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ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

Replacement for M7 8x30 (1 Viewer)


I see you get these threads alot, but I need a crowd to guide me.

I've had the Nikons around four years, and they've been through alot. Optically very sound, I picked them amongst six samples and these where the absolute cherry. I scratched the right side objective glass with a multitool while bikepacking, the soft rubber cover is falling to pieces but they still perform great, maybe a bit hazy. 😂

I've tried the Opticron lineup, Traveller and Verano 8x32. Verano was clearly sharper, but even amongst three copies I had some issues setting the diopter just right. Also the plastic from the eyepieces felt too abrasive in the long run. Also tried GPO Passion ED, and the Kowa BD II which I did not like at all. Lots of focus breathing and a very shallow sweetspot. GPO Passion was decent, but the eyepieces didn't extend enough for me.

Now I'm eyeing the Kite Lynx 8x30 HD+ as this is pretty much where my budget sits, around 600€. This I would need to order online, but can always return if need be.

The revamped M7 is there, but I'm slowly swaying away from China merch as much as I can.

Zeiss Conquest HD is 900€ and the Leica Trinovid is 830€. Both in 8x32. This far my budget will not most certainly stretch, but I cant think of anything in between. Oh yeah, the Maven B3, but these are kinda hard to come by here in Finland.
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Also the huge field of view from the Kite is a big selling point since I'm used to the already wide view from the M7.

There are not many high end optical instruments on the 2nd hand market, but I might miss a bunch since I dont use Facebook. This option always interests me.
So no interest in the Nikon Monarch High Grade 8x30? They will be an improvement on the M7's. Are they too expensive in Finland? It is annoying that the 8x30 and 8x42 Monarch High Grade cost the same amount, here in the USA.

You can look in the classifieds here, there are many good deals on 8x30 and 8x32's
I quite like the older Meopta Meopro "assembled in the USA" in 8x32. It has 8.3° FoV, large sweetspot, fast and smooth focuser. Not sure you can still get it though.
There is a Fujinon HC 8x42 for 650€ on ebay. "Demo model" but I bought a "demo model", too and it seemed brand new. I paid even less however.
The FoV is not quite as large as the M7 though with 8°. But the optics are simply great. No color tint, almost no chromatic abberation, very smooth focus. Made in Japan.
And a link to the Meopta. They claim it is available in 1 to 2 weeks but I am not quite sure. I think it is actually discontinued.
Hi @MeltAlready, welcome to the forum. Another fan of the Monarch 7, I've had 2 units and both were great, although slightly different, then I changed to the Traveller which I prefer and I consider more robust (especially the rubber armour); I've also had the Lynx HD, and while I think it was slightly superior to the Monarch 7 and Traveller, I don't think the difference in field of view was noticeable enough to justify a change. The glare issue was less in the Kite, but then it is a more expensive binocular.

You mention other very fine binoculars, like the Conquest HD or the Trinovid, but I would place these in a different category, because they are not superlight 8x32, like the Monarch 7 or the Kite, so I would definitely urge you to try them first, as they feel very different, and if you are used to a sub 450 g binocular, it may or may not be your cup of tea. Regarding your budget, if I was in your position, I would definitely go for a 2nd hand Conquest HD. With a bit of patience and luck you can find it for 600 €, even less and get it repair by Zeiss (usually under warranty) if something is not perfectly OK. I would say the Conquest sits in a superior step on the image quality (and build quality) ladder. If the size/handling is right for you, there's little to improve upon the Conquest HD, seriously. And the moment you lay your hands on one, coming from an Monarch 7, you will feel a leap in build quality and ruggedness.
I guess I crossed the MIC bridge some time ago. It used to bother me but now it's almost a $1000 and up situation for something not MIC except for a very few. I don't worry about it any more.

I've had a Monarch 7 8X30 for quite a while. I've always liked it. A MIJ option would be a Monarch HG 8X30 but would be a good bit more expensive. it's a really nice binocular though.

I actually took the Opticron BGA ED 8X32 with me on a trip to Trinidad and Tobago. I thought it performed very well, lthough there were times I wished for a 42mm binocular in the rain forest To me it comes across as a slightly higher quality binocular than the Monarch 7 8X30 that I have. I'd re-buy it.


From Little Tobago

@yarrellii Thank you!

The M7 and the Traveller go for around 450€ and the Kite sits at 550€. Though the M7 is on sale quite often.

I browsed the local second hand market, and there were a couple Conquests that were sold at 450-580€. Though none available at the moment.

I also tried the Swarovski 8x32 NL Pure, and while it was great, it was not 2500€ great. In my point of view I get nothing but increasingly diminished returns after a certain threshold. Though if that threshold is 600€ or 1000€ for me, I cant tell just yet.

And also considering the rough nature of my bino usage, I find it hard to justify a purchase of +1k€. Though if I wouldnt have screwed up with the M7 and the rubber was of a better material, I'd not be making this post.

I would recommend patience while checking used offers for 8x32... 600€ will get you a used pair of 1000€ bins like Conquest HD or Trini HD while for 1000€ you might well score a former alpha like FL, Ultravid, EL or even EDG.

Joachim, who paid 850€ for a mint pair of FL 8x32 last year or so...
I am using Conquest 8x32 now for heavy use, lady in the house uses new Nikon M7 8x30. You can get Conquest bit cheaper from Germany etc. Mine was like 700€. I don't see much difference in pic quality, durabily of Conquest is of course great. M7 is lighter, so it's more suitable for occasitional use and biking etc. Move to different brand is bit of a risk, if M7 suits you. Both are in my opining propably as good as you can get for the price. New version of M7 is nicer than old.
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Perhaps Kowa BD II which seems to be in your price range. For a bit less, Celestron Trailseeker ED (lacks the water repellent coating present on the M7)
I’ve just picked up the Zeiss Victory Pocket 8x25 that’s going to replace my Monarch M7 8x30. I highly recommend them, they handle much like an 8x30 with much sharper optics and comparable brightness levels.
Kowa BD II
Tried it and it did not inspire any confidence.

Thanks for the tip.

I was out today and had the M7 and my friends M5 10x42 with me. The day was grey as can be with some light rain, and the M7 really struggled to bring out details. The slightly brighter M5 was really needed this time, and was a nice comparison.

So it would really need to be something brighter than a 8x30 I'd say. Maybe the 8x32 would be the sweetspot. The tenner was nice, though I was on a bike and had no issues hauling both along, but I can see it being too bulky when hiking etc. The increased magnification was really nice though.

Cant have everything, huh.
Go for 8x42 then, maybe? I even sometimes use a 10x56 for birding. However -- during the day the coatings are more important than the exit pupil as your eye's pupil will not be opened enough (probably) to make full use of the larger exit pupil.
My Fuji HC 8x42 is brighter during the day than my Fuji FMTR 7x50. It obviously has improved coatings over the FMTR.
The Conquest HD is currently on sale for $200 off here in the USA but I don’t know if that is worldwide. Cannot think of a better binocular for under $800. Don’t know how hard it would be to acquire but I bought a Maven B3 8x30 as a Christmas gift for a friend and was very impressed with the image quality for the $. The Tract Toric is also an exceptional performer for $684, but again I have no idea of their availability in Finland.
I've yet to find any on the compact side, or am I chasing something that does not exist?
Maybe. There is often a compromise involved. Can't have everything -- larger exit pupils require larger binos or going down in magnification. But as mentioned -- not that important during the day. Exit pupil comes into play as soon the eye's pupil opens wide enough to make use of it.

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