Nikon Monarch 5 8×42 Binoculars Review-Updated!

If you are a beginner and intermediate outdoorsman and want to get past basic binoculars and are looking for serious optics in the game. Your path would have definitely crossed along searching for a set of these awesome Nikon Monarch 5 8×42 binoculars.

Now, I must tell you that you are in the right place.

Nikon is one of the oldest and most reputed companies in the field of optics.

The monarch 5 series has different models available. I have already reviewed the monarch 5 10×42 model.

Here we will see whether the Monarch 5 8×42 (Marketed as the Monarch DCF)outside the United States)

meets our expectations in rigorous field testing and extreme weather conditions.

We will also see some of the alternatives to these popular binoculars.

Design, Construction & Build Quality

In hands, the monarch 5 8×42 ATB model feels solid and well-built. The design is sleek and ergonomic. I could easily place my hands on the barrel as it was slimmer in the middle while resting my thumbs comfortably on the upper bulged portion.

The body is made of polycarbonate resin reinforced with fibreglass housing a Schmidt Pedan roof prism arrangement. The upper body is embossed with a gold colour Nikon and Monarch 5 badging which feels premium to look at.

The rubber armour coating on the polycarbonate body has a nice feel, and it should be able to protect the binoculars well.

The binoculars have a convenient tripod mount.

This binocular is built with Nikon’s proprietary Extra-Low Dispersion (ED) glass and fully multicoated prisms with all the best coatings that one would expect at this price range. ED glass allows the light to pass through the prism and minimizes the colour-fringing effects and image distortion.

Weight & Size: Nikon Monarch 5 8×42 Binoculars

The binoculars weigh around 630 gms or 22.1 ounces. Similar to the other monarchs they are lightweight binoculars.

The dimension are 14.5cm(length) and 13 cm(wide). I felt comfortable while holding binoculars. They seem to be good for short to medium hands.

Owing to being lightweight for their size they can be taken in fields for a long time without much strain.

Image Clarity And Optical Performance

The lenses are made of (ED) glass. All lens surfaces are fully multi-coated. The prisms have dielectric coatings and are also phase-coated. 

When I first saw the field from the binoculars, I was amazed (considering this as mid-level binoculars) by the different colours popping up. Images felt bright and crisp. I saw the signs clearly in the field and could immediately gauge that the focus depth is excellent.

Edge-to-edge clarity, close focus and even depth of field are really good.

Moreover, The Nikon Monarch 5 8×42 produces a sharp view across the entire field of view. The glass is pretty clear.

These are the qualities in a binocular you will love as a bird watcher and a hunter. As these binoculars can deliver details in the images, you can also use them for general observation and sightseeing.

Again, When I started wondering about the shortcomings a user will get considering it as intermediate-level binoculars. I observed the below findings:

I observed slight chromatic aberration. Colour fringing is minimal however, I observed a little bit of colour fringing along the very bottom of the field of view. In bright lighting conditions, I observed a slight fall-off in the sharpness of the image. The fall-off happens at around 10% to the edge. 

I felt also a little bit of CA around bright objects. The binocular doesn’t handle bright stuff that well which of course you can’t expect from binoculars at this price segment. You can easily neglect these small shortcomings at this price range.

When scanning or panning with them- the rolling ball or the rolling cylinder effect is strong. When I panned the binoculars, the moving image appears to roll over a curved, convex surface. This sometimes can make you uncomfortable however for steady viewing they felt great.

Nikon 7576 Monarch 5 8x42 Binocular (Black)
  • All Monarch 5 binoculars are now built with Nikon's premium ED (Extra low dispersion); Glass for a sharper, clearer and...
  • Almost an ounce lighter than its predecessor, the new Monarch 5 is even easier to bring along on your next adventure
  • Fully multicoated eco glass lenses provide a high light transmittance across the entire visible light spectrum

New Model Product Update Note — January 2021

Nikon Monarch M5 8×42 Review- Difference with The Old Monarch M5 Model

On Sept. 22, 2021, Nikon Inc. unveiled the next generation of the popular MONARCH 5 and 7 family of binoculars.

The Newer Model for the binoculars reviewed in this write up is named Nikon Monarch M5 8×42 Binoculars

These models are successors to the popular MONARCH 5 series binoculars.

