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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

The way to MY binocular (1 Viewer)

Hello bird enthusiasts,

i’m Felix, lurking on this forum for about one and a half year. I really enjoyed all the beautiful pictures, exotic birds I would never have the chance to see in Germany and the experts with great tips and reviews.

I started birding with an vortex diamondback hd 8x32 about 2-3 years ago and was surprised by the great ergonomics, light weight and ease of use. There was only one thing that made me look for another glass. I always felt that it isn’t perfect sharp and I need to overshoot and readjust the focus to have a sharp image.
Next stop was a Hawke frontier edx 8x32. I liked it but the hinge on too models was to loose. Next in the line was a frontier edx 8x42 which went back because it wasn’t that easey to get the perfect view and it got wierd glare. I ordered a Zeiss conquest hd 8x32 which had the best optical quality I saw to this point. Sadly i couldn’t grab it with one hand due to the small barrels. Although the view was not pleasant, because I had to adjust the eye position very carefully. Next on the list was the Nikon monarch hg 8x30 which was perfect in all ways - except eye position again. The eyecups didn’t extend enough and I always had kidney beans distracting my view. Some more followed (Kowa BD II 8x32, Monarch 7 8x30) but the optic or haptic wasn’t great.

At this point i went back to my Diamondback Hd 8x32 because I really liked the form factor, the easy view, wide field and build quality. After some weeks I ordered the vortex viper hd 8x42 and what should I say. Of all the binoculars I tested, this is the one with the best haptic, it’s perfect in my hands and i really like it. It’s sharp, bright and totally fine for my needs. All in all I’m surprised that the vortex viper impresses me so much, regarding its build quality and ergonomics. The conquest was brighter and sharper but I really didn’t like the ergonomics. What i enjoyed more was the sharpness on the edges. The viper is fine but I would say it’s only sharp about 70% from the middle to the edge, maybe less.

So whats this post about? I really enjoy the viper but still would like to have better sharpness on the edges. I‘m willing to spend about 1000€ (1150$) and looking for an 8x32(42) which is lightweight, got similar dimensions/ergonomics as the viper and has a better edge to edge sharpness. Is there any glass I should test or should I stay with the viper, because there won’t be a significant increase in sharpness in my price range?
 
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Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
Welcome Felixtheelix !

Try the Nikon Monarch HG 8x42.
Small. Lightweight. Quality feel. Great Ergonomics. Extra-Wide Field. Bright.

It is really hard to beat as an all round package. 👍


Chosun 🙅‍♀️
 

jring

Well-known member
Hi,

first of all, welcome to birdforum!

I agree with Chosun that an MHG 8x42 sounds like it might fit your needs. The 8x30 model might have too with some cycle inner tube to make the eyecups a bit longer...

Joachim
 
Thank you for the welcome!

The MHG 8x42 should be worth a try. Never thought about „modding“ the 8x30 with something like an o-ring.


The newest version (2018). Already found some comparisons talking about better quality of the old version because it was made in Japan.
 

Ratal

Well-known member
Hello bird enthusiasts,

i’m Felix, lurking on this forum for about one and a half year. I really enjoyed all the beautiful pictures, exotic birds I would never have the chance to see in Germany and the experts with great tips and reviews.

I started birding with an vortex diamondback hd 8x32 about 2-3 years ago and was surprised by the great ergonomics, light weight and ease of use. There was only one thing that made me look for another glass. I always felt that it isn’t perfect sharp and I need to overshoot and readjust the focus to have a sharp image.
Next stop was a Hawke frontier edx 8x32. I liked it but the hinge on too models was to loose. Next in the line was a frontier edx 8x42 which went back because it wasn’t that easey to get the perfect view and it got wierd glare. I ordered a Zeiss conquest hd 8x32 which had the best optical quality I saw to this point. Sadly i couldn’t grab it with one hand due to the small barrels. Although the view was not pleasant, because I had to adjust the eye position very carefully. Next on the list was the Nikon monarch hg 8x30 which was perfect in all ways - except eye position again. The eyecups didn’t extend enough and I always had kidney beans distracting my view. Some more followed (Kowa BD II 8x32, Monarch 7 8x30) but the optic or haptic wasn’t great.

