Nikon Monarch Binoculars Reviews & Comparison

Monarch, Nikon’s popular line of binoculars, has a solid reputation for offering quality optics for practically any use. Highly versatile and marked by excellent glass and durable builds, the current lineup features multiple magnification options at price points ranging from $300-$100 for the Monarch 5, Monarch 7, and Monarch HG binoculars.

We reviewed each of the current Monarchs to offer you full reviews on this sought-after series of mid-range and premium binoculars.

Nikon Monarch HG

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.

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 utilizes 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.

Monarch HG


Monarchs compensate 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.


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 preferred 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.

The most recent release of this line is the new 30mm Monarch HGs. These two are more compact than the 42mm binos, and an 8-ounce weight reduction makes them extra portable. Nikon’s Field Flattener Lens System works with a FOV that matches the 42mm—8.3° and 6.9° respectively in the 8×30 and 10×30 models.

Available Magnifications

Monarch HG 10×42

Monarch HG 8×42

Monarch HG 10×30

Monarch HG 8×30

Nikon Monarch 7

A good pair of binoculars is optically clear, compact enough to be easily carried, and durable enough to withstand unusual conditions. Nikon Monarch 7 binoculars meet all of these criteria. By combining the best in optical technology with a sturdy, well-engineered design, Nikon has made a pair of binoculars that will meet almost any need.

Priced in between the high-end HG and the Monarch 5, the 7 is a great option for anyone looking for a step up from the 5 with a stronger build and wider field of view.

Nikon MONARCH 7 10×42


The Nikon Monarch 7 binoculars feature low dispersion glass, phase correcting roof prisms, and dielectric high reflection prism coatings to make the optical image created for the viewer as clear and true to life as possible. All of these elements combine to make a very high fidelity viewing experience, as well as to ensure that glare or other light phenomena do not compromise the view. In addition, scratch resistant coatings are applied to all exterior lenses to guard against damage. The binoculars are also sealed with o-rings and filled with nitrogen gas to maintain a water-resistant seal that is effective in up to 3 feet of water for up to 10 minutes.

Owing to the durable casing and the many protective features designed to protect the optical components, these binoculars are up for just about anything that may get thrown at them. These are ideal as sporting binoculars and would do well on a nature excursion or in other sporting situations.

Nikon Monarch 7 binoculars are quite good optically. The many glare and refraction reducing features create an image that is clear and not distorted or fuzzy. These same optics also present the viewer with a very true to life representation of color and brightness.

They are also extremely durable, allowing them to be taken on hikes, nature outings, bird watching, or just about any other expedition you may have in mind. The optics produce a very clear and undistorted image that is both bright and colorful. The same features that make the binoculars water resistant also serve to keep it sealed against atmospheric humidity, preventing the lenses from fogging up and producing a blurry image.

Available Magnifications

Monarch 7 10×42

Monarch 7 8×42

Monarch 7 10×30

Monarch 7 8×30

Nikon Monarch 5

One of our favorite pairs of binoculars happens to be the mid-range 10×42 Monarch 5, which includes the following specs:

Nikon Monarch 5 10×42


  • FOV @ 1000m/yds: 96/288
  • Exit pupil: 4.2 mm
  • Brightness: 17.6
  • Eye relief: 18.4 mm
  • Weight: 21.2 oz

And it has the following features:

  • Extra-low dispersion glass
  • Multi-layer coating
  • Turn and slide rubber eyecups
  • Waterproof and fog free


One of the first things you’ll notice right out of the package is that the Monarch 5s feel well made and sturdy. They are also relatively lightweight for this price point, so you won’t feel like you’re lugging bricks around your neck all day.

The rubber armoring makes it easy to hold. The twist-up eyecups are comfortable, as is the 18mm eye relief. Adjustments are easy to make, and the focus wheel works incredibly well no matter what your hands are covered in.

These are very well made, and designed with the elements in mind. Nikon Monarch 5 binoculars are filled with nitrogen, which makes them completely fogproof. For anyone who has experienced the frustration of lenses that fog up, you will be super impressed by how well this fogproofing works. Additionally, the Monarch 5s are waterproof (for up to 10 minutes at a depth of up to one meter).

The Nikon Monarch 5 is very popular with bird watchers, hikers, and hunters. The design features support the needs of those populations. And, the multi-coated lenses mean that the true color comes through. The overall visual quality is outstanding. You’ll see crisp, clear views with great detail.

We tested these alongside comparably priced binoculars with similar specs, and the Monarch 5s were the clear winner. The lightweight design gives it a competitive edge, but it really comes down to eye comfort and the stunning quality.

The Monarch 5 is a great pair of binoculars that will work well for a number of uses. Whether you want to take them hiking to check out wildlife, keep them in your vehicle for your birdwatching excursions, or keep them close on your hunt, they will work wonderfully. We can’t wait to get these back outside for hunting season, or even just to bird watch. Overall, the Monarch 5 is well worth the money and will last you a long, long time.

