Heard of Nocs Provisions before?
I hadn't either!
That's why when their binoculars came onto my radar, I had to get my hands on a pair and test them out!
Enter the Nocs Standard Issue 8x25 binoculars!
There are a lot of interesting things about the Nocs 8x25 binoculars from its claims of IPX7 waterproofness to its eye-catching lines and curves on the armor and very low price point.
I tested for optical and build quality, waterproofness, and I also comment on its digiscoping compatibility.
Based off my time in the field, I determined that the Standard Issue binoculars have incredible value.
Read on to find out why!
What I Like: Cost
What I Don’t Like: Included neck lanyard
Best Uses: Recreational Use, Sightseeing, Camping, Hiking, Event Observation, Wildlife Observation, Birdwatching
- Magnification: 8x
- Objective Diameter: 25mm
- Coatings: FMC
- FOV: 357 ft/1000 yds
- Eye Relief: 10 mm
- Dimensions: 4.53 x 4.25 x 1.77” / 11.85 oz
My Verdict: Overall, the Nocs Provisions Standard Issue 8x25 binoculars embody value. For its low price point, they offer phenomenal build quality. A solid hinge maintains the IPD setting making for a rapid and easy glassing experience so that you don’t miss a beat.
Who is the Nocs Provisions 8x25 Best Suited to?
Binoculars under $100 are well-suited to casual and recreational applications, so sightseeing, camping, hiking, and some general wildlife and birdwatching observation. The problem is that many cheap binoculars do not have either the optical or build quality needed to satisfy buyer expectations.
Cheap binoculars either get moisture inside from a little rain or you can’t focus enough to get a good image which ruins the entire experience.
The Nocs Provisions 8x25 binoculars don’t have either of those problems and yet they’re still under $100. They check off cost requirements along with optical performance and build integrity expectations that one might have for the money.
I recommend them for every casual application along with birdwatching and maybe some hunting. They are definitely waterproof, so they’ll be a valuable asset if you’re out at sea or kayaking in the canals.
How Do the Nocs Provisions 8x25 Perform?
I wasted no time in field testing the Nocs Provisions Standard Issue 8x25 binoculars. I was kind of forced because the binoculars took a steep fall from the get-go. I’m counting that as drop test number one.
Once I had thoroughly wiped down the binoculars, I got to glassing. The ease of use is amazing. They are so easy to get up, focus, and start observing with immediately. Part of this is the good resistance of the single hinge. It has kept my IPD setting which means I have a collimated image ready for use every time I lifted the Nocs binoculars to my eyes.
I will admit I was a little worried about the color of the binoculars I would get. Though Canary (yellow), Poppy (orange), Diatomite (blue), and more look to be fun and funky, I’m after something that’s a little less standout-ish… I was pleasantly surprised to get a color I did not see in their Standard Issue line which looks to be the Alpine Green. It appears that whatever color finish best suits you, Nocs has it!
You can tell that Nocs Provisions is proud of their binocular design from the affordable optical components to the housing design to the textured armor. The armor does feel nice, it’s grippy, and there’s no slippage or issues with use of gloves even when the binoculars are wet.
Apparently, the design of the texturing stems from a blend of BMX mushroom grips (remember those?!) and inspirations from Frank Stella’s artwork. Basically, the natural and geometric lines and patterns provide a unique knurling for the armor… it works.
Well thought-out and executed, the Standard Issue 8x25 binoculars really are a new type of binocular for the price range. They just may have set the bar of what $100 binoculars should look like here on out.
Digiscoping Images: Please keep in mind that there is resolution loss since these images have been formatted for this page.
Features & Benefits
For the money, the Nocs Provisions Standard Issue 8x25 binoculars offer impossible value. For under $100, the 8x25 binos are worth the cost plus some. Typically, cheap binos only offer MC optics, water-resistance, and sub-par optical performance. The Nocs binos are the exception to this rule.
The Nocs are set apart with FMC coatings, is fully waterproof, and has better than expected optical performance. Its digiscoping compatibility was excellent allowing the camera to focus a lot better than what you can see with the binoculars alone for extreme ranges both close and far.
I absolutely think that the Nocs 8x25 binoculars offer great value especially for its build integrity, ease of use, and decent optical performance.
The overall build quality of the Nocs 8x25 binoculars is my favorite feature. Right out of the box, the Nocs took an accidental 6-foot tumble into horse manure… nice! I suppose it softened the landing for the optical assemblies, but the armor is thick and provides shock-proof benefits.
