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Nikon monarch 60 eda review ❤️❤️❤️ (1 Viewer)

Nicks90

Member
Good evening all,
I have just recently purchased a nikon monarch 60 Ed and thought I'd put a review up as when I was looking into them I couldnt find any info on them anywhere. I am no expert on scopes so terminology will not be a strong point. I am also fairly new to birdwatching as I've only been at it for about a year.

I've posted before asking for advice for a cheap budget scope or 2nd hand option when I only had a budget of about £250 and was advised to hang on a while until I could afford something more expensive and to try out what I was going to buy if I could. So this I did I, had been scouring auction sites and all optic suppliers to see if any good deals came up. I noticed that infocus had got hold of some demo nikon products, 2 in particular took my eye due to my budget fieldscope ed82a and the monarch 60 eda, I also didn't want to wait any longer as we are off to Bulgaria mid January (wife is Bulgarian so we spend a fair amount of time there) and I wanted to use it there.

So we headed off to willows farm in focus to try them out, first of all I went to try out the fieldscope as what I've read on this site about them is all good it came with a 20-60 zoom mc eyepiece,i won't go on about this scope as there is lots of info out there, I will just compare it to the monarch 60ed which came with a 38xww eyepiece 30x zoom on the 60mm lens. Firstly the eyepiece is an absolute dream it is huge so you can literally rest your eye on it (this is where the terminology will drop off) and look around, it has a massive FOV. It is extremely bright, sharp and colours are very real not Blurred or fake looking. It totally blew my mind how much better the monarch is than the fieldscope even with a smaller lens size, this may be because of the eyepiece?? As I say I'm no expert. Everything about the monarch is just a delight to use, I think I'm in love. 😊 The focus barrel is extremely easy to use and easy to focus in on your subject.

Anyway as you may of realised I bought it! I got a demo model (basically as new boxed) and velbon sherpa 600r for £650 and I believe they may have more in stock, do not miss out on an absolute steal.

So today I have used it out at Lower test reserve on an extremely dull, damp, grey and miserable day. Boy it did not disappoint, I used it for birds in bushes, birds in trees and birds on the water, all at different heights and distances and all I can say is it really is a fantastic scope. Details and colours are great(even the wife was impressed by it and she's not a birder) especially for the price. I just can't wait to use it on a bright day!!

All I have used to compare it against is the fieldscope in shop, opticron mm4 60mm with hdf zoom eyepiece, a swarovski with a tour guide in Scotland and an opticron with tour guide in Bulgaria all 80mm lens and the monarch is definetly better. I was genuinely surprised at how much better the monarch was than the fieldscope in shop as I had thought I'd be coming home with the 82mm scope after the reviews Id read.

The monarch is also a lovely looking bit of kit and doesn't require a case. I guess the only downside would be the weight of the it as it is around 1.5kg with eyepiece so I guess if you where after a smaller lens to be carrying around then this may not be the scope for you as I believe there is lighter scopes out there. With tripod all in 3.5kg.
As I said at the beginning I'm no expert and it may not be the most detailed review if at all but I hope it may help someone. I believe there is a review on here for the monarch 82eda which the poster says it's the best scope he's ever looked through, I definetly concur even on the 60mm. If I could give it 12 out of 10, I would. Personally I really dont know what more you could want from a scope.

If there is anyway I could improve the review or you have any questions please do ask.

One very happy birder,
Nick
 

Alexis Powell

Natural history enthusiast
United States
...I have just recently purchased a nikon monarch 60 Ed ...I went to try out the fieldscope as what I've read on this site about them is all good it came with a 20-60 zoom mc eyepiece...I will just compare it to the monarch 60ed which came with a 38xww eyepiece 30x zoom on the 60mm lens....

...If there is anyway I could improve the review or you have any questions please do ask...

Am I correct in reading this to mean that you compared a Nikon Monarch 60ED with 30x fixed eyepiece to a Nikon Fieldscope 82ED with 25-75x zoom eyepiece and preferred the former? For almost all birding, I'd agree, but entirely because of the eyepiece. I much prefer a nice easy wide-angle 30x view with long eye relief to a narrow (25 or 30x) view made even more awkward (and perhaps compromised by) poor eye relief. Consequently, I almost always use Nikon Fieldscopes (whether 50, 60, 78, or 82 mm) with the nice Nikon fixed power eyepieces at ~30x.

