Nikon Trailblazer 8×25 and 10×25 ATB Binoculars are compact products with sleek body, designed for birdwatching, travel, sport and especially hunting. Don’t know how you think but the first time I saw these binoculars, I thought they’re specially designed for hunting. And actually, Trailblazer 25mm’s are best binoculars for hunting in low-price range.
In the previous article about Nikon Trailblazer 8×42, 10×42 and 10×50, I reviewed for 3 binoculars with very beautiful design. And these are their two “brothers” in Trailblazer Lineup which are smaller, lighter and much cheaper.
Optically, these binoculars use 25mm Objective Lens, made from Eco-glass without the use of arsenic or lead and coated with multiple anti-reflective layers provides crisp, sharp viewing and improve low-light performance. And BaK4 high index prisms give extra-high resolution images . These alow them to work well in poor light conditions, you won’t have to worry if watching birds, hunting at dawn and dusk or having a cheap ticket in dark theaters.
I carried a pair of Trailblazer 10×25 binoculars for a trip to Mui Ne (Vietnam) and used them to watch Mui Ne’s sea at late afternoon. The sea was so beautiful under vision of binoculars, I even spotted a small fish boat at least 3 miles in low light of dusk. That’s very impressive with a low-light binoculars.
I feared that narrow objective lens, just 25mm, will make the Field of View (FOV) too small but I was completely pleased after trying them. Their FOVs are 429 feet (at 1000 yards) in 8×25 model and 342 feet in 10×25. These FOV are very excellent with small Objective lens binoculars, they’re even wider Monarch 5 (the best Nikon Binoculars I’m using) with 42mm objective lens.
A wide FOV is very important if you want to follow small and fast objects, especially under poor light conditions.
The Close Focus Distances is also very remarkable, 11 feet in 10×25 model and 8.2 feet in 8×25. These distances are not outstanding but they’re better than many more expensive products, and close enough to watch butterflies and small insects.
The optic features of Nikon Trailblazer 8×25 and 10×25 are good but their constructions are really great.
They’re extremely light, just weigh 9.9 oz (0.28kg) equivalent to Premier 10×25 and 8×20 (the Best of Nikon Zoom Binoculars), and very compact. The light weight and compact size are most important factors if you using them for travelling, hunting and carrying for a long trip. These Trailblazer Binoculars are compact enough to put in coat pocket, you even may forget that you’re carrying a binoculars.
Before, When Nikon Action was my only binoculars, I used to carry them for my trips. Initially, 2 lb weight was not big problem but after tramping for miles in woods, I was too tired and just wanted to throw them away. But no, my $200!
Nitrogen-filled and O-ring sealed for %100 waterproof and fogproof body, this’s also important factor. You may have to trek under rain or wet woods, and a waterproof body will help you to do not send them to Nikon’s Warranty Center soon. Even, if you tramp in desert, you may need this feature, who knows you will accidentally pee on them someday?!
I accidentally tested waterproof feature. I used them to peek a neighbor girl and forgot them in yard. That night it rained but next morning, I rechecked and nothing changed after whole night under rain.
The body is made from rubber-armored (rubber over metal) providing a solid grip and firm grip whether wet or dry. The bridge in the middle is hollow plastic but it feels very sturdy. However, I still want a non-slip layers exterior to feel better in hands.
The eye relief is 10mm, not great but not too bad for a compact binoculars. It’s enough for those who wear glasses to see the most field of vision. I wear glasses too and there’s no problem with my glasses on. Besides, turn-and-slide rubber eyecups can be smooth adjusted, allows users with or without glasses use them easily.
Finally, focusing. Large and central focus wheel and adjustable diopter make focus easy, even while wearing gloves. The lightweight also makes them very easy and quick to change focus while still maintaining view of object.
There’re few complaints on these binoculars that the lens caps are used to protect objective lens when not in use almost fall straight off, they should be attached to the binoculars somehow. Yes, that’s right but I think, really this’s nitpicking an amazing product! I usually don’t see lens caps used with compact binoculars. Such as Premier LX-L 10×25 and 8×20, they’re premium products and have no lens caps, or they have but I have never see someone use.
One more thing personally, I want the eye relief a bit longer to see full field of vision easier, but I think I’m asking too much at a compact and low-price binoculars.
Overall, they have great quality for low price. You may find out one or two other faults on these but I think, you can’t require more for a compact binoculars at this price-range.
The summary of pros and cons of Nikon Trailblazer 8×25 and 10×25 ATB Binoculars:
Eco-glass without the use of arsenic or lead
Multiple anti-reflective layers
BaK4 high index prisms
Wide Field of View
Good close focus distance
Extremely light and compact
100 waterproof and fogproof
Quick and easy focus
25 years no fault warranty
Cons: lens caps are not tight
Nikon Trailblazer 8×25 and 10×25 ATB Binoculars can’t compare to Monarch Binoculars in optics, or to Compact Premier LX-L in construction but they’re much cheaper and more suitable for amateurs. If you are looking for great binoculars in low price-range, you’ve just found it!