Available Magnifications

Monarch 5 10×42

Monarch 5 8×42

Monarch 5 12×42

Monarch 5 20×56

Nikon Monarch HG vs Monarch 7 vs Monarch 5

There’s a fairly significant price hike between each of the Monarch iterations, so budget tends to be the main factor when it comes to deciding between these Nikon binoculars. However, you might be wondering about differences between them beyond the sticker price, so here’s a quick look at what you get when you pay more.

  • Build Quality: With each step up, you’ll find a better, more durable build. This is most notable when you get to the Monarch HG, as those are made from magnesium alloy. This ensures an excellent level of durability while being lightweight and compact. There is minimal difference between the 5 and 7 in build, however.
  • Glass: Similarly, in any line of optics including Nikon Monarchs, a step up in price also equals higher quality glass and higher-tech coatings. For most casual users, the difference in glass isn’t necessary, but it does make a big difference in viewing quality as you compare low-to-mid and premium optics. In the Monarch line, the biggest difference in glass comes between the 5 and the 7.
  • Specs: When crunching the numbers, each Monarch iteration boasts a slightly better set of specs, such as FOV and radius. This is also related to configurations, too, of course, so definitely check out the specifics on the configuration of the model you’re interested in.
  • Performance: The factors we’ve previously discussed plus the guts of each option equal better performance as you pay more. For example, the 7 and HG perform better in low light situations than the 5, and you’ll notice a difference between the 7 and HG as well.

The Monarch 5 binoculars offer more options in magnifications, so if you’re searching for a 12×42 or 20×56, the 5 is a good bet.

Overall, we like the Monarch 5 best, primarily because it’s priced well for what it does. Our pick takes into account specs, performance, and price, which is how we came to that decision. The 7 and HG are nice binos, but it’s difficult to justify the price given the quality. Having said that, if the Monarch 7 or Monarch HG fit your budget, you won’t be disappointed by the performance or build. All Monarchs come with Nikon’s lifetime warranty.

Nikon Monarch 3

While this particular model is discontinued, there are still products available through various retailers — and they are often priced under $200, so the Monarch 3 is worth a look. Here’s our review. Nikon Monarch 3 10x42

Some Key Features

These binoculars are easy to hold with a non-slip surface and are relatively lightweight, yet they are also rugged and durable.  Some of the most important features of the Nikon Monarch 3 10 x 42 binoculars include:

  • Rubber-armored coating so that you can grip them easily without slipping
  • Lenses that are o-ring sealed to make them waterproof and fogproof
  • Flip-down lens covers to protect your lenses
  • Multi-coated lenses so that your image will be bright and clear, not cloudy
  • Multiple settings for eyecups, which especially assists those who wear glasses
  • An easy to maneuver focus knob
  • Silver alloy prism coating, which is high-reflective and thus helps the binoculars to perform well in low light situations

Standard sized binoculars such as these, with a good objective diameter, can be used for a variety of purposes including birdwatching, watching sports or concerts, hunting, or when viewing the landscape while traveling or hiking. Nikon recommends an “exit pupil” specification of 5 mm or larger for most star gazing, and these binoculars fall slightly below that with an exit pupil number of 4.2 mm. It’s still well above the 3 mm mark, however, and thus could be used for at least some general star and planet gazing.

See the Nikon Monarch 3 10×42 here.

Bushnell PowerView High Powered Surveillance Binoculars Review

bushnell powerview surveillanceWhen it comes to binoculars, you only want the best, most rugged set you can get your hands on. They need to be reliable and able to take the abuse you might give them out in the wild, whether you’re exploring an untamed mountain side or searching for that deer you’re certain you just pegged. With the Bushnell PowerView Super High-Powered Surveillance Binoculars, you’ve certainly got a good start.

Huge Field of View

This set of enhanced spectacles comes with a 170-feet field of view at 1000 yards, giving 20x magnification with a 50mm objective diameter. To put that into perspective, an object a mile away would look like it was only 264 feet away. Best of all, they come with a 45 foot focusing distance; this means that you can focus them in on a specific object within your view. This makes them fantastic for spying on animals from far away.

One Touch Focus

Bushnell’s patented single touch focusing system helps to keep a specific object in very close focus with just a single touch. If your hands have a tendency to shake, this system will allow you to keep your target in view at all times, even if you can’t rely on yourself to hold still. The Insta-Focus works for moving targets, as well. This is a great set of binoculars for bird watchers.

Night Vision

Okay, so they don’t actually have ‘night’ vision – but things do seem a bit brighter when viewed through the lenses. This makes it much easier to see targets in the dim light of dusk, making these a great choice when hunting in the early morning or later in the evening. The lenses feature multi-coated optics which transfer light more effectively when there is less to transfer, allowing you to see more clearly.


At just 30 ounces, the Bushnell Powerview Surveillance Binoculars are easy to carry with you when you need them. They’re equipped with nonslip rubber armor. Not only are they easy to hold onto, but if you do happen to drop them, the rubber surrounding the binoculars will absorb the majority of the shock and keep them in one piece. These binoculars are designed to go long and hard in all conditions. When not in use, the fold-down eye cups will protect the lenses from harm.

