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Upgrading/changing from Nikon Monarch 7 10x42

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Category: Other Optics
Forum Name: Binoculars
Forum Description: Anything that requires two eyes to look through it
Printed Date: April/01/2020 at 00:53
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 12.01 -

Topic: Upgrading/changing from Nikon Monarch 7 10x42
Posted By: Dr Forinor
Subject: Upgrading/changing from Nikon Monarch 7 10x42
Date Posted: December/02/2019 at 05:56
A little background to the Topic Title.

I made a spur of the moment purchase a good many years ago and bought a Bushnell Trophy XLT 8x30, this was without having any knowledge on binoculars or know what was good/bad (relatively speaking).

After using them for a while I felt I wanted to upgrade (both to a little more knowledge and being "more hungry for better").

I did a little reading (perhaps not as much as I should have) and then proceeded to go for the Nikon Monarch 7 10x42 (I was debating between this and the M7 8x42).

Now after having used it a little I'm not fully satisfied, for 2 main reasons;
- I find I do get a little shake sometimes - intermittent, depending on how far/fine the subject is
- The clarity/crispness/sharpness is a little disappointing (perhaps I expected too much at this price point)

So now I am thinking of changing, again. I have been reading a lot more this time as I do not want to make another mistake. To help you, help me, my uses with the binoculars are nothing specific. I am not a hunter, so it doesn't matter for a kill. I am not a birder specifically. BUT, I love nature, I don't go out as frequently as I would like to but when I do I like to enjoy it. If that means I spot a bird of prey in the distance then brilliant, if that means I spot some other wildlife in the distance then excellent - I want to take it all in.

When I did use my Bushnell 8x30 to watch some deer, I kept on wishing I could see more of it - ie I was wishing I could have more magnification. Now with these 10x42, although the shake isn't horrible, when I do get a little judder it's annoying - I'm thinking is it better to have no shake at less magnification, or sacrifice the detail? 

1. I understand some of it may just be practise and that shake that I experience may go, is that correct? Yes I can use a tripod, but there are many times where that just doesn't happen, might be a spur of the moment "oh look over there" etc etc.

2. If I upgrade to a more expensive binocular, will that be easier to manage the 10x, or will it be just the same? 
(Justification for my thoughts here: I use magnification for work - albeit on a smaller scale, and the more expensive instrument is much easier to handle than the less expensive at the same magnification. I am an avid coffee lover, and over at the coffee forums they always say it's easier to get nice coffee from an expensive machine than a cheaper machine even if you do everything the same).

3. Should I sacrifice detail and stick with 8x, given I am only using it for general, and not specialised purposes? 

4. I have narrowed down my shortlist to pretty much the Nikon Monarch HG. Reasoning for this is I am trying to keep the costs as low as possible while obtaining something that I will actually enjoy. If it was for specific purposes (ie hunting etc) then I would spend the extra and go for the Swarovski SLC 8x42, but I think for my "general use" I don't need something of that calibre. Am I thinking right, or can someone correct me? 

5. Is the jump from the M7 to the MHG significant enough, or do I really need to go to the SLC? My main gripe with the M7 is I find the crispness is lacking. The outer edge is noticeably blurry (enough for me to keep thinking "am I actually in focus"). 

Sorry for the rambling, I tried to get all of my thoughts down so as to give you all a fuller picture of the little battle in my head - I hope it's all cohesive.

Posted By: Dr Forinor
Date Posted: December/02/2019 at 06:40
Sorry, for those of you who don't know the prices in UK, approx;

Nikon Monarch HG   8x42 - £  800

Nikon Monarch HG 10x42 - £  850

Swarovski SLC 8x42           - £1250

Posted By: anweis
Date Posted: December/02/2019 at 10:11
If you get "shakes" you need to switch to a 8x42. You will not sacrifice details, you will see details better and understand them better because of less shake.
I have had bad luck with Nikon binoculars but i am perfectly happy with multiple of their rifle scopes.
If money is not an issue, go with Swarovski 8x42.

