Are you considering the Nikon Monarch 7 binocular?
You’ve come to the right place! I did my best to review this fantastic optic. After hours of research, testing, and speaking with Nikon and authorized dealers, I can honestly say the Nikon Monarch 7 is one of my favorite choices for bird-watching binoculars.
This list is tailored for a Nikon Monarch 7 (8×42). An 8x magnification and 42mm objective lens diameter is what I use and recommend for birding and nature observation. But most of this list is still applicable no matter what size Nikon Monarch 7 you select and prefer.
7 Reasons to Purchase the Nikon Monarch 7:
#1. Combination of Price and Performance:
Generally, with bird-watching binoculars and most other things, you get what you pay for. The higher the price of your optic, the better image you’ll get.
The problem with very high-end optics like the Zeiss Victory SF and the Leica Noctivid is that they run upwards of $2,500! They are fantastic pieces of equipment but extremely expensive for most hobbyists.
On the other end, a binocular can be purchased for $20 at Walmart. Unfortunately, you might as well flush that money down the toilet. You will just be frustrated trying to use these cheap optics, and you likely won’t be able to see much at all.
So, we need something in the middle.
In my opinion, the Nikon Monarch 7 is an excellent combination of both price AND performance. With a price of around $500, they aren’t cheap, but they are much more affordable than the very high-end binoculars.
This is where the performance is vital. I think for a serious bird watcher, the Nikon Monarch 7 will satisfy all of the check marks that are most important. It has a wide field of view, the image is excellent thanks to the extra-low dispersion glass and coatings, and it’s lightweight, easy to focus, durable, and waterproof.
There are some quality binoculars that are lower in price than the Monarch 7, such as the Celestron Nature DX and Nikon Monarch 5. These lower-priced binoculars are great in their own way, but you do compromise on performance. They are perfect for someone with a tight budget or who’s just starting their birding journey.
#2. Bright and Clear Image:
There are two main factors that improve an optic’s image, and Nikon optimizes both in the Monarch 7:
Extra-low Dispersion Glass
This may be the most surprising feature you read about during this Nikon Monarch 5 review. That’s because Extra-low Dispersion (ED) glass used to be a feature that was only found in very high-end (aka expensive) binoculars.
Lucky for us, Nikon decided to change the game and put this high-quality glass in the Monarch 5. If you want a scientific explanation, just Google “What is extra-low dispersion glass?” and you’ll get tons of information on this topic. But I just like to know the basics. Specifically, how will this glass improve my bird-watching experience while using the Monarch 5?
- ED glass is excellent at minimizing color fringing (also called chromatic aberration). Color fringing makes the image look blurry or appear to have a noticeable color (e.g., red, blue, yellow, or green) around the edges.
- ED glass makes the image look better, especially in high-contrast situations. You will see a remarkable difference in image sharpness, clarity, detail, contrast, and brightness. It’s one of the main reasons the Nikon Monarch 5 is known to have such a clear and bright image.
Lens & Prism Coatings
Nikon applies their standard multilayer coatings to all of the lens and prism surfaces that transmit light. Quality coatings are very important! They ensure that as much light as possible reaches your eye to provide a clear and bright image.
The Monarch 7 includes a Dielectric High-Reflective Multilayer Prism Coating applied to the lenses and prisms. This coating can let as much as 99% of light pass through the glass, which provides excellent colors and resolution. This type of coating is usually only found on binoculars that are much more expensive.
The prisms in the Monarch 7 are also coated with Nikon’s phase-correction coatings. The job of this coating is to enhance contrast, resolution, and color rendition for a sharp, high-resolution viewing experience.
The dielectric and phase-correction coatings each have a different role, but working together (along with Nikon’s standard multi-layered coatings), they provide an outstanding bright, clear, and beautiful image.
#3. Field of View:
Field of View is one of the most important features that I consider when purchasing birding binoculars.
Birds don’t seem to realize I need them to stay still so I can watch them! They tend to fly, flap, and flutter around, and it can be hard to follow them through the binocular.
Having a wide FOV helps solve this problem. Field of View is measured as the actual visible area that is viewed when looking through your binocular. As you look through your binocular, think of how wide and tall the view is. The bigger the FOV, the better!
