Nikon is a Japanese corporation that has specialized in optics for nearly a century. Although now they are more known for their cameras, they still are one of the number one binocular producers as well. Their optics are known for high contrast negatives that give us sharp resolution. Naturally, they were meant for cameras and binoculars. One of their leading pairs of binoculars is the sleek Nikon Monarch ATB 8x42. This set of binoculars has a lot going for it but is low enough in some areas to rank surprisingly lower than we thought.
Out of all the binoculars that we looked at, this one has the smallest linear field of view. Most others ranged between 110 and 140 meters but these Nikon binoculars only allow you to see a linear 100 meters. This was rather surprising to us since this is one of their leading products. Maybe 10 to 40 meters difference doesn't bother most people but to us that's a pretty big chunk that is cut out of your overall view. Seeing close up is all fine and dandy but you want to be able to see lots close up. "The more the better" definitely applies here.
The Monarch ATB binoculars are also lacking fully multi-coated lenses, which was less than we expected as well. Although multi-coated lenses are still popular, the best is to put those multiple layers on all the glass-to-air surfaces for the best possible clarity and contrast. It also allows for the most light transmission which is the basic need for binoculars to perform optimally. With the addition of these coatings to all the lenses, this would be a much more competitive product.
Thankfully though, this pair of binoculars has dielectric coating on the prisms. The Nikon Monarch ATB are the only binoculars that we reviewed that had this coating which is unfortunate for the competition. Dielectric coatings can provide more than 99% reflectivity. This great feature could have made these binoculars truly superior to the rest with fully multi-coats lenses. By doing that, you would be allowing the most possible light to transmit through and be reflected by the dielectric coated prisms.
Another thing that the Monarch ATB has going for it is the portability. Like all the binoculars we researched, it comes with a carrying strap to help ease the burden of trying to carry it by hand. Even the strap will sometimes dig in and be uncomfortable depending on how thick and padded it is. Since most of the straps that come with the binoculars are neither wide nor padded, the least the manufactures can do to make the binoculars more comfortable to move around with, is to make them lighter. That is what really makes this Nikon portable. It only weighs 21.5 ounces, making it the lightest full size set of binoculars that we have examined.
The Nikon Monarch ATB 8x42 is a great pair of binoculars but it could use a few more upgrades. They added dielectric coating to the prisms when they brought out these new Monarchs but they still could use coatings on all the lens-to-air surfaces. Add that and at least some reinforcement to the polycarbonate body and you'd have a much more competitive product.
They have dielectric coating on the prisms.
The field of view is the lowest out of the binoculars that we reviewed.
A great product but aren't filled out enough with features to rank better.