Best Nikon Binoculars

Review & Comparison, Last Update September 30, 2018
Seeing objects from far away is something that is very useful at times, and the best way to do this is with a great pair of binoculars. Take a look at our reviews of five of the best Nikon binoculars available. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2018
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Prism
Lenses
Magnification
Lens Diameter
Exit Pupil
Eye Relief
Field of View
Extras
Weight
Warranty
 
PROS

Diamater of the exit pupil is 5 mm (0.2-inch), which greatly reduces eye fatigue during long-term use of the binoculars. These work especially well in bright sunlight.

CONS

A bit heavy.

OUR VERDICT

If you are looking for quality binoculars for equally effective observation in the daytime and in the evening - Nikon's Aculon A211 model will be quite suitable. The lens size of 50 mm ensures high light transmission, so you will not miss a single detail.

detailed parameters
Prism

Porro

Lenses

Multi-coated

Magnification

10x

Lens Diameter

50 mm

Exit Pupil

5 mm

Eye Relief

11.8 mm

Field of View

341 ft / 1000 yards

Extras

Durable rubber-armored coating, Case, Strap, Objective lens and Eyepiece covers included

Weight

31.7 oz

Warranty

Limited Lifetime

PROS

Lenses with a diameter of 25 mm (~ 1 inch) are located on a small depression (the far side lenses are deeply recessed), and, as a result, they are reliably protected from mechanical damage.

CONS

Some users complain about the low quality of the neck strap.

OUR VERDICT

Binoculars of the Trailblazer series are designed for use in extreme conditions, as they have a waterproof enclosure: they are ideal for hunters to track down game even at a very long distance. While using these, you definitely will not return empty-handed.

detailed parameters
Prism

Roof

Lenses

Multi-coated

Magnification

10x

Lens Diameter

25 mm

Exit Pupil

2.5 mm

Eye Relief

10 mm

Field of View

342 ft / 1000 yards

Extras

Water- and fog-proof housing, Durable rubber-armored coating, Case, Strap, Eyepiece covers included

Weight

9.9 oz

Warranty

Limited Lifetime

PROS

The field of view is as much as 429 ft / 1000 yards, so you get a really wide panoramic image - this is especially important when observing several objects that are at a distance from each other.

CONS

Relatively small magnification.

OUR VERDICT

This model is ideal for those who want to buy reliable and functional binoculars at a relatively low price. The best option for watching wildlife and birds in the daytime.

detailed parameters
Prism

Roof

Lenses

Multi-coated

Magnification

8x

Lens Diameter

25 mm

Exit Pupil

3.1 mm

Eye Relief

10 mm

Field of View

429 ft/1000 yards

Extras

Water- and fog-proof housing, Durable rubber-armored coating, Case, Strap, Eyepiece covers included

Weight

9.9 oz

Warranty

Limited Lifetime

PROS

The special design of the case and dimensions (5.7"L x 7.3"W) provide convenient grip of binoculars, which is necessary for long-term observation. A special rubber coating prevents the device from slipping out of wet hands.

CONS

Can be a bit difficult to set eyepiece distance.

OUR VERDICT

These binoculars feature modern optics with excellent light penetration, which in turn guarantees you a bright and rich image. These are recommended for watching sports matches and other events when you need to achieve the best visibility.

detailed parameters
Prism

Porro

Lenses

Multi-coated

Magnification

10x

Lens Diameter

42 mm

Exit Pupil

4.2 mm

Eye Relief

11.6 mm

Field of View

314 ft/1000 yards

Extras

Durable rubber-armored coating, Case, Strap, Objective lens and Eyepiece covers included

Weight

26.8 oz

Warranty

Limited Lifetime

PROS

The focusing knob has an increased size, so it can be quickly and effortlessly gripped in the dark - this solution is especially useful in cases where you want to quickly switch between several objects located at different distances from you.

CONS

No eyepiece covers included.

OUR VERDICT

Ergonomic shape, small size and strikingly small weight - these are the main advantages of Nikon's ACULON T01. These have a fairly high magnification and will be loved by travelers, as they will occupy a minimum amount of space in a backpack.

detailed parameters
Prism

Roof

Lenses

Multi-coated

Magnification

10x

Lens Diameter

21 mm

Exit Pupil

2.1 mm

Eye Relief

8.4 mm

Field of View

285 ft/1000 yards

Extras

Case and strap included

Weight

6.8 oz

Warranty

Limited Lifetime

Nikon 8248

Sharp and Bright Magnification

Having binoculars with a high objective diameter can be important for many people, as this dictates how sharp and bright objects appear to be through the lenses. One of the problems that many binoculars suffer from is that images will often appear to be blurry or missing any kind of fine detail, regardless of the magnification. Binoculars need a high objective diameter, often dictated by the size and shape of the outer lenses, to give such detail and allow the view to be bright.