Monarch M5 binoculars use the same Nikon’s ED glass for reduced distortion and chromatic aberration.

Let me Immediately Take you down to the difference between the earlier Monarch 5 8×42 Binoculars Vs The New Monarch M5 8×42

Nikon Monarch M5 8×42 Vs Monarch 5 8×42 Binoculars

  • The M5 have a noticeably sleeker body shape than the monarch 5 older models
  • 6.4 degrees angular fov in the monarch m5 8×42 model compared to 6.3 degrees in the older monarch Model(Negligible Change, however)
  • 335 ft @ 1000 yds linear fov which was 330ft @ 1000yds in the older model. (Again Minor Improvement)
  • M5 has a locking diopter adjustment knob which prevents unintentional rotation, a feature usually only seen in models costing much more.
  • Compared to the older Monarch 5 and 7 models, the M5 and M7 both have better resolution
  • Strong Polycarbonate reinforced body with chrome colour letters badging in the new M5 Monarch 8×42 models instead of the golden colour badging in the previous monarch 7
  • Conveniently Tripod Mountable for long observation and photography

Here is a link to the newer model If you want to check it out.

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


The Nikon Monarch 5 8×42 ATB binoculars are fully waterproof and nitrogen purged to prevent internal fogging.

You can deploy them in tough conditions thanks to these qualities. I don’t expect to challenge the waterproof & “extreme” use claims — as long as they can handle a little dew and the odd bang here and there I’ll be content.

Caution: The binoculars are marked Not waterproof over “1 meter deep, in running water or after 10 minutes”. I suspect that these binoculars are clearly not Navy Seal-rated “waterproof” but merely “water resistant”

Focus Wheel

I have always loved the Nikon Monarch’s focus wheel. The focus wheel handling and turning feel smooth like butter. They are a dream to use. Moreover, The focusing knob has ridges that make it easy to fiddle with.

The detent lock Eye Cups are made up of rubber. I can say that they are of good quality. The eye cups are designed to catch at discrete settings so the binoculars are ready when you need them, no need to reset that part when you’re trying to focus in a hurry.

The adjustments are all very solid and give the glasses a quality feel you’d expect from a pair 2 or 3 times this cost.

Field Of View

The binoculars have a field of view of 330 feet at 1000 yds.

In my opinion, the only thing that could make these better is if the field of view were slightly greater. Compares to other binoculars in this price range the field of view is narrow.

I just wished the field of view was a little bit wider.

If you want a wider field of view, go with Monarch 7 range

So what does a wider FOV mean for you?

Field of View is so much more important as I use binoculars for bird watching or scanning a large area

I can watch a bird going from branch to branch. With less field of view, the bird may hop out of view. You’ll have to put your binoculars down to re-spot the bird with your eyes.

Another advantage is that It’s easier to spot animals without scanning or moving the binoculars, simply because they take in a wider section of the landscape. 

Close Focus

With a good close focus of 7.8 feet, I could see birds clearly in the nearby bushes.

Close focus is not perfect for butterflies though! Several times already I have had to back up to focus clearly on butterflies and dragonflies that landed close to me.

Again What Does a less close focus distance Means For You?

Close focus is important when you want to see something close to you in detail and up close.  

This is especially important to close-up birdwatching and people that look at butterflies, insects, etc.

If you intend to see butterflies and insects a close focus of about 5-5.5 ft is good.

Eye Relief

The adjustable eye relief is really helpful. It has steps so you can easily set both eyes at the same level. 

Let’s see the numbers;

The eye relief is 19.5 mm and I can say they are good enough for people wearing glasses.

I wear glasses and I haven’t had any strain on my eyes while using these on close or far away objects. Also, a long eye relief means I always see a sharp, bright, solid circle.

You shouldn’t worry even if you wear prescription glasses.

