Nikon is producing more than DSLR cameras or lenses; the company among many other electronics and optical products is producing binoculars. And not just any. The Nikon binoculars! Welcome to our Nikon Prostaff 7s 10×42 binoculars review!
How is the Nikon Prostaff 7s 10×42? These binoculars categorized into the mid-price range have a 10x magnification and 42mm objective lens diameter. The Nikon Prostaff 7s 10×42 is also nitrogen-purged, making the binoculars to be waterproof, weatherproof, and fog-proof with rubber armor to prevent damage. These binoculars are strong, durable, and ready to be used even in extreme conditions.
Hello and welcome to our in-depth review of the Nikon Prostaff 7s 10×42 binoculars (Amazon link). In the following sections, I will try to cover everything is to know about the binoculars, how they perform, specifications, some real examples, and if they worth buying after all. I own these binoculars for a while and still have them. They are my happiest purchase in terms of binoculars among my Astro-binoculars Skymaster. Shall we explore this topic together and see what else is about to know about those binoculars?
Quick note: This review is NOT a paid promotion or advertising and is purely based on my experience of heavily using these binoculars with real examples and photographs taken by myself. Note also that the review may contain Amazon Affiliate Links (read the disclosure on the right sidebar)
Nikon Prostaff 7s 10×42 binoculars review
Throughout all the binoculars I had the chance to test, on a mid-price range, these ones became my favourite by far, but unfortunately, the first thing to notice is that the binoculars do not have any ED (extra-low dispersion) glass elements.
This is not mandatory to provide a high-resolution image but it would’ve been an advantage to remove the chromatic aberration, which in some cases is noticeable
But don’t get me wrong, if you afford approximately to invest another hundred dollars over this binocular price in order to achieve the best quality, there is a version of this model with the extra-low dispersion glass (Nikon Monarch 10×42 ED, Amazon link) I would say go for them. This is probably gonna be a one-time buying. But in general, the Prostaff 7s 10×42 (Amazon link) will do just fine without any ED elements. Trust me… But for now, let’s have a look at the basic specifications and these specific binoculars.
Understanding the magnification and the aperture of 10×42 binoculars
The Nikon Prostaff 7s 10×42 has a 10x optical magnification and an aperture of 42mm (or objective lens diameter). Shortly, this means that you can see objects or scenes 10 times bigger than with your naked eyes and the front glass element is having a diameter of 42mm.
With 10x magnification, you can watch closely birds and wildlife (as long as they are not too far away), sports & events (8-10x recommended magnification), nature and landscape, and even the moon with the binoculars handheld without the need of a tripod. When observing the moon, you may be able to see some minimum landscape.
Somehow (as an unofficial rule), 10x is more or less the maximum magnification where you can carry handheld observation with binoculars without to worry too much about the shake induced.
In terms of having an aperture of 42mm, this would be “the sweet spot” where the objective lens diameter is wide enough to be able to carry low-light observations and small enough for the binoculars to be lightweight and portable.
Glass and prisms of the Nikon Prostaff 7s 10×42
As I did mention earlier is that the Prostaff 7s 10×42 does not have any ED (extra-low dispersion) elements but the prisms are high-reflection multi-coated in order to improve the brightness.
From my personal experience with the binoculars, I can really say the fact that the colours reproduced are as close as possible to what you see with your own eyes. In fact, you may not even notice any difference, which is an advantage in terms of quality.
In terms of the prisms, the Nikon Prostaff 7s 10×42 has a Phase-Correction Coated Roof Prisms. Shortly, roof prisms.
You may have noticed in some of the other blog posts where I largely talked about the advantages and recommendation of Porro prisms over the roof prisms. I don’t want you to get mixed messages from me, but I do recommend binoculars with roof prisms as well, as long as they are multi-coated enhanced high-quality ones. The nightmare of roof prisms is found in low-price cheap binoculars, but here is not the case at all.
The body format and the armour
The Prostaff 7s 10×42 have a lightweight and ergonomic design with a good grip for long watching sessions and does have also a rubber armour which, adds an extra point towards being a bit more resistant to drops than some other binocular models (please do not test this for yourself)
But in general, this should not happen if the binoculars grip is good and anti-slippery (as advertised by the Nikon to be), moreover, if you have the binoculars around your neck with the strap provided.
