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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/29/2005 at 20:49
jsethmor View Drop Down
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Here's a site that will answer alot of questions about brands and makes and models.  There are alot of reviews all the way at the bottom of the article.  http://www.birds.cornell.edu/Publications/LivingBird/winter2 005/Age_Binos.html                Note the Nikon Monarch's 8x42's   I absolutely agree with the article written about the.  Best Bino hands down for the dollar.  I have looked through $ 1800 dollar glass and for $300 and they are a bargain.

Edited by jsethmor
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/29/2005 at 23:16
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I have to disagree with you on the validity of the Cornell Review.  It is pretty well documented as to the validity problems here.  I also have to disagree with you on the quality of the Monarchs.  They are better than a sharp stick in the eye, but not by much.

 

ranburr

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/30/2005 at 13:01
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I'd generally agree with ranburr.  The Cornell review has a lot of interesting information.  However, I've tried a lot of the binoculars they reviewed and my impressions were very different in many cases (Nikon Monarch being one of them and Pentax DCF SP being another).  Besides, birders have somewhat different requirements.  For example, I do not give a rat's behind to close focus since I am not a birder.  On the other hand if they do care about close focus why did they ignore the best close focus binocualrs out there Pentax Papilio? or a host of other smal inverted porros?  I generally think that they ignored too many quality porros out there.

As for Nikon Monarch being the best for the dollar, well I suppose you must have gotten some sort of a cherry hand picked one.

Ilya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/30/2005 at 13:22
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Anybody who would even make a statement that the Monarchs are only slightly better than a sharpstick in the eye is a obviously a  biased person.  I looked through a $200 pair of Nikon's 8x32's at my local archery shop and compared them to a pair of $700 Kahles and thought along with THREE other people who had the same opinion that the Nikon's were as sharp but brighter than the Kahles's 10x42's.  The only way I would even consider your opinion as more than just that would be if you worked in some large department store and frequently got to take Bino's home to mess around with and I was only talking about the 8x42 Monarch's with the phase corrected lenses.  I have let others look through my Monarch's and they have said things like WOW there impressive, or They will be my next pair.  One more thing is that I am not one of those people who think just cause it costs twice as much that makes them that much better.   Peace Love and recycle

Edited by jsethmor
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/30/2005 at 13:55
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Hmm.  I am not entirely sure of your experience, but chances are that ranburr has more experience with optics than everyone you know put together.

Aside from that here are couple of notes on my background: I have a degre in Applied Physics from Caltech (specializing in optics).  I currently work at Raytheon on next generation thermal weapon sights and night vision goggles.  Let's just say that I have some academic knowledge of optics and I try to back it up with real life experience the best I can.

A few other points.

1) The only Nikon 8x32 binoculars that I know of are roof Venturer LX and porro Premier SE.  THey cost somewhere between $500 and $1000.  THere is no currently produced Nikon 8x32 binocular that goes for $200.

2) If you want to evalute optical quality of a binocular, looking at it inside and archery store is the worst possible environment due to the lighting that makes almost any glass look good.  Try low/bad light conditions.

3) Compare apples to apples.  If you do not have steady hands or do not know how to properly use a binocular a 10x bino will always look worse than an 8x.  Comparing an 8x32 to a 10x42 is absolutley meaningless.

4) I have never seen a person at an archery or hunting store (at least where I live) who had any worthwhile expertise in sport optics.  I have heard that people like that exist, but I have not met one yet.

Ilya


Edited by koshkin
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/30/2005 at 14:42
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Well, I don't know about a stick in the eye, but.  I currently have the Nikon Monarch ATB in 10x42 (phase corrected), the Carson XM in 8x42, with the Pentax DCF WP in 10x42 on the way.  So far, I have compared the Nikons to the Carsons and found this:

 

Tested in low to extremely low light.  The Nikons do require constant refocusing, whereas the Carsons remain constant.  These were tested at ranges from 25 yards to at least 75.  I couldn't swing to a distance where the Carsons needed to be refocused.  A flock of geese flew quickly overhead while I was testing the Nikons.  With the 10x field of view and the need to refocus, I never even saw them in the glass.  The tubes are longer on the Carsons and could be an issue depending on type of use.  The Carson did produce a slightly better color image, very slight and are just a tad heavier (I need a scale!).  

