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Nikon AE 12x50mm

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#1 Jarrod

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 02:33 AM

B&H currently has these for $125 net to the door (after $25 free gift card).

Those who have been around the forum for awhile will know that these were ranked very highly in EdZ's benchmark of small binoculars. Among the highest, aside from the significantly more expensive reference binoculars, in fact.

Mine are on the way. I plan to put the $25 toward the 7x35s just as soon as B&H sends me the code.

Five binoculars in one month. :help:

#2 Man in a Tub

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 05:29 AM

I am still amazed by what a fine binocular the Nikon 12x50 AE is. I've had mine since April 2008. It is not the same as the Fujinon 10x50 FMT-SX. However, the Nikon performs very well in comparison, especially when I put it on my monopod.

Enjoy.

#3 hallelujah

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 09:09 AM

Five binoculars in one month. :help:


I just won two binoculars off of eBay, in the past week. :jump:

It's a disease for which there is no cure. :like:

Stan

#4 Jarrod

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 09:14 AM

I was waffling between these and the Nikon AE 10x50s for some wider astronomical views than my larger binoculars provide. Of course the 10x50 gives a wider view, but the benchmark indicates that the 12x50 outperforms the 10x50 by a fair bit in some critical areas, so I was already leaning that way. The extra $25 made the decision that much easier.

#5 ronharper

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 01:22 PM

Jarrod,
I've not tried the AE, but have used a 12x50 a lot. It hits a very sweet spot with just a little bit of ad hoc support. 10x is often said to be the hand holding maximum, but of course there is a higher category for the demon possessed! 12x50 will show just faint tantalizing traces of resolution on a surprising range of objects, very exciting in my opinion.
Ron

#6 Jarrod

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 08:28 PM

Has anybody ever experienced anything like this?

My binocular was to be delivered by UPS today. I received notification that it was delivered to my doorstep at 1:17pm. When I got home from work, IT WASN'T THERE.

My brain immediately went to a dark place. I called UPS to tell them my package had been stolen. I had to first go through the automated system, which helpfully informed me that the package had been delivered and that this was the last info they had about it. Then I pressed 0 to be directed to a human. The woman who I spoke with told me that the package had been delivered to the door, then later in the afternoon picked back up by the driver and taken back to the local depot! There was no explanation. I'm not sure who was more taken by surprise by this, me or the customer service rep.

Any speculation on what was going on? I am at a complete loss.

#7 rdandrea

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 08:58 PM

The woman who I spoke with told me that the package had been delivered to the door, then later in the afternoon picked back up by the driver and taken back to the local depot! There was no explanation. I'm not sure who was more taken by surprise by this, me or the customer service rep.

Any speculation on what was going on? I am at a complete loss.


The only think I can think of is that the package required a signature and the driver erroneously left it on your porch and then thought better of it.

Let us know what you find out.

#8 DarkDisplay

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 09:03 PM

This is strange. It could be one of two things. The UPS driver is incompetent or a signature was required. However, to return and pick a package back up is really odd.

When something like this happens to me I go as far to the top of the company as possible to get an answer. You might also report it to B&H.

Best wishes,
Frank

#9 mercedes_sl1970

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 09:45 PM

Maybe the delivery person was just doing the right thing by not leaving the package at the doorstep where it could potentially be stolen. At least you know it is at the depot.

Andrew

#10 Jarrod

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 09:49 PM

UPS called me back to say that one digit of the house number was wrong on the shipping label. The driver figured it out, and delivered it anyway. But this apparently triggers some sort of charge from UPS to B&H. B&H declined the charge and opted for the package to be returned to them instead (which does not generate a charge). So the driver had to come back and pick up the package!

I would blame myself, but the bizarre thing is I don't type my address into the B&H orders - this comes out of my B&H login account. I just checked the box from my last B&H order (earlier this month) and it has the correct address on the shipping label. Checked my B&H account and sure enough my record now has one digit of my house address wrong. No idea how that happened. UPS is now trying to find the package before it leaves town...

#11 DarkDisplay

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 09:59 PM

What a mess. This is what happens when a little common sense is not used. You paid for item. Item delivered. You should be using your 12x50's tonight, weather permitting. I hope it works out well for you.

Best wishes,
Frank

#12 KennyJ

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 01:18 PM

Sorry to learn of your plight,Jarrod.

At least the "official explanation" makes some kind of sense,and definitely less sinister than one or two alternatives that crossed my mind before your thoughtful clarification.

Better luck next time !

Kenny

#13 Jarrod

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 06:54 PM

Thanks. They did get it off the truck last night and I was able to drive to the depot and pick it up this afternoon. The people at the depot were understandably puzzled, when they noted the big "return to sender" label stuck on the side of the box. I had to go through the whole explanation for them, but they did hand over the box.

Dark and rainy outside, so no first light tonight I'm afraid.

#14 hallelujah

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 07:50 PM

Let us hope that this will be the beginning of Good Things to come. :ubetcha:

Take a look outside tomorrow & let us know how things look during the daytime.

