Nikon Superior E 12x50

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Brand and Model:Nikon Superior E 12x50
Price ($USD):$849.99
Attributes:un-checked Waterproof checked Armored
Objective Lens Size:50 mm
Magnification:12 x
Prism Type:BAK4 Porro
Coatings:Fully Multi-Coated
Field of View:5.0 degrees
Eye Relief:0 mm
Near Focus:9 ft
Weight (lbs):31 oz.
Dimensions (w/h/d):7.2"x4"
Precision engineering High Precision optics allow these binoculars to achieve optimal perspective, naturalism and brightness that are especially well-suited for bird-watching and more - even astronomical observation.
Lightweight and tough Die-cast magnesium alloy bodies offer an excellent combination of light weight and durable strength.
Excellent ergonomics Handling stability is outstanding, thanks to smart, sleek body designs that balance the weight beautifully.
Short focusing distance The 8 x 32 SE CF offers exquisitely detailed views from as close as 3m from the subject.
High resolution, fully multicoated optics
Nikon's superior technology
All metal construction
BaK4 high index prisms

Nikon Superior E Series Binoculars

Vote Highlights Vote
Nikon Superior E 12x50
I recently took the rather expensive plunge and bought a pair of Nikon 12x50SE binoculars. I was itching to find out if they could live up to their formidible reputation as I was looking for a pair of binos that possessed good optics, offered moderately high power, and could still easily be held by hand. I love binocular astronomy but I often want to grab a pair of glasses that will give me respectable views without the inconvenience of transporting and setting up a mount for my 16x70s. Hence the Nikons.

First, let me say my greatest concern with regard to the Nikon 12x50s was the issue of hand-holding them, given their power. I discovered to my relief that, because of their magnesium construction, they were lighter than my old 10x50 Orions, and were just as easy to hold on target for relatively long periods of time. I found I could spend minutes at a time looking at an object before my arms wearied, and I was still able keep the object steady in the field. Furthermore, the body of the the binos are coated with a comfortable, easy-to-grip rubber-like material. They are not water-proof, however, although they are described in literature as "water resistant". I do not live in a humid area, nor do I intend to use them in the rain, but these points are important to know in case your needs are different than mine. The construction Of the Nikon Superior E binoculars is otherwise solid and rugged and I expect many years of frequent use from them. One caveat that might matter to some potential buyers is the inexplicable lack of a threaded socket for mounting. As I stated above, my particular requirements did not include a need for mounting, but for those who will want to use these binos with a tripod, there is an adapter available at an extra cost.

Second, the optics are, in a word, excellent. Stars are pinpoints across almost the entire FOV (about 5 degrees). DSOs are easy to find and reveal faint detail. I believe there is an extra element in the eyepieces acting as field flatteners which means that image dropoff does not occur until the very edge of the field. The result is that image detail and faint objects are clear and sharp from side to side. The binoculars are a center focus (CF) model, a feature which I like in contrast to my Fujinons, in which each eyepiece focuses individually. They also focus smoothly and images snap into view easily and cleanly. All optical surfaces are very well-coated and the barrels are baffled reducing stray light to a bare minimum. Eye relief is generous and there are rubber eye cups that fold down for eyeglass wearers, like me. Blackouts (or kidney beaning) are a minor problem that can be kept in check by careful positioning of the binoculars when observing.

Nikon's excellent 25 year, no-fault warrantee comes with this binocular and it is comforting to know that the manufacturer will stand behind its products when repairs are required.

In summary, my Nikon 12x50 Superior E binoculars are well-built, easy to hold, and have exceptionally fine optics. In my opinion they are worth their considerable price. I recommend them highly for both astronomy and terrestrial use.

Best wishes,


Overall Rating: 10
Optics:10 Value:10
Weight: 40 (Reputable Vote)
Link to this vote:

Nikon Superior E 12x50
After u get over the initial sticker shock (and I got a deal at $715), I find that the longer I have and use this bino, the more pleased I am I got it. It's just one of those perfect sized, perfect performing, perfect feeling glasses that you just enjoy using. It is one of the few units I've ever tried that will resolve Jupiter to a perfectly round disc with no flaring or edge color....Saturn is a perfect yellow egg...when Venus is in phase the defiinition is very sharp....and no ghost images at all, even from the hated hi-pressure sodium streetlites. Eye relief is very adequate at around 17mm, focus very precise, the light armoring just right, and the weight ideal. Lest you get the idea they're flawless, I must throw a very small wrench in the works....the rolldown eyecups. Once you've had glasses with twistups, as in the B&L Discoverers and the new Swift Audobons, rolldowns are a pain. Ok, so aside frm that, the 12x50's (in fact, all the hi end Nikons) are keepers. Lack of a tripod adaptor is a minor flaw, but this is hand-holdable for reasonable periods anyway. My advice?...bite the bullet, spend the $ and get one

Overall Rating: 9
Optics:10 Value:7
Weight: 5 (Veritable Vote)
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Nikon Superior E 12x50
I have owned the Nikon Superior E 8x32 and 10x42's for several years. They are wonderful and I think they're the best out there> I like the proor prism design better than roof prism as they are lighter and pass through more light. I find them easier to hold also. The 10x42's have been my go to binos for sometime now and I love them for birding, etc. I have used them in astronomy and they do very well but I've always wished they had a little more aperature at night. With their superior resolution they do compare to 10x50s but I wished Nikon made them in 10x50. I even called them to ask!
I recently purchased the Nikon Superior E 12x50's. They are truely wonderful! They have quickly taken over as my "go to" Binos for birding and at night. I can easily hand hold them. I can find Messier objects easily as the extra magnification brings out more detail and darker background in my poluted skies makes the faint fuzzies stand out. I have Fujinon 10x70's and it's a tough call between them. I like them both! For portability the Nikons win hands down but the Fuji's are still VERY nice.

Optics are very very good. The edge might drop a bit at 95% but you have to look for it. Color is very good. I understand they're not ED but many think they are.
I haven't tried them in truly dark skys but at home (4.x on a good night)they actually have very good brightness, contrast and resolution. In 5.x skies they are even better. I find them equal or better than any 10x50s I've tried for brightness, contrast & resolution. I like the extra magnification and slightly darker background of the 12x. Birds are absolutely fantastic!
I've now solved my "go to" bino issue for day and night and I looking at large aperature, high magnification binos for my just ordered Universal parallelogram mount. (Oh, If I could somehow justify and afford the Fujinon 25x150's! A big Dob and permanent dark sky spot are ahead on the list though.)
The Nikon 12x50's are wonderful binos. If you can hand hold 10x's, you can hand hold these and the extra magnification adds a lot. They're light and portable with a wide enough field to find anything.

Rating 10 (no tripod screw hole but I hand hold)

Denny Johnson

Overall Rating: 10
Weight: 3 (Unreliable Vote)
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Nikon Superior E 12x50
Absolutely amazing resolution and sharpness in the entire field of view. Crazy - I keep looking for some minor flaw but can't any in the image quality. At twice the price I couldn't find a Leica or Zeiss that equaled the Nikon SE's. The details one can see through a pair of these is stunning. After being really impressed with the 8x32 SE's I had to get the 12x50's... the same wonderful binocular only 50% higher magnification. Although not weatherproof, I'm not usually toting expensive binocs around in the rain or snow. Very lightweight for a 12x and a solid, comfortable build. The only downside is I wear glasses and it would be nice to have a more easily retractable eyepiece hood, but that's my only complaint. If you're in the market for a great 12x binocular, add this one to your comparison list.

Overall Rating: 10
Optics:10 Value:9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
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