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|Field of view:
|330 feet @ 1000 yards (6.3 degrees)
|6.1 x 5.1 in
|Travel case, adjustable strap, lens covers
The Nikon Monarch 3 8x42 is a solid binocular that has become very well known by outdoor enthusiasts for its combination of excellent value and impressive performance. As far as construction, it's average in terms of size (6.1x5.1 inches) and weight (about 25 ounces), has some pretty comfortable ergonomics, and feels reliable for the price.
The first thing we noticed when handling the Nikon Monarch 3 8x42 was the rubber lens caps. Not only are they attached to the body, they attach well, which is something that is severely overlooked with a lot of bincoular models in this price range. That makes us very happy. However, the downside is the included rainguard. It's not a flexible rubber like most other 8x42s, it's actually a molded plastic that feels a little too stiff and doesn't fit the eye cups very well, leading us to believe that it may be the first thing to break under heavy use. Is it a big problem? No. Most users have nothing to worry about. Serious enthusiasts are very likely to have an extra rainguard that can be substituted.
Eye cups. These cups are the exact same rubber cups we've seen on several other brands at this price (Bresser Everest, Celestron Granite, some Opticron models), which is a design that we find relatively comfortable and ergonomic. The twist-up mechanism is four position, with the fully retracted position and extended position about 13mm apart. The fully extended position provides perfect eye relief for viewing without glasses. The mechanism locks the cups in the intended position very securely, but they do feel a little "clunky." Certainly not the most graceful eye cup mechanism, but the audible clicks as they lock into place do kind of make up for it.
The diopter adjustment is the ever-common dial on the right side of the binocular, and while it does have some aesthetic features that are meant to improve grip, they don't do much to help with a diopter that is already tight and tough to adjust. The good news is that the diopter is much easier to adjust with the eye cup fully extended, which is the position where most people will be using these binoculars.
The focus knob on the Moncarch 3 8x42 is very pleasing. From the close focus distance of 9.8 to infinity, the focus knob makes just a little over one full turn, which is just the speed we like.
As far as optics, the Monarch 3 8x42 maintains the same standard of quality you'd expect from Nikon. The view is extremely clear and sharp, with no fuzziness and some very minor chromatic aberration. However, there is an issue with these binoculars that we have a hard time coping with. The field of view on the Monarch 3 8x42 binocular is only 6.3 degrees, which translates to 330 feet at 1000 yards. This isn't necessarily bad, but it's very limited compared to many models at this price that have a field of view over 7 degrees.
There's a reason that the Monarch 3 8x42 is a benchmark that other binoculars try to emulate. Despite the Monarch 3 showing its age a bit, it's still a solid performer with a recognizable name, and Nikon's history of reliability.
Designed for a lifetime of tough hunts, the Monarch 3 maximizes every hour spent in the field with bright, high-resolution views fromthe first rays of light until the very last.