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Equipment Discussions >> Binoculars

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gaz-in
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 12/17/07

7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case
      #5655120 - 01/31/13 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?


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BillC
on a new path
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Reged: 06/04/04

Loc: Lake Stevens, WA, USA
Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: gaz-in]
      #5655174 - 01/31/13 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


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core
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 02/23/08

Loc: Mostly in Norman, OK
Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: BillC]
      #5655392 - 02/01/13 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


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charen
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 05/28/05

Loc: New Zealand
Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: core]
      #5655491 - 02/01/13 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


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Jon Isaacs
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Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: charen]
      #5655905 - 02/01/13 09:32 AM

Quote:

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


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Binojunky
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Reged: 12/25/10

Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5656342 - 02/01/13 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.

Edited by Binojunky (02/01/13 01:53 PM)


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charen
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Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: Binojunky]
      #5656541 - 02/01/13 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


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Jon Isaacs
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Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: charen]
      #5656684 - 02/01/13 04:26 PM

Quote:

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


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Griffin!
sage


Reged: 09/12/10

Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5656758 - 02/01/13 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.

Edited by Griffin! (02/01/13 04:57 PM)


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medinabrit
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 10/27/04

Loc: medina ohio USA.
Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: Griffin!]
      #5656790 - 02/01/13 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.

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KennyJ
The British Flash
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Reged: 04/27/03

Loc: Lancashire UK
Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: medinabrit]
      #5656820 - 02/01/13 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


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Binojunky
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Reged: 12/25/10

Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: KennyJ]
      #5658207 - 02/02/13 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.

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medinabrit
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 10/27/04

Loc: medina ohio USA.
Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: Binojunky]
      #5662360 - 02/04/13 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.


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BobinKy
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Reged: 04/27/07

Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: medinabrit]
      #5662466 - 02/04/13 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.

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Oscar56
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Reged: 01/25/13

Loc: Summerland, BC
Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: BobinKy]
      #5662719 - 02/04/13 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...?


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Jon Isaacs
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Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: Oscar56]
      #5662931 - 02/05/13 05:19 AM

Quote:

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


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harbinjer
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Reged: 12/17/08

Loc: Southeastern Minnesota
Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5663361 - 02/05/13 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.

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gaz-in
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 12/17/07

Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: harbinjer]
      #5663769 - 02/05/13 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.


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jrcrillyAdministrator
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Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: gaz-in]
      #5663789 - 02/05/13 03:36 PM

Quote:

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.


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Sarkikos
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Reged: 12/18/07

Loc: Scotophobe Maryland, USA
Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #5665218 - 02/06/13 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


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John Kuraoka
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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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Sarkikos
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Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5668979 - 02/08/13 01:02 PM

I'm surprised we haven't gotten more posts from the bino mavens. You think they would have smelled the odor of "cheap" binoculars in the air.


Mike


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hallelujah
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Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5669170 - 02/08/13 02:22 PM

Quote:

I'm surprised we haven't gotten more posts from the bino mavens.
You think they would have smelled the odor of "cheap" binoculars in the air.

Mike




I had my experience, several years ago, when its twin brother, the Fujinon 7x42, 8x42, 10x42, CD, was on close out sale.

I was not overly impressed with my sample.
I ended up selling mine to the boss for his yearly hunting trek.
Fortunately for me, I recovered ALL of my investment at the time of the sale.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Fujinon-CD-8x42-Binoculars-Never-Used-lifetime-warran...

I still prefer Porro prism binoculars myself.

Stan

Edited by hallelujah (02/08/13 08:11 PM)


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KennyJ
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Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: hallelujah]
      #5669578 - 02/08/13 06:33 PM

I think I understand Jon's interpretation of the difference between"cheap"and "inexpensive".

However,during times when the best 42mm binoculars cost in excess of $2000,to my way of thinking, ones that costs $20 brand new, are cheap.

Kenny


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Jon Isaacs
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Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: KennyJ]
      #5669592 - 02/08/13 06:40 PM

Quote:

I think I understand Jon's interpretation of the difference between"cheap"and "inexpensive".

