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Nikon MONARCH HG 10x42 Binoculars
Nikon has a complete line of optics
Nikon built their MONARCH HG Binoculars around extra-low-dispersion (ED) glass and added multilayer coatings to all lenses and prisms, plus a dielectric high-reflective multilayer coating to the roof prisms to ensure exceptional clarity at all huntable hours. Up to 92% light transmission, true-to-life color fidelity and a phase-correction prism coating that enhances resolution and contrast give you the ability to pick apart a distant hillside at first or last light. Lightweight, compact die-cast magnesium-alloy construction delivers the toughness to go anywhere without weighing you down. Rubber grip panels ensure sure handling in all sorts of weather. A wide interpupilary distance adjustment ensures a perfect fit for your eyes, while a locking diopter keeps them set just the way you want. Long eye relief and twist-up eyecups. Scratch-resistant lens coatings. Nitrogen filled to resist water pressure and prevent fogging up, even in low-pressure, high-altitude environments. Minimum focus distance of just 65 ft. lets you scan thick brush near your stand. Backed by Nikon's No-Fault Repair/Replacement policy and a limited lifetime warranty.
Rated 5 out of
Third Time's a charm !First of all, I apologize for having 3 reviews on this product. I assure you I am not trying to troll Cabelas, nor do I have any special interest with Nikon. So after having problems with the diopter adjustment on 2 previous models, why did I purchase a third ? Well, because I really liked them otherwise. In the meantime, I had also purchased a pair of Zeiss Conquest HD 10x42's. I have owned both for 6 months now so I feel confident in giving a comparison review. Oh, and the diopter locking adjustment appears to be working fine on these Monarchs
First of all, I really like both of them ! You can't go wrong with either model. Both offer excellent imaging as one would expect from a $1000 pair of binoculars. That being said, there are differences, and I definitely have a preference for one over the other.
The Zeiss Conquests are a little heavier (28 vs. 24 oz) and feel more "ruggedly" constructed. The lens cap system looks cool, but is functionally not as good as the Monarch's flip caps. Image-wise the two binoculars offer similar superb imaging. It is my impression that the Zeiss's are just a tad brighter appearing than the monarch HG's. This may be due to having a slightly smaller field of view. Both offer similar eye relief but I found that the Zeiss Conquests had to be aligned exactly with my pupils or suffer from blackout.
The Monarchs were definitely more comfortable to hold and view comfortably without having to be perfectly aligned to avoid "blackout". I am not an eyeglass wearer and would have to extend the Conquest's eye cups fully and wedge them on the top part of my eye sockets to keep them aligned properly
The Monarchs also exhibited less chromatic aberration than the Conquests. I'm not sure if the "field flattener" lens adds much other than marketing glitz. When panning both binoculars there was very little "roller ball" distortion, maybe slightly less with the Monarchs. Both appeared sharp out to the periphery, but I've always felt this is a bit overrated because how often do you study detail on the periphery of the field ? If there is something of interest, it's second nature to move it to the center.
When I was packing for my Antarctic adventure I was debating which pair to bring. My wife said, "bring your best !". So....I ...brought the Monarchs. They perfomed very well in the marine environment and other passengers who borrowed them were very impressed by their performance. (and there was a lot of expensive glass on this trip)
I have also compared these to the Swarovski 10x42's SLC's and I preferred the Monarch's for comfort and field of view.
I'm not sure why these are not more popular. When most people think of high end binoculars, Leica, Swarovski, and Zeiss come to mind, but these are right up there and other sights have also given them good reviews. The Cabelas by me does not stock them, they have to be ordered...but are worth the wait :)
Date published: 2018-03-10
Rated 5 out of
Outstanding binocularsThese are very well made binoculars. Most of my comparison is with the Monarch 5 ED 10x42 which I also own. (I also have a pair of Kowa BD XD 10x32 and Steiner wildlife xp 10x26) Optically the Nikon HGs are outstanding. No discernable chromatic aberration in most of field. Images tack sharp with a 6.9 degree field. The exterior finish feels more like old school leather than the rubberized finish of the monarch 5, and yet they are of course waterproof/fogproof. The case is a little nicer than the one which comes with the Monarch5 in that it has a fastex buckle for closure instead of Velcro. There is also a lockable Diopter ring which is nice, and the objective covers are of higher quality than what comes with the Monarch 5's. Considering that I really like my Monarch 5's, it seems odd that I decided to purchase these, but I really wanted to experience a premium binocular, without the higher cost of a Swarovski or Leica. Overall they are definitely superior to the Monarch 5's mostly by the virtue of having a wider field of view ,incrementally better optics, and an improved build. Whether or not this justifies 3x cost of the Monarch 5's is individual preference.
In my opinion, The Nikon HG represents the apex of Return on investment, as any minute advantages in optics would necessitate an even higher price tag from the aforementioned brands. Life's too short to look through it with mediocre optics, treat yourself and get a pair of these...