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Mid-Priced Bino Comparison

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/14/2013 at 12:12
Demonical View Drop Down
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These would be for hunting in Alberta, all seasons, spring bear, fall for moose/elk & then November deer hunting.

I'm looking at these binos: all 10x42, all in the $450-$600 price range.
Nikon Monarch 7
Vortex Talon
Vortex Viper
Bushnell Elite
Steiner Predator

I'm open to suggestions on other brands of binoculars, in this price range, if you think there's something better.

Basically I need weather-proof, durable, binos, all the other clarity and other stuff is obvious I guess...
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/14/2013 at 16:45
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id consider a pair of meopta meopros also. or zen ray.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/14/2013 at 20:14
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I would check out the Leupold BX-4 Mckinleys, they have been getting great reviews.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/15/2013 at 17:59
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Between your listed bins, I would go with a Vortex product, mainly because of their vaunted customer service. Since I prefer an open bridge by a very slight margin, I would go with the Talon. As always, YMMV.

That being said, if it were up to me, I wouldn't go with any of them. I think that if someone cannot go to the near $1k level (Conquest HD, Meostar HD, etc.), then just stay under $400. The Zeiss Terra HD should be considered, and perhaps the Kruger Caldera as well. And a few that present great performance for the money are the Bresser Everest and Vanguard Endeavor, both of which can be had under $300. Anything you can do with those $450-$650 bins can be done with these as well. Even the Bushnell Ultra Legend HD should be considered too, although it's build quality isn't as good as the ones that cost over $100 more.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/17/2013 at 13:26
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Hey, Im in the same exact place as you right now. Looking for Bino's that are under 600 as well. My choices are from 1 down

Leupold McKinley bx-4- 619.00
Zen Ray Prime HD- 609.00
Vortex Viper Hd- 599.00

Im kinda stuck between these. I had the opportunity to go down to Cabelas and try out a few more side by side. I really liked the glass on the Monarch 7 it was super bright and had a great sharp image. It is very nice. The problem is that the Nikon warranty is just total crap you buy that and your taking a risk. They just dont stand behind their stuff. Before the Cabelas trip I was seriously considering the talon. Sadly it was the worst bino we (my bro and 2 friends) looked through, even the bushnell legend HD was sharper and brighter. I was really disappointed they just felt cheap, and my family is huge vortex fans. For a hundred and thirty the Viper is leaps and bounds better. I know that the moepta are good binos but I read that they fog up really bad, and they are also butt ugly binos. They have zero eye appeal. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/17/2013 at 13:56
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which meoptas are u referring to? meopro? or meostar? i have a pair of meostars and love them but the meopro i agree is a pretty ugly binocular.     forget the nikon. go with the zen ray prime or leupold mckinley
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/17/2013 at 15:20
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I should be more informative I guess. Im talking about the Meopta Moestar 10x42 HD's. Ive read a couple of places that they fog up really bad in adverse conditions. Have you had any of these problems? These are also a little out of my price range and Demonical's as well. I do hear you can pick them up in the Bargain cave for cheap. I really wish I could compare the McKinley and the prime. There's no retailers in Utah though. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/17/2013 at 16:44
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i havent had any fogging issues...yet ....but i havent had them long enough yet.....if i have fogging issues i wont be keeping them long lol
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/17/2013 at 16:47
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i think ive seen one review where a guy said they fogged on him in extreme cold....hope i dont have that issue. im in MS it doesnt get too terribly cold here. otherwise its a great bino the glass is crystal clear and For a 10x im able to hold em steady with ease.... i like the look of the meostars but the meopro looks awful
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/17/2013 at 17:13
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Optics GrassHopper
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I have another bino that I am considering: Nikon Monarch X, they come in 8.5x-45mm and 10.5x-45mm.

They are open-bridge design, I'm assuming a step above the Monarch 7.

I haven't seen much info/reviews on them.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/17/2013 at 17:16
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i had a monarch 3 and wasnt impressed. sold it after a cpl years. ccaused too mich eyestrain and very grainy image late in evening. if the one u mentioned is a step anove the monarch7 tho, it might be a good one
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/17/2013 at 17:45
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If you want a Monarch, get a Monarch 7, forget the rest of that Monarch crowd. Smile

I think what likely happened with the report of fogging in that Meopta review is that it was external fogging.  That is pretty normal for using glass in cold weather.  You put it up to your face and the temp change is enough to fog the outside of the lens.  Inadvertently breathe on the lens and same thing.  Going from inside the jacket to the outside temperature, same thing.  Take it out of the truck into cold temp, same thing.  The reviewer may not have known enough about what he was talking about to have been posting a review.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/17/2013 at 17:48
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I almost bought a pair of the monarch x's in 10x43. I just coulnt pull the trigger on them though. They seemed sturdy and the glass was really nice. I honestly dont know if it was any better than the 7's. I don't think they use ED glass. You can pick up a demo pair every once and a while for around 300. It's just the whole Nikon thing that held me up. they are nice though.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/17/2013 at 17:53
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field and stream or outdoor life did an optics review last month and rated the monarch7 incredible glass for the money. ive just had issues with nikon products and probably will not buy nikon again but te monarch7 should b great mid priced glass. i hope thats right on the meostar fogging issue. i cant wait to use mine in the field
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/17/2013 at 21:18
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What's the deal with Nikon service/warranty? I always had the idea that Nikon was a quality company with good service.

