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Nikon 8220 Trailblazer 8x42 ATB Binoculars

by Nikon
55 customer reviews
| 6 answered questions

Available from these sellers.
  • Trailblazer Binocular
  • 8x42
  • www.nikonusa.com
  • Manufacturer #: 8220
5 new from $229.99

Technical Details

Product Description

Product Description

The big brother of the extremely popular Trailblazer compact line, the Nikon 8x42 Trailblazer takes lead - and arsenic-free Eco-Glass optics and wraps it into a tough, rubberized body for comfortable viewing. Features include generous eye relief, turn-and-slide rubber eyecups, waterproof, fogproof performance and bright, multicoated lenses. Light enough for long trips, yet big and bright enough to be your stand-alone binocular, the 8x42 was born to hunt. 42 mm Objective 8x42 Power X Obj. Dia. Roof Prism Type 25.4 oz. lbs.Product Weight Yes Sporting Events Yes Waterproof

From the Manufacturer


Nikon Trailblazer All Terrain Binoculars (ATB) are full-size roof prism binoculars that are right at home or on any hunt. The Trailblazer features a slim, easy-to-carry design with a full-size view for the budget-conscious consumer.

Nikon Trailblazer ATB Binoculars offer generous eye relief and turn-and-slide rubber eyecups allowing the binoculars to be used as comfortably and effectively by eyeglass wearers as those with uncorrected vision. In addition, the Trailblazer binocular offers a sizeable field-of-view at 1000 yards.

Nikon Trailblazer ATB Binoculars incorporates Nikon’s exclusive Eco-Glass (made without the use of arsenic or lead) for lens and prism elements, as well as multicoated lenses for maximum light transmission and image quality. Ergonomic styling, mated with a rubber-armored exterior, the Nikon binocular provides added shock resistance and a firm grip, wet or dry.

Nikon Trailblazer ATB Binoculars are fully waterproof and fogproof and they are covered by the legendary Nikon ruggedness guarantee -25 Year Limited Warranty and No-Fault Repair/Replacement Policy.

Technical Specs
  • Focusing System – Center Focus
  • Magnification – 8x
  • Objective Diameter – 42mm
  • Angular FOV – Real – 7°
  • Angular FOV – Apparent – 52.1°
  • FOV @ 1000 yds – 367 ft
  • Close Focus Distance – 16.4 ft
  • Exit Pupil – 5.3mm
  • Relative Brightness – 28.1
  • Eye Relief – 19.7mm
  • Size (L&W) – 6.1 x 5.2
  • Weight – 23.6
  • Waterproof/Fogproof – Yes
Rugged Rubber Armor for Added Durability

Warranty Information

Nikon is dedicated to quality, performance and total customer satisfaction. If your Nikon binocular, Spotting Scope or Fieldscope requires service or repair not covered by our 25 Year Limited Warranty, Nikon will repair or replace it (even it was your fault) for just $10, plus return shipping and handling.
Excludes – StabilEyes, Laser Rangefinders and Spotting Scope/Fieldscope eyepieces.


Real field of view
Real field of view is the angle of the visible field, seen without moving the binoculars, measured from the central point of the objective lens. The larger the value is, the wider the viewfield available. For example, binoculars with a wider field of view are advantageous for locating fast-moving wild birds within the viewfield. This also applies for finding small nebulas or a cluster of stars in astronomical observations.


Apparent field of view

Apparent field of view is the angle of the magnified field when you look through binoculars.
The larger the apparent field of view is, the wider the field of view you can see even at high magnifications.

With the conventional method used previously, the apparent field of view was calculated by multiplying the real field of view by the binocular magnification. (With this formula, apparent field of view wider than 65˚ is called wide field of view.)

After revision, Nikon's figures are now based on the ISO 14132-1:2002 standard, and obtained by the following formula:

tan ω' = τ x tan ω
Apparent field of view: 2ω'
Real field of view: 2ω
Magnification: τ
(With this formula, apparent field of view wider than 60° is called wide field of view.)


For example, the apparent field of view of 8x binoculars with an 7.0°real field of view is as follows:
2ω' = 2 x tan-1 (r x tan ω)
= 2 x tan-1 (8 x tan 3.5)
= 52.1

Relative Brightness
Relative brightness value is obtained by squaring the diameter of the exit pupil. The greater the relative brightness is, the brighter the image will be. With 8x42 binoculars, the brightness is (42÷8)2= 28.1. This means that if the magnification is the same, the larger the effective diameter of the objective lens, the brighter the image will be.

