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NIKON MONARCH ATB vs. LEUPOLD CASCADE

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/30/2007 at 07:18
DAVE44 View Drop Down
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I have narrowed down my roof prism stalking and stand hunting combo binos to these two binos. I am either going with 8 or 10 power. I chose these due to their size and mostly light weight. Between these two which would you all advise me to get for whitetail hunting here in Arkansas? Which is optically brighter and which has better resoloution and user friedliness? I was going to get Pentax dcf sp but I think these two will do fine and allow me money for another scope. Are the Cascades now fully multi coated and are they also Phase coated? If you like the Monarchs, is there going to be much difference between the 8x36 and 8x42 models optically? I had a pair of Bushnell legend 8x42 roofs but they were two bulky and heavy for stalking the woods so I sold them.

Edited by DAVE44
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/30/2007 at 10:01
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Originally posted by DAVE44 DAVE44 wrote:

I have narrowed down my roof prism stalking and stand hunting combo binos to [the Nikon Monarch and Leupold WindRiver Cascades]. I am either going with 8 or 10 power. 
 Go for the 8x power.  10x magnification is a real hit-and-miss affair with optics in this price class. Jump up to a higher price range and 10x may be a more sure bet but, not in the budget-class.

 

Originally posted by DAVE44 DAVE44 wrote:

Which is optically brighter and which has better resoloution and user friedliness?
Neither will be particularly brighter nor sharper.  They are optically very similar and will be essentially the same as the Bushnell Legend you say you once owned.  Individual units may exhibit better or worse performance than others as a result of sample variation (which exists in all price classes) but overall, these are very comparable optics.

 

If by "user friendliness" you mean which is ergonomically superior, well... that is another matter and is one that can only be decided by you. Tactile sensation of the rubber armoring, speed of the focus mechanism, fit of the eyecups to your brow, overall thickness of the lens barrels, location of the strap-attachment points, etc, etc, etc, are all things that can influence your choice and about which two people could very easily exhibit very different preferences. 

 

If you mean something else by "user-friendliness" then, you'll have to explain as I don't know what your looking for.  Though, I suspect that it too will likely come down to an issue of individual choice.

 

 

Originally posted by DAVE44 DAVE44 wrote:

Are the Cascades now fully multi coated and are they also Phase coated?
Yes, they are.

 

However, they only started receiving phase-correction coatings since (I think) January of this year so; it would probably be adviseable to pay close attention to the specific unit you purchase to just make sure it is properly labelled as one of these newer models.

 

Originally posted by DAVE44 DAVE44 wrote:

...is there going to be much difference between the 8x36 and 8x42 [Nikon Monarch] models optically?
 

This depends on what you mean by "much difference."  There absolutely will be a difference.  The 42mm binocular will be brighter and will also provide better resolution. If you only hunt during the day, this may not be an issue and you may not in fact, be able to see these differences but, they are there. If you hunt much in the early morning or late evening, they will likely prove themselves more apparent. Though, depending on your education, experience, eyesight, and sensitivity levels, you still may not actually be able to see them.  You will have to decide if this qualifies as "much difference."



Edited by lucznik
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/30/2007 at 13:12
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Dave44

 

I will use my first post in this forum here.  First I will say luczink gave you some really good advice.  My response is more on the order of putting in a good word for the Nikon Monarch, mine is 8x42. Luczink is correct in steering you to the 8x.  I've seen some 10x Monarch that were pretty good and others that were not very good.  I'm a mule deer hunter and mostly hunt open country.  My Monarchs work fine, the only pick I have with them is that, mine at least, could resolve better at the limits of 8x usefulness.  That is however a pretty minor complaint.  The Monarchs have always been pretty well able to answer the questions I asked of them.  For less than $300, they are a good buy.

 

In my experience there is not much optical difference in the Nikon Monarch, the Bushnell Legend (roof), and either the Leupold Cascade or the Leupold Olympic. The Legend comes in 8x32 and what luczink said about the 8x36 Monarch is applicable to the Legend.  I really depends on how much you value binocular use in twilight conditions.  The 42's of each binocular will be brighter.  Likely not to be noticed in non-twilight. 

 

As to user friendlieness, man that's up to you.  Your eyes are not somebody elses eyes, your hands, physical size, etc. may dictate a different choice than mine.  The thing is the Monarchs, Legends and WInd Rivers all are usually pretty easy to find.  Try them out and get what ever brand and model suits you.

