20th February 2012
When I first tried this model at Rainforest Discovery Centre last year during the Foresty Open Day, I could not believe my eyes how sharp and it has better contrast and well controlled Chromatic Aberration (CA) than the current Monarch series. Then I went to Fraser's Hill with the gang for the International Bird Race on the same year, tested it against the grey sky with Monarch III. It does confirmed my finding.
I have been using 8x binocular for many years and couldn't get better view with 10x binocular even though I have tried few models and different brands. But with Nikon Prostaff 7 10x42, it was different. There were one time I was at Raganan - Timbuk mudflat with Joe waiting for the White-browed Crake, from the other bank about 80 metres, there were a Sandpiper which looked either Marsh or Common Greenshank. The weather was cloudy that time.
I was thinking of detaching the Nikon FSA-L2 adapter from my Nikon Fieldscope EDG85 and replaced it with my favorite 25LER eyepiece. But the 10x42 I had really helped me in ID'ing the bird (Marsh Sandpiper). I am used with the habit of using my scope after getting the subject on my bino even when the birds was really close.
Other feature I like is the weight. Even though both is heavier than Nikon Monarch III for 8x42 and 10x42, from my daily usage, it was not a problem and sometimes I did not realized it was hanging on my neck ! No more shake on my hand too hahaha :)
I hope if Nikon could incorporate fast focus for all models in the Sport Optics lineup like the legendary HG L, that would be the trademark for Nikon compared with other competitiors. It is a bit slow for my taste the Prostaff 7 series because my favorite 8x32 SE a bit faster.
Overall, I would recommend the Nikon Prostaff 7 10x42 for beginners in birding and for those who do not own a fieldscope because the extra 2x you get from the 10x42 will benefits you in getting those ID right especially for smaller Waders and Raptors. But you will get smaller Field Of View (FOV) than the 8x42. More info about FOV, click this link http://www.nikon.com/products/sportoptics/how_to/guide/binoculars/basic/basic_08.htm
Thanks to Irene Chong from Sandakan Foto for the demo unit. Selling price is around RM 1188 for 8x43 and RM 1288 for 10x42.
Link for Nikon Prostaff 7 at Nikon Vision Japan website.
On going discussion about this binocular at Birdforum :
Happy birding !