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Monarch or Legend ?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/23/2006 at 16:47
drum View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
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Looking for 8x42 or 10x43 roof prism. Budget is pretty much at $ 300. Done a little reading and have come up with Nikon Monarch and Bushnell Legend. They will be used for White Tail hunting in South Eastern NC. not alot of open territory, low light conditions, although we do hunt some power line areas. Also not sure about what power 8 or 10. Mostly want to identify  quality of the bucks. Did see some Steiner Merlin for a good deal are these worth $100 more than the others. Would welcome other suggestions as well. Thanks for your help.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/23/2006 at 17:23
lucznik View Drop Down
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Personally, I think the decision between a Nikon Monarch and a Bushnell Legend really comes down to ergonomics. In other words, you should buy the one that feels the best in your hands.  Optically they are very similar (read "basically identical" here.)  My brother owns a Legend and three of my friends own Monarchs and they all really like their choices. Were I choosing between the two, I would pick the Nikon. That is because it tends to feel better in my hands than the Legend (I don't care for the ridges in the Legend's rubber.)

 

I do not think the Merlins are worth the extra $$$, though you should know that I have never been a fan of Steiner optics.  Someone who likes Steiner might feel very differently about how to answer your question here.

 

The decision between 8X and 10X is also a very personal one and their are people who feel very strongly about the relative merits of each. Some people have a difficult time holding a 10X steady.  If you are one of these people, you should buy the 8X.  I am very fond of my 10X B&L Discoverer and I don't feel it is difficult at all to hold. 

 

Remember that an 8X will generally give you a wider field of view than a  comparable 10X, which can make glassing for animals a little easier.  Then again, the 10X will give you a "better" (closer) view of the animal once you have it found. 10X glass also usually costs a bit more than a similar 8X glass. 

 

There is also a fairly widely held belief that in the lower/mid priced spectrum (which is where these two options fit) there tends to be greater quality uniformity in the construction of the 8Xs. In other words, sample variation among the 10Xs tend to be a bit more extreme increasing your likelihood of getting a "lemon," whereas you can be more confident that when you buy an 8X you will get a high-quality optic because the sample variations don't seem to be quite as extreme.  I don't know how much truth there is to this, but it is brought up a lot in various forums.



Edited by lucznik
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/23/2006 at 19:09
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Optics GrassHopper
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Thanks for the info. What about low light performance  between the 8x42 and the 10x42. I've read that we don't see much more than 4 or is 5 exit pupil,  I've also herd age is a factor, I'm 45. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/23/2006 at 19:48
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My father had the Nikon Monarchs and I was not impressed with their low light performance.  For $300 you can do better.  Id get the Legends out of those two binoculars.  Personally, If it was me I'd check out the Carson XM series.  When I bought my 8x42 I looked through Nikon Monarchs, Pentax DCF HRII, Bushnell Legends, Alpens, Leupolds and I bought the Carsons sight unseen based on what I read.  I belong to an archery sight and all the bow hunters had nothing but nice things to say.  If you want go to the link and get on their forms and do a search for Carson and read what fellow sportsman are saying about these binoculars.

 

www.archerytalk.com

 

Also you can check out this link as well from a birders sight

 

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

 

I sold my pair to a friend  and picked up a pair of Weaver Grand Slam binoculars which cost twice as much at the $240 Carsons and the Carson are much better.  I as soon as I get the cash Im getting another pair in 10x50.  Some people are turned off by the fact that they are assembled in China but the lenses come from Japan and are very good quality. 

 

You can even search this sight and there is some information posted by myself as well as some others with very positive results.  I personally think they are the best kept secret out there in optics.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/24/2006 at 00:22
lucznik View Drop Down
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You are correct in that the adult eye typically dilates to a maximum of between 5 and 7mm  and age does tend to reduce this so that at 45 years old, it is possible that your eye might only dilate to 4mm (or even less depending on the health of your eyes and other factors.) Whatever the maximum dilation is for your eyes represents the maximum exit pupil you would need to  worry about in a binocular.  Of course, most people don't actually know just how wide their personal eyes dilate (and it changes over time) so we generally deal with averages and estimates and most "experts" will recommend a hunting binocular with a minimum exit pupil of 4mm with preference often being given to optics with exit pupils of at least 5mm.

 

Honestly, I believe that "low light performance" is an issue that is talked about and even fretted about a whole lot and in reality, is not worth anyone's time or trouble.  You can measure it by focusing on the holy Exit Pupil or perhaps by the lesser known but equally powerful Twilight Factor.  Once, I even developed what amounted to an amalgam of the two to try and incorporate both ideas in a single figure. But, however you try to quantify it, it just isn't as big of a deal as many would try to make you believe. 

 

The plain truth of the matter is that just about any high quality binocular (and both the Legend and the Monarch qualify) is going to be useful both well before and significantly after legal shooting light irrespective of its absolute magnification.  They also are going to perform about the same in heavy timber and other conditions where shadows are long and deep. In fact, I've even used 8X and 10X compact binoculars with great success for early morning and late evening glassing when I couldn't carry a larger binocular (which I certainly would have preferred.)

 

My primary full size binoculars are an 8X42 Pentax DCF WP and a 10X42 B&L Discoverer. I have also spent time with both of the binoculars you have asked about in both 8X and 10X as well as others. In my experience, neither magnification offers "low light performance" that is noticeably better than the other, let alone the idea of allowing for additional hunting opportinities any earlier or later in the day.

 

Pick whichever magnification you like (8X for its greater FOV, 10X for the ability to "be" that much closer to your viewing subject,) buy quality, and then enjoy.  You won't really be missing anything with either choice.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/24/2006 at 05:56
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Optics GrassHopper
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Thanks lucznk, for the info .
 Been reading to much I guess and found another , again about $100 more but hearing alot of good things about the optical quality Sightron S3, what yal think.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/24/2006 at 10:58
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drum,

 

For what it is worth I agree with lucznik's comments 100%. I would opt for the Monarch as well. I have owned both the Monarchs and Legends and prefered the slightly warmer color bias of the Monarchs over the colder tone of the Legends. Other than that I thought their optics were very similar.

 

Weight is another issue. If you look at the full size comparison between either the 8x or 10x models then you will see that the Legends are significantly heavier. Whether that is an issue for you I cannot say. Weight is only one part of the equation. A binocular can be heavy but well balanced enough that you do not notice the weight.

 

Also consider the warranty and customer service between both companies.

 

Sorry I have no experience with the Sightrons.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/25/2006 at 19:28
Roy Finn View Drop Down
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Of the two bino's that you are considering you should also give weight to the Legend 8x42 roof prism's which have Bushnell's Raiguard that give you a significant advantage over the others. This would be a big advantage if you hunting conditions are in any type of wet weather or condensation. Optically they are both good bino's. Personally, I would go with the 8x42.

Edited by Roy Finn
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