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Another pleasant surprise: NIKON ACULON 16x50!

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#1 donmichaelo

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 01:31 AM

I think that to have found a US$100 binocular so amazing, is a great surprise.
Nikon Aculon 16x50 is an extraordinary piece of art, that perhaps not a Steiner or Leica or a US$800 Nikon SE, but you can enjoy them a lot if you have limited budget.
It is not so heavy (925 gr), very well built, comfortable, turn/slide eyecup, and very firm grip.
Its optical is very good, not a FMC but a beautiful green/bluish MC which causes a nice and bright details. I didn't see any reflection nor scattered light.
I found quite difficult to adjust the diopter ring, stiff and awkward placed, but I guess it will loose a little while using it.

The crescent moon looks OUTSTANDING!! Sharper than any other binocular I have, including my Orion Ultraview 10x50 and Celestron 15X70. Terminator craters were amazingly well defined and razor-sharp!

The disc of Jupiter was clearly seen and its 4 moons as well. Of course with a 16X you couldn't see any bands but the planet look really edged!

Unless mounted on a tripod, keeping it steady might be quite difficult, (mainly if pointed to any DSO), however resting my arm over a wall wasn't not so uncomfortable and could see M42 and its brighter stars very easy.
I used with a Vanguard Alta Pro 263AGH tripod (with the pistol grip) too.

Around 60-70% out of the axis I noticed a slight distortion, but not so disturbing.
The FOV is around 4 degree more than spec. 4.2. However, I didn't feel any "tunnel" sensation at all.
ER is quite short: 12.6, however I expected more decrease of the FOV with my glasses.

Anyway, I truly recommend this Nikon Aculon 16X50 to all of you, my friends with tight budget (As I am) :)

DonMich

#2 Mark9473

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 03:09 AM

Thanks for the nice report. It would be interesting if you could do more detailed comparisons on a variety of targets between these 16x50 and your 15x70.

I did not understand when you said "FOV is around 4 degree more than spec. 4.2."

#3 KennyJ

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 12:59 PM

<FOV is around 4 degree more than spec. 4.2.>

Given that, taken literally, that would translate to "the spec" TFOV being only 0.2 degrees, I think we can safely disregard that as the intended message here.

My interpretation is more like the following, unless DonMich clarifies otherwise.

The "stated TFOV" is 4.0 degrees.

The "actual TFOV" is a little wider, at 4.2 degrees.

Am I right, Dom?

Kenny

#4 donmichaelo

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 01:42 PM

Language barrier is acting against me!
I wanted to say that Nikon specification states it has 4.2 degree of FOV, however when I measured the distance of a known two stars which have a 4 degree of separation both lies exactly at each FOV limit, so the Aculon FOV is 4.0
I should have said: "FOV is around 4 degree, 0.2 degree LESS than the spec. 4.2."

Did I make myself understand now?

Thanks for correct and read me

DonMich

#5 donmichaelo

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 01:55 PM

Mark, I am Medical Director of a well known German Pharmaceutical Company for Central America and Caribbean and have to travel a lot. Next week I will flight to Costa Rica and Panama. I promise that as soon as I come back to DR I will do a more detailed comparison between the Celestron 15x70 and Aculon 16x50.

Today I will receive my Pentax 20x60 PCF WPII. Some friends say it is a nice pair of binos in spite of its narrow FOV. At CN archives someone said he could even see bands on Jupiter! (?)..
We will see! ;)
Thanks for reading!

DonMich

#6 KennyJ

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 02:02 PM

Thank you Don for correcting my misinterpretation!

Good luck with the Pentax PCF WP11, which indeed has received some very good reports over the years!

Kenny

#7 stargazer193857

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 02:14 PM

I just saw the title of this thread and wanted to say, I love the Nikon Aculon 16x50. For a reasonable sized binocular with enough power to show you every detail of an object you can just notice naked eye, this binocular is great.

It does have chromatic aberration, though, when looking at Venus. However, you can cut down on it significantly by stopping down the aperture. Very little is noticed around the full moon.

The binocular looks and feels expensive, in case you like to show off.

I have to agree about the difficulty adjusting the diopter ring. But once it is adjusted, you don't have to mess with it. The center focus wheel is very good, even at cold temperatures. Of all my binoculars, the 16x50 are the fastest and easiest to focus sharply at any temperature, which greatly adds to the fun of using them.

I think 16x shows as much detail as possible while still being able to find stuff fast. I can find stuff with my 25x70, but I have to pan around, lower them to look at the target again, then pan again. With the 16x I hit it the first time. Having seen their detail on the moon or Jupiter's moons, I have no desire to use my 10x50, except in rare star hopping cases where I can't be sure where I'm at otherwise.

16x50 gives me a better clearly view of every object I look at, no matter how big or small or bright or dim, vs my 10x50. My 7x35 is just good for learning constellations, and fitting in a glove compartment, or being borrowed out so I don't worry about breaking my 16x50. My 25x70 does show more on many objects, but at the cost of being harder to aim and harder to focus and harder to hold steady. I would not part with my 25x70, but it is not clearly better than the 16x50.

#8 stargazer193857

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 02:30 PM

I will compare the 15x70 to the 16x50. I looked through both. Both have a wide AFOV. The 15x70 might be a hair wider. I can't remember. The 15x70 gives a brighter view of M31, the best view of it I've seen yet, better than my 25x70.

