ACULON A211 8-18×42 zoom binoculars are built with multi-purpose functionality and a lightweight, ergonomic design.
These binoculars are perfect for those looking for versatile, mid-to-high magnification zoom capability in an economically priced, quality optic.
The ACULON A211 8-18×42 zoom binoculars deliver mid to high range magnification, adjustable by an easy-to-reach fingertip zoom control knob, in a compact design; and are light enough to be carried with ease to any outing or event.
Built to last with eco-safe components and designed to perform in a variety of conditions, the ACULON A211 8-18×42 zoom binoculars are sure to bring you even closer to the action and give you an experience nothing short of incredible, all at a very affordable price.
I like to research things and know a bit about whatever I end up buying. But I found that information on buying binoculars was not as straight forward and simple as I expected it to be. It’s not that information is not available. I simply found the information to be less informative than I should have liked. For example, learning what an 8×42 designation actually meant. Straight forward right? 8x magnification, and a 42mm objective lens. Great, but there are fifty eleven different combinations, with a wide array of options to choose from. Which is best for me? And furthermore, WHY is it best for me. That’s what I wanted to know, and that information was a bit harder to come by. As much as I hate the trial and error method of learning, I had to fall back on that in this case.Based purely on advice, I settled on Nikon as the manufacturer for their supposed excellent optics at comparatively excellent prices. Once I had decided on that, it was a matter of choosing the right glasses. My initial inclination was to go with a pair of zoom binos. But I noticed that out of a large range of binoculars, Nikon only makes like 3. Why so many fixed binoculars and only 3 zoom types? Research led me to think that the “Inerrant issues with zoom type binoculars” made them inferior. So I set about finding the right pair of fixed magnification binos for my application, but there were so many choices. I try when possible to buy “Middle of the road” items. Not the very best, but not crappy either. I’m a middle of the road kind of guy. So I settled on a set of Monarch 5 8×42’s for a decent $279 price. I tired these out for a bit at Gander Mountain and liked them quite a lot. Then I talked to my buddy at work that has a set of zoom binos and he sang me their praises. He allowed me to borrow his for a weekend to try them out. And here is where things came a bit more into focus for me. (See what I did there)?The question centered around what I actually wanted to do with a pair of binos. I had to get out of the mindset of what is better based on things like materials used. Nikon is not really making any “bad” binos per say, they are more making different binos for different applications. With that in mind I realized that 90% of the time, I would be using these binos in and or around the house to view the property and my animal friends. 10% of the time I may use them up to my camp, and probably if not from the truck, than very close to it. Turns out, I don’t need a pair of binos to be waterproof, necessarily fog proof, full of nitrogen and able to be run over by a small car. It also turns out that my initial gut feeling about being able to zoom in an out was much more important to me than necessarily having the “Best” fixed picture offed by a set of fixed magnification binos. I was impressed with my buddies Bushnell’s, but I still didn’t know what Range of magnification would be better. I thought, well maybe the larger more “Powerful” set of Aculons would be the ticket. After all there is only maybe a $30 diff in price. So I ordered both sets of A211, 8-18×42 and 10-22×50. And I am glad I got to experience both sets of glasses for myself. In my estimation, they are indeed much further apart than I had first imagined. And I ended up with the 8-18×42’s in the end because they in fact suited my real needs much better.At 8x, this set of binos act like a set of binos should act in my opinion. You get a clear picture, and movement does not translate to a headache. They are “Fluid” in my opinion, with a smoother natural field of view. The larger set at 10x were always jittery. There was nothing that I could do short of steadying myself against something to make the picture look natural. It was always jerky. And even with the larger objective lens, I felt the smaller set had a brighter picture at 8x. Field of View seemed to me more natural as well with the 8x. But as I originally suspected, 8x was not enough to see with any clarity at the farthest distances of my property, some 450 feet deep. I can pick out individual leaves on the tree at the very back of my property. I should be able to make out a turkey really well at the same distance. Of course at 18x, you are back in to jerky land again. But for some reason, 18x on the smaller set does not feel AS jerky as the comparable setting on the larger set. Even at 18x, I can hold steady enough to see though the jitteriness of the picture without having to rest against something. The jitteriness only gets better of course as you zoom out. At 14x or so, the picture is relatively stable just standing there. What it boiled down to was how user friendly the binos were in everyday use around the house. The larger set in my estimation nearly requires the use of a stand at even 10x. You can get away without a stand at 10x, but by the time you get to 22x, looking through the binos caused me to have a near instant headache from the shake. Through some trial and error, the smaller set seem to me to be a wonderful all around general purpose, jack of all trades bino, where the larger set seems more well suited for bird watchers in a fixed position using some sort of tripod. Although I think the Monarch 5 8×42’s would have been an excellent set of binos, (tried them out at Gander Mountain), I think they would have come up short for seeing more detailed images at 400-500 feet. The small package size of the monarchs and general purpose 8×42 fixed magnifications seems to me as though it would be well suited to carrying in the woods and bird watching at distances of 100 feet or less. But I should be able to pick out feather details with this set at 400 feet on a turkey.This is of course probably well-known information to anyone in this kind of hobby. But my hope is that my story may help out others like me that really don’t know a heck of a lot. Even knowing what to look for and what questions to ask would have been a big help to me. Maybe this can do that for some. I am well pleased with this purchase and I think they are going to prove very useful. I have owned several sets of sub $100 binos in the past. Many actually sub $70. Without a doubt, even at the $130 price tag on these which I deem to be fairly cheap on the whole, these are far superior to any set of binos I have ever owned. I think if you are looking for a general purpose all-rounder, that is pretty much exactly what this set of binos was built for.
