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Elite 4200 vs Monarch

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/23/2007 at 00:27
koshkin View Drop Down
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Earlier this year I had a thread where I promised to compare a few scopes in 2007 and post my impressions.

This is a first installment in this series so to speak.

 

Bushnell Elite 4200 6-24x40 with AO and MilDot reticle

Nikon Monarch 5.5-16.5x44 with AO and BDC reticle

 

This is not entirely an apples-to-apples comparison since I think these two scopes should appeal to slightly different users.  However, these are the two I have and in terms of magnification range they start at almost the same low end.  They are also priced similarly enough although the Nikon has, I think, been discontinued.  The Elite 4200 is made in Japan.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that the box on the Monarch also says ďmade in JapanĒ.  I know that a lot of products from the Monarch line are made elsewhere in Asia with a large factory in Thailand and perhaps other places.  The Monarch binocular that I am currently reviewing (for another forum, but I will post my impressions here as well) is made in China.

 

The Elite 4200 is the scope that has been sitting on my Savage 22-250 varminter for a while, so I am pretty well familiar with it.  My primary motivation behind buying the Monarch was to play with a BDC reticle, but it seemed like a good opportunity to look at the glass in a little more detail.

 

In terms of physical dimensions, Monarch looks quite petite next to the Elite 4200.  It would probably be more fair to compare Elite 4200 4-16x40 since it is comparable in weight and size to the Monarch, but I do not have that particular scope here.

 

I first spent some time just looking at the glass in both well lit and lowlight conditions.  They were no major surprises.  Both scopes are very good, and for the money, just excellent.  In terms of light transmission, I suspect they are about the same (I did not do an exact measurement, but I did take them to work and used one of the sensors I work with to compare.  I aimed both scopes at a flat uniform light source, completely filling the field of view and used a multi-megapixel CMOS imager positioned at the focal point to record the total amount of light transmitted and also to figure out the power density, since I can look at individual pixels (to forewarn further questions, by using a sensor that is larger than the exit pupil, knowing the exact size of the object in the field of view and knowing the exact light output of lightbox, I can calibrate out the objective lens differences).  Now, this is done with a white light source with a color temperature of 3200K so this is a very limited evaluation and really only gives a cumulative broadband light transmission comparison.  Using a color sensor and knowing the exact quantum efficiency curves I could calculate the spectral response, but, quite frankly, I do not have the time to do that.

 

Some day if I do not have to work for a living, Iíll go ahead and set up a laboratory to do independent scope and binocular testing.  At this time, I am not quite willing (nor able) to drop the money to buy all the equipment needed.  I do not like to use my work laboratory for that.

 

Bottom line is that the light transmission on both scopes is sufficiently close to be absolutely inconsequential.

 

In terms of resolvable detail, they are also very close, with Elite 4200 being a little better (yes, I did set them on the same magnification).  I looked at resolution at 10x and 16x.

 

Interestingly, at almost all magnifications Elite 4200 seemed to have a wider field of view, until magnification dropped to below 8x, where, I think, Elite 4200 has some vignetting.  Monarch seemed to have very little if any vignetting all the way down to 5.5x.

 

In low light, both scopes performed well and I canít say that one was noticeably better than the other.  Monarch was a little more sensitive to off-axis light sources in front of the scope making a more noticeable ghost image.  Nothing too objectionable though.

 

Bright light source behind me and to the side had about the same effect on both scopes: very significant.  For this application, I strongly suggest something along the lines of Dvorak Soft-Eye.  In all fairness, these are difficult conditions for any scope, no matter the price.

 

I mounted both scopes into Burris Signature Zee rings and set them up for my Savage varminter.  While these rings do not return to point of aim perfectly when taken of and reattached, they are close enough for my needs.  

 

I spent most of Saturday over at the shooting range breaking in the barrel on my new 6.5Grendel AR-15 and while I was at it I fired somewhere along the lines of 150 rounds through the Savage at paper targets set up at 100 yards and steel gongs at 200, 300, 400, 500 and 600 yards.  It was a pretty windy day, so hitting something at 500 and 600 yards was not straightforward, but great fun.  Both scopes tracked well.  I canít say that there was any difference there.  While I did not abuse them, the adjustments worked flawlessly for both.  Nikonís clicks were a little more positive and more audible.  Also, Nikon has ľĒ clicks and Elite 4200 has 1/8Ē clicks.  I have to say that for any use I might have for a scope, I much prefer ľĒ clicks.

 

Both scopes passed the box test with flying colors.

