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Nikon Monarch 5-20x44SF Opinions?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/02/2011 at 22:51
wolf6151 View Drop Down
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I'm considering the purchase of this scope and would like the opinions of those with experience on Nikon Monarch scopes.  I've always been a Leupold man but am considering the purchase of this scope for a heavy barrel 22-250.  I'm also considering rebarreling the rifle to either .243 or 7mm-08, still weighing my options there.  Thanks for any and all help and advice.  Howdy
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/03/2011 at 06:27
FunShot View Drop Down
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Above 16x, you get the whitish haze given certain lighting conditions. Something to do with the glare or reflection of light at the front objective tube. Maybe someone here with the right  technical know how could explain it better. Below 16x though, the image is crisp and bright for my eyes at least.
I don't know if it has something to do with the long eye relief of the monarch. I did notice that a similar scope in design made by the factory that makes the monarch also has the same whitish glare or haze on their hi powered long eye relief model scope while the scope with a shorter eye relief not similar in design though has none of the same whiting image problem of their hi powered model scope. Also don't think it's the optics or the coatings because older scopes and older designs with less coatings in their lenses do not have the same problem. Whether it's the design or the extended eye relief, i really am not sure though, just sort of blurting out what comes to my mind.Big Grin


Edited by FunShot - August/03/2011 at 06:43
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/03/2011 at 12:40
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I'm a Nikon guy to a fault, but that particular scope is, according to many here, very underwhelming. 

The 2.5-10x is my personal pick of the litter in that line, but the 4-15x Monarch I had served me well. 

Do you have a maxed out, drop dead budget number for a scope? The members here can probably steer you into a better optic than the 5-20x Monarch, if we knew that.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/03/2011 at 17:41
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I also experienced the "foggy" effect at high powers when examining a 5-20x44mmSF Monarch. It was similar to what FunShot mentions.
Finding 20x+ power scopes with decent glass AND side focus/PA under $600 is a bit tough, assuming that's your criterion.
Weaver Super Slams and Sightron SII Big Sky models run about $100+ more than a comparably featured Monarch. The Big Sky models are really nice if you want to go up in price.
I ended up going with a Vorter Viper 6.5-20x 44mm, but that was when they were being cleared out years back. I'd still consider it a better deal than the Nikon. You give up some low end power with the 3x erector instead of the Monarch 4x erector, but the glass and turrets are fully the equal of the Nikon and even at Vortex MAP, it's still $120 less than the 5-20x Monarch.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/06/2011 at 06:06
wolf6151 View Drop Down
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Thanks guys.  I didn't have a specific price range or anything I just saw one of these scopes new/used on another site for what I thought was a decent price ($400) and was wondering about the quality of the scope.  I've heard good things about the Nikon Monarch series of scopes and just wanted opinions on this particular one.  I'd like something good quality but at a decent price.  I've looked at the Vortex, Bushnell Tactical, Sightron, etc... but most of the higher power scopes seem to be 30mm tubes and I'd prefer to stay with a 1in. tube.  Just because it's what I'm used to.   Right now I'm leaning toward the Vortex 6.5-20x44 scope, seems to be a good scope for the money. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/08/2011 at 11:14
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The Viper is a 30mm tube.
Just get different rings. For the price savings, you could easily get some very nice 30mm rings.

That said, $400 for the Nikon 5-20x is a decent deal. In the US, you still get the full warranty with a used Nikon (though not with a refurb-make sure it's not a refurb!!)  Best to try one out first though, to see if you find the same issue that some of us did.

 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/17/2011 at 16:50
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FWIW, i have the Vortex 6.5 x 20 x 44 on a Savage .223.  Man, what a great scope!  I picked it up new for $399.00.  I have been impressed with the clarity and durability of the scope.  It has ended up being my gold standard variable power scope for under $500.00.  I think that you will be very satisfied with it if you go that route.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/18/2011 at 22:16
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That whitish haze is usually "flare" in a scope and is not a very desirable  defect.  It usually means that the coatings are not doing their job effectively.

Edited by Oldtrader3 - September/18/2011 at 22:17
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/19/2011 at 01:09
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FWIW, I have a little experience with some of the Monarch scopes and have been impressed, however, I have no direct experience with the 5-20X44. Nikon's rock solid warranty is another consideration
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/19/2011 at 08:53
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I've had 2 scopes like this and ended up buying Vipers. Far better scopes and very close on the price range. The 6.5-20X44 Viper is just great. 
Another issue you'll find on the Monarch is that they have Very Little windage and elevation adjustment range.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/19/2011 at 15:41
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I've owned two Monarch's.  The 4-16x44sf model was sold because of the "flare".  I simply found the image, lack of contrast, and critical eye position (not eye relief) unacceptable.  I bought a Burris Signature Select (low 4's) in the same configuration, am please with it and still have it.
 
