Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Any opinions of the Nikon "Action" Binoculars?

This topic has been archived. This means that you cannot reply to this topic.
20 replies to this topic

#1 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*
  • -----
  • topic starter

Posted 25 September 2003 - 06:24 PM

I see several of these on eBay for around $110 that range from 7x50 to 16x50 in size. I've had Nikons in the past and liked them very much and was wondering if anyone had any experience with these particular ones?

Thanks, Tom

#2 Charlie Fisher

Charlie Fisher

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 38
  • Joined: 28 Jun 2003

Posted 25 September 2003 - 06:54 PM

I have a binocular in that series and I am quite happy with it. The price is certainly very good, and is especially good right now (most of the Action series have a mail-in rebate of $20-$40 right now). So don't buy them used on ebay if you can get them new with that rebate!

My other two binoculars are Fujinon 16X70 FMT-SX and some very good Swift Audubon 8.5X44 ED glasses. Both of these are admittedly better than the Action 10X50s, but considerably more expensive as well.

The Action Nikons don't focus very close and are a bit heavy, so they are not ideal birding/ wildlife binoculars. But the views in the central two thirds are just fine for stargazing... there is not an overly offensive amount of distracting edge distortion, in my opinion. They have a nice sturdy feel for their price. The field is a nice wide 6.5 deg in the 10X50s so they are pretty good for most general sports applications also. And you don't care if one of your kids accidentally sits on them, like if they sit on your Fujis.

Another good thing about them is they do have a standard tripod mounting screw hole, despite the fact that the sales literature and user manual are silent on this. I owned mine a year and a half before I discovered it one afternoon just messing around with them.

I hope this helps. My two cents are that they are darn good, for affordable binos. And I have a few well regarded pairs to compare them to also!

Charlie

#3 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*
  • -----
  • topic starter

Posted 25 September 2003 - 07:40 PM

Charlie,

Great information...more than you know! I currently am bidding on a pair of Swift Audubon 8.5x44ED's and will stick with them if possible. These seem to be the best "general purpose" binocs that will allow for star viewing as well as their stated purpose of birding (or in my case geological formations, critters and the occasional bird!).

I was planning on posting a seperate question about the Swift Audubon's but maybe I'll get some more responses in this thread.

I will look for the Action binocs and the rebates to make sure I am getting maximum value for my dollar. Thank you for the honest assesement of them. I figured for the money that they aren't the best, but atleast they're 95% there (if you know what I mean).

Again - Thanks, Tom

#4 Charlie Fisher

Charlie Fisher

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 38
  • Joined: 28 Jun 2003

Posted 25 September 2003 - 08:00 PM

The Swift Audubon 8.5X44ED glasses are terrific. Light, waterproof, good color, and a wide and undistorted field. A hair more aperture at 44 over the typically competing 40s-- a birder might not care much, but for astronomical dual use, that's a nice 21% increase in area. They are good especially if you have big hands and like Porros over roofs for terrestrial purposes. And of course they have a standard mounting thread too.

Good luck in your bidding!

Charlie

#5 KennyJ

KennyJ

    The British Flash

  • *****
  • Posts: 36439
  • Joined: 27 Apr 2003

Posted 26 September 2003 - 01:14 PM

Tom ,

I think you'll like the Swift Audubons if you get them.

8.5 is around OPTIMUM hand -holding magnification IMHO and that 44m is defintely better than 40mm.

I'm not convinced about the advantages of ED glass at this power though , but if the ones you are bidding for are ED then that's a little bonus .

Whichever you get -- enjoy them - clear skies - Kenny.


#6 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*
  • -----
  • topic starter

Posted 26 September 2003 - 06:37 PM

Charlie and Kenny (and all the rest of you Cloudy Nigthers),

You both seem to think very highly of the Swift Audubons. These binocs are within my budget since I want a very good pair of binocs mainly for star gazing but also for my hiking expeditions (I can't, for the life of me, find my Nikon Travelite IV's...they're somewhere!!!)

I can get the Swift's for $270 plus shipping if my bidding fails...should I just consider these for now and stop worrying about it other than getting the best possible price...OR...is there a better set of binocs for my purposes that are $250-$300 or less and are just as good/better than the Swift Audubon's?

I keep thinking I should get 7x50, 10x50 or 12x50's for star gazing (handheld) and general purpose.

