrong even with the most expensive binoculars)
It is the customer service experience that I have had so far which has let me down. On one part, I was very happy to have had a 1 week turnaround and really looked forward to opening the box, but was immediately let down by marks left on them due to the works... had the binocular been 5 years old with signs of wear and tear... maybe...just maybe I might have not kicked up a fuss about it... but it looked practically brand new before it was sent in. I really looked after them.
Nikon have now responded that the issue has been escalated and they're deciding what they need to do, they should get back to me next week.
When I said I'm not sure if it's worth worrying about I meant I'm not sure if if it's something that might become a problem over time for me and perhaps I should be talking to Nikon about it .
If I had a pair returned with marks that were not there when sent in , I would be a bit bothered for sure . I would expect it to be returned to me with repairs done to my satisfaction and in the same cosmetic condition it was in when I sent it to them . If that can't be done then a new binocular should be given .
I hope it works out for you in the end . Unfortunate that you have to jump through some hoops to get things done .
When a customer is returning an expensive instrument for attention to a small problem, it should be obvious that a very high standard is expected to be met, so it's extremely difficult to imagine the mindset behind such sloppy work. (Yet I had such a problem with Zeiss USA service myself a couple of years ago. It happens.) Keep after them.
So I still hadn't had any update from Nikon today so I emailed them. They have responded by saying that they apologise for the delay in resolution and reiterated that they are discussing what options they can offer me going forward...
I would love to be part of that discussion to understand how the issue is being seen from their end.
I used to work for one of the big American engine manufacturers and quality and customer service was their religion...
I still remember something they taught employees... it was 'Looking at things through the lens of the customer'
That would be even more meaningful to an optics manufacturer, I would have thought...
Need some advice, so after a week of pondering over what they can offer, Nikon UK have said that they want permission to contact the retailer from whom I purchased the binoculars so they can credit them so they can refund me in full for the binoculars. I will off-coarse need to send the binoculars back to the retailer.
The way I read it, it feels like they want to cut me loose as a customer. There is no mention of a replacement. This would leave me without a binocular and bring me back to square one in terms of choosing a pair of binoculars that work well for me...
Am I taking this the wrong way? what would you do in this situation?
Sounds like a good outcome, if I were you I would accept that offer.
That way you can simply buy a new pair of the same binos, if that's what you really wanted. (Although in terms of warranty, I would imagine that Nikon UK will not be thrilled to hear from you again, in case you have any issues with the new ones
Thanks a lot for the advice, I think I will be taking up that offer. I am a little weary of getting the same binos again. I really liked them, but the aftersales support experience doesn't match up to the price paid for the binoculars (in my humble opinion). I am tempted to post photographs of the issues that I had with them when they were returned. Just not sure if that is considered good etiquette here or not. I thought it would be taken by them as an opportunity to improve their service and ensure that cosmetic faults incurred during warranty repair are fixed with new parts... (maybe they will, who knows)
Also, the binoculars had a minor collimation error out of the box (when new) that I didn't pay much attention to (I blamed my own test method to be faulty) Nikon UK did re-collimate the binoculars and it has made a slight improvement to their optical performance. But the mechanical integrity of this particular pair is questionable. The binos used to snap into focus when new (before the focus wheel issue presented itself). And even after repair, they don't have that focus snap (I feel the diopter still drifts slightly).
Just got a little emotional (LOL) through this whole experience, you should have seen my face when I inspected the binos when they got back from service
I have always taken that to mean they don't have faith in the reliability of their products, regardless of who owns it, and have therefore always steered clear of them. Other companies provide better customer service, if that is what you value.
You know, it's been quite difficult to call the shot on this. I have a Zeiss Conquest HD 10x42 to try for the weekend. I had it out today and compared it with the Monarch HG 10x42. The Zeiss immediately impressed me with it's sharpness and resolution and contrast however, the colour balance was a little cold compared to the Nikon. I went back and forth and then some... I just cannot say if one is better than the other. I can only say that since Nikon has re-collimated this binocular, it has improved its performance in terms of perceived sharpness, even stray light performance to a degree.... this also makes it a difficult decision because I cannot be sure if a new sample of the Monarch HG would perform as good as the current one.
The Zeiss is very easy to focus (snaps in) where as with the Nikon, I sometimes have to rock in and out of focus to be sure...( I still think this is a mechanical issue rather than optical, as it used to snap into focus when new). Also, the difference in field of view is obvious between the two, however, objects appear a little closer in the Conquest HD (not sure if this is an illusion due to the slightly smaller field of view). The Monarch HG doesn't have any veiling flare where the Conquest HD has it in some conditions (viewing under a bright horizon, veiling flare at the bottom of field of view, not intrusive, but present). They both have their pros and cons, so I'm kinda going round in circles, even considering to let Nikon just fix the cosmetic issues that they've caused...
Really wish Nikon had better QC...also wish there were binocular retailers in the UK who would check their stock on a collimator before accepting it from manufacturers or shipping it to customers...
hopefully I can make a decision soon and be happy with it... It's the first time I've taken to a forum for advice and really appreciate everyone that has contributed.
I think you have a point there Jerry, hence I thought of sharing my observations here to learn what is acceptable and what isn't. I am by no means an experienced binocular enthusiast. Just a year ago, I thought that the Vortex Diamondback was an expensive binocular. It was the thirst for performance that eventually lead me to buy the Monarch HG. But I thought that with spending more, you also get better quality control and aftersales service, which sadly was not the case in this instance.
I think it is perfectly reasonable to expect a premium product/service when you pay a premium price.
Unfortunately most companies these days do not see things the same way.
In their never-ending efforts to maximize profit, most large corporations keep implementing "cost-cutting measures" in their manufacturing processes, which in many cases simply result in cutting corners when it comes to the quality of the finished product.
Quality is no longer the main priority (if it ever was). "Good enough" is considered acceptable these days.
And to add insult to injury, when it comes to warranty, they will often reply with something along the lines of "the product conforms to our standards and therefore we find that this is not a warranty issue", implying that it is the customer's fault for having expectations that were simply too high.
That's why I said that the fact that Nikon offered you a full refund is actually a good outcome in this case. To me it sounds like an admission of the fact that they cannot meet your expectations when it comes to this particular product, and they are at least doing the right thing by returning your money.
Unfortunately the quest for perfection might be an exercise in futility in this day and age.
I've seen reviews of binoculars several times more expensive than this, that still had various minor issues of one kind or another, according to the reviewer.
Thanks for that explanation Mark5man, definitely gives me a calmer and more reasonable perspective on the whole thing. This is exactly why finding a pair of binoculars that worked for me was such a mission in the first place. Hopefully I can get another pair soon that is sorted and I can enjoy...