Easy Set Up

The Bushnell Powerview Surveillance Binoculars have an initial set up that owners will need to go through when using them for the first time. Taking the time to do this helps you learn to use them quickly in the future, rather than spending precious time fiddling with the focus to get it just right. This set up also establishes your own papillary distance, setting the binoculars to work specifically for you rather than someone else.


Starting at just $49.99, these binoculars are practically a steal. They come in a variety of sizes: 10x50mm, 12x50mm, and 20x50mm. The cost for each size varies depending on a number of factors, but the Bushnell Powerview is, on average, more affordable than comparably priced models.

No matter what you need a set of binoculars for, whether it’s hunting, paintball, or spying on people at the beach, this set won’t let you down. The Bushnell Powerview Surveillance Binoculars are a good entry-level set that isn’t likely to confuse beginners, making it a great gift for someone interested in getting a set of binoculars for themselves.

Eagle Eye Z100 Binoculars: Our Hands-On Review

We had a few people ask about a brand that was making the rounds on Google, so we decided to check them out: the Eagle Eye Z100 Binoculars

This brand invested a ton in advertising earlier this month, so they received quite a bit of attention with their flashy website. When we purchased our pair, the website itself was doing even more than it is currently — there were countdown clocks and flashing signs urging us to buy now before the price goes up, and buy right now before they’re all sold out.

The site always claims they’re nearly sold out and that 800+ of 1000 have been sold.

This type of advertising can be a bit manipulative, so we weren’t big fans right off the bat. I went looking for some reviews online to see if anyone reputable had tried these out yet. Unfortunately, the only reviews available are obviously fake.

Google Results for “Eagle Eye Z100 Reviews.” Note the domain names.


The site claims that they’ve been featured on major media outlets (thus, they are now almost sold out). I have been unable to find Eagle Eye Z100 on any of those outlets they claim.

On one of the landing pages, too, the design mimics Amazon review layouts, so it gives the impression that there are many 5 star reviews (and probably on Amazon). These are not available on Amazon, so any of these reviews would come from somewhere else.

Despite our misgivings about the practices of this brand, we took a chance and ordered anyway, paying around $100 plus $9 for shipping. The website and ordering process assured us they would ship within 7 days.

Two weeks after ordering, I emailed back and asked about the order as we never got a shipping confirmation and they had not yet arrived. No one responded, so we planned to file a chargeback through the credit card company. A week later, they arrived, having been shipped priority 2-day from a fulfillment place in Georgia. (And they never did respond to my email!)

The binos and packaging

As you can see, the packaging is completely generic. The company’s logo does appear on the top, but nowhere else. It’s pretty easy to tell when a pair of binos is generic simply by looking at the focus knob — if there is no logo there, the brand likely bought in bulk and slapped a small logo sticker on.

Additionally, there’s a very generic manual that does little to explain how to use the binos, and there is no information anywhere about specs.

These kinds of binoculars do not have ED (extra-low dispersion) HD glass, which is what you want in a good pair of binos. The focus knob on the pair we got is very loose, which makes it much harder to focus.

The Eagle Eye Z100 website claims that these are “completely waterproof,” which is likely incorrect. First, no optics can ever be completely waterproof — they are typically weatherproof or water resistant. It’s highly unlikely that this pair has gone through additional waterproofing to ensure they are “completely” waterproof (so don’t drop them in the tub!)

The body looks nice and feels hefty when you hold it, so, aside from the generic focus knob, they seem fine in person. As far as sizing, these are fairly compact but seem pretty heavy.

I was able to get a fairly clear view when I tried them out, but that loose knob is finicky. The lenses are nothing extraordinary, so I’d say these are on par with most inexpensive binoculars we’ve tried out.

Should you buy the Eagle Eye Z100?

We did not have a great experience with purchasing the binoculars, and overall the operation is very suspicious. The manipulative advertising isn’t professional, and the fake reviews and problematic ads are likely to get the company in trouble with search engines.

We’ll give these a more rigorous test next time we go out in the field, but we wanted to share our initial impressions as soon as possible. Because these are so generic, there’s just not anything out of the ordinary about the binos given our experience testing out so many different pairs over the years.

The $100 price tag (after all their pop-ups and extra special discounts) isn’t terrible, but I’m not convinced it’s worth the risk for this particular pair. The $300 list price the company claims is very unlikely to be true — these are simply not $300 binoculars. You can get a pair that is equally as good (if not better) for the same price elsewhere. We’ll keep an eye on this brand, but for now, we just can’t recommend them.



Vortex Optics Diamondback 10×42 Binoculars Review

Vortex Optics Diamondback 10x42If you’re looking for a pair of versatile binoculars that can go toe-to-toe with much more expensive models, the 10×42 Diamondback by Vortex Optics may be just the perfect thing. The small details about this model, as well as the superior optics, make the Diamondback a popular choice for a variety of uses.

A little refresher course in optics here: the number 10 in the binocular configuration refers to the power of magnification. The 42 refers to the size of the objective (front) lens. Ideally, you want a combination of magnification and aperture that gives you a large, bright field of view without being too heavy, too unwieldy or too outlandishly expensive. The Diamondback 10×42 won’t disappoint in this regard.