Thanks

#7 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*
  • -----
  • topic starter

Posted 27 September 2003 - 04:01 PM

Bump! Still looking for additional comments on the Nikon Action 10x50s (and the Swifts).

Thanks! Tom

#8 EdZ

EdZ

    Professor EdZ

  • *****
  • Posts: 18849
  • Joined: 15 Feb 2002

Posted 27 September 2003 - 06:08 PM

Tom, I'll start here.

I don't own the Nikons or the swift audobon. Also I'm 90% astronomy 10% terestrial. I do own a swift 8x42 ultralite. Incredibly sharp image. It's much easier to handhold an 8x than a 10x. I have trouble holding 12x. I could never handhold 15x70s for more than a passing look, certainly not for a few minutes.

Get the binoculars you are likely to use the most "comfortably" for now. Get bigger later.

edz

#9 KennyJ

KennyJ

    The British Flash

  • *****
  • Posts: 36439
  • Joined: 27 Apr 2003

Posted 27 September 2003 - 06:16 PM

I can't comment on the Nikon Action 10 x 50s but Charlie seems pretty happy with his ( relatively speaking )

I think the historically highly recommended 7 x 50s are becoming a less popular choice for two reasons.

One is that unless you are stargazing from exceptionally good dark sky locations ,some of the 7mm + exit pupil is "wasted" unless you are 20 years old or younger.

Unless your attached photo is particularly unflattering Tom ,I suspect you are a little older than this :-)

So -- your exit pupil will rarely dilate to above 6mm.

You may as well use 7 x 42s as 7 x 50s -

The smaller the exit pupil the darker the sky background and less amplification of any astigmatism you may have.

Whether or not 7 x 42 , 8 x 42 , 10 x 50 or even 12 x 50s are the better "all round choice" is a highly debated point.

I love my 10 x 50 Swift Audubons , but not quite as much as my Zeiss 7 x 42s .In addition to the difference in class and price , 7x is MUCH easier to hold steady than 10x.

A used Canon 10 x 30 Image Stabilised may be worthy of serious consideration given your requirements.

Bottom line Tom is TRY before you BUY -- even amongst the totally bino -barmy army who will spend ANY amount of money to get "the best" -- there is very little agreement upon which really is "the best" :-)


#10 EdZ

EdZ

    Professor EdZ

  • *****
  • Posts: 18849
  • Joined: 15 Feb 2002

Posted 27 September 2003 - 06:24 PM

Hi Kenny,

Good advice you've been giving Tom all along here.

Just a note. I had my eye exam 2 days ago, time for an update. While there, I asked the doc to measure my dark adapted pupils. In the completely dark room he was getting measurements over 7mm. He needed to turn some lights on to get a good reading. In subdued room light, I was 6.5mm in one eye 7mm in the other. I'll be 51 in a few months.

Your not wearing progressive bifocals yet, are you? Just correcting for near-sightedness?

edz

#11 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*
  • -----
  • topic starter

Posted 27 September 2003 - 06:58 PM

Thank you guys...I think I know what I must do. I prefer to buy good quality over aperture. I think the Swifts are probably my #1 choice and the 10x50 Nikons are #2. I will try to locate both and feel them in my hand, look through them, etc...

Thanks all, Tom

#12 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*
  • -----
  • topic starter

Posted 27 September 2003 - 11:43 PM

Kenny, one question about the Canon 10x30 IS glasses. The price on these are below $300 now, bringing them into view. Are these too small for star gazing and would they just be marginally adequate? I would venture to say that I will mainly look at stars more than anything else with whatever glasses I end up getting. I have lots of questions and lots of time. I hope to get out tomorrow for a thorough examination of as many binocs as I can find. The Canon IS would be great if they are actually more than enough for my purposes.

Thanks for all your patient answers, Tom

#13 KennyJ

KennyJ

    The British Flash

  • *****
  • Posts: 36439
  • Joined: 27 Apr 2003

Posted 28 September 2003 - 03:09 AM

Tom ,

Although it may go against "conventional wisdom" to say so I would say that Canon IS 10 x 30 are actually BETTER for astronomy than they are for daylight applications.

I'm not sure I can explain why without making a fool of myself , but that is my observation with these quite amazing little binos with something of an enigmatic reputation.

They are one of those binos which 80% of people who try them LOVE , and the other 20% do not.