The 15x70 has hard eyecups that were a bit uncomfortable as thin as they were. It has long eye relief, but the cups kept my eyes at the right distance. And the center focus wheel is harder to turn than on my 16x50, though maybe it is just that particular bino. Of course, the 15x70 is heavier.

If you want to pull in some DSOs, the brighter 15x70 will show you more. If you want to look at the moon or planets or day time objects, the 16x50 is much smaller, lighter, and sexier, and still does OK on the DSOs. And it costs twice as much as the 15x70.

Unlike the lower priced Celestrons, the more expensive Nikon comes with a 1.5" neck strap that looks very nice. Anyone seeing you with it during the day time will think you are not poor.

#9 penguinx64

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 04:48 PM

I have the Aculon 7x35's and I'm very happy with them. I really like the 9.3 degree FOV.

#10 KennyJ

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 05:15 PM

I'm pleased to hear Nikon has yet again come out with a line of binoculars that apparently can provide much pleasure, without costing so much, relatively speaking.

Of course, many other vendors and manufacturers provide similarly priced, perfectly usable products too, but I especially tend to like Nikon binoculars.

Let's face it, over the years there have been so many "good" Nikon binocular models and very few, if any, absolutely "terrible" ones.

Kenny

#11 hallelujah

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 05:27 PM

I have the Aculon 7x35's and I'm very happy with them. I really like the 9.3 degree FOV.


I also really like the 9.3* FOV of my older Nikons. :waytogo:

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#12 mooreorless

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 07:22 AM

The prices I have seen for the Nikon 16x50 Aculon are very reasonable. I have been thinking of getting one of these.

#13 donmichaelo

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 05:37 PM

You will not regret if you get it, Steve.
Today I was testing it against a Pentax 20x50 watching a distant building on fire, and the view was amazing. Much brighter than the Pentax, even I think the Pentax looks slightly sharper all around.

DonMich

#14 mooreorless

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 05:35 PM

I ordered the 16x50 Nikon Aculon off Amazon for $106 minus a returned gift and ended up paying $89 including tax,shipping was free. I must say it is well worth $106 or at some sites $139. I forgot that this comes with a tripod adapter and it serves the purpose well. It was 4:30 in the evening when I opened this and even in the lower light levels the binocular didn't seem dim at all. It was shipped Friday and I got it Saturday.

DonMich it is funny, I have that same Pentax 20x50 binocular and will have to compare it to the Nikon. I am afraid that won't be for a while.

I agree about the diopter ring, hard to turn, but I didn't have to touch it after setting it.

#15 mooreorless

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 05:59 PM

Pentax 20x50 upper left in picture I did do an impromptu low light test looking at my brother's sign he has about 200 yds. from my place and I could read the sign about 5 min. after the Pentax 20x50 using the Nikon 16x50.. Cloudy here and this was 17:41 to 17:46, but I could still see the largest letters[read] a little longer past this time in the Nikon 16x50.

#16 Jarrod

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Posted 19 January 2014 - 01:26 PM

Today I will receive my Pentax 20x60 PCF WPII. Some friends say it is a nice pair of binos in spite of its narrow FOV. At CN archives someone said he could even see bands on Jupiter! (?)..


I have detected bands on Jupiter with the Pentax. I have also detected hints of the "gap" between the rings of saturn and the planet. They were, of course, mounted at the time.

These binoculars are very good. I found they require a bit of practice to keep your eyeballs on-axis with the optics in order to get the best results with minimal flaring or CA. Once you have that, they are really nice. I just sold mine because I use them less than I'd anticipated, but I think you'll be pleased with them.

#17 stargazer193857

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 12:18 AM

Pentax 20x50 upper left in picture I did do an impromptu low light test looking at my brother's sign he has about 200 yds. from my place and I could read the sign about 5 min. after the Pentax 20x50 using the Nikon 16x50.. Cloudy here and this was 17:41 to 17:46, but I could still see the largest letters[read] a little longer past this time in the Nikon 16x50.


Do that same low light test with them head to head with a 10x50. The 16x50 will do better than the 10x50 reading stuff in the dark. The Andromeda galaxy will look bigger and just as bright in the 16x.

#18 m00nless

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 08:59 AM

Having checked the specifications of the Aculon on Nikon's website I have not noticed any reference to the prism type used. Are these using BAK-4?

#19 stargazer193857

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 12:14 PM

The exit pupils are perfectly round. The brightness at the edge of the view looks the same to me as at the center. So most likely they are not Bk7. The exit pupil of my 10x50 Celestron looks like a square inside a circle.

This is my favorite binocular. I just wish I could open it and blacken the rough sides of the prisms. For some reason almost all binoculars under $1000 don't blacken their prisms.

#20 H-D Moose

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 03:32 PM

Resurrecting an old post here ... but I just ordered the Nikon Aculon 16x50. My terrestrial ruby coated 7x50's weren't cutting it at night and I wanted something in-between 7x35s & 25x100s. Thanks for starting this thread 5-months ago donmichaelo.

So many people, so many varying opinions on Celestron, Orion, Barska, Zhumell, Oberwerk/Garrett Optical, etc., etc. But nary a negative word on Nikons. penguinx64 sure likes his 7x35s based upon several threads (I ordered those, too with the 16x50s to replace my 7x35s, so thanks go to him as well for his multiple posts in multiple threads since he rcvd his last Christmas).

Clear Skies.






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