The Nikon 8248 ACULON A211 10x50 Binoculars are perfect for those who place a high value in viewing a bright, detailed image. These binoculars provide an objective diameter of 50 with a 5mm exit pupil, which ensures that your view will also be detailed, bright, and crisp. The 10x magnification also ensures that far objects will be viewable at a good magnification. These attributes are quite good in comparison to many other models on the market, and this model provides a highly lit, quality image even in low sunlight situations. This makes them perfect for evening use, or for days that have high cloud cover, and they also provide an excellent field of view, ensuring that you're able to see a wide area through them.

Review of Nikon 8248 ACULON A211 10x50 Binocular

Great Build Quality

The viewing aspects of these binoculars are excellent, but that's not all that this high-quality model has to offer. The binoculars are a bit heavy, but feature a very durable build, which ensures that breakage won't occur easily. The binoculars feel quite solid in your hands, and are able to endure hard bumps without cracking the case. This is helped by the highly durable rubber-armored coating, which also makes them easy to grip and prevents slippage even while wet. The lenses are recessed enough to ensure that they won't be easily broken or scratched through bumps. For times that the binoculars aren't in use, the included rubber lens caps provide sufficient protection for the lenses, and will prevent any objects from damaging them.

This model also features a smooth central focus knob that allows for easy focus, even while in use. They are also easily adjustable in width, ensuring that people of all sizes should be able to use these comfortably without straining the eyes. The only downside to this model is the heavier than usual weight in comparison to other models, but for those who value the other features more, this model is sure to give you a high-quality experience for a long time.

Nikon 8248 ACULON A211 10x50 Binocular in the use

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Nikon 8218

Lightweight Hunting Binoculars

Hunting is a well-loved and very popular past time for many people. Going out in the cool weather, spending a lot of time in nature, and being either alone or with friends is something that quite a few people love to do. Those who love hunting also know that having a great pair of binoculars can mean the difference between getting your trophy and going home empty-handed. Of course, no one wants to do the latter, so buying a great, lightweight pair of binoculars at some point is a must.

The Nikon 8218 Trailblazer 10x25 Hunting Binoculars are the perfect accessories for your hunting trips. Featuring a solid, yet lightweight design, these hunting binoculars are a great addition to your hunting gear, as their light weight makes them easy to hold up for an extended period of time, and their compact design makes them easy to stow away when not in use. The performance for these binoculars is also exceptional, featuring a 10x25 design with a full 10x magnification, along with an objective diameter of 25, ensuring that you have a great field of view with a bright image and sharp details. These also work great even in limited lighting conditions, so you never have to worry about your view being too dark.

Review of Nikon 8218 Trailblazer 10x25 Hunting Binoculars

Your Hunting Companion

These binoculars really live up to their name, considering the high quality of them along with the great features. The body is solid yet still very light, and features a water- and fog-proof coating that means that moisture won't seep into the lenses. The lenses and prisms are made with eco-glass, ensuring that they are very durable and can easily handle the normal bumps and bangs associated with long outdoor trips. The lenses also won't be susceptible to fogging, offering a great view even in very damp and foggy weather.

The binoculars come with rubber lens caps that can easily be put on or removed without any struggle, while they still remain on snugly enough to not fall off. The lens covers, unfortunately, have no way to attach to the binoculars, but they are small enough to easily fit in your pocket or in the included high-quality cloth bag. In fact, the entire kit is small enough to be carried in your pocket, even while in the bag. The width of the scopes is adjustable, letting anyone, whether a small child or an adult, use these comfortably without any eye strain. If you are planning a hunting trip soon and don't yet have a good pair of binoculars to accompany you, these are definitely worth a look.

Nikon 8218 Trailblazer 10x25 Hunting Binoculars in the use

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Nikon 8217

Blazing the Trail

Nikon has been traditionally known as a great manufacturer of high-quality cameras. However, what many people haven't known is that they also make great binoculars. Their Trailblazer line of hunting binoculars are taking the market by storm, and for a good reason. They offer a lightweight, compact design with great optics and features, along with a high-quality build. They make the perfect accessories for hunters, or for others who need to use binoculars on a long trip through nature. And this Trailblazer model is no exception.