At this point i went back to my Diamondback Hd 8x32 because I really liked the form factor, the easy view, wide field and build quality. After some weeks I ordered the vortex viper hd 8x42 and what should I say. Of all the binoculars I tested, this is the one with the best haptic, it’s perfect in my hands and i really like it. It’s sharp, bright and totally fine for my needs. All in all I’m surprised that the vortex viper impresses me so much, regarding its build quality and ergonomics. The conquest was brighter and sharper but I really didn’t like the ergonomics. What i enjoyed more was the sharpness on the edges. The viper is fine but I would say it’s only sharp about 70% from the middle to the edge, maybe less.

So whats this post about? I really enjoy the viper but still would like to have better sharpness on the edges. I‘m willing to spend about 1000€ (1150$) and looking for an 8x32(42) which is lightweight, got similar dimensions/ergonomics as the viper and has a better edge to edge sharpness. Is there any glass I should test or should I stay with the viper, because there won’t be a significant increase in sharpness in my price range?

Opticron Aurora - easily equal to the Conquest in sharpness, better to my eyes in colour and contrast, and a delightfully wide field of view. A dreamy binocular to use in the field as the form and fit is impeccable - and for me? It is where my search for an 8x42 ended.
 

Cest

Active member
United States
I have the Vortex DB 8x32. It is quite good for the price point, but not premium glass. For that you will have to pay more. You might consider the Maven 8x30 or 7x45. Very clear almost to the edge. Great performance. I have the 7x45. Also as you are in Germany you can look at the Zeiss models. You don't have to pay the import duty on them.
 
Opticron Aurora - easily equal to the Conquest in sharpness, better to my eyes in colour and contrast, and a delightfully wide field of view. A dreamy binocular to use in the field as the form and fit is impeccable - and for me? It is where my search for an 8x42 ended.
Thank you, I will have a look at it.

This may be an unpopular view, but I think you have answered your own question.

(just my opinion)
I don’t think that it will be an unpopular view. I asked the question because I’m not sure if there are more options that would make me happy and as I said, the conquest was a great optic but ergonomics were bad. I think everyone would agree that the optic is the main reason to decide if it’s a good binocular or not. For me the overall package has to be right and except the edge sharpness, the viper is very good.
 

Tringa45

Well-known member
Europe
Hi Felix,

I think you have established that most 8x30 or 8x32s have their shortcomings. Chosun pointed to an 8x42 and I would agree that this is a format with the potential to do almost everything well.
Here is a very competent review of the Kite Bonelli 2.0: Bonelli 2.0 8x42
Another suggestion in your price range would be the Kowa Genesis 8,5x44 with perhaps the best CA correction of any binocular on the market.
Personally, I no longer think that perfect edge sharpness is an important criterium for hand-held terrestrial use.

John
 
Okay guys - i tested the MHG 8x42 and yes, it is sharper, the sweet spot is bigger, it’s lighter and much better ergonomics for me. BUT i‘m not sure if it’s 400€ better. Don’t get me wrong, I really see the benefits but that’s a lot of money for a „small step“.
 

Maljunulo

Well-known member
Okay guys - i tested the MHG 8x42 and yes, it is sharper, the sweet spot is bigger, it’s lighter and much better ergonomics for me. BUT i‘m not sure if it’s 400€ better. Don’t get me wrong, I really see the benefits but that’s a lot of money for a „small step“.
This is a very personal decision, and only you can decide if better optics are "worth it" to you.

Many have budgetary constraints, and do not feel right about about spending money on optics when there may be more urgent needs.

My opinion is that you should buy what you can afford, plus a bit, because better optics will last longer mechanically, and give more satisfaction over a lifetime.

I think that it is better to have one absolutely top-tier glass than a handful of lesser glass, but ultimately it is your money and your choice.

Whatever you buy, use them at every opportunity, and you will see things that you never even knew were there .......... not just birds.

Good luck in your choice.
 

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
Okay guys - i tested the MHG 8x42 and yes, it is sharper, the sweet spot is bigger, it’s lighter and much better ergonomics for me. BUT i‘m not sure if it’s 400€ better. Don’t get me wrong, I really see the benefits but that’s a lot of money for a „small step“.
That's the nature of the sitch ....
To gain incremental improvements, you have to spend disproportionately more.
It gets even worse the higher you go .....

To get incremental improvements over the MHG you would have to spend double the price of that bin !

I think for a lot of people it's about finding that 'sweetspot' (see what I did there ! 😄) in the market - one where you are mostly pretty happy with just about all aspects of a bin, and it mostly works well in practice - it gets out of the road and let's you get on with the enjoyment of 'seeing'. You may or may not have felt financially stretched to get to that point - but really, don't see the point of spending 2x, 5x, or even 10x that amount for further tiny benefits.

