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nikon monarchs or leupold wind river?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/21/2006 at 23:45
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im looking  at the  12 x 50  wind river  olympics:

http://www.swfa.com/pc-3322-320-leupold-12x50-wind-river-oly mpic-binocular.aspx

and the  12  x 56  monarchs:

http://www.swfa.com/pc-6888-646-nikon-12x56-monarch-atb-bino cular.aspx


Ive personally used   a the  8 x 42 monarchs  with some  frequency  last  year(hunting friend had some)

but havent  touched the leupolds.    whats  your opinion?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/22/2006 at 00:16
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WHy 12x?  Unless you are a very experienced binocular user with exceptionally steady hands, you can't take advantage of 12x magnification due to hand tremors.

By and large, 10x is the most people can use with stabilization or a bipod.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/22/2006 at 00:59
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Have you had an opportunity to look thru the Nikon Monarch 12x56? If you will be using these in low-light situations, at dusk or dawn, they will be greatly appreciated.
I can handhold a Nikon 16x for brief periods of time. Also, you can sit down & use your elbows on your knees for support if you don't want to bother with a monopod.

I have looked thru the Leupold Olympic 12x50 & they are very nice & bright indeed. They are not too big or bulky.
The Nikon Monarch's are one of the two best "entry level" binoculars according to luzcnik's evaluation.

Guys who are into binocular astronomy handhold binoculars up to 25x80(Steiner's) for brief periods of time & think nothing of it. I also handhold my Pentax 20x60 PCF WP II's for short periods.
Personally I enjoy using high power bino's. Each of us is different & as long as you are aware of your own personal limitations I would encourage you to check out both of these fine binoculars at a local sporting good store.
Have Fun!
p.s. If the weight of the Nikon Monarchs are not a problem for you, at 42 ozs., I would give them a "First Choice" between the two.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/22/2006 at 01:08
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I guess everyone's application is different.  I tend to be glassing for a while trying to spot something, so high magnification binoculars do ot work well for me.  For hunting use I would certainly go with a lower magnification.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/22/2006 at 06:51
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bigger is not better. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/22/2006 at 07:40
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well  It may  look  silly but I  have  found while  standing if you turn your  arms in to fall on you chest  that  helps  to  staliblize.   out side  of  hand  tremors is there  a reason why  12x  would be disadvantageous? leupolds  guide  suggested 10 x 42 for hunting applications,  but  what  would a  little more oomph hurt?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/22/2006 at 10:17
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Originally posted by Exoman Exoman wrote:

well  It may  look  silly but I  have  found while  standing if you turn your  arms in to fall on you chest  that  helps  to  staliblize.   out side  of  hand  tremors is there  a reason why  12x  would be disadvantageous? leupolds  guide  suggested 10 x 42 for hunting applications,  but  what  would a  little more oomph hurt?


WIth higher magnification, in addition to detail lost to hand tremor, you get lower brightness, worse depth perception, more need to refocus, etc.  It is generally harder to make a high magnification optical instrument, since all the optical faults are magnified.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/22/2006 at 10:17
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A fairly popular outdoor writer, John Barsness has written that for open country glassing, he prefers 12x glass. Though, in the same article he suggests 8x as the best all-around option for beginners and indicates that his go-to glass is a 10x. 

 

Stability is really a fairly subjective issue.  We had a fairly lengthy debate about this earlier this year. What it comes down to (I think) is that some people have trouble holding higher magnification glass steady while others don't.  12x glass could be really nice, if you are glassing rather open terrain and you have the ability to hold them steady (especially after a long hike or a sprint up a mountain, etc.) or if you're going to be mounting them on a tripod, window mount, etc. 

 

Stability issues aside, ther are two things you should also keep in mind as you consider the 12x option.

  1. 12x glass will be bigger and heavier than lower magnification binoculars.  This will make them more cumbersome, especially after a hard day's (or longer) hunting. They will also have a smaller Field of View, which may be bothersome to you.  Only you can decide.
  2. Making quality optics of high magnification (10x+) is not easy.  It requires greater skill and precision to manufacture than lower magnification units.  I have noted before that in mid-priced glass, the 8x and lower units tend to be of pretty high quality whereas the 10x+ binoculars show a lot more variation in their quality.  It's really a hit-and-miss affair and making sure you get a good sample can be difficult. 

