Nikon Venturer LX 8x42 (Hi-grade)

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Brand and Model:Nikon Venturer LX 8x42 (Hi-grade)
Price ($USD):$999.95
Attributes:checked Waterproof checked Armored
Objective Lens Size:42 mm
Magnification:8 x
Prism Type:Roof
Coatings:Fully Multi-Coated
Field of View:7.0 degrees
Eye Relief:18 mm
Near Focus:9 ft
Weight (lbs):34.6 oz.
Dimensions (w/h/d):6.2x5.5"
Description:lockable diopter adjustment
water proof
fog proof
fully multicoated optics
some ED glass elements

Venturer LX Binoculars Page
Nikon's Web Page

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Nikon Venturer LX 8x42 (Hi-grade)
I own the Venturer 8x42LX, and I use it for daytime birding and nature walks. I was interested in a premium binocular that provided excellent views and top notch mechanical quality and, after reading many reviews of high end binos, I took the plunge and purchased a pair of these fine glasses.

Mechanically, it is an outstanding instrument. Covered by a thick rubber-like sheath, it is substantial and solid. It fits well in my hands and the focuser wheel is convenient and moves with a firm, fluid smoothness. It focuses quickly, and remains in focus even after being handled or stored. The center hinge also moves smoothly and firmly, and remains where it is set. The interocular distance can be adjusted relatively close and, although I wouldn\'t go so far as to say it can be adjusted to accomodate small children, it is more than adequate for adults. The Nikon 8x42LX has a locking diopter ring, and twist up eyecups that snap into place at their furthest extentions up or down. The eyecups remain in place even after pressing them hard against my eyeglasses, but move easily when adjustment is needed. The Venturer's excellent mechanical qualities come at a price, unfortunately, in the form of its mass; it is a heavy instrument. I do not find its heaviness to be a drawback, personally, but I can imagine others may find them burdensome to hold and carry for any length of time.

Optically, I have found the Nikon LX to be a very good binocular. The coatings on the glass are a deep, liquid green, evenly applied and casting very few reflections. The barrels are well baffeled and possess dark internal coatings, and as a result, I have seen no evidence of ghosting or stray light. At the eyepiece, on axis sharpness, color fidelity, contrast, and brightness are all excellent. The image begins to soften somewhat at a distance more than halfway from the center until it reaches the edge, at which point it drops off. Overall, the image is very good on axis, with only slight off axis degradation until the edge of its 7° field. Eye relief is ample for eyeglass wearers such as me, and objects snap into focus quickly and easily with little or no fussing necessary at the focus wheel. The only thing that prevents me from giving these otherwise excellent glasses an 10 is the matter of CA: bright, high contrast objects are rimmed with a tiny fringe of color. The 8x version of the Nikon LX is less affected by false color than the 10x model, but it is clearly there, nontheless. I do not feel the color is objectionable under most circumstances, but the opinions of others may differ from mine in this regard.

One matter about which one should be mindful when laying down a considerable sum of money for a high end binocular is the warrantee: does the manufacturer stand behind the product? Nikon's twenty-five year no-fault warrantee, and their fine service give the buyer a sense of confidence in the binocular and in the important issue in my estimation and one that deserves more attention in product reviews.

One minor quibble is the matter of the neck strap. Inexplicably, Nikon has supplied their top of the line, world class binoculars with a narrow, unpadded strap. It would have been nicer for a comfortable version to have been included to complete an otherwise excellent package, but I am replacing the original with a more suitable aftermarket strap, instead.

In conclusion, the Nikon Venturer 8x42LX binocular is a wonderful instrument, possessing solid mechanics and satisfying optics. The issues of the LX's weight and CA are its only significant downsides. If it were possible to give this binocular a rating of 9½, I would do so, and I would recommend them without hesitation to anyone desiring a well built binocular with fine optics.

Overall Rating: 9
Optics:9 Value:9
Weight: 10 (Trustworthy Vote)
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Nikon Venturer LX 8x42 (Hi-grade)
Magnificent optics, wonderful eye relief, excellent mechanics and construction. The only drawback is the weight which becomes an issue on long hikes or otherwise extended viewing sessions.

Overall Rating: 10
Optics:10 Value:9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
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Nikon Venturer LX 8x42 (Hi-grade)
[Note: Vote moved from description by webmaster]

Truly " World Class " for comfort , clarity and brightness . Equal to Leica 8 x 42 . Have yet to test against Swarovski EL 8.5 x 44 or against Zeiss Victory 8 x 40 but would imagine any of these four models would delight all but the most difficult of customers . Nice feel in spite of being slightly heavy . View is VERY steady . Right diopter locks in focus and eyecups twist up for precise optimum eye-relief position . The only slight criticism is more green "colour" at very edge of the 7 degree field against distant reflective object ( large gas holder ) than was the case with a slightly less expensive top of the range Opticron model I tested it against. In spite of ( or rather because of ) that I would rate it a 9 out of 10 , but don't let that put ANYONE off this truly superb product . Very expensive but probably worth every pound ( dollar ) .

Overall Rating: No Vote
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
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