Stan

#15 Man in a Tub

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 10:52 PM

Take a look outside tomorrow & let us know how things look during the daytime.

Stan


Stan!

You should have prefaced that remark with "Take two aspirin..."

:)

#16 hallelujah

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 11:46 PM

Stan!

You should have prefaced that remark with "Take two aspirin..."

:)


Todd,

After what he's been through, I thought a little encouragement would be less of a bitter pill to swallow.

Stan

#17 Jarrod

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 11:08 AM

Thanks guys, for lifting my spirits.

Just had first light with these outside on a cloudy day. I'm happy with the purchase overall, but of course there are some tradeoffs at this price point. The main nit I have to pick is there is a noticeable (surprising, even) amount of barrel distortion across a good portion of the field. They are very sharp and bright, however, and there isn't a lot of field curvature. I was just observing a jay from 50 yards and the view was impressive. Very 3-dimensional (which was nice, but maybe a side-effect of the barrel distortion?). Nice contrast as well. I find them easy to hand-hold which is wonderful - at 12x I was expecting more shake.

I've got no complaints about the mechanics at all - very impressive. Especially for a $125 set of bins. The focusing ring is very comfortable and just about the perfect "stiffness" for my tastes. The diopter adjustment is brilliantly designed - very easy to move while still holding the bin steady so you can see what the heck you are doing (even handheld at 12x). There is no play in either adjustment. The eye cup adjustments are a joy, but one note to make here is that the eye pieces are recessed by 2-3mm from the rim of the cups, which does appreciably reduce the usable eye relief for glasses wearers. But I can just see the field stop in the fully retracted position and with my glasses in a comfortable place on my face, so that's not a big issue for me. If you have a strong prescription you might get slight vignetting.

Looking forward to a star test, but the weather is nasty so I've set my expectations low for that. :grin:

#18 Rich V.

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 11:56 AM

Hi, Jarrod, it's good to hear you're liking your new binoculars.

Regarding the "barrel distortion" you see, it's a common angular geometric distortion your eye perceives as you pan. This is common in binoculars that don't add a certain amount of pincushion distortion to the eyepiece design. I've seen this in the Nikon AE 8x40 but my Nikon 8x30 EIIs correct this effect with a greater amount of added pincushion. It's just a design parameter; some people are more sensitive to this than others.

If you're interested, there is a great analysis of this effect by Holger Merlitz here.

Rich

#19 EdZ

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 04:34 PM

The eye cup adjustments are a joy, but one note to make here is that the eye pieces are recessed by 2-3mm from the rim of the cups, which does appreciably reduce the usable eye relief for glasses wearers.


and a good thing it is

If the lens were not recessed at least 3mm, the curvature of your eyeglasses would be making contact with the eye lens and before too long you would potentially be replacing your glasses due to scratches.

edz

#20 Jarrod

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 04:57 PM

Thank you. I have learned a lot from you in a relatively short time, and it continues nearly every time I visit.

#21 KennyJ

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 05:27 PM

Good to read this initial impressions report,Jarrod.

As the general consensus has been from the input of many members here over the past few years, the Nikon Action Extreme range generally represents an outstanding example of USEABLE binoculars being available at reasonably affordable prices.

This is very important for all concerned.

Enthusiasts in all different sorts of hobbies need items to be readily available which they can really enjoy using without the purchase putting undue financial stress upon themselves and their families,especially in these relatively cash-strapped times.

Looking forward to reading further reports from you.

Kenny

#22 Jarrod

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 10:00 PM

It's been a few weeks but the weather has finally cleared here so I finally got these out under the sky tonight, mounted to my Orion p-mount.

Collimation is pretty close per the sharp eye/defocused eye test. I get absolute pinpoint stars from the center to the bottom ~10% of the field which is still usable. I had high expectations based on the reviews and they were exceeded for this portion of the view.

However, my example has fairly significant (what I believe to be) astigmatism *only in the top half of the field*. This affects perhaps the top ~35% of the field, progressively getting worse to the outer top edge where the stars are very significantly smeared. I can focus most of this out, but then the center of the field becomes extremely soft. To make sure it was not my eyes and/or eyeglasses, I flipped the binocular over on the mount. The aberration followed the rotation to the bottom half of the field.

I'm not sure what could have caused this issue, and I'm not sure what I can do about it. I can tell these have the potential to put out some very enjoyable views based on what I see in the bottom half of the FOV but as it is, I don't feel good about the QC on this particular pair.

Comments/recommendations would be appreciated. Thanks.

#23 hallelujah

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 10:34 PM

If it were mine I would return it. :thumbsdown:

ASAP!

Stan

#24 ronharper

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 11:55 PM

Eye mispositioning can cause effects like that. Good on you for doing the flipped test, which shows that is not the case here. If it's not too late, I'd send it back too. Heck, if it IS too late I'd send it back. The dealer ought to realize if you wanted it for astronomy, you'd have to wait until it faired off to give it a decent tryout.
Ron

#25 Man in a Tub

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 02:30 AM

Ouch! Very unusual for this binocular. Do try to get your money back or get a replacement. B&H has a good reputation.






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