There’s a good amount of stiffness to all the moving parts of the Nocs binos, and I mean all moving parts. The focus knob has a bit more resistance than I would like for as often as you will find yourself using it, but the hinge holds my IPD very well.
I almost don’t feel like it’s fair to call these cheap binoculars because they’re not in terms of quality, but they are when it comes to the price point.
I expected the binoculars to claim that it was waterproof but turn out to be water resistant. So, I put the Nocs 8x25 binos to the test and submerged it in lake water – gross. It was a 27° F morning warmed up to about 40°, so the water was cold.
The results after a short while? Nothing. The water nicely shed the lenses and I could glass right away. The exterior lenses were a bit foggy but that’s to be expected and with a quick wipe of the included lens cloth, it was like it was never under water at all.
Waterproof. Check. Fogproof. Check.
So, the Nocs binos really are hermetically sealed and nitrogen purged. What I did notice is that quite a bit of water gets in around the hinge. After what I did to them and that’s the worst that happened, worrying about the build integrity would be a waste of time.
In general, 8x25 binoculars are small given their 25mm objectives and short tubes. Miniature in size, they’re ideal for casual applications for instant and fast glassing. The Nocs Provisions 8x25 binoculars are 4.53 x 4.25 x 1.77” in size and weigh 11.85 oz.
The Nocs are short even though they seem like they could be bigger than alternative 8x25 binos. It’s the thick armor that gives it some bulk. As a reminder, the better quality the armor, the better protection it offers.
As far as weight, they’re not out of the realm of what is acceptable for small, all-purpose binoculars. They’re only a few to 5 oz, at max, heavier than 8x25 alternatives. So, though they do feel like they have some heft, I think it actually helps to manage image stability and you can probably put it down to better quality than cheaper pairs.
For clarity’s sake, the Nocs 8x25 binoculars are not foldable. The IPD range is pretty standard from 60-74 mm. While they do fold in somewhat with the single hinge, to provide at minimum a 60mm IPD setting, they do not fold in completely.
Glassing with the Nocs Provisions Standard Issue 8x25 binoculars was a great experience. For the money, it was better than I thought it would be. There is good contrast and resolution to glass everything from birds and squirrels to windmills almost 700 yards away.
The overall image quality is on the darker side. I detect some minor chromatic aberration when birdwatching and there is noticeable spherical aberration around the edges of the FOV. For maximum sharpness, you will want to observe targets at the center of the FOV.
I did find the Nocs 8x25 binoculars very easy and fast to use. Acquiring a collimated image and a comfortable position behind the eyecups is child’s play. I used the diopter to compensate for my unique vision, and I was quickly squared away. It offers -/+3 correction.
The eye relief is very short at 10mm, but I’d say it feels more like 13mm. Though I could press my frames right up against the binoculars and still acquire a collimated image, I wouldn’t recommend the Nocs 8x25 binos for those that wear glasses with binoculars.
Directly from Nocs Provisions, “Nocs were built to make snapping a photo with your smartphone easy.” I found this to be especially true.
Most of the time, I’m digiscoping free hand, and this introduces a lot of optical aberrations into the image that wouldn’t be there if I had taken the time to use an adapter. But birds and the like don’t like to sit still long enough to allow me to rig together the set, so it’s off-hand shots about 90% of the time.
Nocs Provisions has a Photo Rig adapter. I have one that’s similar to it and just used that to test it out. The Photo Rig adapter can be used with other binoculars, monoculars, and even spotting scopes – they’re nifty to have on hand.
If you’re sightseeing, touring, or watching some sort of event, the Photo Rig is a must-have and is how I would recommend capturing moments of your trip.
I found the focus range on the binoculars limited for extremely close and distant targets. This is when I pulled out the camera and was stunned with the image. The camera was able to “clean it up” and provide an excellent image of what could be seen through the binoculars.
The photographic result of digiscoping with the Nocs actually showed greater resolution than what I could detect with my eyes from an unstable position.
I suppose this is the result of using camera autofocus on what is essentially a 400mm lens (the binocular). It’s a great digiscoping binocular, and of course, you’re also able to add digital magnification to the equation and get a closer look when 8x just isn’t cutting it.
The Nocs Provisions 8x25 binoculars come with a neck lanyard, lens cloth, and microfiber drawstring bag – I’m pretty sure it’s microfiber, it’s soft and silky. These are standard binocular accessories, and Nocs Provisions didn’t miss a thing.
I haven’t used the bag at all. It will be great for storage, but I consider the Nocs to be pocket binoculars, so unless they’re in my pocket or around my neck, I’d rather they go into a pouch on my belt or on my chest.
