Pros: These are a good pair of inexpensive binoculars.
Cons: They are not waterproof or fogproof.
NIKON SPORTSTAR 10x25 BINOCULARS 8202
If you are in the market for a pair of inexpensive, entry level binoculars, that are suitable for routine everyday use, and which are light in weight and compact in size, you might want to consider looking into the Nikon Sportstar 10x25 Compact Binoculars, Model 8202. Nikon is certainly a brand name that most readers will immediately recognize, and that means that Nikon has built a reputation for making quality products. However, does that automatically mean that just because these binoculars are made by the Nikon company that they must automatically be high quality binoculars? Read on and see if these binoculars sound like something that you might be interested in looking into the next time you are considering making a purchase of a set of entry level binoculars.
In making any purchase decision, it is always a good idea to have a budget in mind. The Nikon Sportstar 10x25 Binoculars are entry level binoculars, and they won't break the bank. They have a list price of $86.95, but they can be readily found selling at a discount from some of the larger national optical equipment stores for a price of about $49.99. At this price, even though these binoculars are made by a company with a great reputation in the field of optics, one should not expect really great performance. Remember in this world, one usually gets what they are paying for, and so the potential consumer is asked to bear this in mind when making a purchasing decision. That is not to say that these are not good binoculars. The word "good" is after all a relative term, and for the money, the Nikon Sportstar 10x25 Binoculars are a good pair of binoculars. However, they are still entry level binoculars, and they do not have many of the features that are standard on higher priced models.
Since the Nikon Sportstar 10x25 Binoculars are so inexpensively priced, I am going to assume that the majority of readers who are considering a purchase of these binoculars are not going to be people who are considering these binoculars for serious or professional uses, but rather they are going to be entry level users with the intention of using these binoculars for casual uses. Bearing this in mind, I shall endeavor to avoid the use of any optical jargon and keep the use of technical terms to a minimum. Whenever there is a need for me to resort to using technical terms, I shall endeavor to explain the meaning of these terms in clear and simple to understand language, and make the descriptions as easy to understand as possible.
The first thing I would like to discuss regarding the specifications of the Nikon Sportstar 10x25 Binoculars is their magnification factor. These binoculars have a magnification power of 10 times. This is an easy fact to understand. The number "10" in the descriptor 10x25 refers to the magnification power of these binoculars. It means that an object will appear 10 times closer when viewed through these binoculars than when it is viewed by the unaided eye. Thus an object that is 1000 feet away will appear to be 100 feet away when viewed through these binoculars.
The number "25" in the name of the Nikon Sportstar 10x25 Binoculars refers to the size in millimeters of the objective lenses, which are the larger lenses on the other side of the binoculars which face the object that is being observed. The size of the larger lens or objective lens has nothing to do with the magnification power, but its size is important as regards the capability of the binoculars to display a bright clear image in lower light conditions. In bright sunny light, even a pair of binoculars with small objective lenses, such as a 25mm to 35mm, will tend to yield a relatively sharp and bright image. However, in lower light conditions, a large objective lens serves to increase the amount of light that is available to view the image, and thus all other things being equal, a set of binoculars with large objective lenses will yield a brighter image to the viewer. Thus, when using the Nikon Sportstar 10x25 Binoculars, one is going to get the best and clearest image in brightly lit conditions, such as during the day in an openly lit setting. These would not be the best binoculars to use in low light conditions, such as a shadowy forest, or at dusk, or for viewing objects in the night sky.
