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Nikon Aculon 7x50 first light

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#1 Notoriousnick

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Posted 24 November 2020 - 09:35 AM

I should say right from the start, that as far as binoculars go - I'm a complete newbie. So these brief thoughts are just my first impressions of using these particular bino's and I guess, bino's in general. I don't have experience with any others for comparison other than some briefly used, horrible quality ones.

 

In fact, I've probably done things the wrong way around! That is, I started with a telescope and only now, years later acquired this pair of binoculars.

 

Why 7x50 instead of the 10x50 version of the Aculon? After scouring through all possible threads here (thank you!) it seemed that despite the narrower FOV (TFOV=6.4*, AFOV=42.7*) these binoculars are quite good (in my view) because they are sharp/flat, edge to edge. Furthermore, their main purpose for me, was to help get a different perspective on the night sky and perhaps also look at those things that can't be viewed as a whole when using my Dob. The plan was not to eek every detail out of DSOs. I felt that higher magnification was unnecessary as that is what my telescope is for. Additionally, using only 7x magnification allows me to hold the bino's (more) steady. In the future, well, who knows, I might end up with a collection of these things.

 

While I can't confirm that my pupils dilate to 7mm (I'm 60), I do see quite well in the dark and feel that the exit pupil of these bin's is likely not to be too large for me. Not scientific judgement, I know, but I'm running with it laugh.gif. There is also the notion that with the larger exit pupil, the bino's may be more comfortable to use during the day.

 

Once home after getting the Aculons, I tried them outside in the middle of the day. I don't need glasses for telescopes or binoculars, nor do I have any astigmatism (just need reading glasses.) I wound the eyecups up, adjusted the central focus for the left eye, then the right side focus for the right eye, and I was good to go. No problems with poor collimation or other undesired phenomena such as low ER (reportedly, 17.6mm.) The eyecups seemed to work well for me. Just had to play with the inter-ocular distance a little, but soon enough the two images (left and right) merged into one.

 

I wasn't expecting these to be so sharp and bright! But looking at various plants, trees, leaves, etc., I was amazed at the picture they presented. I kept looking for distortions or aberrations, especially around the edges, but nothing jumped out at me. Colours seemed natural. The specified closest focusing distance of 8m appeared about right. And yes, at 904g, they can start to get a little heavy when holding them up for an extended period. Having said that, I was able to keep them quite stable, though with practice, I'd hope this will improve further. The main thing causing them to periodically vibrate was my heart. Each thump caused a tremor in the image - but then, I run a lot so have a powerful, slow pulse. Now, if I can just find some way to turn that off ... In any case, I'm quite delighted with these for daytime use.

 

Waiting outside looking threateningly at the sun didn't make it go down any faster. When it was dark (finally), the stars through the bino's were pinpoint and bright, despite the moon being in the middle of the sky, three-quarter lit. I couldn't detect any coma at the edges.  The moon was nothing like as large as what one sees using a telescope, but to make up for it, was very crisp and detailed, indeed! Leaning against a post helped, but I felt a tripod would have given the best view possible, because even the slightest tremor takes away from the detail that can be seen. When held very steady though, or when supporting the bino's on a tree fork, there was lots of interesting minutiae available to the eyes. I was looking for signs of chromatic aberration, which I believe can happen when pointing bino's at a bright moon. There was maybe the teensiest sign of purple fringe at the edge of the moon, but had I not been looking for it, I would never have noticed. Perhaps I imagined it scratchhead2.gif

 

There weren't a lot of details visible for Jupiter and Saturn, what with no tripod and the moon out. However, I did at least spot one of Jupiter's moons, despite the conditions.

 

I was surprised that even with all the moonlight, I could actually see the nebula component of M42. Not like with a telescope using 200x magnification, but nevertheless quite apparent.

 

I'm looking forward to trying the Aculons without the moon present. Tonight was just to get a feel of what they are like to use. So far I'm very happy with them.

 

I should add that I noticed no flexing of the bridge, nor a stiff focusing mechanism that I believe others may have reported for some of the bino's in the Aculon line, like the 10x50 ones.

 

If in due course I look through some $1K bino's maybe I'll be amazed, but perhaps I'd rather not know what I'm missing as the 7x50 Nikon Aculons have me feeling pretty satisfied at the moment. In a few weeks I'll have a lot more experience with them and can then check back with myself whether or not I'm feeling jaded with them 4.gif

 

Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

 


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#2 Erik Bakker  Happy Birthday!