The Nikon 8217 Trailblazer 8x25 ATB Binoculars offer the great performance and design that the rest of the Trailblazer line is quickly becoming known for. Featuring a solid body that is waterproof and fogproof, there is no need to worry about the binoculars being susceptible to the elements. The design is also both compact and rugged, featuring a hard shell that is shock resistant, and also being small enough to carry in your pocket. The 8 x 25 optics offer exceptional quality, featuring magnification up to 8x, as well as a 25-mm objective diameter, with an exceptional field of view of 429 ft at up to 1000 yards. Despite the limited magnification, this field of view is unrivaled by most other models.

Review of Nikon 8217 Trailblazer 8x25 ATB Binocular

Waterproof Design

The "Waterproof Design" label on the binoculars is no joke or exaggeration. These binoculars really stand up well to a high degree of moisture, as the body is sealed tightly and won't leak in any water or other liquids. The lenses also perform exceptionally well even in very foggy conditions, with no need to keep the lenses cleaned of moisture. The body, while smooth to the touch, also features a rubber coating that helps you maintain a tight grip on them even while they are wet. There won't be any need to worry about these binoculars slipping out of your hand in wet conditions.

The binoculars come with a strong neck strap that is comfortable to wear, along with rubber lens caps to help protect the lenses while not in use. Although the lens caps are not attached to the body, they can easily be put into your pocket or in the included cloth bag while you are using the binoculars. The binoculars also feature a folding design that allows you to make them compact enough to fit in a pocket, and are also adjustable to be comfortable to use for people of all sizes, no matter how big or small. Anyone young or old who wants a great set of hunting binoculars will be hard pressed to find a model better than these.

Nikon 8217 Trailblazer 8x25 ATB Binocular in the use

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Nikon 8246

Heavy Duty Binoculars

A good, strong set of binoculars is something that many people require. Something that can handle the rough and tumble nature of outdoor activities, while still being light enough to carry easy. They should also have exceptionally strong performance, being able to view far away objects in the utmost clarity and detail, while providing a wide field of view. This description is something that most people would use to describe their ideal pair of binoculars. Unlike many other ideal items, these are actually a reality.

The Nikon 8246 Aculon A211 10x42 Binoculars are some of the best all-around binoculars that are available. Featuring a strong, durable casing that is able to hold up to almost any kind of abuse thrown at them, these binoculars provide almost all characteristics that anyone could want. These 10x42 binoculars provide a high magnification while giving a wide field of view with bright, detailed images, and they work quite well even in minimal light. The field of view provided is excellent, rated at 314 ft at up to 1000 yards, making it easy to see not only the details of the view, but everything around it as well. The performance of this model is definitely near the top of what you can find.

Review of Nikon 8246 Aculon A211 10x42 Binoculars

Ergonomic Design

The heavy duty nature of these binoculars doesn't lend them to just being "heavy". Weighing only 26.6 oz, these are lighter than many other binoculars that fit the same build and optical quality, so they aren't too heavy to hold for an extended period of time. The ergonomic shape makes them fit quite easily in your hands, while the rubber-coated shell provides a firm grip that keeps them in your hands in any conditions. The aspherical lenses ensure that you get a flat, non-distorted field of view at all times while still performing great in any lighting conditions. The lenses are also recessed enough to help prevent easy damage to them. The included rubber caps provide additional protection for the lenses while not in use.

The solid shell of this model includes a central focus knob, which allows you to easily adjust the focus without having to fiddle around with the binoculars just to find the knob. The scope width adjustment can feel a bit stiff at first, but becomes easier to use over time, while providing a tight adjustment of the scopes. You won't have to worry about the scope width bending away from your optimal position by accident. The high image quality of this model, along with the ergonomic design, helps make these the best sets of binoculars in its price range.

Nikon 8246 Aculon A211 10x42 Binoculars in the use

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Nikon 8268

Sleek, Ultra-lightweight Design

Having a good, solid, lightweight set of binoculars can not be underrated, especially for those who tend to use them for extended periods of time. Anything heavier than a pound can be difficult to hold up for long, and also a bit cumbersome to carry. However, the binoculars should also be strong enough to carry easily, as well as small enough to fit in a small space while not in use. It is likely that most people looking for binoculars would like to find a set that fits this description.

The Nikon 8268 ACULON 10x21 T01 Binoculars definitely do, while retaining all of the characteristics that people want. Featuring 10x21 performance while only weighing 6.8 ounces, these binoculars are some of the lightest that you can find while still providing the performance that is expected of them. The 10x magnification matches that of even the heavier sets available, while still giving a good field of view rated at 285 ft at 1000 yards. While the field of view doesn't quite match that of some of the heavier binoculars available, it is still good enough for anyone who wants good, clear image quality. These still work great in most light conditions, thanks to the strong multicoated high-performance lenses.