Although at first glance, a pair of binoculars having a magnification factor of 10 times may not seem to be a high degree of magnification, it is actually quite sufficient for most purposes, especially if these binoculars are being used without the assistance of a tripod or other stabilization device. An important point to consider when purchasing a set of binoculars is to keep in mind that a magnification of 10 times is considered by most people to be the absolute maximum that a person can use a set of binoculars with when they are being used in a hand held situation. At about a magnification of 10 times, the hand shake of the viewer simply becomes too great to allow for precise and sharp viewing of a small distant object, as it will appear to be jiggling all over the place. Any one who is knowledgeable about binoculars will vouch that it would be advisable to use a tripod or some other type of stabilization device when using a set of binoculars that have the magnification power of above 10 times. Thus, a magnification factor of 10 times, such as the Nikon Sportstar 10x25 Binoculars have, is a very reasonable level of magnification to have for hand held use. This is good to keep in mind for another reason, and that is that these Nikon Sportstar 10x25 Binoculars do not have a built in tripod adaptor. This may be something that a consumer who wants to mount their binoculars on a tripod must also be mindful of when making a purchasing decision.
There are other things besides the size of the objective lenses that are very important to consider when discussing the ability of a pair of binoculars to yield a bright and clear image, and that is the type of antireflective coating that may or may not be applied to the viewing optics of the binoculars. There are 4 levels or degrees of optical coating that a pair of binoculars can have. In order of least to best, these 4 degrees of coating are: coated, fully coated, multi-coated, and fully multi-coated. The best type of optical coating is clearly the later, namely binoculars that are "fully multi-coated." The Nikon Sportstar 10x25 Binoculars have "multi-coated optics" on the lenses and prisms. This is the third best degree of optical coating, and it means that all air-to-glass surfaces are coated with a single-layer of anti-reflective coating, and at least one of the major optical elements that make up the binoculars also has multiple coatings on at least one surface.
The reader may be wondering why it is so important for a pair of binoculars to have optical coating of one type or another. I should like to clarify this point here as it is an important point to understand. When light hits a glass surface, some of it is reflected, and some passes through the glass. Antireflective optical coatings interfere with the reflection of certain wavelengths or colors of light, thus permitting more light to go through the optics of the binoculars and less light is reflected off and away from the optics of the binoculars. The more light that passes through the glass, the sharper, brighter, and clearer the image will appear to be to the viewer. Thus, when a pair of binoculars has a coating of antireflective materials, such as Magnesium Fluoride or Calcium Fluoride, less light is reflected off the lens surface, and more passes through to the viewer, which results in a brighter image. Simply put, multi-coating reduces the reflectivity of light, and the result is a sharper and brighter image.
The Nikon Sportstar 10x25 Binoculars have a Roof-Prism design. Prisms are used in binoculars to reduce the physical length of the body, as compared to a telescope, and secondly to correctly orient the image for the viewer. There are basically two types of prism designs that are used in binoculars, Roof Prisms and Porro Prisms. Porro Prism binoculars have what is typically referred to as a "dog leg" shape, with the objective lenses being offset or to the side in comparison to the ocular lenses or eye-pieces. In a Roof-Prism design, the prisms overlap closely with each other, and by virtue of very precise mathematical alignments of different angles which allow for reflection of the incoming light, binoculars with a Roof-Prism design have a very slim and straight line appearance, like the Nikon Sportstar 10x25 Binoculars have. This is because the lenses and prisms are set in a straight line, which results in a simple streamlined appearance, which sort of resembles two little telescopes joined or connected together side by side. In general, binoculars that have a Porro Prism design are easier to make and cost less to manufacture. Thus, if a consumer is comparing a pair of binoculars with a Porro Prism design which costs the same as one with a Roof Prism design, it is quite likely that the set of binoculars that utilizes Roof Prisms is going to yield an image that is not as good as the same priced binoculars with a Porro Prism design. Thus, one needs to take this into consideration when making a purchase, especially when one is comparing two different binoculars that cost the same, but which utilize different prism designs. Simply put, if all other things are equal (i.e., optical coatings) one should not expect the same quality from a set of binoculars that utilizes Roof Prisms as compared to one that uses Porro Prisms.