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Posted 24 November 2020 - 11:20 AM

Great report Nicholas!

 

Glad the Nikon Aculon 7x50 suits you well.

 

And under dark, transparent, moonless nights, you're in for another treat waytogo.gif


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#3 LIVE LONG

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Posted 24 November 2020 - 01:23 PM

   Nicholas,

 

   A great post ! Good luck with your Aculon's.

 

   Clear Skies,

                      Bill


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#4 EverlastingSky

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Posted 24 November 2020 - 01:46 PM

Yes, that was a well written and concise report, fun reading too waytogo.gif Thanks for writing it. 


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#5 ihf

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Posted 24 November 2020 - 11:31 PM

I think it was a good choice to start with a 7x50, especially coming from telescope land. They should provide a very different view, more real life, similar to the unaided eye. To be honest, I am not sure why the standard recommendation for binocular newbies is 10x50! I can't easily hold 8x well high up in the night sky, while 6.5x works fine. (And many Messier objects really start standing out at 15x.) It is true that the AFOV of the Aculon is a bit on the narrow side. But the price is right and I am not aware of any wide angle 7x50s available new. The Aculon 7x50 seems like a good bargain. They share most of the specs with the Action Ex 7x50. The main difference appears the latter are 100g heavier (more metal in the body?) and are waterproof for USD 30 extra.


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#6 Notoriousnick

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Posted 25 November 2020 - 05:53 AM

Thanks for the responses, guys! Much appreciated.

 

 

I think it was a good choice to start with a 7x50, especially coming from telescope land. They should provide a very different view, more real life, similar to the unaided eye. To be honest, I am not sure why the standard recommendation for binocular newbies is 10x50! I can't easily hold 8x well high up in the night sky, while 6.5x works fine. (And many Messier objects really start standing out at 15x.) It is true that the AFOV of the Aculon is a bit on the narrow side. But the price is right and I am not aware of any wide angle 7x50s available new. The Aculon 7x50 seems like a good bargain. They share most of the specs with the Action Ex 7x50. The main difference appears the latter are 100g heavier (more metal in the body?) and are waterproof for USD 30 extra.

Thanks, ihf. Just now, I tried them again with the moon, and found that by lying back in a reclining, folding chair with my head supported and also by holding the bino's correctly (hands close to the EP end), the stability was vastly improved. Learn something every day grin.gif


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#7 ihf

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Posted 25 November 2020 - 10:06 AM

If you have stray lights in the neighborhood consider splurging on Bino Bandits (B&H or Amazon). Or improvise them! I think cutting two holes into a stretchy, dense piece of cloth should do the trick. I use glasses and winged eyecups don't work for me, but the Bino Bandits are ok.



#8 paulsky

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Posted 25 November 2020 - 11:22 AM

Are there significant differences between the Aculon model and the Action model?
Thank you
Paul



#9 Notoriousnick

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Posted 25 November 2020 - 05:55 PM

If you have stray lights in the neighborhood consider splurging on Bino Bandits (B&H or Amazon). Or improvise them! I think cutting two holes into a stretchy, dense piece of cloth should do the trick. I use glasses and winged eyecups don't work for me, but the Bino Bandits are ok.

 

Thanks for the tip, ihf. No stray light at my place,  but certainly could be at other locations!

 

Are there significant differences between the Aculon model and the Action model?
Thank you
Paul

I believe they are optically identical. The differences lie in the water-proofing and stronger chassis for the Action model. For models other than the 7x50s, different eye pieces are used, giving more eye relief for the Action models. For example, the 10x50 Aculon model has eye relief of 11.8mm, while the Action model has 17.2mm.

 

Edit: Oops. Please note Mark's correction to my post below. Here I was referring to the Action Extreme models.


Edited by Notoriousnick, 25 November 2020 - 06:01 PM.

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#10 Mark9473

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Posted 25 November 2020 - 05:57 PM

Nicholas, you are confusing the Action with the Action Extreme.



#11 Notoriousnick

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Posted 25 November 2020 - 05:59 PM

Nicholas, you are confusing the Action with the Action Extreme.

Thanks Mark. Right you are! My apologies.


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