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Old Thursday 28th September 2017, 01:25   #1
J2neuby
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EII, Action, and Action Egret II

I apologize if this is so obvious that I shouldn't be asking, but I have scoured the internet for far too many hours to try and discern which binocular to try and pick up...

From my understanding the EII is a classic and favorite, although hard to distinguish externally from the E predecessor via markings alone (not to mention the SE). I understand that I should be looking for green multi-coating if I am entertaining this series. And I also understand this series is not weatherproof.

The Action series is obvious with its labeling, but there are multiple types of Nikon Actions such as plain "Action," Action Egret II, Action Naturalist, Action Extreme, etc. The Action Extreme seems to gather acclaim as the all-around, although it is more pricey, so I wonder how the regular Action (no weatherproofing) would compare to the EII, or perhaps how the Action Egret II compares to either. In fact, with the same 8.2 degree marking, I don't know of any difference between the Action and the Action Egret II. So, I seem to be unable to keep in my mind where the hierarchy of bins lies, especially as models gain bells, whistles, and Roman numerals... :/

Does anyone have anything to bring to the table in regards to comparing these bins? I am a birder, and entertaining 8x mag. I am more interested in what I would visually see through them than how they look/feel. Even their specs are difficult to find because these bins are a bit old (if you have a link to the specs, I'd appreciate that too).

Thanks for any contributions!

Last edited by J2neuby : Thursday 28th September 2017 at 02:06. Reason: Edited to clear up confusion from my own misunderstanding(s)
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Old Thursday 28th September 2017, 01:46   #2
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Afaik, the EII is an entirely different product from the earlier Superior E. I don't think it looks similar, being stubbier and presumably the optics are also different.

The Action series is optically quite different from the Action Extreme line, which offers better eye relief and a wider field in addition to being waterproof. The various Action subseries you mention may be marketing labels.

For straight optical performance, the best bet would be to buy the EII, $490 on Amazon, it is among the very best porros currently on offer, even though not waterproof.
If your wallet can stand it, buy the 100th Anniversary edition of the glass, grossly overpriced at $831 on Amazon, it should hold its resale value, a great glass from a fine company.
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Old Thursday 28th September 2017, 02:15   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J2neuby View Post
..........
(if you have a link to the specs, I'd appreciate that too).

Thanks for any contributions!
Here are a couple of links from the Allbino website with technical data on the Nikon EII 8X30:

https://www.allbinos.com/index.html?...ryzmat=0&sort=

https://www.allbinos.com/index.html?...tki&test_l=270

Of the models that I have been lucky enough to see, the ones that come closest to giving that National Geographic type of view under the right conditions of light, subject and background are the Nikon EDII 8X30 and the Zeiss SF 8X42. The Nikon does have its peculiarities but the optics are great.
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Old Thursday 28th September 2017, 10:53   #4
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I had a good look through the anniversary edition of the 8x30EII at Birdfair. I'd never looked through an EII of any description and after reading all the positive commentary on Birdforum, really, really hoped it would be everything it's been said to be. This was one of the binoculars I'd been most looking forward to seeing. However... I found the view quite disappointing - dark and somewhat lacking in ultimate detail/resolution. Now I might have been slightly dazzled at that point by things like the 8x42 Noctivid and in particular the 8x56 SLC, but I did look through a 8x30 Habicht that the Swarovski team kindly found for me and thought it was distinctly better - sharper and brighter. The EII's field of view is very wide, but is cut significantly (at least it was to me) when the binocular is used with glasses, and when used without glasses I could not get the left barrel to focus enough past infinity to achieve sharp images at distance. All in all my impression of the binocular was so poor that I'm wondering whether the unit I looked through was some kind of lemon - I would really like to look through another just to be sure. I'm really glad I did, though, as it would have been an incredible disappointment if I had ordered it sight unseen (which I'd been severely tempted to do).
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Old Thursday 28th September 2017, 11:03   #5
Gijs van Ginkel
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Patudo, post 4,
I also do not understand the almost holy status the Nikon EII has received on this forum; I share your observations.
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Old Thursday 28th September 2017, 12:31   #6
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Hi,

Me neither....

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Old Thursday 28th September 2017, 16:38   #7
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Patudo, post 4,
I also do not understand the almost holy status the Nikon EII has received on this forum; I share your observations.
Gijs van Ginkel

Gijs,

As you well know, and better then most; there is no "one fits all" binocular. Human nature sees to that. As a result all binoculars have compromises of one nature or another.

The E2 is not a suitable binocular for people who are severely near sighted and who want to use it without wearing their spectacles and I would not recommend that they purchase one. And anyone who can wear spectacles while using an E2 should understand that because of its short eye relief its expansive FOV will not be fully visible to them.

It is also not water proof. So if one absolutely requires a water proof binocular one should not purchase an E2.

That leaves a lot of people who can buy one and be a happy user.

An 8x30 EII always worked well for me in the largely boreal forested landscape of northern Pennsylvania although I would rather have a different binocular if I was visiting Argentina's Patagonia region. But I would not want it to be one of the three Swarovski Habicht Porro prisms which have narrow FOVs and small hard eye cups (if the complaints I have read about them here on Bird Forum are accurate). The biggest problem would be choosing among the dozen or so roof prism binoculars that would be perfect for a birding trip there!