 

Hapy hunting

 

Steve

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/30/2007 at 13:44
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I notice SWFA has a pair of Nikon Monarchs in 8x42 that are camo for $250.00. For some reason in its description it doesnt mention phase coating. I called and the lady told me that they were a discontinued model and thats why they are cheaper than the equivalent Monarchs in 8x42. My question is this. Are all models of nikon Monarch ATBs phase coated? Do they all have the same glass and coatings? If so then I will buy those, if there is a difference I will go ahead and spend the extra $40- $60. The model number on them was 7434.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/30/2007 at 15:33
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Originally posted by DAVE44 DAVE44 wrote:

Are all models of nikon Monarch ATBs phase coated? Do they all have the same glass and coatings?

 

No and no.

 

Originally the Nikon Monarchs were not phase-coated.  They, along with the Bausch and Lomb (now Bushnell) Discoverers, got phase correction coatings as an upgrade after Pentax introduced their revolutionary DCF WP binocular and it became quickly apparent that such coatings were the new standard of performance.  The B&L had the coatings added and nothing else.  Nikon took the opportunity to do a complete redesign of their binocular's body.  They originally looked very similar to the Kahles binoculars and after the change were somewhat more reminiscent of Nikon's own Premier LX line.

 

The Monarch binoculars on the SampleList all appear to be of the later body style and therefore should have the appropriate phase-correction coatings. 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/30/2007 at 15:36
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Originally posted by DAVE44 DAVE44 wrote:

I notice SWFA has a pair of Nikon Monarchs... for $250.00. I called and the lady told me that they were a discontinued model and thats why they are cheaper than the equivalent Monarchs in 8x42.

 

Other then the switch to the new body design I mentioned above, I don't remember any version of the Nikon Monarch ever being discontinued.  The description of the Monarchs on the SampleList state that they are "Factory Refurbished" and I would suspect that this is the reason for the reduction in price.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/30/2007 at 16:11
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The roof prism binoculars Nikon sold prior to the introduction were simply called ATB if memory serves me correctly.  Also the Monarch came out in, I think 2001.  The old ATB should be long gone.  It is a whole lesser degree of an optical instrument than the Monarch.  Anway it is worth a call to SWFA to avoid an old ATB.  The Monarch looks to be a completely different and totally redesigned binocular.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/30/2007 at 16:21
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The MONARCH ATB 8X42 #7434 is not on the sample list, it is on their current offerings. It has the same body style as the current and up to date Monarchs. The only difference is it has REALTREE HARDWOODS CAMO and doesnt mention PHASE COATING in the description. I would guess they are discontinuing that camo pattern, I just wanted to know if it had the same lenses,coatings, and Phase coatings as the other current MONARCHS. Does anyone know?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/30/2007 at 17:02
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Dave,

The Nikon 2006 & 2007 catalogs do not list a 7434, neither does the Nikon web-site. They list it as a #7524 for the current 8x42 Real Tree bino.

I would call SWFA and have them check the box, as well as the binoculars, and see if they "are" Phase Coated before purchasing them.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/09/2007 at 13:00
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Well I checked out the NIKON MONARCH ATB and the LEUPOLD CASCADE both in 8x42. They did seem very comparable optically in the store. I liked the feel of both but the Nikons seemed a hair lighter and were just a little more comfortable to hold. Also, I liked the Nikons eye cups better, just felt better. BUT, I liked the CASCADES just a little better optics wise. The CASCADES seemed like they were just a little sharper and the colors were a little better, the Nikons seemed like the colors were a little softer and washed out looking. I also found that I could get the CASCADES to focus for both eyes a bit better,I never could find a perfect spot on the right diopter for my eyes to match up. I dont like the center diopter adjustment being on the focus wheel on the CASCADES though.
     After all that though I find that I would like something a little better optically. Neither really impressed me. I dont mind spending a little more if I can get a very noticabel improvement on the optics. But if it is just a little improvement then I will go Porro prism in 8x or 10x. I find it hard to pay $500.00 plus for binos such a PENTAX DCF SP when I cant look at a pair and BASS PRO doesnt carry any. If I were to go with a 8x42 porro prism, what is most compact and lightest with good optics? Are the Legend Porros better than their Legend roofs?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/09/2007 at 16:19
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Take a look at these:

www.vortexoptics.com/binoculars/view/vortex_viper_8x42

They are highly rated.