 

I will be doing more formal testing once I have the Pentax ($250) in hand.  For now, I'm disappointed in the ATBs.   I got the ATBs for $250 and they were my first non-economy glass.  The Carsons were $200.  The ATBs are handier in size, but the refocusing is an issue for me and considering the competition in this test I'm surprised the color didn't measure up.  The Carsons are made in China and priced accordingly.  The Nikons are stamped: Nikon of Japan and Made in China.  Or was it, grab your ankles?  Anyway, the Pentax are on the way.

 

Durability will be a question for all of these and that can only tested with time. 

 

You don't see any Leicas or Zeiss, etc., because I simply can't afford them.  So for now, I'm looking for the best in this class.  Once I pick the best in this class, for me, I wouldn't mind putting them up against the big boys.  One thing I'm pretty certain of, at least for me, is that the ATBs are not the best this class has to offer, at least with regard to user friendliness and color.  Size, at least with the Carson, is the trade off.  I should have the Pentaxs by tomorrow.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/30/2005 at 14:42
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Nikon Monarchs

 

I started out with the early Monarch (non-phase coated, made in Japan), they were my first hunting bino.  Nice and light and gave an adequate view.  After several years, I tried looking through an older Zeis Jena EDF 7X40, and finally understood why my eyes were getting so tired and achey looking through the Nikon Monarch.  This piqued my interest in better optics, and I started reading more reviews and bothering friends/strangers with requests to use their binos.  It seems every review has some type of slant or major weakness.  Take the Outdoor Life (OL) June/July review, they often compare 10X50 vs 8X42 in the same class.  Occaisionally OL compares different brand with same size and power, and they also get a large number of prototypes. 

 

The new Nikon Monarchs are OK (in my view), slightly better than the Bushnell Legends.  The Pentax DCF SP and Kahles are much better and certainly easier on my eyes for lengthy viewing, but more costly. 

 

Archery Stores: Every time I have gone to archery stores, their main optics for sale were the compacts, and the staff wasn't very knowledgeable about differnet optical quality and size and usages. 

 

Go ahead and get the Monarchs.  However if you can afford it and want to be nice to your eyes, buy the Pentax, Kahles or Minox and you will be doing your eyes a big favor.  If you can put up with binos that are not waterproof and in the #300 range, check out Nikon E2's.

 

Rusty

  



Edited by Rusty
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/30/2005 at 14:55
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Rusty, have you handled the Minox?  If so, how did they compare to the Pentax SPs?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/30/2005 at 16:05
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708,

 

No I haven't tried the Minox, but I have read and heard they are (in their better lines) a good high quality bino.

 

Rusty

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/30/2005 at 17:39
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Thanks.  I spoke with Doug from Camera Land and he said they are good glasses, comparing them to the Pentax.  I believe they are made by or somehow related to Leica.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/30/2005 at 22:46
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Good lord!  I try to keep the conversation light and colorful to get my point across and someone takes it personal.  I am not biased against Nikon, but I do not think much of the Monarch binos.  Let me clue you in on a couple of things: they all look good in the store; most people don't know squat about optics; optics is one area that if it cost twice as much, it probably is a whole lot better.  Now, as far as Minox goes; they are a subsidiary of Leica, they design their own stuff and have it built to spec in Japan.  I found the Minox to be superior to the Pentax Sps as far as a hunting bino goes (substantially bettter low-light performance).  If my primary use was birding, I would probably get the SPs due to a truer color representation.  I was so impressed with the Minox that I gave a pair to my best friend of 30+ years. 