Nigel Tufnel –
Very clear, white light transparency. What I mean is, I couldn’t detect any changes to the color or the contrast when looking through them. They DO take the Nikon and Barska tripod adapters. The little labeled knob in the front of the focus wheel unscrews and voila!You get really great contrast and images. The zoom feature allows you to go wide for tracking a flock of birds or getting up close.According to Patrick Moore’s book Exploring the Night Sky with Binoculars the specs on these bino’s would be right in the sweet spot for a starter pair, (he recommends a 7×50) though bigger objectives of course are better. You can _just_ start to make out the disk-shaped light of Saturn, but it’s plenty bright. It’s still tiny, but the color differences between planets is very clearly visible. It’s also plenty bright for looking at the moon, but without a tripod you’ll get a headache trying. You’ll also be impressed by how many objects these binocular pulls in that are completely invisible to the naked eye, but keep your expectations realistic! You aren’t going to initiate first contact with an alien race just because you have a zoom feature. :)NEVER point your binoculars or telescope at the sun without the appropriate filter(s)!!However, if you decide to use solar filters to view the sun, there’s plenty of magnification here for our nearest star. To find filters that fit correctly you should know that the outer diameter of the objective is 55.6mm. The only models of quality binocular solar filters I could find that fit well were the Seymour Solar brand. You’ll want the 2.5″ set which works from 55 to 60mm OD, but I was not able to find these on Amazon. Of course, follow all the manufacturer’s safety instructions.
Nigel Tufnel –
Fred E. Callison –
My wife loves these binoculars. We use them for bird watching in our backyard.The Good1) The weight is reasonable and the 42 mm opening provides good brightness for viewing. Good balance. A 50 mm opening would provide more light but would be too heavy.2) The zoom ratio is great. At 8x you can follow birds really well as they fly (if they are not too close). You can set it to 10x which also works but is a little too close. At 18x things start getting shaky.3) The zoom control is convenient and is very smooth.4) The focus control is also convenient and very smooth.5) The feel is great. You feel like you are holding a solid very expensive instrument.The Bad6) Zooming from 8x to 18x requires a little refocusing. This isn’t a big deal and, frankly, at the price level this is pretty minor flaw.7) If a bird gets really close to you the binoculars won’t focus. The minimum distance to focus is about 25′-30′. Again, pretty minor flaw but this does come up for us quite a bit as the birds seem to be getting really comfortable with us watching them.I didn’t cut back on the 5 star rating because the “Bad” was minor and the price was great. These are much better than I expected for the price level.
Fred E. Callison –
Great Binoculars all around. These are not waterproof or as rugged as some of the other binoculars made by Nikon, but they definitely feel durable. These certainly feel like a well made, premium product. In terms of functionality, the zoom and focus features work VERY well and are very easy to use. You can adjust your zoom and focus with one hand, and you can be zoomed and focused in a matter of seconds.I set these up on a tripod (using this adapter: BARSKA Binocular Tripod Adaptor) for target shooting, and I am thrilled with the combination. I much prefer using these binoculars at the range to using a spotting scope. These are much easier to use. Very quick and easy to find what you are looking for out there in the field, and even easier to focus in.I would definitely recommend these binoculars for a multitude of uses. If they were waterproof, I would have given them 5 stars.
jack zhang –
jack zhang –