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Bird Watcher's Digest


Nikon Monarch 5 Binocular Review

by Michael and Diane Porter

In this review, we look at Nikon's new version of the ever-popular mid-priced Monarch binocular, the Monarch 5.

In 2012, Nikon changed the name on one of the most popular binoculars in the history of optics. The Nikon Monarch ATB became the Nikon Monarch 5. It seems to have almost exactly the same optical qualities and mechanics, the only significant change being the printing on the body of the binocular.

It comes in two sizes, 8x42 and 10x42. They look the same and are the same size. We're discussing the 8x42 here, but the general characteristics are similar.

Nikon Monarch 5 8x42

Nikon Monarch 5We consider this binocular a best buy in its price range. Its resolution and brightness compare well even when competing against binoculars costing up to twice as much.

At 21.5 ounces it is one of lightest-weight full-sized binoculars we have surveyed. It’s hand friendly, with lugs that don’t poke the hand and eyecups that twist-click up neatly.

If you wear glasses, you'll appreciate the outstanding 19.5 mm eye relief that lets everybody, even eyeglass wearers, see the whole field of view.

It also has one of the smoothest, most precise focus knobs in the business. Focus knob turns 1 ¼ turns lock to lock.

An improvement of new Monarch 5 over the older (ATB) model is that the new model can focus as close as 8.2 feet, compared to 9.8 feet in its predecessor.

What's the competition?

The main competition for the 8x42 Monarch 5 would be the 8x42 Vortex Diamondback, which is costs a little less than the Monarch. On optical quality we give a very slight edge to the Monarch 5.

The advantage of the Diamondback is its wider field of view — 420 feet at 1000 yards, compared to 330 feet for the Monarch 5.

Other than the Diamondback, you can't match the Monarch 5 at the Monarch 5's price.

See price





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