 

ranburr

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/01/2005 at 01:24
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Well as Rem 7mm.08 mentioned I have the Carsons 8x42 and I when I was in the market I looked at the Pentax DCF HRII the Nikon Monarchs and Bushnell Legends.  I liked the Carsons the best.  Plus Cabelas had them for $100 off at the time so it was a smoking deal.  To my knowledge the Carsons are assembled in China with Japanees glass and they will hold their own against just about any of the others out there and with a warranty second to none.   I think they offer a great deal for the money.  Friends that has handled them have been very impressed, including people who use some high end optics. 

 

Nikon Monarchs on the other hand are a differnt story.  I first handled them in a store which as stated above is optimum lighting and I can tell ya the Bushnell Legends are much better. Now the real hands on test came when I looked through my dads set.

 

My father had a pair of Nikon Monarchs and he was disappointed in their low light performance.  I looked through them and I wasnt impressed either.  Im not Nikon bashing I love their scopes but as far as bino's go I think you could get better for the same amount of money say in the Bushnell Legends or the Carsons or a good set of poro's.

 

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/01/2005 at 08:47
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Seriously, does anyone know who really make the Carsons?

 

I was out on my front porch, sitting in the shade.  Looking across the street maybe 40 yards, into the shade.  My neighbor has a Frankenstein outside and it was scary!  The Nikon ATB and the Pentax DCF WP have hazes, like a half moon, mostly on the left of the lense.  I thought they might be dirty, but they both had it.  The Carsons were extremely clear, and if there was a trace of haze, I had to really look for it.  Who really makes these things?  These were the cheapest of the bunch.

 

Pentax:

 

Pros: ergonomics, lense cap for eye pieces (attached to the strap). Faster refocus.

Cons: weight, haze, not eyeglass friendly (frames bulky against the binos), need to refocus when changes distances.

 

Nikons:

 

Pros: size/weight.

Cons: need to refocus when changing distances, with more adjustment needed to refocus than the Pentax.  Also, they seem to need to be refocused for the same distance if you put them down, then pick up to look at the same object (very sensitive).

 

Carson XM:

Pros: Clearer than the Pentax and Nikon.  Price. Remain focused unless changing to a drastically different distance.  Easy to refocus.

Cons: Size (they're longer than the others and I'm not sure I can live with it).  Although, the size adds only incremental weight.

 

Small print:  What I know about optics wouldn't fill my daughter's binky.  But I am very anal about precision and can tell the difference when presented with options.  IMHO everyone's eyes are different, so what I find detrimental someone else might not see and vise versa.  I opted not to throw my binos from the roof to see how durable they are.  Could be that the Carsons won't last through the first season.  Then again, I don't plan on dropping my binos from a helicopter.  And if the situation ever occurs that I had broken my binos, I'm guessing I'd have a lot more to worry about than broken glass!

 

IMHO quality within the same manufacturer and same model seems to be a moving target.  I rarely find consistancy in most products I buy in any industry.  I don't believe it's the price ranges I'm in, because I also see guys writing about how this big name or that big name has great warranty service.  I had a new HVAC system installed in May of 04 ($7,000).  I woke up freezing my a$$ off last night because the heater won't kick on (16 months and I'm having problems).  Carrier system with Reillo burner, on of the best.  If it's man made, it's hard to be consistent.  Therefore, your binos might perform differently than mine.  I'll touch back with any updates, but for now I might track down a pair of Minox to compare.

 

BTW Rem7mm-08 and Sakonut are one in the same.  I was at work and with so many IDs and passwords these days, etc. I couldn't remember my user ID to get my password.  I should have stuck with my staple: joseywales.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/02/2005 at 13:22
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Remington 7mm-08

 

Thanks for comparing the Carsons to the Pentax DCF WP line.  I was planning on picking up a pair of the Wp's since they have been replaced by the SP line you can usually find a good price on them through online auctions.  Maybe I will wait and get the Carsons XM 10x50.  Keep us posted if you get some Minox and do a comparison.

 

I bought my Carsons based on what fellow archers had posted on an archery forum.  Many of the the comments were very favorable with regards to the Carson XM series.  I did find this post on the forums that talks about their durablity, it is an interesting read.

