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Nikon 10x25 Image Stabilized Binocular Review (1 Viewer)

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
Well, the Nikons arrived early, kudos to the Ebay seller (https://www.ebay.com/usr/skmt01?_trksid=p2047675.l2559)
and DHL!

Just a couple of walks with them, am pleased by their light weight and solid performance.
Some initial impressions:
Decent packaging, agree the carrying pouch is useless, maybe good for a pint of gin but not for a binocular. Against that, the very petite carrying strap actually works well, because the glass is light enough that suspending it from the neck is OK, unlike the situation with my Canon 10x42.
The package includes a cute little battery holder to clip on the strap, along with the rainguard. Clearly Nikon is aware that this glass really works only with the IS powered up.
The IS is very effective and is easily engaged by a button conveniently located under the middle finger, with the focus wheel under the index.
I think the IS should be engaged when lifting the glass and then turned off when dropping it back. That maximizes battery life with no impact on the user experience, as the IS kicks in immediately.
The dual hinge design is much like that of other 8x20s, with a center body and two moving tubes for the objectives. It may take some getting used to for those accustomed to single hinge binoculars, particularly as this is a 10x25, where exact eye placement is really critical for the best view.
FoV is a smidge less than my big Canon, while close focus is perhaps a foot better, under two meters by my estimate.
Optically, the glass is very good, beautifully sharp and easily focused exactly.
The focus is nice and smooth, much faster than on the Canon, less than one full turn lock to lock versus almost three.
Overall, I think this is a very successful new design. It looks good and performs well. I think it resets the bar for everyday binoculars. A more mainstream waterproof 8x or 10x30 version is surely in the pipeline.
"A more mainstream waterproof 8x or 10x30 version is surely in the pipeline." Exactly! Glad you like them. I have acquired several IS binoculars besides the Nikon 10x25 IS. The Canon 8x20 IS, Canon 12x36 IS III and the Canon 18x50 IS. The IS binoculars are the only thing that will give me something my NL 8x42 doesn't. More detail without a tripod. I tried a Kowa Genesis Prominar 8x33 and a Nikon HG 8x42 and although they are good for their price point they don't compete with the NL. No way no how!
 
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etudiant

Registered User
Supporter
A couple of mini gripes re Nikon's new 10x25 IS.
There is no fiduciary mark on the focus wheel, so one has a hard time going back to some earlier focus. Just a dot on the wheel would be enough.
Likewise, although the diopter has a center mark, there is no adjustment marker at all. People will need to adjust by trial and error, which seems quite unnecessary.
 

Pinewood

New York correspondent
United States
Hello Etudiant,


It would appear that you have another useful tool for bird watching. In sum, does this glass replace your Canon, or just supplements it?
I owned two Nikon binoculars and found the cases to be useless. I would suggest Calvados rather than gin, should you wish to carry some refreshment, but in the winter gin would do.

Stay safe,
Arthur :hi:
 

Alexis Powell

Natural history enthusiast
United States
Quick gripes:

1 - Diopter doesn't lock and moves fairly easily, but position relative to strap lug makes using rubber band to secure it difficult. Maybe electrical tape is the solution.

2 - A bin of this size and weight should have standard size strap lugs.

3 - The "on" button is too easy to press by accident (e.g. when trying to grip firmly), so bin can be on when unintended as well as turn off when unintended. It should be in a different location or require a firmer touch. Its exterior vertex position also makes it vulnerable to being pressed when the bin is packed.

4 - The especially jiggly view through the right side when powered off is not very useful. Closing left side with shutter to prevent misalignment distress when powered off seems an unnecessary complication given that the right side is already quite useless with the power off [Also, since I am left-eyed, I would hold the right side in front of my left eye anyway, so the blind is of no use]. The blind/shutter is just a waste of electrical power and one more part of the device to potentially break and then get in the way of successful operation.

5 - The case (pouch) is ridiculous in several ways, including that it doesn't prevent accidental press of "on" button.

I'll have more to say about these bins when I've had a chance to test them thoroughly.

--AP
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
Quick gripes:

1 - Diopter doesn't lock and moves fairly easily, but position relative to strap lug makes using rubber band to secure it difficult. Maybe electrical tape is the solution.

2 - A bin of this size and weight should have standard size strap lugs.