However,during times when the best 42mm binoculars cost in excess of $2000,to my way of thinking, ones that costs $20 brand new, are cheap.

Kenny




I have purchased a few under $20 binoculars, mostly just to see how bad they are. So far, they have all qualified as "cheap." I think the worst were some "10 x 50" binoculars I purchased at Ace hardware around Christmas for around $10. They looked like binoculars, they were built like binoculars, the eyepieces moved in an out when I moved the focus wheel. But everything was dark shade of blue-green and nothing was ever in focus.

Jon


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KennyJ
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Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5669634 - 02/08/13 07:12 PM

It's been well documented on this forum that I've purchased a few sub $20 binoculars since I became an active member here 10 years ago.

I've gone so far as to have praised one model in particular,namely the "Bresser 10 x 50(9x40) that the supermarket retailer LIDL sold in pre-Christmas sales a few years ago.

But I never suggested they were "GOOD BINOCULARS" per se, -- just that they were capable of providing surprisingly impressive images of stars when set to infinity focus.

For daytime use they were poor,with dull images,excessive chromatic aberration,stiff and sticking focus knob,diopter wheel and eyecup/eye-relief adjuster and too easy to knock out of focus.

They also smelled like warm tyres.

Although from a purely optical standpoint I've viewed the night sky through worse binoculars,overall I would never have classified the model as being "good",no matter what it's price.

Kenny


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charen
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Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: KennyJ]
      #5669955 - 02/08/13 11:23 PM

Over the past 10 years or so I have had 300 odd binoculars pass through my hands that I have collected, traded or sold, my current collection is 30 odd. Non of them would be below approx. $US200 new, non of then are 'entry' level binos and there is a reason for that - inferior optical and build qualities - period.
Retrospectively, I would have not wasted money on 30 or so entry level binos over the years and just saved up for one quality one.
Yes, there is an saying 'never look through a binocular you can't afford'. No, I am not rich just an average working man - the point is one quality bino is better then 30 inferior ones and yes if you are struggling to buy your first bino then wait a bit more save a bit more. No one ever regretted buying quality. [Yes, I have a strong opinion but that's OK].

Chris


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Binojunky
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Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: charen]
      #5670624 - 02/09/13 12:11 PM

A couple of years ago I attended a star party and as usual forgot to take binoculars, when a problem occured with my scope mount I was left with nothing,a pair of inexpensive Bresser 7x50,s saved the day, bought from a vendor who was there for about $30,regarding real bang for the buck binos, the Canon 10x30IS I picked up new for $350 has to be the best investment I made, JMTCW,DA.

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Sarkikos
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Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: Binojunky]
      #5670688 - 02/09/13 12:54 PM

That reminds me of the first time I went with my family to a dark site. I had forgotten to pack a crucial piece of equipment for the main telescope's mount. Luckily, I did remember to pack three binoculars, one for myself, my wife and my daughter. So all was not lost. We had a great time looking at Messier and other showpiece objects under a dark sky. I pointed out the location of the objects for them with a GLP.

It's ironic that for the past few years I always bring a pair of binoculars just in case, but hardly ever use them. I suppose my 15x70 finder scope has taken the place of binoculars for me at the dark site.

Mike


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*skyguy*
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Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5670787 - 02/09/13 01:39 PM

Inexpensive binoculars can be "good" (enough) ... not necessarily perfect or even great ... but, with acceptable optics, mechanical build and price for the buyer's needs and bank account. The final determination on what is "good" should be at the discretion of the purchaser not others. However, the definition of "good" will probably change over time for most people.

Cheap binoculars ... well, they should stay in their blister pack on the store shelf!


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Jon Isaacs
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Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: *skyguy*]
      #5671918 - 02/10/13 07:33 AM

Quote:

Inexpensive binoculars can be "good" (enough) ... not necessarily perfect or even great ... but, with acceptable optics, mechanical build and price for the buyer's needs and bank account. The final determination on what is "good" should be at the discretion of the purchaser not others.




We all have our different standards but I do think that one might be able to have a consensus as what constitutes minimum acceptable/decent/good. The things that come to mind:

- Hold focus. Must pass Bill's thumb pinch test.