I own another Monarch in 1.5-4.5x20.  I find it acceptable, but believe it's because it's not being asked to do as much.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/19/2011 at 19:49
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Originally posted by Oldtrader3 Oldtrader3 wrote:

That whitish haze is usually "flare" in a scope and is not a very desirable  defect.  It usually means that the coatings are not doing their job effectively.
I'm no optics expert but i think it in this case, it may not be the coatings but rather the design of the scope having the long eye relief or whatever. The flare or glare seems to come from light reflecting on the inner portion of the the tube near the objective lens despite having a seemingly matte anti glare finish on the inside of the tube. Their buckmasters scope with less light transmission but with older coatings and shorter eye relief doesn't have this problem. If you put both scopes at say 6x power and look at them from about a a foot away, you would see light reflecting from the tube on the monarch but you won't see this on the buckmasters leading me to assume it has something to do with the new eyebox technology and not the coatings. Maybe someone with more technical know how could confirm or rebut this. Despite the flaring though there seems to be sweet spot where if you postition your eye just right, the flaring or whitish haze is either  minimal or almost gone. It's very small though and takes some time to get at that sweet spot and some effort to stay there.Smile


Edited by FunShot - September/19/2011 at 19:58
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/22/2011 at 20:51
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Yep, these "new" Monarchs, especially in the higher power ranges, seem to be drawing a lot of criticism. On other forums, such as over at www.204ruger.com/forum, posters aren't too happy with Nikon Monarchs, either. Can't say that my 5-20X is really a "bad" scope, just not as good as it could, or should, be. Nikon really needs to start building their own scopes, but in this world economy the chances of that are slim to none. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/22/2011 at 23:29
Oldtrader3 View Drop Down
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When you see flare in an optical device (scope, binoculars), it is scattered. atactic light that has not been filtered out by the lens coatings.  Given that the lens coatings are supposed to "polarize" scattered light and remove it from the focused image within the scope and you see flare, you are (in effect) seeing scattered light rays which should not be passing through the lens coatings at all. 
I was very disappointed with the Monarch scope that I bought a couple of years ago.  It lacked contrast to the point of almost appearing to be hazy, had flare and lacked sharp contrast.  Nikon should market a flagship branded scope (Monarch) that is better quality than this Monarch line is, this despite what country it is made in. That should not matter.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/23/2011 at 14:14
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I wonder if Nikon has a general design problem that causes this issue?
I've noted that the Buckmaster higher powered designs (the 4.5-14 and the 6-18x) don't have this issue with the scattered off-axis light causing this flare or contrast loss. However they do have pretty significant field stops that while they would eliminate the flare and would increase contrast, give them that tunnel vision/vignetting effect.
I've not really noticed the tunnel vision with Monarchs.
So maybe with the Buckmaster they chose to put a field stop "bandaid" fix a coating problem, accepting the FOV loss and gaining some DOF, but with the Monarch, whatever design feature they use to mitigate the issue (probably a different coating) doesn't work as well and becomes noticeable at higher powers.

It would be interesting to have an optical engineer comment on the internal design facets of various scopes. I'd like to learn a lot more about that.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/25/2011 at 08:21
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i have that monarch on my 300 ultramag,i really like it. i have not had any problems with the glass.i have shot deer at 150,250,and one coyote at 600 yds.with the rifle and no problems,i have never turned it up on 20x to shoot anything but paper,and it was still clear. i tried the vortex viper,well i sold it.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/25/2011 at 19:47
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Originally posted by 300 ultramag 300 ultramag wrote:

i have that monarch on my 300 ultramag,i really like it. i have not had any problems with the glass.i have shot deer at 150,250,and one coyote at 600 yds.with the rifle and no problems,i have never turned it up on 20x to shoot anything but paper,and it was still clear. i tried the vortex viper,well i sold it.

In fairness, i've been comparing the two and they both have the same problem. I initially thought the viper was better when it comes to the hazy image problem but they seem to be about the same although it seems the viper is able to focus better on far off objects. I still think it's the design having something to do with the long eye relief thing. The viper(hs and pst) and monarch seem to share similar designs, at least on my own observation. If you don't believe me go to Cebu City, Philippines and ask around at the Mactan Export Processing Zone Bazarre during Nov or Dec. There are technical persons and factory workers/salesreps there who work at the philippine kenko plant promoting their products and they can chip you in on how they assemble and make their scopes for various companies. The assembly line worker/salesrep and the tech person i've talked to there kinda confirmed  my opinion on the viper and monarch sharing similar designs like the intensity and old 44 mag where they change only minor things like aesthetics or updated coatings on the lenses when making or assembling their scopes. After all it seems logical and economical to use the same machines and process only adding slight variety to have slight destinctions between two different brand scopes.
Like i said before, i'm still a scope idiot when it comes to technical terms regarding optics, so these are just my own observations or opinions.Big Grin


Edited by FunShot - September/25/2011 at 19:51
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/26/2011 at 14:45
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i tell you what i just bought a used nitrex 2 6-20x50 i think its got both scopes beat i really like it.
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