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I am basically very pleased with this purchase. I have to rate it down one star because the dioptre ring on the right hand side is solidly stuck and will not move, which means I have had to return them for a repair. I have used them nevertheless without adjusting that ring and the quality of viewing is excellent. They are light for their size and easy to handle. Threading the strap is not an easy job, but you only do that once.
I own 4 pairs of binoculars now having bought myself Pentax ucf Xii 16x25 for bird watching plus a cheap pair of opticron for my wife when she occasionally needed a pair. The magnification on the Pentax was good but in low light the visibility was not so good. So I upgraded to Nikon monarch 10x42 which are really good. So good that when my wife compared the other two pairs she decided she wanted a better pair as well! With her not being a frequent bird watcher it did not seem worth almost £300 for another set of monarch, so went for these instead. Very pleased indeed. Hard pressed to see much difference in the quality, just 25g heavier and a cm longer, so they are a bit of a bargain if they are only about £165 as mine were. I'd say they are well worth paying £200 for, and can't really fault them. I think if you can afford the extra for the Nikon monarch it is just about worth it, but that may be because I am used to them and they just sit perfectly in my hand. The prostaff is sculpted slightly more and the extra texturing is not really necessary given the rubber casing is never slippery, so I prefer the smooth finish of the monarch. Going back to the Pentax and opticron, if you are thinking about a cheaper pair, I'd strongly recommend paying a bit more for these nikons as you won't be disappointed.
Bought this for my partner who occasionally joins me watching wildlife, so a light user. I use Nikon's premium EDG binoculars, also 8x42, and they are up to ten times the price of this Prostaff. But against that stiff competition, this Prostaff is very good.
The glass is clear and bright, with relatively little colour fringing against a grey sky. They are extremely light, which is great for my partner, and easy to hold and focus. I would definitely recommend them.
Why are the EDG's so much more? This really shows in a direct comparison with the Prostaff. The EDGs are significantly sharper and clearer, and built to last (the Prostaff eye relief cups are very lightly built and the plastic feels quite cheap). With the EDG there is next to no colour fringing and angled extraneous light from the side tends to intrude less into the binocular itself. Most notably, in low light the EDG is in another league for brightness and clarity. So the two Nikons really are chalk and cheese.
Nevertheless, this Prostaff is a great binocular for regular, casual use and I certainly think it's better than some other budget competitors, such as Opticron, particularly in terms of lightness and brightness.
I have these binoculars for a bit less than a half of the year. I bought them for traveling and mountain trekking so portability (weight and size) were primary factors to choose between 10x30mm and 10x42mm option. The second most important factor was light gathering ability (brightness) so 30mm lens diameter was better option compared to other 23-26 mm options around. I'm not a birdwatcher, rather the occasional and target finding viewer so long time holding and stability was not an issue picking 10x vs 8x magnification. I think extra detail resolution with 10x magnification and superb sharpness of these binoculars hit the spot of my liking. Field of view is great too that allows to observe more objects in single glance and saves some tilting and panning job.
To be true, there are some minor thing I would like be slightly better. One of them is occasional chromatic aberration or color fringing, in other words blue/purple color cast along object edges in high contrast situations (like dark tree branches, dark building or other sharp edge silhouettes against bright overcast sky) . This seems some very rare in summer time but a bit more pronounced in winter when dark objects and white backgrounds dominate landscape. As many other reviewers pointed out, eye-piece protection caps are surprisingly loose, however could be fixed to binocular's strap, so not a big issue. On other hand, front lens cups fit secure, but not are securely attachable to the strap that makes them prone to lose. Thus I keep them in drawer. It would be a nice touch from Nikon to make binocular's bag with some small inside pocket for wiping cloth.
From usage point of view it is very important to adjust correct individual eye-relief distance, eyes distance and keep eye centered along optical axis to avoid field of view edge blackouts.
Overall, I am very impressed by the product and highly recommend it as high quality traveling companion.
I have a very good pair of Vanguard Endeavor Hoya lensed EDII 8x42 which I use for wild life and bird spotting but wanted as a back up a higher magnification pair for long distance viewing as I live in a very hilly area and wanted to see distances of 5 -15 miles up closer. I've tried various zoom and higher magnification binos which didn't suit and then after trawling through many options saw these 12x50 Prostaffs at a very good price -' like new but with a damaged box'. At first I was a little disappointed for the reasons many state - poor accessories and the eye cups were a little loose (nothing major) but enough to make me doubt them. I've tried them along side my others which have a brighter image in rainy dull conditions and then tried them in bright sunshine. They were very good and distances of 10-15 miles came in pretty clear - I was shocked. Field of view at 82m seemed fine to me - my 8's have 126m and it didnt seem much different. If you're are looking to use them for close viewing - forget it, 5m stated even though I got 3/4 ish metres wasn't particularly good but acceptable for a 12. They are very light - not much weight difference in the hand to my 8x42's and so didn't experience much shake. They feel very comfortable and well balanced and realise that Nikon sell on the quality of their lenses not all the fancy gubbins that go with it. The rubber body cover is a bit sticky and might get mucky pretty quickly but over all they are great value for what I paid - £124 ($150 ) instead of £199 ($245) I'm sure there are many better options but far more expensive but if you want a stand by and can get them at this sort of price then you have a bargain.
The binoculars themselves are really good, very lightweight and fairly easy to focus. They let in a lot of light and are very sharp. Where they fall down is with the lens covers. The set on the top is too big and doesn't stay on. The two bottom ones fit snugly but there is no means of securing them to the binoculars so you can't fit them when using the binoculars as they easily fall off and are likely to get lost.I think Nikon could do better in this respect
These little prostaff are surprisingly good for the price i already have a peair of monark 10x42 as a throw in the van bins and wanted something small and light for walking my dogs as my main bird watching binoculars ere Zeiss 10x42 Victory ht s i was expecting these little bins to be far less resolution than the monarch but are every bit as sharp but the field of view is wider not as good as the zeiss but very acceptable and so easy to carry i would have no hesitation in recommending these cracking little binoculars to anyone wanting a lightweight compact reasonable priced bin with really good optics
The binoculars came highly rated and they proved to be ideal for our safari trip, the lenses proved very good. One issue we found was that the lens caps do not stay attached to the straps and one was lost very quickly which is a pain as cannot find a suitable replacement. If they can resolve this I would have given 5*.
Got these as an Amazon warehouse deal with the aim of gifting to my dad for his birthday, also got some more expensive ones for myself along with some cheaper Olympus high mag ones for leaving at home. These were so much better than the more expensive ones from an American good quality brand that I kept the Nikon’s and returned the others, the mag was also good enough to use at home for looking out over the sea.
I use them everyday and still haven’t found a better quality image when comparing with friends, I also can’t tell a huge different between these and older monarch bins.
Technology/ coatings keep on getting better, so it seems that the generation of the ones you buy really matters.
The Nikon’s seem to have a slightly cheaper feel/ finish to other brands (they lack in detail of finish some how?) this includes the case and strap, but the all important optics more than make up for this.