Re: Nikon Monarch 5-20x44 vs. Vortex 6.5-20x44
Like many who have probably gone down this road, I've been torn between the 2 as well. I placed an order for the Nikon because I've had such a good experience with my Monarch 4-16x42 SF. Very clear optics and the BDC works great at full mag if you dial in the right ballistic data. Hitting 1" squares at 350 yards with it on a Browning in 243. Very stable and repeatable.
Wondering which you chose and your subsequent observation.
Although Nikon makes different products in different factories, etc., being a photographer for over 40 years, I gotta tell ya, they are considered top of the line for the $ even in the professional world. I made a considerable amount of money shooting Nikons in Hollywood for Merv Griffin and other biggies. (He had one of my pics hanging in his house.) Nobody ever said "Gee your pictures aren't as clear as so-and-so's.) Nikon was the go-to camera for most professionals for many years.
Hasselblads with their Zeiss lenses have always been top of the heap, but at multiple x the cost, and they only made larger format than 35mm cameras. The new digtial Hasselblads with Zeiss are over $32K! Now its Cannon and Nikon at the top in the SLR arena, with Cannon always ahead of Nikon just a smidge in image processing techology, but not necessarily in the lens quality.