- Have some realistic chance of remaining in collimation.

- Have real coatings rather than some red or green coatings that turn everything a different color.

- Have some approximating of operating at full aperture. A 50mm that operates at 40mm is probably OK, a 50mm that operates at 25mm is not.

Jon


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John Kuraoka
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Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5672104 - 02/10/13 10:33 AM

As the satisfied owner of one of these, I'd like to mention again that The Meade Montana 7x42s were not $20 binoculars, or even $50 binoculars. They were $200 binoculars temporarily marked down to $80.

Whether any sales were made at $200 I can't say. I can say, though, that in my uneducated opinion they are well worth the $80. They are a significant upgrade in brightness, clarity, aimability, and fog-resistance to my Nikon Action IV 7x35s, which cost roughly the same about a dozen years ago.


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Sarkikos
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Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: John Kuraoka]
      #5672222 - 02/10/13 11:56 AM

IME, the Bino Forum is much harsher on inexpensive instruments than any of the other forums. There is little mercy here. If there is a whiff of "cheap" binos in the air, prepare for the pounding.

Maybe this is because many times an inexpensive Newt, SCT or achromat can be tweaked and improved fairly easily. A rather mediocre off-the-shelf telescope can be transformed into a decent instrument.

But what can you do to improve binoculars? They are what they are. Are you going to take them apart to baffle them? Can you replace the eyepieces? If they are out of collimation, are most users going to be able to recollimate them? You have to return them for refund or exchange, or just accept the loss. Maybe you could send them to an expert to collimate, probably at a substantial fee. But that would not be cost effective for inexpensive binoculars. Any beginner with a little patience can learn to collimate a New, SCT or refractor.

Mike


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Binojunky
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Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5677885 - 02/13/13 03:39 PM

Mine arrived in good shape though they were in the standard box inside another one with just a small piece of bubble wrap, however the case is well padded, needless to say because Canada is so broke I got hit with brokerage and Harmonised sales tax that pushed the price up another $43, however they are still a bargain buy at $120.
The cheapest made in Japan roof prism in the 40mm size I have come across(A Leupold) sell for about $350 or three times the price of the Montanas.DA.


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jrcrillyAdministrator
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Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: Binojunky]
      #5677898 - 02/13/13 03:44 PM

Quote:

Mine arrived in good shape though they were in the standard box inside another one with just a small piece of bubble wrap,




Mine arrived, and it appears that they are packed the same way; the "beauty box" is free to move around within the outer box. Haven't had a chance to open and inspect them yet. I suspect that the padded case protected them well enough.


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Binojunky
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Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #5677962 - 02/13/13 04:28 PM

Well John if nothing else it means they are of a rugged construction, I think you will like them, this is my second pair,the first were passed on to a friend,I also have a nice 8x56 roof prism from Meade, made in Japan but not phased coated, called the Rain Forest Pro,DA.

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rydberg
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Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: Binojunky]
      #5678418 - 02/13/13 09:39 PM

Mine are here too, and agree, the packaging is ...oh-hum. But between the smaller box inside and the case the binoculars were fine.
The box says "made in Japan. Fit and finish DO NOT belie that notion. The rubber coating feel nice and does not smell too bad, mostly "rubbery".
The case is nice, a soft "faux" leather with a strap for the case and another strap for the binoculars and the objective covers. The eyepiece cover is one those useless one-piece jobbies.

Tonight was clear so I took them out for a brief tour.
As roofs, I am always worried about spiking.
None was seen in mine while looking at Sirius.
Chromatic aberration is fairly well controlled as well, as I didn't see any blue halo around it.
Nice "snap" on focus, with stars getting a bit bloated in the outer 20% of the FOV. The "bloat" can be almost entirely eliminated by re-focusing, so it is due mostly to field curvature. The lens coating (eyepiece and objectives) is nice and uniform, deep green. Reflections appear well controlled. Outside I had confirmation. While looking at a High Pressure Sodium street lamp about 100 yards away I saw no reflection whatsoever, whit a clean and sharp image. I have another pair of $100 roofs, and let me tell you, it is night and day!
The fov is wide enough that Orion's belt fits in it comfortably more than twice, in line with the advertised 419ft @ 1000 yards (8 degrees).
Near focus is pretty close (less than 10 feet).
for $79 plus $8 shipping, these things were a bargain!
Marco


