Field Testing the Nikon Monarch HG 10×42


Nikon Monarch HG review

I’ve always felt that if I can see it, I can go kill it. For this reason, I place high value on the optics I use. I won’t settle for average. Average, when it comes to glass, often leads to in-the-field mishaps.

I recently had the chance to field test the Nikon Monarch HG 10×42 binoculars, and I found them to be a win for Nikon. Considering the price tag — $999.95 — I’d say they’re a big win.

With ED (Extra-Low Dispersion) glass and a high-quality multilayer coating applied to all lenses and prisms, the Nikon Monarch HG binoculars are way above average. I tested the system in low light and extremely bright light, and the results were the same — undeniable clarity and incredible color resolution, as well as exceptional eye relief. I love binoculars I can trust in low light, and the Monarch HG earned my trust.

Nikon Monarch HG reviewFrom the get-go I appreciated the Monarch HG’s compact nature, ergonomic rubber-grip panels and large, easy-to-turn focus wheel. And though the binos aren’t ultra-light, they are by no means heavy. They hold well in the hand, are balanced, and, due to their compact nature, ride nicely on the chest. For the sake of testing, I moved across rugged terrain with the binos attached to Nikon’s ProStaff Bino Harness and housed in an FHF Gear bino-container system. The binos rode a tad better in the housed container system, but I didn’t have any issues when they were dangling from the bino harness, not even when I was moving at a jogger’s pace.

The field of view is wide, and Nikon’s Field Flattener Lens System provides a sharp, clear view to the lens periphery. There is no blur or clutter with these binos. Everything is crisp, and that feature above all others is what I love about them. I’m confident I won’t miss that antler tip snaking above the brush or a tuft of hair blended into the landscape.

Though I wasn’t about to put my shiny new Nikons through a torture test, one can tell from the build that Nikon put a heavy emphasis on durability. Objective and eyepiece lenses are protected by scratch-resistant coatings, and lenses are shielded from fog with an extreme waterproof rating that, according to Nikon, promises fog-proof integrity at altitudes up to 16,000 feet. The body is made from a magnesium alloy to ensure strength and impact resilience should your 10x42s take a tumble, and the rubberized panels ensure a sure grip, providing added protection.

Another Nikon feature I have to tip my hat to is the Locking Diopter Control. Once I get my binos focused and set to my eyes, I don’t want to keep changing them. The Locking Diopter allows you to lock in your personal setting until you want to change it.

Overall, these binos are a great choice for anyone looking for quality optics without draining the bank account. I’m hoping to draw a Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep tag in Colorado this fall, and these will be the binos I’ll be toting. I’ll be sure to give you a full report on how the Monarch HG hold up in the rugged Rockies.