Recently, “straight tube” binoculars on roof-prisms are gaining popularity. These binoculars are less wide than the classic Porro binoculars with an increased stereo base, but can be somewhat longer. Having felt more than a dozen different roof-binoculars (Celestron Outland X 8×25, Celestron Outland X 10×25, Celestron Outland X 8×42, Celestron Outland X 10×42, Nikon ProStaff 5 10×50, and many others), I stopped at Nikon. Why? Good coating, excellent collimation of all binoculars (I have not seen a single Nikon with bad collimation!), good build quality. Actually, this is how I acquired Nikon Sporter EX 8×42 binoculars, which I will discuss in this review. He can also fall under the name Nikon Trailblazer 8×42 – this is his twin brother, judging by his appearance and characteristics.
I purchased the binoculars on the secondary market, that is, used, the body is slightly rubbed, but the lenses are in excellent condition. The binoculars themselves are quite heavy (about 0.7 kg) and long (16 cm). The diameter of the “pipes” is exactly 51 mm (just under the 2 “filter!). The body is rubberized, the texture is matte, the binoculars are sitting in hands quite reliably. The axis and the upper part are plastic, on the lower side -” Made in China “. Declared waterproof (ten-minute swim at a depth of 1 meter) and filling with nitrogen.
Closed lenses recessed covers with slots under the belt.
Let us turn to the eyepieces. Ocular lenses are convex, large (diameter 24 mm). The coating is green, blue, purple. Eye relief is very large and is 20 mm, which makes it possible to make observations with glasses. The eyecup on the outside is rubber, inside is plastic, the adjustment is carried out by rotating with clicks and fixation; they are moving to 11 mm. Meashured field of view of the eyepieces is 52 degrees. Interpupillary distance is adjustable from 56 to 72 mm. Diopter adjustment – on the right eyepiece, the ring is tight and accidentally knock it down. Focusing is soft and smooth. Plastic drum, diameter 31 mm.
Exit pupils are round. When viewed from a certain distance on the eyepiece, one can see a parasitic illumination on the side of the exit pupil. When observing, it does not interfere at all. However, there is also a light ring around the exit pupil – poor blackening.
The ocular covers are short and tend to fly off. Perhaps, later I will make more “deep” covers.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot about the case! Comes with a soft case, very light and meaningless – no belt, no hard case. In the Nikon ProStaff series, the same situation – soft, useless covers without loops. The problem is solved by sewing loops under the belt, or even buying a normal case.
Picture. There is a pincushion distortion, to the edge of the field of view straight lines bend a little. Chromatism – where do without it :-), but on the moon \ stars does not interfere at all. Yellowness is imperceptible, but upon careful viewing it is found. Noticeable curvature of the field – if you focus precisely on the central area, the periphery is a bit blurred. A slight refocusing eliminates blur around the edges, but then it’s harder for your eyes to look at the center.
Night observations showed that good image quality is about 40-50% of the entire field of view. In the center the sharpness is very good, Jupiter is a tiny circle, 4 satellites are nearby. To the edge – the stars looks like parachutes.
I also checked the binoculars in the evening across the sea, with 3-4 bright lanterns shining in my forehead – oh, I’ve got a lot of glare. The first thought – well, there is a shortage of a pair of retractable blends.
By bright point sources (distant lights) X-shaped rays from the prism faces are noticeable.
– good manufacturing quality
-good image quality, about half the field of view.
-ideal collimation, eyes never get tired of observations
-large eye relief, can be observed with glasses
-average field curvature
-not bad color rendition
– glare from bright sources
– no enlightenment on some optical elements
– not quite comfortable grip
– small yellowness
– bad blackening
I checked the binoculars across the sky — the Orion Nebula, the Pleiades, Hyades, Jupiter, the Moon, the galaxies M81 / M82, h and x Perseus — in principle, the problems at the edge of the visual field are not very noticeable. The visible field of view is quite large – almost two Orion belts are intercepting.
Verdict: good Chinese roof-binocular from a reputable manufacturer. The quality of the image on the edge is clearly not for perfectionists, but for undemanding observers, it is quite suitable. However, I personally liked this binocular more than the similar Celestron Outland X 8×42. I will not advise – binoculars for an amateur, you must personally feel and decide whether to take or not to take. Recommend!
Update from 02\03\2016.
In general, I tested binocular more and, oddly enough, very accustomed to it. Compared with the binoculars Veber 8×42 Silver Line, which has less eye relief, smaller eye lenses and stronger field curvature. In general, everything is relative … 🙂
Across the sky, the shortcomings of Nikon were not so noticeable. On the ground observations, everything is fine, only red chromatism catches a few eyes. It is VERY comfortable to watch without removing glasses – both across the sky and on the ground, I somehow did not attach any importance to this before, but now I understand. During the day the picture is contrast, calm, sharp. At night, the chromatism in the center is imperceptible — no matter how much I looked at Jupiter, I did not see chromatism. In general, I am ready to recommend this binoculars and astronomy fans, especially the “bespectacled.”
Update from 02\03\2016.
I compared the binoculars with the Nikon Aculon A211 8×42 and Aculon 7×35 (classic porro). The curvature of Aculon is noticeably stronger. Much more. The field of view is slightly larger. The eye relief is smaller. Eye lenses are smaller. However, the stereo base is larger, the picture is more voluminous. I do not recommend buying binocular Nikon Aculon A211 8×42 and Aculon 7×35.
Update from 27\10\2018.
I made a comparison with Nikon Monarch 10×42. The image quality of Monarch is better – higher sharpness, no yellowness, better contrast. Chromatism on the axis was not detected, is noticeable in the field (chromatism of magnification?). Cool binoculars, the difference is noticeable, but still the Sporter EX is not bad for its price, and its exit pupil is slightly larger.