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Nikon Action Extreme 8x40???

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Old Friday 15th February 2008, 09:54   #1
birdlove
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Nikon Action Extreme 8x40???

Hi everybody,

I am a newbie and seeks ur help for binocs selection.
As every birder needs, i need nice bins with good optics for my price range.
Since, nikon rocks in optical quality, i have settled down to nikon bins.
I am a graduate student, so cant spend much.
My budget is 150$ and i believe nikon action extreme 8x40 shud suit for my birding purpose.

Please comment on its optical quality. Is it any good?
It weights 30 oz and bit bulky. Will it be a severe trouble while birding..?
Morover, my another birding friend is looking for nikon action 8x40. Please comment on nikon action's 8x40 optical quality also.
Are these two bins(nikon action extreme 8x40,nikon action 8x40) are good choices for birding..?

Its my first post in this site and i very much appreciate every hep from you.

Thanks in advance.
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Old Friday 15th February 2008, 11:08   #2
birdlove
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Pls help me with your valuable suggestion!!!!
I have to decide soon whether i need to order them or not!!!
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Old Friday 15th February 2008, 11:09   #3
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hi birdlove and welcome to BirdForum from all the moderators and admin.

The Nikon Actions are very good bins for the money, I don't think the weight would be an issue as they are well balanced bins.
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Old Friday 15th February 2008, 11:34   #4
Jim M.
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I have no experience with the Nikon action extreme, but I just noticed that Eagle Optics, a very well respected American optics dealer, made the 8 x 40 one of their "staff picks" in this price range for birding binoculars. (see the link here: http://www.eagleoptics.com/buying_guide.asp?cid=4).

As for the weight, I happily birded with similar weight and style binoculars for 35 years. While I now prefer a lighter weight binocular, especially on multi-mile hikes, I would not consider the weight a major issue. In this price range, a lighter weight roof prism binocular (roof prism binoculars have straight barrels, rather than the offset design of Porro prism binoculars, such as your selected Nikon) is probably going to have inferior optics.

My two cents,
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Old Friday 15th February 2008, 12:40   #5
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They're good

I bought a pair of Action Extreme binos some months ago and have used them extensively for birding. I find them very good. Their weight is not a proble. I recommende them.

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Old Friday 15th February 2008, 21:42   #6
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I've owned Action Series 7x35 and 8x40 binoculars, and I recommend them highly to beginning birders (or birders on a very strict budget). Their optical quality is good, they have a generous field of view, and they're durable.

The tradeoffs for the low price include weatherproofness (if that's not a word, it should be), the "flex" effect of the focus mechanism, and their less-than-ideal balance.

All in all, though, I recommend them. I'm a Canon camera user, but I stand by Nikon's binoculars.
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Old Friday 15th February 2008, 23:53   #7
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I've used a pair of action 10x50 for 7 years now. I think they are outstanding for the price. I must admit, though that I have wanted to throw them against a tree more than a few times as they can fog up, especially in tropical conditions. I've gotten water in them a few times also. I recommend the action, but lack of waterproofing has been a substantial limitation for me, so the action extreme might be perfect.
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Old Saturday 16th February 2008, 00:51   #8
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I've tried out many of the Nikon Action Exteme binos at a local sporting goods superstore -- including the 8x40. They are great binos for the price. The difference between the Actions and Action Extremes is that the Extremes are waterproof and have better eye relief. Good eye relief means that you can use these binos while wearing eyeglasses and still see most of the image.

The Action Extremes are a little on the heavy side, but they seem pretty ruggedly built. You might want to look into getting a harness style strap that distributes weight better. I use a harness strap with my binos even though they aren't heavy, and my neck never gets tired or sore, and also the binos are kept closer to your chest when you aren't looking through them. They don't dangle.
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Old Monday 18th February 2008, 23:43   #9
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Other differences between the Action Extreme (AE)8x40 and the Action 8x40

the AE has 8.1 fov while the Action has 8.2, BUT the AE has a slightly wider sharp fov, so it has a greater usable fov than the Action.

Nearly all of the Action outer field aberration is due to field curvature. The AE somewhat less curvature, about 2/3rds. Because of the strong curvature, both have the affect of having good depth of field. Curvature causes closer objects to appear in focus in the outer areas of fov.
The Action has a bit more pincushion than the AE.

