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  1. #21
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    Default Re: Thoughts on Binoculars, by Phil Ridgwell

    This thread has made me think seriously about purchasing a new set of binos. Swambo and I each own a set of Bushnell Legend Ultra 10x42s. My set is about 10-12 years old and the centre focus knob is very loose/shaky. When I return to Jo'burg I will contact Sunray to see if the gent can repair them. I have to say that despite some negative views we have been happy with the Legends, that is perhaps because we don't know any better

    I know Phil advised against paying too much attention to reviews but as I needed a starting point I found the attached link which does not seem to be tied to a particular supplier, Best Binoculars of 2022 - GearLab (outdoorgearlab.com) Interestingly they speak very highly of the Vortex Diamondback and categorize it as "Best Bang for the Buck". I'm seriously considering buying a set of these, only once I have physically seen some "in the flesh" and am trying to decide upon the 10x42s for AUD354.84 (ZAR4,007) or the 8x42s, for AUD413.24 (ZAR4,667), interestingly the 8s are more expensive from Amazon. The problem will be to find someone locally that stocks these. Decisions, decisions, decisions....
    Last edited by Tedx2; 2022/04/25 at 08:15 AM.
    John 2021 Prado GXL 2.8 (Australia) & 2017 Land Cruiser 79 D/Cab + Alucab Ossewa "Hagrid" (Africa)
    "I never knew of a morning in Africa when I woke up and was not happy" - Ernest Hemingway

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  2. #22
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    Default Re: Thoughts on Binoculars, by Phil Ridgwell

    My only advise to the guys with the budget-friendly binos:
    Never ever look through a top-quality set. Gets expensive fast.

    I made that mistake many years ago. Tried a friend's Lycas. Fortunately I was still single then, so it only took me three years to save up enough.
    My Ultravid 10x50's are among my most prized posessions.
    Last edited by Peter Connan; 2022/05/05 at 10:54 AM.
    Beat-up rat rod of a '96 Nissan Patrol that bears the evidence of many wonderful adventures (and a few stupid indiscretions).

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  4. #23
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    Default Re: Thoughts on Binoculars, by Phil Ridgwell

    Update to my post last week. I wanted to "hold" a set of Vortex Diamondbacks, this presented a real problem, about the only places these are available from Brisbane are online traders. I had done plenty of research and pretty much settled on the 8x42s. The next problem was that the 8x42s are out of stock in Australia, I tried 6 suppliers and all 6 were out of stock and had no idea when the Vortex agent would be able to resupply. One trader offered to let me see a set of 10x42s but he is 200kms from my home. I finally decided to bite the bullet and order blind. My only option was to have them supplied by Amazon UK, their price was very good, even cheaper than most Aussie online sites, AUD395 (ZAR4,400). I was rather nervous of the potential delay and ordered them on 27/4/22. After ordering I discovered that they were actually in Germany. The binos had to travel, Germany/Ireland/Sydney/Brisbane. Amazingly I received the binos yesterday, exactly one week after ordering them. My initial views indicate that these are a superb set of binos and even though I wish to test them side by side with my Bushnell Legends I am confident that I have done the right thing. Thanks to Phil for the recommendation, one very happy man here
    Last edited by Tedx2; 2022/05/05 at 10:13 PM.
    John 2021 Prado GXL 2.8 (Australia) & 2017 Land Cruiser 79 D/Cab + Alucab Ossewa "Hagrid" (Africa)
    "I never knew of a morning in Africa when I woke up and was not happy" - Ernest Hemingway

    Kgalagadi 2019 Namibia 2019 Gonarezhou 2019 Mana/Tafika 2018 Kgalagadi 2017 Lion, Hippo, Eland Leguaan, Python

  5. #24
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    Default Re: Thoughts on Binoculars, by Phil Ridgwell

    Good binos are important items on an overland trip. I think many will be amazed how often they are used. Worth investing good money on a superior pair.
    Stanley Weakley.
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    OR
    http://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/...e16?highlight= from post 315.

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  7. #25
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    Default Re: Thoughts on Binoculars, by Phil Ridgwell

    recently bought my wife the new Nikon MONARCH HG 8x42 - oh wow!!

    I thought i had good glass Leica Trinovids 10x50BN.

    This new range of Nikon is exceptional [ i'm a user not an expert]

    they seem brighter and clearer than my Leica's

    cc
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  8. #26
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    Default Re: Thoughts on Binoculars, by Phil Ridgwell

    Quote Originally Posted by Capt Chaos View Post
    recently bought my wife the new Nikon MONARCH HG 8x42 - oh wow!!

    I thought i had good glass Leica Trinovids 10x50BN.

    This new range of Nikon is exceptional [ i'm a user not an expert]

    they seem brighter and clearer than my Leica's

    cc
    Smaller magnifications often seem clearer. I think this is due to two factors, being atmospheric disturbance and less stability.

    However, put both on ttipods and see at what distance you can distinguish small detsils (for example try to read small news-print) and you will probably find the larger magnifications slightly superior.

