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7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case

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#1 gaz-in

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 09:31 PM

Meade has the 7 X42 Binoculars for $79 in their weekly deals:

Meade 7 X 24 Montana

So what do you all think of the deal?

#2 BillC

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 10:09 PM

The 7x 42 is a lot better deal than the "7x24"!

It's a convenient size for casual observing, and hard to beat for nature and bird watching. You should have many hours of enjoyment.

Cheers,

BillC

#3 core

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 12:30 AM

I'm curious as to their performance as well (astronomically, since this is CN :) ) - let's say compared to Nikon AE 8x40?

... on second thot, did a quick search here on CN, looks like to be a pretty good deal, think I'll bite :D

#4 charen

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 02:02 AM

What annoys me most is that under the Meade web. site is that there are no specs listed, no FOV, no ER, no weight etc etc.
Just to add there was an earlier now discontinued Meade 7x42 Montana with Hi-specs. which were Japanese made. They were the same as the Bushnell Discoverers which were also the same as the 'Older' Weaver Grand Slam's, the RSPB HG.PC. and the Fujinon CD's.These series of binos had a 8 degree FOV, FMC lens and were phase coated. They had a 20 mm ER. Tbey were well made and somewhat heavy at 28 Oz. They had usually excellent reviews.
I have an earlier B. and L. Discoverer 7x42 [prior to being relabeled Bushnell in 2004]. They are a excellent little bino.
This latest version as advertised appears to be of Chinese origin and I would suggest with inferior optics and build qualities.
However testing them would be the best outcome for proof of quality.

Chris

#5 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 09:32 AM

This latest version as advertised appears to be of Chinese origin and I would suggest with inferior optics and build qualities.



I have owned a pair of "made in Japan" Meade Montana 7 x 42s for several years. They are excellent binoculars.

The binoculars in the photo and my Japanese Montana's are identical in every respect, there is no doubt in my mind that the photo is of the Japanese Montana's.

The question is whether the binoculars they are shipping are the Montana's pictured or something else. I do know that a few years ago they were advertising the Montanas for $100 (I purchased a pair via astromart) and those were the Japanese version but then they ran out and were substituting the Glaciers which I believe are Chinese.

Jon

#6 Binojunky

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 01:12 PM

Ditto what Jon says, an excellent buy in the 7x42 size,however the pair I received last year had several cracks in the strap for the case no doubt from long term storage folded, also I found them to be heavy, however thats not a bad thing, I loaned them to a birding friend of mine who loved them, in the end I told him to keep them as his funds were limited and he,d been very good to me while I went through an illness,at the time I bought mine they were going for $100 so the current price is a bit of a steal,if they are the Japanese pair as shown in the photo,they did as Jon said run out and ended up shipping the Glaciers DA.

#7 charen

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 03:01 PM

If they are identical they they would be an excellent buy. Sorry to my eyes the photo looked different to the original Japanese versions. My Bausch and Lomb version 7x42 has the XTR / phase coatings. There is some field curvature at the periphery but otherwise just a bright, very usable wide image.
I would not hesitate to buy one at that price.

Chris

#8 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 04:26 PM

If they are identical they they would be an excellent buy. Sorry to my eyes the photo looked different to the original Japanese versions. My Bausch and Lomb version 7x42 has the XTR / phase coatings. There is some field curvature at the periphery but otherwise just a bright, very usable wide image.
I would not hesitate to buy one at that price.

Chris


I still wonder whether they are actually selling the binoculars in the photo...

Jon

#9 Griffin!

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 04:55 PM

I gave customer service a call a little while ago because of this thread, I got routed to one of the managers, and they said the binoculars in the image are the ones being shipped, and that they are not the glaciers.

#10 medinabrit

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 05:10 PM

I got these a few years ago .They are a great value .They are kept im my Truck.Ive payed more for much less.

#11 KennyJ

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 05:32 PM

Hello Brian,

I was going to mention that I remember you having and liking a version of this model,but was unsure whether your specimen was Japanese ,Chinese or made in West Ham ! :-)

Kenny

#12 Binojunky

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 01:52 PM

Checked out the web site, the Glaciers are shown lower down on the page and at a different price, I think last time they had a rush on the Montanas that to honour orders they shipped the Glacier when they ran out, this time they make it clear that the Montana deal applies to existing stocks only, what the heck for $79 I ordered a pair.DA.

