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Vortex Diamondback HD 8x32 versus Nikon Monarch 7 8x30? (1 Viewer)

Laughing Kookaburra

Well-known member
I've got the Nikon Monarch 7 8 x 30 as my lightweight binocular for backpacking and kayaking and very happy with it. A friend is looking to pick up a similar lightweight binocular and another one I know of in the same weight class is the Vortex Diamondback HD 8 x 32.

How does the Diamondback HD 8x32 compare?

The Diamondback HD 8 x 32 is listed for $190 less than the Nikon, but the Nikon can be found on sale from time to time for a difference closer to $130-140.

https://vortexoptics.com/vortex-diamondback-hd-8x32-binoculars.html
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
I've got the Nikon Monarch 7 8 x 30 as my lightweight binocular for backpacking and kayaking and very happy with it. A friend is looking to pick up a similar lightweight binocular and another one I know of in the same weight class is the Vortex Diamondback HD 8 x 32.

How does the Diamondback HD 8x32 compare?

The Diamondback HD 8 x 32 is listed for $190 less than the Nikon, but the Nikon can be found on sale from time to time for a difference closer to $130-140.

https://vortexoptics.com/vortex-diamondback-hd-8x32-binoculars.html
I had them both and I thought the Nikon M7 8x30 was better optically than the Vortex Diamondback HD 8x32 and I liked the 8.3 degree FOV of the M7 better than the 7.5 degree FOV of the Vortex. Here is a clone of the M7 that has better build quality with better armour and it is slightly better optically for less money $259.99. The Styrka S7 Series 8x30 ED.

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00XQ3JWDO/ref=ox_sc_act_image_1?smid=ARUM8D9QTV2W3&psc=1
 
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dries1

Member
The problem is that the Nikon will have a better focus wheel and likely be better in the long run, minus the armor possibly. It is a toss up, however when you pay $259 on Amazon, make sure you get a good sample otherwise back to Amazon where the glass will likely get recycled to the next potential buyer - and a replacement with the hope you get a good sample the second time around.

Andy W.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
The Styrka S7 Series 8x30 ED actually has a smoother focus wheel than the M7 IMO. They have a better warranty than Nikon also, and they will even service and clean your binocular once a year.

"When you purchase a Styrka binocular, rifle scope, red dot or spotting scope, you also buy what we call STYRKA Pride. ... Simply put, the STYRKA Pride Warranty means that in the event of damage or malfunction, we will repair or replace your Styrka optic free of charge. No questions asked. No registration required."
 

Laughing Kookaburra

Well-known member
The problem is that the Nikon will have a better focus wheel and likely be better in the long run, minus the armor possibly. It is a toss up, however when you pay $259 on Amazon, make sure you get a good sample otherwise back to Amazon where the glass will likely get recycled to the next potential buyer - and a replacement with the hope you get a good sample the second time around.

Andy W.

Have you heard reports of bad Stryka models? Which problems have you heard about / would you look for?
 

Laughing Kookaburra

Well-known member
I had them both and I thought the Nikon M7 8x30 was better optically than the Vortex Diamondback HD 8x32 and I liked the 8.3 degree FOV of the M7 better than the 7.5 degree FOV of the Vortex. Here is a clone of the M7 that has better build quality with better armour and it is slightly better optically for less money $259.99. The Styrka S7 Series 8x30 ED.

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00XQ3JWDO/ref=ox_sc_act_image_1?smid=ARUM8D9QTV2W3&psc=1

Thank you, specifically how does the Stryka S7 8 x 30 compare optically with the Nikon Monarch 7 8 x 30? That's my reference lightweight bin.
 
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Laughing Kookaburra

Well-known member
The Styrka S7 Series 8x30 ED actually has a smoother focus wheel than the M7 IMO. They have a better warranty than Nikon also, and they will even service and clean your binocular once a year.

"When you purchase a Styrka binocular, rifle scope, red dot or spotting scope, you also buy what we call STYRKA Pride. ... Simply put, the STYRKA Pride Warranty means that in the event of damage or malfunction, we will repair or replace your Styrka optic free of charge. No questions asked. No registration required."

I thought Nikon had the same warranty - repair or replace. Has that not held up in practice?
 

dries1

Member
Warranty

I thought Nikon had the same warranty - repair or replace. Has that not held up in practice?

If you bought them new (Nikon), the Warranty is in place.
No I have not seen this one particular Styrka, but I if I were looking for a good budget 8X30 it would be the Nikon M 7, not the Stryka.

Andy W.
 

chill6x6

Well-known member
The Styrka is probably a good binocular... I owned a 8X42 and it was okay. It was a better than average MIC binocular. One comment about Styrka....the warranty is good only as long a the company is viable.

I've had the Diamondback HD 8X32 for a bit....it's decent. One has to kind of measure cost vs. expectations. Cost is pretty low and if expectations aren't that high it would probably serve the average user well. But for ME....I'd much rather have the M7.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
The reason I am recommending the Styrka S7 8x30 over Nikon M7 8x30 is the armour is superior and it is less expensive. After about a year the armour on the M7 will start loosening up and deteriorating. MANY people have commented on this. The Styrka has much better armour that will last longer. The optics on the Styrka are equal to the M7 if not better. They are both MIC so there is no difference in the country of manufacturer. If you read the feedback on the Styrka they are excellent.

GOOD REVIEW ON THE STYRKA!
"Check out Styrka
November 11, 2016 5 Stars
The word is starting to get out about Styrka. I've looked at higher end optics from those European companies. These are a third the price. Clarity edge to edge, brightness, plus low lite gathering. You'll have a tough time justifying the difference in price for those high dollar binoculars.
Review provided by binocularsplus.com"

BAD ARMOUR ON THE M7!
"Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
The trouble with the armour on the M7 is that it is loose when they are new and it just keeps getting looser and looser with use. If the armour is tight to begin with like on the Styrka you usually won't have a problem down the road.
Agree^. I bought an M7 8x30 when they first came out but returned it soon after due to the loose armour. Unacceptable at any price point."