Do a google search for best price.

Edited by Bird Watcher
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I recently decided to upgrade my 8x42 Monarch.  While I still feel they are a good glass for their price, I became aware that they did not resolve at distance and there were a couple of things like softness etc that you mentioned that had begun to become apparent.  Not big delas, but enough to make me look for improvement.  I found it in two glasses.  The Monarch has been forever retired by a new Swift Eaglet 7x36 with the new CFT coatings.  I had both the Eaglet and Vortex Viper 8x42 sent by a dealer.  The Viper also was a big improvement over the Monarch.  I kept the Eaglet because of its compact size, which is something I've always wanted in a binocular.  Sent the 8x Viper back for a 10x Viper.  These are both very, very good glass for less than $500.00.  They are definitely worth the price over a Monarch/Cascade.  They start coming really close to the $1000.00 ++ glasses.  I really could not tell that the Swift was 7x rather than 8x.  Both glasses are very bright and have superb resolution.  Swift is supposed to be coming out with an 8x42 Eaglet, don't think they are out yet.  If you think a 32-36mm glass is what you would like go for the Swift 7x36.  If you like full size glass go for the Viper.  You will pay a whole lot more than these for not much improvement, IMO.  By Vortexs' own admission the Viper is brighter than their more expensive Razor.  Chief difference in Swift and Viper is focus.  The Swift is real fast, at one turn of the wheel.  Viper is slower at 1.5 turns.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/09/2007 at 22:29
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Forgot to add.  I've hd Pentax SP up to the Swift & Vortex  a quickie comparison at a dealer.  I think they are both a little better than the SP, but I'd need a better side by side to really tell.  SP is also better than Monarch.

 

Other personal observations are that the Leupold Pinnacle is better than the Cascade and Monarch, and the new Bushnell e2 seems better than the Monarch too.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/30/2007 at 07:13
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Would you say the SP was better than the Pinnacle? Would you say that the new Bushnell e2 was equal to or better than Pinnacle ? 8x or 10x comparisons?
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Dave44

 

To a large degree the questions you are asking can only be answered by you.  From my strictly personal view the Viper is better than the SP, it's brighter and it fits my hands better.  The SP is a little better than the Pinnacle.  And the e2 is real close to the SP about he same as a Pinnacle.  I could use any of the above and be happy with it. The optics are going to be close enough that you will have to pick one up and look through it.  If is is bright enough for you, sharp enough for you, if the view feels right to your eyes, and if you like the way it handles, buy it.  It does not really matter what I think, you will use it, not someone else.

 

Again from a strictly personal viewpoint, for choosing one binocular, I'd get 8x.  The resolution is better, the field wider, eye stress is less, it is easier to hold steady, and heat mirage doesn't bother 8x as much as 10x.  However some people really appreciate a little bigger image and can hold 10x steady.  You need to decide what's right for you.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/05/2007 at 07:46
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I will probably get either the Pinnacle or SP as I have no access to Vipers to look through. I Know you said you would go with 8x but the SP has 330 ft. field of view at 8x and 315 ft. at 10x which doesnt seen to be much of a difference. I want a pair to judge horns anywhere from 50yrds to 300 yrds and to scan the woods for deer. Is there that much difference in the 8x and 10x in the SP as far as brightness. I know some optics are not the actual magnification as is stated on box, is that so with the SPs, because the field of view is so close is seems like 10x is more like 8.5x ? The Pinnacles have way less field of view at 10x. I can get either 8x or 10x SP for around $450.00
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/07/2007 at 21:18
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Dave,

 

Again, from my perspective, you are describing uses best suited to an 8x glass.  Since you don't have access to a Viper, presumably you can get the SP and Pinnacle up to your eyes.  Just buy whichever of those two "looks" best to you.  Don't nit pick over FOV, there's no noticable difference at 8x, yes there is some at 10x.  And yes there is very likely some magnification difference say 7.8-8.3 or somesuch between samples.  Not enough to notice.  Some people are better able to use, and therefore like, 10x than others.  You will just have to figure which you are, an 8x guy or a 10x guy.  I can't tell you that. I only like 10x on cool days when I'm looking long and mirage is not so much of an issue.

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