 

http://www.archerytalk.com/vb/showthread.php?t=115013&hi ghlight=carson+binoculars

 

As for who really makes their binoculars.  Humm that is an interesting question.  I will say that I know a guy that hunts with the Leupold Olympic and they look a lot like the Carson XM series. ?????

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/02/2005 at 17:34
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Funny you said that.  I was looking in the Cabela's catalog and noticed that about the Loopys.  I was also thinking that because of their size, the Carsons might fit the bill as a 10x50.  If I get the MInox in 8x42 (or 9.5x42) and I like them, I might grab 10x50 Carsons as my big pair.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/02/2005 at 21:06
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Rem 7mm-08:

 

Here check out this link on the Carson 10x50.. I might get a pair to for my BIG bino's

 

http://www.naturephotographers.net/articles0404/je0404-1.htm l

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/04/2005 at 14:04
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I have owned and used a pair of Nikon Monarch 8x42 for a couple of years.  When my brother used mine, he bought a pair, too.  They are equal, as far as anyone can tell.  I also own and use Nikon LX 8X32 and Pentax SP 8X43.  My brother owns and uses Swarovski EL 8.5X42 as well.  While the Monarchs are obviously not it the same league as the LX, Swaro, or Pentax, I give up very little when I get them out.  They are without a doubt a very good buy.  They are the binos I leave in my truck all the time because I don't worry about them getting banged around or stolen.All the others are better in any light, but the difference is really only significant in almost no light, probably after legal shooting hours.  If I only had $300 to spend, I would definitely buy the Monarchs again.  Not only do they offer a good view, they have held up under the pounding of dirt roads, mountain sides, and the 130 degree heat inside my truck in the Louisiana summertime.  What else would you want?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/05/2005 at 08:59
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WOW, finally a voice of reason with all the optics professionals on here, my point exactly the difference between $1800 glass and the Monarchs is only marginal and can really only be decerned if you can directly side by side compare them.  I agree with mwyates totally.  I have 20/15 vision in my right eye and 20/13 in my left so I can pretty much tell what I look through as far as quality.  I have a good friend with a pair of Leica ultravid 10x42's and they are a superb pair of binoculars but IMHO really aren't worth $1500 more than the monarch's.  Just my 2 cents.

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/05/2005 at 11:13
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Jsethmor,

 

It appears that you believe that a voice of reason is someone who agrees with you.  It is an arguable point of view, but to each his own.

 

Ilya

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/05/2005 at 13:08
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Your absolutely right Koshkin it is a arguable point of view, and by the first two posts you made on the topic your personality is of that of one who likes to argue.  With that being said to me this is a topic that has fully run its course and I will no longer entertain it.  It's all a matter of opinions and most everyone has one.  My point of the topic was that for $290 a Monarch (at least my pair)  was very close to the quality of view of that of bino's costing  considerably more.  So if you took that the wrong way  I suggest you go sit and cry in the corner like a lil girly man who just who just got his butt beat by his momma for getting caught eatin yer booger's.  NAAA thats not right right.  Dear lord forgive me for I know that's not right.  Sorry dude now was just messing with you. But the point being made was was that posted above my nonsense.  Sorry I do have a sense of humor too  8-)
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/05/2005 at 13:28
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Hmm...  You certainly have a unique sense of humor. 

 

Anyhow, back to optics.  My original point (way earlier in this thread) is that you should try to compare Monarchs to other binoculars in its price range somewhere other than in a store.  Try to come up with something a bit more challenging (low light, looking into the sunset, etc.)  If you like good glass in this price range also try quality porros.  Aside from a couple of people here and there who seem to have chanced on a cherry pair of Monarchs, the only people to right rave reviews on it are various magazine writers who live off of advertising revenue (not that there is anything wrong with that).  Otherwise, the general consensus is that you can do better for the money, and that Monarch binoculars are not up to par (with optical quality goes) with Monarch riflescopes.  I had a pair of Monarchs briefly, and I sold them.  They gave me a headache after a few minutes and turned out to be a fair bit worse than other comparably priced roof binos that I had at the time: Bushnell Legend and Sightron S3.  If you think that I am an optics snob, I do not own any Leica, Swarovski, Zeiss, etc.  My most commonly used binocular is a pair of IOR porros that cost me less than $300 a couple of years ago.

