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Equipment Discussions >> Binoculars

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John Kuraoka
sage
*****

Reged: 12/12/12

Loc: Sunny San Diego, CA
Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5665972 - 02/06/13 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!


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John Kuraoka
sage
*****

Reged: 12/12/12

Loc: Sunny San Diego, CA
Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: John Kuraoka]
      #5665992 - 02/06/13 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!


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gaz-in
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 12/17/07

Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: John Kuraoka]
      #5666106 - 02/06/13 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....

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eklf
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 05/12/07

Loc: Carrboro, NC
Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: John Kuraoka]
      #5666154 - 02/06/13 10:24 PM

Quote:

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.


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John Kuraoka
sage
*****

Reged: 12/12/12

Loc: Sunny San Diego, CA
Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: eklf]
      #5666341 - 02/07/13 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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Jae
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 04/13/06

Loc: New England
Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: John Kuraoka]
      #5667772 - 02/07/13 08:13 PM

Something else to tempt you then.....

http://store.meade.com/12x60-astronomical-binoculars.html


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Sarkikos
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/18/07

Loc: Scotophobe Maryland, USA
Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: Jae]
      #5667862 - 02/07/13 09:04 PM

I believe I had a pair of the 12x60. They look very familar. I eventually gave them to my son. They are a good deal for that price, of course. IIRC, EdZ or another of the bino mavens on CN said that the clear aperture was only about 53mm. But that is probably not too unusual for many binos. You often don't get the full advertised CA.

Mike


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John Kuraoka
sage
*****

Reged: 12/12/12

Loc: Sunny San Diego, CA
Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5668008 - 02/07/13 10:42 PM

The Meade 12x60 look like another good price, but they're not calling me.

I'm even glad I held off getting a second pair of the Meade Montanas. Although they're top-notch binoculars, and I'm very happy to have got them at such a bargain price, I don't really need two pair of the same thing. I'd rather get something with a different set of capabilities, like a 10x50. Or an observing chair.


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Jae
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 04/13/06

Loc: New England
Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: John Kuraoka]
      #5668072 - 02/07/13 11:10 PM

Well John, thanks for your review and I admire your discipline !

Based on your comments, I look forward to a pair of Montanas for my car.....


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charen
Carpal Tunnel
****

Reged: 05/28/05

Loc: New Zealand
Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: John Kuraoka]
      #5668077 - 02/07/13 11:13 PM

Re. the Meade 12x60's. There is no such thing as an inexpensive good binocular. It is a true contradiction. Personally, I think the night sky, in all its glory, needs more then $20 dollars spent on it - but that just me.

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Tony Flanders
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/18/06

Loc: Cambridge, MA, USA
Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: charen]
      #5668385 - 02/08/13 06:39 AM

Quote:

There is no such thing as an inexpensive good binocular. It is a true contradiction.




That's a rash statement unless you have personally inspected every single model on sale -- which is not humanly possible.

Quote:

Personally, I think the night sky, in all its glory, needs more then $20 dollars spent on it.




True bargains do happen, though rarely. It's usually when a model that's already good value for money is being sold to clear out stocks.

Personally, I think that instruments should be judged on how they perform, not how much they cost.

Getting on my own bandwagon, I also think that the glories of the night sky speak for themselves, and are visible even in the the most modest instruments -- or sometimes with no instruments at all.

People who are really grumpy about the slightest degree of light loss, or the slightest distortion near the edge of the field of view, often care more about their instruments than about the objects they're viewing.


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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5668393 - 02/08/13 06:53 AM

Quote:

True bargains do happen, though rarely. It's usually when a model that's already good value for money is being sold to clear out stocks.




Having owned a pair of 7x42 Meade Montanas for about 10 years, a new pair for $100 does qualify as a true bargain. And if $100 qualifies as "inexpensive" then this sale does represent that rare example of "good, inexpensive binoculars."

Of course the sale seems to have ended and they are now $250, a reasonable price for what you get.

Jon


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rydberg
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 02/25/04

Loc: Richmond, KY, USA
Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5668397 - 02/08/13 07:02 AM

I needed them like I need several new holes in the head. But yesterday morning I drilled. Given that the sale is now over, I wonder if I am really going to get Montanas or, like it happened to someone on the forum a couple of years ago, a pair of Glaciers...
Marco


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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: rydberg]
      #5668400 - 02/08/13 07:09 AM

Quote:

I needed them like I need several new holes in the head. But yesterday morning I drilled. Given that the sale is now over, I wonder if I am really going to get Montanas or, like it happened to someone on the forum a couple of years ago, a pair of Glaciers...
Marco




You can always send the back...

Jon


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rydberg
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 02/25/04

Loc: Richmond, KY, USA
Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5668415 - 02/08/13 07:33 AM

Hello Jon:
7:09 EST and you reply from San Diego? Up late or waking up early ?
I know I could return them, but what fun is that In any case, I justified my purchase by saying " I don't have any 7x roofs". (pretty lame...) If I get the glaciers I could not say that anymore.
Marco


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Sarkikos
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/18/07

Loc: Scotophobe Maryland, USA
Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5668478 - 02/08/13 08:40 AM

Tony,

Quote:

People who are really grumpy about the slightest degree of light loss, or the slightest distortion near the edge of the field of view, often care more about their instruments than about the objects they're viewing.




What's more important to you, objects or optics? People should ask themselves that question every so often to get a better idea where their real interest lies in this hobby.

Mike


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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5668831 - 02/08/13 11:52 AM

Quote:

People who are really grumpy about the slightest degree of light loss, or the slightest distortion near the edge of the field of view, often care more about their instruments than about the objects they're viewing.




It's tough to know where other people are coming from, I don't want to go there. I suspect though that most often someone who is picky, picky about edge correction or light loss has just become accustomed to observing with better quality equipment.

Jon


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KennyJ
The British Flash
*****

Reged: 04/27/03

Loc: Lancashire UK
Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5668930 - 02/08/13 12:38 PM

Count me amongst those who believe very cheap binoculars are not very good.

Kenny


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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: KennyJ]
      #5668966 - 02/08/13 12:56 PM

Quote:

Count me amongst those who believe very cheap binoculars are not very good.

Kenny




My mommy and daddy taught me to distinguish between "inexpensive" and "cheap."

Cheap implies poor quality, inexpensive does not. I am pretty happy with the Nikon 10x50 Actions. Outside of a tendency to fog up, I consider them acceptable, inexpensive, not cheap.

Of course people are always calling me "cheap," so I don't know what to make of that.

Jon


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Sarkikos
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/18/07

Loc: Scotophobe Maryland, USA
Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: KennyJ]
      #5668970 - 02/08/13 12:59 PM

Here we go ...

Welcome to the Binoculars Forum!


Mike


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