    However, the Nikon Monarchs have long had excellent glass at a very reasonable price. But I don't think they are quite as robust as Leica and the like.
    Beat-up rat rod of a '96 Nissan Patrol that bears the evidence of many wonderful adventures (and a few stupid indiscretions).

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  10. #27
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    Default Re: Thoughts on Binoculars, by Phil Ridgwell

    got a pair of Hawk Endurance 8x42 almost 10 years ago now for just over R2k. Did my research on this and a few others (that were more expensive) and found this to be very good value. All my hunting mates thought I was mad. I use them a few months a year during hunting seasons and they have a hard life in the field, lot's of bumps, bruised, water and dust. This has been one of my best purchases ever, 10 years later still as clear and solid as the day I bought them. I was set on buying the Monarch but the better contrast of the Hawk swayed me...I still compare it yearly to see how my Hawk is holding up vs one of my mates' Monarchs and still beats it in my opinion.
    a white bakkie




  11. #28
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    Default Re: Thoughts on Binoculars, by Phil Ridgwell

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Connan View Post
    However, the Nikon Monarchs have long had excellent glass at a very reasonable price. But I don't think they are quite as robust as Leica and the like.
    We have two Nikon Monarch's - they are both excellent.
    We've had the 8x42 for 10 years and the 10x42 for 8 years.

    Both are used (almost) daily and are often on field trips.
    The only problem that we've had with either of these binoculars is that one of the plastic twist-up eyecups threads on the 8x42 is sticky and needs to be replaced.
    If you need music in the bush or on the beach, you’re missing the point.

  12. #29
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    Default Re: Thoughts on Binoculars, by Phil Ridgwell

    Thanks for an excellent write-up!

    Quote Originally Posted by philr View Post
    Brightness; it is true that on any given pair, the bigger the front lens (objective lens) the brighter the image appears, because you are letting more light in. But the large front lens weighs more and people then struggle with weight. There is a compromise here, so don’t buy a pair of 70mm objective lens binoculars and expect to walk with them.
    One comment on the image brightness; as we age there's a limit to how much a larger objective diameter (or rather, a larger exit pupil diameter) will help. If your eye has a maximum pupil size was 7mm at age 30 it will probably be about 4mm at age 60. Which means that while the 30-year old you can fully enjoy the brighter image of a 7x50, at 60 you will see little difference between a 7x30 and a 7x50. (The exit pupil of a binocular is found by dividing the objective diameter by the magnification; 50mm/7 ≈ 7mm, 30mm/7 ≈ 4mm, 42mm/8 ≈ 5mm). In short, as we grow older we can "get away with" lighter binoculars.

    The shrinking pupil size is one reason why our night vision gets worse with age, and why we need more light to read small print. (The other reason is that the lenses in our eyes grow less clear with time.)

    Maximum pupil size varies quite a lot between individuals, though, so you will have to measure yours if you want to find out.

    The other factor influencing image brightness is the light transmission properties of the lens elements. This factor grows comparatively more important as the pupil diameter shrinks. In addition to the quality of the glass itself, the quality of the lens coating is important for light transmission. An untreated glass-to-air surface will block/reflect about 4 percent of the light. A good coating can reduce that to almost nothing. As an example, for a binocular with 4 lens elements and 2 prisms this would mean increasing the light transmission from about 50 % to maybe 97 %. This means not only more light let through, but also better contrast and less flaring (from the reflected light bouncing around between the lenses and prisms).

    Disclaimer: I have no formal education in these matters, just a keen interest in photography.

    References:
    A blog post on eye pupil size and binoculars: https://www.bestbinocularsreviews.co...binoculars-08/
    ...and one on lens coatings: https://petapixel.com/science-of-lens-coatings/

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  14. #30
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    Default Re: Thoughts on Binoculars, by Phil Ridgwell

    Great article! We have a pair of Nikon Monarch 5s and the Nikon Trailblazer for hiking: a great little bino for when you need something more portable.

    Any advice on where to have my Monarch serviced? The central knob’s coming undone and it needs an overall deep clean. Thanks!

  15. #31
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    Default Re: Thoughts on Binoculars, by Phil Ridgwell

    Quote Originally Posted by Harp View Post
    Great article! We have a pair of Nikon Monarch 5s and the Nikon Trailblazer for hiking: a great little bino for when you need something more portable.

    Any advice on where to have my Monarch serviced? The central knob’s coming undone and it needs an overall deep clean. Thanks!
    Every year I take my Nikon Monarchs to Orms in Durbanville for a service and repairs… I hunt with mine..

    They in turn send it to Joburg for repairs, so maybe you can call them, and they can assist.

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  17. #32
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    Default Re: Thoughts on Binoculars, by Phil Ridgwell

    Quote Originally Posted by Harp View Post
    Great article! We have a pair of Nikon Monarch 5s and the Nikon Trailblazer for hiking: a great little bino for when you need something more portable.

    Any advice on where to have my Monarch serviced? The central knob’s coming undone and it needs an overall deep clean. Thanks!
    Serviced our Nikon at Nikon in Centurion. They are next to the Grey Owl village shopping centre.

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