What is In The Box

So what you get in the box, when you punch that order button and now the delivery box is in your hands:

  • A pair of Monarch 5 8×42 Binoculars
  • Included is a Good-quality Objective lens covers attached to the barrels which can be removed too.
  • Eyepiece covers are included but they seem to be of a bit cheaper quality as they seem to easily fall down while moving the binoculars.
  • Soft padded neck strap for extra comfort.
  • RainGuard.
  • A soft Binoculars carry case with a belt loop to place the bag around your belt. The soft carry case might protect against scratches but won’t protect much against hard knocks.
  • Warranty Cards& User Manual

Nikon Monarch 5 8×42 Warranty

Niko offers a 10years warranty on Nikon Monarch 5 8×42 binoculars.

For the first five years, the repair and replacement material is fully covered. For the next five years, only the replacement materials are covered, and you will be charged the cost of repair work.


  • Nikon’s premium ED glass and Fully Multi-Coated lenses.
  • Sharp, crisp and bright images with little CA
  • Lightweight and compact for using longer periods without strain. You can choose them confidently if you walk long distances while using binoculars or have neck or upper back problems.
  • Rubberized body armour protection
  • 100% waterproof and fog proof thanks to being o-ring sealed and nitrogen purged.
  • Best quality at the price
  • Nikon’s No-Fault Repair/Replacement Policy.


  • A smaller FOV than its competitors.

  • Eyepiece lens covers quality can be improved

  • For mid-level binoculars in the price segment, you do sacrifice some of the quality that you get in the more expensive hunting binoculars, however, they are one of the best value-for-money binoculars

Alternatives: Nikon Monarch 5 8×42 Binoculars

The Vortex Diamondbacks 8×42 are very similar in performance since they took a major contrast
improvement in ~late-2013 or so. They weigh more than the M5s, though. They have a wider field of view also than the Monarch M5 and cost less too. You can get a small setback in terms of image quality though. Otherwise, to get comparable or better performance, you’re going to have to spend more money. 

See Our Full Review Of The Vortex Diamondback 8×42 Binoculars.

Consider Monarch 7 If you love Nikon’s image and slightly step up the performance with crisper and brighter images. Spending more money with Monarch 7 get you better glass and you can expect better image quality even in sunrise, sunset or low-light conditions.

Here is our full review of the Nikon Monarch M7 8×42 Binoculars

Another option to consider is the Vanguard Endeavor HD. It also has a narrow fov, but not as bad as the Monarch. FOV is 377 ft. It offers a very good view, especially for the money, and has a very smooth and precise focus.

If you have grown to a full-fledged outdoor enthusiast, and now can spend some more to step up the performance even better than M7’s you can go for Vortex viper Hd 8×42 which is also a personal favourite of mine.

Specification-Nikon Monarch 5 8×42 Binoculars

Magnification 8x
Objective Lens Diameter 42 mm
Angle of View 6.4° (Actual)
Field of View 330′ @ 1000 yd / 110 m @ 1000 m
Minimum Focus Distance 8.2′ / 2.5 m
Exit Pupil Diameter 5.25 mm
Eye Relief 19.5 mm
Interpupillary Adjustment 56 to 72 mm / 2.2 to 2.8″
Diopter Adjustment Yes
Focus Type Center

Conclusion: Should You Buy the Nikon Monarch 5 8×42?

The Monarch 5’s strengths are value, glass quality, and image clarity. They are very lightweight to carry for long sessions. I Agree with their great ergonomics too.

These are all-around lightweight binoculars suitable for hunters, hikers, and birdwatchers and are easy on the pocket. It’s not the best pair but it certainly, justifies the price range in which they are available at.

More Review: Nikon Monarch 7 8×42 Review

You might be interested in the comparison: Nikon Prostaff vs Monarch

We hope you enjoyed our review of the Nikon Monarch M5 binoculars whether watching birds, butterflies, or any wildlife! Let us know what you think when you get to enjoy one of them!

Also Check: Are Nikon Binoculars Worth The Investment

A Useful Video about the New Updated Monarch M5 Models.

Last update on 2024-03-25


"Smith is an outdoor enthusiast and Just loves everything about binoculars. Since his childhood he has been a fan of optical gadgets & going into the Jungle with his uncle was his favorite pastime. Besides, He loves watching & studying birds & animals. He is a mechanical engineering graduate and New Jersey Resident. He loves to review binoculars and related optical Instruments and loves testing each one of them." When he is not fiddling with one of his binoculars, you can find him playing his favorite sport Pickleball."

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