At 24.4 ounces and 6.4 inches, these binoculars will fit in a field coat pocket and easily hold steady in your hand, yet give you great visibility even at dusk and dawn (345 feet at 1,000 yards).

Optical Quality

The Vortex Optics Diamondback 10×42 are roof prism binoculars, with phase correction to eliminate interference between different light phases reflected in the prism (known in optics as phase shift). What does this mean for you? Higher resolution and crisper contrast in every image because the fuzziness that can accompany phase shift has been corrected.

O-ring seals and argon gas purging keep the Diamondback 10×42 fogproof across a wide range of temperatures. They are waterproof, as well, which makes for a great set of hunting binoculars–you won’t miss a thing in the bush with this model.

Waterproofing and fogproofing are essential for birding, too. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Even if you’re birding on a pristine, clear day, changes in temperature and humidity between the house, car and outdoors can cause fogging without a mechanism to prevent it. And of course, some of the world’s best birding takes place in dripping jungle habitat or by the spray of the sea.

Comfort & Design

Most folks will be taking the Diamondback 10X42 out for a full day of activity, so you want a model that’s comfortable and can handle the high use. With their forgiving eye cups, these binoculars will work with or without eyeglasses all day. The rubber outside casing offers a durable, non-slip surface for use with both bare hands and gloves. This is key if you’re going to be hunting in the snow or taking them to the nosebleed seats for some late-season football games up north.

The Vortex Diamondback 10X42 Binoculars have a right diopter to adjust for the difference in vision between your two eyes, in addition to the center focus wheel. You can easily mount them on a car window, and they are also tripod adaptable.

Vortex: A Trusted Brand

If you’re comparing brands in binoculars, you’ll find that a lot of companies out there don’t just make binoculars; they make cameras, electronics and even jewelry and home goods. Vortex Optics specializes in sport optics, so you know they are pouring all their resources into a limited number of related products, like binoculars and rifle scopes. This allows them to offer an unconditional lifetime warranty on their products, the Diamondback 10X42 included. Available at under $300, this model is a steal when you compare it to comparable performance in other lines. Known for their customer service and attention to detail, Vortex Optics is rapidly developing legacy customers, to no surprise.

If you’re going to take your Diamondback 10X42 Binoculars into the field, you might want to consider a few extras. While this model comes with a molded carrying case and strap, a harness might serve you well over bumpy terrain or climbing your stand. Additionally, a lens cleaning kit will keep your binoculars in tip-top shape, so you can enjoy them for years to come.

Overall, there are few drawbacks to the Diamondback. There are still shadows that most binoculars have trouble with when you move them around sharply, but they aren’t a huge deal if you find some sort stabilizer (like a tripod) for them.

Celestron Skymaster Giant 15×70 Binoculars Review

celestron skymaster giant 15x70The Celestron Skymaster Giant 15×70 Binoculars include BaK-4 internal prisms and multicoated optics. These features produce improved vision with brighter resolution, which is of top importance for quality binoculars. Included with the Skymaster Giant 15×70 binoculars are a tripod attachment adapter and a soft carrier case. The imagery processing and visibility are top-notch. Celestron Skymaster Giant 15×70 Binoculars’ eyepieces are also excellent.

Key Specs

Let’s take a look at the overall power of these 70mm optics.

  • 15x magnification
  • Field of View (FOV)-4.4 degrees
    • FOV at 1000yds-230
  • Multi-coated lenses
  • Diopter range- -4 to 8
  • Close Focus Distance 52.5

70mm lens are some of the biggest lenses you can have on handheld binoculars. As a result, you have some of the greatest light gathering power on the market. The diopter settings range from -4 to +8, meaning you can adjust to low or high light situations.

Where some binoculars have trouble focusing and can have a tendency to shift, the Celestron Skymaster Giant 15×70 Binoculars have little to no wobble and are equipped with an amazing center-focus apparatus. In addition to this, the Celestron Skymaster Giant 15×70 Binoculars offer high quality eye relief at 18 millimeters, which is great news if you wear eyeglasses. You can adjust the eyepieces by taking the big cap off from the exit or objective lens and then looking through to adjust the focus of the center ring between the barrels until clear. You can do this for both the right and left separately to achieve optimum clarity.

These binoculars are lightweight but operate best when they are used with an attached tripod. The Celestron Skymaster Giant 15×70 Binoculars are optimal for a multitude of purposes, including stargazing at both the terrestrial and astronomical level and bird watching. They can be used during the day as well as during dusk. Although the size may make you rather noticeable, the Celestron Skymaster Giant 15×70 Binoculars can also be used at sporting events and concerts. The lightweight nature of the binoculars will allow you to utilize them almost anywhere with very low bounce rate.

The Celestron Skymaster Giant 15×70 Binoculars sport a 15x magnification and utilize very large 70 millimeter objective lenses. These lenses also assist in providing maximum brightness for both dimly lit and long-distance conditions. The Celestron Skymaster Giant 15×70 Binoculars have excellent across the field viewing with precise focus. Coated with a rubber protection layer, the Celestron Skymaster Giant 15×70 Binoculars are able to provide users with a no-slip firm grip.