It is a good point to know that the binoculars are indeed armoured and can withstand a heavier usage than most of the binoculars found on the market.
The focus knob is situated in-between the oculars and you can have a good access to focus with your thumb and index finger from your right hand (if you are right-handed like me). It is not difficult to adjust the focus and is pretty smooth when performing this action.
Nitrogen-purged. What does that mean?
The majority of the modern mid-price range binoculars are filled in with dry nitrogen gas in order to remove any moisture and to make the inside of the binoculars oxygen-free. This would help in special in the long-term run, where using and storing the binoculars in humid places will avoid for this to form fungus or mould inside.
Also, one very important role is that the nitrogen-purged binoculars are weatherproof, waterproof and fog-proof. Condensation will not happen inside the binoculars, only on the outer side of the lenses whenever is the case.
If you want to read more about this topic, I would recommend you have a read on our article “Why are binoculars nitrogen-purged“.
The exit pupils of the Nikon Prostaff 7s 10×42 binoculars and the low-light performance.
Understanding the exit pupils is the diameter of the light beam going out from the ocular into your eyes pupils. This is calculated by dividing the objective lens diameter to the magnification. In the case of the Nikon Prostaff 7s 10×42 binoculars, this has an exit pupil of 4.2mm (42/10=4.2)
The exit pupils are important when is about low light performance and field of view. Reflecting on the low-light performance, the larger the exit pupils, more light can be captured by the human eye. But in general, a human eye pupil is open up to 7mm during the night and 2-3mm during daylight conditions
This makes the binoculars with the exit pupils of 4.2mm to be a bit above average in terms of low-light performance. Although the other version 8×42 have a better low-light performance due to the exit pupils of 5.25mm, the objective lens diameter is the same on both binoculars, therefore, the same amount of light is captured. It is all about the light amount it delivers to your eyes pupils.
And this is the reason when you look through binoculars with higher magnification than those ones with a lower magnification but the same aperture, the image look a bit darker.
For daylight observations, the binoculars are performing above excellent in terms of brightness. Keep in mind that there are other factors which can affect brightness positively or negatively such as the prisms, the glass (multicoated) and not only the exit pupils and the aperture of the binoculars.
Photographs taken through the Nikon Prostaff 7s 10×42 binoculars.
The following photographs are all taken by me with a mobile phone to and through the binoculars, where I use a universal mount adapter for my iPhone to be able to take as good photographs as I can through the binoculars.
If you are interested in how to take photos through binoculars, I would recommend you to check our in-depth article covering this topic, as linked above.
10×42 or 8×42? Which one?
It is obvious that the difference between these two is indeed the magnification, but other than that, upon my researches, there may be a few other differences.
Now, I have created a table covering those two binoculars with their basic specs and my general conclusion about both of them.
|Specs||Nikon Prostaff 7s 10×42||Nikon Prostaff 7s 8×42|
|Objective Lens Diameter||42mm||42mm|
|Size & Weight||645g, similar size||650g, similar size|
|FOV at 1000m||108m||119m|
|General conclusion||Higher magnification, you are able to see closely than the other version. Relatively darker image as compared to the 8×42 version, smaller exit pupils and lower Field of View (FOV). But with the extra magnification, you can see more details.||Lower magnification, you are able to see more in the field of view as this is larger. Better low light performance due to the larger exit pupils compared to the 10×42 version. Also have a deeper eye-relief of 19.5mm|
The above table is in-depth research about both of the binoculars and the specifications given by Nikon for both of them. At the moment, I own only the 10×42 version, therefore, more research was needed in order to give you the best and most accurate information.
The Nikon Prostaff 7S 10×42 binoculars review – An in-depth conclusion.
Nikon Prostaff 7S 10×42 binoculars (Amazon link) are an excellent choice for a relatively low price compared with many other binoculars and the specifications it has. I love the binoculars and I am promoting this as being the best for birdwatching as cheap as possible and to deliver the highest image quality and performance.
There are many other binoculars on the market. if you still not decide that these may be the ones for you, I would recommend you to check our most extensive “binoculars buying guide” on the internet. Moreover, you can check our recommended binocular page.