Nikon Monarch M5 12x42 review

Time and again I took the Monarch M5 12x42 binoculars out over other models for their extra magnification, but optically they were middling average

Nikon Monarch M5 12x42 binoculars on a white table
(Image: © Jase Parnell-Brookes)

Digital Camera World Verdict

A whopping 12x magnification is useful in so many scenarios that these were my go-to for several weeks, but chromatic and coma aberration were more present than in other Nikon models I've reviewed.


  • +

    12x magnification good for distant subjects

  • +

    Build quality is excellent

  • +

    Accessories feel premium


  • -

    Color fringing present

  • -

    Coma aberration frustrating

  • -

    Lacks locking dioptre

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The Nikon Monarch M5 12x42 that I've reviewed here also comes in 8x42 and 10x42 versions. They're waterproof, fogproof, and have a sturdy build quality that feels durable in the hand.

The 12x versions are not ideal for eyeglasses wearers due to the slightly more limited 15.1mm of eye relief, but drop down to the 8x and this bumps up to a generous 19.5mm.

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DesignRoof prism
Exit pupil3.5mm
Eye relief15.1mm
Dimensions145 x 129mm
Magnification12x, 10x and 8x
Objective lenses42mm
DurabilityWaterproof and fog proof

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Jase Parnell-Brookes

Jase Parnell-Brookes is an award-winning photographer, educator and writer based in the UK. They won the Gold Prize award in the Nikon Photo Contest 2018/19 and was named Digital Photographer of the Year in 2014. After completing their Masters Jase has spent a good chunk of two decades studying and working in photography and optics shooting and writing all over the world for big-name brands and media outlets. Now the Channel Editor for Cameras and Skywatching at their speciality is in low light optics and camera systems.