Additional Features

In addition to these incredible features, Celestron Skymaster Giant 15×70 Binoculars also come with a no fault warranty which covers protection and support for the product. The warranty includes Celestron’s promise that all binoculars are free from defective material and that they are appropriate for a lifetime of usability. Celestron will replace or work to repair the binoculars if they are sent in, with prepaid postage and a proof of purchase. Celestron will replace or fix the binoculars, regardless of how they were damaged, without asking any questions.

The Celestron Skymaster Giant 15×70 Binoculars are one of Celestron’s most popular models in their Skymaster series, due in large part to their tremendous quality and lightweight functionality at such an affordable cost. The Celestron Skymaster Giant 15×70 Binoculars exact specifications include a 4.4 degree angular field of view, 4.7 millimeter exit pupil, the near focus is 43 feet, and the binoculars come with an IPD minimum of 56 millimeters and maximum of 72 millimeters. The Celestron Skymaster Giant 15×70 Binoculars come with caps, a strap, a nylon carrier, and a tripod adapter. The Celestron Skymaster Giant 15×70 Binoculars are also water resistant and weigh 48 ounces.

These are incredibly high quality binoculars at a very reasonable price that are perfect for the casual user or for those that are more experienced. Whether you plan to take these on a hike for bird watching, check out the night sky for some amazing star gazing, or a myriad of other purposes which require distance viewing, the Celestron Skymaster Giant 15×70 Binoculars are a perfect fit at an incredible value.

70mm lens are some of the biggest lenses you can have on handheld binoculars. As a result, you have some of the greatest light gathering power on the market. The diopter settings range from -4 to +8, meaning you can adjust to low or high light situations.


Since these binoculars are made by Celestron, you can already guess what they’re good at. The moon is one of the brightest objects in our night sky and with the 70mm’s variable diopter settings, you’ll have no difficulty seeing it up close when the sky is clear.

These diopter settings work the same during daytime and landscape viewing as well. They come with a tripod adapter as they do weigh about 3lbs free handed. Birding and nighttime sky watching are going to be the biggest and most logical uses for the 70mm’s. 70mm means that you’re going to soak up whatever is giving off light, notably objects in the sky and the moon.

Versus Other Sporting Optics

These binoculars are big, hence why more often than naught, you’ll see them hooked up to a tripod. They don’t make the best hunting binoculars because they are designed for extreme range viewing rather than detailed viewing. Remember, just because a pair of optics has big lenses, doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get the best details of an object.

Swinging these binoculars isn’t going to be easy due to their size and weight. Compared to wide angled binos and other smaller sporting optics, the 70mm’s aren’t the most logical to take on hunts when you’re lugging them around for hours at a time. Unless you plan to stay in given area, you’re better off using a smaller pair.


It’s astonishing to note that the 15x70mm’s aren’t the biggest or smallest pair of binos in the SkyMaster series. Regardless, the 15x70mms sit in the middle of the SkyMaster series and provide astounding images for a cheap price compared to other Celestron products.

The 15x70mms don’t have the power to see stars or planets beyond the moon up close and personal but provide a sort of middle ground between mainstream sporting optics and telescopes.

Click here to shop the SkyMaster 70mm.


Review of the Leica Trinovid Binoculars

Leica Trinovid is synonymous with superior optical performance. The Trinovoid line was solidified by its diverse offerings of compact and full sized binoculars. The units are famous for being made rugged with an innovative prism technology. They are a mainstay for professionals and nature enthusiasts who want top of the line viewing at a midrange price.

The Trinovid 42 is Leica’s premium binocular offering. The company’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing for the Sport Optics division affirms that the development process for all Leica’s products is done with the objective to be the best in their class. The Trinivoid 42 is no exception. According to Leica, the newest line of Trinovids stays true to the hallmark of their product line. It has superior engineering and value to performance ratio.

Faultless Construction

Leica Trinovid’s premium entry-level binoculars are made with the highest quality materials. The binocular shell is void of any plastic parts. The entire outer body is composed of durable magnesium. For dual strength, meant to withstand even the harshest terrains, the magnesium shell is encased within rubber armor.

The units are completely waterproof to five meters. The waterproof feature of the Trinovid 42 collection contrasts with the water spray resistant construction of the Leica Trinovid 25 collection. Additionally, the Trinovid 42 collection has a nitrogenized interior. The nitrogen renders the binoculars fog proof, a necessity in humid or cold weather.

Their stainless steel hinge construction and generously sized eyecups make for comfortable viewing. The 10×42 packs 16-millimeter eye relief, while the 8×42 model is a close second with a 15.5-millimeter eye relief. This is excellent news for those wearing prescription eyeglasses. The eye relief of both models is not so compact that the outer edge of the field will severely be lost or constricted.

The Trinovid comes in the following configurations:

  • 8×32
  • 8×42
  • 10×32
  • 10×42

Details Details

Leica Trinovid has always been known for its hallmark and revolutionary prism design that lends to its superior optical performance. However, with all the power packed into the newest Trinovids, it can be said that the improvements are far beyond a minor upgrade. The Trinovid 42 collection is developed to be intuitive in its adjustment capabilities, powerful on the performance end, compact for easy handling, and ergonomic.

