At A Glance
- Very good image image at the center
- Smooth focus wheel
- Comfortable eyecups
- Comes in snazzy colors
- Very good close focus and field of view
- Unpadded neckstrap
- Heavily textured grip not for everyone
- Somewhat soft image at the edges
- Price: $295 MSRP at press time. Prices often fluctuate, so check with retailers
- Close focus: 6.6 feet (200 cm)
- Field of view: 8.17° (429 feet at 1,000 yards). More about field of view
- Weight: 25.0 oz (710 g)—that’s about 0.7 oz (19 g) lighter than the average for 8×42 binoculars in our review
- Eye relief: 17 mm
Viewing Experience: These are nice binoculars with a bright image, minimal glare, and a very wide field of view. The nubbled focus wheel is easy to turn, offering enough resistance to stop easily and precisely at the correct focus. On a February morning with brilliant sunshine and snow, a lone Bohemian Waxwing was easy to resolve in the middle distance: the sharp black mask was cleanly outlined in white and rufous, the silky crest stood out easily, and the waxy red wingtip droplets were brilliant. When we turned into the sun, these bins did well to bring detail to a distant treetop (300 feet away), crisply defining the crests of Tufted Titmice and distinguishing the gray of the back and the buffy-white of the underparts. When birds moved to the edge of the image, we did note some softening in the focus—the sharpest focus is limited to the center of the field of view. We found that colors were true to life, though the overall image was just a tick dimmer than our top-rated binoculars.
Feel and Build: In a welcome effort to inject fun and fashion into the birding experience, Nocs binoculars come not just in standard black and olive green, but also “Galapagos Blue,” “Persimmon,” and several other colors. The body is covered with deep horizontal ridges that give the binoculars a one-of-a-kind look and feel that most testers seemed to like. There are no thumb indents or other contouring. The nubbled focus wheel was comfortable at first, but after an extended session, some testers found it mildly irritating. The lens covers are loosely tethered, prone to fall off on occasion. The strap is basic unpadded webbing. The eyecups are slightly beveled for comfort and dial easily but securely into two positions.
This article is one in a series of mini-reviews. To see how these binoculars compare to others we’ve tested, see our full review of affordable 8×42 binoculars.
All About Birds is a free resource
Available for everyone,
funded by donors like you