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Nikon Monarch HG or Zeiss Conquest HD (1 Viewer)

I didn’t know where to post this request for advice but decided to start here. I own a pair of old Ranger 8 x42 platinum class binoculars that I want to replace. I have a pair of Maven 8 x 30 also.
Should I be looking at 8x 42? My choice at this time would be one of the above. My price limit 1000, only a little more(200 limit)if it meant a great improvement over the 1000 binoculars. I will be birding in a hickory/oak forest often so available light is important and I have small hands, so size and weight a factor, why my purchase of the Mavens a few years ago. I use a harness now which has helped but still important factor. Also older age has brought on the glasses. I just want a brighter, clear view of that bird up in the oaks of my habitat with obvious field marks😊If you use either of these binoculars for your go to pair, let me know why please. Thanks.
 

Jessie-66

Germany
Check out the spec sheets for the binoculars you're considering. Compare mass and field of view and eye relief. I would therefore choose the Nikon Monarch HG 8x42, the optical quality is comparable, ergonomics (eyecups) is better with the Nikon. However, Zeiss supplies eye cups free of charge if required (eye relief), which may be more suitable - imho rather for non-glasses wearers. The rather considerable mass of 42 mm binoculars is better tolerated with harness or a contoured, wide strap or a long camera strap (> 1.6 m) diagonally across the chest, binoculars in the kidney area. But it is more fiddling to take the binoculars in front of the eyes. In the field of observation you describe, I too would choose a particularly lightweight 8x42.
 
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gcole

Well-known member
I didn’t know where to post this request for advice but decided to start here. I own a pair of old Ranger 8 x42 platinum class binoculars that I want to replace. I have a pair of Maven 8 x 30 also.
Should I be looking at 8x 42? My choice at this time would be one of the above. My price limit 1000, only a little more(200 limit)if it meant a great improvement over the 1000 binoculars. I will be birding in a hickory/oak forest often so available light is important and I have small hands, so size and weight a factor, why my purchase of the Mavens a few years ago. I use a harness now which has helped but still important factor. Also older age has brought on the glasses. I just want a brighter, clear view of that bird up in the oaks of my habitat with obvious field marks😊If you use either of these binoculars for your go to pair, let me know why please. Thanks.
Hi Birdermom .... I do not know how long it’s been since you have actually handled/looked thru other current 8x42 binoculars ?, while your older Ranger in its day certainly was a good inexpensive binocular today you do not have to spend a 1000 to gain a significant improvement over your rangers. Today’s mid level lower priced 8x42’s with special ED glass can be purchased between $300-$600. Most are China sourced with a few from Japan. A very good binocular which is about the size of your ranger or a tad smaller with ED Glass with 19mm eye relief made in Japan I would highly recommend is the Vixen Artes J 8x42 which can be purchased New for around $430 with sale prices in the low $300 price range. I have owned and handled the Vixen Artes J and they are optically very close to the first generation Opticron DBA VHD 8x42 at a considerable lower price. I would give BH Photo or Adrorama a look, I have purchased from both and I highly recommend them. Both have a good return policy with frequent sales.
 
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eitanaltman

Well-known member
100% go for the Monarch HG over the Conquest HD.

The MHG is significantly slimmer and lighter and has a much wider field of view. Given your description of your uses and preferences these will be huge points in favor of the MHG.

The Conquest HD is chunkier and heavier, and has a pedestrian FOV for an 8x42 (the 10x42 and 8x32 are much more impressive in this regard). It has more robust build and is more rugged with the thicker rubber armor and hard locking eyecups but for walkabout birding the MHG is plenty good enough.

Otherwise they are basically equal optically, as are nearly all of the Japanese made binoculars in this price tier.

You will love the MHG and they will be a huge upgrade over the old EO Ranger (this was my first “real” binocular and I used one for many years). The slim barrels will be great for small hands and view is very bright, very wide, with a huge sweet spot.
 
100% go for the Monarch HG over the Conquest HD.