#13 medinabrit

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 07:39 PM

Hi Kenny .Only things made in West Ham are Hammers.
When snow eases ill look in the camper to see where mine were made.

#14 BobinKy

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 08:44 PM

These look interesting. Almost pushed the button. But backed away--I just picked up three binoculars last month and a parallelogram. It took some time to work those into the collection. But thanks for the update on a good deal.

#15 Oscar56

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 11:52 PM

I am a little suspect of this price reduction, especially when I cannot see the specs. None of their other binoculars are nearly in the non sale price range.

If it is too good to be true...?

#16 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 05:19 AM

I am a little suspect of this price reduction, especially when I cannot see the specs. None of their other binoculars are nearly in the non sale price range.

If it is too good to be true...?


The Montana's have been around a long time. I bought a used pair when they first came out 10 years ago, I paid $150, they actually were selling for close to $300. Meade must have bought a lot of them because since then I have watched Meade try to sell them off. They are a hard sell at $300, should be an easy sell at $100.

In 2010 I purchased a second pair via Astromart for $75. I told the seller he was selling them too cheap, he told me he had bought them recently from Meade for $100 new. I would buy another pair but I am too lazy to deal with the all the hassle. But the Meade Montana 7x42s are the real thing, phase coated, 8 degree TFoV binoculars made in Japan.

Jon

#17 harbinjer

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 11:02 AM

I got these for Christmas a few years ago. They are sharp, bright, about 8.2 degrees(I checked against known stars), and very comfortable eye relief with glasses(and without). They definitely have some rolling-ball effect, but it's more visible during daytime. Also the 6mm exit pupils are noticeably larger than 4-5mm ones, even during the day, you get the "instant image" effect. Very pleasant IMO, daytime and night.

#18 gaz-in

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 03:23 PM

Last week's deal was a 24MM UWA Eyepiece and 2" Dielectric Diagonal. Regularly around $389, sale price of $159. I got it and they were the real deal. Very nice set for the price.

Gives me hope that these Montana Binos are the real thing.

#19 jrcrilly

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 03:36 PM

Last week's deal was a 24MM UWA Eyepiece and 2" Dielectric Diagonal. Regularly around $389, sale price of $159. I got it and they were the real deal. Very nice set for the price.


Yes, that was a no-brainer. I'd have grabbed it if I didn't already have that eyepiece. It was my primary outreach EP when I was more active. I don't use binoculars much but I snagged this one in case it's a similar bargain.

#20 Sarkikos

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 01:05 PM

I also ordered the 7x42 Montana binos. Couldn't resist the sale price. I already have a pair of Brunton 8x42 Lite-Techs which have many of the same features. I will probably end up selling one or the other, depending on how I like them.

The Montana's have about 8 degrees TFOV, 6mm exit pupil, and weigh 1.9 lbs. The Brunton's have 6.5 degrees TFOV, 5.3mm exit pupil, and weigh 1.3 lbs. If I keep both, the Montana's will be for astronomy, the Brunton's for day hiking.

Mike

#21 John Kuraoka

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 08:35 PM

I ordered mine the day before yesterday, and they arrived today, shipped from a logistics house right here in town. Lucky me!

At any rate, since I may be the first person to actually receive one of these Weekly Deal Meade Montanas, I thought I'd post a quickie first-look mini-report.

They are exactly as they appear on the website, the Meade Montana. I received mine in what appears to be a retail box, packed loose inside a larger box.

The box is marked "special edition." The binoculars are, according to the box, made in Japan. The lenses are fully multi-coated, and the prisms are silver phase coated - all, again, according to the copy on the box.

In the box were the binoculars, a dessicant pack, the caps (which will stay with the box, I think, as they are quite loose so I think they'd otherwise get lost in a trice), instructions (in English only), a thin webbing neck strap, a nicely padded and lined case (made in China) and shoulder strap, and microfiber cleaning cloth.

My interpupillary distance as measured by my optometrist is 57.5mm. The Meade Montanas accommodated that fairly narrow IPD with a bit more adjustment range to spare.