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Sarkikos
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Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: rydberg]
      #5678460 - 02/13/13 10:04 PM

My binos arrived today in good shape. The fit and finish agree with reports from others in the thread. They feel solid and sturdy in my hands. The IPD adjustment holds steady. I like the central focus knob and diopter switch. Of course, it's rainy and snowy tonight, so no first light yet.

I did not like the single cover for the oculars. I took out my box of eyepiece caps and found a couple caps from some Meade eyepieces. They might have been from my pair of 5k UWA 6.7mm eyepieces. I removed the shrouds from the 6.7's, and so the original caps no longer fit. But they fit beautifully on the oculars of these Montana binos. Very nice fit. I put them on and they stay put! Easy to remove, also. They are Meade eyecaps no less. Lucky happenstance.


Mike


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Jon Isaacs
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Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5678959 - 02/14/13 08:39 AM

A couple of tips..

-The leather case is very nice but it's not very rugged, mine was ducted together after a few years..

- If the eyecups are too loose, you can tighten the ring at the their base and that will tighten them up.

Jon


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Sarkikos
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Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5679012 - 02/14/13 09:30 AM

Replacement cases for small binos are inexpensive. They can be found on eBay. But I'll keep my Montana's in their own case until it falls apart.

Mike


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Jon Isaacs
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Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5679594 - 02/14/13 02:17 PM

Quote:

Replacement cases for small binos are inexpensive. They can be found on eBay. But I'll keep my Montana's in their own case until it falls apart.

In my opinion, the Meade Montana's everyone got here is heck of a steal... I should have gotten a pair myself.

Jon

Mike




I had a pair of "inexpensive" Meade 8x42's roofs that lost collimation. I am using that case but duck tape works quite well.

Jon


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Binojunky
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Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5683222 - 02/16/13 11:00 AM

I just got a e-mail that mine have shipped with a tracking number, 5 days after they arrived at my house in Canada, oh well!,DA

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Sarkikos
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Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: Binojunky]
      #5683366 - 02/16/13 12:07 PM

The sky was clear a couple nights ago so I was able to take out my Montana's for a first light. The transparency and seeing were at least average. The NELM here is 4.5, maybe 5. (I can almost always see Sigma Orionis.)

I brought out a three-leg fold-up camping stool but not a tripod, since these binos don't have a socket for connection. So I viewed through the binos hand-held, of course, most of the time while sitting. The focus was easy with the center adjustment knob and diopter switch. The focus did not slip but held steady.

There was some field curvature, I believe, because if the binos were focused to be sharp on-axis they were a bit fuzzy toward edge-of-field, and vice versa. I tried the old trick of focusing somewhere between on-axis and EOF, but that usually doesn't work well for me. My eyes have lost much of their accommodation. So instead I focused sharply on-axis. But the FC was not so bad. I did not notice any appreciable astigmatism or distortion.

The field of view was very wide. The Pleiades took up only the central third or less of the FOV. The Double Cluster and Stock 2 looked rather puny, much smaller than their size in telescopes. The Hyades were well contained within the FOV. I could even view M37, M36 and M38 in the same field! In fact, I could position Saiph and Rigel in Orion at opposite ends of the FOV, and still see both of them at the very EOF. Betelgeuse and Bellatrix were easily visible at either side of the field. From this I estimate the TFOV to be about 8* 20'.

Other objects I looked at were the open clusters M41 in Sirius, M50 in Monoceros, M46 and M47 in Puppis, M44 and M67 in Cancer, M52 in Cassiopeia, M34 in Perseus, and M35 in Gemini. I viewed M42 and M43, but the scale was too small for a good look. I also saw Kemble's Cascade, another object which appeared smaller than I'm used to in the 8-1/3 degree FOV.

I looked for but could not see M1, M78, M79 and M51, but those objects can be difficult here in the red zone, especially for small apertures.

