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How does the Nikon WX 10x50 IF justify its insane pricetag? You can literally purchase SEVEN Fujinon 10x50 FMT-SX and get back $500 in change.

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#1 Demarki

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Posted 01 December 2021 - 03:48 AM

Serious question as I was shocked to see that price tag. People praise the Fujinon 10x50 FMT-SX as the ultimate Astronomy binos, the benchmark all other binos compare to. So how can the Nikon WX 10x50 IF cost 7.5 times as much? Is the image quality and comfort you get out of these that much better compared to the Fujinon?

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#2 dcornelis

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Posted 01 December 2021 - 04:42 AM

Typically, the last few percents improvement will cost you exponentially more.


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#3 edwincjones

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Posted 01 December 2021 - 05:08 AM

not only  did they ask, but they got their price,

all, or most, seem to be sold out.

 

edj


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#4 Bosco

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Posted 01 December 2021 - 05:13 AM

Seems Nikon wanted to make the BEST binocular with no price limit and since they are no longer available seems they made limited units so the price gets higher

#5 Pinac

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Posted 01 December 2021 - 05:17 AM

Serious question as I was shocked to see that price tag. People praise the Fujinon 10x50 FMT-SX as the ultimate Astronomy binos, the benchmark all other binos compare to. So how can the Nikon WX 10x50 IF cost 7.5 times as much? Is the image quality and comfort you get out of these that much better compared to the Fujinon?

People praise the Porsche Cayenne as the ultimate, benchmark SUV. So how can the Rolls Royce Cullinan cost 3 - 4 times as much?

 
You cannot really compare the Fujinon, which is very nice (but for me not the ultimate astro bino any more) with the Nikon WX. The WX was built, according to the Nikon engineers involved, to test what is optically possible today, and is hardly a „mainstream“ binocular like others, rather a sort of prototype. Nikon never anticipated making a lot of money with WX sales.


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#6 Pinac

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Posted 01 December 2021 - 05:21 AM

not only  did they ask, but they got their price,

all, or most, seem to be sold out.

 

edj

Both the 10x50 and 7x50 still available

here https://www.nikon.ch.../wx/wx-10x50-if

and

here https://www.nikon.ch...s/wx/wx-7x50-if

smile.gif smile.gif


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#7 Demarki

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Posted 01 December 2021 - 05:32 AM

People praise the Porsche Cayenne as the ultimate, benchmark SUV. So how can the Rolls Royce Cullinan cost 3 - 4 times as much?

 
You cannot really compare the Fujinon, which is very nice (but for me not the ultimate astro bino any more) with the Nikon WX. The WX was built, according to the Nikon engineers involved, to test what is optically possible today, and is hardly a „mainstream“ binocular like others, rather a sort of prototype. Nikon never anticipated making a lot of money with WX sales.

Ok I get it, they are supposed to be the ultimate astro bino ever made. My question is, how much better are they compared to the Fujinon and what exactly makes them the better pair? Will someone that isn't a bino expert notice the difference between the two?

 

bonus question: which is the ultimate astro bino in your opinion?


Edited by Demarki, 01 December 2021 - 05:33 AM.


#8 Pinac

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Posted 01 December 2021 - 05:45 AM

Tks, Demarki. As to your three questions:

 

1. see reviews by someone who knows a thing or two about optics (just one quote from him:"These are the best binoculars ever produced, and as such they are, at least to me, the most exciting introduction to the binocular market of the century")
 

here: http://www.holgermer.../nikon_wx2.html

and

here: http://www.holgermer...x/nikon_wx.html

 

2. Yes.

 

3. If we just talk about the rightfully popular 10x50 configuration, beside the WX, for me it's clearly the EL SV 10x50.

 

P.S.
My own description which I wrote in another context (caveat: I am not a real expert like Holger Merlitz), for what it's worth:

"What happens if you let a team of designers in a big optics company like Nikon realize their dream binocular, irrespective of cost and marketability? For their 100 years anniversary, Nikon was bold enough to try it out. As the description on Nikon’s website indicates, “everything started with a designer’s dream”. The design team dreamed up a new optical design that should outperform everything else on the market, and when they found that the image quality was absolutely astonishing, they faced the question: “can this design be productised?” The end result is now on the market in the form of two binoculars with the configuration 7×50 and 10×50), primarily intended for astronomical use and  stationary long distance observation. These two binoculars are by far larger, heavier and much more expensive than any other 7×50 and 10×50 from any other producer. But they are also optically superior to anything comparable, with not only an amazingly wide field of view, but a flat-field image sharp almost to the edge. The view through both versions of the WX is simply breathtaking. Beside the (supposedly small) regular production, Nikon produced both binoculars also in a numbered anniversary edition (limited to 100 instruments for each size)."


