If you are an outdoor enthusiast and enjoy spotting wildlife I have something that will make the experience even more enjoyable for you or a loved on. A pair of Nikon Monarch 7 Binoculars.
Bottom Line Up Front: I was out bird watching having owned the Monarch 7 only for a few days my daughter who was with me has never looked through them - I handed the binoculars to her and after using them - I quote, "WOW! A three dimensional experience, almost surreal, like virtual reality".
Up until recently, I was carrying my older trusty 10 x 50 Nikon Action Binoculars with me for years to help spot small birds in the brush or trees during my bird photography outings. While my old Nikon Action Binoculars have served me and still in excellent condition, I wanted to upgrade my viewing experience to a newer more technologically advanced and lighter set of optics. Having owned many Nikon Optics in the past and owning many Nikkor camera lens - I know the Nikon Quality is always top notch so, I started my research with Nikon Optics. Nikon has a no-fault lifetime replacement warranty.
My first objective was to decide on the magnification and field of view. Since I know what the 10X magnification looks like I wanted to go with a more wider field of view (FOV) to support my birding photography. The wider FOV allows you to obviously see more area to the left - right, up and down. This is perfect for birds and allows you to spot other birds nearby that would not be visible using a narrow FOV binocular. Thus I wanted to get an 8X binocular, the next decision is the aperture of the lens, the larger the number the brighter the image you see and adds some weight as the trade-off. I went with the Monarch 8 X 42 as this combination meets all my birding needs from early morning to late afternoon with a wide FOV.
Understanding Basic Binocular Language:
The first set of numbers is the magnification such as 8 x 42, eight represents the magnification. This will bring the subject 8 times closer to you visually. Some may think having a larger number is better, while that may be true for some users it also means hand holding the binocular and keeping the image steady becomes more challenging as the number increases. This is why spotting scopes are mounted on a tripod to ensure the image remain steady while viewing but binoculars are normally handheld thus a magnification from 8 - 12 is reasonable and people can manage a steady image in that range. Numbers above 12 becomes sketchy for hand holding. For birding, I suggest 8 or 10 X.
The second set of numbers 8x42 - 42 is the aperture of the binocular - How much light is allowed into the binocular, the larger the number the more light and brighter the image. So, if you are an early riser at sunrise and want the best viewing experience you should consider a 40mm or greater lens. This is not to say a 30mm lens would not work, it would, but it would be darker. viewing in dim light The downside to the larger lens is weight, we are talking glass here. So, depending on what your tolerance is for weight around your neck for hours are - I recommend something around 40-50mm as a good trade off. As stated you will be carrying these all day in most cases.
The Field of View (FOV) This represents how much area you see while viewing through the binoculars, not all 8X or 10x have the same FOV which is an important factor when choosing your binoculars. Everyone wants to see details and see what's happening around the subject. Having a wider FOV makes the experience more enjoyable and also means you don't miss out on the action close by. Understanding the FOV can be difficult since it is hard to judge what a 110-degree FOV at 100meters means? Lets keep it simple, since you are shopping for Binoculars look for the binoculars with the wider FOV (larger number) at the same magnification.
The Monarch 7 Binocular Review:
Nikon is renowned for their Optics for camera lenses and microscopes. Nikon knows a thing or two about optics and these binoculars solidify that.
The Monarch line of binoculars have a great following of fans - me included, you will be hard pressed to find a better pair of binoculars at any price. The Monarch line bridges the gap between high end more expensive binoculars without sacrificing image and build quality. Acquiring a better set of binoculars than the Monarch 7 would require spending near that of $1,000.00. The difference is so minuscule as to not really make the justification for buying more expensive optics. Nikon's Monarch 7 is the best of what a mid-range binocular can offer and here is why:
- Nikon offers a lifetime replacement warranty
- Nikon is a known for its top quality optics and lens technology
- Both the lens and prism are coated for superior viewing
- The Monarch 7 is Fog proof
- The Monarch 7 has superior lens coatings
- The Monarch 7 offers the best in class eye relief for both eyeglass wearer and the non-glasses wearer
- Excellent FOV at 351 ft at 1000 yd - bottom line, they are wide
What I like about the renowned Monarch 7 - 8 X 42 Binoculars are Lightweight, Weather Proof, Bright Viewing Best in Class Binocular and budget friendly. If you are more limited on a budget and still demand a top shelf binocular I recommend the Monarch 5 as they are top quality but at a lower cost.
The Monarch Line is Recommended for Birding, General wildlife, and Nature use.
- Focusing System Central Focus
- Magnification 8x
- Objective Diameter 42mm
- Angular Field of View (Real) 8°
- Angular Field of View (Apparent) 58.4°
- FOV at 1000 yds 420 ft
- Close Focus Distance 8.2 ft
- Exit Pupil 5.3mm
- Relative Brightness 28.1
- Eye Relief 17.1mm
- Size (Length x Width)5.6 x 5.1 in
- Weight 22.9 oz
- Phase Coating Yes
- Dielectric Coating Yes
- Prism Roof
- ED Glass Yes
As a nature enthusiast, I truly enjoy the Monarch Binoculars when out on the trail...
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