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Any experiences with Aculon 10x42's?

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Old Saturday 19th May 2018, 16:15   #1
bluespiderweb
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Any experiences with Aculon 10x42's?

I was wondering if any others here had tried the Aculons, especially the 10x42's? I've been comparing mine to my EII 10x35's, and also to my roof bins in 10x lately. I've come to find that the Aculons amazingly hold up well against all, except maybe in a couple areas. One is sweet spot, which I estimate roughly at about 60-70% possibly. The other is they are not the brightest either, though I wouldn't call them dark either.

Of course, most Aculons seem not to do well with people who wear glasses, as the eye relief is on the short side at 11.6 mm. Here's the page for them at Nikon for specs and overview too:

http://www.nikonsportoptics.com/en/n...Tabs-TechSpecs

They have great center field sharpness, contrast, and pleasing color-just a great view overall. And with the Porro 3D effect of course is a welcome part of it.

And no, they aren't waterproof, but the price of just about $90 retail,

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

I cannot believe just how good what I am seeing with them is, and how they are able to compete with more expensive glass, at least they do with my eyes. That might be the factor that I can't get past, I don't know. But I'm constantly surprised what they show me in detail, with a great pleasing view just there for the taking. Sure, they're a bit bulky, but they don't feel very really heavy for a 10x42, though they weigh in at 26.8 oz., just looked it up. That's heavier than I thought! But no matter to me-I use these mostly at home, and they can outperform some of my better glass at times-depending on the lighting and/or reflections from the window glass. But I suspect the up to date coatings and simple design help with it all.

So, have any of you tried one, and what can you report? I always wonder if maybe I just got a great example of them, and that's why they perform so well. I bought mine a couple of years ago, from B&H, and now I'm thinking of selling off some of my other excess 10's because of these Aculons. Or do they 10x42's just shine in the Aculon line?

Thanks, looking forward to your thoughts on them.
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Old Monday 21st May 2018, 22:12   #2
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Just an update-decided to take the Aculons out yesterday for a short while at one of my town birding stops while on a shopping errand. As I said before, they are my go-to binocular at home, but I wanted to see what they were like in the real world. I have had them out before, but it's been a while, so this would give me a better idea using them without windows inbetween, for a good change.

My urban stop near the railroad tracks, on a drizzly day was a very good birding day, as there were many more than I have seen there for a while, ever since the railroad denuded the foliage for a work project they did a while back, in the beginning of Spring. I was happy to see so many different birds for a change, and the Aculons performed great, except for one quirk, for me. When viewing a large area of sky, you can see a delineation of the field as a diffuse ring in the view. I would think it is the demarcation of the percent of in focus field you see in the optics. In other words, about 60-70% in focus, the outer ring being slightly out of focus. I haven't noticed it in my viewing at home, since there is little open sky there. It was a little distracting at first, but I got used to it after a while, and it didn't bother me. They still performed to an excellent degree in normal viewing, when you are focus on a certain object, without the blank sky being a major portion of the view.

I marvelled at the view of a Goldfinch no more than 15 yards away from me, and he would stay there for a while, which I was very glad of, and often would come back to the same bush when he left. I am not accustomed to birds cooperating often to stay in view for long. All in, I probably saw about 8-10 different birds in a short time, and many good views with the Aculon. When my back decided I had enough fun standing, I went to the car, rolled down the window, and used it as a blind to view from, and I think it helped me see many more than usual when I am standing there-no doubt they prefer not to see me! I could hear many calls from my position, but some I could never see, despite their often used voices.

Anyway, a good day with the Aculons, and I wasn't disappointed even with the ring showing in the big sky views there. The $90 binoculars performed way beyond their price, no doubt. Sure, I guess I would rather have sharp edges, but the main thing is to have the center view this sharp and with good contrast and color. These do that, with ease. It was a good birding day for me too, for a change even if my back wasn't cooperating. I was happy to have the Aculons with me though. They definitely did their job, with little effort. For that price, you couldn't expect more. You can want and have more, but you will have to spend a good bit over these to gain performance, I think. Good job, Nikon, as far as my one unit performs for my eyes! Though I would like to hear from others about them to see if it's just me or the good ones I have.

I also understand why these have been possibly ignored by others, at the price they are offered, you wouldn't expect much at all. But from all I can tell, that isn't the case at all.
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Old Monday 21st May 2018, 22:20   #3
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I like my 10x42 Aculon, but use it for astronomy rather than birdwatching.
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Old Sunday 10th June 2018, 10:09   #4
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Barry would appreciate some help on this.

