My favorite binoculars are my Nikon Monarch binoculars. Their 10×42 magnification makes them perfect for bird watching, which is one of my favorite hobbies. They were recommended by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology as one of the best pairs of binoculars under $500, and I’ve been extremely pleased with them.
Images viewed through the binoculars are crisp, even in low-light conditions (early morning and twilight), when bird activity is sometimes greatest. They are relatively light, and they have a comfortable grip.
They are easy to look through, even if you wear glasses. The focus can be changed rapidly for quickly moving birds or other objects. They are also waterproof, which provides peace of mind when birding on a rainy morning.
I don’t only use my Nikon Monarch binoculars while bird watching. I also take them to concerts, sporting events, and operas. Wherever you are, the binoculars bring the action right to your eyes, and you find yourself noticing and appreciating details you would never have seen with the naked eye.
One of the best aspects of the Nikon Monarch binoculars is their close focal distance. In fact, this is why they are called Monarch binoculars: because it is easy to focus on butterflies, insects, or leaves just a few feet away. Most binoculars don’t allow you to do this.
With my binoculars, though, I can sit in a bush and watch birds bathing in a birdbath just four or five feet away. Every detail is crystal clear: the coloration on the feathers, the scales on the feet, and the sparkle of the water. I was nervous about buying an expensive piece of equipment when I started bird watching. This was the best $250 I ever spent.