Review of Nikon 8268 ACULON 10x21 T01 Binocular

Great for Any Use

The lightweight design and the excellent performance are good enough factors for many people, but these binoculars still have more to offer. The very sleek design makes these a great small form factor set, featuring a solid body with excellent ergonomics. They are quite compact, and can easily fit in a small space, or even be worn around the neck for long periods without inducing strain or fatigue. The central focus knob is actually quite large and conveniently located, making it quite easy to adjust the focus even while in use.

Although these binoculars aren't made for one specific purpose in mind, they actually work great for almost any activity that you would need them for, whether it be hunting, watching sports in a stadium, tourism, or even an indoor concert. Despite their lightweight and compact design, Nikon Aculon binoculars are still durable enough to work well in almost any situation. Unfortunately, these do not come with lens protectors included, but the lenses are recessed enough to prevent any kind of easy access to them from foreign objects, and the lenses are durable enough to withstand some abuse. Regardless of that drawback, these are a great pair of all-purpose binoculars that you are sure to love.

Nikon 8268 ACULON 10x21 T01 Binocular in the use

Additional Info

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What Are Binoculars?

Binoculars are devices that allow users to see objects or areas from a long distance, by using magnification to enlarge the view. These devices are generally those that use two telescopic lenses that are mounted side by side to give both eyes the ability to view through them simultaneously, giving a three-dimensional view. Those that are a single lens meant for one eye are called telescopes, and do not provide a fully three dimensional view like binoculars.

The key advantages to using binoculars instead of telescopes are numerous. Binoculars tend to give a wider field of view, provide a more fully realized three dimensional view, and give a greater impression of depth. The main disadvantage of binoculars compared to monocular telescopes is that they tend to have a limited magnification in comparison, but with the greater flexibility in purpose with binoculars, this tends to be more than a fair trade-off. Binoculars tend to come with shorter telescopic barrels than telescopes, are generally more portable, and many models are made for durability. They can come in many sizes, ranging from very small models that provide only slight magnification to heavy-duty models that are mounted.

If you are looking for something that provides night vision, then take a look at our reviews of five of the best night vision devices.

What Features to Compare

Nikon binoculars are pretty much standard binoculars, which at their core are relatively simple devices. However, many internal functions of the binoculars can set apart one pair from another, which many different kinds having specialty functions, or different kinds of binoculars geared for specific purposes. Some of the different features of binoculars can really help make them specialized for specific functions, so it's always best to know exactly what you want to use them for before settling on a model. Below are some of the features that are distinct to binoculars that you should be aware of.

Magnification - Binoculars at their very core are designed to make distant objects appear larger, which is done using the magnification abilities of the lenses. Different sets of binoculars can have different magnification abilities, however, you should know how much magnification you need. Generally, the higher the magnification is, the better, but this won't always apply to all models. So you may need to take a quick look at what differences are between them and read magnification specs explained. Those who don't need a high magnification should probably prioritize other features.

Objective Diameter - The objective diameter of binoculars will affect how detailed and sharp the view will be through the lenses, as well as the brightness of the image. Those that have a higher objective diameter will usually provide a much sharper and more detailed view of objects than those with a lower number, and will also be brighter due to taking in more light. If being able to see objects in fine detail is important for you, then finding binoculars with a high objective diameter should be a priority.

Field of View - The field of view of binoculars shows how much of an area is magnified and viewable through the lenses. Those with a wider field of view allow you to view a larger area through the lenses, while those with a narrower field of view are meant more for viewing a specific object up close. Generally, a wider field of view is preferable for those who need binoculars for specific purposes, such as hunting.

Prism Type - The type of prism that is used in binoculars can greatly affect certain attributes of them, such as the field of view, magnification capabilities, and even the size. While those who only want binoculars for very general purposes won't really need to know about this, the prism type can be a big issue for those who need binoculars for a specific purpose.

Weight - The weight of binoculars can be a very important factor for many people, depending on their needs. Heavier binoculars will be more difficult to hold up for long periods of time, so those who need to do this will generally prefer lighter binoculars.

Did you know?

The Best Uses for Binoculars

Most people at one time or another have used binoculars for some specific purpose. Whichever purpose that people use them for, many don't realize that there is a myriad of other purposes that they can be used for as well. If you are reading this, you are most likely looking for a great set of binoculars for some activity that you wish to participate in. However, you don't need to use them only for that activity! Binoculars can be quite useful in many different situations, and some of the best uses for them here may open up some new hobbies or activities for you. Take a look at the best uses for binoculars and let these suggestions help open up some new worlds for you.