"My experiences with both the Monarch 7's is that the armor coating is cheaper and gets bubbles in it, the focus' gets a lot of play in it."

"You are right about dubious exterior quality of M7. I had 1,5 year of intensive use with it and the armor is off and in bad shape."
 
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chill6x6

Well-known member
The reason I am recommending the Styrka S7 8x30 over Nikon M7 8x30 is the armour is superior and it is less expensive. After about a year the armour on the M7 will start loosening up and deteriorating. MANY people have commented on this.

So here's my comment...not so! I have owned the Nikon Monarch 7 8X30 at LEAST since 03/2018....that's the date picture one below was taken with the CL 8X30. Next two pics were just taken...everything, armoring included in EXCELLENT condition. So I owned it and used it going on two years and 6 months....at least. The binocular has literally been a perfect performer mechanically as well. It's a no-brainer less expensive 8X30 IMO...
 

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pbjosh

missing the neotropics
Switzerland
I also have had two M7s, both for several years... with zero armor problems. But an old Nikon ATB, purchased around 2012, has had its armor deteriorating for the last year or two and is pretty pathetic looking now. Not used much, always in a pouch in a dark cabinet. I have as well, since about 2018, an MHG w/ no problems. But the MHG get used a few hours a week, maybe 10 in a busy week, the M7s less.

All the birders I know who use or used EDGs all day, every day, have had repeated armor problems. I've seen a few M7s with armor problems over the years but don't actually know anyone who uses an M7 all day every day. I've yet to see MHG armor problems but given the number of "glued down corners" to the armoring, it won't surprise me if they end up being problematic.

I agree it's one aspect where several other brands do outperform. However, in the immediate example, Styrka is a fairly new company, and an impressive warranty is only worthwhile as long as there's someone there to honor it.

Also agree the M7 is better than the Vortex. The Styrka should be as well if it's an M7 clone.

All things considered, it's not a mind blowingly large investment, I'd go for the less expensive of the M7/Styrka, purchasing from a seller with a reasonable return policy. Just make sure you're happy with them when they arrive, and then should the time ever come to need warranty service, hope it goes well. If not, well, they're not TERRIBLY expensive.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
Here is a comment on the build quality of the Nikon M7 from Allbinos. Not too complimentary! I had them both and the Styrka is built better IMO for less money. My particular M7 developed loose armour, but I am not saying they all do. That is why I suggested a Styrka as an option.

"Officially everything looks just peachy – time for the reality check. You can start with the build quality. Despite the fact that this pair of binoculars costs about 500 USD it is produced in China. Not so long ago such an amount of money was enough to buy you a decent piece of equipment with an inscription ‘Made in Japan’; the situation has changed, though. To tell you the truth everything would be quite all right if only it didn’t entail the lowering of build quality. In the case of the Monarch 7 we are worried about obvious slacks in the rubber padding. If you can feel them distinctly in a new specimen, how will it look after several years of wear and tear? We count on the users of this pair of binoculars sharing their impressions with us in our database. Truncated pupils are also worth mentioning here – a clear sign that the producer tried to save on the size of the prisms."

"The build quality worries me the most. So far the price division point between China-produced binoculars and those made in Japan has been situated near 300-350 Euro. You could still find solid 42 mm roof prism devices produced in Japan even cheaper than that. Now the limit is shifted and both Monarchs 7 are the proof – they cost significantly more than 300 Euro, and they are made in China. The saving on build quality and quality control can, unfortunately, be noticed. Not very well-adjusted rubber of the padding, too loose gauge of eyepieces, a bit egg-shaped exit pupils, a tad too shiny paint inside the tubes. Such flaws can be forgiven in the case of cheap roof prisms devices, perhaps even those which cost about 200 Euro, but when you reach the level of 400-500 Euro you should expect something better. Mind you here you deal with an optical instrument from a reputable producer, a company which has been manufacturing binoculars since 1917 and is boasting one of the most interesting offers on the market. Noblesse oblige."
 
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Royfinn

Well-known member
Here is my M7 after 1,5 years of very intensive use and abuse. It's still works as intented, but it's not pretty sight. :king:
 

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mfunnell

Registered Confuser
For what it’s worth (maybe not much) here are my thoughts on what still seem to be the current-model Diamondback 8x32s:

https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=319439

If it were me, I’d take the Monarchs over the Diamondbacks every time (though I’d also take the Sightron BS II 8x32 or its Kenko etc. equivalents over either). That being said, that is an optical preference - in practice I use my Diamondbacks rather more than you might think (or I expected) simply because of their convenient dimensions. They live in a grab-and-go camera bag of mine for something small and convenient (and that I don’t worry about hurting or losing) for both camera and bins (neither used for birding, though).

...Mike
 

jgraider

Well-known member
So here's my comment...not so! I have owned the Nikon Monarch 7 8X30 at LEAST since 03/2018....that's the date picture one below was taken with the CL 8X30. Next two pics were just taken...everything, armoring included in EXCELLENT condition. So I owned it and used it going on two years and 6 months....at least. The binocular has literally been a perfect performer mechanically as well. It's a no-brainer less expensive 8X30 IMO...

I would believe comments from this man way before I'd believe anything the spammer has to say.
 

jgraider

Well-known member
You'll change your mind and opinion as often as the wind changes direction. What makes you think I was talking to you anyway?
 

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