Pros:Value, warranty, durability.
The Bottom Line: These are the baseline for which to compare all others in this price range. It's difficult to find a beter overall value.
I've had these for about a year and have had several pairs of binoculars, in the same price range or cheaper, in the past. The first thing I noticed about these binoculars was that they were lighter than other 10x42's I had. That was a benefit to me, but others may prefer more weight if they feel it allows them to hold the binoculars more steady.
Optical quality is very good. You can read the specs and they are as good or better than just about anything in the same price range. Some reviews indicate that edge sharpness is not so great, and I agree completely with that. I also agree that it is not a significant issue. If you look at a small subject like a bird, and move the subject to the edge of the field of view, you will almost definitely see a loss in sharpness and contrast. On the other hand, how often do you stare at something at the edge of the field of view?
Focusing for me is a bit touchy. I'd like a little more travel, or have it a bit less sensitive, but I think that's personal preference. I don't have any trouble achieving sharp focus, it's just that sometimes going from good to great focus barely requires touching the dial and it's easy to overcorrect.
The rubber coating is good and has held up well. I have taken mine from a heated car to near 0 degree temperatuers and they never fog up. I've used these in rain so heavy I can barely see anything looking through them, snow, etc., and have had no problems whatsoever.
I've bumped these pretty hard, several times, and haven't had problems yet. One of the reasons I bought these was because I have bumped rubber-coated binoculars before and had them ruined very easily. I chose the Nikons over other binoculars of similar price/quality because of their no-fault warranty. Nikon will repair your binoculars even if you damage them, for $10 (assuming the damage is not already covered by the standard no-cost warranty)
I have no complaints about the front lens caps. I think they are a nice touch. They work fine and I have had no problem with them breaking off. The rear lens cap is virtually useless. It really doesn't stay on and I just gave up using it, but I don't think I've ever had a pair of binoculars with a good rear lens cap.
I don't think there's much else to say about these. Quality is all around good, but there's nothing to me that stands out as much better than anything else in this price range. These are a big improvement over cheaper binoculars, but you definitely get what you pay for with binoculars and these are not a case where you get some incredible bargain that is as good as binoculars 2-3x as much. If these are in your price range they are probably as good as anything out there, and I wouldn't recommend bothering with anything less. If you have more to spend, optics definitely get better as you make the jump to the $500-$1000 range.
I use these almost exclusively for birding and I'm very happy with them. I don't have reason to spend more and they are as good or better than anything I've had in this price range. I bought mine with a $50 rebate which made them an even better deal.
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