Originally Posted by henry link
Not the first time two different people have had different reactions to the same binocular.
I'm not surprised that you found them to be just as sharp as the SE. Why not?
I bought a pair of the original 7x35 Actions for $80 in 1985. I was so enamored that I ordered all three of the other models at the same time (you might call it my FrankD period ;-)). I preferred them to any of the alpha roofs of the time and preferred the 7x35 Action to the 7x35 E. Yes, the prism housings are metal. I found out about the plastic objective barrels when I bonked one and it popped off.
Here' a photo of the Action series page from a 1986 Nikon catalogue. Looks like they had already dropped the 7x35 at that point.
Why not? Because I eyeball test bins and you bench test them. I was half expecting some hard numbers showing that the 8x32 SE was x arcseconds higher resolution than the 8x35 WFs. :-)
The WFs resolution seemed on par with the SE, using the test targets we had available (fruit farm signs, pumpkins, and various baskets of fruit). The contrast and color saturation were also very good for an 80s bin, and the edge sharpness was better than the current Action EX.
The fact that they dropped the 7x35 WF might explain why the 8x35 model had better coatings. The 7x35 has excellent depth of field and 3-D effect, and its focuser is not as "fast" as the 8x35.
One area where the WFs are weak vs. the SE is they are more prone to flare. Not the "veiling glare" kind, but just some flickering at certain angles to the sun. Could be due to the single coatings.
I guess we all go through a "Frank D." period (except Frank, who is never ending :-). With John Cota selling porros at bargain basement prices on Amart, it was hard not to sample as many bins as I could afford. Plus, he was usually open to trades, so I traded him back and forth a lot.
This got me a lot of experience with different porros, but then the roof explosion occurred, and nobody wanted to discuss porros or buy them anymore. Even John Cota, after buying just about every porro made, switched to buying roofs (though not alphas).
I took a flashlight ("torch" for those on the other side of the pond) and looked into the barrels of the 7x35 WF, and it does look like molded plastic. Edz said the Orion Ultraviews and Swift Jap. made Ultralites also have plastic barrels. I guess they were ahead of their time since polycarbonate is all the rage!
I've got to write Holger and see how he and Fan Tao are making out with the Chinese-made premium porro revival.
When perusing online stores for bins, I feel like a cat lover in a dog pound.