 

Birdwatcher is absolutely correct; I do feel that the Nikon Monarch is one of the best binocular deals available but, I have not seen their 12x glass so, I don't know if they are as good as their low-powered siblings. Part of this will (of course) depend on how demanding you are with your optics. My friend is probably going to buy one of the 12x56s pretty soon so, I'll get a chance to see them  in the (hopefully) near future.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/22/2006 at 11:10
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ILya,
Higher magnification does not always equal lower brightness. That is why these optics companies are going to 50mm, 56mm, 60mm, 70mm & 80mm for some 12x bino's.(70mm & 80mm being aimed mostly at astronomy buffs)

For exampe, Leupold Olympic series 10x25 has a twilight factor of 15.8 & the 10x50's are 22.4 & the 12x50's have a twilight factor of 22.5.
So, you can see from Leupold's product specifications chart that there is a gain in overall brightness.

However the Olympic 10x25's weigh 14.8 ozs. whereas the 10x50's weigh 25.7 ozs. & the 12x50's also weigh 25.7 ozs.
Compare that to the Nikon Monarch 12x56 which weighs in at 42 ozs: a whopping 2lbs. & 10 ozs.(relative brightness 22.1)
The Fujinon 12x60HB I mentioned has a relative brightness of 25 but weighs 56 ozs or 3.5 lbs.
So, if Exoman goes for the Nikons he might definitely want to consider a good binocular harness to hold the extra weight in place.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/22/2006 at 12:37
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Originally posted by Bird Watcher Bird Watcher wrote:


Higher magnification does not always equal lower brightness. That is why these optics companies are going to 50mm, 56mm, 60mm, 70mm & 80mm for some 12x bino's.(70mm & 80mm being aimed mostly at astronomy buffs)

 

I agree, magnification is not the only thing that affects brightness. Disregarding issues like lens coatings, internal baffeling, etc., brightness is controlled primarily by the relationship between magnification and objective lens size.  Which means however, (as you have indicated) in order to maintain an equal level of brightness a higher magnification binocular must also involve appropriately larger objective lenses, which generally means greater bulk and weight (relative to their lower magnification siblings.) That extra bulk can prove problematic, depending on the activity in question.

 

Koshkin is (of course) correct to point out that the higher magnification will likely involve an increase in the amount of detail lost to hand tremor, worse depth perception, more need to refocus, etc. and therefore is generally best used by someone who has had significant "behind the glass" experience and knows exactly what they are getting/losing when choosing a high magnification glass.


Originally posted by Bird Watcher Bird Watcher wrote:

...the [WindRiver Olympic] 10x50's weigh 25.7 ozs. & the 12x50's also weigh 25.7 ozs.
Compare that to the Nikon Monarch 12x56 which weighs in at 42 ozs...

 

This extra weight of the Monarch could be a pain to tote around but on the other hand, it would also make it easier to hold steady, especially after any significant physical exersion.

 

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/22/2006 at 13:23
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The thing about 'more need' to refocus seems to vary according to the manufacturers. I was looking at Steiner binoculars, which use individual focusing for each eyepiece, they claim that once you focus their bino's at 60 yds., that everything will be in focus to infinity.(unless of course you need to refocus closer than 60yds.)

I believe Roy Finn made reference to this very same thing in another forum, some time back.

As for "behind the glass experience" we all have to BEGIN someday & NOW is as good a time as any.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/22/2006 at 14:32
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Originally posted by Bird Watcher Bird Watcher wrote:

As for "behind the glass experience" we all have to BEGIN someday & now is as good a time as any.

 

amen.

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/22/2006 at 17:14
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while    magnifciation, weight,  and  objective size  are very  important, and  after  reading  thru some responses I am compelled  to  take  a  step  back  to maybe  a 10 x 50 or  10 x 56,  the main  thing  I am interested in is who has  cleaner glass.   the leupold advertises multi coated lenses  and   some aluminum enhanced  prisms,   while the monarch   has  phase  coating  and roof prisms(roof prisms oddly not advertised on the  56mm models)
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/22/2006 at 18:08
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I have never looked at these two side by side, so I can't comment on how they compare.  I would think that they are comparable.  Olympic binos are also phase-coated in case you are wondering.

