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Helpful Votes: 11


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Nikon 8220 Trailblazer 8x42 ATB Binoculars
Nikon 8220 Trailblazer 8x42 ATB Binoculars
Offered by Purchase Corner
Price: $229.99
67 used & new from $229.99

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible value and a joy to use, 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. The eyepieces are rubbery and incredibly comfortable and feel very natural when placed over the eyes.

I can nitpick, however. At the plastic buckles, the straps seem to undue themselves over time. They have never really affected me but if you bird all morning, you might have to take up an inch or so in the neck strap. You might as well throw away the lens covers or put them in a drawer. They will come off. However, I have used my binoculars on several treks and football games and my lenses still do not have one scratch on them. When I am done with the binoculars, they go back in the case. These little negatives are nothing compared to the overall quality of this product.

These binoculars converted me. I still use my Canon D-SLR, but when I get my new hunting rifle, you already know what type of scope will be sitting on top of it. If you are in the market for a decent pair of binoculars but don't want to take out a loan, look no further. My experience with dozens of binoculars always leaves me wanting to put them down and pick up my Nikons. This product brings near top shelf performance and puts it in an affordable package that you will not be afraid of taking with you on whatever expedition you can conceive. Just don't be caught somewhere without them. I guarantee you will wish you had them with you.


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