Edited by Pinac, 01 December 2021 - 05:53 AM.

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#9 Bkoh

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Posted 01 December 2021 - 05:59 AM

Serious question as I was shocked to see that price tag. People praise the Fujinon 10x50 FMT-SX as the ultimate Astronomy binos, the benchmark all other binos compare to. So how can the Nikon WX 10x50 IF cost 7.5 times as much? Is the image quality and comfort you get out of these that much better compared to the Fujinon?

The Fujinon is built to a price as well as practical considerations such as size and weight. It is useful for many observers. The Nikon WX is not built with cost or size constraints, and accordingly outperforms optically but is impractical and unaffordable for the average user.

 

The WX is more of a vanity project than a commercial product. It was created to celebrate Nikon's 100th anniversary, to showcase its optics capabilities and to pay homage to Nikon's origins as a binocular manufacturer. From idea to product, it took 10 years. You can read more about it here:

 

https://imaging.niko...sportoptics/wx/

 

Lots of information including interviews with key staff etc. Nikon is justifiably proud of the WX. It stands as a landmark in binocular design, even if for the average user it is too clumsy and expensive. The same can be said of cars from Aston Martin, Lamborghini etc. They are not meant for everyday use, you can't haul groceries or pet food in such vehicles. But they can be admired as works of art/engineering. And of course they do one thing (go fast) tremendously well.


Edited by Bkoh, 01 December 2021 - 06:44 AM.

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#10 TOMDEY

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Posted 01 December 2021 - 06:31 AM

This topic resurrects once or twice a year; ~'Tis the season!~ It's the astonishing super-wide field and perfect imagery... and, of course --- bragging rights!

 

One look thru at the stars and you instantly become convinced that they are worth the price and far more. Note that the neck strap proudly reminds us, "PROFESSIONAL"... allusion to the level of experience needed to discriminate the best from the also-rans. My sister found the 7x50 WX ideal for her sailing the worlds' oceans... where premium gear rules. Mine are the 10x50 WX, best selection for astronomy. If you possess them, you love and enjoy them; if you don't, you want them... but argue that they can't possibly be worth the price of admission. It's just human nature sour grapes.

 

Analogy regarding the sociology of selection >>> We all got generous Christmas bonuses at work, proportional to salary. Most people gratefully splurged on ~sensible~ things like fancy meals, new fridge, new suit... things like that. I rewarded myself with the Nikon WX; the Top Boss bought himself a nice shiny Corvette, and flauntingly parked it right out front, in his reserved parking slot. The other employees... despite their own windfalls... were nevertheless envious, and declared that they didn't also buy a Red Corvette Convertible... because they "sensibly decided that it wasn't worth it". Human nature strikes again.

 

PS: You can still buy them... allow a few weeks for delivery... probably too late for Christmas, but worth the wait!     Tom

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#11 25585

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Posted 01 December 2021 - 07:22 AM

Why do people pay so much for the Takahasi FOA-60 refractor, its only a 60mm? Same thing.

 

That Porsche has a 3L VW engine. The RR will not have.


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#12 Starsareus

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Posted 01 December 2021 - 08:34 AM

Me ? I would just buy that "strap."  LOL


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#13 edwincjones

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Posted 01 December 2021 - 09:51 AM

Ok I get it, they are supposed to be the ultimate astro bino ever made. My question is, how much better are they compared to the Fujinon and what exactly makes them the better pair? Will someone that isn't a bino expert notice the difference between the two?

 

bonus question: which is the ultimate astro bino in your opinion?

 

I am not a bino expert, but I could probably tell the difference;

the question for me is the WX worth 7.5X more

and how would I use it in contrast to my other optics

 

bonus question - there is no ultimate astro bino

depends on objects to be observed and my personal preference at the time

I have many  favorites

 

BUT

 

if I were starting over, had the money but no optics

I would get 8x32s for general use

a WX for astro plus maybe a scope

 

edj


Edited by edwincjones, 01 December 2021 - 10:06 AM.