3 - The "on" button is too easy to press by accident (e.g. when trying to grip firmly), so bin can be on when unintended as well as turn off when unintended. It should be in a different location or require a firmer touch. Its exterior vertex position also makes it vulnerable to being pressed when the bin is packed.

4 - The especially jiggly view through the right side when powered off is not very useful. Closing left side with shutter to prevent misalignment distress when powered off seems an unnecessary complication given that the right side is already quite useless with the power off [Also, since I am left-eyed, I would hold the right side in front of my left eye anyway, so the blind is of no use]. The blind/shutter is just a waste of electrical power and one more part of the device to potentially break and then get in the way of successful operation.

5 - The case (pouch) is ridiculous in several ways, including that it doesn't prevent accidental press of "on" button.

I'll have more to say about these bins when I've had a chance to test them thoroughly.

--AP
1-Diopter is not in a position where you would move it. I have never moved mine.

2-I don't see those lugs ever breaking. If they are bigger they are going to be in the way more.

3-It is recessed enough that I have never turned it on by accident. But I guess it is possible.

4-I don't know why you would use the binocular powered off. The design is probably how Nikon made it so compact.

5-Just replace it with a Lowepro Dashpoint 20. What factory case is any good? ( https://www.amazon.com/Lowepro-Dash...wepro+dashpoint+20&qid=1603321890&sr=8-1&th=1)
 
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etudiant

Registered User
Supporter
Hello Etudiant,


It would appear that you have another useful tool for bird watching. In sum, does this glass replace your Canon, or just supplements it?
I owned two Nikon binoculars and found the cases to be useless. I would suggest Calvados rather than gin, should you wish to carry some refreshment, but in the winter gin would do.

Stay safe,
Arthur :hi:

A splendid idea, Arthur, I just have to sample my Calvados down to the available volume. I don't really like gin anyway.
The little Nikon looks likely to become my go to glass for routine Central Park visits, just because it works well enough while being very much lighter than my Canon 10x42.
If my birding travel ever resumes, I'd bring the Nikon as my backup glass. Obviously that may be problematic as it is not waterproof, but it does seem more effective to me than my older Zeiss 8x30 Classic.
 

Alexis Powell

Natural history enthusiast
United States
1-Diopter is not in a position where you would move it. I have never moved mine.

2-I don't see those lugs ever breaking. If they are bigger they are going to be in the way more.

3-It is recessed enough that I have never turned it on by accident. But I guess it is possible.

4-I don't know why you would use the binocular powered off. The design is probably how Nikon made it so compact.

5-Just replace it with a Lowepro Dashpoint 20. What factory case is any good? ( https://www.amazon.com/Lowepro-Dash...wepro+dashpoint+20&qid=1603321890&sr=8-1&th=1)

You must be joking with these defensive apologist reactions. I take it that you are planning to sell this one?

1 - Unlocked diopters always move in my experience.
2 - The issue with lug size isn't breakage, it's ease of attaching a standard strap.
3 - I can't handle the bin, either in unpacking/packing or use without turning it on and off and on and off repeatedly by accident. The button is not recessed.
4 - My point about behavior when powered off is that the eyepiece blind is just something that can break.
5 - I have plenty of good factory cases and I don't see why it is inappropriate to complain when so little effort went into the design of this one.

Here's one more complaint:

6 - The strap lugs should be more lateral so that the bin would "hang" better. This is an error Nikon hasn't made in most recent models but was a problem in older designs.

--AP
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
You must be joking with these defensive apologist reactions. I take it that you are planning to sell this one?

1 - Unlocked diopters always move in my experience.
2 - The issue with lug size isn't breakage, it's ease of attaching a standard strap.
3 - I can't handle the bin, either in unpacking/packing or use without turning it on and off and on and off repeatedly by accident. The button is not recessed.
4 - My point about behavior when powered off is that the eyepiece blind is just something that can break.
5 - I have plenty of good factory cases and I don't see why it is inappropriate to complain when so little effort went into the design of this one.

Here's one more complaint:

6 - The strap lugs should be more lateral so that the bin would "hang" better. This is an error Nikon hasn't made in most recent models but was a problem in older designs.