Hunting

One of the most popular activities that people will buy binoculars for is hunting. They are extremely useful for hunters who are tracking down prey, and in fact, you would be hard-pressed to find a hunter who doesn't use any at all. Several of the models reviewed above are made specifically for hunting, with features that make them ideal for this activity. Even if the thought of killing an animal doesn't appeal to you, you can still use them for spotting wildlife by using the same methods that hunters use for their sport.

Bird Watching

For anyone who doesn't have the stomach for hunting, fear not - bird watching is the perfect activity to use binoculars for. It is a very popular activity in its own right, shared by millions of people around the world, and there simply isn't a better tool for this activity than a great set of binoculars. If you are not sure how to get started with this hobby, you can find plenty of books written about this hobby at your local library or bookstore, including guides on how to get started, as well as books about the many different birds that can be spotted in a particular area. There are also bird watching clubs in most major cities, so it is likely you can find one close to where you live. It's a great, relaxing hobby that you can share with friends and family alike.

Tourism

Most people like to travel to different areas to see new sites. It's practically human nature, and our natural curiosity always makes us want to see what else is out there in the world. Binoculars are perfect for tourism of any kind, whether it be touring a new city or country looking at old buildings, or viewing far away places in detail such as the Grand Canyon. A great set of binoculars can help you see the distant objects and areas that your own eyes can't really pick up, so bringing your new set of binoculars with you on your next vacation is a great idea.

Whale Watching

Some of the most magnificent creatures living on our big blue Earth are whales, and most people don't get to see them very often, if at all. If you live near an ocean or are planning to take a trip to the coast, then bring along your binoculars so you can try to do some whale watching. It's a once in a lifetime experience being able to see these majestic kings of the sea in person.

Astronomy

Yes, this one may seem like a head-scratcher at first, but believe it or not, binoculars are actually great for astronomy! Most people think of using a telescope for viewing the heavens, and in many cases, telescopes may be the ideal tools. However, telescopes also have some significant disadvantages, including their expense in relation to binoculars as well as their lack of portability. Binoculars can be great tools for viewing the stars, and the magnification on most binoculars is actually good enough to see several of our neighboring planets, such as Venus and Mars. Even the moon looks incredible when viewed through binoculars.

FAQ:

Q: Numbers such as "10x40" are often present when looking for information about binoculars. What do these numbers mean?

A: The numbers in such a format - ##x## - refer to the capabilities of the binoculars, specifically in regards to their magnification and objective diameter. The first set of digits represents the magnification, so "10x40" means the binoculars have 10x magnification, with an objective diameter of 40. The objective diameter basically refers to the ability of the binoculars to let in light.

Q: Many binoculars show a field of view such as "372x1000". What do these numbers mean?

A: The field of view measurement shows the width of the area that can be seen from a specific distance. For instance, the measurement "372x1000" means that the binoculars can show an area of 372 feet from a distance of 1000 yards. The higher the first number, the wider an area (in feet) that can be seen from the distance of the second number (in yards).

Q: Many binoculars state that they use "multicoating" or "multicoated lenses". What does this mean?

A: "Multicoating refers to using a special chemical coating on a glass surface in order to reduce the negative effects of direct sunlight, such as reflections, glare, lens flare, and other distortions of an image. Lenses that are multicoated should be resistant to such effects and should give you a good, clear, sharp view even when used in direct sunlight.

Q: What is an "exit pupil"?

A: An exit pupil is the outer part of a lense that is facing towards an object or area that is being viewed through the lens. The size of the exit pupil can affect the performance attributes of binoculars such as the field of view, objective diameter, and the amount of light that can enter the lens. The larger the exit pupil, the better these attributes will most likely be.

Q: What is a prism?

A: A prism is a type of crystal structure located inside of the optics of binoculars that ensure that the view appears in the correct orientation. The way many lenses work, the image as seen through binoculars would appear either upside down or inverse without a prism.

Q: What is the difference between a Porro and Roof prism?

A: The main differences between these two types of prisms are simply in the way that the prisms correct the orientation of the image. Porro prisms tend to be better at letting in more light, whereas Roof prisms tend to be more compact.

Q: What is the best way to clean my binoculars?

A: The first thing to remember about cleaning the lenses of your binoculars is to never use a shirt or other hard cloth on the lenses. When the lenses get dusty, it is best to use a lens cleaning pen to lightly brush away the dust and dirt that has collected on them. Once that is done, moistening the tip of a Q-Tip with lens cleaning solution is the best way to clean out any remaining dirt. You can then wipe the lens with a clean micro fibre lens cloth. Using any other method to clean the lenses risks the possibility of degrading the image quality, or even damaging them permanently.

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Publish Date: 2018-06-07 13:47:51