First light was just looking at the mountain across the way this afternoon and adjusting the diopter. The Meade Montanas have significantly less of the aspherical lens "rolling" effect when I pan than my Nikon Action IV 7x35s; I don't expect that it will be noticeable at all at night. The image is noticeably brighter and more saturated than the Nikons, which are old but clean.

I wear glasses, but the view was best with the eyecups pulled out; with them pushed in (the way I thought I'd need to use them) I had problems with eye placement. The eyecups are push-pull, with detents at all-the-way-in and all-the-way-out but nothing in between. So, it'd be all but impossible to fix them at an intermediate length because they'd collapse inward as soon as you pressed them to your face.

For what it's worth, on the binoculars body there's a sticker that says "Phase Coated," plus the focusing knob also says "Phase Coating," but I can find nothing on the body of the binoculars to positively identify the country of origin so I only have the box copy as evidence. (As someone who has written copy for packaging, it's probably true though.)

The Meades are heavier than I expected, a nice, well-balanced handful. The rubberized "armor" (ha!) is nicely sticky, and the shape is perfect for hand-holding. They seem to be somewhat easier to aim than the Nikons, perhaps because of the straight barrels. Man, these are sweet!

I am seriously considering buying another pair!

#22 John Kuraoka

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 08:51 PM

A bit more to add:

I discovered that the eyepiece cover (a one-piece rubberish thing that spans both eyepieces) has two strap slots, one of which is open and the other of which is closed. So, I went ahead and attached it to the strap, where it flaps down when I look through the binoculars. I think I'm going to tire of that arrangement fairly quickly. The eyepiece cover is marked "Bresser."

It's getting a bit darker, but I need to feed the kids. But, as the sun goes down the advantage these 7x42s have over my Nikon 7x35s is growing.

Oh, one more thing: field of view. The field of view in the Meade Montana is slightly narrower than the Nikon Action IVs (which are marked 9.3°) - but, with less field curvature at the edge.

I may pull the trigger on a second pair before the night is out!

#23 gaz-in

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 09:57 PM

Thanks John....please let us know how they do in the dark.....I already pulled the trigger on a second pair....the sales run Thursday to Thursday....

#24 eklf

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 10:24 PM

I ordered mine the day before yesterday, and they arrived today, shipped from a logistics house right here in town. Lucky me!


Did you receive an email of when they were shipped? I ordered last weekend, no email message that they are shipping. When queried, all that the status says is - will be shipped within a day. This message has not changed in 4 days.

From your expereince they seem like a good pair. Thanks for your post.

#25 John Kuraoka

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 01:00 AM

I just came back in from a little nighttime viewing session. The Meade Montana 7x42s are visibly crisper and brighter than my old Nikon Action Naturalist IV 7x35s. There's more detail in the nebulosity of the Orion Nebula, for instance, probably due to the additional aperture. That also helps it seem to grab quite a few more stars out of the double cluster even bucking considerable light pollution from the neighbor's porch lights. Jupiter appears as a disk surrounded by black; with the Nikons there's more of a fade-out around Jupiter's light disk, probably due to a lesser coating/multicoating.

That's not to say the old Nikon Action 7x35s aren't good; they are. With both binoculars, focus snaps in cleanly and the focusing mechanisms work smoothly. With both, Jupiter's moons appear almost painfully sharp, like pinpricks of harsh white light. Both pairs showed no flare from the neighbor's porch lights even when I scanned the sky at rooftop level. And I noticed no chromatic aberration - color fringing around light sources - in either pair of binoculars.

I really like the Montana's central diopter adjustment. And the straight barrels of the roof prism Montana continued to be easier and quicker on-point than the porro prism Nikon Actions.

I did occasionally miss the Nikon's wider field of view, which was definitely a bonus when looking around the evening sky.

It's a testament to the Meade Montana that in thinking about something to criticize I immediately thought of the eyepiece cover. It's a one-piece cover that spans both eyepieces so you have to have the binoculars fully extended for the cover to stay on. With my narrow interpupillary distance, that means I can't just pop the cover on between looks; the cover is more of a "time to put away the toys" sort of thing.

I received no emails at all, by the way. The binoculars simply showed up on my doorstep two days after I ordered them. They were shipped, as I said, from a logistics center probably within 20 miles of my house.

I must resist the urge to buy a second pair ...






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