• BirdForum is the net's largest birding community dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE!

    Register for an account to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Nikon Monarch 7 8x30, 10x30 vs Vortex Diamondback HD 8x32 (1 Viewer)


New member
Hey everyone,

After a couple of years walking in the nature in the weekends,hoping to spot some wildlife but never did. We decided to get binoculars. But where to start, brand, cost, kind of glass etc, watch a lot of youtube, reviews on other websites. Because of the lockdown we couldn’t test it at a store. Ordered a Barr & Stroud Sierra 8x42, because of the price. Directly at arrival found it too heavy, not really what we were hoping for carrying at our walks. After sending it back, I found this forum, great for reading real reviews from users of binoculars. After reading a lot of threads, I ordered the Vortex diamondback HD 8x32, for the size, weight and costs. On the moment of ordering the Nikon Monarch 7 10x30 was discounted at Amazon, so dispite threads about the 10 times magnification, ordered it. We had to see it for ourselves.
After recieving, I directly liked the size and weight of both, tested them on the field. I had no experience at all with binoculars, it took some time to get the hang of it. At first seeing beans etc. After a while: They both are comfy in the hand, but as I allready read on the forums, 10x magnification got disturbing with shaking. The Diamondbacks with 8x magnification are a lot easier to use and look in the distance. As mentioned in threads, saw the chromatic aberration. Didn’t found it disturbing in the beginning, my girlfriend really did. Especially looking in the distance on a open field, the aberration was visible on white signs and trees. So I also ordered the Nikon Monarch 7 8x30, tested it on the same field, continious changing between the Nikon and the Vortex. The lens size 30 or 32 is good enough for walking by daylight, we tested them at dawn, saw little difference in light between the lens sizes. Even thought the Nikon gets a little more light with the ED glass. Tested them in home for focussing at closer range. We really liked the Nikon, it cost more (almost double the price of the Vortex) but that’s the keeper. Really hope it will last a couple of years from now. Hoping we ain’t getting troubles with the armour as mentioned in some threads. Don’t get me wrong, the Vortex is a good binocular(opinion of this amateur) The price is good, garanty supposedly even better if needed. Just don’t like the harder plastics, aberration and really loose lenscaps, we were worried losing them at the field. With the Vortex you will get a harder case with zippers, 2 straps and a cloth. Nikon gives you a softcase and a neckstrap. The softcase from Nikon got velcro closing, which make a lot of noise at opening. Gonna replace that with another case later.
So thanks to everyone writing their reviews about binoculars, it helped us a lot. Hope this small review will help others too.


Well-known member
Glad you like the little Monarch 8x30. I got mine in 2017 and have used them a lot - no issues with the armour (seems pretty hard wearing). For the price, they work very well, bright, clear and a nice wide field of view.



It is interesting that your girlfriend noticed chromatic aberration (CA) immediately, and of course you did but not right away, I do not wear glasses and yet CA never has jumped out at me when viewing a glass, no matter what the caliber was (budget or premium). I know how to entice it and of course it will show itself more in some glass over others.
Make sure that she adjusts the IPD for her facial ocular structure since improper adjustment of this feature in use can lead to excessive CA when observing.

Andy W.


Well-known member
Nice write-up. I’ve had the Nikon M7 8x30, the Dback HD 8x32 and also currently have the Opticron Traveler 8x32. All excellent binoculars at their price point.

The Dback is a marvel at under $200 with the super wide FOV and very good sharpness in the center, but the M7 is definitely a clear step up in optics. Brighter, more neutral, wider sweet spot.

IMO the Traveler is slightly better still, the color fringing is minimal and the off axis distortion is very well corrected so it feels as though it has a huge “clean” sweet spot. I also prefer the feel of the armor and eyecups, and the flare is a bit better than the M7 (although still mediocre relative to other bins). That said, having owned both I wouldn’t bother swapping one for the other if you are happy with what you have.

Enjoy! You’d have to spend quite a bit more money to see a clear improvement :)

Users who are viewing this thread