Do binoculars with the same exit pupil offer the same brightness?

No. Brightness may vary even if the exit pupil is the same. This is because the amount of light reaching the viewer's eyes varies according to the number of lens elements and quality of lens/prism coatings. Superior optical design and highquality coating greatly contribute to the brightness of binoculars. Brightness values specified in product brochures, etc. are theoretical ones calculated in the design process. Please note these factors when comparing actual brightness values.

Prism Coatings
Multilayer coating is also applied to prisms to raise transmittance. A roof prism system has one surface that does not feature total internal reflection, so vapor deposition with metals, etc. must be used to raise the reflectivity of this surface. Also, phase-correction coating on roof surface ensures high-contrast images.
*Binoculars' brightness and contrast are affected by not only prism coatings, but also the number of objective lens and eyepiece lens, and types of coatings.

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/G/01/electronics/binoculars/nikon/Coatings._V202987056_.jpgMetal-vaporized, high-reflectivity prism coating
Using vacuum-vaporization technology, metallic material such as aluminum or silver is applied to the reverse side of a prism surface that is not totally reflective. This raises the reflectivity of the prism mirror surface.

Dielectric high-reflective multilayer prism coating
This coating features reflectance that exceeds 99%. By utilizing light interference, this coating assures high reflectivity across the full visible range, and ensures high color reproducibility.
https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/G/01/electronics/binoculars/nikon/ReflectiveCharacteristics._V202987021_.jpgReflectance characteristics of prism coatings on mirror surface
The horizontal axis indicates the wavelength of light. The vertical axis indicates the reflectance of light.
Binoculars' brightness is determined not only by the reflective mirror, but also by the total optical system such as the number of lenses and quality of coatings.
Phase-correction coatinghttps://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/G/01/electronics/binoculars/nikon/PhaseCorrection._V202987059_.jpg
A roof (Dach) surface can cause phase shift of light that affects image resolution. This phenomenon is caused by phase differences arising from total light reflection on a roof (Dach) surface and it can occur with even a perfectly processed prism. Phase-correction coating is applied to the surface to minimize loss of resolution, ensuring high-contrast images.

Twilight Factor
The factor that has the greatest impact on resolution or image detail, will be dependent upon the amount of light available during the time of observation. During daylight hours, when your eye pupil size will be only about 2 to 3mm, magnification will be the principal factor in image resolution. At night, with the eye pupil dilated to 6 to 8mm, aperture size is the controlling factor. In twilight conditions both of these factors control resolution effectiveness and the twilight factor is the term that compares binocular performance under these conditions.

The twilight factor is calculated by taking the square root of the product of the magnification and the aperture. The higher the twilight factor, the better the resolution of the binocular when observing under dim light conditions. For example, a 10 X 40 (twilight factor 20) would effectively resolve better under these conditions than a 7 X 35 (twilight factor 15.4) even though the 10 X 40 has a smaller exit pupil. Remember, however, that the twilight factor does not take into account the transmittance or quality of the optical system.

Product Details

  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 2 x 4 inches ; 2.1 pounds
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Domestic Shipping: Item can be shipped within U.S.
  • International Shipping: This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More
  • ASIN: B000NK6XJ4
  • California residents: Click here for Proposition 65 warning.
  • Item model number: 8220
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,376 in Camera & Photo (See Top 100 in Camera & Photo)
  • Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here
  • Date first available at Amazon.com: October 2, 2001

Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

64 of 66 people found the following review helpful By Golfer on August 8, 2011
I read a lot of reviews on different brands and models before buying these binos. I read about the caps being loose and ill-fitting - not a problem as I generally store the caps with the retail box - never to be seen again until I intend to sell them. I keep the binos in the soft case and they stay clean. I also read about the diopter eyepiece being a bit stiff. Not a problem I can't handle if the glass is good - and it is.

The only rubs I have with these binos are the strap and diopter adjustment. The diopter is very difficult to turn if they've not been used for some time. I've gotten used to just turning them back and forth a few times before using them. This seems to loosen up the o-ring seal inside that protects the optics from moisture. Fine - I can deal with that. Much better than binos that you gently bump and the diopter is off. Grrr! I hate that even more!

