Hands-on Gear Review

Nikon Prostaff 7 10x42 Review

Nikon Prostaff 7 10x42
Price:  $240 List | $216.95 at Amazon
Pros:  Easy to focus, crisp and clear image, easy to adjust to face, strong magnifying power, comfortable neck strap
Cons:  Lens caps not connected to binoculars, white spots appear in direct sunlight, heavy
Editors' Rating:   
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Focusing System:  Central Focus
Magnification:  10x
Field of View:  344 ft / 1000 yds
Manufacturer:   Nikon

Our Verdict

New Version Update
The Prostaff 7 has been replaced by the Prostaff 7s 10x42. See side-by-side tests of our favorite Binoculars.

The Nikon Prostaff 7 10x42 is a high performing binocular that was one of a few tested scoring a 10 in the Magnification category, due to limited shakiness. It is one of the most user-friendly pairs of binoculars tested, with an easy to adjust focus knob, diopter, and can easily fit to different faces. The Prostaff 7 really shined during the product test at the Whistler Bike Park. While watching fast bikers careen by at breakneck speeds, the Prostaff 7 held an incredibly clear image with little need to refocus as bikers raced by. This proved true again while backyard birding; the Prostaff 7 was able to hold a clear image of a black-capped chickadee as it flew from the feeder to a nearby tree. The Prostaff 7 continued to dominate in the field, while used on a three-day hunting trip in the San Juan Islands of WA. With a 6 degree field of view, the Prostaff 7 allowed users to capture a wide field of vision without ever needing to move their binoculars, distracting nearby deer. The camouflage color-way is also an added bonus! As a result, this pair wins Top Pick for hunters.



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Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Stephanie Bennett

Last Updated:
Monday
November 11, 2013

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The Nikon Prostaff 7 10x42 vs. The Nikon Prostaff 7s 10x42


According to Nikon, the Prostaff 7s 10x42 has replaced the Prostaff 7.

The Prostaff 7S has coated eco-glass lenses, long eye relief, rubber eyecups, coated roof prisms to help phase-correction, a rubber armored body, and are waterproof, as well as fogproof. The 7S retails for $200.

Check out a side-by-side comparison below, with the 7S shown on the left and the 7 pictured on the right.
Nikon Prostaff 7S 10x42
Nikon Prostaff 7 10x42

Hands-On Review


A user-friendly model with a clear image, the Nikon Prostaff is is a high performing model with 10x magnification.

Performance Comparison


Using the conveniently camouflaged Nikon Prostaff 7 during a hunting excursion in the San Juans. Its portable size and high magnification with limited shakiness makes this an excellent pair for hunting.
Using the conveniently camouflaged Nikon Prostaff 7 during a hunting excursion in the San Juans. Its portable size and high magnification with limited shakiness makes this an excellent pair for hunting.

Clarity


The Nikon Prostaff 7 rivals the Nikon Monarch 3 8x42 ATB, in the clarity arena. When the eye cups are brought to a user's eyes, you are immediately met with a crisp, clear image of an object from 13 feet away to nearly half a mile. While testing the binocular at Mount Baker, we were easily able to view the cones resting in the Douglas Fir Tree located nearly a half mile away.

The Prostaff 7 also shined during its 3-day hunting field test. It blew other wide angle competitors out of the water, such as the Olympus Trooper and the Bushnell Legacy 8x42. This is due to the Nikon Prostaff 7's wide field of view, allowing users to take in a large area without having to adjust or move the binoculars.

The only negative mark against the Prostaff 7 is that sun spots appear in the field of vision while viewing objects in the direct sunlight. If you want the best of the best for wildlife viewing, try the Swarovski EL 8.5x42.

Magnification


With the magnification power of 10, the Nikon Prostaff 7 Series 10x42, offers excellent vision. What makes it stand out compared to other 10x binoculars is the limited amount of shakiness displayed while viewing a moving image. Typically 10x binoculars amplify hand movement in the view, but these are surprisingly stable.

Ease of Adjustment


The size of the Nikon ProStaff allows it to be adjusted with one hand.
The size of the Nikon ProStaff allows it to be adjusted with one hand.
The Prostaff 7 is incredibly easy to adjust, just like our Editors' Choice, the Nikon Monarch 7 10x30. On a recent hunting trip, one of our testers was easily able to quickly and effortlessly adjust the focus to bring a buck into clear view, and then follow it while easily communicating it's location to his hunting partner. The binoculars were then seamlessly passed off between our testers, and both were able to adjust the diopter and focus for their own needs.

Durability


With a light plastic case and lens caps for both the optical lens and eye pieces, the Prostaff 7 is a durable pair of binoculars. Some other binoculars have thicker layer of plastic protecting the barrels, like the Bushnell NatureView 6x30 and the Bushnell Legacy 8x42, but we found the Prostaff's protection to be adequate.

Portability


Due to its roof prism design, the Nikon Prostaff 7 10x42 is incredibly compact, at only 6 inches long and 5 inches wide. Weighing 23.5 ounces, it placed middle of the pack when comparing weight against other binoculars tested. This makes it a manageable size and weight for packing on hikes, but it is not as easy to carry as some of the more compact models we tested, such as the Nikon Trailblazer 8x25 ATB or the Bushnell Legend.

The size and weight of the Prostaff 7 became a slight issue while hunting. As with most binoculars, there is always a level of sacrifice for performance versus size and weight. In the case of the Prostaff 7, you are gaining an impressively powerful and clear set of binoculars in exchange for a slightly heavier and larger size. This issue was only apparent while testers were hunting, and carrying multiple items on their chest. The binoculars were just an added object that sometimes got in the way. This can easily be mitigated by using a chest harness with the binoculars, holding them closer and tighter to your chest while hiking, or placing them in a backpack, but this causes them to be less accessible in a rush.

Best Applications


The camouflage colorway of the binoculars is a giveaway that the Nikon Prostaff 7 was designed with the hunter or wildlife viewer in mind. With its clear and stable image, wide field of view, and high magnification, this binocular will definitely not disappoint while out in the filed or on the hunt.

Value


With a price tag of $240, this model is more expensive than some of the other binoculars we tested with a 10x magnifying power, such as the Olympus Trooper 10x50 DPS, which is only $80. However, the comfort of the Prostaff 7, and high performance are worth the larger price tag.

Stephanie Bennett

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Most recent review: November 11, 2013
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