Quick! What’s the first thing you think of when you hear the brand Nikon?
It’s cameras, isn’t it? (At least, that’s what I normally think of off the bat.) But Nikon doesn’t only make great cameras and camera lenses. They also make wonderful optics like binoculars. That’s what this review will concentrate on: the Nikon Action EX series binoculars.
In particular, I’ll examine the Nikon Action EX Extreme 10×50 binoculars which is one of the more popular models in the Action EX series. Other models include the 7×35, 8×40, 7×50, 12×50, and 16×50 sizes. All of them are very good binoculars, especially the Action EX 8×40, so if, by the end of this review, the 10×50 doesn’t seem to be quite what you’re looking for, check out any of the others.
Note: I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
If you’re in a hurry, you can click a link below to check the pricing and availability of these models on Amazon.
- Nikon Action EX 7×35
- Nikon Action EX 8×40
- Nikon Action EX 7×50
- Nikon Action EX 10×50 (featured here)
- Nikon Action EX 12×50
- Nikon Action EX 16×50
In the table below, you can click the link to any section to jump right to it. Otherwise you can simply keep reading below.
- 1 What Makes the Nikon Action EX Binoculars So Popular?
- 2 Can I Use the Nikon Action EX 10×50 Binoculars for Astronomy?
- 3 Are the Action EX 10×50 Binoculars Good for Daytime Use?
- 4 Are the Nikon Action EX Binoculars Waterproof?
- 5 How Do I Use the Eyepiece Extenders?
- 6 What Else Do I Need to Know before Purchasing My Action EX 10×50 Binoculars?
- 7 Are the Action EX 10×50 Binoculars Really for Me?
What Makes the Nikon Action EX Binoculars So Popular?
On its website, Nikon puts their various series and models of binoculars into categories such as “High Grade”, “Standard”, “Compact”, “Marine”, and more. The Action EX series is their only line found under the “Standard” heading.
This seems to indicate that Nikon considers these binoculars to be their best, their top-of-the-line, so to speak, for a general purpose binocular.
Owners seem to agree. Positive genuine reviews at Amazon number in the hundreds for the series as a whole and even for the 10×50 and 8×40 models in particular.
You can use the Action EX 10×50 binoculars for just about any purpose you can think of. They work well in the daylight, at dawn and dusk, and at night.
Users generally also rave about the high quality of construction and the clarity of the view through these lenses. The large objective lens brings in a lot of light. The multi-coating, while not the best available, helps collect and focus that light to give you just about the best image possible.
The Nikon warranty, which lasts a full 25 years, is virtually unheard of elsewhere in the industry – almost in any industry, for that matter.
All these features and more make the Action EX 10×50 binoculars one of the most popular sets of glasses you’ll find.
Can I Use the Nikon Action EX 10×50 Binoculars for Astronomy?
I’ve already hinted above that astronomy, star gazing, sky gazing, would make a good reason to get these binoculars.
They work very well in low light conditions, which is obviously what you have at night when looking up at the moon or the stars or the planets.
You will be able to see many details of the craters on the moon with your Action EX 10x50s.
If Jupiter is visible in the night sky and you point these binoculars in its direction, you will be able to pick out the four larger (also known as Galilean) moons – Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto.
Since these are larger binoculars, they do have quite a bit of heft to them. They weigh 2.25 pounds (over a kilogram).
Mainly for that reason, Nikon chose to include a tripod mount in the center of these binoculars. If you want to attach these to a tripod, you will need to buy the angle adapter bracket that goes between the glasses and the stand.
I suppose it depends on your body size and arm strength, but it’s not too surprising that some users have said that these binoculars are too heavy to use without a tripod for an extended period of time. This would be especially true if you are using them for astronomy.
Are the Action EX 10×50 Binoculars Good for Daytime Use?
Again the answer is yes. These binoculars are great for birding, camping, hiking, sporting events in large stadiums, and even on the water (though Nikon does make a series of Marine optics especially for that purpose).
These binoculars, which are made in China, come with a strap so you can hand them around your neck. Depending on the length of your viewing session, using this strap may not be the best solution for what to do with them when you’re not actually looking through the lenses.
