Nikon Prostaff 5 8×42 – Unbiased review and recommendation

Nikon has stated in their website that these are the binoculars for your next adventures. After deep research, testing and reviews collection, this article is brought to have clear review of Nikon Prostaff 5 8×42. Below are what you should consider before making a buying decision.

Bird watching with Nikon Prostaff 5
Bird watching with Nikon

Overview of Nikon Prostaff 5 8×42

This is another product for a low budget. In fact, that is what Nikon do the best. The Nikon Prostaff 5 line, just like Prostaff 7, Prostaff 3, Monarch ATB,… performs well in basic categories of binoculars.

In general, the Nikon Prostaff 5 8×42 would please you in terms of optics and image quality, comfortable bringing and endurance. Also, you may reach these binoculars’ maximum potential when using them for outdoor activities. 

In order to see what specifically they could do, let’s take a look at the technical statistics of the two version 8×42 and 10×42:

Nikon Prostaff 5 8x42
Nikon Prostaff 5 8×42
Nikon Prostaff 5 10x50
Nikon Prostaff 5 10×50
Tech specsNikon Prostaff 5 8×42Nikon Prostaff 10×42
Focusing systemCentral FocusCentral Focus
Magnification8x10x
Objective Diameter42 mm42 mm
Angular Field of View (Real)6.3 degree5.6 degree
FOV at 1000 yds330 ft283 ft
Close Focus Distance16.4 ft16.4 ft
Eye Relief17.6 mm15.2 mm
Exit Pupil5.25 mm4.2 mm
Size (Length x Width)6.5 x 5.1 (inch)6.4 x 5.1 (inch)
Weight22.8 oz22.9 oz
Waterproof/ fogproofYesYes
PrismRoofRoof
Optics qualityLens coating: multilayer coating

Prism and prism coating: BAK-4 glass prism; anti-reflective nano film applied

Lens coating: multilayer coating

Prism and prism coating: BAK-4 glass prism; anti-reflective nano film applied

Suitable usesCamping and hiking, Birdwatching and nature watching, Marine sports and fishing,…Camping and hiking, Birdwatching and nature watching, Marine sports and fishing,…
Gas fieldNitrogen filled, O ring sealedNitrogen filled, O ring sealed
Brand NikonNikon

 

amazon

 

Above is the information collected via Nikon sports optic home page. In this article, we would concentrate on the Nikon Prostaff 8×42, as it is more spreadly used. Pros and cons assessment based on the provided data would be presented.

In fact, any product would have strengths and weaknesses. In this discussion, we would try to show if the performance is worth the money, and suit your using purposes or not.

Nikon Prostaff 5 8×42 – Pros vs cons

Pros 

Impressive image quality

Nikon Prostaff 5 8×42 is manufactured with the high quality BAK-4 glass prism, which is also found with other high-end binoculars like ZEISS Victory SF 8×42, LEICA ULTRAVID HD-PLUS,… Therefore, good light transmittance is something guaranteed by these binoculars, which means a clear, sharp and high contrast, precise color image reproduction when using. 

As for the lens system, they are multilayer-coating with anti reflection technique. The anti reflection feature would ensure a decent amount of brightness.

In fact, many reviewers have agreed not only presenting crisp, bright images in normal condition, but in the low light condition, optics quality is also very decent as well.

It’s such a good thing to know that despite creating an affordable product, the image reproduction process is invested a lot of effort and the result is quite impressive.

Lightweight yet durable construction

As it could be seen from the technical information table, Nikon Prostaff 5 8×42 weighs at 22.8 oz, with the size of 6.5 x 5.1 (inch). This is among the lightest weight in binoculars, even compared with much more pricey ones. The size is also quite compact.

The fiberglass-reinforced polycarbonate resin, on the other hand, provides a lot of enduringness to the binoculars.

Waterproof/ fogproof are also features that contribute to a better longevity of the product. 

These are mostly typical features of Nikon, very comfortable for carrying along, yet construction is still durable.

User friendliness

The eye relief of these binoculars is 17.6 mm. That’s a very impressive figure, and it brings enough comfortability for eyeglasses people to use conveniently. In fact, it is a high score in comparison with many other binoculars. 

