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479 of 492 people found the following review helpful
on September 23, 2005
Nikon Action 8x40

Nikon's Action series has always been their entry level effort. The series has gone through some pretty radical changes over the years. Nikon seems to be much more adventuresome at this price point than they are in their top of the line products. The latest Action binoculars all feature aspheric lens technology.

The Action 8x40 is probably the glass of most interest to birders. It is a wide angle design, with 8.5° of field (that translates to 446 feet at 1000 yards), a close focus in the 12 foot range and eye relief of about 10mm. The limited eye relief means that spectacle wearers will not see the full field (what else is new?)...but the usable field for most people will still be relatively wide when compared to most 8x40s on the market (especially in this price range). The body is mat gray armored. The smooth armor is sufficiently tacky to provide a good grip, but some gripping aids (ridges or patterns) might have made it more secure in the hands. Body design is standard porroprism, and comfortable in the hands, with a large comfortable ribbed focus control. However the focus might be a stretch for those with real small hands.

Optically, the Nikon Action 8x40 gives the extra bright, extra sharp first impression that I have come to associate with Nikon's applications of aspheric technology. While the view is not the equal of that provided by glasses like the Swift Ultralite 8x42 glasses which cost over twice as much as the Nikon Action 8x40, it is certainly very close.

When compared to the current BVD Reference Standard for bargain binoculars, the Bushnell 8x42 NatureView, the Nikon Action 8x40 is slightly brighter, with a bit more snap (likely due to the lack of multi-coating on the NatureView). The NatureView, however, has much better eye relief and a bit more comfortable view. While the NatureView retains its Reference Standard designation for the moment, the Nikon Action 8x40 are certainly very fine binoculars in the same price range...a BVD Starred Product, highly recommended to anyone who wants bird-worthy binoculars on a budget. Really, if you start birding with the Egrets, it may be a long time before you feel the need to upgrade, and it will certainly spoil you for many a lesser glass that just happens to cost more.

The Nikon Action series binoculars utilize aspherical lenses, ergonomic chassis, and quick central focus to maximize long term viewing comfort. All models feature high light transmission, multicoated lenses and high index BaK-4 prisms for superior resolution and brightness.

Buy them!
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193 of 199 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon May 20, 2008
Pros:

Super low price
Super sharp view
Ultra Bright view
Nice case with belt loop
Pretty light weight for 8 x 40 binoculars

Cons:

Too large to carry far
Too heavy to carry very far
Have to take my glasses off to use
Not fog or water proof no big deal if you live in southern Arizona like I do

I know nothing about binoculars (I didn't even know what 8 x 40 means!) but wanted something to replace the old binoculars I inherited from my dad who purchased his pair 45 years ago. They were very heavy and very large and when watching birds in my back yard feeder they got very heavy very quickly.

I started out by going to the store and trying every single pair of binoculars they had starting with the most expensive since I thought, well, they must be the best. And they had some very expensive ones there with image stabilizers and laser range finders and who knows what all else.

The sales guy was very patient (he was from a different dept and didn't know anything either) and even looked with me through each and every one. We were amazed to find that the Nikon Action 8 x 40 were the absolute best of the batch they had in the store including the ones that cost hundreds of dollars. They seemed to be the right balance of view, sharpness and brightness.

When I got them home I found them to be brighter, sharper, and clearer and slightly lighter then my dad's old binoculars. As a bonus because of the rubberized coating I found I could lean the front of them against the window and stabilize the view and support some of the weight. The old ones were metal and I didn't feel as comfortable scrapping them against the window.

I can't comment on the neck strap and I will never use it because of my bad back. I found that hanging anything around my neck caused my back to ache so I hand carry them if I take them anywhere but I mainly use them from the window looking into the back yard or carry them in our SUV.

I also like the fact that one set of the eye cups are joined together allowing me to pull them both off at the same time. I wish the other end was this way. Anyway it's one step less then pulling all 4 off the old set.

In closing I highly recommend at least for backyard birding and the price is amazing!!

