The Nikon MONARCH 7 10×42 binoculars are referenced in the mid-range of outdoor optics. For this model, Nikon has opted for all the technologies necessary to obtain a clear, sharp and luminous image: ED glasses, complete multilayer treatment, and high reflectivity of the prisms…
With their magnification of 10 and their objective diameter of 42 mm, these binoculars are rather dedicated to ornithology and wildlife observation in general.
Is the MONARCH 7 10×42 the ideal tool for any outdoor outing?
Discover our opinion on the Nikon MONARCH 7 10×42 binoculars through this article!
Nikon MONARCH 7 10×42 Binoculars Review
- Magnification: 10x
- Lens diameter (mm): 42
- Linear field at 1000 meters (m): 117
- Exit Pupil (mm): 4.2
- Eye relief (mm): 16.5
- Brightness index: 17.6
- Minimum focusing distance (m): 2.5
- Dimensions (mm): 142x130x57
- Weight (g): 660
- Interpupillary distance (mm): 56-72
- Type of prisms: Roof
- Waterproof: up to 1 meter for 10 minutes
- The visual field is really wide
- Very high light transmission
- Well-controlled chromatic aberrations
- With low astigmatism and distortion, the image is really sharp
- Color neutrality respected
- Ergonomic and easy-to-adjust binoculars
- Significant coma aberrations
- Poor-quality eyepiece protectors
- No diopter correction lock
- Some reflections inside the tubes
Performance and build quality
Nikon has designed quality components for its MONARCH 7 10×42 and it shows from the first use. The resolution is good, we can easily distinguish the contours of the different objects. The Monarch 7 10×42 are the binoculars of choice for spotting animals hidden in the vegetation.
The lenses are made from ultra-low dispersion “ED” glass, which partially corrects chromatic aberrations caused by the diffraction of light. The result in the center of the image is excellent: you don’t see any color fringe following the outline of the objects.
On the edges of the lens, there are some slight to moderate chromaticism defects, which do not however reduce the viewing comfort. This is a very good point for Monarch 7.
The correction of the astigmatism of the lenses is satisfactory without being exceptional for all that. Distortion is contained on the outer half of the image radius. Despite the large angle of the field of vision, its intensity remains quite low.
The decrease in sharpness is only noticeable in the last quarter of the image, which is quite good for binoculars that do not benefit from field flattening technology.
Coma aberrations are the only noticeable flaw here. They appear simultaneously with distortion, and their intensity increases rapidly when approaching the edges. This is an element that can become awkward for the practice of astronomy: the stars no longer appear in the form of a point but in the form of a fan.
For daytime observations, this point is less penalizing.
Brightness and dielectric treatments
The Monarch 7 series binoculars manage to capture a lot of light. The contrast is excellent: the color range is well distributed over the entire visual field. The red tones dominate very slightly over the blue tones, but this difference is totally negligible.
The prisms are covered with a dielectric coating. This treatment allows better light transmission compared to more economical materials such as aluminum or silver. With the addition of a multi-layer treatment applied to the lenses, the passage of light is up to 90%, which offers very bright images.
The exit pupil experiences a bit of vignetting around the edges with a small decrease in brightness. The reflection of light inside the tubes is easily seen but is not so pronounced as to create reflections on the exit pupil.
Quick and easy focusing
The center focus wheel is smooth and turns quickly. The focus from a close object to a distant object is almost instantaneous. Perfect for capturing all the action happening right before your eyes.
The diopter correction wheel is stiffer. It required more rotational effort for the first adjustment as if it were stuck. It is not possible to lock the position of the diopter adjustment which is a shame given the price.
The eyecups of the eyepieces are adjustable in height on 4 notches. The intermediate positions will not always be useful, but they have the merit of existing. With an eye relief of 16.5mm, spectacle wearers will have no problem using these binoculars.
It is possible to mount the Monarch 7 on a tripod thanks to an attachment at the front of the pair. An adapter not supplied in the package will however be necessary.
Compact and ergonomic
The eyecups are made with very soft rubber. They flatten evenly on the face. The body of the binoculars allows a firm grip. The weight and size of the Nikon Monarch 7 10×42 are relatively low (10% lighter than the Monarch 5 10×42), which limits muscle fatigue during handling.
Nikon also provides a lanyard for traveling outdoors. It will relieve your arms during your excursions in nature. With its anti-slip and padded inner side, the strap will limit friction on your neck.
The slightly hollowed shape on the outside of the tubes allows an optimal grip. The Monarch 7s score 10 out of 10 for ergonomics.
Impeccable build quality
Like many other models, the Nikon Monarch 7 10×42 is made in China. But the build quality is still exemplary. The moving elements as well as the focusing wheels have no play in their assembly.
The finishes are neat, and the various components provide Monarch 7 with good robustness. While paying attention to shocks, this pair will withstand occasional drops.
The outer lenses have an anti-scratch coating. Of course, we recommend that you never touch the lenses of your binoculars, except with a microfiber cloth specifically designed for cleaning them.
The Monarch 7 will withstand brief immersion in water: they are waterproof up to 10 meters deep, for a maximum of one minute. The inside of the tubes is filled with nitrogen, which will prevent fog from forming inside the binoculars and damaging the lenses.
A storage bag is supplied with the set. Rubber protectors fit snugly over the lenses to prevent scratches.
The only problem: the eye protection is still just as bad. They fall off on their own when the binoculars are turned over, and we will replace them as soon as possible. It’s an incomprehensible choice on Nikon’s part, and inconceivable for a pair of binoculars at $500.
The minimum focus distance is average
The Monarch 7 10×42 binoculars have a minimum focusing distance of 2.5 meters. Without being among the best, this distance will not be penalized for most uses, especially with x10 magnification. This pair is especially intended for long ranges.
The visual field reaches the top of the ranking
The Nikon Monarch 7 10×42 has an excellent perceived visual field. It is 116 meters at 1000 meters distance. It is quite simply one of the best scores achieved for a pair of 10×42 binoculars. You will be able to enjoy excellent visibility around the entire periphery of the field of vision.
If you are already using a pair of 10×42 binoculars, the difference will be easily noticed.
Who are the Nikon Monarch 7 10×42 suitable for?
The Nikon Monarch 7 10×42 are excellent all-purpose binoculars for ornithology, hiking, and urban use. Astronomy may be more difficult to practice with the presence of comatic aberrations. With their magnification of 10, they will be less suitable for marine use.
Even if the Monarch 7 remain lighter than their direct competitors, hikers who seek above all to optimize the weight of their equipment will eventually prefer more compact binoculars.
The Nikon Monarch 7 10×42 are the most elaborate binoculars in the Monarch series. With improvement in the treatment applied to the lenses, phase correction of the prisms, and reduced size compared to the Monarch 5, this pair is a reference in the category of 10×42 binoculars. You will enjoy very sharp images with vivid colors and very high brightness.
A few small details contrast slightly with the performance of this pair for the displayed price. One thinks for example of the diopter correction which cannot be locked, or even of the eyepiece protections which still do not hold in place.