Personally I am not overboard about them in daylight.

I have hunch that you may love them and highly recommend that you try them for yourself BEFORE buying ANYTHING.

The lack of objective diameter and exit pupil size is not the issue with these that the laws of optics would lead us to believe. Whoever designed these must have known what they were doing in that respect .

In many cases , in spite of dilated pupils as large as our friend Eds at 7mm ,in real life situations a smaller exit pupil seems to actually work better for astronomy by darkening the surrounding sky glow and eliminating human defects.

Try them Tom and see what you think .

Regards - Kenny.

#14 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*
  • -----
  • topic starter

Posted 28 September 2003 - 07:52 PM

Hi guys, I put myself out of my immediate misery. I had a fun day looking at binocs but didn't find the Canon's or the Swift Audubons (darn! I really wnt to hold these in my hands). I did find a great deal on the Nikon 8x40 Actions ($65!) and I actually preferred them over the 10x50's - better FOV, better eye relief, better weight, etc...

Why? I'm running out of clear nights and for $65, I have a good pair of binocs and I can start to really look at everything now and not worry about getting "my" binocs today...and I still want some very good ones that are waterproof (I live in the NW ya know), fogproof (<--what he said) and superior optics.

Topper! If, after 90 days, I don't like them...back they go!

Thanks for all the info so far...I plan to ask more questions because I haven't found my ultimate binoculars...but I have a pair to look at the stars and go on hikes with me.

Tom

#15 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*
  • -----
  • topic starter

Posted 29 September 2003 - 02:20 AM

Tom ,
Certainly agree that a good FOV is very important and the ability to take the things with you easily is crucial really. I would agree 8x40 is a good general purpose solution and you can perhaps buy something bigger to use mounted at home. I presume these cheaper Nikons are Chinese/Taiwan or Phillipines made (rather than Japanese made) I used some Olympus 8x40's recently. They were really very good value for $70 or so.

I fancy some Zeiss 8x56's ($1000 or so !) to complement my Zeiss 7x42's but that is just my binocular addiction on display !

#16 Charlie Fisher

Charlie Fisher

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 38
  • Joined: 28 Jun 2003

Posted 29 September 2003 - 10:43 PM

The 10X50 Nikon Action binocular was Japanese manufactured, at least as recently as two years ago. Tom, let us know about your 8X40s, will you? And good luck with your new purchase.

I suspect they will be strong, for $65 binoculars. If they are like the 10X50s, they won't be the closest focusing or the lightest glass, but they will be more than alright, and quite cost effective for general use. Don't drop them in the water!

Charlie

#17 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*
  • -----
  • topic starter

Posted 29 September 2003 - 11:15 PM

I spent about an hour with them outside last night and it was an enjoyable excursion. I was really pleased with the additional amount of stars that I could see that normally aren't visible to me unaided.

I'll try to keep 'em out of the water Charlie!

Tom

#18 brocknroller

brocknroller

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1985
  • Joined: 16 Oct 2003

Posted 12 November 2003 - 05:04 PM

A couple months ago I bought a Nikon 7X35 Action Lookout II on eBay. The seller didn't answer my questions so I bid low and surprisingly won them (I often loose because I have dial up and cable modem buyers outbid me within the last few seconds of the auction -- by the time I refresh the page, the auction's over!). Though the 7X35s are slightly out of collimation, they are surprisingly very sharp to about 15% of the edge of the 9.3* FOV. And these were made before Nikon Actions had aspherical lenses. I previously owned a Nikon 7X35 E, and though it was also sharp, the narrow AFOV (49* -- TFOV 7*) was less than ideal for birding so I sold them. The Lookout II version has a 65* AFOV, more convenient for birding and unlike most WFs no trade off with edge sharpness.

I was so impressed with the 7X35 Lookouts that I bought a 10X50 Lookout II on eBay last week. It looks like the 7X35 -- traditional body style (they also made an inverted prism type that reviewers panned as hard to hold) and leatherette coverings. As mentioned earlier, the Actions do not have a good close focus, even the 7X35s are about 18 ft. and the ER on Actions is short (~ 12mm). But considering I bought these for a fraction of what the E2s cost, and a nano mole compared to an SE, I consider them to be a very, very good value.

The 10X50 Lookout II is also slightly out of collimation. Fortunately, Nikon has a great repair policy so it will cost me only $32/binocular to collimate them including shipping. Although I have not seen the new Action IV models, if they are as sharp as the Lookout IIs, and with the same good edges, they would be a great buy.