The Nikon Sportstar 10x25 Compact Binoculars are "weather resistant" binoculars. That means that they are neither waterproof and/or fogproof, and this is an important consideration for the reader to keep in mind. Fully waterproof binoculars are relatively impervious to the issue of things like temperature and humidity changes because their inner workings are airtight, and thus they will not fog up when you are outdoors. They also are easy to clean and can be washed off without fear of getting water or moisture inside of them. This is not the case with the Nikon Sportstar 10x25 Compact Binoculars, and in my opinion these binoculars would not be suitable for a number of outdoor activities such as hunting, camping, skiing, or snowmobiling, and it is this feature that in my opinion makes these binoculars especially unsuitable to any type of marine usage as well, such as sailing, canoeing, kayaking, or just a trip to the beach. Imagine what might happen to the inner workings of these binoculars if they were to accidentally be dropped in the water. However, one does not have to immerse a pair of binoculars in a bucket of water to run into visibility problems related to moisture. Have you ever noticed water vapor condensing on your car windshield when you have used the air conditioner on a hot humid day. Water vapor condenses on cooler surfaces. Imagine what would happen if your binoculars began to have water vapor condensing on the inside lenses and prism surfaces. A whole day of outdoor activity using these binoculars could be ruined if this were to happen. In my opinion, it is very important for a pair of binoculars to be both waterproof and fogproof if they are going to be used for serious outdoor use in all weather conditions. That makes the Nikon Sportstar 10x25 Binoculars best suited to indoor use, such as at an indoor sporting event or perhaps a concert.
The Nikon Sportstar 10x25 Binoculars have a large center focus mechanism which makes quick focusing a relatively easy chore. This is a very nice feature to have. These binoculars are also coated with a non-slip rubber armor coating on the sides, which serves to prevent slippage, and also provides a bit of shock absorption and protection for the inner workings of the binoculars should they accidentally be dropped.
The Nikon Sportstar 10x25 Binoculars have a field of view of 262 feet at 1000 yards. This is a very reasonable field of view for general viewing. The term "field of view" or FOV describes how much one can take in or see from one side of the viewing field to another. In this case, since the FOV is 262 feet at a thousand yards, this would mean that two people standing 262 feet away from each other would appear to be at the outer edges of the viewing field of the binoculars if the observer was 1000 yards away, and looking at the center space between them.
The Nikon Sportstar 10x25 Binoculars are what is known as "compact" binoculars. Binoculars come in different size and weights. Compact binoculars, just as the term implies, are compact in size. The Nikon Sportstar 10x25 Binoculars fold down and inwards to a very compact size, and they can actually fit easily into a person's pocket. The Nikon Sportstar 10x25 Binoculars and weigh in at a mere 9.5 ounces, which is not very heavy at all, and should present no problems for the average person, or even young child to deal with. I have eaten bigger hamburgers than this. The Nikon Sportstar 10x25 Binoculars also come with a carrying case and a neck strap, but given their compact size, it is unlikely that the average user would be carrying them around in their case in most instances. However, the case does come in handy when one wants to store these binoculars, such as in the glove compartment of one's car.
So who should consider purchasing the Nikon 10x25 Binoculars? These binoculars would be suitable for almost any type of casual use, such as general nature viewing from one's backyard deck, a night at the opera, the theatre, a concert, sporting event, or the like. However, I can not recommend these binoculars for serious or rigorous outdoor use, such as for hunting, camping, skiing, boating, snowmobiling, bird watching or almost any other use where there would be the danger of moisture potentially interfering with one's viewing. Because the Nikon Sportstar 10x25 Binoculars are neither waterproof or fogproof, these binoculars would not be suitable for use in either wet or humid conditions. The reasonable price range of the Nikon Sportstar 10x25 Binoculars makes them a very good choice for a person who is considering an entry level pair of general purpose binoculars that are suitable for casual viewing, and they definitely provide a reasonably good value for the cost.
Well I would like to thank you for taking the time to read my review, but now if you will excuse me, I must get back to practicing my guitar. Good luck, and good viewing.