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Old Sunday 10th June 2018, 15:54   #5
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What's to add?
They are good binoculars. About 1 in 10 Aculons or Action VII seem to have alignment problems. Maybe another 1 in 10 are slightly out of alignment but can be used O.K.
Usually they are good. A bit better than the Pentax and Olympus similar Porroprism binoculars.
The Opticron Adventurer Porroprism binoculars seem to be less good.

For the price, I would always suggest trying an Aculon Porroprism binocular.
The coatings are not as good as high end binoculars.
They may or may not be suitable for eyeglass wearers.
But Nikon seem to have the ability to produce a good low price binocular for the masses.

I like the Aculons. They have wide field of views, but nowhere near as wide a a Minolta Standard MK binocular of 30 plus years ago.

Astronomers rarely use binoculars above 100. Why should they, as they show nearly anything needed.
The only astronomers to pack 2,000 binoculars are probably birdwatchers or those with the funds available.
A 2,000 telescope makes a lot more sense.

A 20x80 might be 200.

The Revelation 15x70 works well until it goes out of alignment and for 50 one buys another.
I think Telescope House check each one because of the large number not in collimation even when new, and almost certainly not when used as a football by the carriers.

So long as waterproof isn't needed a selected Aculon gives very good results.
In fact I would prefer to be seen using an Aculon than a top end Swarovski binocular, which is really above an astronomer's station.
I see photographers in England, maybe Americans, dangling Leica cameras around their necks. 4,000 with lens, maybe more. I can get just as good results from a ten year old secondhand 50 to 100 Canon compact.
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Old Sunday 10th June 2018, 16:54   #6
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All I wanted was to hear how others who have experience with the Aculon 10x42's, have found their quality of view compared to others. I just started wondering if it was just me who is so impressed with them, or if others have found the same, or not.

I asked Lee to move this to the Nikon forum so in time others may see it and reply with their experiences. Thank you Lee, and Binastro for your help!
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Old Sunday 10th June 2018, 17:07   #7
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I'll just add that the Aculon is a simple classic design (cemented doublet objective lens, Porroprism, Erfle eyepiece). That 100 year old design has always been capable of producing a very sharp center field image and an acceptably wide sweet spot unless it's compromised by poor execution.

I started out birding with a direct ancestor of the 7x35 Aculon, an $80 7x35 Nikon Action I. It and its slightly upgraded twin, the 7x35 Gold Sentinel, were excellent binoculars back in the 1980s (much superior to 7x35 Leitz Trinovid of the time) and they still are excellent binoculars if you can find a used pair in good shape.

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Old Sunday 10th June 2018, 17:16   #8
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Hi Barry,
I have the Aculon 10x42 and like it.

Generally Nikon quality control is good even with their cheaper binoculars.
I was a lot happier with the Nikon 10x42 Aculon than with my early Nikon 8x42 HG, which for me is a 200 binocular not an 800 one.

Bert Hardy, the photographer, used a very basic Brownie box camera when challenged to produce photos as good as with his Leica. Around 1951.
The photos are beautiful, first class and have stood the test of time.

It is the observer or photographer that is more important than the binocular or camera. So long as the binocular or camera meets basic good standards, which a good Aculon and a good box camera do.
I have photos on display taken with a Kodak box camera when I was eleven, which are still good photos today.
Largish contact prints.

P.S.
The Aculons may have aspheric eyepiece elements. I'll check.

Last edited by Binastro : Sunday 10th June 2018 at 17:19.
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Old Sunday 10th June 2018, 19:10   #9
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The Nikon Action (VII?) CF 10x50 has aspherical eyepiece elements to minimise aberrations, so it says on box.
I think that the 8x40 showed wavy magnification as one moves across the field, so maybe a modified 5 element eyepiece?

There are 9 variations, but I don't suppose all nine have aspherical elements, but I don't know.

This product is not waterproof, it says about all nine variants.

The 10x50 box says Made in China.

I haven't yet checked the Aculon.
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Old Sunday 10th June 2018, 22:17   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by henry link View Post
I'll just add that the Aculon is a simple classic design (cemented doublet objective lens, Porroprism, Erfle eyepiece). That 100 year old design has always been capable of producing a very sharp center field image and an acceptably wide sweet spot unless it's compromised by poor execution.

