Sneak Peek: New Monarch 7 Binocular from Nikon

At a shooting event last week, I got a sneak preview of Nikon's latest optic, the Monarch 7 binocular, which is set to be introduced July 7th. With this addition to the the Monarch line, Nikon is taking top-end glass and offering it at a mid-range price point.

The binocular is fitted with ED glass, which stands for Extra-low Dispersion. This kind of glass is designed to correct chromatic aberrations. In English, it means that it compensates for color distortions that occur when light travels through glass. The company claims this creates better light transmission and a wider field of view. Hunters will notice a crisper, flatter field of view than they're used to getting with binoculars at this price point.

Until now, none of the optics in the Monarch line were outfitted with this technology and you had to put up serious cash to get it. Nikon uses ED glass in it's high-end photography lenses and in its EDG line of binoculars which start at about $2,000. The Monarch 7 will cost about $500.

The binocular will come in 8x42 and 10x42 variations weighing 22.9 ounces and 23.3 ounces respectively. It features turn-and-slide rubber eyecups and flip-down lens caps.

Cosmetically, the binocular isn't much different than its predecessor, the Monarch 3, although the new version is a couple ounces lighter. All the binoculars in the Monarch line are suited with rubber-coating ATB armor (stands for All Terrain Binocular).

If you're still able to wreck your optic through this coating, Nikon will repair or replace it for $10.