Nikon Prostaff vs Monarch

Nikon Prostaff vs Monarch: Which Binoculars Are Best?

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Nikon is one of the leading manufacturers of binoculars, and they have a number of models available that are great for birders.

Using a pair of binoculars, of course, provides you with the opportunity to find and identify far more birds – including species that tend to be fairly reclusive.

Although the Nikon Aculon is a popular, budget-friendly option, more serious birders are likely to find themselves deciding between two higher-end models: The Nikon Prostaff and the Nikon Monarch.

Wild Bird Scoop is producing this article to help you decide which of these two models may be best for you. We don’t have a prescriptive answer about which one you should buy. Rather, we want to help you understand the differences between these two sets of binoculars so that you can make the best choice for yourself and how you will use them.

About Nikon

The Nikon Corporation was founded in 1917 and is still headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. In addition to the binoculars we are discussing in this post, Nikon also makes scopes (both spotting and rifle scopes), ophthalmic lenses for glasses, microscopes, cameras, and camera lenses.

Their biggest competitors include Canon, Sony, Fujifilm, Pentax, Olympus, and Panasonic.

As one of the global leaders in lenses, they have an excellent reputation for technological advances and quality.

List of Nikon Binocular Models

Here is a list of the models of binoculars that Nikon currently manufactures:

  • WX
  • EDG
  • Monarch
  • Prostaff
  • Aculon
  • DCF
  • Sportstar
  • Travelite
  • WP

In this overview, we will look at 2 of the most popular models: the Monarch and the Prostaff. After covering the details of each one, we’ll provide our recommendations.

Nikon Monarch Binoculars

Monarch binoculars are specifically designed for birding and observing nature. They are high-tech and very well-made. One of the biggest practical differences between the Monarch and the Prostaff (which I’ll cover below) is that the Monarch is more specialized for birding than the general-use Prostaff.

Model options:

  • MONARCH HG 8×30/10×30
  • MONARCH HG 8×42/10×42
  • MONARCH M7 8×30/10×30
  • MONARCH M7 8×42/10×42
  • MONARCH M5 8×42/10×42/12×42

The Monarch M5 and Monarch M7 are the newest products in this line, which means they are considered the most technologically advanced.

M5 Features & Specifications:

Nikon Monarch M5 8x42 Binocular | Waterproof, fogproof, Rubber-Armored Binocular with ED Glass, Long Eye Relief, Limited Official Nikon USA Model
  • Sophisticated rubber armored exterior design provides shock resistance and a firm comfortable grip
  • Locking diopter control maintains your personal setting
  • Flip-down objective lens covers

Last update on 2024-02-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

These are the features listed by Nikon for the M5:

  • Sophisticated exterior design for comfortable holding
  • Extra-low dispersion (ED) glass for chromatic aberration compensation and brighter, clearer viewing
  • Dielectric high-reflective multilayer prism coating ensures superior transmittance uniformity across the visible range, resulting in brighter images and more natural colours
  • All lenses and prisms are multilayer-coated for brighter images
  • Phase-correction-coated roof prisms for high resolution
  • Long eye relief design ensures a clear field of view, even for eyeglass wearers
  • Waterproof (up to 1m/3.3 ft. for 10 minutes) and fog-free with O-ring seals and nitrogen gas
  • Turn-and-slide rubber eyecups with multi-click facilitate easy positioning of eyes at the correct eyepoint
  • Rubber armouring for shock resistance and a firm, comfortable grip
  • Lightweight body uses fibreglass-reinforced polycarbonate resin
  • Soft-to-the-touch neck strap
  • Flip-down objective lens cap
  • Optional tripod adapter enables attachment to a tripod [TRA-3/Adaptor H (hard type)]

And here are the specs for each of these models, provided by

M5 8×42M5 10X42M5 12X42
Magnification (x)81012
Objective diameter (mm)424242
Angular field of view (Real/degree)6.45.65.1
Angular field of view (Apparent/degree)48.252.156.2
Field of view at 1,000m/yd. (m/ft)112/33598/29389/267
Exit pupil (mm)5.34.23.5
Relative brightness28.117.612.3
Eye relief (mm)19.518.415.1
Close focusing distance (m/ft)2.5/8.22.5/8.22.5/8.2
Length (mm/in.)145/5.7145/5.7145/5.7
Width (mm/in.)129/5.1129/5.1129/5.1
Depth (mm/in.)54/2.154/2.154/2.1
Weight (g/oz.)630/22.2640/22.6640/22.6
Interpupillary distance adjustment (mm/in.)56-72/2.2-2.856-72/2.2-2.856-72/2.2-2.8
TypeRoofRoofRoof

M7 Features & Specifications

Nikon Monarch M7 8x42 Binoculars
  • Sophisticated rubber armored exterior design provides shock resistance and a firm comfortable grip
  • Locking diopter control maintains your personal setting
  • Oil/Water repellent coating - applied to both eyepiece and objective lens surfaces

Last update on 2024-02-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

You’ll see several similar features listed for the M7.

