Nikon Prostaff vs Monarch Scopes & Binoculars – Differences Explained 2022

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Photo by Program Executive Office Soldier / CC BY

Nikon is a massive company that is bound to be mentioned anytime you talk optics. They own the optic’s realms in more ways than one. This includes the typical sporting optics like binoculars, spotting scopes, and rifle scopes. Outside of that, they build cameras, microscopes, and dozens of other different types of optics.

In their sporting line, two popular lines exist. The Nikon Monarch and the Nikon Prostaff. A common thread we see among shooters is what’s the difference? Which line is better? In this article, we’ll look at some representative optics in these 2 lines and finally decided which is better in the Battle of Nikon Prostaff vs Monarch.

Prostaff and Monarch Scopes and Binoculars

The Nikon Monarch and Prostaff are divided into both binoculars and scopes. Both models are designed for sportsman’s use, and they are designed for hunters typically. Today we are going to compare both Prostaff optics with Monarch grade optics and see what shakes out.

The Prostaff line of rifle optics and binoculars are likely some of the most popular scopes in the United States. These optics are well known and well respected for their budget price point and their high-quality design. The Prostaff line is in its 5th generation and will likely continue deep into further generations. The Prostaff line is characterized by its 4x zoom ratio for its riflescopes, for being used with the Spot On Ballistic Match Technology and for being affordable and easy to find.

The Monarch line of rifle scopes and binoculars are designed to be the higher quality optics. These optics feature extremely clear lenses and are made to last for decades of heavy use. These optics are for those who want a higher quality piece of glass in their optics. The Monarch optics also use a 4-time zoom ratio, as well as superior optical clarity.

Nikon Prostaff vs Monarch: The Scopes

Today, we are looking at the Nikon Prostaff 5 in 3.5-14x with a 40mm objective lens, and the Monarch 3 4-16x with a 42mm objective lens. The series is very similar, but a few distinct differences should be noted.

Nikon Prostaff 5 FFP - BDC Reticle [THE HUNGER]

Nikon Prostaff vs Monarch Scopes: What They Have in Common

Both the Prostaff 5 and Monarch 3 share a number of different features. They both use a 4x zoom ration for broad magnification changes that allow shooters to quickly transition between close, medium, and long range performance.

These scopes are extremely well made, and both series are water, shock, and fog proof. These scopes both use quick focus eyepieces that make it easy to focus the optic and get on target very quickly. While they do have this in common, we start to see the optics separate here.

Nikon Monarch 3 3-12x42 BDC reticle FFP on a CMMG MK47 AKS13

Nikon Prostaff vs Monarch Scopes: Where They Are Different

The biggest difference between these two scopes is optical clarity. Monarch scopes use extra-low dispersion glass that grants the Monarch a much clearer picture than the Prostaff models. The advanced multicoating given to the Monarch scopes also increase the scope’s ability to reduce glare and see in low light conditions.

This being said, the Prostaff series (see full specs) is still quite clear and very impressive from a perspective of the price. The Prostaff optics are designed for budget hunters and do come in at generally a lower price than the Monarch series (though check current prices).

The Monarch 3 (see full specs) does give the user 6 different options for reticles, and the Prostaff series only gives 4 options. The Prostaff series is more or less built exclusively for hunting and target shooting across the United States. The Monarch series of scopes can be used for hunting, and target shooting, as well as tactical applications. The Monarch series with the right optic can even be used for hunting dangerous game in the right configuration.

The Monarch series is better low light performers, and they are designed to allow 95% light transmission. The Prostaff line of optics are well suited for low light shooting, but you won’t get the same hardcore performance the Monarch offers. This is especially true when we start talking distance shooting.

Nikon Prostaff vs Monarch: The Binoculars

What They Have in Common

Both series of binoculars use fixed magnifications for their binoculars in relatively moderate magnification ratings. The two models we are looking had identical magnification ratings, but you can find models with slightly higher magnifications as well as slightly lower magnification ratings. These binoculars are shock, water, and fog proof as well. The series both use roof prisms, but beyond here they begin to divide immensely.

Nikon Prostaff 7S 10x42 Binos Video Review

Where They Are Different

The biggest difference a lot of people are going to notice is the price tag. Even though these optics have identical magnification ratings, the Monarch price is generally substantially higher. The Monarch series earn their keep with the use of ED glass to provide the clearest possible image. The Monarchs are also using phase correction coated prisms to enhance the total resolution and contrast.

The Prostaff series are priced affordable and are still well-made optics with fully multicoated lenses as well as phased correction coated roof prisms. They offer a solid 15mms of eye relief that allow you to compensate for wearing glasses. The Prostaff line is designed for field use with hunters, but are also a solid choice for birding and sightseeing.

The Monarch binoculars are made for more hardcore hunters. Those who are humping up and down hillsides, fighting through the snow and rain to get to there position. They can take the abuse you’ll throw at them and keep on working. The Monarch series also offers a wider field of view which makes it easy to see not only more but to track moving targets.

Do they offer enough value to be worth more than the Prostaff binoculars? Perhaps they do, but that’s for the end user to decide.

Nikon™ Monarch 7 Binoculars with Brad & Mike -

Nikon Prostaff vs Monarch: The World of Nikon

Nikon produces so outstanding optics, and they always have. Their lines of rifle scopes and binoculars are well known and well reputed for a reason. They work. The Prostaff and Monarch lines are two of their flagship optic’s lines, and both represent a different price point, as well as many different feature points.

The good news is both the Prostaff and Monarch optics are backed by Nikon’s always awesome warranty—so either will be good. But if you have a deep wallet, go with Monarch; if you don’t, go with Prostaff. It’s pretty much as simple as that. Good luck!

  • Owner of, Boyd Smith is a major handgun enthusiast, and although he owns Glocks, he prefers the revolving wheel type. His go-to guns are a Smith & Wesson 642 Performance Center for carry and a Ruger GP100 in the nightstand biometric safe (he has kids). He loads both revolvers with old-school 148-grain Federal Gold Medal .38 wadcutters. It’s OK if you think he’s a wimp. Email him.

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