 

Now for the BDC reticle: in a nutshell, it is a good reticle, but I absolutely did not like it.  I think I am too used to MilDot based reticles.  Using a circle to aim without a defined aiming point was very unnatural for me.  

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/23/2007 at 03:56
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Originally posted by koshkin koshkin wrote:

The bad part is that I had my 2-12x32 IOR mounted on the 6.5 Grendel at the range.  As good as the Monarch and Elite 4200 are, I suspect they will both end up on Ebay in order to subsidize another IOR or Meopta scope for me.  I am probably just spoiled, though. 

 

Ah yes...I knew it would be just a matter of time before an IOR would be thrown into the fray, during a review of 2 Jap scopes. 

  

 

Good review, Dark Lord. Appreciate your time, as always.

 

Iam a little surprised that the 4200 had a better FOV than the Monarch, I must say.

 

Some reading this review may not know what "vignetting" that you mentioned means.

Could you elaborate?

 

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/23/2007 at 04:28
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I was a bit surprised about the field of view part as well.  Perhaps I need to look into it a little more. 

As for IOR being thrown in, I think I said rather explicitly, that I am a bit spoiled in terms of optics.  IOR is most definitely in a different price range, so it is by no means in direct competition with these scopes.

Vignetting in this case refers to the beam of light being limited by some aperture inside the scope.  Effectively it means that at the lowest magnification, your field of view has a pretty thick black circle around it.  Looking at the specs for the Elite 4200, it appears that at 6x, it has field of view of 18 feet at 100 yards, which is only three times greater than the 6 feet of field of view at 24x, despite the 4x erector.  While I do not think this is supposed to be a perfectly linear relationship, it should be pretty close.  In this case, it looks like Bushnell engineers were trying to give it as much field of view at 24x as they could, hence the somewhat short eye relief.  With their sidefocus model, for example, the eye relief is considerably longer, but the field of view at 6x is the same, while the field of view at 24x is about 25% lower.  Normally, field of view and eye relief are inversely related: bigger field of view means shorter eye relief and vice versa.  There are some tricks that can be played, but if you see two scopes from the same manufacturer of the same magnification range having the same field of view at the lowest setting with different eye relief, you can be sure that there is some vignetting in the scope with shorter eye releif.

ILya


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/23/2007 at 04:31
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Excellent!!

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/23/2007 at 09:37
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Great stuff as always Ilya. Exellent review.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/23/2007 at 19:08
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Thank You, gentlemen. 

Looking at the field of view specs for a few Elite 4200 scopes, it does seem that the AO version of the 6-24x40 scope has unusually wide field of view compared to other Elite 4200s.  Not sure why though.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/23/2007 at 20:54
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Excellent, detailed review, Ilya!  Thanks for your time and effort!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/24/2007 at 20:18
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Great review koshkin!  Thanks so much for taking the time to write up your observations.

 

So you're a big fan on Meopta Meostar glass, too!  I just sold a 4x16 44mm w/mildot reticle last week.    Awesome glass, very close to IOR and Swarovski, IMO.

Hated that I had to sell it but hopefully I can replace it soon.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/24/2007 at 23:27
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Meopta makes good glass and I've had my eye on a couple of Meopta scopes for while.

I have Meopta binoculars that I am pretty happy with, now I just need to figure out how to finance another expensive scope.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/25/2007 at 14:42
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Thanks for doing the great review I agree with you last paragraph. Unless you are competition shooting 1000 yards or shooting a 50 cal at moving targets for the goverment at more than a 1000 yards I can`t see why you would need more scope, I like the mil-dot better for the long shots it just works better for me than the BDC type of reticle or I am just used to it and don`t want to change.

 

 

Duce 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/23/2010 at 06:05
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I compared the 4200 2.5-10 and monarch 3-12x40 SF.

Took a nano second to establish that the 4200 had the better image to me. Ended up returning both scopes and not mounting them Just spent a few days looking around the neighboorhood with them. Both very nice. As said above can't see how a hunter needs better then that unless he's optics crazy.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/23/2010 at 08:25
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Originally posted by 527varmint 527varmint wrote:

As said above can't see how a hunter needs better then that unless he's optics crazy.


There's a bunch of that around here.
There is nothing wrong with the 4200/Monarch class of scopes, either. I like both of them.
I'm also glad to see that Bushnell has added a 4A reticle to the 4200 line up. It has an illuminated dot in the center. It has the battery and switch on the turret housing. That is far better looking than the warts that Zeiss, Leupold, Burris and others put on the ocular housing.

Doug
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