The Nikon Monarch 7 has a Field of View of 420 feet!
It’s tough to find a FOV that is bigger regardless of your price range. I think that the FOV is one of the Monarch 7’s best features, especially for its relatively inexpensive price tag.
#4. Waterproof, Fog Proof and Durable
It’s not very often that I go bird-watching and the weather is perfect. Where I live, it’s extremely unpredictable. We can go from cold and windy to rainy and muddy to super hot and humid, sometimes all on the same day!
Luckily, the Nikon Monarch 7 is up to the challenge.
First, in case you drop your binoculars or slip into a creek, they’re waterproofed up to a depth of 1m.
Second, Nikon prevents internal fogging in the Monarch 7 by sealing the body with O-rings and filling it with dry nitrogen gas. This protects against moisture from the morning dew, summer rain, or cold sleet and snow.
Lastly, the entire body of the binocular is coated with protective rubber armoring. This helps deflect some of the damage done by the occasional drop or fall. I think it also makes the Monarch 7 easier to hold!
#5. Light and Easy to Carry:
It’s important that your bird-watching binoculars are light and easy to carry! As birdwatchers, we spend hours holding them up to our eyes and having them hang around our necks and shoulders. I never want to call it quits for the day because I’m tired of carrying my optic!
The Nikon Monarch 7 is incredibly light at 22.9 ounces (1.43 lbs or 649 grams). It’s amazing that Nikon was able to pack so many great features into a binocular and still keep the weight so low. I am very impressed!
Compared to some of the other best bird-watching binoculars on the market, I don’t think any have the combination of being as light AND good as the Monarch 7.
#6. The Nikon Name
Since 1917, Nikon has been an industry leader when it comes to optics, including cameras, lenses, spotting scopes, and, most importantly to us, binoculars.
To stay in business for over 100 years is no small accomplishment. It’s a testament to the quality of their products and commitment to design and innovation. For a relatively small amount of money, you can take advantage of 100 years of research and development by Nikon. It sounds like a great deal to me!
When purchasing binoculars, it’s vital that the optic comes from a reputable company. After owning other Nikon products, I think their attention to detail and product quality is among the best. In fact, I have yet to meet someone who has been disappointed with a Nikon product.
#7. Excellent Warranty
Just in case the Monarch 7 breaks or fails, Nikon provides an exceptional warranty for extra security.
- Limited Lifetime Warranty: This means that if any defects in material or workmanship are found, Nikon will either repair or replace the binocular at THEIR expense. There is no time limit on this warranty.
- Nikon No-Fault Repair/Replacement Policy:
Important points about Nikon’s warranty policy:
- Lost or stolen binoculars and intentional damage are excluded from either warranty.
- Register your Nikon purchase here! To have any warranty covered, you need to register your product. Also, keep your original proof of purchase as a backup.
- It only applies to the original purchaser. The warranty would not cover a Monarch 7 if it were purchased used. Knowing this, it’s even more important to keep your receipt!
1. Buy the Nikon Monarch 7 from one of these three places:
Are you convinced the Monarch 7 will transform you into the next John James Audubon? If so, I have done a lot of research to find the best places to purchase.
- Amazon: Nikon Monarch 7 (8×42)
- Normally priced around $500. I love their customer service, fast shipping, and amazing prices.
- Check Today's Price
- B&H Photo: Nikon Monarch 7 (8×42)
- Experts at anything optics, photo or video. Prices are sometimes lower than Amazon, and they may even include a bonus giveaway.
- Support a local business!
- Find a local dealer and purchase in person. It will probably be a bit more expensive, but you will receive the expertise of a local professional.
2. Keep Researching!
Buying binoculars is a big decision, and it’s best to take your time and do your research!
I recommend checking out one of the following resources as your next step:
- The Best Binoculars for Bird Watching
- This should give some ideas of other binoculars that would be a great choice for bird watching. It includes optics across all different price ranges. (From $125 to $2,600)
- The Best Binoculars For Kids (9 Options)
Do you have the Nikon Monarch 7?
Tell us about your experience in the comments!