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Old Tuesday 11th April 2006, 07:15   #1
8x32, 8x40, 8.5x44
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Nikon Action EWX 8x40 - review

I've decided to write short review on Nikon Action 8x40 EX. Many people ask for good and cheap binoculars, so they might find the answer here. I bought my pair of Nikon about half year ago after short studies of my wallet and long studies of many Internet pages.

So long I've been using old Russian BPC 12x40. They might be extremely though and you could probably use them instead of hammer to nail things around but this is not necessary what binoculars are for. Their optics is rather poor with characteristic Russian yellowish tint. What's more their magnification 12x is too big compared to 40mm lenses. This ratio gives 3.3mm exit eye pupil which means - as human eye has pupil around 5mm - that image is not only yellow but dark.

All in all I've bought new pair of binos while short visit to USA. Price was 160$ including all the taxes. I bought my pair in traditional shop. I went there in the late evening in order to have good comparison in image brightness. Usually in good and bright day it is hard to compare binos as they images all look good.

First view through 8x40 EX leaves incredible impression. Field of view is extra wide, colors are extremely bright. I compared them in shop with Nikon 8x40 Action (no EX) and with Nikon Monarch 8x42. Probably the best of those three was Monarch but the price was also the highest (over 300$). Difference in optic wasn't that obvious. Image sharpness was better in Monarch but Action EX has wider field of view. Of course Monarch is a roof prism and is small and handy and that's big point for him. Action (no EX) was much worse as I couldn't use them in my glasses and image seemed little bit less clear. Also they do not have rubber armor and are not waterproof nor fogproof.

After half a year I can tell you little bit more about how Action EX works in the field.

They might look bulky and unhandy but you could quickly get used to. They fit in hand quite good and focus wheel is easy accessible. I like them.

At first glance belt and lenses cups system looks very complicated and ineffective. You wear binos upside down and after taking out cups you have to turn them in proper position. So long I got used to that system and have to say it's quite comfortable. With one move you take off objective and with another - optical covers.

Objective lens covers are easy to lose as they fall off instantly. I was bored with constant searching for them in the grass so I made two holes in each and I pull a string so now they cannot fall off the belt. Another disadvantage is that optical lens covers needs quite wide set (70mm) to wear on. I use quite close set so each time I put cover on I have to adjust set ones again. Also you have to adjust rotating eyecups that easy go in and out each time. It is good that they have four positions - including completely off - so you can binos while wearing glasses. But they turn too easy.

During harsh winter (-10 C) I couldn't turn focus wheel in gloves as it was so hard to turn it.

Field of view is extremely wide (144 m at 1000 m = 429 feet at 1000 yards) but in about 2/3 of field of view it looks fuzzy. But still it's bright almost till the very end. During sunny days you can get little bit of chromatic aberration but it's small and it really doesn't matter. And I like the colors I get - they are bright and clear.

Manual says that close focus is 5 m but in fact it's smaller. I can get sharp image in less then 4m.

Those binos are really though. I slipped and hit the ground and the binos hit rock with side of them. Nothing have happened - survived me and binos. They survived also big blizzard. I was worried of them as they were completely covered with ice but finally nothing happened.

Summary - really good binoculars for this price. I guess it's hard to beat them in range of 200$.

Sorry for my english and all the mistakes. And for the "short" came so long in the end.
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Old Tuesday 11th April 2006, 07:27   #2
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Hi kimiernik,

That was a delightful writeup, and your English is wonderful!

Many thanks, and best wishes,

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Old Tuesday 11th April 2006, 07:27   #3
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Thanks for your review. I've tried the Nikon Action EX 8x40 in a shop and I agree with everything you said. Bright image, wide field, very sharp in the center field, but resolution falls off quickly in the outer half of the field. They looked ruggedly constructed. I liked the twist up eyecups, and the Action EX had ample eye relief for me as an eyeglasses wearer. I think this would be a good binocular in its price range for both birdwatching and astronomy. Thanks again.
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Old Friday 14th April 2006, 23:36   #4
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Yes, I like the field of view. And for me, they work well with glasses on or off. I especially use them from the car while driving and seeing where I would want to stop and take the scope out.

So far I am a 10x guy, but in these porros I prefer the 8x to 10x. The close focus is some 20 feet for the 10x version.
humorblog Blackbirds: Nebraska birds:
ABA list: 356 black-bellied whistling duck
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Old Tuesday 21st November 2017, 17:19   #5
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Thumbs up Thank you

I am on this board once again looking for new bins and this review has helped me so thank you, Don

I see this is an old thread but I found these bins at a stock clearence shop and this helped me decide
I used to be indecisive ......but now I am not so sure
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