 

Oh, I also have a sense of humor, I just try not to let it get in the way of good judgement.

 

Ilya

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/05/2005 at 13:53
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Originally posted by jsethmor jsethmor wrote:

Your absolutely right Koshkin it is a arguable point of view, and by the first two posts you made on the topic your personality is of that of one who likes to argue.  With that being said to me this is a topic that has fully run its course and I will no longer entertain it.  It's all a matter of opinions and most everyone has one.  My point of the topic was that for $290 a Monarch (at least my pair)  was very close to the quality of view of that of bino's costing  considerably more.  So if you took that the wrong way  I suggest you go sit and cry in the corner like a lil girly man who just who just got his butt beat by his momma for getting caught eatin yer booger's.  NAAA thats not right right.  Dear lord forgive me for I know that's not right.  Sorry dude now was just messing with you. But the point being made was was that posted above my nonsense.  Sorry I do have a sense of humor too  8-)

 

So what you're telling "me" is that if I feel my Carsons are better than my Nikons, which I do, then I would need to spend some big bucks to beat them - speaking strictly of optical performance and not physical endurance.  Of course, I could buy 3 or 4 pairs of the Carsons and still have enough left for dinner.  If anyone is looking for a spare set or a budget main pair, you owe it to yourself to check these out.  If they were just a tad shorter!  Carson makes smaller models, I might have to try one out.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/05/2005 at 17:01
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Originally posted by Sakonut Sakonut wrote:

Originally posted by jsethmor jsethmor wrote:

Your absolutely right Koshkin it is a arguable point of view, and by the first two posts you made on the topic your personality is of that of one who likes to argue.  With that being said to me this is a topic that has fully run its course and I will no longer entertain it.  It's all a matter of opinions and most everyone has one.  My point of the topic was that for $290 a Monarch (at least my pair)  was very close to the quality of view of that of bino's costing  considerably more.  So if you took that the wrong way  I suggest you go sit and cry in the corner like a lil girly man who just who just got his butt beat by his momma for getting caught eatin yer booger's.  NAAA thats not right right.  Dear lord forgive me for I know that's not right.  Sorry dude now was just messing with you. But the point being made was was that posted above my nonsense.  Sorry I do have a sense of humor too  8-)

 

So what you're telling "me" is that if I feel my Carsons are better than my Nikons, which I do, then I would need to spend some big bucks to beat them - speaking strictly of optical performance and not physical endurance.  Of course, I could buy 3 or 4 pairs of the Carsons and still have enough left for dinner.  If anyone is looking for a spare set or a budget main pair, you owe it to yourself to check these out.  If they were just a tad shorter!  Carson makes smaller models, I might have to try one out.

   I think you misunderstood the point of the reply to Koshkin, totally.  My point was that for under $300 they were optically in the same "ballpark" of Bino's costing $1000 + not totally equal but not horrible by any sense of the means as compared to VERY expensive binoculars. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/05/2005 at 17:11
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I wasn't being sarcastic.  I think I got your point exactly and more importantly, I agree!  Someday, I'll have the resources to get one of the big 3 (Leica, Zeiss, or Swav).  But until then, my goal is to find the best of class and I think Carson might be it (of the 3 I've tested).  I was just looking through the Pentax WPs again and the image on the 8x Carsons is crisp and clear.  The Pentax, just as the Nikons, gave me fuzz at the very edge on the lower portion of the view.  As woods binos, I don't think it would be a factor, but I could be wrong.  It just seems that light is necessary to cause this, but I'm certainly no expert.  In low light (what would be a woods type setting), I don't notice it.
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Well I have no experience with Carson binoculars, but I certainly disagree that Monarchs are anywhere near the ballpark of the performance of the big three.  As far as the Big Three go, I do not think that they justify their price tags.  Definitely not to me.

 

Ilya

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