The roof prism design offers a superior phase correction coating of P40. An additional mirrored layer, previously not offered, increases the overall transmission of light by 99.5 percent. This HighLux system, referred to as HLS, makes images brighter to increase the users viewing pleasure and accuracy. The HLS system, coupled with their enhanced optical and mechanical construction improvements, minimizes the occurrence of stray light dramatically.

The Leica Trinovid 10×42 has a field of view of 326 feet at 100 yards. That said, the field of view of the 8×42 is the real mind-blower with 378ft at 1000 yards. The 8×42 undoubtedly qualifies for use as a wide-angled binocular. That will please many avid bird watchers and hunters. However, for those looking for short range viewing such as general nature watch, butterflies, small animals, or anything that will be within close range, the Trinovid would not be a prime choice.

As expected, Leica Trinovid sticks to the high grade of style, durability, and internal construction they are known for. Although the price tag is extremely reasonable, for their function and power, nothing was compromised. So the only real choices left to make, once you buy one, are do you fancy a wide field view or greater magnification? Almost every other adjustment is factored into the technology. Overall, the Leica Trinovid is pretty impressive if you want the most viewing power for your money.

Carl Zeiss Victory HT Binocular Review

Zeiss Victory HTWith up to 95 percent more light transmission, Zeiss’ new Victory HT Binocular offers its users the chance to view nature in a whole new way. The company calls the new line groundbreaking and state that it’s the brightest super-premium binocular globally. This is definitely a huge claim to make after the success of the already-great Victory FL binoculars that were made.

Bright When it Counts

When light travels along a binocular, sometimes the light is lost by way of reflection and absorption in the prism system or in an air-to-glass surface. By the time the light exits the piece, the amount of light that remains will differ depending on the binocular. The best ones have greater transmittance percentages, allowing brighter and better images.

Like others in the premium optics industry, Zeiss uses several coatings to ensure that the majority of the light used can reach your eyes, but it is accepted as inevitable that a tiny amount of light can be lost.

The great and most interesting thing about the Victory HT is that the new lenses are able to transmit more than 95 percent of the light captured in a set of binoculars.

There are obvious advantages in these binoculars; there is greater transmittance, especially with the blue violet spectrum, meaning better mesopic vision. It comes with a reduced lensing effect thanks to the higher brightness, giving a better image quality overall.


There are also a number of other exciting features on the Victory HT, including the following:

  • T* coatings: With multi-layer Carl Zeiss T* coatings, there is plenty of anti-reflecting coating available for the lenses.
  • Fluoride lenses: These also have fluoride ions means to correct colors and improve sharpness.
  • LotuTec coating: In addition to the T*, there are Zeiss LotuTec coatings available with hydrophobic qualities. These are applied on the outside of the Victory HT binoculars by Zeiss, ensuring that if you get water on the glass, it will roll down immediately without leaving watery residue. You also won’t get oily fingerprints stuck on your lens.
  • Abbe-König-prism System: This set of binoculars has a big Abbe-König prism, which means it can work without an additional mirror. It is actually the best and brightest system currently available.
  • Ergonomics: The striking appearance of the Victory HT binoculars are said to help with ergonomics, making them more accessible and easier to use. The lens barrels has a great grip on them, which make them easy to use and feel natural in your hands. It also has a focus wheel that is further forward on the bridge than you might be used to.
  • Double-Link-Bridge: This is made of ultra-light magnesium to ensure the Victory HT remains durable but lightweight.

According to Zeiss, the focus mechanism also includes a rather long ratio of gear to help make focusing the lenses precise and fast. In other words, it will take you a few turns of the wheel to start from near focus and end up on longer, farther focus. You’ll get the option for a precise view, but it’ll take you a little longer to swap between the two extreme views.

The 10×42 in particular is a bit heavier than the 8×42 counterpart, though this one is great for view objects at longer distances without losing much on the field of view; it still manages to look great at the bigger zoom without sacrificing anything on quality. If you are in need of premium binoculars and want to have the extra distance advantage, we highly recommend the 10×42.


If you want to see a video overview of this incredible line of high end binoculars, here is an excellent one done by Sportsman’s News:

Upland Optics Venator 10x42mm Binoculars Review

We here at Optics Den are big fans of Upland Optics products, so we were excited to try out the new high-end binos offered by the brand.

The recently released Venator 10×42 binoculars are significantly more expensive than their bestselling Perception HD, but the increase is well worth it overall.

First, here are the specs:

  • 10x optical zoom, 42mm objective lens
  • 114m field of view at 1000m
  • 15mm eye relief
  • Waterproof & fogproof
  • Includes carrying case, lens cloth, neck strap, and lens caps
  • Dimensions: 5.5″ x 5″ x 2″
  • Weight: 1.5 lbs

The Venator offers the highest quality optical clarity through top-of-the-line Extra Low Dispersion Glass. That means exceptional clarity no matter the situation, and it means you can expect an amazing visual experience in every hunt, birding excursion, or other event.