--AP
1- I never have a problem with diopters moving in my experience. I guess I don't touch them but you could move it. It should be tighter.
2- I guess I never thought of that. In my opinion the strap is big enough for the size of the binoculars. You can get a strap for small binoculars from OP/TECH that will fit the small lugs.
3- Interesting. I hit it once in a while but maybe your fingers are bigger than mine. Recessed would be better if it didn't make it harder to find. The Canon 10x42 IS-L IS button is hard to find.
4- Probably. An IS binocular is definitely not as rugged as a regular one. The price you pay for IS.
5- I agree the case is worthless but I don't like most factory cases and replace them anyway. Nikon has poor cases in general from the EDG to the SE to the EII. I wonder if they are just trying to save money?
6- I agree. If you open the binocular a little more it will hang a little better.

A lot of what this shows are how we are all different and binoculars fit everybody a little differently and that is why I am glad there is a lot of choices out there. This is generation one of this binocular and Nikon often times don't get everything right the first time like most of the manufacturers. We all remember the EDG I and EDG II don't we and the grey bodied Zeiss SF and then the black bodied Zeiss SF. As they say you can please all the people some of the time and you can please some people all the time but you can't please all the people all the time.
 

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peter.jones

Former supporter. No longer active here.
Supporter
It's all good. If someone has a different experience it's no problem. Maybe remind some people on here that you have only bought this binocular, you aren't responsible for its design.

Not waterproof and needing batteries rules it out straight away for many birders
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
It's all good. If someone has a different experience it's no problem. Maybe remind some people on here that you have only bought this binocular, you aren't responsible for its design.

Not waterproof and needing batteries rules it out straight away for many birders
I feel responsible when I write a positive review on a binocular, and then there is all kinds of criticism on it, so I try to defend my opinions. But it happens with every review and no matter how good a binocular is. Look at the NL. It is a great binocular and Swarovski did an exceptional job designing it and there were great positive reviews when it came out and now everybody has nitpicked it to death. I feel like telling them why don't you design the binocular yourself if you think you can do it better and some people on here DO think they know more than the optical engineers at Swarovski and Zeiss. Honestly, I get kind of tired of it. But you have to remember no binocular is perfect and you can't please all the people all the time and some people you can never please. I agree that not being waterproof could stop some birders from buying the Nikon but plenty of birders use the Nikon 8x30 EII and it is not waterproof and in my opinion throwing a little battery in this binocular is not that much of a hassle to gain the benefits of IS, but we are all different, and we use our binoculars differently. IS binoculars have never gained a large following among birders so there must be some pretty big perceived disadvantages to not feel the need for the benefits of IS.
 
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peter.jones

Former supporter. No longer active here.
Supporter
yes, and I think "birders" for want of a better word, like me, who stray on here should be a bit more understanding.. it's nothing wrong with having a more critical eye for the details. Quite the opposite.
It's review and feedback that will potentially make future products a better standard.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
yes, and I think "birders" for want of a better word, like me, who stray on here should be a bit more understanding.. it's nothing wrong with having a more critical eye for the details. Quite the opposite.
It's review and feedback that will potentially make future products a better standard.
"It's review and feedback that will potentially make future products a better standard."

That is true but the thing is what one person likes the other one doesn't. Say that Swarovski reads their feedback on the FP attachment and 70% of the birders like it and 30% don't. You have to make a decision whether to use the FP system or not because you can't custom-make binoculars for the 30% that don't like it. Somewhere you have to draw the line. The end result is peoples tastes and opinions are different so you will never make the perfect binocular for everybody so good thing there are different binoculars to choose from. The binocular would have to be custom-made for that person to be perfect for them.
 

james holdsworth

Consulting Biologist
I feel responsible when I write a positive review on a binocular, and then there is all kinds of criticism on it, so I try to defend my opinions. But it happens with every review and no matter how good a binocular is. Look at the NL. It is a great binocular and Swarovski did an exceptional job designing it and there were great positive reviews when it came out and now everybody has nitpicked it to death. I feel like telling them why don't you design the binocular yourself if you think you can do it better and some people on here DO think they know more than the optical engineers at Swarovski and Zeiss. Honestly, I get kind of tired of it. But you have to remember no binocular is perfect and you can't please all the people all the time and some people you can never please. I agree that not being waterproof could stop some birders from buying the Nikon but plenty of birders use the Nikon 8x30 EII and it is not waterproof and in my opinion throwing a little battery in this binocular is not that much of a hassle to gain the benefits of IS, but we are all different, and we use our binoculars differently. IS binoculars have never gained a large following among birders so there must be some pretty big perceived disadvantages to not feel the need for the benefits of IS.