And regarding that, I hear that Vortex service is amazing, but I also hear an awful lot of people require servcie on their stuff. So how good can Vortex be, if it's always in for warranty work!?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/17/2013 at 22:20
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Originally posted by Demonical Demonical wrote:

What's the deal with Nikon service/warranty? I always had the idea that Nikon was a quality company with good service.

And regarding that, I hear that Vortex service is amazing, but I also hear an awful lot of people require servcie on their stuff. So how good can Vortex be, if it's always in for warranty work!?

On another note we always hear how good Swarovski service is too.  So why do people have to send in enough expensive binoculars ....Big Smile

Nikon requires you send a copy of your original sales receipt.  If you don't have that, it is a no fault warranty that requires you to send (I think $25) for the work and pay shipping back.


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/17/2013 at 22:35
Demonical View Drop Down
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Originally posted by Klamath Klamath wrote:


Originally posted by Demonical Demonical wrote:

What's the deal with Nikon service/warranty? I always had the idea that Nikon was a quality company with good service.

And regarding that, I hear that Vortex service is amazing, but I also hear an awful lot of people require servcie on their stuff. So how good can Vortex be, if it's always in for warranty work!?


On another note we always hear how good Swarovski service is too.  So why do people have to send in enough expensive binoculars ....Big Smile

Nikon requires you send a copy of your original sales receipt.  If you don't have that, it is a no fault warranty that requires you to send (I think $25) for the work and pay shipping back.





Well heck I can afford that! That sounds darn good to me!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/18/2013 at 08:15
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Vortex has a no questions asked warranty, one of the very best in the biz. They have great products as well, the Viper and Razor lines are very nice in both scopes, spotters and bino's.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/18/2013 at 14:19
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I have compared the following and consider the Nikon Monarch 7 the best of the lot all things considered.

Zen ray prime
Leupold Mckinley
Vortex viper hd
Bushnell elite ed
Zen ray ED3
Vortex Talon HD (like a zen ray ed2)

I hear the Kruger Caldera is really good and I would also advise you look through a Zeiss Terra ED before you make your choice.

The Nikon Monarch X is a lesser bino than the Monarch 7 and is being discontinued.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/18/2013 at 16:04
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Well, different strokes I guess Big Smile.  I have compared those same binoculars and put the Monarch 7 at the bottom of the pile.  It is a pretty decent pile although and the Monarch 7 is a very nice binocular.  Its plus is its size and overall ergonomics.  Its minus is the contrast is not as nice as some, and the sweet spot is somewhat weak.  I would not for instance, trade my Kruger Caldera for two Monarch 7's.

The Prime and McKinley are better in both apparent sharpness and contrast and have a little better color rendition, and have a much better sweet spot than the Monarch 7.  Their minuses are the larger size and the large diameter of the ocular assemblies.

Having said that, if I had a Monarch 7 as my binocular, I can't see where I'd feel particularly at any disadvantage.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/18/2013 at 19:10
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Yeah, I think the Monarch 7 world be a very great bino to have. My brother broke his nikon binos and they had him fill out a big form and made him send them money and he never saw his binoculars for over six months. Plus they were very rude about everything. I broke a cheap 200.00 vortex scope 3 days before the deer hunt and called vortex and they expedited the same scope to me just on my word that i would send them the old one in the new box when it arrived. -no questions asked. Thats the difference (in my perspective) of the warranties. Everyone is going to drop their binoculars every now and then. Its just peace of mind. Warranties aside I would buy the Monarch 7 if it had a vortex sticker on them.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/18/2013 at 19:15
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after owning a crappy prostaff   scope that had too much veiling flare and a pair of monarch3 binos that flat out sucked i will never buy nikon again. just save up more and buy vortex or meopta or a zen ray
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/18/2013 at 20:26
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Nikon needs to stick to cameras and camera lenses IMO.  They suck with their hit and miss CS, and piss poor sport optics marketing.  It's a shame because the EDG is a great hunting bino.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/18/2013 at 23:11
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Today I finally got a chance to look at a few models. Honestly I couldn't see much difference in the optics f anything I looked at. What I did notice was the focus wheel; some models had noticably smoother action.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/18/2013 at 23:17
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Models I looked at: Vortex Talon. Didn't like. Bushnell Elite E2. Didn't like.
Vortex Viper. I like those.
Pentax DCF-SP, I was impressed by those.
Leupold Mojave. Did not like.
I was not happy with the small selection of binos that were available. Tomorrow I'm hoping to see some more.

I'd really like to check Nikon Monarch 7, vs those Pentax DCF-SP, against Vortex Viper and some Steiners.
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