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Review: Nikon Monarch 3 Binoculars

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December 12, 2011

Review: Nikon Monarch 3 Binoculars

By David E. Petzal

I’ll spare you my usual Scrooge-like rant this year and simply state that since this blog is largely about greed, covetousness, and the acquisition of hunting gear in the first place, what follows should be perfectly in keeping with the holidays. So in the days to come I will present you with a number of items that you can lust for and whine about until you get them.

First on the list is Nikon’s new Monarch 3 binocular. A hunter without a binocular is like a cowboy without a pickup, or a Congressman without a slush fund. Most of the binoculars I write about range from medium-priced to the cost of a good heart transplant, but these Nikons are not in that bracket. The MSRP is $249, and that seems to be the real-world price as well.

I can’t find Monarch 3s on the Nikon website—they may be too new—but I can tell you that they bear none of the hallmarks of inexpensive binoculars. They are bright, sharp, have good controls, no gimmicks, and are light and waterproof. The pair I have is a 10x42, and I presume they make them in 8X as well. The overall impression is of quality way beyond price.

They will get the job done for you, and it’s hard to do better than that.

Comments (16)

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from ilikehunting wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

Now if I only I could find a good heart transplant that cheap.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Muleynut30.06 wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

DEP you should do a review on the vortex diamonbacks they sell for 250 I believe for the 10x42 and when I was buying my binos this fall it was between the monarchs and the diamonbacks and in my opinion the diamondbacks blew them out of the water!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from TED FORD wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

I reckon that if I was in the market for a new heart I would opt for a good heart as opposed to transplanting a bad one.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from dtownley wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

Money well spent, thats what my lawyer said...he was right again ?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

8x42 is $204 on Amazon, FYI.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from PbHead wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

Thanks for the suggestions Dave, current and to come. I hope I don't run out of money before the list is complete.

Merry Christmas to you and the rest of the Gun Nuts.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from wingshooter54 wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

##!###@@!@#@!!! And I just spent $989 for a new pair of porro prism Swarovski 10x40's! I coulda saved $740 and bought Ms. Elisha Cuthbert a nice Christmas present......
Why didn't you write this a month ago Dave?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from z41 wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

Dang it, Dave, I wait all year just to hear your Scrooge-like rant and rave. It's a part of Christmas, it's a part of you. lol Have a merry one, I enjoy your blog. BTW everyone remember Jesus is the reason for the season. The Pastor

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Teodoro wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

Mr. Petzal:

Can you refresh us on which model is best-suited to which applications? For eastern woods, does 8 vs. 10 make any great difference?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

Wingshooter - You spent near a grand, and got porros and not roofs? They better be really waterproof at that price.

Teodoro - You want 8s or lower for eastern woods. 10 and up just gets wobbly, less bright, and gives a smaller field of view with less depth.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from focusfront wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

Here's a little area that camera buffs have it over the rest of you; we know that if a manufacturer grinds good camera lenses, it makes good ANYTHING lenses. Nikon, Leitz, Zeiss, etc.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

I like the 8x's for most all hunting and scouting uses. 10x's are a bit more shaky and don't offer much more magnification. If you need much more, you have to go way bigger or with a compact spotting scope, IMO

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from dave63go wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

Teodoro - go to the opticsplanet.net website, where you'll find an excellent guide on what to look for when purchasing binoculars. It explains the features very nicely.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

WAM - my thoughts exactly. Spot on. If you need more than 8X in binos, you might just need a spotting scope. Also, to match the low light performance of 8x42s with 10x or higher, you have to get big objectives, and that starts to get heavy around your neck.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bellringer wrote 2 years 7 weeks ago

I am very pleased with these binoculars. Have used them since Dec. 2011 and don't believe you can beat them for the price.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from bweeks wrote 1 year 35 weeks ago

The optics are about what you'd expect for the money, but I had a serious problem with these - they fogged inside of the lens. Just so happened that they did it while I was in the middle of nowhere for 2 months with no way to repair/replace them. To top it all off, Nikon was not at all flexible in how they handled it...not waterproof

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from WA Mtnhunter wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

I like the 8x's for most all hunting and scouting uses. 10x's are a bit more shaky and don't offer much more magnification. If you need much more, you have to go way bigger or with a compact spotting scope, IMO

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

8x42 is $204 on Amazon, FYI.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from focusfront wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

Here's a little area that camera buffs have it over the rest of you; we know that if a manufacturer grinds good camera lenses, it makes good ANYTHING lenses. Nikon, Leitz, Zeiss, etc.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from dave63go wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

Teodoro - go to the opticsplanet.net website, where you'll find an excellent guide on what to look for when purchasing binoculars. It explains the features very nicely.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ilikehunting wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

Now if I only I could find a good heart transplant that cheap.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Muleynut30.06 wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

DEP you should do a review on the vortex diamonbacks they sell for 250 I believe for the 10x42 and when I was buying my binos this fall it was between the monarchs and the diamonbacks and in my opinion the diamondbacks blew them out of the water!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from TED FORD wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

I reckon that if I was in the market for a new heart I would opt for a good heart as opposed to transplanting a bad one.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from dtownley wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

Money well spent, thats what my lawyer said...he was right again ?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from PbHead wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

Thanks for the suggestions Dave, current and to come. I hope I don't run out of money before the list is complete.

Merry Christmas to you and the rest of the Gun Nuts.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from wingshooter54 wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

##!###@@!@#@!!! And I just spent $989 for a new pair of porro prism Swarovski 10x40's! I coulda saved $740 and bought Ms. Elisha Cuthbert a nice Christmas present......
Why didn't you write this a month ago Dave?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from z41 wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

Dang it, Dave, I wait all year just to hear your Scrooge-like rant and rave. It's a part of Christmas, it's a part of you. lol Have a merry one, I enjoy your blog. BTW everyone remember Jesus is the reason for the season. The Pastor

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Teodoro wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

Mr. Petzal:

Can you refresh us on which model is best-suited to which applications? For eastern woods, does 8 vs. 10 make any great difference?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

Wingshooter - You spent near a grand, and got porros and not roofs? They better be really waterproof at that price.

Teodoro - You want 8s or lower for eastern woods. 10 and up just gets wobbly, less bright, and gives a smaller field of view with less depth.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

WAM - my thoughts exactly. Spot on. If you need more than 8X in binos, you might just need a spotting scope. Also, to match the low light performance of 8x42s with 10x or higher, you have to get big objectives, and that starts to get heavy around your neck.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bellringer wrote 2 years 7 weeks ago

I am very pleased with these binoculars. Have used them since Dec. 2011 and don't believe you can beat them for the price.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from bweeks wrote 1 year 35 weeks ago

The optics are about what you'd expect for the money, but I had a serious problem with these - they fogged inside of the lens. Just so happened that they did it while I was in the middle of nowhere for 2 months with no way to repair/replace them. To top it all off, Nikon was not at all flexible in how they handled it...not waterproof

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

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