Bob
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Old Thursday 28th September 2017, 18:46   #8
Gijs van Ginkel
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Bob, post 7,
I have no problem whatsoever with every body who loves the EII, I do not because of its low handling comfort (short and thick binocular body) and there are for me much better alternatives also optically.
With regard to its short eyerelief: I do not wear spectacles, so that is no problem.
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Old Thursday 28th September 2017, 20:29   #9
Alexis Powell
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...If your wallet can stand it, buy the 100th Anniversary edition of the glass, grossly overpriced at $831 on Amazon, it should hold its resale value, a great glass from a fine company.
???? Really? I love the EII but think someone would have to be crazy to buy one for $800, or to use a collectible and expect it to hold that inflated value. I got mine for $240 back before the EII essentially left the USA market. It was an awesome "budget binocular" choice back then. Ever since has been much more expensive to acquire.

To J2neuby, I take it you are looking for a budget porro, and are shopping used online and don't have the option to try before you buy. Of those you've listed, the EII is the best overall. The original E was also quite good. The Action series has gone through many incarnations, with changes to body and optics. It has always been Nikon's bottom budget pick. The Action EX are a different design, more robust, better sealed. They are the only ones that you've mentioned that work well for most eyeglasses wearers.

You might consider other old porros. The B&L 8x36 Custom and Swift 8x42 Ultralite are nice, work well with glasses, but have narrow FOV. The Swift 8.5x44 Audubon is nice but can be trouble with glasses. Others to consider are Bushnell 8x42 Discoverer porro, Bushnell 8x42 Legend porro.

Current Bushnell porros, such as the 8x42 Legacy WP or the current version of the 8x42 NatureView might also be good to try.

--AP
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Old Thursday 28th September 2017, 20:40   #10
J2neuby
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Thanks AP! I really appreciate the thoughts, and your assumptions were correct =)
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Old Friday 29th September 2017, 08:03   #11
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Hi,

in my opinion and the ones of most people who tried it, the E2 are a fun pair of bins. It is certainly not an alpha, like the SE but worse views have been sold for more money.
It has to be said that $800 is indeed kinda steep and there are certainly other options at that pricepoint - my example cost me 400€ after duty and tax - in that price bracket it is not so easy to get a better view.

Joachim
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Old Friday 29th September 2017, 18:24   #12
Dorian Gray
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patudo View Post
…when used without glasses I could not get the left barrel to focus enough past infinity to achieve sharp images at distance
Quote:
Originally Posted by ceasar View Post
The E2 is not a suitable binocular for people who are severely near sighted and who want to use it without wearing their spectacles and I would not recommend that they purchase one.
It’s interesting that Pinewood of this forum reported something else.

Why is reliable information on infinity over-focus (or whatever you want to call it) so hard to find? It’s trivial to approximately measure. Frustrating.
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Old Friday 29th September 2017, 23:21   #13
ceasar
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It’s interesting that Pinewood of this forum reported something else.

Why is reliable information on infinity over-focus (or whatever you want to call it) so hard to find? It’s trivial to approximately measure. Frustrating.
I think it is because one (at least I can't) can't count on consistency with diopters.

The big thing is that the binocular also has to have enough focus past infinity for it to give a sharp focus to some one who needs a -6 diopter.

Every binocular I own has a little bit different diopter adjustment for me. Mine is usually around -1 but I have a Nikon 10x32 HG L where I have to set the diopter at +1.

I still use an old 8x30 EII I purchased in 2001. Its diopter goes from -4 to +4 but I don't know if there is enough focus past infinity to handle -6 even with the ability of the diopter to move well beyond -4 and +4 which is the main reason I don't recommend them for people who need a -6 diopter.

I don't want to experiment with it to find out because on this particular binocular my usual -1 diopter requirement can often move 1/2 a degree either way. I have to check it and set every time I use it. I'm letting well enough alone.

Bob

Last edited by ceasar : Friday 29th September 2017 at 23:56.
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Old Saturday 21st October 2017, 18:52   #14
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J2neuby,

If you are looking for a budge binocular, and like Porros, then don't dismiss the newest Nikon Aculon bins. They offer an amazingly sharp and contrasty view, and no doubt some due to modern coatings. If the eye relief works for you, they can often be had at bargain prices for what they deliver.

And how many of us actually spend time in the rain with our binoculars, unless you are out hunting or something you can't choose the weather you need to use them in?

My everyday bin is the 10x40 Aculon for the house, and would have no problem using it in the field for anything except that it weighs about 26.8 oz, so not a lightweight. The focus is so smooth, and precise, and adjusting the ipd is easy but firm, as it should be.

The 8x has about the same eye relief (12 mm vs 11.6 for the 10x) and weighs the same too. But it has a much wider field of view (420 ft vs 315 for the 10x), which might be more appealing to you.

I usually buy mine at B&H Photo in NY-good prices, free expidited shipping, and hard to beat service. 8x is $79.95, 10x is $89.95, and you get a new binocular that performs, with a warranty too.:

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...ulon_a211.html
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