Let’s take a look at the Nikon Monarch 5 10×42. Another binocular that is on our list of best cheap binoculars. The Monarch 5 series from Nikon covers the low-mid price range and is quite suitable for birdwatching and hunting activities. As opposed to its 8×42 counterpart, this one offers bigger zoom levels at 10x. Thus, we find this model to be better suited for hunters.
As most binoculars in the low to medium price range, the Monarch 5 offers a wide array of features for a reasonable price. It doesn’t pack the biggest punch but it’s enough for hobbyists. If you want to take a look at the more high-end models then check out our best high quality binoculars list here. Otherwise, enjoy our full review!
The 10×42 model Monarch 5 is rather similar to its counterpart in regard to features. Here are the ones we found most important:
The main difference is of course the level of zoom. The Monarch 5 10×42 comes with 10x zoom capabilities and it delivers well. The higher zoom level comes handy if you need to look at a smaller area rather than the big picture. This is especially handy when you are hunting.
The binoculars are built with Nikon’s premium ED glass. These lenses deliver a sharp image that is clear and the 42mm lens size helps with low-light conditions. The 42mm lenses are of course multicoated for glare optimization. Hunting often happens in dim conditions and Nikon has found a viable solution for the problem with these lenses.
Nikon Monarch 5 10×42 also features some nice touches for comfort. The binoculars have comfortable rubber eyecups and slide-down lens covers. The latter are especially nice as lens covers usually dangle in the way or get lost altogether.
The Monarch 5 is waterproof and fog proof as well. As we always say, wildlife isn’t afraid of the weather. These extras help us cope with the conditions and remain active. Foggy nights in the forest aren’t are worry with these binoculars!
This is not the lightest set around, weighing in at 2 pounds. However, if you’re looking for high zoom levels and quality, weight is something that you must accept.
How good are the binoculars?
We found the Nikon Monarch 5 10×42 to be a great set of binoculars. Regardless of being a 10x binocular, the Nikon provides a wide field of view and is relatively compact compared to competitors.
The image is crisp and clear and color reproduction is spot on. We found that the focus distance is also nice on these as it stays in focus at close distances as well. Overall, the optics is near perfect for this price range.
As with the 8×42, we did find the lens covers to be a bit wobbly. Another note would be that the case felt a little cheap and the binoculars lacked a belt strap.
Other than this slight issue, we were happy with the performance. The case it comes in is neat and offers good protection. We also tested the waterproof feature of the binoculars and can’t report any issues. The OutdoorGearPal team took it birdwatching and we saw quite a few birds!
Customers deem the product worthy of a high rating. 79% 5 star ratings on Amazon is usually a sign of a good product. The positive feedback is quite similar to our own. Good things are being said about the optics, focus distance and color quality. Performance in low-light situations is also considered good.
On the negative side there are a few comments about the lens covers. It really seems to be a design flaw of the 5 series.
Wrapping up the Nikon Monarch 5 10×42 review
The Nikon Monarch 5 10×42 is a nice addition to the low-mid price range of binoculars. Nikon’s proven technology in lens and glass production is all there and the results are nice. Colors are beautiful and the image is nice and sharp.
It does have some quality issues with the lens covers so you should take that into account when buying. However, these binoculars should suit your needs for both hunting and birdwatching if you are on a budget. We would recommend these if you’re looking for a 10x Nikon.
If you are still on the fence, check out our full list of best cheap binoculars here.