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Science And Nature

Nikon Action EX 12×50 binoculars review

The Nikon Action EX 12×50 is really a step-up from the mass market, with just a little extra magnification, excellent light-gathering and rugged construction that reaches waterproofing, comfy rubber grips and a big focus knob. Yet it is a heavyweight in more ways than one.

Pros

  • +

    Non-slip waterproof design

  • +

    Wide field of view

  • +

    Clear and crisp observations

  • +

    Impressive construction

  • +

    Excellent value

Cons

  • Relatively heavy

  • Closest focus is 23 feet/7m

  • Slight field curvature

  • Objective lens caps an easy task to lose

Some say that binoculars are an astronomer’s companion, largely because they’re easier to handle when compared to a telescope. The Nikon Action EX 12×50 is without a doubt more portable when compared to a telescope, but it isn’t exactly lightweight. In line with the larger porro prism design of binoculars, Nikon has favored a hardcore, waterproof and likely drop-proof build which should permit the Nikon Action EX 12×50 to last for a long time. But at what cost? Much binocular at 2.3 lbs/1kg, could the excess heft imply that the Nikon Action EX 12x50s are harder to carry steady than its rivals? When stargazing, that’s critically important, but there’s another thing concerning the Nikon Action EX 12×50 which could make stable stars even more complicated.

KEY SPECIFICATIONS

Magnification: 12x

Objective lens diameter: 50mm

Angular field of view: 5.5 degrees

Eye relief: 0.63-inch/16.1mm

Weight: 36.8oz/1kg

With 12x magnification, you obtain a far more detailed view than on many 10x rivals, but you will also likely see any shakiness magnified. However, used, the Nikon Action EX 12×50 gets through these issues, or, at the very least, accocunts for for them and took its invest our best binoculars collection. Here’s why we think the impressive and reliable Nikon Action EX 12×50 makes a wise investment for anybody searching for a couple of binoculars which are built for the long-term and which will enable you to see deep in to the cosmos.

Nikon Action EX 12×50 binoculars: Design

  • Porro prisms
  • BaK-4 glass optics
  • Tough waterproof rubber armor

A front on view of the Nikon Action EX 12 x 50 binoculars

The porro prism optics do mean a comparatively wide design. (Image credit: Jamie Carter)

The Nikon Action EX 12×50 are porro prism binoculars, which once dominated the marketplace yet now form the essential design of the minority of binoculars. That’s mainly right down to portability. In the end, the Nikon Action EX 12×50 has two tubes set far apart, with a Z-shape to the light entering their objective lenses. On the Nikon Action EX 12×50 which means a comparatively wide design that can not be folded right into a compact shape, as roof prism rivals can, and a complete weight of 36.8 oz/1kg. For context, a similarly priced couple of roof prism binoculars shave at the very least a third off that. Why has Nikon chosen porro prism for these binoculars? Brightness. Porro prism binoculars generally need fewer fancy lens coatings to accomplish a bright, detailed image, which explains why the Nikon Action EX 12x50s are so cost-effective.

Not they don’t possess lens coatings. The Nikon Action EX 12×50 boasts multicoated lenses and BaK-4 glass prisms, the former being truly a run-of-the-mill feature and the latter being truly a more prominent mark of quality.

ADDITIONAL KIT

Objective lens caps

Rainguard for eyecups

Neck strap

Padded carry case

Elsewhere, the Nikon Action EX 12×50 impresses with that rubber armor, specifically, a standout feature. Nicely textured to create them an easy task to hold in every kinds of climate, the Nikon Action EX 12x50s may also be waterproof. A few loops are built-in to the look for attaching a neck strap in the box. It’s top quality and contains a soft leather patch where it rests on the neck.

A close up of the eyecups on the Nikon EX 12 x 50

The Nikon Action EX 12×50’s eyecups offer eye relief of 0.63-inch/16.1mm. (Image credit: Jamie Carter)

The central focus knob between your tubes includes a ridged rubber covering to create it simple to use with gloves. So too does the diopter wheel, which lets the binoculars compensate for differences in the middle of your eyes and achieve a focus that best suits you.

In case you are concerned about shaky views then understand that the Nikon Action EX 12×50 has a thread for a tripod adaptor hidden behind a little Nikon logo behind the focus wheel. Normally we wouldn’t expect it to ever be utilized, nonetheless it may occasionally can be found in handy for long observing sessions utilizing the Nikon Action EX 12×50.

