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I had the intention to purchase a pair of top end binoculars - either Swarovski or Zeiss but couldn't manage to get to a major city retailer to compare them. I have used both on separate occassions but decided that if I was going to spend around $3k I wanted to be sure that I was getting the best product for me. In the end I came across the Nikon Monarch 7 and couldn't be happier. I use these exclusively for birding and find them to be perfect for my needs. The quality is amazing and I have no hesitation in recommending them to anyone. Great product and a fraction of the price of what I was originally looking at.
We spent some time investigating binoculars; if you're going to spend this kind of money it's not an impulse buy. Extensive internet research narrowed down the magnification we needed to 8x or 10x, but when we tried them out locally we found the higher magnification made it harder to keep a bird in the centre of view. Some of the more expensive binoculars we rejected because they were more tricky to hold, being a quite slippery hard plastic. These have a soft touch rubberised 'armour' casing which means they're easy to hold firmly, and don't slip through your fingers. We bought them for an upcoming trip to Norway for watching wildlife, and have been trying them out bird watching from our 3rd floor flat. The neckstrap is padded like our Nikon DSLR camera, and they have the same quality build and feel. Wearing glasses can be a problem with binoculars because the distance from the eye cup to the viewing angle is often wrong, but the eye cups on this pair swivel in and out so that you don't lose any of the field of view. We've both found that we can easily focus without removing our specs. There are objective lens covers which attach to each one and flip down, so shouldn't get lost like completely removable covers. The cover for the eyepieces is an all-in-one plastic thing, not so good in all honesty. But all of this is nothing if the glass inside is poor quality. It's not - it's fabulous, providing a very bright clear image that's like watching a nature programme on TV. It's really very, very good! We have a 20-60x spotting scope (not Nikon) on a tripod which we use to watch boats in the harbour, but the glass is nothing like as good, with considerable aberration at the edges. The weight is not uncomfortable, we've taken them on walks and they're absolutely fine. A really minor negative is the storage bag which is way too loose, perhaps made for the whole range rather than these specific binoculars. We are absolutely delighted with this pair of binoculars, they really are awesome. Can't wait to take them to Norway!
I live on the north coast of Scotland so the majority of my views are open, mountains & coastal. But I do also visit the local woodlands quite frequently. I was in a real quandary over 10x v 8x
All I read steered me to 8x - particularly for birding. I thought to buy the 8x first and supplement with 10x later, and use whichever set depending on my need. This made sense - especially as I have a scope for higher magnification with which to supplement the 8x
But some instinct jumped in and I went 10x.
Turns out instinct paid off. The FOV on these suit me fine (but I am used to using Aculon T11 zoom (also great for a budget set) but now I feel spoiled.
I was worried about shake on 10x and even bought a tripod/monopod mount to go with them but...turns out - I don’t need it.
I saved myself £250 by getting the 10x first as I now feel I don’t need the 8x...I’d done the other way round I feel I’d have bought 10x too.
Shake is minimal in my hands and FOV just fine for me on all circumstances - and I’ve given these a good go in the last couple of days I won’t be needing the 8x now, I think.
As these Monarch 5’s compare...well: I looked through some Swarovski at the weekend at the local Shorewatch meet and, honestly...not so much difference.
These are bright, clear, sharp...some CA but nothing to worry about. And steady!
I’d recommend these very highly - whichever spec you go for.
I almost wish I’d not spent on the scope - these bins are SO good. Obviously, i haven’t tried Monarch 5 8x42 but I’m certain they would be outstanding too.