The small size and light weight of this Nikon 8 x 20mm compact make it ideal for travel, casual daytime birding, neighborhood bird walks, backpacking, kayaking – anywhere light weight, waterproofing, and a compact size are just as important as outstanding optics . . . and blindingly bright low light images are not essential. Despite its small size, its state-of-the-art optics and optical coatings provide surprisingly bright images. And, of course, the image quality is typically Nikon – truly superb.
Its premium H-body roof prism optics use ecologically-safe glass components made without lead or arsenic, as is the case with conventional binoculars. All air-to-glass surfaces are fully multicoated for the highest possible light transmission and contrast. Its high index glass prisms are silver mirror coated for superior light transmission. In addition, phase-correcting coatings on the prisms make a visible difference when looking at backlit subjects in early morning or late afternoon, where the coatings reveal substantially more detail and color in the shadowed areas than can be seen through optics without phase coatings.
The lightweight (9.5 oz.) magnesium alloy body is nitrogen-filled and O-ring sealed to be fogproof and fully waterproof. This allows the binocular to be washed clean when it gets dirty or is accidentally soaked in salt water. The inert nitrogen filling also ensures a lifetime of tarnish-free performance from the silver prism coatings.
Textured black rubber gripping surfaces on the attractive deep bronze-colored body provide a secure grip in wet weather, and a more comfortable grip in hot or cold climates. The gripping surfaces provide a measure of shock-proofing to the optics, but this Nikon should not be considered an “armored” binocular in the normal understanding of the term.
One and a half turns of the ribbed center focus knob at the front of the binocular moves quickly and smoothly from the horizon to a 7.8’ close focus. There is a separate small rotary diopter adjustment knob at the center rear of the binocular to match the optics to the user’s individual eyesight. Twist up and lock in place rubber-rimmed eyecups and a long 15mm eye relief allow eyeglass wearers to see a virtually unvignetted field.
The 8 x 20mm comes with a genuine leather soft carrying case with a convenient belt loop. A durable magnetic catch keeps the case securely closed when traveling, but opens easily for quick access to your binocular when a life bird happens by. Individual eyepiece covers are supplied, with loops so they can be tethered to the 5/8” wide neck strap. There is no eyepiece rainguard. The dual fold design of the body lets you fold the binocular down to an easy-to-handle package scarcely larger than a pack of cigarettes.
Optically very sharp, with very low astigmatism, distortion, and curvature of field. The images look virtually as good at the edges of the field as they do in the center – a true rarity in binoculars in this size and price range. All in all, an optically superb and easy-to-handle high power compact binocular that will give you a lifetime of quality images.