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Nikon Monarch M7 10x42 Review

Good optical quality, but not the best in the price range
nikon monarch m7 10x42 binocular review
Credit: Abriah Wofford
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Price:  $500 List | $384.34 at Amazon
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  High-quality construction, very comfortable to use, great clarity
Cons:  Heavy for backpacking or carrying long distances
Manufacturer:   Nikon
By Benjamin Hickok ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 7, 2022
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73
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#7 of 16
  • Clarity - 45% 7.8
  • Brightness - 25% 6.6
  • Comfort - 10% 8.1
  • Field of View - 10% 5.0
  • Ease of Adjustment - 5% 9.1
  • Close Focus Range - 5% 7.0

Our Verdict

As one of our top-scoring binoculars in this test, we find the Monarch M7 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 solid close-focus range and field of view.

Editor's Note: This binoculars review was added to our comparison binoculars review on December 7th, 2022.

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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros High-quality construction, very comfortable to use, great clarityVery clear and bright, easy to adjust, comfortable, high-quality constructionGood clarity and brightness, smooth focus knobInexpensive, good clarity and brightnessGood clarity, small and lightweight, relatively comfortable
Cons Heavy for backpacking or carrying long distancesA bit heavy for the backcountryMediocre close focus range, mediocre field of viewAverage construction quality, mediocre low-light performancePoor low-light performance
Bottom Line Good optical quality, but not the best in the price rangeThis model is our first choice and offers just about the best clarity and brightness you can get from a binocular without a quadruple-digit price tagThese perform well for the price, offering a smooth focus knob and decent brightness and clarityThe most budget-friendly option we've found that offers a good introduction to birdwatchingAn inexpensive, small, and packable model that offers surprisingly good optics
Rating Categories Nikon Monarch M7 10x42 Vortex Viper HD 8x42 Nikon Monarch M5 8x42 Celestron Nature DX... Vortex Diamondback...
Clarity (45%)
7.8
7.5
7.1
5.8
5.1
Brightness (25%)
6.6
9.5
8.6
7.7
4.6
Comfort (10%)
8.1
9.0
8.1
5.6
7.0
Field of View (10%)
5.0
8.0
6.0
7.0
6.0
Ease of Adjustment (5%)
9.1
5.8
8.0
7.0
5.5
Close Focus Range (5%)
7.0
8.0
7.0
8.0
8.0
Specs Nikon Monarch M7 10x42 Vortex Viper HD 8x42 Nikon Monarch M5 8x42 Celestron Nature DX... Vortex Diamondback...
Glass Type ED HD ED ED HD
Multi - Coating FMC FMC FMC FMC FMC
Magnification 10 8 8 8 8
Field of View (at 1000 yards) 362 ft 409 ft 335 ft 388 ft 332 ft
Close Focus 8.2 ft 6.0 ft 8.2 ft 6.5 ft 6.0 ft
Eye Relief 16.5 mm 18 mm 19.5 mm 17.5 mm 18 mm
Prism Roof Roof Roof Roof Roof
Waterproof/Fog Resistant? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Measured Size (Length x Width) 5.6 x 5.1 in 5.6 x 4.9 in 5.7 x 5.1 in 5.3 x 4.9 in 4.6 x 4.5 in
Measured Weight 24 oz 24 oz 22 oz 22 oz 14 oz
Tripod Adapter Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison


nikon monarch m7 10x42 binocular review - the nikon monarch m7 10x42 binoculars do not disappoint.
The Nikon Monarch M7 10x42 binoculars do not disappoint.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

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.

nikon monarch m7 10x42 binocular review - the monarch m7 offers exceptional clarity.
The Monarch M7 offers exceptional clarity.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Brightness


The Nikon Monarch M7 10x42 has fully multi-coated lenses with a dielectric phase correction coated prism. All of this allows for good light pickup and transmission, and a very bright view. All combined, this makes low-light situations more feasible and enjoyable.

nikon monarch m7 10x42 binocular review - the 10x magnification pairs in our test. from l to r: celestron...
The 10x magnification pairs in our test. From L to R: Celestron SkyMaster (9x), Vanguard Endeavor, Nikon Monarch 7, Eagle Optics Shrike, Leica BCR.
Credit: Michael Payne

Comfort


The eyecups are lined with 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 of binos is easy to manage. 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 binoculars to use, and a large neck strap allows you to comfortably distribute the weight of the binos on your neck when not in use.

nikon monarch m7 10x42 binocular review - the m7 adds all-day comfort with a thick and soft neck strap.
The M7 adds all-day comfort with a thick and soft neck strap.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Field of View


Based on our tests, the measured field of view was 308 feet at 1000 yards, 54 feet less than the manufacturer's specifications, which makes it a little bit below average when compared to the other binoculars in our testing.

Ease of Adjustment


Focusing is smooth and fast. We found it very easy 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. 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.

nikon monarch m7 10x42 binocular review - adjustments are easy with the monarch m7.
Adjustments are easy with the Monarch M7.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Close Focus Range


The Nikon Monarch M7 10x42 is able to focus down to 6.2 feet, two feet closer than the manufacturer's rating, which again made it a top performer amongst the 10x binoculars. This ability of close range is excellent if you are aiming your glass at insects or nearby small animals.

Should You Buy the Nikon Monarch M7 10x42?


The Nikon Monarch M7 line is definitely the best offering in Nikon's Monarch group. 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. For the price, these are a great pair of bins, and if treated with respect, will last a long time.

nikon monarch m7 10x42 binocular review - you won't be disappointed with the m7s, but a couple of other models...
You won't be disappointed with the M7s, but a couple of other models might be worth considering before you spend your hard-earned dollars.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

What Other Binoculars Should You Consider?


The Nikon Monarch M7 10x42 is a great general-purpose pair of binoculars that will excel at most uses. But for the weight-conscious, these might not be the pair you take with you into the backcountry. In a similar price range, we'd recommend the Vortex Viper HD 8x42, which scores a step up across many metrics. If you've got a bigger budget, we think the Swarovski EL 8.5x42 is about the best you can get.

Benjamin Hickok
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