This is a comprehensive Nikon Monarch 5 Review!
The Nikon Monarch 5 binoculars offer exceptional quality optics suitable for hunting, briding, and sightseeing in great detail. These binoculars are available at an affordable price.
Although I didn’t like the lens caps’ quality, that doesn’t count towards the final decision anyway.
In this in-depth Nikon Monarch 5 binocular review, you will find out about its specs, performance, available sizes, and alternatives.
- Optical performance
- Construction and quality
- All model sizes and specs
- What’s in the box?
- User reviews
- Our verdict
Nikon Monarch 5 Overview
If you’re going to use your binoculars at dawn and dusk, the Nikon Monarch 5 will work wonders for you. And the best part is, it’s incredibly light so you can use it for extended sightseeing sessions.
The extra-low dispersion glass is used in the making of its lenses and prisms to reduce chromatic aberration. It means you will enjoy those close-to-life images with outstanding clarity and sharpness.
You will experience brighter and better resolutions while using Monarch 5. It is entirely made in Japan, including its entire body, components, and optics. So, you can expect top-notch quality from this product.
Explorers, sightseers, and hunters will all enjoy using these binoculars in broad daylight as well as during low-light conditions.
The compact size of these binoculars makes them easy to use on the go. Still, it’s the Monarch 5 ED glass lenses with full multilayer coating and highly-reflective dielectric multilayer prism coating that makes a high resolution and crisp, clear images.
But we’re not impressed with the low-quality turn-and-slide eyecups. They looked cheap on such an exceptional pair of binoculars like these.
These binoculars are tough to focus on at full magnification (12x) if you don’t have steady hands. So, a tripod or a window mount is recommended. But it’s not a dealbreaker.
There are four sizes available in Nikon Monarch 5. The most popular models of Monarch 5 among sightseers, bird watchers, and hunters are 10×42 and 12×42. The 20×56 is geared towards stargazing. While general observers and travelers found 8×42 useful.
The next two sections are the same for all the sizes of Monarch 5. But in the later sections of this article, we will uncover all versions of Monarch 5.
Thanks to the multi-coated lens and ED glass, you cannot differentiate between the quality of images seen through the naked eye and the crisp definition of the images seen through these binoculars.
Nikon has used high-quality extra-low dispersion glass in the construction of the lenses and prisms of these binoculars.
ED-glass works to reduce chromatic aberration no matter what the light conditions are. You would get a better resolution and sharper image results with this glass type.
Nikon has also fully multi-coated the lenses to ensure better light transmission and high-reflective dielectric coated prims to ensure the contrast remains high with accurate colors. These coatings minimize the light loss due to reflection and ensure a natural and crisp clear view.
The images from Nikon Monarch 5 binoculars have a brilliant contrast and resolution. Thanks to the high-reflective dielectric multilayer-coated prisms that work together with the fully multilayer-coated lenses.
Nikon has gone for its high-quality extra-low dispersion glass to make sure that there is no color fringing or color dispersion to make these binoculars’ optics.
The result is a rich, bright, and slider image with accurate colors. We also noticed that the ED-glass of these binoculars does a fine job in light transmission, and you can see pretty well in dull light too.
As a birder, you’ll love watching birds like western grebe in vivid detail, even from the far shore of your local lake. You can quickly identify a perched bald eagle flying that looks dark with a naked eye.
Construction and Design
The o-ring seal proofing and nitrogen filling make them usable even in the wettest conditions. As an avid birder, you can easily carry these binoculars on your trips because these are sturdy lightweight despite featuring large magnified optics. And you won’t notice any dulled colors or distorted images as well.
The high-eyepoint ensures comfortable viewing even for long hours. But as usual with these Monarch binoculars, the eyecups are downright jerry-built.
Body and grip
As we held these binoculars in our hands, we instantly fell in love with how light they feel. They feature a durable rubber armor body to ensure a better grip.
And, of course, rubber does a splendid job in the outdoors due to its rugged nature. No matter how wet things might get, these binoculars are not going to slip away from your hand any time soon.
