The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

Nikon Monarch 7 ATB 10x42 Review

Good optical quality, but not the best in the price range
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Price:  $500 List | $446.75 at Amazon
Pros:  High quality construction, very comfortable to use, great clarity
Cons:  Heavy for backpacking or carrying long distances
Manufacturer:   Nikon
By Max Mutter ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Feb 8, 2018
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87
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#5 of 16
  • Clarity - 25% 8
  • Brightness - 20% 8
  • Ease of Adjustment - 15% 9
  • Construction Quality - 15% 10
  • Comfort - 10% 10
  • Close Focus Range - 7.5% 7
  • Field of View - 7.5% 9

Our Verdict

The Nikon Monarch 7 ATB 10x42 is a great binocular, and is just a step down from the Editors' Choice Award winning Vortex Viper HD 8x42 in just about every metric, including price. The Monarch 7 produces a great image, but it is just slightly less crisp and bright than what the Viper offers. The Monarch 7 is also slgihtly heavier and has a slightly longer close focus range. Depending on when you buy, the Monarch 7 costs about $100 less than the Viper. If you're looking for great bins at a reasonable price, we think those cost savings are worth the slight drop in performance. If you're looking for the best image you can get without spending four figures, the Viper is worth the extra money.


Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Top Pick Award   Editors' Choice Award 
Price $446.75 at Amazon$2,659.00 at Amazon$2,400 List$2,799.00 at Amazon$489.00 at Amazon
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Pros High quality construction, very comfortable to use, great clarityIncredible clarity, brightness, comfort, and construction qualityExcellent clarity and brightness, great construction quality, quite comfortableExcellent clarity and brightness, great construction qualityVery clear and bright, easy to adjust, comfortable and quality
Cons Heavy for backpacking or carrying long distancesProhibitively expensiveVery expensiveVery expensive, not quite as comfortable as other high-end modelsOn the expensive side
Bottom Line Good optical quality, but not the best in the price rangeThe best all around bins that we tested, but they also carry a high price tagHigh-end bins that are nearly as good as the Swarovskis, but not quiteHigh end binoculars that live up to their pedigree, but have some downsides compared to other high-end modelsJust about the best clarity/brightness you can get without a quadruple digit price tag
Rating Categories Nikon Monarch 7 ATB 10x42 Swarovski EL 8.5x42 Zeiss Victory HT 10x42 Leica Noctivid 10x42 Vortex Viper HD 8x42
Clarity (25%)
10
0
8
10
0
10
10
0
10
10
0
10
10
0
9
Brightness (20%)
10
0
8
10
0
10
10
0
10
10
0
10
10
0
9
Ease Of Adjustment (15%)
10
0
9
10
0
10
10
0
10
10
0
9
10
0
9
Construction Quality (15%)
10
0
10
10
0
10
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
10
Comfort (10%)
10
0
10
10
0
10
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
10
Close Focus Range (7.5%)
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
8
Field Of View (7.5%)
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
10
10
0
10
10
0
9
Specs Nikon Monarch 7... Swarovski EL 8.5x42 Zeiss Victory HT... Leica Noctivid 10x42 Vortex Viper HD 8x42
Glass type ED HD HD HD HD
Multi - Coating FMC FMC FMC FMC FMC
Magnification 10 8.5 10 10 8
Field of View ft/yards 351/1000 399/1000 330/1000 376/1000 409/1000
Close Focus 8.2ft 4.9ft 6.2ft 6.2ft 6.5ft
Eye Relief 16.4mm 20mm 16mm 19mm 18mm
Prism Roof Roof Roof Roof Roof
Waterproof/Fogproof? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Size (length x width) 5.6 x 5.1 in 6.3 x 4.8 in 6.3 x 5 in 5.9 x 2.7 in 5.8 x 5.3 in
Weight 26.3 oz 29.5 oz 28.4 oz 30.3 oz 24.2 oz

Our Analysis and Test Results

As one of our top scoring binoculars in this test, we find the Monarch 7 10x42 to be an outstanding performer across the board. This pair is an excellent general purpose binocular with bright and clear optics, and it is lighter weight, more compact, and with a better close focus range and field of view than the low light specialist, the Nikon Monarch 5 8x56.