If you are trying to get the best glass for the money you should really look at some porro prism designs.  Minos BD 10x44 porros are within $50 of Nikon Monarch 12x56 and are head and shoulders better optically.

Monarchs weigh 42oz for 12x56, 38oz for 10x56 and 22oz for 10x42

Olympics weigh 25oz for 10x50

Minox porros weigh just over 24oz for a 10x44 model.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/24/2006 at 22:48
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The Fujinon 10x42CD has silver mirrored BaK-4 prisms/silver reflects 20% more light than aluminum.(in their product line) Phase coated, close focus 13', weight 31.9 ozs., eye relief 15mm, F.O.V. 367 ft./1000 yds., relative brightness 17.6,($500).

I don't know what you mean by roof prisms NOT advertised on the 56mm Monarch. The last time I read about them it said, "phase corrected roof prisms". (Also, you can tell from the photographs that they are a roof prism.)

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/25/2006 at 08:27
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Originally posted by Bird Watcher Bird Watcher wrote:

The Fujinon 10x42CD has silver mirrored BaK-4 prisms/silver reflects 20% more light than aluminum. Phase coated, close focus 13', weight 31.9 ozs., eye relief 15mm, F.O.V. 367 ft./1000 yds., relative brightness 17.6,($500).

I don't know what you mean by roof prisms NOT advertised on the 56mm Monarch. The last time I read about them it said, "phase corrected roof prisms". Also, you can tell from the photographs that they are a roof prism.



yeah, Im retarded.  i didnt  figure  out that differences  between roof  prism  and porro prism  were  visually apparent  by  construction until  koshkins last post. 

so,    in  a product line  where   porro  prism and   roof prism are offered  and the glass itself  has the  same  coatings  etc between both styles,  are they  both going to have  the  same  visual quality?  does roof prism  offer any
image quality advantage  that  cant be made in porro?

 or is the  only thing  you  are paying extra  for is  the roof  prism  design   because its  more  expensive to make the binos as  compact?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/25/2006 at 12:21
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Mechanical and optical tolerances in a roof prism binocular are considerably tighter.  It is easier to make a porro prism and a porro prism binocular of the same optics as a roof prism will offer a better view at a lower price.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/25/2006 at 19:10
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Originally posted by Bird Watcher Bird Watcher wrote:

The Fujinon 10x42CD has silver mirrored BaK-4 prisms/silver reflects 20% more light than aluminum. Phase coated, close focus 13', weight 31.9 ozs., eye relief 15mm, F.O.V. 367 ft./1000 yds., relative brightness 17.6,($500).

I don't know what you mean by roof prisms NOT advertised on the 56mm Monarch. The last time I read about them it said, "phase corrected roof prisms". Also, you can tell from the photographs that they are a roof prism.



Just a comment on prisms: where did you get this 20% number?  Does not sound quite right.  There is a little kink in Aluminum's reflectance curves, if memory serves me right, at around 800nm where it is ~12-13% less reflective than silver, but that's not a major deal.  At about 520nm (green), the reflectance of silver and aluminum is the same.  Above 520nm (reds) silver is more reflective and below 520nm (blues) aluminum is far more reflective.

For more consistent reflectivity across wavelength, titanium oxide has been used along with other materials.

All in all, for low light viewing I would be cautious with silver coatings.  Their reflectivity drops off pretty sharply near the blue end of the spectrum while that of aluminum picks up a little there.  Also, if any moisture gets into the binocular silver is likely to tarnish while aluminum is a fair bit more stable.

Either way, though, the prisms are (or at least should be) positioned for total internal reflection (or as close to it as possible with porro prisms, harder with roofs).  The reflective coatings should not play all that huge of a role except in compact roof prism binoculars where the evanescent wave can actually partially couple into the second prism if they are too close together.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/25/2006 at 19:52
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Originally posted by Bird Watcher Bird Watcher wrote:

ILya,
Higher magnification does not always equal lower brightness. That is why these optics companies are going to 50mm, 56mm, 60mm, 70mm & 80mm for some 12x bino's.(70mm & 80mm being aimed mostly at astronomy buffs)

For exampe, Leupold Olympic series 10x25 has a brightness/twilight factor of 15.8 & the 10x50's are 22.4 & the 12x50's have a brightness factor of 22.5.
So, you can see from Leupold's product specifications chart that there is quite a significant gain in overall brightness.