The MHG is significantly slimmer and lighter and has a much wider field of view. Given your description of your uses and preferences these will be huge points in favor of the MHG.

The Conquest HD is chunkier and heavier, and has a pedestrian FOV for an 8x42 (the 10x42 and 8x32 are much more impressive in this regard). It has more robust build and is more rugged with the thicker rubber armor and hard locking eyecups but for walkabout birding the MHG is plenty good enough.

Otherwise they are basically equal optically, as are nearly all of the Japanese made binoculars in this price tier.

You will love the MHG and they will be a huge upgrade over the old EO Ranger (this was my first “real” binocular and I used one for many years). The slim barrels will be great for small hands and view is very bright, very wide, with a huge sweet spot.
What are the major differences between the Monarch 7 and Monarch HG, besides obvious price?
 

Jessie-66

Germany
MHG vs M7: Better mechanics and haptics (finish, eye cups, focus, lockable diopter), more eye relief, larger sweet spot. M7 are not bad - for it's price.
 
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Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
100% go for the Monarch HG over the Conquest HD.

The MHG is significantly slimmer and lighter and has a much wider field of view. Given your description of your uses and preferences these will be huge points in favor of the MHG.

You will love the MHG and they will be a huge upgrade over the old EO Ranger (this was my first “real” binocular and I used one for many years). The slim barrels will be great for small hands and view is very bright, very wide, with a huge sweet spot.
200% ! Totally agree. 👍
The MHG is a fantastic ergonomic package and lightest of the quality offerings, with a bright and wide view, and more of a neutral colour balance than the Conquest.
You will love it !



Chosun 🙅
 

Patudo

Well-known member
The only point I'd like to make in addition to all the good advice you have been given above is: 8x42 has certain advantages over 8x32, but 8x magnification, fundamentally, is still 8x mag. Looking at the job you require it to do - "I just want a brighter, clear view of that bird up in the oaks of my habitat with obvious field marks" - made me feel that if the trees are high and the birds a long way up, it may well be (and I would not hesitate to ask for the opinion of the really experienced birders here like dwatson, wolfbirder and others) 10x mag, despite some real disadvantages (shallower field of view and typically smaller field of view) may let you better see those field marks.

Trying to discern detail from small difficult targets strikes me as exactly the sort of situation where an image-stabillized binocular like Canon's 10x32 might really shine. The reports from experienced guys like kabsetz and Hermann have been very positive, and, provided their weight (780g) is not too excessive, it might be well worth trying them out as and when you can.
 
Will the 10x give me magnification only with no more light Unless I go to 10 x 42?
And the 8 x 42 give me more light, due to increase in field, but with same magnification?
I have not purchased anything yet and would have to order online, live in very rural area to make any comparison.
 

pbjosh

missing the neotropics
Switzerland
The 10x will give you more magnification, of course, but a smaller field of view in trade off, and may be harder to hold still (hand vibration is magnified along with your vision, so any hand trembling / fatigue / etc will be magnified 10x vs 8x). Both 8x and 10x are very useful and are by far the dominant magnifications for birding. 10x is perhaps better for open country (deserts, shorelines, etc). 8x is usually preferred for denser habitat or if you are inside forest.

My suggestion would be to stick with the Monarch HG in the 42mm range - they are nearly as lightweight and compact as many other brands' 32mm offerings, but give you the ease of use and better low light performance of 42mm. As far as 8x vs 10x, the conventional wisdom is to go with 8x unless you are sure you want/need 10x. If you do go for a 10x, most people would recommend that you stay with 42mm. The reason has to do with exit pupil size, which is the binocular size (ie, 42mm) divided by the magnification. 4-5mm is generally a lot "friendlier/easier" to use than 3mm, resulting in the popularity of 8x32, 8x42, and 10x42 binoculars while 10x32 is definitely a lot less popular. There are plenty of articles on 8x vs 10x to browse if you just google a bit, and it is a topic that has been discussed a near infinite number of times here on Birdforum as well!

Cheers and good luck!
 
