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Nikon 8X42 Aculon A211 Binoculars (8245) – Under $100!

nikon-aculon-a211-8x42Magnification: 8X
Power Variability: Fixed
Objective Diameter: 42 mm
Close Focus Distance: 16.4 feet
Dimensions: 5.7 x 7.3 inches
Weight: 26.8 ounces
Field of View: 420 feet/1000 yards
Eye Relief/Exit Pupil: 12 mm/ 5.3 mm
Optics Coatings: Fully Multi-Coated
Glass: BaK-4
Prism System: Porro
Focus System: Center
Waterproof/Fog-proof: No/No
Eye cups: Turn & Slide
Tripod adaptable: Yes
Rangefinder: No

Best Uses: Hunting, For the Range, Birdwatching, Wildlife Observation

Our Rating:

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Nikon Aculon A211 Bino Review

The Nikon Aculon A211 8X42 is the second most popular Nikon binocular to make it into our reviews, thanks to its aspherical fully multi-coated lenses with BaK-4 prism glass, Eco-Glass, and very wide field of view. It’s also the cheapest binocular in our Nikon line-up.

Its popularity is easily justified because of its low budget price tag or maybe just because it’s an ideal, all-purpose little bino that gets the job done without fancy frills and twills. Either way, loads of reviewers online think the Aculon is a killer little optic and gave it a double thumbs up.

With such a huge reviewer fan base, I was obligated to feature the underrated Aculon and even gave it top spot in our best binoculars under $100 category, which you can check out here. While some people pass over the Aculon as a mediocre device, it seems to perform extremely well for those who give it a chance. Obviously, hundreds of people would say I’m right. Will you?

If you like to root for the underdog, and you’re after the low budget price for all the features that you need, then this Q&A is for you. Pore over every question to see if saving yourself a few hundred bucks will get you the extra bucks you need in the bed of your truck.

PROs:
  • Price
  • Aspherical lenses
  • Wide field of view
  • Eco-glass technology
  • Rubber armored body
CONs:
  • Not weatherproof

 

Aculon A211 8X42 Binocular Q&A:

Does this Nikon binocular have the roof prism or the porro prism design?

This Aculon 8X42 has the porro prism design. What gives it away? Take a look at its more traditional binocular design. The eyepieces and objective lenses are unaligned – the eyepieces are closer together while the objectives are further apart.

While roof prisms seem to be getting a lot of attention these days, the porro prism has been the standard prism system for a long time – and for good reason. While it’s not going to be waterproof, you will have some optical advantages.

Porro prisms actually have less reflections to make in its light path on the way to the eyepiece, so optical quality in a porro prism can actually be superior to roof prisms. Also, the porro prisms tend to offer a much deeper image, giving off more of a 3D effect.

For a full run down on the different prism systems, check out our Porro Prisms Vs Roof Prisms article.

 

What is the glass quality of this low budget binocular?

Glass quality is important to consider, especially in low budget binos. You want to have as pure glass as you can get without components that cause imperfections or manufacturing finishing processes that cause blemishes. All of this will have a direct effect on clarity, brightness, and optimal image quality.

Nikon’s Aculon A211 line all use the Eco-Glass lenses that are also environmentally friendly. What do I mean by that? The glass is lead and arsenic-free.

The eyepiece lenses are also aspherical. This means that the lens have aspheric elements to it that can provide a more flat field of view, can minimize spherical aberrations, and can also correct for astigmatism better than other types of basic lenses. This is pretty impressive for a bino that costs less than $80 online.

 

Is there a variable zoom Aculon?

The Nikon Aculon A211 10-22X50 is another hit with Nikon fans. The $150 binocular has the zooming power of 10-22X on large 50 mm objective lenses.

The finger-tip magnification control is smooth and easy to use, making it an affordable and ideal device to use for various hunting conditions and terrains.

 

What is its close focus distance?

If you read any Aculon review online, you’ll find that the close focus distance isn’t anything to brag about – it’s 16.4 feet. While most all-purpose binos are somewhere between 20-25 feet, they do perform a little better than that.

But, if you’re hunting and you’re typically about 50 to 150 yards away from your kill, the 16 feet close focus distance is a non-issue.

 

Is it waterproof and fog-proof?

The unfortunate thing about the Aculon is that it is not as weatherproof as most of you would like. This is due to the porro prism design. Because of its unique construction, it’s extremely difficult to weatherproof them, so any porro prism bino is unlikely to be fully waterproof or fog-proof.

But, don’t be discouraged by this mere fact. Most people who are using the Aculon in over 90 degree Fahrenheit weather, by the lake during the night, have taken it inside into air conditioned rooms, from inside warm 60 degree plus homes to 30 degree weather outside, haven’t had any issues with fogging or condensation on the inside lenses.

But in the end, for roughly $80, you might just be willing to pay a little more for a weatherproof unit. If you’re wanting the low price for a weatherproof unit, you might want to consider the popular and more compact Nikon Trailblazer 10X25 for only $10 or so more.

While you’re compromising on direct relationship between objective lens size and field of view, exit pupil, and eye relief, you do gain the closer focus distance, weatherproof-ability, really small dimensions and light weight.

Side note: this model too was featured in the Top 100 Best Seller’s List.

You could also check out the weatherproof options from other popular binocular brands listed here.

 

Noteworthy Features:

  • Turn and slide rubber eye cups are easy to find that custom fit for a full field of view
  • Aspherical fully multi-coated lenses with BaK-4 prism glass
  • Wide 420 feet flat and bright field of view
  • Arsenic-free and lead-free Eco-Glass technology
  • Rubber armored body for non-slip grip and repeated and heavy use

 

Our Verdict

To glass it up, the Nikon Aculon A211 8X42 binoculars are popular and hit the Top Seller’s Ranks for good reason – they’re awesome and cheap. They’re definitely what you would consider entry level and basic in design, but the extra perks will really make it a versatile tool in the hands of newbies and pros alike.

Not all 8X42 binos are cheap. Take the Nikon Monarch 7 8X42 ATB binocular for example. It’s been jam-packed with luxury coatings, weatherproofing, and it’s a roof prism bino too. The extra perks are definitely going to reflect in the extra costs – just so ya know.

Although, not as affordable as the Aculon is, the Celestron TrailSeeker 8×42 binos (which you can take a look at here) are also an excellent consideration regardless of the price jump. It’s probably more comparable in quality to the Monarch 7 we just mentioned, but the price is much lower. If you’re itchin’ for an 8X42 binocular, you can have it all with Celestron’s low prices.

Nikon knows how to offer low prices as well as high-end, premium optics with the big, fat price tag. In this way, they’re excellent to consider buying from because they cater to all skill levels and budgets of every type of optic user there is. Now that’s a brand you can trust!

 

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