Performance Comparison


The bright and clear Nikon Monarch 7 ATB 10x42.
The bright and clear Nikon Monarch 7 ATB 10x42.

Clarity


The ED glass and a dielectric phase correction coated prism make for a sharp image with good contrast. Zone 9 was clear on the ISO 12233 chart in our test, with just a little defocusing around the last millimeter or two around the edges. There were no noticeable chromatic aberrations or distortion. Basically, this pair offers everything you would expect from a high-end pair of Nikon binoculars.

Brightness


The Nikon Monarch 7 10x42 has fully multi-coated lenses with a dielectric phase correction coated prism. All of this allows for a very bright view. The Monarch 5 we tested was brighter, but that was due to a larger objective lens and lower magnification.

Ease of Adjustment


The focusing is smooth and fast. We found it very easy to to go from close to far objects quickly without losing fine focus control. The diopter is located on the right eyepiece and was a bit stiff to move and almost. It felt stuck the first time we went to adjust it. There is no locking mechanism on the diopter. The interpupillary distance is easy to adjust and comfortable.

Adjustments are easy and smooth on the Nikon Monarch 7  though the diopter was stiff and sticky at first. This pair ranks high in our scores for both clarity and brightness.
Adjustments are easy and smooth on the Nikon Monarch 7, though the diopter was stiff and sticky at first. This pair ranks high in our scores for both clarity and brightness.

Field of View and Close Focus Range


The field of view is 351 feet at 1000 yards, which makes it a top performer amongst the 10x binoculars. The Nikon Monarch 7 10x42 is able to focus down to 8.2 feet, which again made it a top performer amongst the 10x binoculars.

Comfort


The eyecups are made of a soft rubber that is comfortable on the face. The rubberized coating is easy to grip and hold. The weight and size of this pair is easy to manage. It is much smaller and more portable than the Monarch 5. There is enough eye relief so you don't feel like you have to strain to stare at objects. This is a comfortable pair of binocular to use.

The Nikon Monarch 7 are a good size  smaller and lighter than the Monarch 5  and they are easy to hold and comfortable to use.
The Nikon Monarch 7 are a good size, smaller and lighter than the Monarch 5, and they are easy to hold and comfortable to use.

Construction Quality


Like most optical companies, Nikon is outsourcing its production to China. Who would have guessed? Everything about the Nikon Monarch 7 10x42 moves and operates smoothly. Every hinge point has just enough give to make it flow smoothly without being loose, except for the diopter, which was very stiff the first time. There were no noticeable alignment issues. Everything feels solid and looks good on the Monarch 7.

Best Application


The Nikon Monarch 7 10x42 is a great general purpose pair of binoculars that will excel at most uses. For the weight conscious, these might not be the pair you take with you into the backcountry unless you're out there to view wildlife. For something smaller and lighter, check out the Leica BCR 10x25, our Top Pick winner for compact binoculars.

The 10x magnification pairs in our test. From L to R: Celestron SkyMaster (9x)  Vanguard Endeavor  Nikon Monarch 7  Eagle Optics Shrike  Leica BCR.
The 10x magnification pairs in our test. From L to R: Celestron SkyMaster (9x), Vanguard Endeavor, Nikon Monarch 7, Eagle Optics Shrike, Leica BCR.

Value


At $500 the Nikon Monarch 7 10x42 are in the middle of the pack when it comes to pricing. When it comes to purchasing a product with any sort of lens, the old adage has always been buy the best you can afford. This is a quality pair that won't break the bank, so we think you can't really go wrong here. The Monarch 7 is the third highest scoring pair in our test, and if treated with respect it will last a long time.

Conclusion


The Nikon Monarch 7 line definitely is the best in the Monarch group from Nikon. With the upgraded lens coating, the phase correcting coating on the prism, and a smaller and lighter footprint than the Nikon Monarch 5, we think this pair is just what most people are looking for. However, the Nikon Monarch 7 10x42 are not our highest rated pair of binoculars. There are just small details that missing, like a locking diopter, that keep it from the top spot. To see the two that outrank the Monarch 7, check out the Swarovski EL 8.5x42 and the Vortex Viper HD 8x42.

Other Versions and Accessories


The Monarch 7 line comes in multiple ranges from an 8x30 to these 10x42 ATB ones and a few in between.


Max Mutter