The 10x will give you more magnification, of course, but a smaller field of view in trade off, and may be harder to hold still (hand vibration is magnified along with your vision, so any hand trembling / fatigue / etc will be magnified 10x vs 8x). Both 8x and 10x are very useful and are by far the dominant magnifications for birding. 10x is perhaps better for open country (deserts, shorelines, etc). 8x is usually preferred for denser habitat or if you are inside forest.

My suggestion would be to stick with the Monarch HG in the 42mm range - they are nearly as lightweight and compact as many other brands' 32mm offerings, but give you the ease of use and better low light performance of 42mm. As far as 8x vs 10x, the conventional wisdom is to go with 8x unless you are sure you want/need 10x. If you do go for a 10x, most people would recommend that you stay with 42mm. The reason has to do with exit pupil size, which is the binocular size (ie, 42mm) divided by the magnification. 4-5mm is generally a lot "friendlier/easier" to use than 3mm, resulting in the popularity of 8x32, 8x42, and 10x42 binoculars while 10x32 is definitely a lot less popular. There are plenty of articles on 8x vs 10x to browse if you just google a bit, and it is a topic that has been discussed a near infinite number of times here on Birdforum as well!

Cheers and good luck!
Thanks for this information and suggestion.
 

Brink

Well-known member
Agree with the above. I have never looked through mavens, but I would be surprised if either of the binoculars you are looking at is a huge improvement over them for most viewing. As for 8x vs. 10x, I come out firmly on the 8x side, especially for woodland viewing. In the 8x42 class I would take the MHG over the Conquest for weight and FOV considerations.

I have the m7 8x30 and recently got a MHG 8x42. In most lighting they are pretty close optically, with the MHG being a bit better in just about every way. My m7 rubber armor fell apart after about 4 or 5 years of heavy use and now they are covered in duct tape and rarely leave the glovebox.
 

Ries

Well-known member
I would not take the lower weight of the mhg as a plus persé. I found it harder to keep it steady because of that, even less than a 10x Meopta, which was a pound heavier. I haven't looked through a Conquest (yet) but the contrast in the mhg is not fantastic, a bit overruled by the (very nice sparkling) colour fidelity which gives the sense of greater brightness but loses in dusk to a 7x42 with more neutral colour rendering.
 

Brink

Well-known member
I guess it depends on the use. If you are carrying your binoculars all day, especially if you are holding them to your eyes for long periods of time (like hawkwatching or seawatching), I think lightweight is a strong selling point. If you are just handling them briefly, or using a tripod, a heavy binocular could be a good thing. I think the biggest selling point of the Monarch lineup is the wide field and low weight, so I assume the people interested in them value those two things. They are better than just about anything else you can find in both of these categories. Optically, they are quite in line with the other offerings at their price level (whether you go with the m7 or MHG), so it will come down to personal preference. I find the MHG performs quite well with brightness and contrast, but haven't seen a Meostar or Conquest. It isn't sharp to the edge but has a nice large sweet spot and distortion is pretty well corrected. CA outside of center field is the one fault I would give these. I am not sure how well the Conquest stacks up here, but I find CA particularly irksome.
 

GeoffWood

Well-known member
I have been deliberating for weeks now between these 2 models, with the balance tipping in favour of the Nikons. In fact, this morning I went to check on a website with a good price only to learn that this model is out of stock and labeled "discontinued"
I'm not sure if I want to go for a discontinued model so now tipping towards the Zeiss.
Or, should I hang on to see if any of the Nikons turn up at a discounted price?
 

Gilmore Girl

Beth
Supporter
United States
I have been deliberating for weeks now between these 2 models, with the balance tipping in favour of the Nikons. In fact, this morning I went to check on a website with a good price only to learn that this model is out of stock and labeled "discontinued"
I'm not sure if I want to go for a discontinued model so now tipping towards the Zeiss.
Or, should I hang on to see if any of the Nikons turn up at a discounted price?
The Monarch HG isn't discontinued. I wonder what Nikon binocular you were viewing on the site you mention. You may be looking at one of the older HG versions.
 

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