Brock

#19 brocknroller

brocknroller

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1985
  • Joined: 16 Oct 2003

Posted 19 December 2003 - 09:09 PM

Had the opportunity to try two 10X50 binoculars today in Wal-Mart (yes, Wal-Mart has everything except Dom Perignon :-). The first was a Nikon 10X50 Action ($139 and $20 or $30? manufacturer's rebate) and a Leupold WindRiver 10X50 Mesa ($199 -- no rebate).


Nikon 10X50: The Nikon has a weird shape. Your hands would have to be just the right size so your fingertips can reach the small gripping area on the top of the prism housings. The ER is short (~ 12mm), not suitable for eyeglasses but the rubber eyecups are comfortable. The focuser is a little stiff and on the small side but useable. The views are fairly sharp, though not as sharp as my Lookout II (Japanese made) and no way near my 7X35 WF. The new Actions are made in China but so is the Leupold Mesa. The FOV is 6.5*. Seemed nice enough in the brightly lighted store, but I wouldn't want to hold them for a long time because of finger fatigue on those tiny grips. Objective reflection showed one green and one white reflection -- not fully multicoated. BAK-4 prisms.Close focus 20+ ft.


Leupold 10X50: Lighter and more compact than the Nikon. Push-up eyecups and click stop right diopter adjustment (nice feature, the diopter setting doesn't move when you push against the eyecup). Focuser is larger than the Nikon's with tiny rubber "nibs" that might rub off in time. Smooth focusing. The optics appear to be sharper than the Nikon Action, better color correction too. The Nikons showed some false color looking at red letters against white signs, the Leupold did not. Overall better image quality. ER is better (18mm). The eyecups also have the tiny rubber "nibs" for gripping. I could not see the entire FOV with my thick glass lens eyeglasses. The FOV is smaller than the Nikon (5.5* vs. 6.5*), but it does not feel like you're looking through a tunnel as some 5* binoculars do, perhaps because of the generous ER. The eyecups were not uncomfortable, but I prefer soft rubber cups. Easier to grip than the Nikon. Rubber coated like the NIkon but nicer finish. Objectives showed two green reflections, one dark green, one light green. Not FMC, according to the description, but better coatings than the Nikon Action. Images are brighter and show better contrast. BAK-4 prisms. Waterproof. Close focus: ~ 15 ft.


Wish I had time to compare edge sharpness, but the sales person had other customers waiting and had to put the Leupolds back in the locked case (the Nikons were out on display). Overall, I liked the Leupolds better than the Nikons, and if the 10X50 is typical of the new Action series, I'd say the older ones (my 7X35 WF and 10X50 Lookout II) have better optics and are better made (particularly the 7X35 which has exceptional optics that rival my 8X32 SE and metal rather than plastic end prism housing covers).


So Tom if you're interested in buying a 10x50 Action bin, this is the time to buy with the rebate (less than $100 at online stores). For the price, they are pretty good. However, if you can pluck down a $100 more, the Mesas have better quality and are waterproof. But if you're looking for a non-waterproof 10X50 binocular in this price range, the Orion 10X50 Ultraview is as sharp as the Leupold but with a wider FOV like the Nikon Action.

Brock

#20 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*
  • -----
  • topic starter

Posted 19 December 2003 - 09:16 PM

Hi Brock, I bought the 8x40s a few months back and with the rebate the cost about $65. For that price they are great binocs! I am going to upgrade to something waterproof but now there is no urgency to it.

Thanks for the great post!

#21 Charlie Fisher

Charlie Fisher

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 38
  • Joined: 28 Jun 2003

Posted 19 December 2003 - 11:42 PM

I'm glad you like the Nikon Action 8X40s Tom. I bought a pair for a buddy of mine for Xmas. With the rebate the deal seemed pretty darned good. I sent them to him and his wife & kids with a bird book... I'll send an astro book later.

I took them out of the box to look through them and almost wanted to keep them myself! But I have too many already. With the rebate they were a heck of a deal for mixed astro/ land use. It's hard to imagine a better $65-70 pair.

He was pretty happy. His son opened them right away so there will be no Xmas surprise but that's just some nice extra days of viewing IMO.

Best regards,

Charlie


CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics