Monday, September 28, 2009

Opinion on Binoculars?

From: Joel
Subject: seeking your opinion

I'm trying to decide on a "high-value" pair of 8X42 roof prism binoculars.

I don't have a nearby store where I could try these out, and there's just so much selection on your website for me to make up my mind. I've narrowed it down to these three models (but would entertain other ideas):

Vortex Diamondback 8x42
Nikon Monarch 8x42
Pentax DCF HRC 8x42

They would be used for day hikes (general wildlife, not specifically birding, and stargazing). A wide field of view is important, which is why I haven't pulled the trigger yet on the Nikon Monarchs (which always seem to get the most reviews). Edge-to-edge sharpness also very important, as well as brightness. Also, I wear eyeglasses 100% of the time, so good eye relief is a must.

The closer-focusing, the better. Anything you can recommend between the three I listed, or are there better choices to be had?


Hi Joel, thanks for the email. Of the three you mention, I would rate the Nikon Monarch the highest, though if a wide field of view is a big enough consideration to weigh against the slightly heavier and larger size of the Diamondbacks, those are very close optically to the Monarchs. The Monarchs will be a bit sharper at the fringes (the edges) than the Diamondbacks though.

The other model to really look at for the features you've mentioned would be the Vortex Fury 8x42. The Vortex binoculars are sharper than the Monarchs (especially in very low lighting conditions) and have better close focus than the Monarchs, though they too are slightly heavier than the Monarchs.

Hope this helps, thanks for your consideration.

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