Today we are taking a look at another low-mid price range binocular. The Nikon Monarch 5 8×42 in particular. If you are on a budget and looking for binoculars for hunting or birdwatching, then this one might be for you. Seasoned hunters need a rangefinder as well so if you feel like that’s you – turn to our review of the best high quality binoculars here.
However, The Monarch 5 is sufficient for its price and offers a wide range of features. Nikon has been in the binocular game for a long time and they know what they are doing. Read our full review of the Nikon Monarch 5 8×42 below or check out our full list of the best cheap binoculars here.
The Monarch 5 has quite a few nice features for its price. Here are the ones that we found to be the most important:
This binocular comes with 8x zoom capability and 42mm lenses. As far as zoom goes, 8x is not the most popular option out there. Depending on what you are planning to do, 10x might be a better suit for you. Hunters generally prefer more zoom and birdwatchers prefer a larger field of view. This binocular would rather suit the latter.
The 42mm lenses are multicoated so they don’t have glare issues and provide a clearer image. The glasses are built with Nikon’s premium ED technology. This means that the glass has extra-low dispersion. The 42mm lenses for great in low-light situations. As wildlife is more active in dim light, this is an important factor.
The Nikon Monarch 5 8×42 is also light. Weighing in an ounce lighter than previous versions, the total weight is 1.3lbs. Outdoor activities are straining enough as it is so less weight is always better. We prefer carrying an extra beer rather than dead weight!
The lenses are multicoated. This is the standard for binoculars in this price range. Multicoating helps to battle the effects of glare and provide a clearer picture.
The Monarch 5 is also waterproof and fog proof. These are perfect features if you are looking to go out in harsh conditions. The body is covered by a rubber casing which protects it from fall damage and scratches.
How good are the binoculars?
We tried out the Nikon Monarch 5 8×42 for a little hunting trip. It was a rainy day – it always has to be, doesn’t it? Anyway, the binoculars worked perfectly. We didn’t have any issues with fog or rain. The rubber eyecups offered nice protection for our eyes as well.
Light transmission was decent. It was quite dark that day because of the rain so this might not be fair to the product. We didn’t see the best results but considering the conditions it did pretty well.
The prisms offered great color reproduction and the image was crisp and clear. No issues with manufacturing quality were noticed. Also, we didn’t notice any game…again.
The Monarch 5 seems to be well accepted by the buyers. With 79% 5 star feedback on Amazon, it is among the best reviewed binoculars in its price range. Highlights are its light weight, great color reproduction and the comfortable eyecups. Most customers find these to be the best features and the overall tone is positive.
On the negative side, a considerable amount of customers is having trouble with the lens covers. On our unit they fitted just fine but customers are reporting that the covers don’t fit properly. This might cause them to fall off in active situations.
Wrapping up the Nikon Monarch 5 8×42 review
The Nikon Monarch 5 8×42 performs well in the low-mid price range. We found that it has great colors, a sharp image and is comfortable to use. It is best suited for beginners so if you are looking for something more serious, take a look at our list of best high quality binoculars here.
If you are just starting your birdwatching or hunting career or have a low budget then the Monarch 5 is a good fit. Its features are sufficient and the price is right as well. There are reports of bad lens covers but that is a minor issue in our books.
Before buying, take a look at our full list of best cheap binoculars as well!