11-30-2008 Update:

Ok I have been studying Binoculars and I now know what 8 x 40 means. I've also had a chance to use these binoculars for awhile now and here are my findings.

I still love these binoculars but have found them to be a little heavy since I have a bad back and a little large to carry around. They weigh 26.8 oz which isn't bad for large binoculars and they are pretty big but I knew that when I bought them. So I'm going to be buying something a little lighter (10 oz or lighter) and smaller for carrying away from the house or car that hopefully has similar characteristics but in an easier to carry with you package. I will come back to post when I get the chance.

12-1-2008 Update:

Went to the local large sporting good store so I can try out smaller binoculars before I purchase a lighter pair on Amazon.com. I had the clerk pull out a pair of these Nikon Action 8 x 40's to compare because I knew how well they work out in the field. Once again I was absolutely amazed at the quality and clear view of the Nikon Action 8 x 40 against much higher priced smaller and lighter Binoculars. There seems to be a point where going smaller you just can't do a lot better. When I do finally find a small light pair that somehow can compete I will report back here.

Also I have to remove my glasses to use these binoculars, but for the price hey I can put up with that. When I buy the smaller lighter pair I will report back with what I found.

I have also seen better binoculars now at the store but they cost more, a LOT more like $650 more!

12-3-2008 Update:

Went to the store and tested a lot of different small binoculars trying to find a pair that are almost as good as my Nikon Action 7216 8x40's and found the perfect one. If you need small and want a good view and a good price get the Nikon 7508 Travelite 8 X 25mm V Binoculars. They are: light (8.9 oz), fit the hand well are well made and very bright in the viewfinder for their size. No they aren't as bright as the Nikon Action 8 x 40 and they don't have as big a field of view but they aren't anywhere near as big or heavy either, you can always carry them with you.
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108 of 109 people found the following review helpful
on December 16, 2011
Before you purchase binoculars, it is a good idea to think about how you will use them so you can choose a pair that meet your needs.

After a lot of comparison shopping I chose the Nikon Action 8x40mm Binoculars as a gift for a friend because they have what he wanted from a general use binocular:

1. Sharp, bright optics with porro prism.
2. 5mm exit pupil (to match 50+ year old eyes).
3. Good mechanical quality.
4. Light weight.
5. Close focus.

These are NOT rugged, waterproof sporting binoculars. If that's what you need (for boating or hunting?) maybe you should keep looking. Otherwise, don't drop them in a lake!

What I want most from binoculars are quality optics. I was pleasantly surprised by both the optical and mechanical quality at this price point.

A lot of folks don't know what binoculars numbers refer to. The first number refers to the magnification. The second number refers to the size of the objective lens - the big lens. 8x40 binoculars magnify 8x, and have 40mm objective lenses.

Exit pupil is something to consider. This is calculated by dividing the second number by the first. For 8x40 binoculars: 40/8 = 5mm about the same as the entrance pupil of your eye if you are age 50 plus.

If you are young and you don't mind carrying around some extra glass, you may consider binoculars with a large 7mm exit pupil that matches the large entrance pupil of your young eyes. This has no advantage during the day, but it can be helpful at twilight, for astronomy. You might consider:

7x50
8x56
10x70

But be forwarned - the bigger the binocular, the more weight you carry around. You may prefer smaller, lighter binoculars for hiking or travel. Also keep in mind that at 10x you may need a tripod to hold your binoculars steady for the best views. Hand held, 10x binoculars shake so much that you may see just as much with 7x or 8x binoculars. For me, hand held, 8x is ideal.

If you are age 50 years plus, the pupil of your eye will probably not open more than about 5mm, so you get no benefit from a big, heavy pair of binoculars with a 7mm exit pupil. Consider lighter binoculars with a 5mm exit pupil, that matches your eyes such as:

7x35
8x40
10x50

Roof prism binoculars can be made small, but they are difficult and expensive to make properly. They also can not deliver as much light to your eye as a classic poro prism binocular of the same size and magnification. So if you want a bright, high quality image for a modest price, poro prism binoculars, like the Nikon Action 8x40 CF Binocular, may be your best choice. The only disadvantage of poro prism binoculars is they are larger than roof prism binoculars of the same size.

