Nikon's Premier LX L compact binocular gives you European quality at a lower cost. The superior brightness of the LX L is not affected by the compact objective lenses. If you are shopping for a high-end compact, the Nikon Premier LX L should be a top consideration.
Fully Multi-coated Lenses
Increase light transmission with multiple anti-reflective coatings on all air-to-glass surfaces.
Enhances resolution and contrast through roof prisms.
Optimize light transmission.
Appreciated for a streamlined shape and durability.
Provides a secure, non-slip grip.
Twist up and down for comfortable viewing with or without eyeglasses.
Center Focus Wheel
Adjusts both binocular barrels at the same time. Located between ocular lenses.
Right Eye Diopter
Adjusts for differences in a user's eyes. Located between the eyepieces.
Optics are sealed with O-rings to prevent moisture, dust, and debris from getting inside the binocular.
Barrels are filled with nitrogen gas to inhibit internal fogging.
My first and lasting impression is that the Nikon Premiers are gems. The optics are superb, with a 350 ft FoV at 1,000 yards, amazing brightness and sharpness and no fall off in clarity that I could detect from edge to edge. They also have a very good depth of field, and it's easy to bring objects into focus. I think they probably ruin you for cheaper compacts.
Handling and balance are excellent. The front mounted focus wheel is easy to use with one finger (I use my ring finger but the little finger works as well) and I thought the location was much better than the center mounted wheels on most other duel hinge compact roof prism designs. The diopter adjustment is on the rear of the center piece rather than under the right eyepiece and again I thought this was an excellent design choice. It's very easy to adjust this while keeping the binocular to your eyes. They Premiers are listed at 9.5 oz., which I think is slightly heavier than other high end compacts from Leica, Zeiss and Swarovski. Because of their size, the weight is a little surprising when you first pick them up, but they are well balanced and a pleasure to handle. I can't imagine anyone finding the extra ounce or two a problem, and the build quality seems excellent.
This all comes with a "but". For my aging eyes (I'm 64 and wear glasses), the 2.5 mm exit pupil is troubling. To my surprise, I was aware of the effort to center them and found it got fatiguing to use them after only a short period. The sensation is that your eye is focusing onto an unnaturally small spot. I don't know if many people would have a similar response, but for me it did present a problem and after some agonizing I very reluctantly decided to return them.
I assume my trouble with the small exit pupil is not not common and I would strongly recommend the Premier if you're looking for a high end compact. I can't say if they're exactly in the class with the L-Z-S models, but it's hard for me to believe they're not. As I said at the start, I think these are real gems.
Jeremy from Lehigh, PA
I've used these for several years. I travel often for work and these are easy to take along for "add a day" birding trips. great views, quality feel, good-enough eye relief and compact form make for a very useful companion. only gripe is that the finish is flaking off the barrels - I treat them very kindly so I don't think this should be expected. they are often my go-to bin over my 10x32 because they are such a pleasure to carry.
Vince from Oregon
I wear glasses and these are one of the best true compacts that can be used with glasses. They are very sharp and the focus is very smooth and tight. Eye relief is pretty acceptable - not ultimate, but decent with glasses. They fold up quite small but are not super light weight like the Zeiss below.
For a couple years I used a pair of Zeiss Classic 8x compacts (look exactly like the Conquest model) but my wife now uses them (without glasses) and loves them. The Nikons definitely have better eye relief but are significantly heavier. Otherewise they are comparable quality.
I also have some Bushnell Elite 7x26 which have better eye relief than the LxL's but are larger and not waterproof. They are just as sharp as the Nikons if not better. Truthfully, I use the Elites more often, especially in summer when I have sunglasses over my regular glasses.
If I didn't wear glasses these Nikons would be at the top of my list with the Zeiss. Over the years though I've been willing to accept a bit more bulk for better comfort with glasses. I still take these Nikons though when I really need small size.
Bob from Michigan
I had been debating about buying a high end compact binocular for some time, so that I could always have a pair in my briefcase or pocket when outdoors. I wish I had bought them years ago.
The overall feel and usability is quite good. Since I generally am using these for spot birding -- rather than an extended bird trip -- I tend to use them without my eyeglasses. The very large diopter adjustment (+/- 4) is essential for me for this. The feel in the hand is nice. The strange location for the focus adjustment (at the bottom rather than the top) does take a bit of getting use to -- particularly when I was last using my regular binoculars -- but this really is only a minute or two after getting used to these binoculars, more to remember the different location. I don't find focusing hard at all.
I compared another pair (Zeiss Victory 8x20) but these felt much better in my hand to me. Since my regular binoculars are Zeiss, I tried to convince myself to prefer the Zeiss -- but I couldn't do it -- these just were nicer for me. I don't know if the optics are better or not, but certainly the optics are very good indeed.
Highly recommended, would definitely buy them again.
"Premier" optics in a small package
Scott Jones from Los Angeles
These Nikons are brilliant. Good eye relief - hard to find in premium pocket binoculars. I also have two pair of Leica Utlravids and while the Nikons don't have as much visual "pop" as the Leicas they seem to me to have even more 3-dimensionality, if that's possible. Optically they are superb and rate five stars. They feel good in the hand but I would have liked more armoring and for some design reason they placed the focusing knob at the opposite end of the binoculars - at the objective end! This takes some getting used to and, as I am often switching between pairs my fingers always fall in the wrong place. Anyway, I don't get the same focus power with the knob closer to my pinky. And I have to be careful that my fingers don't intrude into the view. It's a weird design causing handling problems. Still, the view is awesome. And I highly recommend them.