Read Why the Nikon 7430/7294 Monarch ATB 8 X 42 Binoculars Rate Best Among Outdoor Binoculars
Watching wildlife, hiking and photography have been pastimes of mine for practically my whole life. When I would be out in the woods and want to see something far away, I would use my camera’s telephoto lens to bring objects closer. This is not the most efficient way to do this. I decided that a good pair of binoculars would be a better way to increase my long range viewing enjoyment.
Binoculars are the second most used optical instrument after eyeglasses and if you like the outdoors like me, you can understand why.
Nikon optics have been at the top of the line whether you’re talking about cameras or lens in binoculars. Either the Nikon 7430 or 7294 Monarch 8 X 42 All Terrain Binoculars are a good choice. The Nikon 7430 received the highest rating from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology for binoculars in its price range.
The Nikon Monarch 8 X 42 ATB actually comes in two models. The 7294 is the newer version of the 7430. By reviewing one, I am actually talking about both models. I’ll explain the updates in the 7294 later.
What About the Roof Prism Design?
A roof prism means that that the objective lens is straight in line with the eyepiece. This is important because it allows the binoculars to be more light efficient. The more light you have, the better the image will be and the more contrast you will see. Roof prisms dominate the top end birding market.
Why Are Fully Multicoated Lenses Important?
When light enters the lens of binoculars, some of it is reflected back, causing glare. This glare reduces the clarity of the image. However, with the Nikon 7294 Monarch, thin multicoated layers of material are applied to the mirror on the roof prism. The multicoated layers reduce light loss over different parts of the visible spectrum, causing a uniform and high light transmission in the full range of visible color.
They create almost the same brightness as the naked eye. If you are using your binoculars for birding or just observing all types of nature, you want to see the most vivid range of colors that you can.
Do I Need Phase Correction?
The best quality binoculars are phase corrected. Phase correction is another type of coating applied to the roof prism which minimizes the loss of resolution thereby providing high contrast images. If you are looking at the markings on a bird, you want as sharp an image as you can get.
What Does 8 X 42 Mean?
The first number, 8, refers to the degree of magnification. That is how many times closer an image will appear, as compared to the naked eye.
This also determines the field of view, which is the widest dimension that you can see when you look through the binoculars. As the magnification increases, the field of view decreases. The 8 X 42 gives you a wide field of view.
This is important when you are following fast moving objects, such as athletes or birds. However, since these binoculars can also focus close up to 8.2 feet, they can be just as useful for watching insects or examining flowers in detail.
The second number, 42, is the diameter of the objective lens or light gathering lens. This is shown in millimeters. The larger the lens, the brighter the image. However, it is important to mention that the larger the lens, the heavier the binoculars will be.
Are They Waterproof?
Yes, these binoculars are guaranteed to be 100 % waterproof and fog proof. If you are using the binoculars outdoors, there is always a chance they may get wet. You also want to prevent them from fogging up when there is an abrupt change in temperature. A unique system of O-ring seals and nitrogen gas protect your binoculars from internal fogging.
What about Eye Cups?
These models have multi-setting click stop eyecups. That means that these binoculars are easy to adjust and use for people who wear eyeglasses.
Can They Take A Beating?
You bet! These Nikon Monarch ATB binoculars are ultra rugged. They are rubber armored. This means they are resistant to scratches and don’t make a lot of noise if they accidentally bump against something, when you are trying to be quiet.
Their ergonomic design makes them easy to hold for a long period of time. This is important in birding binoculars.
The Nikon 7294 weighs in at only 21.5 ounces. You don’t want something heavy hanging around your neck for a long time.
Why Is the Central Focusing Wheel Important?
The central focusing wheel allows you to focus both barrels at the same time. This is so much easier than focusing each eye separately. Also, the focusing mechanism is located internally, which leads to smoother focusing.
What Accessories Are Included?
Nikon includes a travel case, an adjustable strap and lens caps with their binoculars. One thing to keep in mind regarding the lens caps, is that if they tend to come off, you can always attach them to the neck strap, just as you would do for a camera.
What’s the Difference Between the 7430 and the 7294?
The 7430 has been the standard for binoculars for many years. They have produced consistently sharp images and vibrant color. How could Nikon improve on this?
The 7430 and the 7294 are similar in most areas, but there are differences in three areas.
- The Monarch 7294 is lighter than the older 7430. It weighs in at 21.5 ounces as opposed to 28.6 ounces for the 7430.
- The newer model, the 7294, is more compact than the 7430. The 7294 is 5.7L X 5.1W and the 7430 is 6.5L X 5.1W.
- The most significant area of change is in the multi layer lens coatings. Nikon developed a new technology called dielectric high reflective multi-layer lens coating. This has increased the relative brightness index from 25 to 28.6. This is incredibly helpful in low light situations, like dawn or dusk when most wildlife tends to be most active. Because of this dielectric multi coating technology, you will obtain crisper images and sharper colors, especially with the color blue.
What the Owners Say About the Monarch 7430 ATB
- “I really like these binoculars. They are light, bright, work well with eyeglasses and I give five stars because they are excellent value.”
- “With precision aligned optics for extended viewing and roof prismatics these binoculars provide sharpness and clarity found in +[…] binoculars! The 7430’s Monarch binoculars are fog proof as well as waterproof (I live in the mountains and we get lots of both!) and great for folks who wear glasses as they have built in Extended Eye Relief and a center of focus. As an eyeglass wearer, I find these two options extremely useful.”
- “I checked many reviews before purchasing these binoculars and they are great as advertised. It is easy to pick up movement in the air or ocean by scanning quickly…. I definitely recommend them, especially at the price.”
- “I did lots of research before deciding to purchase the Nikon Monarch binoculars. I am so pleased with them and the ease with which I can wear my glasses with them.
I mainly am using them for birdwatching, and the other great feature for me is that they are perfect for up close viewing too. I am very, very happy with my purchase and would recommend them highly.”
What Owners Say About the Monarch 7294
- “The low light performance of these was more than adequate for our birding needs in early morning or late evening. The brightness is astonishing compared to a binocular of lesser quality.”
- “The binoculars are clear and light weight. The quality is apparent and the focus and brightness are great for the cost.”
- “Clear, light, BRIGHT, great close and far, waterproof. Birds and bugs clear with every marking visible. You can even see the veins on leaves.”
- “They were very highly recommended by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and since I am an avid bird watcher, I decided to buy them. I am not disappointed. I was pleasantly surprised at how lightweight they are, which makes them easy to carry around. I am also pleased with the magnification they provide. An excellent choice for the price.”
Both models are backed by a no fault 25 year warranty.
Where Can I Buy These?
Amazon carries both the 7430 and the 7294. They offer competitive prices and offer free super-saver shipping for the items that they sell directly.