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Comparing my Kahles CL and New Monarch

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/09/2007 at 18:21
chasw View Drop Down
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I have a new barrel for my Contender carbine, 24" tapered stainless in 7-30W.  Shoots tiny groups with 120 grain Ballistic Tips, just the ticket for our local Blacktail deer.  I wanted a big scope for this little rifle, so I ordered a Nikon New Monarch 2.5-10X50.  Very well made in almost every respect, the Monarch has first class adjustments, big bright image, etc.  The eye box has more room fore and aft and side to side, than any scope I've ever laid eyes on. 

The only problem is resolving power.  I cannot make out bullet holes at 100 yds at 10X.  NFG!  In this respect, my Weaver Grand Slam 6-18X40 is better, no doubt due to its adjustable objective focus.  Nevertheless, I expect a fixed focus scope with parallax set at 100 yds to have excellent resolution at that range.  The Monarch definitely falls short, IMO.

To make amends, I ordered a Kahles 4-12X52 CL model with no 4 reticle, 1" tube.  I didn't want to be disappointed again.  It arrived, I mounted it on the 7-30W barrel, took it to the range yesterday and can offer the following comparisons between the two products:
  • The Monarch has an very nice "eye box", as they call it.  Coupled with the big bright objective, it makes for an excellent scope for dark woods hunting.  At the lower power settings its less than stellar resolving power is not so noticeable.  It really complements the carbine's superb ergonomics.
  • The Helia CL has a much less forgiving "eye box", about 3.5" of eye relief, depending on the power setting, compared to the Monarch's constant 4".
  • The Helia's resolving power is very good, at least as good at the Grand Slam, maybe a shade better.  In view of the fixed focus Monarch's unacceptable performance in this area, I'm satisfied with my decision to replace it with the Helia as the right scope for my pet Contender barrel, is spite of the substantial difference in price.  All other aspects of the Helia are first rate.
I guess the ideal scope for me would be a combination of the Monarch's ocular design with the Helia's superior glass finish.  Maybe I should have ordered a Nikon Monarch Gold or Monarch X.  Too late for that, but one thing is for sure, an adjustable objective focus will be a must on any future scopes over 4X for me. - CW  Cool
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/09/2007 at 23:32
cheaptrick View Drop Down
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Welcome to The OT and thank you for your review, CW.
 
What type of reticle does the Monarch in your test have?
Has any one beside you looked through your scope @ 100 yards?
If so, I assume they had the same problem as you?  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/10/2007 at 07:56
chasw View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
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CT:  To answer your question, the Monarch has the standard Nikoplex reticle.  The comparison's of optical performance are based on my own perception.  I haven't asked anyone else to take a look, side by side at 100 yds. 

Personally, I'm wondering if Nikon compromised on the quality of the glass in order to meet a certain price point and afford the improvements in other areas of performance, esp the 4 times zoom.  Do the Monarch Gold and Monarch X lines have superior glass finishing compared to the standard Monarch? 

That's probably a dumb question, but I'm still wondering if the primary difference between resolving power of the New Monarch and the Kahles Helia CL stems from lens quality or simply the fact that the Helia has an adjustable objective focus. Nikon is renowned for the quality of their lenses, so how is it their newest hot product falls so short in that dept?  What do others think?  - CW
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/10/2007 at 08:01
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I have two UCC Monarchs and, unless they have made drastic changes in the glass, there is no comparison. My Kahles is superior in contrast, resolution and brightness.

 
Nice report and welcome to O.T., BTW


Edited by tahqua - December/10/2007 at 13:21
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/10/2007 at 13:09
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I'm considering the Kahles 4x12 Helia CL from the sample list. Glad to hear your report...
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/10/2007 at 16:29
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I have the previous generation Monarch's UCC with the 3x erector assembly, and compared to my Kahles Ah, the Kahles is definately better in every way optically. My cousin has one of the newest Monarchs and  to both of us we can't tell much of a difference between the older version, except as noted from the above posts- longer eye relief, 4x vs. 3x etc. It seems that the same glass and coatings are used in the new version as well.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/10/2007 at 16:32
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The Kahles is better because of the glass.  Far superior to the nikon.  After owning a Kahles for awhile, it is hard for me to look through other scopes.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/10/2007 at 16:36
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Originally posted by TheDrakeTaker TheDrakeTaker wrote:

The Kahles is better because of the glass. Far superior to the nikon. After owning a Kahles for awhile, it is hard for me to look through other scopes.


+1... I've always said....its a lot easier to climb the optics quality ladder than it is to come back down. Once spoiled you are never satisfied again.

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