Posted By: anweis
Date Posted: December/02/2019 at 10:12
Originally posted by anweis anweis wrote:

If you get "shakes" you need to switch to a 8x42. You will not sacrifice details, you will see details better and understand them better because of less shake.
I have had bad luck with Nikon binoculars but i am perfectly happy with multiple of their rifle scopes.
If money is not an issue, go with Swarovski 8x42.

Posted By: Dr Forinor
Date Posted: December/02/2019 at 10:26
Yeh the general consensus seems to be for the 8x42.

I was hoping you wouldn't say the Swarovski 8x42, but I can see your point. 

Which Nikon binoculars have you had bad luck with?

Posted By: Sparky
Date Posted: December/02/2019 at 10:57
You might want to check out the Meopta 8x42 MeoStar B1.

Posted By: Dr Forinor
Date Posted: December/02/2019 at 11:46
My concern with that Meopta MeoStar B1 is that it's over 200g heavier than the Nikon HG, which is a considerable about - and they've noticed it in the reviews also.

Posted By: budperm
Date Posted: December/02/2019 at 12:41
Doc, our resident optics expert is ILya Koshkin who is an Optical Engineer and has been critiquing all the optics that pass by.  Hunting, spotting, birding it doesn't matter to him.  He has always impressed me with his objective analysis....  Check out his thoughts @

"Peace is that brief glorious moment in history when everybody stands around reloading".
--Thomas Jefferson

Posted By: Dr Forinor
Date Posted: December/02/2019 at 12:49
Budperm: Thank you for that, I'll check it out now.

Posted By: anweis
Date Posted: December/02/2019 at 13:25
There are quite many models that are very good these days, priced $500-$1,500 (USD).
A friend of mine has exhibited extensive abusive behavior towards a Zeiss Conquest HD 8x42 and they have held up remarkably well and are really excellent optically and mechanically.

Posted By: Dr Forinor
Date Posted: December/04/2019 at 15:55
I went on an extensive test tonight, comparing the 2 binoculars that I have:

Bushnell Trophy XLT 8x32
Nikon Monarch 7 10x42

Not to compare the binoculars directly against each but to compare the magnifications. After an hour and half, it's quite clear that I much prefer the 8x, not the 10x.

I think the 10x almost made me feel slightly sick, is that possible?

I'm going to get rid of my M7, and get a good 8x.

Still on the cards;
Nikon Monarch HG 8x42

I now also have added to my shortlist;
Leica Ultravid 8x42 HD Plus

Reason for choosing the Leica is because it seems to have the characteristics that I think I'll enjoy (vivid colours/contrast).

Either way, I need an 8x, not a 10x.

Posted By: supertool73
Date Posted: December/04/2019 at 16:21
Meopta Meostar HD is a great bino and quite a bit cheaper than Leica's.  They have an 8x32, and 8x42 version i believe.

I personally prefer my 10x bino's vs my 8x bino's.  But to each their own, so if 8x is what works best with you then by all means choose those. 

Lifetime warranty and excellent customer service don't mean a thing when your gun fails during a zombie attack.

"A Liberal is a person who will give away everything they don't own."

Posted By: Dr Forinor
Date Posted: December/05/2019 at 05:30
Picked up an almost new pair of Monarch HG 8x42 for a good price. 

Thank you all.

Posted By: Kickboxer
Date Posted: December/05/2019 at 19:21
Originally posted by Dr Forinor Dr Forinor wrote:

Picked up an almost new pair of Monarch HG 8x42 for a good price. 

Thank you all.

Good choice, I think.  Congratulations on your "find".  

Opinion,untempered by fact,is ignorance.

There are some who do not fear death... for they are more afraid of not really living

Posted By: koshkin
Date Posted: December/13/2019 at 03:01
Monarch HG is a good binocular, although honestly, I think that Meostar is better.

A couple of general purpose comments:

1) If you are having problems with shake, weight is your friend (within limits).  All else being equal, a slightly heavier binocular will be steadier.

2) Spend a LOT of time and effort on getting the eye focus on one of the barrels done right and setting interpupillary distance to be perfect.  If you do not, you will get eye fatigue which will magnify the effect of shaking and cause headaches eventually

3) There is technique to holding binoculars.  Leaning your elbows on your body, pressing the top of the eyecups against your brow, holding onto the bill of a baseball hat.  Different people do different things.


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