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Nikon ProStaff P7 8×42 Binoculars: Our Review

Inexpensive, lightweight binoculars with a good image but some distortion when panning. In our full review, we rated these in the Middle Ground.

At A Glance

Nikon ProStaff P7 8x42 binoculars
Nikon ProStaff P7 8×42 binoculars. Image by Hugh Powell.


  • Very lightweight
  • Good, crisp image even at distance


  • Distortion at image edges creates a “fishbowl” effect when panning
  • Minimal neck strap, lens covers, and case


  • Price: $190 MSRP at press time. Prices often fluctuate, so check with retailers
  • Close focus: Listed at 9.8 feet (299 cm). In tests, we could focus these binoculars a bit closer, down to about 7.5 feet (229 cm)
  • Field of view: 7.2° (378 feet at 1,000 yards). More about field of view 
  • Weight: 21.8 oz (618 g)—that’s about 3.9 oz (111 g) lighter than the average for 8×42 binoculars in our review
  • Eye relief: 20.2 mm

Viewing Experience: The Nikon ProStaff P7s offer a good image in a sub-$200 binocular. In strong light, they are bright, colorful, and remain crisp even at distance. On a brilliantly sunny November morning, we tested these on a bird feeder more than 150 yards away and found that we could make out the olive tinge to a titmouse’s gray back, and even the quick white tail flashes in flying White-breasted Nuthatches. Unfortunately when panning, there’s a noticeable distortion that causes a “fishbowl” effect and the disorienting sensation that the view is rolling past your eyes, an effect we also found in the very similar ProStaff P3. Nevertheless, for more stationary uses such as watching bird feeders, these binoculars offer a good image at a relatively low price.

Feel and Build: Very lightweight and comfortable to hold. The feel and build are nearly identical to the less expensive ProStaff P3 model. In the P7s, the diopter adjustment locks into place, which is a nice detail. The focus wheel is smooth and easy to roll; testers had mixed opinions about whether the action was just right or too loose. The eyecups dial in and out firmly and securely through 3 preset positions. The barrels have comfy scallops along the barrel for placing your thumbs. As with the P3s, Nikon’s focus on a low price point means these binoculars ship with the most basic of accessories: an unpadded webbing strap, objective lens covers that don’t attach to the binoculars and are destined to get lost, and a simple foam carrying case.   

More on Binoculars

Comments From Testers: 

  • Very lightweight
  • Felt really good in the hand
  • Close focus not great
  • Image quality, not crisp around the edges
  • Smooth focus, light, grippy exterior
  • Focus wheel a bit too loose  
  • “Loosey goosey” feel to focus wheel as if it wants to move
  • Lower image quality than Nikon Monarch M7 but much lighter  
  • Image was fuzzy at edge of field

This article is one in a series of mini-reviews. To see how these binoculars compare to others we’ve tested, see our full review of affordable 8×42 binoculars.  

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