Nikon is known to produce high-quality binos, and some of their best-selling ones are the Nikon Prostaff and Nikon Monarch. In this article, we have discussed each, as well as their similarities and differences.
Nikon Prostaff Series
In the Nikon Prostaff series, there is the 3s series and 7s series. The 7s series has the 8×30, 10×30, 8×42, and 10×42 models, and the 3s series has 8×42 and 10×42 models.
Both the 3 series and the 7 series have the following similarities.
- They are roof prism binoculars
- They utilize multicoated Eco-glass lenses
- They use turn and slide eyecups
- They have rubber armoring for a firm grip and for dampening shock impacts
- They are sturdy, compact, and lightweight
- They come with warranties
- They are fog proof and waterproof performance
The differences between the two versions are as follows:
- The 7s models have a narrower field of view than the 3s models.
- The 3s 8×42 and 20×42 models have a longer eye relief than those of the 7s series.
- The roof prisms of the 3s models have fewer layers of coatings than the 7s. This means that their image quality is not as superior as that of the 7 models.
- The 3s models are lighter and cheaper than the 7s models.
Nikon Monarch Series
The Nikon Monarch has four different models: Monarch 3, Monarch 5, Monarch 7, Monarch ATB, and Monarch HG.
The Monarch 3 models are entry-level binos. They are considered to be the lowest quality in the Monarch series, and the company has stopped producing them. However, you can still find some in the market.
The Monarch 5 models are the most popular because of their price point value and quality. There are 3 models in this series: The Monarch 5 8×42, Monarch 5 10×42, and the Monarch 5 12×42.
The 8×42 and the 10×42 are the most ideal for wildlife viewing and birdwatching. This is due to their large field of view and lightweight construction. The 8×42 has a field of view of 330 feet and the 10×42, 288 feet.
The 10×42 is slightly more expensive than the 8×42 model because of the higher magnification.
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So if you do your birding in low light conditions, then the 8×42 would be the ideal option of the two. The 10×42 is suitable for bright light conditions.
Aside from the price and field of view differences, the two models have different eye reliefs. The 8×42 has an eye relief of 19.6mm, and the 10×42 has an eye relief of 18.4mm.
Both models don’t differ by much else. They have a lot of similar features, and they include:
- Fully multicoated lenses for clear, sharp, and bright images
- Phase-corrected prism coatings for bright images
- Eco-glass lenses
- Comfortable eye relief
- Smooth central focus wheel
- Compact and lightweight construction
- Rubber armoring for protection against impact and shocks
- Waterproof and fog-proof features
The Monarch 5 12×42 has the same features as the 8×42 model and the 10×42 model, with a few key differences. It has a higher magnification, it uses an Extra-low dispersion glass for better resolution and image clarity, and it has a narrower field of view.
However, it is the most ideal for birdwatching or wildlife viewing in low-light conditions. It is also slightly more expensive than the other two models because of its high magnification.
The Monarch 7 is the advanced version of the Monarch 5. It uses extra-low dispersion glass and proprietary lenses, which the Monarch 5 doesn’t, for higher resolution and image clarity. Because of these improvements, the 7 versions cost more than 5 versions.
The Monarch ATB binos are all-terrain binos, hence the designation ATB. They have similar features as the 5 series as well as the objective lens size and configurations.
The Monarch HG is a different story. It is the most advanced of the Monarch series in performance and quality. The lenses, Extra-low dispersion glass, phase coatings, lens coating, rubber armoring, and other features are all of superior quality.
It has an incredibly wide field of view and generous eye relief. It works incredibly well in low-light conditions, and it has a sturdy and lightweight construction. It is the most expensive in the Monarch series. While the other versions cost less than $800, these binos cost $1000 plus. It is in the same league with some best-rated binos like the Zeiss Conquest HD and the Swarvoski SLC series.
- Both the Prostaff and Monarch models have rubber armoring for a firm grip in wet conditions and for dampening shock impact
- They all utilize multicoated lenses
- They all use Eco-glass lenses
- They are all roof prism binos
- They are all ideal for birdwatching, wildlife watching, and sightseeing
- They are compact, sturdy, and lightweight
- In both versions, some models don’t use extra-low dispersion glass
- They all come with warranties
- The Nikon Prostaff series has fewer models than the Monarch series
- Some Nikon Prostaff models don’t have phase-correction coated roof prisms
- The Nikon Monarch has some pricey models like the Monarch HD
- The Prostaff has the cheapest models
- They have varying eye reliefs and fields of views
- All the models in the Prostaff series don’t come with tripod mounts, while some in the Monarch series do.
Which is Better?
For image quality, the Monarch series and the Prostaff 7s series take the cake. Not only do they use fully multicoated lenses, but the prisms are also phase-correction coated for bright and clear images in any lighting condition.
For body quality, Nikon makes binos that are sturdy, compact, and lightweight. All the models in both the Prostaff and Monarch series have rubber armoring that’s shock-resistant and water-resistant.
If you are comparing in terms of price, the Prostaff series models are the most affordable, with the 3s models being the cheapest.
You can’t go wrong buying Nikon binoculars. Although the company has discontinued the Prostaff 3s series, the Prostaff 7s series has some good binos. The Monarch series is the most popular, and it has some serious high-performance binos. Some of which are more expensive than others. Nevertheless, both versions have something good to offer in terms of image quality, body quality, and performance.