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Binocular choice

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/24/2009 at 09:14
muleymaddness View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
Optics Apprentice

Joined: May/04/2008
Status: Offline
Points: 117

Still in the decision making process sifting through all the choices these days - I'm looking for an upgrade of my binoculars (Nikon Extreme Action 12x50), and would like to try and keep it under $500 if possible.  Of course I'm looking for the best binocular for my dollar, and here is what I have narrowed it down to:

Zen Ray ED 10x42 (around $420)
Nikon Monarch X 10x42 (around $450 on ebay)
Nikon Monarch 10x42 (around $250 on ebay)

Your opinions on these?

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/24/2009 at 12:38
lucytuma View Drop Down
Optics Jedi Knight
Optics Jedi Knight

Joined: November/25/2007
Location: Wisconsin
Status: Offline
Points: 5389
Go with the Zen's, I don't have personal experience with them, but alot of people on this site who's opinions I trust remark that they are near "alpha" in quality.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/24/2009 at 12:47
Klamath View Drop Down
Optics Master
Optics Master

Joined: May/20/2007
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 1297
The ZEN ED 2 represents the best value for the $$.  It is a terrific binocular.  I personally think Nikon laid a huge egg with the Monarch X.  The silly rod between the hinges destroys the hold-ability and  they neglected to give the binocular a fov commensurate with the price.  It does have a better image than the Monarch, but not enough better to justify the price difference.  I think Nikon would have been a lot better off to upgrade the glass and coatings in the original Monarch and forgot about the Monarch X.
While fov can sometimes be over rated, the immediate, obvious practical difference with the ZEN ED 2 and either Monarch is the huge fov difference.  Also the resolution and brightness and color fringing control of the ED glass is pretty evident too.
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