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#14 ihf

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Posted 01 December 2021 - 10:12 AM

Ok I get it, they are supposed to be the ultimate astro bino ever made. My question is, how much better are they compared to the Fujinon and what exactly makes them the better pair? Will someone that isn't a bino expert notice the difference between the two?

 

bonus question: which is the ultimate astro bino in your opinion?

1) (9°/6.5°)^2 = 1.92x better

2) yes, twice as large FOV area

3) Tom's night vision 16 inch dob binos?

 

The price of luxury items reflects the income structure in society, not their utility. It makes no sense to ask "is it worth 10x more?". The question should be "are there people that make 10x more?". There always were some that could afford fancier toys.


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#15 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 01 December 2021 - 10:35 AM

I am not a bino expert, but I could probably tell the difference;

the question for me is the WX worth 7.5X more

and how would I use it in contrast to my other optics

 

bonus question - there is no ultimate astro bino

depends on objects to be observed and my personal preference at the time

I have many  favorites

 

BUT

 

if I were starting over, had the money but no optics

I would get 8x32s for general use

a WX for astro plus maybe a scope

 

edj

 

I am quite sure I could tell the difference if the binoculars were both mounted.  In my mind, these Nikons are optically as perfect as a TeleVue NP-101 fitted with a 31 mm Nagler, fully corrected for all the aberrations. That'll set you back about $5000 for just one side. Someone here (Tammy?) has a binocular telescope made from a pair.

 

The Nikon WXs are smaller but more complicated, double the optics, collimation etc. $6500 seems in line with the product.

 

The justification:  Perfection is expensive, it's asymptomatic in difficulty and therefore cost..

 

Cost = K x 100 / (100- Perfection)  => 100% perfect is infinitely expensive.

 

You can buy seven Fuginons, but you can only use them one at a time.. 

 

Myself, the Nikon WXs are not attractive, not practical as general purpose knock around hand held binos. 

 

But I can appreciate them...

 

Jon


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#16 Rokkor

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Posted 01 December 2021 - 10:58 AM

I have seen people who have spent a fair deal more for a lot less in their hobby. In one case it was a single camera lens actually, and not even a new one, but one that is almost 70 years old. Not even German, but Japanese made. And the craziest part? They have no intention to ever make a single image with it! It will probably not even be displayed, but locked in a safe. There just were not many sold before the product was cancelled, hence the value, and there is literally nothing special about like there is with the WX. People put a lot more into 'project cars' just to make them rev harder, or sound better. Leica has many customers every year spending more than a WX and a lot of people collect and use their older cameras, even students on minimum wage.

 

So in many ways, to own expensive things is just a matter of psychology and sometimes sacrifice. 

 

The price I think does not only reflect the quality and specifications but mainly the limited quantity and where it was produced. A WX built overseas at 10x the quantity would be a lot cheaper, as long as the maker were content to sell the old stock over the period of a decade or two. 

 

The prices on the Nikon WX will only continue to go up.

 

At the very least, those who buy it now can definitely sell it later and not lose any money. There, I just told you how you can rent a Nikon WX for free and try it out for yourself! lol.gif

 

Few who own a WX are going to admit that a Fujinon give you 80 or 90% the performance of a WX. They may tell you it gives 20%, correspondent to the price differences, but the point remains that in terms of performance differences, the WX is the definition of perfection, while everything else is not. You would need to see through it with your own eyes I think, in order to bear witness to its kaizen. It won't be the best binocular for everyone though, due to its size, its weight, its shorter eye relief - not only its price tag.

 

How would you use 7 Fujinons at the same time, anyway? smile.gif


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#17 Astronoob76

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Posted 01 December 2021 - 10:59 AM

Similar to other products where companies decided to do the best they can. It reminds me a bit of the Citizen "Autozilla" (I collect watches and I know that at least one other member on this forum does too) -- a 1,000 m rated dive watch. It retailed in Germany for 1,295 Euros which seemed a bit much for "just a Citizen with a standard movement". But it was a flagship model on which Citizen went all out -- it was insanely over-engineered. AFAIK they didn't even make any money with it because they sold it for cheaper than production costs.


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#18 aznuge

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Posted 01 December 2021 - 12:12 PM

Similar to other products where companies decided to do the best they can. It reminds me a bit of the Citizen "Autozilla" (I collect watches and I know that at least one other member on this forum does too) -- a 1,000 m rated dive watch. It retailed in Germany for 1,295 Euros which seemed a bit much for "just a Citizen with a standard movement". But it was a flagship model on which Citizen went all out -- it was insanely over-engineered. AFAIK they didn't even make any money with it because they sold it for cheaper than production costs.