Other folks who value time and perfection more, will just get the best bin available, that suits them - even if it means paying top $ .....
Some people are just 'knobs' (haha - see what I did there - I'm on fire ! 😄) who have to have the highest 'brand' (new - lol) cachet snobbery to 'point to' (oh stop it ! 😆).

If a bin satisfies what is important to YOU then that is really the main factor.

You mentioned that you found the MHG to be "sharper", and the "sweetspot is bigger", also, that "it's lighter", and with "much better ergonomics" for you .....
They are some pretty big and pretty important main factors for a binocular ! For such a long term investment, the extra cost really amounts to a negligible impact over the course of a decade or more. The nutters on this forum here have sold their aunt for less ! 🤯😄

FWIW I find the ergonomics of the MHG to be excellent - as good or better than anything on the market at any price. I also find it to be a quality construction - again, as good as anything on the market - at any price. Correspondingly, it also has excellent haptics - it’s focuser is a pleasure to use. If it fits you optically (and let's also give it a big tick for it’s extra-wide Fov) , then really it's a no brainer - just get it and enjoy it, and worry no more about other binoculars for a very very long time .....

If I wasn't lucky enough to have my current bin, the MHG is the one I would have.

Don't overthink it ! 🙂


Chosun 🙅‍♀️
 

Brink

Well-known member
Okay guys - i tested the MHG 8x42 and yes, it is sharper, the sweet spot is bigger, it’s lighter and much better ergonomics for me. BUT i‘m not sure if it’s 400€ better. Don’t get me wrong, I really see the benefits but that’s a lot of money for a „small step“.

It sounds like you are happy with the Viper and don't want to spend a lot more money. I'd like to say I would keep the Viper if I were in your situation, but I was in your situation and now I have a Monarch HG...
 

jafritten

Well-known member
Okay guys - i tested the MHG 8x42 and yes, it is sharper, the sweet spot is bigger, it’s lighter and much better ergonomics for me. BUT i‘m not sure if it’s 400€ better. Don’t get me wrong, I really see the benefits but that’s a lot of money for a „small step“.
I am right there with Maljunulo (#12). Spend as much money as you can afford and then some.
How much money have you lost buying and selling (keeping?) lesser binoculars? You mention seven or eight in your initial thread. In the long run it'll be more satisfactory and not much more expensive for you to buy a top-tier pair of binoculars.
 

Elpha8888

Member
United Kingdom
Hi Felix, I just recently bought the 10x42 MHG and it is beautifully small and lightweight, surprisingly so! FOV is very nice and the optics are very sharp with good colour. The dioptre could have been better at this price. I didn't keep the MHG in the end probably due to a bad sample.
Having said that at this price I did prefer my Trinovid HD and would personally pick the Leica over the MHG given the choice but probably the edge sharpness is not good for you.
As others have mentioned the Kowa Genesis is a possible candidate, you can also pick up a Swarovski 8x32el for around £1000 now second hand.

Good luck
 
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mTown

Well-known member
What is with the new Nikon Monarch 7 8/10x42. According to other users in the Nikon subforum, it should has the same specs (and so the same optical quality) as the Nikon MHG but is cheaper.

Another idea could be the Meopro Air or Meostar from Meopta.

If you want to try a Kite you can also try a DDoptics (i think you are german) for german service. Most of their products are similar to the Kite ones.
 

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
What is with the new Nikon Monarch 7 8/10x42. According to other users in the Nikon subforum, it should has the same specs (and so the same optical quality) as the Nikon MHG but is cheaper.
I doubt that, unless someone has published a side by side tested comparison. The edges should be softer on the M7 for one. At a guess, CA might be worse too, and I doubt the chassis is built to the same quality either.

The MHG is twice as expensive as the M7 after all .....


Chosun 🙅‍♀️
 
I think the MHG will still be better than the new M7. I guess that the update to the M7 is a great thing, especially the rubber armor.

I tested the MHG again and think that I will keep it. It’s an awesome glass and i can easily afford it. It’s more my head telling me that i shouldn’t spend the money when I already got a glass that’s fine.
Do you guys think I should wait some time for an updated version of the MHG? Sadly Nikon won’t tell us anything about their plans.

Thank you at this point for all your kind words and advises. It’s great to have a community willing to help!
 
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia

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