There are always more kinds of binoculars than there are birders.
The really special thing about birders (bird-watchers) is they almost always have more than one pair of binoculars.
And often they have many types of binoculars as well as a spotting scope or camera or two. It is the active birders who are perhaps the best people to review and comment on binoculars. True, the companies have valuable input, but it is the everyday application of these types of binoculars that proves the claims.
This is the first in a series of posts on binoculars by specific companies. Nikon is well known for its cameras and binoculars. Therefore, I start here with comments on Nikon binoculars. In this series I plan to include costs, a place to purchase them and customer reviews when they are available.
When it comes to optics, Nikon is hard to beat for quality and value. You can count on Nikon to use good lenses every time. Many of the lenses they use are the same as those used in more expensive brands.
I have one pair of Nikon compact binoculars that have been serving me well for years. So from personal experience, they are sturdy and durable. It is easy to see more than 300 feet with a good field of vision with the Nikon Monarch. These are 8 x 42 which means you are seeing 8 times larger than the unaided eye with a 42 mm coated lens. This Monarch Nikon binoculars model weights about 2 pounds. This model is also available with 10×42 and 12×42 lenses, each of which weighs a little more.
My concerns with this model are the size and weight of the binoculars in addition to its cost. It is affordable for most serious birders yet costs over $200 in most places.
However, this model is not compact and costs more than the budget conscious birdwatcher wants at the beginning. Its special features include being waterproof and fog-proof, both are good to have. The central focus and precision optics make a more comfortable long viewing period. They are also rugged and rubber-armored.