Those long-gone hazy days
Forgive me for being a bit nostalgic, but I remember the days when as a young boy, I would try to look through my Dad’s pair of very ropey and old binoculars. He was a keen walker and always liked to carry them with him; I think he must have dropped them on a few occasions though while he was out and about, as they had several impact marks on the body, which resulted in a rather natty kaleidoscope effect when you looked through them. They also weighed a ton and I never felt as though the muscles of my childhood were quite strong enough to push the eye pieces together and get that full and glorious kaleidoscope experience!
Ah, but times have since changed. I have just tried out the Nikon Sporter I 8x36DCF binoculars and they are a completely different beast. Sleek, robust and as clear as crystal, they presented an entirely different viewing experience to that which I am used to. The robust nature of these binoculars comes from the more-than-adequate rubber armour that the binoculars are cased in, which gives them the ‘feel’ of strength and durability in your hands. There is a satisfying and reassuring weight to them that helps them sit comfortably in your hands when viewing. The rubber casing means that the Nikon Sporter I are water resistant and fit for almost anything that you are likely to throw at them. Although the binoculars have a robust build quality they are not at all bulky; in fact they are fairly compact and stream-lined given their optical power of 8x36, and are easy to carry around.
As with most things Nikon, the lens quality is outstanding. Multi coated lenses allow for bright, clear and sharp images with no clouding at all, giving a superior viewing experience. The diopter ring located on the right hand eyepiece is calibrated to allow the ‘fine-tuning’ of your image which gives maximum sharpness and clarity. The central focusing ring is very smooth and responsive, not ‘sticky’ as in some other binocular sets that I have used before. The Nikon Sporter I 8x36DCF binoculars have turn and slide rubber eye-caps to allow you to extend the distance between the position of your eyes in relation to the bridge of your nose, which is particularly helpful if you wear glasses, and means that the viewing position is both comfortable and accurate.
These binoculars also have a close focusing distance of approximately 3 metres, although I myself am not quite sure why you might want to use a set of binoculars to view something at quite this close a range, but there is bound to be somebody out there who will find this useful. Finally, the binoculars have a set of lens caps for protection when not being used, one set of which can be attached to the neck strap and a carrying case that will allow you to attach them to a waist belt if you want.
I found using the Nikon Sporter I 8x36DCF binoculars a very different experience to that I remembered from my childhood; perhaps not as much fun as I remember, but for sheer quality and ease of operation, you would be very hard-pushed to find a better pair of binoculars to take on your travels.