Though the included lens cloth may be discarded by some, I recommend that you hold onto it because you just never know when you might need them for purposes other than maintenance cleaning.
When the Nocs 8x25 binoculars fell into horse manure, I was glad I had something to wipe them down with before I needed to start using them. You don’t want to use your shirt on the lenses – so, keep the cloth!
The packaging is plastic free. In fact, the stitching at the top was the first thing I noticed about the box – that is definitely unique. The box is made from post-consumer recycled cardboard and the soy ink printing provides graphics all over the box.
The printed designs could be seen as a little much but it’s actually helpful. They have basic binocular instructions, recommended applications to do with the Nocs binoculars, and of course, the bino features and specifications. No user manual is included because it’s printed right on the box!
There’s no plastic or glue and the packaging is another expression of the manufacturer’s commitment to preserving and protecting the ecosystem.
Limitations of the Nocs Provisions 8x25
Included Neck Lanyard
It’s difficult to find reasonable flaws with the Nocs Provisions binocular given its low price point. What I could be extraordinarily critical about is easily forgiven because the Nocs cost less than $100. So, what did I not like? The included neck lanyard.
I tethered it for the sake of doing it. It wasn’t difficult to get on and strap it up. But it’s thin and uncomfortable. I wouldn’t want to wear the binoculars like this all day long, and if I were out on a hike, the lanyard would have a front row seat at home.
The Nocs 8x25 binoculars deserve a neck lanyard upgrade for as good as they are.
Not Tripod Adaptable
I expected the Nocs 8x25 binoculars to not be tripod adaptable and I was right. Few binoculars of this configuration are. You should know this before you buy. You can’t blame a binocular for not having something it doesn’t have in the first place.
The lack of a tripod adapter receiver has little to no consequence as it has 8x magnification. It’s very easy to use as a handheld binocular as it’s intended to be.
The only time I wished it was tripod adaptable was when I was digiscoping with it. It’s much easier to have a steady image when it’s mounted to a stable platform and not in my hand.
Given that one of its primary marketed features is digiscoping with it, it was a bit of a bummer.
Popular Questions About the Nocs Provisions 8x25
The Nocs Standard Issue binoculars are made in China. It appears that Nocs Provisions works with a facility in China that has produced Nocs binoculars with a <0.1% defect rate. If there are any issues, the 8x25 binoculars are covered by their lifetime warranty.
In general, field-testing proved that the Nocs Provisions Standard Issue 8x25 binoculars are indeed water-tight and fogproof. The binoculars are O-ring sealed and nitrogen-purged to provide moisture-tight and leakproof benefits. Though not recommended, they are submersible to 1m for 30 minutes.
The eye relief of the Nocs Standard Issue 8x25 binoculars is 10mm. This is extremely short for glasses-wearers, and I would say not ideal for those that need to keep their glasses on. The diopter does provide -/+3 correction.
I personally wear my glasses right up my nose. Even with that, I can barely manage my frames up against the glass of the Nocs binoculars with the eyecups all the way in. It’s not comfortable and I don’t like glassing like that for a long time, but in a jiffy, it works.
On average, 8x25 binoculars are excellent as a pocket pair of optics for fast glassing for casual applications. This includes, camping, sightseeing, backpacking, hiking, bird watching, wildlife observation, and more.
Nocs also recommends their Standard Issue binouclars for line scouting, cosmic gazing, wave finding, and over landing. They specifically mention on the box, “Don’t be a creeper.” I totally agree.
Nocs Provisions backs the Standard Issue 8x25 binoculars with the No-Matter-What Lifetime Warranty. Warranty coverage appears to follow the binocular and not the original purchaser. It’s protected against manufacturing flaws or any issues that might occur over ownership
Best Budget Pocket Binoculars: Nocs Standard Issue 8x25
Overall, the Nocs Provisions Standard Issue 8x25 binoculars fulfill budget requirements but compromise nothing in terms of optical performance and build integrity. If anything, it’s a classic overachiever and certainly blew apart my initial expectations.
I like what this brand is doing and what they stand for. The fact that they brought a high-performance binocular for under $100 says a lot to consumers as affordability is usually the primary concern when buying optics.
For the money, the Nocs 8x25 binos don’t disappoint. They’re ready for adventure and you can put your cost savings into your boots. There’s a lot of terrain to travel with the Nocs in hand.
A big thank you to Nocs Provisions for sending me these binoculars to field test. Please note, even though this product was provided by the manufacturer, all my opinions expressed are my own and are not in any way influenced by any manufacturers.