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Revisiting a Classic Nikon Porro

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Old Tuesday 7th February 2012, 00:35   #51
brocknroller
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Originally Posted by FrankD View Post
The newest Action models are made in China. Many of the original ones were made in Japan. Henry might be able to chime in as to when the change occurred. I haven't checked the labeling but I would be willing to bet that my Action IVs were made in China while the IIIs were still of Japanese origin. I could be wrong of course.

My opinion...based on comparing the IVs, and the current models with the original Action WFs and Golden Rings is that the more recent versions have higher light transmission numbers because of the fully-multicoated glass. That means a brighter image with more neutral color representation. In all other areas the older Actions are equivalent and actually better than the newer models in terms of build quality, apparent sharpness and the size of the sweet spot.
Frank,

I've said the same thing many times. My Action WFs are better than the IVs (sharper edges, sharper on axis, particularly the 8x35 model, and the right amount of pincushion, the 8x40 IV has barrel distortion). Also better than most roofs three times the cost.

Update the coatings and those old porros would be better than most inexpensive porros made today even the EX. Their only real shortcomings are the low ER and long close focus.

I've also owned a 7x35 E and an 8-16x40 XL Zoom. Excellent optics and good ergonomics. The Zoom balanced so well in my hands, I could hold it fairly steady up to 15x. Best zoom ever made. Perhaps the only good zoom ever made!

I'd still like to find out if it's really possible to upgrade the coatings, because if so, there are hundreds of old good quality porros in waiting, and I'd like to get in on that aftermarket business.

Brock
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Old Tuesday 7th February 2012, 00:57   #52
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Brock,

I tried going down that route. Apparently it would be a fairly expensive and exhaustive process since the coatings have to be matched or calculated for each glass surface.

I would absolutely love to see what some of these classic porros would do with modern coatings. We will never see it though unless one of the optics manufacturers actually goes against the grain and doesn't worry about the roof trend and the potential for loss if the porros don't catch on. Fat chance that is going to happen any time soon.

The 7x35 WF/Golden Rings are fast becoming my favorite bino. Definitely top three at this point.
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Old Tuesday 7th February 2012, 14:33   #53
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Impressive, the 1 Series are Habicht look a like.
If you Henry or other experienced men know things about the Nikon Action VII 7x35 or others, would be great to detail if the new Actions are poorer or richer optically.
As they cost like 60 $ new, i'll might buy the VII 7x35, just for the fun to compare it with the Habicht 8x30 i'll receive soon.
Are the VII made in Japan or China?
Giorgio,

When you see them side by side the Action I doesn't really look much like the Habicht, except in the sense that all Zeiss style porros look similar. The Actions are much larger with a wider stance (see photo below). I'll defer to Frank and Brock as to the quality of recent Actions, which I haven't looked at closely or recently.

Frank,

I imagine you were thinking "Gold Sentinels" when you wrote "Golden Rings".

Henry
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Old Tuesday 7th February 2012, 17:58   #54
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Yes...and I keep doing that. I need to make a mental note.

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