These Nikon StabilEyes feature 16x magnification, the highest of any image stabilized binocular we’ve tested. Objective lenses are 32mm.
The main body is covered with black plastic armor that is textured on the bottom and indexed for fingers on top.
The back panel on the main body holds controls and a pair of eyepieces. The eyepieces adjust for interpupillary distance in tandem.
Rubber eyecups twist in and out to accommodate different users who both do and do not wear glasses. Detents in the twist mechanism allow the eyecups to lock in one of four positions.
An adjustable hand strap on the left side doubles as a grip enhancer and case for the pair of AA batteries required for operation. Wed prefer the left side hand strap was removable. It is not though since it serves as the battery box.
The Nikon StabilEyes 16×32 weigh in at 42.1 ounces.
Nikon Image Stabilization
Nikons IS system is called Vibration Reduction (VR) and uses piezo gyro vibration sensors coupled to a pair of direct drive motors to move a gimbaled prism assembly with an erecting prism that counteracts vibration and binocular movement. Nikon claims a maximum correction angle of plus or minus 3 degrees.
As with all the other IS binoculars weve reviewed, focusing is accomplished using the right eyepiece diopter and a focus knob located on the top center of the case. No numerical markings are provided in the diopter scale.
Three switches control the stabilization on the Nikon binoculars with a pair of LED lights to indicate status. Power-up is accomplished by holding the power button until the LED near it flashes amber. This LED will continue to flash amber for 5 seconds while a self-test is completed.
Once this LED goes to steady amber the unit is ready for operation. To activate stabilization move the stabilization lever to on. On top of the unit another pushbutton allows the user to momentarily suspend IS operation by pressing the VR pause button. An LED on top of the case illuminates when the button is pressed.
Testers rated the Nikon binoculars Good for viewability. We could read the channel markers at 5000 feet clearly, but had some difficulty at 1 nautical mile. It seemed to us that the plus or minus 3 degree correction angle available in this binocular was not quite enough when coupled to the high magnification of the 16x StabilEyes.
Odds and Ends
Nikon ships the StabilEyes binocular with a padded case that closes with a small Velcro lock and a pair of nylon strap with plastic locking clips.
A nicely padded 2-inch wide neck strap is standard too.
The StabilEyes are not equipped with any front lens covers.
These binoculars carry a 1-year warranty.
We’d like to see a bit more correction angle available from the image stabilization system in a binocular with magnification this high.