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If you’re looking for a monocular that is tiny and doesn’t take a hand as steady as a rock to use, check out the Nikon 5×15 High Grade (HG) monocular.
There seem to be two versions of the Nikon 5×15 monocular in the market. One is white and the other silver. One has the part number 7391 and the other 7394. One is often called the Nikon 5×15 High Grade monocular and the other the HG5x15D.
They both appear to be essentially the same Japanese made unit, so I will treat them as one and the same in this review.
If you’re in a rush and want to check the availability and pricing of the Nikon 5×15 at Amazon, you can click the link below.
If you want to read the entire review, just keep scrolling and reading. But if you want to skip to a specific section, you can click a link in the box below.
What Are the Main Features of the Nikon 5×15 HG Monocular?
Overall, this Nikon monocular is – as you should expect from a company like Nikon – a high quality piece of optical equipment.
Important Note: This unit has been discontinued by Nikon, but you can still find it online at places like Amazon.
It has multi-coated lenses and prisms inside with high reflection silver, phase correction coatings, all of which helps give you a clear, bright picture of your target object – a bird, a deer, an airplane, a balloon, or whatever.
You can tell from the name that this monocular magnifies objects 5 times (5x) what they are in real life. This might not seem like much compared to binoculars that commonly magnify 8x or 10x, but it is enough in that vast majority of cases in which you will put this unit to use.
You might even find that you want to use the Nikon 5×15 for relatively near objects. You can focus on targets as close a 2 feet (0.6 meters) away and still see them clearly.
The 15 millimeter objective lens might at first seem small too, but you still get a field of view (FOV) of 472 feet at 1000 yards. Combining the low magnification power with the wide FOV, you will find that you can still zero in on objects even if your hand is a little shaky. Larger, more powerful units often require you to hold perfectly still to see a target clearly.
This tiny size also lets you slip the monocular into just about any pocket, purse, or other container. It’s very easy to take on a hike, to a sporting event, to a concert, or just about anywhere else.
At just 2.6 ounces, your hand and arm won’t become fatigued after a long period of holding the Nikon 5×15.
Eye relief – the distance you can hold the unit away from your eye and still use it effectively – is just 15.8 millimeters. This could prove to be a problem for some eyeglass wearers, since just a few millimeters can make a big difference in this area. If you must wear your glasses when using optics like this, you will want to test this feature before making a purchase.
That said, it doesn’t affect all users as this owner says.
“It’s eye relief is long enough I can keep my glasses on while using it. I didn’t realize how handicapped I was before, wearing glasses and using short eye relief optics.”
What Accessories Do You Get with the Nikon 5×15 Monocular?
There are three items that come with the monocular when you buy a new unit.
There is a cap for the lens, a lanyard for carrying it easily, and a case for storage and protection.
Obviously, none of these is essential to using the monocular, but you will appreciate all of them over the long run.
What’s the Verdict on the Nikon 5×15 High Grade Monocular?
It’s unfortunate that Nikon no longer makes this little gem. The size, weight, clarity, and general usefulness all make it a monocular you’ll want to take just about everywhere.
If you can’t find the 5×15 anymore, you could check on its big brother the Nikon 7×15 (Amazon link).
If the Nikon 5×15 monocular doesn’t seem like the one you want (or you can’t find one), check out this article about other monoculars that might be more suitable.