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Nikon Action Extreme vs. Pentax PCF WP

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/20/2004 at 17:18
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Optics GrassHopper
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How does the Nikon Action Extreme compare to the Pentax PCF WP?  Is the quality the same?  How about the optics?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/24/2004 at 02:24
gremlin View Drop Down
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Last February, I looked at both of these binoculars (in 7x35 configuration) in Galyans and bought the Nikons.  In the store, I thought that the Nikons were the better choice, but if I had it to do over again, I'd probably go with the Pentax or yet another brand altogether.

 

What I've noticed in the field is that even though the Nikons offer me a 9.3 angle of view, the outer 30% of the image is really soft and curved.  It's so soft it's almost to the point of blurry.  It's better than not having the field of view available, but it's really noticeable when you're panning from side to side looking across an open expanse of either water or meadow as you scan a tree line. 

 

If I'm standing while I pan with the Nikons, I get a real feeling of vertigo and I know it's due to the curvature of the image.  It almost feels like the scene is 'falling in' on you as you turn.

 

Of course, being Nikons (even if they are Chinese NikonsUnhappy) the color rendition is excellent and thanks to the aespherical elements the CA is pretty minimal.  I like the adjustable eye cups and unlike some other reviews I've read on line, I find the thumb rests to be well made and useable. 

 

It's just the curvature and softness of the outer third of the picture that bugs me.

 

I don't believe the PCF WP's suffer from this problem as badly.  I haven't seen their 7x35's in the field (only in the store where the distances are much shorter), but I used their 10x50's with some folks while we were out looking for Peregrine Falcons that had recently been set free at a local fish and wildlife preserve.  During that trial I felt that the Pentax compared very favorably to the Nikon Action Extreme's.  It wasn't an apples to apples test in the field since they were different magnifications and objectives and I want to repeat that when I did an apples to apples side by side in the store, I chose the Nikon's because the colors were deeper and the ergonomics were better. 

 

It's just that my real experience with the Nikons looking out over a distance is that they give me vertigo due to an imperfect picture.  If you're going to be using them to scan a tree line for a period of hours as you wait for your prey to emerge, if you're like me, you're going to end up with a headache.

 

And that's not a very good thing to say about a binocular.Confused

 

They make a great backyard binocular, I've used them for squirrel hunting with pretty good success, and they're the first binocular my eleven year old daughter grabs because the ergonomics are so easy on the user, but they're not a serious hunting or birding binocular.  If you really want a porro for hunting, in the same price range I wouldn't hesitate for one second before buying a pair of Bushnell Legends or the Pentax PCF's before I'd buy the Nikon Action Extreme's again. 

 

For birding, in the same price range, I'd be more inclined to look into the Japanese made Olympus Pathfinder EXPS's.  They're not quite as wide angle as the Nikons and they're not as water proof as the Pentax, but the detail of the Olympus was almost up to Swift Audubon standards.

 

Just my two cents...

 

Take the long way home.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/24/2004 at 09:42
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Optics GrassHopper
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Thanks, gemlin.  That was exactly the kind of information that I needed.  Like you I'm a squirrel hunter, so long term scanning without a headache is important.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/26/2004 at 11:00
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I have used Nikon and Pentax porros for many years and have always been satisfied with both brands.  I haven't really done a side by side evaluation so I can't say for sure if one is noticably better optically than the other.  I have a pair of Pentax PCF 10x50 and I think they offer good optics for the money and are a tremendous value.  The one reason that I bought them over the Nikon Actions was because the body design makes them much more comfortable to hold.  Porros are generally bulky to me and I really don't like any porros where the objective are so wide apart.  The Pentax are the most comfortable design to me of any porro that I have tried and I much prefer them over the Nikon Action series although I would guess that the optics and quality are really close.  I loved the Nikon porros before the Action series replaced them.  They were comfortable like the pentax are.  Both have held up fine and although my Pentax are PCF III (before they made them water proof), I have hunted in the rain with them numerous times with no trouble.  If I had to do it over again, I would buy a Pentax PCF WP 8x40 because they offer about the same optical performance as the 10x50 but they are alot smaller and very comfortable to carry.  Hope this helps.

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