Close focus allows you to have look at wildlife at very close range. Not only can these Nikons focus close (around 8 feet or 3 meters), but the focus is smooth and precise, unlike many modestly priced binoculars I have tried. In fact, I found them the best constructed binoculars I found in this price range.

These binoculars are surprisingly light weight, which can be quite a benefit when you are hiking a long trail.

All in all, I found these Nikons delivered exactly what I wanted for a surprisingly modest price.
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83 of 89 people found the following review helpful
on December 1, 2006
These are my first pair of binoculars (actually a gift for my husband who likes birding and hiking), so I didn't know much about buying such an item. I read a lot of reviews and did some looking, and these seemed to be the best quality at the best price. After using them for several months, we couldn't be more pleased. The lenses offer clear, crisp viewing, and are easy to adjust for comfortable viewing. I like that the eye cups are soft and won't scratch my glasses. It's brought a whole new dimension to our nature hikes!
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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on July 31, 2006
If you're looking for a set of binoculars that provide quality and yet don't cost too much, these could be what you're looking for. The image quality the optics provide is superb, the focusing dial is easy and quick to operate, and the accessories are a definite plus. The set came with a very comfortable neck strap, a handy cover case, and eyecup covers. I've used the set for lots of hikes and birding, and I'm often using the eyecup covers (which easily attach to the neck strap). The only drawbacks of the binoculars are that they're a bit heavier than I'd have preferred, and the large lens covers seem pretty useless for much of what I use the set for (since they don't easily attach to the strap like the eyecup holders, they're easy to lose , so I end up not using them much at all!). Overall, I'm really pleased with the binoculars and would recommend them to buyers who don't want to spend over $100 on a new set, but still want to get a set of quality binoculars with optics that are better than you're standard $20-30 set.
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50 of 53 people found the following review helpful
on July 11, 2006
The Nikon 8x40 provides a lot of value for the dollar spent. Although they are a traditional birder configuration they would serve extremely well as an all purpose instrument.

I've owned and used several makes and sizes of binoculars over the years ranging from discount store specials to much more expensive premium models. While these may not the best binoculars I've ever held to my eyes the quality of the optics and construction at this price point made them my best binocular bargain.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on August 20, 2006
I just received these binoculars and can't put them down. They have great optics which give very crisp images. They focus and handle beautifully. They are fairly light at 26 ounces and was very pleased all around with their excellent performance as a great birding binocular. With BAK-4 High Index Prisms and quick central focusing and what appears to be even closer focusing distance than what they approximate you will extremely pleased with choosing the Nikon Action 8x40. Also very easy to hand hold without getting a shaky image as with much heavier binoculars. The perfect combination of power and light gathering ability. You'll absolutely love them.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on August 9, 2007
Hmmm, new house on the river, big birds everywhere...was that a Bald Eagle?
Googled "learn about binoculars" and ended up at Amazon. Found these Nikons, read the reviews from others (fantastic resource), and bought 'em. Can't say enough how happy we are with them. Every technical comment written in the other reviews was dead on. They're light, awesome clarity, super value for the price, and perfect for bird watching in dim or bright light. The Blue Herons, Osprey, Red tailed Hawks, Cormorants, & Bald Eagles (and much more) never looked better. We can't put these Nikons down.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
I bought these binoculars plus the Olympus Outback 10x21 RC1 Binoculars for a cruise to alaska. I found them to be excellent. We took them whale watching, and they were the exact model provided by the cruise liner. Compared to the Olympus it was much easier to find a comfortable viewing setting. One note, they are heavy, if you have wrist pain or any kind of arthritis I don't think you would like them for extended viewing.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on March 8, 2007
These nikon binocluars are very nice for everyday use, the optics are very clear! The magnification is amazing and will pull in very small objects from far distances with great clarity. I have used these binoculars in the hills of southern california looking towards the ocean 13 miles away and they will pick up medium sized boats with great detail. Very nice soft storage case for protection. I would highly recommend!
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