Eye relief maximum usable in AE = 14mm, Action = 11mm
AE has twist out with 3 detente position eyecups, Action has folded rubber. I like the AEs much better.
Caution should be advised to eyeglass werarers when using the Action. When the eyecups are folded down, the depth to eyelens is very shallow, only 1-2mm, and eyeglasses come in contact with the binocular eyelens. The Action is a poor design for eyeglass wearers.
A nice aspect of the AE diopter control; it is designed such that the right eye lens moves independantly of the right eyecup. When you adjust right diopter the right eyecup does not move, therefore maintaining equal eyecup settings between right and left eyes.

the Action is 26oz. the AE is 30oz.

AE has close focus of 16ft, Action gets as close as 11ft.
BUT, the Action has only 65% of fov in binocular vision at 11 feet.
Both have only 80% of fov in binocular vision at a distance of 20ft.

The AE has fair internal blackening and baffles. The Action has poor internal blackening.
The AE has somewhat better coatings than the Action. Neither are FMC.

The AE has very little rocking movement while the Action has significant rocking motion in the eyepiece bridge.

The AE has better exit pupil illumination. In every side-by side the AE can see fainter objects.

The AE has better resolution measured on test charts, both at normal power and 6x boosted power.

While both could be considered fast focus from 100m to 30m, with the AE being much faster focus than the Action in this range, both the AE and the Action are slow focus from 30m to close focus, with the AE having the dubious distinction of being THE slowest focus binocular from 30m to close of any binocular I've measured.

So while the Action is slightly lighter in weight and has slightly closer focus, the AE is better in nearly every other respect. IMO, the AE is a much better binocular.

Last edited by edz : Tuesday 19th February 2008 at 01:54.
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Old Tuesday 19th February 2008, 06:54   #10
birdlove
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Please help me!!!!!

Thanks a lot Edz for the detailed review on Nikon actions.

1)Could anyone tell what is exact difference in optical quality between Nikon action and Nikon action Extreme?

2) Is is true that, Nikon Action Extreme comes very closer to Nikon monarch in optical quality?

3)I am considering Pentax Pcf wp II as an alternative to nikon action ex. Which one is better? Pentax pcf or NIkon action Ex?
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Old Tuesday 19th February 2008, 07:30   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by birdlove View Post
3)I am considering Pentax Pcf wp II as an alternative to nikon action ex. Which one is better? Pentax pcf or NIkon action Ex?
Hello!
I have a PENTAX PCF WP II 8X40.
It is excellent value for money.
Only shortcoming: narrow field of view (in comparison to most more expensive models).
Image is excellent: Very sharp, practically free of distorsion. chromatic abberation is as low as in a Zeiss Conquest. Overall it is optically not much different from it.
Very good build quality. Very good ergonomics.
Focussing mechanism a little bit stiff due to water-proofing. But managable even at low temperatures.
Eyecups have two stops when twisted upwards.
It is fully multi-coated. Can be used well into darkness.
Colour is absolutely neutral, without any bias/cast.
Contrast is very good. There is very little stray light in backlit situations.

I have experience with the Action ex but the Pentax WPII is significantly better than the (normal) Action.

Maybe this helps.
Thomas
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Old Tuesday 19th February 2008, 07:59   #12
birdlove
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pcf wp II vs NIkon action extreme?

Thanks ThoLa.

How would you comapare the optical quality of pentax pcf WpII and NIkon Action Extreme?

Is pentax any better than Nikon action extreme?
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Old Tuesday 19th February 2008, 12:23   #13
edz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by birdlove View Post
Thanks a lot Edz for the detailed review on Nikon actions.

1)Could anyone tell what is exact difference in optical quality between Nikon action and Nikon action Extreme?

2) Is is true that, Nikon Action Extreme comes very closer to Nikon monarch in optical quality?

3)I am considering Pentax Pcf wp II as an alternative to nikon action ex. Which one is better? Pentax pcf or NIkon action Ex?

and
How would you comapare the optical quality of pentax pcf WpII and NIkon Action Extreme?
Nikon AE 8x40 vs Nikon Action VII 8x40;
has finer resolution, has brighter image, transmits more light, has a wider aberration free image fov. The Nikon Action 8x40 is internally vignetted to 8x38. See all other comments above.

Nikon AE 8x40 vs Nikon Monarch roof 10x42;
has finer resolution, has brighter image, has better illumination control in exit pupil, has more pincushion but has less curvature. The Monarch has narrower fov, but more of it is aberration free, yet it's still not as wide a usable fov as the AE8x40.. The Monarch has less eye relief. The Monarch is by far the fastest focus and weighs only 22oz. The Monarch has a close focus of 6ft (2m) but has only 65% of the fov in binocular vision at that distance. It has the best (85%) of the fov in binocular vision at a distance of 20ft (6m).

