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Brand new Monarch 7 8x42 questions please (2 Viewers)

bbbird

Member
Hello everyone. I am upgrading my birding experience and have bought a brand new pair of Nikon Monarch 7 8x42 binoculars from REI. I've been working with them this afternoon and early evening and I am generally pretty satisfied with them. I am not an optics expert but compared to the Celestron Nature DX 8x42 bins that I've used for the last couple of years, it seems to me that the Nikons have a noticeably larger FOV and are just a bit sharper and brighter.
I wish the eyecups had an extra stop between all the way down and the first position. Also, the accessories it comes with (particularly the rainguard) are underwhelming to say the least. However, these are small quibbles.

I'd probably keep these except for some build quality issues that kind of bother me. i wanted to ask you all if you think these are concerning or if I'm making something out of nothing.

First is the diopter ring. The diopter itself is very stiff when you make adjustments which is fine, but the ring itself feels loose and has a good couple of millimeters of wiggle room or rather, play in it back and forth.
Secondly, in large spots on the barrels of the binoculars, the rubber coating is not really glued down and so it kind of feels like a slippy blister there.

These two things are adding up to an impression that these are not made very well. Not what I'd expect for an almost $500 pair of binoculars. Do you folks agree or am I making too much of these things? I've never owned Nikon bins before so I have no experience with them to go on.

Thank you very much for your replies.
 

mwhogue

Registered User
Supporter
Hello bb,

I have looked through some Nikon Monarch 3 and 5 briefly at REI. They seemed good value and I didn't notice any issues with the armor or the diopter. Many members here consider the Monarch 7 series to be well made and a good value. I do own Nikon EDG, E II and Mikrons. All are top notch in terms of optics, construction and mechanical function. You are not overreacting and IMO you should return/exchange them. Either the armor issue or the diopter issue alone fairly justifies a return. Regarding the accessories, let's just say that is not one of Nikon's long suits.

Hope this helps.

Mike
 
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bbbird

Member
Hello bb,

I have looked through some Nikon Monarch 3 and 5 briefly at REI. They seemed good value and I didn't notice any issues with the armor or the diopter. Many members here consider the Monarch 7 series to be well made and a good value. I do own Nikon EDG, E II and Mikrons. All are top notch in terms of optics, construction and mechanical function. You are not overreacting and IMO you should return/exchange them. Either the armor issue or the diopter issue alone fairly justifies a return. Regarding the accessories, let's just say that is not one of Nikon's long suits.

Hope this helps.

Mike

Thank you for your reply. I have ordered a replacement and we'll see how that goes.

Before trying the Monarch 7 bins I had ordered a pair of Vortex Viper HD 8x42 bins. I wound up returning them as well because I just couldn't get a decent image out of them. I liked how they felt and the build quality seemed excellent but after hours of working with them I just couldn't get it set correctly. I figured that well, they just weren't right for me. They say that it's sometimes like that right? Upon reflection though maybe they were defective as well. Like maybe the barrels were not aligned properly. I don't know.
If it wasn't for the COVID shutdown I'd go try out a bunch of these in person somewhere. I'll post again on how the next pair of Monarch 7's goes.
 

pbjosh

missing the neotropics
Switzerland
I had a pair of the M7 8x42 for many years as my back-up bins, and always liked them and the view they provide - wide, bright, with good contrast and saturation. I found them ergonomically easy to get on with as well. My example had neither the wiggly diopter you mention nor loose armor. I agree with Mike to seek a replacement that is free of faults. Particularly with a retailer that is as good about returns and customer satisfaction as REI, make sure you get a good bin instead of settling.

Cheers,
Josh
 

Royfinn

Well-known member
I have had M7 8x30 for over a year in hard use and the rubber armor is loose all the way, but ther bin still operate normal, so it's just bit of nuisance.
 

MandoBear

Well-known member
If I recall correctly, the dioptre adjusting ring on the M7 is a separate piece which is splined on to the optical housing holding the ocular lenses which actually turns and is threaded in and out of the binocular. A small amount of play is normal here (even if it's not 100% desirable). My M7 8x30s and my wife's Prostaff 8x30s (which share the same body-shell) both have a small amount of free-play in the dioptre ring. My M7s have been in regular use for 3 years now, and this has never been a problem. Once set, the dioptre stays set - unless I make a deliberate effort to adjust it. Similarly, the armouring on mine has never been an issue - it feels much the same as it did when the binoculars were new.

The M7s are not high-end, but they are good binoculars to look through, and they are solid, dependable performers, and about as good as any in their price bracket.
 
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bbbird

Member
Thank you everyone for your thoughtful replies. Just to update, I am still waiting for my replacement Monarch 7s which are expected to arrive around June 2nd. I decided to play a hunch that the Vortex Vipers I had before were indeed defective and so I bought another pair from a different vendor and figured that, assuming that I get a non-defective example of each, I'd compare them and then keep the one I liked best.

The Vipers I had before must have been defective because the pair I have now are pretty great. Very sharp and bright and they have a very solid, quality feel to them.

There are a few things I'm not crazy about though which probably come under the heading of personal preference rather than any fault of the Vipers. I find that the focus wheel is really very stiff to me which is my own opinion of course. I also find that the rubber that forms a ring around the top of the eyecups kind of irritates the skin on my face after a while. I imagine this will be worse later in the summer when I'm sweating a lot. I do have a latex allergy so I wonder what these are made of. At any rate, I do have sensitive skin so that's me, not the Vipers's fault.

The view is very sharp in the middle but then starts to soften pretty quickly as you look away from the center of view. The big thing for me though is that I experience a pretty big rolling ball effect with these. Scanning around things like trees, bushes, or shoreline would immediately start to make me feel ill. Tracking barn swallows against a background of woods as they dart around across the surface of a pond (one of my favorite things to do) was pretty painful.

I have read that sometimes people can adjust to this and get used to the rolling ball effect so I'll still hang on to these until the M7s arrive and I'll give them both a spin. I have a feeling though that the Vipers—as good as indeed they are—will likely be the ones heading back. I'll let you know.
 

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