In addition to the ED glass upgrade, the Venator is notable for its high-quality build. Holding them in your hands you can feel the attention to detail and the solid durability of the body. We like the thumb grips and the texture of the rubber on the body — this doesn’t feel like a pair of binos that will go sliding out of your hands when the weather is inclement. Additionally, they feel sturdy, so if they do take a tumble out of your hands or pack, they feel like they’ll hold up. The design is open bridge, which helps reduce overall weight and enables a sleeker design than less-expensive single-hinge binoculars.

Technically speaking, the Venator offers higher light transmission percentage, which means more light is allowed into the binos. This feature means that you’ll find these are excellent in low light conditions. The upgraded glass is a higher technology than most, with advanced proprietary lens coatings for supreme anti-reflection, anti-fog, and other technologies making them an extremely high quality of glass with actual purposes beyond clarity and precision.

Between the high quality glass and the functional, solid design, the Venators are built for extreme weather conditions. These are the kind of binoculars you want on a long hunt in inconsistent and extreme weather.

There’s a lot to love about the Venator, but here are some key things to keep in mind:

  • Lifetime warranty: This is huge. Few companies stand behind their binos for a lifetime, but Upland offers this on all their products.
  • Incredible optics: The Venators blow plenty of the competition out of the water with their top of the line optical technology
  • Superior build: You can take these on any excursion without worrying about whether they can handle the heat, wind, fog, cold, rain…whatever.

It’s worth mentioning price here, as the price is both a plus and a minus. It’s difficult to even talk about the Venator in terms of competition, as there really aren’t many binoculars at this price point, period. It’s tough to know what the price might be if Upland was sold in stores (they keep their prices low by offering their products online only), but it isn’t too far out of line to say this pair could save you several hundred dollars versus competitors with over $1k price tags. Bottom line? The Venators offer you an option for a high end feel at a lower price.

Of course, there are a few drawbacks to discuss as well.

  • Price: Though I mentioned this as a plus above, these binoculars are still going to be out of budget for plenty of shoppers.
  • Weight: While fairly lightweight, these do still feel a tad heavy.
  • Focus wheel tightness: If I’m being nitpicky, I’ll say the focus wheel feels a little tight when adjusting it.

The Upland Optics Venator 10×42 should definitely be on your radar if you are looking for a pair of high-end binoculars. For a high-end pair, the price is pretty stellar, and the construction and optics technology make these a pair to beat. Check them out here to see the current price.




Here’s How to Focus Your Binoculars Properly

Binoculars are a useful tool for viewing distant objects or landscapes with detail and clarity. Although they are generally a simplistic tool, there is a specific process for adjusting binoculars to ensure a clear focus and a satisfying image. The binoculars must be adjusted for both viewing distance and for differences in eyesight between the individual user’s eyes.

Vortex Optics Diamondback Roof Prism Binoculars

When binoculars aren’t properly focused, trying to see can be a lesson in futility. Oftentimes, an issue with binoculars is simply due to an improperly adjusted diopter. This article will cover some of the ways you can use diopter adjustment for optimal viewing experience.

Typical Adjustment Options

A typical pair of binoculars has several options for focusing the view, including a central control that adjusts the primary focus and an individual adjustment control known as the diopter adjuster. These two separate functions allow you to ensure that each eye will see a focused picture through the binoculars despite potential vision differences that may exist in each eye. The view can be fine-tuned by use of the primary focus adjustment.

Diopter Adjustment Knob

If the diopter adjustment isn’t set correctly, the user may see a blurry image or even believe that the binoculars are not working properly. The diopter adjustment control may be as simple as a numbered ring around the eyepiece, so it is often an adjustment the user doesn’t notice and fails to adjust. When using a new pair of binoculars, it is important to first identify the diopter adjustment so the setting can be set for your customized visual needs.

As the video below demonstrates, it’s also important not to start moving the diopter until you’ve had a chance to look through the glass.

Simple Steps to Successful Adjustment

To adjust your binoculars for your personal use, you will want to take the following steps:

  1. Turn the central control to make the view as focused as possible.
  2. The diopter adjustment control knob is typically located on the right eyepiece of the binoculars. It should be numbered, and you can start by setting it at zero or the marking that seems to indicate the center position.
  3. Cover the barrel on the same side of the binoculars where the diopter control is located using the lens cap.
  4. Look through the binoculars at a fixed, detailed object that is approximately 100 to 200 feet away. With both eyes open, use the primary focus control to identify the clearest view.
  5. Switch the lens cap to the other barrel, and use the diopter adjustment to adjust the same view for your other eye.
  6. Remove the lens cap and look through the binoculars with both eyes. The image should be clear and sharp.

Adjusting for Different Models

Nikon’s Monarch HG have a locking diopter adjustment ring

Your binoculars may have the diopter adjustment in the center, and in that case, the process to focus the view is similar. Always use an object that is approximately 100 to 200 feet away to focus your view, and adjust one eye at a time.