You might consider adding to your review a description of just what it was that you found superior to the view through your 60ED Monarch as compared to the ~80 mm scopes.

--AP
 

jring

Well-known member
Hi Nick,

glad you like your Monarch ED60 with the 30x wide angle (it's only 38x on the 82mm body).

As has been pointed out, many users prefer wide angle fixed EPs with spotting scopes over zoom EPs for the reasons you mentioned.
And while the Nikon zoom EPs for the old fieldscope series are known to be quite sharp, they're also known for narrow fields and not so great eye relief.
With the Monarch series there is a wide angle zoom available (24-48x on the small body) which also might have been an option - but eye relief is around 15mm vs the 18mm of the 30 wide... this might be an issue for some observers with glasses (15mm is borderline, 18mm works for most).

Joachim
 

Hermann

Well-known member
Nick:

Thank you very much for your review. I've been looking for a review of the Monarch 60mm for quite some time, ever since Heny Link reviewed the big Monarch (https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=377440). Your review is the first one on the Monarch 60mm I read, and the scope seems even more interesting than I thought it was after reading Henry's review of the big version.

I've been a long-term user of the "old" Fieldscopes for well over 20 years now (I've got all three models, 50mm, 60mm and 82mm) myself, and now I think I'll just have to look through the Monarch 60mm. I'd probably get the wideangle plus one of the zooms myself because I sometimes just need the higher magnifications.

BTW, I'm not surprised you preferred the Monarch over the ED82. The zoom on the ED82 isn't the "easiest" eyepiece in the world to use, and Nikon's wideangle eyepieces are great. I often use my Fieldscopes with one of the wideangles as well if I don't need the flexibility the zoom offers, and the view is certainly much more immersive and "nicer". Plus I think Nikon may well use improved coatings on the Monarch, and that may well make a clear difference.

Hermann
 

Hermann

Well-known member
As has been pointed out, many users prefer wide angle fixed EPs with spotting scopes over zoom EPs for the reasons you mentioned.
And while the Nikon zoom EPs for the old fieldscope series are known to be quite sharp, they're also known for narrow fields and not so great eye relief.

I fully agree. Well, almost. The old zoom isn't a "nice" eyepiece in use but it is not "quite sharp", it is very sharp. In fact, I find sharpness and contrast if anything better than in the wideangles for the Fieldscopes, and if I remember correctly Kimmo said something similar years ago, before he switched to the Swarovski 95mm scope.

Hermann
 

Nicks90

Member
Am I correct in reading this to mean that you compared a Nikon Monarch 60ED with 30x fixed eyepiece to a Nikon Fieldscope 82ED with 25-75x zoom eyepiece and preferred the former?
You might consider adding to your review a description of just what it was that you found superior to the view through your 60ED Monarch as compared to the ~80 mm scopes.
AP, yes this is correct the Monarch had a 30x fixed ep whilst the fieldscope had 25-75x zoom and yes I did prefer the former, it surprised me how much brighter, sharper and wider the field of view was even with a smaller lens. As has been pointed out this is probably due to the ep but I just assumed the bigger lens would give better results. In regards to what I found superior this would be the sharpness, brightness, eye relief and field of view in the Monarch. I have previously found it difficult to spend any long amounts of time looking through scopes but with the Monarch I have no problems at all. The only vague direct comparison I can give is against the opticron mm4 60mm with hdf zoom, I appreciate this is a lighter cheaper scope but I really couldn't get on with it when I tried it due to the fov, brightness and I found it hard to locate birds.
 

Nicks90

Member
Joachim, thanks for the info. One day I will definetly purchase the zoom ep but for now I'm more than happy with the 30x.

Hermann, I'm glad the review may help, I'd definitely recommend having a look through one! It's a great scope and I can't wait to use it again this weekend.
 

muxo

Member
Many thanks for the review. One of the few reviews on the 60. Did you purchase the straight or angled model? I'm contemplating the straight model since I think it will be easier to store for travel.
 

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