The other rub I mentioned is the strap. Why the hell can't Nikon come up with a better way of attaching the strap to the binos? I have another pair of Nikon binos - 7x35 and they have the same crappy design. Nikon isn't alone in this - Canon must share the same 'strap engineer' to design their straps. Camera straps? Same thing - the cheesy little plastic thingy is supposed to lock the strap and prevent slipping - it doesn't.

OK - on to the optics. The optics are first rate - almost. There is some out of focus on the very edges but mostly I'm using the middle portion of the field of view the soft edge isn't a bother to me. The only times this is noticeable is when I'm viewing the night sky. Stars on the edge are a bit blurry. Other than that these binos excel under the night sky - not as good as my 16x80s but well enough and I can hand-hold these - the 16x80s - no way. They go on a tripod.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By James Pugard on May 29, 2010
Verified Purchase
As a recent student of bird-watching I was badly in need of some binoculars. Not really knowing all the facts I kind of took a flier on these models. I was far from disappointed. The price is great, the quality is excellent, and if they hold up to their all-terrain name, you have a fairly complete package. The optics are great. The lenses pick up lots of light and present a very clear picture. This also makes them nice for star-gazing. You can easily see stars not visible to the naked eye. The eye relief feature is great too. If you wear glasses (as I do), you simply leave them screwed down. If you do not simply screw them up to the level you desire. This makes them easy to pass around with folks of different optical acuity. It comes with a decent case and neck strap. My only complaint is the lens caps. The fore caps attach to the neck straps (awesome.) The eyepiece caps however do not attach and are just a hair too big to fit snugly onto the fore caps, meaning you have to put them in your pocket. Not the biggest deal, just an easily foreseeable design flaw. All-in-all I am very happy with my purchase.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Norman Sohar on April 9, 2010
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These are great binoculars that seem to not hit the radar screen for birders. I have been looking for a new pair of binoculars and when I found these with nearly identical optical chariteristis as the Nikon Monarchs. The only significant optical diffrence is that they don't focus as close up as the Monarchs. I would highly recommend these for birding.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 4, 2011
Verified Purchase
I reviewed a lot of binoculars in the under $300 dollar catagory. The Nikon Monarchs kept coming up as one of the nicest pair to have. I also saw some good reviews for the Trailblazers, but they were half the price. I was thinking there must be a big difference between the two. I went to a sporting goods store and tried out the Monarchs and was really impressed, but I was not able to find the Trailblazer in the 8x version I was seeking. None of the stores were carrying them. I finally just took the chance and ordered the 8x42 Trailblazers.
Wow, just as good as the Monarchs that I had tried out and at half the price. I have been using them for birding and wildlife and find the optics to be excellent. What a bargain.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Will on September 3, 2012
As a Canon fanboy, I was reluctant to switch over to Nikon products when purchasing binoculars for my Ornithology class when I was an undergraduate. I was shocked at the quality of these binoculars when I first tried them out. Nothing else in the price range seemed quite as good. While birdwatching in class, my classmates and I compared the Nikons to Zeiss and Swarovski binoculars (they were avid hunters). Although there were differences in the $100 or so Nikons and the top of the line models retailing at thousands of dollars, the Nikons were performing scary close to their much more valuable counterparts.

The Nikon optics are fantastic. As I am sure many reviews have said, in order to get a better image, you will have to shell out quite a bit more and that is for only a liiiittle better. The image is bright and clear. On numerous occasions, I remember being able to identify birds by features that were clear as day to me while my classmates with similarly priced binoculars were left bewildered. While on optics, I would also recommend the 8x magnification. The 10x magnification on some of my classmates binoculars were prone to frustrating them with a shaky picture that accompanies such a zoomed in image with lenses held by the nervous hands of humans.

The controls: juicy. Turning the focus and adjusting the eyepieces feels better than turning the A/C or volume dial on my BMW (not trying to sound snobby...this is actually true). This makes using these binoculars more like a fun activity than an annoying task. Even the obscenely expensive binoculars I have used have not been quite as satisfying to adjust. The diopter ring is firm but it is firm for a reason. You want the diopter to stay where it is.
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