Nikon Monarch HG Review

The Nikon Monarch HG is the latest in Nikon’s monarch line of binoculars. It comes in the 10×42 and 8×42 versions. This version of the Monarch series is the quintessential rugged outdoorsman binoculars. It is constructed of magnesium alloy, a stronger substance and coating to protect against damage from drops and other accidents.

Here we’ll explore the HG as it compares to other Monarchs and its improvements.

Compared to Monarch Series

The HG is nearly double the price of the binoculars that preceded it, the Monarch 7. They both have the ED (extra-low dispersion) glass that clears up distortions in imaging and augments the Field flattener lens system. The HG isn’t a vastly different pair of binoculars compared to its predecessors but really ups the ruggedness factor.

Apart from being shielded and coated with anti-fog and moisture material, the HG prides itself on being the best pair of sporting optics out there. Being rugged and during is one thing, but retaining image quality is another.

The focus is still in the center between the eyepieces and takes on a larger shape for increased control and stability.

 

Field Flattener Lens System

The Monarch HG employs the field flattener lens system (FFLS) like the rest of the Monarch line. With most imaging devices including cameras, a notable problem is a dropoff in image quality and color around the edges of an image.

The HG compensates for this problem with the FFLS, clearing up images on the outside to make a complete and colorful viewing experience. Nikon has increased the level of coating for the HG’s internal prisms and lenses, leading to a nearly 92% light transmittance factor. For low-light and unfavorable conditions, the HG is the pair of binos for the job.

Other Features

The HG employs a 60.3-degree FOV for the 8×42 pair and 62.2 FOV for the 10×42 pair. A two-degree difference doesn’t seem like much but can mean the difference between spotting a rare object or animal at long range. The HG also has a diopter setting that allows you to save your preferredĀ setting in the case that you share these binoculars with another person.

It is rated waterproof above 5m for around ten minutes and fog-proof at altitudes of up to 16,400 feet. These stats showcase just how rugged this pair of binoculars is. That’s not to say that the entire Monarch line is sub-par, but the HG is ideal for harsher conditions where other binoculars might suffer performance issues.

Overall

As the latest edition in the Monarch series, the HG doesn’t make leaps and bounds over its predecessor Monarchs but does improve slightly with its FFLS and image quality. Coupled with increased protection around the lenses and body, the HG makes its case for one of the best pair extreme outdoorsmen binoculars on the market.

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