Mike


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Sarkikos
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Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5683381 - 02/16/13 12:15 PM

I went through my "Bino Stuff" box and found a couple caps for the Montana's objectives. These are the kind of caps that attach to the barrels through flexible rings and remain attached by rubber thongs when the objectives are uncovered.

I had ordered them for other binos but they did not fit those. But they do fit the Montana's just right! I did not like the objective caps that came with the Montana's. These flip-down caps are great replacements.

Mike


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gaz-in
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Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5684871 - 02/17/13 10:05 AM

Got mine today.....very very nice for $80. Sharp, clear, bright, and snap to focus....build quality seems very good.

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Jon Isaacs
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Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: gaz-in]
      #5684992 - 02/17/13 11:19 AM

Quote:

Got mine today.....very very nice for $80. Sharp, clear, bright, and snap to focus....build quality seems very good.






You did good.

Can everyone stop gloating about their $80 7x42 Meade Montana's? Please, Please..

My rear-end is getting sore from kicking myself in the butt for not buying another pair.

Jon


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panhard
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Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5685024 - 02/17/13 11:38 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Got mine today.....very very nice for $80. Sharp, clear, bright, and snap to focus....build quality seems very good.






You did good.

Can everyone stop gloating about their $80 7x42 Meade Montana's? Please, Please..

My rear-end is getting sore from kicking myself in the butt for not buying another pair.

Jon




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gaz-in
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Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: panhard]
      #5685183 - 02/17/13 01:04 PM

My endcap says "Bresser" on it? Are Bresser and Meade the same company?

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jrcrillyAdministrator
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Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: gaz-in]
      #5685228 - 02/17/13 01:28 PM

Bresser used to be a German subsidiary but I think Meade recently sold that operation.

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Jon Isaacs
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Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: gaz-in]
      #5685551 - 02/17/13 05:11 PM

Quote:

My endcap says "Bresser" on it? Are Bresser and Meade the same company?




My 10 year old Montana's also have a Breeder eyepiece endcap...

Jon


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KennyJ
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Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5685695 - 02/17/13 06:26 PM

My endcap says "Bresser" on it? Are Bresser and Meade the same company?

< My 10 year old Montana's also have a Breeder eyepiece endcap...>

I seem to recall Breeder was an exceedingly short-lived company,formed by an amalgamation of Bresser and Meade.

I heard they were going to call the company Breed, but the folks at Bresser thought that too similar sounding to Meade, suggesting Messer as an alternative,until after agreeing to discount further suggestions of Bressmeade, Meadsser and Bressmeadowski,the committee finally agreed upon Breeder.

The Montana,I understand,was originally designated Fontana,until objections from lawyers representing 1960s British pop group,Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders.

Frontana was then put forward,until it was pointed out that Frontana was the old South American term for the noise birders made after accidentally swallowing a chaffinch whilst yawning.

Hence the name Breeder Montana came about, soon changed to Meade Montana,after it was revealed Bresser were only to be responsible for supplying the lanyard and carry case.

Interestingly,the original specification for this model was also the subject of much debate. To compete with the market for an older Pentax model, the people at Meade wanted to produce a 7.1x43, while researchers at Bresser pushed hard for what they considered a glaring potential niche in the market for a 6.9x41 model,until a compromise was finally reached with the 7x42.


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gaz-in
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Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: KennyJ]
      #5685974 - 02/17/13 09:15 PM

Very interesting....helps explain the "Bresser" lens cover on my new Meade Montana...thanks

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Robert A.
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Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: gaz-in]
      #5686221 - 02/17/13 11:52 PM

The first time I remember this binoculars was excitedly written about in October 2007.
http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbarchive/-- Great deal on some Meade binos ...

And again in November 2011.
http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/...Meade Montana 7x42 Binocular

I hope you guys like them!
Rob.


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Jay_Bird
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Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: Robert A.]
      #5687476 - 02/18/13 06:08 PM

Thanks for calling out the special.

These give nice daytime views so far (no night use yet).