Nikon Action EX 12×50 binoculars: Performance

  • Excellent light gathering
  • Sharp optics
  • 23 feet/7m close focus

Image shows the 50mm objective lenses on the Nikon Action EX 12x50 binocular

You’ll receive a lot of starlight through the 50mm objective lenses. (Image credit: Jamie Carter)

Nikon Action EX 12×50 binoculars aren’t particularly best for using close-up. It is possible to concentrate on something at the least 23 ft/7m away, which isn’t helpful if you are bird-watching in your yard. However, the Nikon Action EX 12×50 excels at safari and stargazing. The 50mm objective lenses let enough light directly into offer bright views during dawn and dusk and starlight during the night. That 12x magnification doesn’t mean a drop in brightness.

Although you can’t really see much detail in the giant planet’s cloud-tops, we’re able to easily discern Jupiter’s four big moons Ganymede, Europa, Callisto and Io. When trained on Polaris, the North Star, we were treated to a sharp view of the ‘engagement ring’ of nine stars around it. Ditto the stars of the Beehive Cluster in Cancer, that we got immersive and contrast-heavy views, with just a slight drop in sharpness detectable towards the edge of the field of view. It’s barely noticeable, only as an issue when sweeping the Nikon Action EX 12×50 binoculars over the rich star fields of the Milky Way.

Nikon Action EX 12×50 binoculars: Functionality

  • Non-slip rubber armor
  • Objective lens caps are an easy task to lose
  • Rather heavy

Image shows everything that is included with the Nikon Action EX 12x 50 binoculars. The package contains a padded bag, two pop-off objective lens caps and a rainguard.

The package includes a padded bag, two pop-off objective lens caps and a rainguard. (Image credit: Jamie Carter)

The Nikon Action EX 12×50 binos are relatively heavy, however, there is no doubt they are designed for travel and for the outside. Its rubber armor is great, well-fitting and adds satisfaction that they are not likely to get damaged.

Ways to keep views steady when working with heavy binoculars include leaning back against a wall while observing (that is remarkably effective) or sitting in a lawn chair while observing (better still). Hold them near to the barrels when observing something coming and nearer to your eyes when observing objects halfway up the sky.

Something we’re not thinking about may be the objective lens caps worn by the Nikon Action EX 12×50. They pop into place perfectly well, but what now ? using them when observing? Small black plastic accessories and nighttime don’t mix well. We’d would rather have the lens caps permanently attached and hanging down once the Nikon Action EX 12x50s are increasingly being used.

For wearers of spectacles, the Nikon Action EX 12x50s have 0.63-inch/16.1mm eye relief, that is nearly enough for a reasonably immersive view. The eyecups themselves have a good feel and click definitively into three positions, as the diopter wheel is smooth but resistant to being easily knocked out of place.

In the event you choose the Nikon Action EX 12×50 binoculars?

The Nikon Action EX 12×50 is right at the limit. A stylish package of excellent construction and reliable optics, the Nikon Action EX 12×50 binoculars are nevertheless at the heavy end of what we consider easily handled binoculars for long stargazing sessions.

The 12x magnification alone means inherent unsteadiness weighed against 10x rivals. Also, at 36.8 oz/1kg, it’s essential to hire a few proven ways to keep their clean, crisp and bright views still enough to properly appreciate, not least of all chance for mounting them on a tripod. However, the Nikon Action EX 12×50 remains a heavyweight in every regards, with excellent outdoorsy construction and reliable optics that produce them strongly suggested.

If the Nikon Action EX 12×50 binoculars aren’t for you personally:

If you would like something significantly lighter compared to the Nikon Action EX 12×50, then look at a couple of roof prism binoculars just like the Celestron TrailSeeker 8×42, which weigh in at only 23.1 oz/654g. However, they do offer less magnification and smaller objective lens size. For something a lot more expensive sufficient reason for better still optics, but with built-in image stabilization to counteract their even heavier 39.2 oz/1.1kg bulk, the Canon 10x42L IS WP comes strongly suggested for astronomy and wildlife. For something very different that will allow you to get a much wider field of view and a easier, more lightweight 14.5 oz/411g construction, consider the Vixen SG 2.1×42 constellation binoculars.

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Jamie Carter

Jamie can be an experienced science, technology and travel journalist and stargazer who writes about exploring the night time sky, solar and lunar eclipses, moon-gazing, astro-travel, astronomy and space exploration. He could be the editor ofWhenIsTheNextEclipse.com (opens in new tab)and authorofA Stargazing Program FOR NOVICES (opens in new tab).

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