Nikon Travelite V 8-24x25 CF

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Brand and Model:Nikon Travelite V 8-24x25 CF
Price ($USD):500
Attributes:un-checked Waterproof checked Armored
Objective Lens Size:25 mm
Magnification:8-24 x
Prism Type:BAK4 Porro
Field of View:4.6 degrees
Eye Relief:13 mm
Near Focus:16 ft
Weight (lbs):0.683
Dimensions (w/h/d):118mm wide / 127mm length
Description:1) Multilayer-coated lenses for bright images
2) Special rubber armour for shock resistance and a firm, comfortable grip
3) Carbon fibre (CF) in the body material improves durability
4) Small, lightweight and ergonomic design

Marketting also claims "Long eye relief design for a clear field of view, even for wearers of eyeglasses", but I do not see how this can be correct since 13mm is not "long" eye relief, 20mm would be "long" eye relief. What they presumably mean is that 13mm eye relief is long for the type of bino's, but I can only see about 60 per cent of the field at 8x with my glasses on and eyecups fully folded down. Marketting also claims "Click-type dioptre adjustment ring prevents unwitting rotation" but on mine there is a rotating, NON-click diopter adjustment (mine were bought brand new). Apparent Field of View is 36.8 degrees BUT EXPANDS to around 55 degrees when at max. zoom. Field of view at 1000m is 80m at 8x. Exit pupil is 3.1mm @8x to 1.0mm@24x. Interpupilliary adjustment is 56-72mm. Weight is 310 grams. BaK-4 High Index prisms. Zoom binoculars.

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Nikon Travelite V 8-24x25 CF
First off let me say that I have owned and observed with these Nikon bino's for about 1 year now, and the only basis for comparison was with a pair of old Pentax bino's that were once contrasty but my Brother cleaned the Pentax's with toilet paper and scratched the lenses, and I dropped the Pentax's many times into concrete and they are quite a bit out of alignment and show a lot of astigmatism.

Now onto the review of these Nikon bino's...

Performance at 8x : I have 1.75 dioptres of Astigmatism in one eye and 1.5 dioptres of Astigmatism in the other.
As a result, I have to wear my glasses and fold the eye guards down at 8x which cuts off about 30 per cent of the
already fairly small (37 degree) Apparent Field Of View (AFOV), which I really find annoying. I cannot remove my glasses at 8x since the stars become horridly astigmatic even on axis. This is nothing to do with the bino's, it is instead
due to the combination of a 3mm exit pupil at this magnification, and my astigmatism from my own eyes.

However at 8x, even with my glasses on, there is noticeable astigmatism in the star images on-axis, but it is quite
tolerable. The view is sharp for about 50 per cent towards the edge of the field, and then the star images degrade quite quickly going further out, but then from 50 per cent out until
towards the edge the increase in aberration is less dramatic, it seems. The star images anywhere near the edges of the field are really quite badly elongated, not good. The overall level of correction is not good at 8x. There is only a very
small amount of false colour on axis at 8x, but towards the edge there is a ton of chromatic aberration.

However things VASTLY IMPROVE at higher magnifications. Once the exit pupil gets below about 1.5mm (at around
16x), I can fold up the (medium stiffness in the cold) rubber eyeguards and remove my spectacles and then I get a MUCH more immersive view. The images merge much better and the eye relief is very nice indeed. Also, strangely, the optical correction gets MUCH better. Now the stars are sharp almost to the edge, with or without my glasses on, with almost no chromatic aberration at all even at the edge. AFOV EXPANDS to around 50 - 55 degrees (hugely better) towards the top end of the zoom range (highest magnification) and along with the huge improvement in optical correction at high power it makes for a MUCH more immersive view. Unfortunately you have to refocus slightly as you vary the power, not much but it is noticeable.

You can actually hold the binoculars without all that much shaking at the higher powers as long as you are lying on the ground on your back with a cushion under your head. Also finding things at 24 x and keeping them centred is actually easier than you would think. BUT NOT WHEN YOU ARE STANDING UP! The very light weight is the key to this aspect.

The 25mm objectives give a superbly bright, very contrasty performance which was unexpected to say the least.

The best night was when I was lying on my back looking up at the Double Cluster which was almost overhead. I took off my glasses, and could not see much aberration due to the dimmer
stars (I did the aberration tests on the Alpha Aurigae, brightest star of Auriga). The zoom allowed me to hugely darken the background sky to cut through and remove the light pollution and then I saw diamonds on black velvet, and as I was zooming in more and more I saw more and more
and more stars, must have been close to 100 stars or something, totally awesome.

If you can live with the above faults (lack of good correction at low powers, and also note that I am really quite fussy about the quality of correction in optics in general, you may have higher tolerance to the problems) then these are very good for Astronomy use. The Moon is very bright and awesome detail at high power.

BY FAR the 2 HUGE main advantages of these bino's are the light weight and the ability to HUGELY DARkEN my orange light polluted back ground sky. Recommended as a result.

BTW I paid 100 GBP for these, bought new they retail at 250 GBP.

I rated the optics as a 7, because at low power the almost poor level of correction warrants a 5, but at high power the crisp sharp view rates as an 8 or maybe 9.

I rated value as a 6 because they are too expensive for what they are, considering the level of correction at low power. They should be more like 110 GBP retail not 250 GBP! They are made in Japan but I am the kind of person who ignores the origin and the brand and only goes by the performance of the product.

One thing that does annoy me a bit about the views at high power was the faint diffuse halos that I always get around every star, and I have no idea what causes it. The optics and coatings are flawless to the eye and it isn't dew causing it. Maybe it is scattered light from the coatings? I wish I knew.

Overall Rating: 8
Optics:7 Value:6
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
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