I started out birding with a direct ancestor of the 7x35 Aculon, an $80 7x35 Nikon Action I. It and its slightly upgraded twin, the 7x35 Gold Sentinel, were excellent binoculars back in the 1980s (much superior to 7x35 Leitz Trinovid of the time) and they still are excellent binoculars if you can find a used pair in good shape.

Henry
Well, there you are, thank you Henry! It seems Nikon has executed the simple and proven design, and brought it up to today's standards in coatings and manufacture without much trouble or expense, and is passing it on to the consumer who wants excellent views and budget prices. I have other 10x binoculars, both Porro and roof designs (and not all budget priced either), and the 10x42 Aculon always impresses me even so. That is why I still find it amazing-that it can even compete, and do well to my eyes!

Though, I am an old duffer, so sometimes I doubt what I see, and why I wanted others to weigh in on this.
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Old Sunday 10th June 2018, 22:23   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Binastro View Post
Hi Barry,
I have the Aculon 10x42 and like it.

Generally Nikon quality control is good even with their cheaper binoculars.
I was a lot happier with the Nikon 10x42 Aculon than with my early Nikon 8x42 HG, which for me is a 200 binocular not an 800 one.

Bert Hardy, the photographer, used a very basic Brownie box camera when challenged to produce photos as good as with his Leica. Around 1951.
The photos are beautiful, first class and have stood the test of time.

It is the observer or photographer that is more important than the binocular or camera. So long as the binocular or camera meets basic good standards, which a good Aculon and a good box camera do.
I have photos on display taken with a Kodak box camera when I was eleven, which are still good photos today.
Largish contact prints.

P.S.
The Aculons may have aspheric eyepiece elements. I'll check.
It seems you echo what Henry says too-using a simple design, if it is executed well, it will produce notable results. I remember using a Brownie box camera when I was a kid too. Though none of my pictures have survived (unless my brother has them), I would like to see them now again.

Thank you Binastro for your added input as well! It makes sense now!

It's too bad that Nikon so far has not introduced an Aculon 7x42 Porro-I would be one of the first in line to have one though!
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Last edited by bluespiderweb : Sunday 10th June 2018 at 22:26.
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Old Tuesday 12th June 2018, 23:12   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluespiderweb View Post
It seems you echo what Henry says too-using a simple design, if it is executed well, it will produce notable results. I remember using a Brownie box camera when I was a kid too. Though none of my pictures have survived (unless my brother has them), I would like to see them now again.

Thank you Binastro for your added input as well! It makes sense now!

It's too bad that Nikon so far has not introduced an Aculon 7x42 Porro-I would be one of the first in line to have one though!
Barry:

The Aculon is a good basic binocular. Nikon does have the 7x35, so there
you go. You won't know the difference.

I remember some years back one net seller had them for around $50. on sale,
I bought several, and gave a couple away to friends and family.

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Old Friday 15th June 2018, 23:56   #13
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Yes, thank you Jerry, I realize the Aculon is a good basic binocular. But what my main focus of this thread has been is that it is more than that-better than a lot, and exceptional for the money, even at full (but discounted off msrp) bargain retail which is now about $90 for the 10x42 at this time from B&Hphoto. I still find it hard to believe they are this good, and why I started the thread to see if other regular users of the Aculon 10x42 or those who tried them and gave them a good go against other binoculars thought about them.

Henry seems to think it is the simple design that makes them work, as long as that design has been executed well. That seems the most logical explanation yet, and I believe Nikon certainly has met and possibly exceeded what is expected for such a low priced offering today. Also, as I have said too, is that they beat some other of my more expensive roof binoculars at times too for definition and contrast of certain objects near and far. My eyes seem to like the Porro's greater 3D effect and ease of view they present by seemingly having more in focus at shorter distances than the roofs do. It seems my eyes don't have to work as hard at discerning focus with them, than with the roofs. That just may be me, and my eyes, but that is why I wanted more input from other users of the 10x42's to see what they say about them. Hopefully in time, there will be others who can add to this thread as more users find it and can relate their findings as well.

And Jerry, as far as me not being able to tell the difference between a 7x35 and a 7x42, I would say that is pretty much an individual thing, whether or not one can see a difference between binoculars. Why would manufacturers even make a 7x42 if most people can't see the difference between them and a 7x35? There must be a good reason, I would imagine, would there not be?
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Last edited by bluespiderweb : Saturday 16th June 2018 at 04:21.
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Old Saturday 16th June 2018, 14:26   #14
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Barry:

Good point, was that I was thinking if you want a 7X Aculon, your choices are limited to the 7x35,
and I would go that way

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