You are as guilty as anyone about nitpicking, especially if it is a product you perceive as competition to something you own - orange crescents, stained armour, less sharp edges...etc.
 

Alexis Powell

Natural history enthusiast
United States
If we aren't critical, how will the designs improve?

I don't think it is necessary to defend opinions. Opinions are opinions. Different empirical findings ("facts") do warrant hashing things out in order to understand what is going on for different reviewers.

I find criticism much more useful when I am considering a purchase. We all have our own tastes, but I like to have a big list of other user's criticisms in hand when evaluating a product for myself because I can quickly check whether any of those issues matter to me. By flagging possible flaws, we make it easier for others to try and buy with more confidence because they are less likely to discover such issues later, after making a purchase that is hard to return.

--AP
 

etudiant

Registered User
Supporter
As a recent Nikon 10x25 user, I'd just add the following.
The IS is a BS issue, just push the button when you lift the binocs to your eyes.
The IS will stay on much longer than is the case in my Canon 10x42, 10 minutes rather than 10 seconds, probably because Nikon figured that once one bird is seen, others will quickly follow. The glass without the IS is useless, a shaky monocular, so Nikon did the right thing, even if that burns the battery.
Think that is why they added the little clip-on spare battery carrier.
The glass does not shine in bad light, which we are getting a seasonal lot of.
There is a clear tradeoff between viewing comfort from a 10x42 versus carrying comfort for the Nikon 10x25. I think on a 10x25, even Nikon can only do so much. It does not ever give as comfortable a view as my Canon 10x42.

Frankly, I see them as a beater glass, compact and robust, wit excellent optical performance. The Lithium battery won't leak and the glass will deliver for you, under pretty much any conditions. It is not optical nirvana, just a really well executed design. I hope they sell like hotcakes in China as well, they deserve a global hit!
 

peter.jones

Former supporter. No longer active here.
Supporter
The IS will stay on much longer than is the case in my Canon 10x42, 10 minutes rather than 10 seconds, probably because Nikon figured that once one bird is seen, others will quickly follow.

That is a pretty strange assumption, but what it does mean is that a birder would very rarely go more than 10 minutes without using the binoculars, so the 3 or 4 hours battery life is what you'd get. There is little downtime with this design.
 

Alexis Powell

Natural history enthusiast
United States
I don't mind the IS staying on, in fact, that behavior is preferred during active birding. I just wish the switch weren't so easy to bump on/off with the bin in hand or when packed. And I wish the shutter didn't waste time/energy by being there.

--AP
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
As a recent Nikon 10x25 user, I'd just add the following.
The IS is a BS issue, just push the button when you lift the binocs to your eyes.
The IS will stay on much longer than is the case in my Canon 10x42, 10 minutes rather than 10 seconds, probably because Nikon figured that once one bird is seen, others will quickly follow. The glass without the IS is useless, a shaky monocular, so Nikon did the right thing, even if that burns the battery.
Think that is why they added the little clip-on spare battery carrier.
The glass does not shine in bad light, which we are getting a seasonal lot of.
There is a clear tradeoff between viewing comfort from a 10x42 versus carrying comfort for the Nikon 10x25. I think on a 10x25, even Nikon can only do so much. It does not ever give as comfortable a view as my Canon 10x42.

Frankly, I see them as a beater glass, compact and robust, wit excellent optical performance. The Lithium battery won't leak and the glass will deliver for you, under pretty much any conditions. It is not optical nirvana, just a really well executed design. I hope they sell like hotcakes in China as well, they deserve a global hit!
I agree. I have tried a lot of different compacts though, and they are the only ones I really care to use because for me the IS makes them less fiddly. An NL they are not but for a little 10x25 IS they work pretty good.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
You are as guilty as anyone about nitpicking, especially if it is a product you perceive as competition to something you own - orange crescents, stained armour, less sharp edges...etc.
Some of those criticisms were more than nitpicks. Orange crescents in the bottom of your FOV is IMO a deal killer. The strap lugs being too small or the case being a piece of junk is a nitpick because you can fix those things.
 

Super Dave

Well-known member
The Nikon 10x25 IS continue to impress me. Excellent size and power. I never understood why someone would get 10x IS when they can get more power. But now I get it.

Anyway, Dennis I
 
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

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