Like most of the Monarch by Nikon, this model is also O-ring sealed and nitrogen purged to make it completely fog and waterproof.
Focus wheel and focusing
The central knob or focus wheel of these binoculars also has a very intuitive design. It makes focussing a heck of a lot easier with its ergonomic design and easy access while using the binoculars.
Even if you have your gloves on, rotating the knobs is not that big of a deal. Plus, it moves in clicks to ensure that you can focus on the way you want it. You feel satisfied working with this focus knob.
Of course, you are not going to get the convenience of auto-focus here. But it still does a pretty fine job in allowing you to focus on your subject easily.
Eyecups and lens covers
The high-eyepoint makes viewing comfortable through the lenses and provides you with a comprehensive view even with your glasses on.
The eyecups are made of rubber, and they come with a turn-and-slide adjustment. There is nothing wrong with the adjustment mechanism itself. But the eyecups are cheap, and you will have to make some adjustments whenever you put your eye on them.
And the same goes for the lens covers that are too big for the lenses themselves. They should be trimmed down a bit for a better fit. I had a hard time using these binoculars with a neck strap and shoulder harness.
Monarch 5 Model Sizes
Monarch 5 binoculars come in four different sizes. The 8×42 is best for birding and on the go, so general-purpose users love them due to their lightweight.
The 10×42 and 12×42 are great for hunters, shooters, and sightseeing due to their actual color and bright results. In contrast, the 20×56 are suitable for stargazers and researchers due to high-powered optics.
The table below has all the specs listed down for all four sizes of this model.
|Objective lens diameter||42 mm||42 mm||42 mm||56 mm|
|Eye relief||19.5 mm||18.4 mm||15.1 mm||16.4 mm|
|Exit pupil||5.25 mm||4.2 mm||3.5 mm||2.8 mm|
|Linear field of view||330 ft at 1000 yds||288 ft at 1000 yds||261 ft at 1000 yds||173 ft at 1000 yds|
|Angular field of view||6.3 degrees||5.5 degrees||7.8 degrees||3.3 degrees|
|Close focus||7.8 feet||8.0 feet||8.2 feet||16.4 feet|
|Dimensions (height/width)||5.7-inch x 5.1-inch||5.7-inch x 5.1-inch||5.7-inch x 5.1-inch||7.8-inch x 5.7-inch|
|Weight||20.8 oz||21.2 oz||21.6 oz||43.6 oz|
|Handheld||Easy to use on the go||Works better when stationary||Slightly tough to hold||Requires a tripod or a window mount|
Nikon Monarch 5 8X42
The Nikon Monarch 5 8×42 binoculars are better suited for explorers who are on the move most of the time. These binoculars come with lightweight construction, and you can enjoy your scenery and watch the beauty of mother nature with a wide view, the best in all these sizes.
But you will notice a slight color fringing when you are looking at a darker object with a brighter background. These binoculars also feature the longest eye relief, 19.5mm, and the best exit pupil of 5.25mm for excellent light transmission and sharper views.
Nikon Monarch 5 10X42
The Nikon Monarch 5 10×42 binoculars are excellent for hunters and sightseers. As a new birder, these levels of magnification provide a steadier view and high brightness levels.
But with higher magnification, you will have to compromise on the field of view, which means it will be challenging to locate a flying eagle. The Nikon 7577 Monarch 5 is slightly heavy compared to the previous size, but it isn’t essential.
Nikon Monarch 5 12X42
Okay, so the Nikon Monarch 5 12×42 binoculars get better magnification than the 10×42. It means that it will work even better for serious bird watchers who want better views of ducks and gulls at far distances. The higher magnification also allows the hunters to identify the exact species of the bird they’re targeting.
But with better magnification, you will have further compromise on FoV and eye relief, which is 261 feet at 1000 yards and 15.1mm, respectively, for this size. So this size is not suitable for general-purpose usage.
It’s all about precision and accuracy, plus closely focussing on the subject under observation. And that’s not it! With more powerful optics, you will have to bear more weight in your hands. Shaky hands beware; better to go with a window mount/tripod here!
