Published on December 9th, 2005 | by Greg0
Zoomvision- Nikon Binoculars
Lightweight, or super-durable: make your choice! 8x or 9x! Pocket-sized or compact-sized! Water resistant or waterproof! Either way, Nikon makes a pair of binoculars to suit. Sure, you could save a few bucks on a cheaper set, like you did on those nosebleed seats, and you can expect a distorted view and an uncomfortable grip. Worse, you might find yourself carrying and holding a two pound weight, when you could save the wrist strain by carrying half that.
We tried the Sportstar 8×25 DCF 7493 Binoculars, and found them to be nice and light, just the thing for use at stadiums, ballgames, or for urban sightseeing (parades, etc). They are light, easy to carry, and small enough to fit in a purse or even a large pocket. Priced at around $50, you’ll find them handy and portable, though difficult to use if you wear glasses. The 8×25 refers to the magnification (8x) and the 25 indicates the number of times someone will ask to borrow your binoculars in an hour.
Just kidding. The 25 is actually called the “objective”, which is kind of weird since it actually means “the amount of light the enters the lens”. Higher numbers allow more light to enter, so those lenses work better at night. A 25 value is perfect for daytime use, or in brighter conditions- but don’t plan on using these at night or in dark environments.
The other pair we tried was the higher-end ProStaff 9×25 ATB. They are heavier and more durable, designed for use outdoors for camping, hunting, fishing, tracking, and spotting all kinds of animals in naughty positions. They have a 25-year warranty, nice retractable eyecups (for those with glasses), and are waterproof. Expect to pay closer to $110 for these, but the optics are definitely better, and you get what you pay for. They are heavier, but the included strap makes them pretty easy to carry around your neck.