However the Olympic 10x25's weigh 14.8 ozs. whereas the 10x50's weigh 25.7 ozs. & the 12x50's also weigh 25.7 ozs.
Compare that to the Nikon Monarch 12x56 which weighs in at 42 ozs: a whopping 2lbs. & 10 ozs.(relative brightness 22.1)
The Fujinon 12x60HB I mentioned has a relative brightness of 25 but weighs 56 ozs or 3.5 lbs.
So, if Exoman goes for the Nikons he might definitely want to consider a good binocular harness to hold the extra weight in place.


On twilight factor:  I am not sure which exact sales guy came up with that term, but it is a very misleading number to look at.

For example, an 8x40 has a twilight factor of 17.89, while a 12x30 has a twilight factor of 18.97.  Does that make 12x30 a better low light binocular?

Twilight factor is only useful when comparing binoculars from the same line-up, with the same exit pupil and of abolutely top notch construction and optics.  If you are trying to figure out which Leica Ultravid out of different Ultravids or which Fujinon Polaris out of different Polaris binos is best in lowlight, then twilight factor can be a useful number.

Aside, from that, the best that I can tell, twilight factor was invented for a very specific purpose of selling optics to people without educating them about optics.

For a low/mid priced binocular an 8x40 will usually be better in low light than a 10x50 simply because the various imperfections in glass and construction are more apparent in a 10x binocular and tough viewing conditions really make them stand out.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/25/2006 at 22:42
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Yes, it is best to only compare models within a given manufacturers product line. I have noticed that when you go to a different manufacturer that the relative brightness and/or twilight factor does differ.

www.zbirding.info Zeiss offers a good explanation of twilight factor & Relative Geometric Brightness. Go to their Birding & Nature heading and under Binoculars, click on any of their binocular models, then scroll down to Technical Data & click on Twilight Factor.

The 20% for silver mirrored prisms comes from www.Fujinon.com.

Would you be so kind as to explain what you mean about various imperfections being visible in the glass with 10x & above. I have owned 16x Nikon Actions, & I currently own Pentax 20x60 PCF WP II & also a 20x80 Giant Lightweight & I do not believe that I have ever observed any obvious "imperfections" in the glass of any of these binoculars.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/26/2006 at 00:17
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The easiest way to visualize this is as the following:

every little scratch and polishing mark on the glass is magnified twenty times in a 20x glass instead of ten times in a 10x glass.  Unless that imperfection happens to be in the focal plane somewhere it is defocused and you do not see the imperfections themselves, but what you do see is lower resolution.  Light transmission is not really affected, but ability to see small details is diminished.   With high magnification variable riflescopes, for example, it is not uncommon to resolve more detail at 16x than at 24x.

As far as purely light transmission goes, most decent modern scopes are prety close.  Burris Fullfield II and Signature scopes use the same coatings, but the quality of the glass surface is better in the Signature.  Both scopes get the same amount of light to your eye, but Signature appears brighter.  It is not really brighter, but appears brighter due to higher resolution.

As for Fujinon providing you with information, let's assume that it was a "marketing exaggeration" or they use some sort of enhanced (dielectric coating of some sort on top of the silver) silver coating and compare it with a simple aluminum coating.  Even then, I do not recall the reflectance  of aluminum ever dropping below 85%.  If their silver coatings reflect 20% more light, then they are reflecting more light than is incedent onto the surface.  Reflection curves of commonly used materials are available in every undergraduate optics book.  I am sure you can find them online from any of the major lab optics distributor like Melles-Griot or Thor Labs or Edmunds Scientific or Spectra Physics, etc.

ILya

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Originally posted by koshkin koshkin wrote:


As for Fujinon providing you with information, let's assume that it was a "marketing exaggeration" or they use some sort of enhanced (dielectric coating of some sort on top of the silver) silver coating and compare it with a simple aluminum coating. 

 

D#@% marketing departments.  How dare they mislead the consumer!!!!

 

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