Nikon Monarch 5 20X56
Nikon Monarch 5 20×56 binoculars are purely designed for specific-purpose observation, astronomy, and stargazing. The most powerful optics in all Monarch 5 sizes, the 20×56 binoculars are designed for distant viewing.
The FoV further drops down to 173 feet at 1000 yards, along with the eye relief of 16.4mm. But these binoculars are seriously bright when you are looking at a dark sky. Use them with a tripod or a window mount; otherwise the focusing at high magnification becomes very difficult.
Nikon is a high-end optics brand, and it is regarded as one of the top companies in the globe when it comes to backing up its products. The warranty lives up to the expectation because you’re getting a lifetime-limited warranty from Nikon.
Although the Nikon warranty does not apply to accidental damage or breakage of the binoculars, you still have peace of mind that you’re not getting a faulty piece. Your product is covered for any issues associated with the materials and craftsmanship quality.
Beware when buying a Nikon binocular using an online seller because the company only accepts valid invoices, dated and issued by an authorized dealer only.
The Monarch 5 binoculars lens covers and rubber eyecups are not made of high-quality material. If you are going for the Monarch 5 Nikon 10×42 or higher sizes, it’s better to add a tripod or a window mount into the cart too.
Because if you don’t have steady hands, you won’t be able to focus on the image, especially when using these bigger-sized binoculars with full magnification.
What’s In the Box?
High magnification is not suitable if you have shaky hands; Nikon could have slipped in a window mount or a tripod with your purchase of these Monarch 5 binos. Apart from that, they could have also gone for a higher quality lens cover and eyecups too. Everything else is great.
- Nikon Monarch 12×42 binoculars
- A carrying case
- A neck strap
- Two covers for the objective lenses
- Single-piece rainguard (ocular)
- Optical system limited lifetime warranty
- Optical components 7-year limited lifetime warranty
- Electrical components 1-year limited lifetime warranty
The Nikon binoculars Monarch 5 come with a user rating of 4.7 stars, which is pretty impressive, by the way!
Most people were fond of how clear these binoculars are, no matter how gloomy the conditions go. The colors are superb, and the brightness is top-notch.
But most people also mentioned that the eyecups are pretty useless along with the lens covers, and you can use them with a shoulder harness or a neck strap.
Love them. My cousin has a pair of Vortex HD. These are every bit as evident, if not a little clearer. The only downside is the rear lens caps have no chance of staying on. I went out at 7:20 PM the other night to check low light viewing. It was about 10 min. Before dark, I could see and identify some Canadian Geese feeding in a freshly cut cornfield at 540 yards. We’ll see how they work hunting next weekend.
If you think that the cons that we have mentioned above are too much to handle, don’t worry; we have some cool alternatives for you.
Vortex Diamondback HD
The Vortex Diamondback HD is available at a slightly lower price than Monarch 5. It comes with a better FoV, primarily because it is a smaller magnification than the Monarch 5. So, for a smaller price tag, you can go for a wider FoV.
Leupold BX-1 McKenzie
Here’s another alternative of Monarch 5 at half the price. But you will have to compromise on eye relief, magnification and weight because they are slightly heavier (almost negligible). But at this price, it’s a fair deal!
Every hunter will love using these binoculars because they come with a camo finish. But the company has fitted a range finding reticle in the left lens that’s annoying to use if you’re an avid birdwatcher.
If you are searching for better magnification with decent optics, you should Consider the Nikon Monarch 5 12×42 binoculars. They feature powerful optics, particularly useful for hunters and bird watchers. They are also suitable for sightseeing if you have steady hands.
But don’t expect them to be your astronomy binoculars because they are not. And you also need to replace those eyecups and lens covers before losing them.
For general purpose use on the go, the 8×42 is better. For more detailed views and slightly heavier optics, the hunters, bird watchers, and explorers will love the 10×42 and 12×42 sizes. 20×56 are suitable for stargazers and astronomers.
You can buy Nikon 5 binoculars and accessories in-store and online from Nikon directly or from authorized Nikon dealers worldwide for the best warranty coverage.