Compact but heavy, with comfortable shape and finish. Eyecups stay put, diopter firm, focus is about 1 turn of knob near to far limits. Seems like a lot of quality for $80. 55-56° may not be wide-angle apparent FOV, but it's comfortable, and 8° true field is nice. With a deal like this I can afford the upgrade to a pair of waterproof roofs for our 'kitchen windowsill/back door' binos...


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John Kuraoka
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Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: Jay_Bird]
      #5706002 - 02/28/13 07:05 PM

Just a quick heads-up that this weekly deal is on again.
http://store.meade.com/7x42-montana-binoculars-with-strap-and-carry-case.html

I bought one the last time, and have been very happy with it. (If you scroll back a ways in this thread you can read my quickie report on it.)


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gaz-in
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Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: John Kuraoka]
      #5706032 - 02/28/13 07:24 PM

I am just thrilled with mine....brought several. Once for the camper, one for around the house and one for a Christmas gift.....

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Stacy
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Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: gaz-in]
      #5706102 - 02/28/13 08:00 PM

I just ordered a pair.

Interesting that it went through a service called "Shopatron". I use Shopatron at work. It's a service that awards orders placed on corporate websites to dealers (who request to fill the orders) based on their physical locations and stock availability.


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Binojunky
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Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: Stacy]
      #5707057 - 03/01/13 12:04 PM

Due to the awefull weather here in Ontario mine have been used for watching the bird feeder,however it will be clear tonight though very cold, I can,t believe how good these are for the modest outlay ,DA

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Stacy
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Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: Binojunky]
      #5707140 - 03/01/13 01:02 PM

Yes, it will be interesting to compare them head-to-head with my Vanguard Endeavor ED 8X42 that got a perfect score and top place for binos under $600 from birdwatchersdigest.com.

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Binojunky
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Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: Stacy]
      #5707457 - 03/01/13 04:36 PM

Well I have the Vanguard Spirit ED 8x42 which cost me a lot more than the Montanas, other than the fact its a 7x42 and is from Japan instead off China I can,t see any difference between the two,DA.

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mooreorless
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Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: Binojunky]
      #5709572 - 03/02/13 09:09 PM

I had to order one of these Breeder Meade Fontana Montana 7x42 binocular.

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KennyJ
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Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: mooreorless]
      #5709888 - 03/03/13 02:57 AM

Steve,

In spite of what's been written,I'm sure Wayne Fontana would have been proud of you,were he still around.

Good luck with it,

Kenny


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mooreorless
Just worried
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Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: KennyJ]
      #5710085 - 03/03/13 08:08 AM

Kenny, Thanks! I will let you know what I think. I figured $88 was a no-brainer. Even Wayne would like that price.)

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Stacy
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Reged: 09/15/02

Loc: Seattle, WA
Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: Stacy]
      #5713059 - 03/04/13 06:15 PM

Quote:

I just ordered a pair.

Interesting that it went through a service called "Shopatron". I use Shopatron at work. It's a service that awards orders placed on corporate websites to dealers (who request to fill the orders) based on their physical locations and stock availability.




Hmmm, not shipped yet. I need my optics fix! When we fill Shopatron orders, we are normally required to ship within 24 hours. Oh well, Sim City comes out tomorrow.


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aoloaolo
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Reged: 01/09/12

Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: Stacy]
      #5713160 - 03/04/13 07:21 PM

When I ordered from Meade (Shopatron), they did not send a email notification till the day before it arrived. It had shipped 3 days earlier.

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eklf
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Loc: Carrboro, NC
Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: aoloaolo]
      #5713189 - 03/04/13 07:33 PM

Quote:

When I ordered from Meade (Shopatron), they did not send a email notification till the day before it arrived. It had shipped 3 days earlier.



I received my notification three days AFTER it arrived.


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John Kuraoka
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Re: 7x42 Montana Binoculars with Strap and Carry Case new [Re: eklf]
      #5714099 - 03/05/13 10:10 AM

Yeah, I received the shipping notification email about three weeks after the binoculars had arrived. My first thought was, "Score! I'm getting a free one!" Reality sunk in a nanosecond later, but it was a cheap thrill for the morning.

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