Once the diopter adjustment is set, you can use the central focus adjustment to provide the clearest view for the appropriate distance. You should not continue to adjust the diopter control, and some high-end binoculars include a lock to prevent accidental changes to the diopter settings.

Additional Settings

Depending on the individual feature set for your binoculars, you will also benefit from adjusting the eyepiece spacing and eyecup height, as incorrect adjustment can cause distortion in the image. It’s simple to find the clearest, most comfortable view by pushing the barrels of the binoculars together or pulling them apart. The eyecups can be adjusted for those who wear prescription eyeglasses, and simply positioning the eyecups to your needs will contribute to a clear view through the binoculars. Outdoor Life explains here how and when to adjust the eyecups.

With these few simple steps, you will learn to adjust the focus controls, enjoy clearer views and thoroughly appreciate the proper use of your binoculars for sightseeing, hunting and hiking.

Want to see our picks for the best binoculars on the market? Click here for our full reviews and top sellers.

Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Roof Prism10x42 Binoculars Review

Bushnell Legend Ultra HD 10x42Last month I purchased the Bushnell Legend Ultra HD 10×42 Binoculars. As a professional huntsman with a wife who’s into bird-watching, I decided that it was finally time for me to invest in a truly heavy-duty pair of binoculars. The pair I had been using was well over 10 years old, and though it was still working, it wasn’t what it once was. A friend of mine had recommended that I look into Bushnell’s products, as they’re known for being some of the best on the market. After doing some research, I decided that the Ultra HD 10x42mm binoculars would be best suited to my needs.

Optics Quality

When I first held these up to my eyes, I was truly blown away. Bushnell isn’t lying when they call these binoculars “high-definition!” My older pair of binoculars had a pretty decent 8x magnification, but the 10x of these binoculars really made a world of difference. What pleased me most about the binoculars was their sheer optic power. The image clarity these binoculars produce is unlike anything I’ve seen before. These binoculars are light but durable, and adjusting the magnification was especially easy. I feel that these binoculars have really improved my ability to track deer and fowl, particularly during the dusk and early dawn hours. I simply cannot speak highly enough about the quality craftsmanship of this instrument. These binoculars have held up through thunderstorms, thick fog, and hot days at the lake. Though Bushnell’s binoculars aren’t the cheapest option on the market, I can declare wholeheartedly that they were worth the price. My wife loves them, too; my only trouble was getting them back from her after she found out how great they are!

Everything about these binoculars is truly excellent. The eye cups fit snugly to my eyes when I’m using them, and, unlike lower-end binoculars, color and clarity never get distorted. I’ve also been extremely impressed with the way they’ve held up. Despite taking these out in some rough weather, I’ve never had any trouble with moisture or dirt getting trapped under the lenses. The water-repellent lens coating has been a life-saver during rainy days and it’s made hunting in wet weather a much more enjoyable experience. The quality of Bushnell’s Ultra HD binoculars is definitely on-par with some of the most expensive binoculars on the market. I’ve had friends tell me that these Bushnells evoke better visuals than their ultra-high-end $900 binoculars.

Comfortable & Portable

Beyond the visuals, the Bushnell Legend Ultra HD 10×42 Binoculars have proven to be a comfortable, portable tool. My previous pair of binoculars came with a rough, thin strap which would leave my skin red and sore if I left them hanging around my neck for too long. The strap on these binoculars makes a world of difference regarding my comfort while hunting. This strap is thicker and more durable and has a slight padding that makes it feel like I’m wearing a camera around my neck instead of a pair of heavy binoculars.

The soft case included with the binoculars has had up well, too. Though I generally take a more heavy-duty case with me when I’m spending long periods of time outdoors, I’ve found that this case is more than sufficient for storing the binoculars in my bag or at my house. Knowing the durability of these binoculars, I’m sure the soft case would suffice as adequate protection for a number of other customers.

Finally, I’m especially pleased with how these feel to the touch. The exterior material on these binoculars is water-repellent and very easy to grip. Whether I’m suffering from sweaty palms in July or wet gloves in February, these binoculars are easy to hold onto. This is a vast improvement from my other pair of binoculars, which were made of a much more slippery material.

Overall, I’ve found these binoculars to be a great purchase. They’ve definitely enhanced my skills as an outdoorsman, and have satisfied my wife as well. I can see these binoculars lasting for two decades or more. Given Bushnell’s reputation for great customer service, I’m sure I’ll be able to keep these binoculars going for years to come.

Bottom Line

While I am super happy with these, I still want to give you an overview of both the pros and cons (because there are always both).


  • ED (Extra-Low Dispersion) Glass — High quality glass that provides high resolution and stunning colors. It’s multi-coated, too
  • Wide field of view — 340 ft at 1000 yd
  • Sturdy build — easy grips and durable body
  • Good low light & strong light performance


  • A bit on the heavy side at 24.7 oz
  • Eye relief is 15.2 mm, which could be better

If you’re looking for a great pair of outdoor binoculars, I definitely recommend the Bushnell’s Legend Ultra HD 10×42 pair. It’s a worthwhile investment, and I’m glad I made this purchase. Bushnell also has an excellent warranty, so this is a trusted brand we always highly recommend.