Nikon shares these features:

  • Sophisticated exterior design for comfortable holding
  • Extra-low dispersion (ED) glass for chromatic aberration compensation and brighter, clearer viewing
  • Wide apparent field of view (60.3° for 8×42, 62.2° for 10×42, 60.3° for 8×30, 60.7° for 10×30)
  • Dielectric high-reflective multilayer prism coating ensures superior transmittance uniformity across the visible range, resulting in brighter images and more natural colours
  • All lenses and prisms are multilayer-coated for brighter images
  • Oil- and water-repellent coating applied to the objective lens and eyepieces allows smudges like fingerprints to be easily wiped off
  • Phase-correction-coated roof prisms for high resolution
  • Long eye relief design ensures a clear field of view, even for eyeglass wearers
  • Dioptre adjustment ring locking system prevents unintentional rotation
  • Waterproof (up to 1m/3.3 ft. for 10 minutes) and fog-free with O-ring seals and nitrogen gas
  • Turn-and-slide rubber eyecups with multi-click facilitate easy positioning of eyes at the correct eyepoint
  • Rubber armouring for shock resistance and a firm, comfortable grip
  • Lightweight body uses fibreglass-reinforced polycarbonate resin
  • Soft-to-the-touch neck strap
  • Flip-down objective lens cap
  • Optional tripod adapter enables attachment to a tripod [TRA-3/Adaptor H (hard type)]

Here is the chart that Nikon provides comparing the M7 8×42 and the 10×42:

 MONARCH M7 8×42MONARCH M7 10×42
Magnification (x)810
Objective diameter (mm)4242
Angular field of view (Real/degree)8.36.9
Angular field of view (Apparent/degree)60.362.2
Field of view at 1,000m/yd. (m/ft)145/435121/362
Exit pupil (mm)5.34.2
Relative brightness28.117.6
Eye relief (mm)17.116.5
Close focusing distance (m/ft)2.5/8.22.5/8.2
Length (mm/in.)142/5.6142/5.6
Width (mm/in.)130/5.1130/5.1
Depth (mm/in.)57/2.257/2.2
Weight (g/oz.)670/23.6680/24.0
Interpupillary distance adjustment (mm/in.)56-72/2.2-2.856-72/2.2-2.8
TypeRoofRoof

What Do People Say About the Nikon Monarch Binoculars?

Those are the specifications and features, but what about the reviews? How do people feel about the Nikon Monarch models?

One reviewer from Birdwatching-Bliss says that the Monarch M5 and M7 are both great binoculars that eliminate almost all distortion from the wide field of view. They work great under just about any lighting circumstances, which is important if you are birding in the early morning hours or late evening.

They are comfortable and durable. The M7 runs about $200 more than the M5 models.

Birdwatching-Bliss provides this table, which compares the M5 8×42 and the M7 8×42:

Monarch M5 8×42Monarch M7 8×42
Angular field of view (Real/degree)6.48.3
Angular field of view (Apparent/degree)48.260.3
Field of view at 1,000yds (ft)335435
Exit pupil (mm)5.35.3
Relative brightness28.128.1
Eye relief (mm)19.517.1
Weight (oz)22.223.6
Length (in)5.75.6
Width (in)5.15.1

Nikon Prostaff Binoculars

Nikon’s Prostaff models are:

  • PROSTAFF P7 8×30/10×30
  • PROSTAFF P7 8×42/10×42
  • PROSTAFF 5 8×42/10×42/10×50/12×50
  • PROSTAFF P3 8×30/10×30
  • PROSTAFF P3 8×42/10×42

The Prostaff P7 is the newest of the Prostaff models, so let’s take a look at the features and specifications.