Yes, many hobbies have similar angst over "A is too expensive - you could buy B, C and D all together for that price".  It is interesting to see this trend repeated in hobby interests where acquiring "tools of the trade"  is a major theme.  Some hobbies exist where a mere entry level piece of gear would exceed the cost of a WX...



#19 SandyHouTex

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Posted 01 December 2021 - 05:46 PM

I have followed this discussion for quite a while, and all I can say is Dr. Richard Buchroeder, a famous optical engineer bought a pair, then sold them, bought another pair, and sold them again.

 

It’s also true that the WXs are heavy, they’re only 50mm, and their field of view is nothing special.  I have vintage 50mm binos with 11.5 deg. fovs.  If you have the money and want a pair, you should buy them.  I doubt you’ll get your money back if you sell them used, but hey, it’s your money.

 

Personally, I can find other things in our hobby that I would rather spend my $6500 on.


Edited by SandyHouTex, 02 December 2021 - 10:37 AM.

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#20 TOMDEY

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Posted 01 December 2021 - 06:34 PM

Similar to other products where companies decided to do the best they can. It reminds me a bit of the Citizen "Autozilla" (I collect watches and I know that at least one other member on this forum does too) -- a 1,000 m rated dive watch. It retailed in Germany for 1,295 Euros which seemed a bit much for "just a Citizen with a standard movement". But it was a flagship model on which Citizen went all out -- it was insanely over-engineered. AFAIK they didn't even make any money with it because they sold it for cheaper than production costs.

Great point! I researched the WX and easily convinced myself that Nikon has not made significant $$$ on the WX, if anything at all. But the value is more likely in galvanizing their reputation as the World Class Premium Optics House >>> in for the long-haul and to stay on top. So the value of engineering the WX and bringing it to fruition is in bragging rights for the Brand more than for the customers. They can then demonstrably boast the best scientists and engineers and well-oiled production capable of producing the best instruments any and all customers care to buy. And that is priceless!

 

In that sense, we few who bought the WX are arguably enjoying a $15K binocular bought new at half the production cost. The serial # on mine is just a shade over 200. Seems likely that there are only a couple hundred + of these out there on luxury yachts, summer houses, penthouses... and a few observatories.    Tom


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#21 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 01 December 2021 - 06:51 PM

I have followed this discussion for quite a while, and all I can say is Dr. Richard Buchroeder, a famous optical engineer bought a pair, then sold them, bought another pair, and sold them again.

 

It’s also true that the WXs are heavy, they’re only 50mm, and their field of view is nothing special.  I have vintage 50mm binos with 11.5 deg. fovs.  If you have the money and want a pair, you should buy them.  I doubt you’ll get your money back if you sell them used, but hey, it’s your momey.

 

Personally, I can find other things in our hobby that I would rather spend my $6500 on.

 

You might have 50 mm binos with a purported 11.5 degree view but the stars suffer from severe astigmastism and field curvature, a real mess.

 

The Nikons are optically perfect.. The entire field is flat and stars are sharp-sharp right to the edge.

 

That's part of what you're paying for.

 

I'm not buying a pair but I understand that quality costs and I'm happy for those who enjoy theirs.

 

Jon


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#22 Tony Flanders

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Posted 01 December 2021 - 08:43 PM

Seven Fujinons would be better than one Nikon WX if I had 14 eyes. As things stand, I would probably prefer the Nikons.


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#23 BUDSBOY

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Posted 01 December 2021 - 09:00 PM

The Nikon's are wonderful - no doubt. If someone can appreciate/afford those qualities, then go for it.

The other factor which works for them is the exclusivity - similar to the high dollar watch crowd.



#24 ihf

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Posted 01 December 2021 - 10:17 PM

(Shameless plug.) There is a great opportunity to convince Markus to bring lower cost wide AFOV straight through binoculars to market. No 10x50 as these are too hard (ask Nikon). But maybe 15x50 or larger could be doable by upgrading the eyepieces on the current APM MS ED series. Just add a vote to the current discussion in the vendor forum.



#25 Charleybird

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Posted 01 December 2021 - 10:50 PM

I have no doubt that the WX are the best binoculars ever made, and that justifies the price.

 

Similarly, I have no doubt the Bugatti Veyron is the best car ever made:

https://www.motoraut...-bugatti-veyron




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