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.
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: High-quality construction, very comfortable to use, great clarity
Cons: Heavy for backpacking or carrying long distances
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Nikon Monarch M7 10x42
|Price||$384.34 at Amazon|
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|Pros||High-quality construction, very comfortable to use, great clarity||Very clear and bright, easy to adjust, comfortable, high-quality construction||Good clarity and brightness, smooth focus knob||Inexpensive, good clarity and brightness||Good clarity, small and lightweight, relatively comfortable|
|Cons||Heavy for backpacking or carrying long distances||A bit heavy for the backcountry||Mediocre close focus range, mediocre field of view||Average construction quality, mediocre low-light performance||Poor low-light performance|
|Bottom Line||Good optical quality, but not the best in the price range||This 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 tag||These perform well for the price, offering a smooth focus knob and decent brightness and clarity||The most budget-friendly option we've found that offers a good introduction to birdwatching||An 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...|
|Field of View (10%)|
|Ease of Adjustment (5%)|
|Close Focus Range (5%)|
|Specs||Nikon Monarch M7 10x42||Vortex Viper HD 8x42||Nikon Monarch M5 8x42||Celestron Nature DX...||Vortex Diamondback...|
|Multi - Coating||FMC||FMC||FMC||FMC||FMC|
|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|
|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|
Our Analysis and Test Results
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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