The Pentax PCF WP II 8x40 has very narrow fov, Afov=50, but also has less aberration in the outer fov than Nikon AE 8x40, about equal to the Tfov and field sharpness of the Monarch 10x42. The Pentax has the finest resolution of these four, but it has the poorest illuminance of the three 8x40s. It has the better coatings than the AE or Action, about equal with the Monarch. It has 13mm of eye relief. And at 31 oz. is the heaviest. It is very slow focus.

edz

Last edited by edz : Tuesday 19th February 2008 at 12:53.
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Old Tuesday 19th February 2008, 19:48   #14
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Edz, I recognize your name from the Cloudy Nights reviews.

You say:

"Because of the strong curvature, both have the affect of having good depth of field. Curvature causes closer objects to appear in focus in the outer areas of fov."

This is interesting. People here have been trying to figure out why binos of the same power appear to have greater depth of field. I am not aware of anyone else giving curvature as a reason. Maybe they have in some threads I haven't seen. It makes perfect sense. And it also means that an aberration is contributing to a binocular quality that people find desirable!

"The Nikon Action 8x40 is internally vignetted to 8x38"

This is also crazy interesting. How many other specifications do manufacturers fudge on? Internally vignetting the field of view will gain you some desirable optical qualities, right? At the expense of image brightness, though?

Do manufactureres fudge on power ratings? Call a 7.5x bino 8x and you might gain some field of view?
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Old Tuesday 19th February 2008, 23:59   #15
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I have Action Extreme 7x35 and Actions VII 7x50 - fairly recently acquired. The AE has by far the better optics and handling, eye relief/dioptre, fov and build, etc (as noted) - hence, value-for-money with the AE appears greater. No objective side-by-side comparison yet, though.

I wouldn't buy another Actions, but may buy another AE for general purpose use. Al
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Old Wednesday 20th February 2008, 10:43   #16
edz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trashbird View Post
Edz, I recognize your name from the Cloudy Nights reviews.

You say:

"Because of the strong curvature, both have the affect of having good depth of field. Curvature causes closer objects to appear in focus in the outer areas of fov."

This is interesting. People here have been trying to figure out why binos of the same power appear to have greater depth of field. I am not aware of anyone else giving curvature as a reason. Maybe they have in some threads I haven't seen. It makes perfect sense. And it also means that an aberration is contributing to a binocular quality that people find desirable!

"The Nikon Action 8x40 is internally vignetted to 8x38"

This is also crazy interesting. How many other specifications do manufacturers fudge on? Internally vignetting the field of view will gain you some desirable optical qualities, right? At the expense of image brightness, though?

Do manufactureres fudge on power ratings? Call a 7.5x bino 8x and you might gain some field of view?
The four binoculars mentioned here in this thread are all included in the Small Binoculars studies posted on CN. You can find how all the aspects measured compare to 30 other binoculars.

About half of all binocs (that I've tested) are internally stopped down to smaller effective aperture than nominal. About 3/4 have smaller true field of view than the Afov would indicate (in large part due to pincushion distortion). About 1/3 to 1/2 have some slight variation from published magnifiaction. More than half are internally vignetted.

I posted a detialed explanation of the Affect of Curvature on Depth of Field on CN. Most other studies of DOF concentrate on the influence of magnification. That addresses only DOF on the central axis. But most DOF is noticed across the entire field. Curvature affects the outer fov and affects the way you see everything in the outer fov.

Curvature is the bane of the wide field astronomer and is one of the most identified aberrations even though most people don't now what it is they are identifying (most commonly referred to as outer field sharpness, or lack of, and it is always mixed with other aberrations). An astronomer wants the entire flat plane of the fov in focus at once. Curvature prevents that.

Curvature can be one of the most useful aberrations pesent in the system for the birder, unless of course all the scene you are looking at fills the entire width of your view and happens to be in a narrow range from perhaps 80ft-100ft (25m-30m). Field Curvature causes the outer fov to focus on closer objects. For the birder this can be a very useful aberration in that it will show you progressively closer objects in focus if they are progressively further out in your fov from the object you focused on, which is often the case.

This may also be a reason why a binocular tested by an astronomer and a birder could be reported as having significantly different field sharpness. One user may be testing field sharpness across a flat plane at infinity while the other is seeing sharpness change all the way to the field edge due to curvature causing closer objects to appear in focus.

edz

Last edited by edz : Wednesday 20th February 2008 at 10:52.
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