Many owners of these heavier glasses opt for a harness. While this is an additional cost, you will probably find that it’s worth it in the long run. There will be much less pain and strain on your neck.
Another option would be to put them back into the case that is also included. The case doesn’t have a shoulder strap, but it does have a belt loop attachment.
Depending on your circumstances and weight tolerance, you might be able to use that belt loop option for carrying and storing the binoculars when not in use.
Are the Nikon Action EX Binoculars Waterproof?
The Nikon Action EX series binoculars are nitrogen-filled, so they are both waterproof and fog proof. Reportedly you can keep them under water for up to 5 minutes without significant damage. At what depth you can do this is uncertain.
Obviously it’s not that you’d do this on purpose, but it’s good to know that, if you drop them in a puddle and pick them right up again, your binoculars should still work fine.
If you are going to be using these anywhere and everywhere, you’ll be ahead of the crowd when it comes to inclement weather. When others are packing up their binos and heading for home, as long as you can take a little bad weather, your binoculars can too.
When everyone else is complaining that their cheaper models are fogging up, you can keep on gazing through your because they are sealed tight and impervious to moisture.
How Do I Use the Eyepiece Extenders?
You can lengthen each eyepiece by adjusting the built-in extenders. You just have to remember to twist each one, not pull on it.
Some users have complained that, once extended, the eyepieces will slide back in when you touch them. I think this just takes a little care on your part as a user. They really shouldn’t move unless you want them too. If they do, it might be time to invoke the Nikon 25-year warranty and get a replacement pair.
Both the eyepieces and the objective lenses have caps for keeping the glass clean and scratch-free during storage. The caps do not have the fancier attachments that let them dangle from the binoculars when not covering the lenses. This just means you have to put them back in the case or in a pocket when you’re using your binos.
One eyepiece comes with a diopter that lets you adjust the focus of the one lens in case your eyes are not of the same viewing strength. You adjust the diopter using a slider, as opposed to twisting the eyepiece lens. This is a feature that’s a little different on these Nikons compared to many other models.
What Else Do I Need to Know before Purchasing My Action EX 10×50 Binoculars?
There are many other features of these binoculars that I could mention here, but you don’t really care about most of them.
I briefly mentioned earlier that the glass in the binoculars was multi-coated. Fully multi-coated is the best in the industry. Multi-coated is like second best. I think the reason Nikon went for second best here was to save on the cost. Better coatings would simply raise the price which they apparently did not want to do.
Multi-coated glass will still give you a great view in virtually all situations. Once in a great while you may think, “I wish I could see that better.” These instances will be few and far between, and even then what you do see won’t be that bad at all.
With binoculars this powerful (10x magnification), it’s good that the field of view is still 341 feet. That’s the (horizontal) distance you can pick up through the lenses at a distance of 1000 yards.
To put it another way, if you’re about three-fourths of a mile away from your target, you can still see over the length of a football field from left to right.
Some entries on Amazon for the Action EX series mention the use of a battery. Those entries are in error. There is no need for any kind of battery with these binoculars. There just isn’t a place to insert one and no feature needs one.
All of the Action EX series models have a variable interpupillary distance. That’s the range that you can set between the left tube and the right tube. It goes from 56 to 72 millimeters. How far your eyes are set apart on your face will determine where you set this distance on your binoculars.
Are the Action EX 10×50 Binoculars Really for Me?
If I seem to rave about these binoculars, you’re right. I’m not the only one. Hopefully this Nikon Action binoculars review has made you a fan as well. As I said above, the Amazon reviews are overwhelmingly positive too. You won’t be alone in your positive opinion of the Action EX binoculars.
Should you happen to get the odd pair that has something wrong with them, you can simply send them back to Nikon for a new set which is bound to work as advertised.
Unless you have some specific need or intended use for your binoculars or you really can’t manage the weight, the Nikon Action EX 10×50 binoculars are for you.
If you don’t care for the Nikon Action EX series – for whatever reason – take a look at these binoculars from Bushnell instead.