Prostaff P7 Features & Specifications

Sale
Nikon PROSTAFF P7 8x30 Binocular | Waterproof, fogproof, Rubber-Armored Compact Binocular, Oil & Water Repellent Coating & Locking Diopter, Limited Official Nikon USA Model
  • Dielectric high-reflective multilayer prism coatings ensure superior light transmittance
  • Locking diopter control maintains your personal setting
  • Waterproof (up to 1m/3.3ft for 10 minutes) and nitrogen-purged for fog-free performance

Last update on 2024-02-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

These are the features that Nikon lists for the Prostaff P7:

  • Wide apparent field of view (62.6° for 8×30)
  • Dielectric high-reflective multilayer prism coating ensures superior transmittance uniformity across the visible range, resulting in brighter images and more natural colour fidelity
  • Phase-correction-coated roof prisms for high resolution
  • All lenses and prisms are multilayer-coated for brighter images
  • Oil- and water-repellent coating applied to the objective lens and eyepieces allow smudges like fingerprints to be easily wiped off
  • Long eye relief design ensures a clear field of view, even for eyeglass wearers
  • Dioptre adjustment ring locking system prevents unintentional rotation
  • Lead- and arsenic-free glass is used for all lenses and prisms
  • Turn-and-slide rubber eyecups with multi-click facilitate easy positioning of eyes at the correct eyepoint
  • Waterproof (up to 1m/3.3 ft. for 10 minutes) and fog-free with O-ring seals and nitrogen gas
  • Rubber armouring for shock resistance and a firm, comfortable grip
  • Lightweight body uses fibreglass-reinforced polycarbonate resin

To compare the specifications of the P7 8×30 vs the 10×30, Nikon provides this table:

PROSTAFF P7 8×30PROSTAFF P7 10X30
Magnification (x)810
Objective diameter (mm)3030
Angular field of view (Real/degrees)8.76.6
Angular field of view (Apparent/degrees)62.659.9
Field of view at 1,000m/yd. (m/ft)152/456115/346
Exit pupil (mm)3.83.0
Relative brightness14.49.0
Eye relief (mm)15.415.4
Close focusing distance (m/ft)2.5/8.22.5/8.2
Length (mm/in.)125/4.9125/4.9
Width (mm/in.)130/5.1130/5.1
Depth (mm/in.)52/2.052/2.0
Weight (g/oz.)485/17.1470/16.6
Interpupillary distance adjustment (mm/in.)56-72/2.2-2.856-72/2.2-2.8
TypeRoofRoof

What Do People Say About the Prostaff 7?

Specifications are one thing. What do people who have used the Prostaff 7 say about it?

Optics Gear reviewed the Prostaff 7 10×32 and reported that this model is compact, making it convenient for travellers and hikers. It has the great feature of being able to save different diopters so that multiple users can easily use the same pair of binoculars without constantly trying to find the right diopter setting.

The Prostaff has good visibility, even in lower-light situations.

Monarch vs. Prostaff: Which Is Better?

Choosing the right binoculars comes down to more than just which model has the best reviews or the lowest price. It’s also about how you plan to use your binoculars.

Here are our takeaways:

  • The Monarch is a bit more expensive than the Prostaff. Expect to spend at least $100 more on a Monarch model than a Prostaff. A higher-end Monarch will be significantly more than a lower-end Prostaff.
  • The Monarch’s field of vision is smaller than the Prostaff (Monarch 5 10×42 is 288 feet at 1000 yards vs. Prostaff 7 is 324 feet at 1000 yards). That means that if you’re looking for a moving target, the Prostaff is slightly better.
  • The Monarch has a closer focus than the Prostaff.
  • The weight of Monarch and Prostaff models is generally about the same. Check the model specifics to find out what you can expect.
  • The Prostaff has a smaller eye relief, which may make the Monarch more comfortable for people who wear glasses.
  • Both designs are waterproof, durable, and fog-resistant.

Here’s the good news: both the Monarch and the Prostaff are great binoculars for birders! If you need to be budget-conscious and you choose a lower-end Monarch or Prostaff, you are still going to get better access to birds than if you were picking a cheap pair of binoculars off the shelf at a convenience store.

Monarch and Prostaff models are well-built, durable, and comfortable. They have a good depth of field, clear imaging, and a relatively lightweight build.

If you are looking for a higher-end model for birding, you will probably want to choose one of the newer Monarch binoculars.

Because Nikon products are durable and long-lasting, you may also be able to find a used Prostaff or Monarch model if you are on a tighter budget.

More Reading About Choosing a Pair of Binoculars

Looking for more insight into how to choose the best pair of binoculars? We have you covered!

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