The quite large field of view (330 ft) combined with 42 mm effective objective lens diameter, give a clear image in quite a long distance. This is NOT among the top field of view, but very prominent for common binoculars in the market. 

Moreover, the focus knob is smooth to adjust when changing the focus. Also, switching focus points would be quite comfortable as well. The Turn-and-slide rubber eyecups with multi-click adjustments facilitate this.

Eco-friendliness

The glass is made lead and arsenic-free, not only environmental – friendly, but also doesn’t cause bad effects to human’s health as well.

Cons 

The eyepiece covers may be found easily to fall off. This is not a big deal, but it will cause annoyance if you’re a careful person.

The accessories added may be a disadvantage of these binoculars. Some say you could have better accessories added using Vortex products (within the similar price range).

amazon

Nikon Prostaff 5 8×42 vs Zeiss Victory HT 8×42

Comparison

In this comparison, we place Nikon Prostaff 5 in a very tough battle. Actually, it’s sure that Zeiss Victory HT 8×42 has some superiors compared to the Nikon one. In the end of this section, our conclusion would speak out how this comparison may help.

zeiss victory ht 8x42
zeiss victory ht 8×42

But first goes first, let’s drive into the technical information aspects:

Tech specsNikon Prostaff 5 8×42Zeiss Victory HT 8×42
Focusing systemCentral focusCentral focus
Magnification8x8x
Objective Diameter42 mm42 mm
Weight22.8 oz29.27 oz
Size (L x W)6.5 x 5.1 (inch)6.3 x 5 (inch)
Angular field of view (real)6.3 degree7.75 degree
Field of view @1000 yards330 ft408 ft
Eye relief17.6 mm16 mm
Exit pupil5.25 mm5.3 mm
Close focusing distance16.4 ft6.2 ft
Prism systemRoof prismRoof 
Optics qualityLens coating: multilayer coating

Prism and prism coating: BAK-4 glass prism; anti-reflective nano film applied

Lens coating: Fully multilayer coated

Prism and prism coating: BAk-4 glass prism. Up to 95% and more light transmission.

Waterproof/ fogproofYesYes

As for community’s opinion, this is how reviewers make assessments on the two products:

FeatureNikon prostaff 5 8×42Zeiss Victory HT 8×42
Brightness 7/1010/10
Clarity7/1010/10
Comfort 7/109/10
Construction quality7/108/10
Ease of adjustment6/1010/10
Field of view6/1010/10

 

That is a comparison raised by people assessing a wide range of products at the same time (including the 2 above). 

As from the comparison, the most obvious and understandable difference is the field of view and close focus distance (408 ft and 6.2 ft). It means the Zeiss one has a much wider range of observing objects. It has a much further ability of watching, also far more comfortable watching in close distance. 

For optics quality, most people rate Zeiss Victory HT and Swarovski EL as the top 2 best (Swarovski are slightly better). The picture below would speak the reason:

Image from Zeiss Victory HT 8x42
Image from Zeiss Victory HT 8×42

Not only providing great clearance, sharp focus point and vivid color, the vignette and blurring effect is surprisingly good. You could see a very natural feather effect of the whole picture. In general, combining even slightest different details would make a more complete experience, and create distance from good (Nikon Prostaff 5 8×42) to great (Zeiss Victory HT 8×42).

It’s hard to justify the “Up to 95% and more light transmission”, but it’s sure that the optics quality is amazing, at least that’s how it is to a lot of reviews.

One more considerable difference is the ease of adjustment for focusing. They both have fast-switching focus knobs, although the Zeiss one is smoother. However, what really makes the difference (from a lot of binoculars) is that Zeiss Victory HT line usually includes a small knob behind the main focus knob that adjusts the diopter. This knob is fairly easy to move but is still small and stiff enough that you won’t move it accidentally (See picture below).

zeiss-ht-focus-knob
zeiss-ht-focus-knob

When comparing comfort, it’s a bit surprised that the lighter one (Nikon Prostaff 5 8×42) has a less amount of points. Actually, the more compact size of Zeiss Victory HT is preferable. People find it more comfortable in hand.

One plus point for the Nikon Prostaff 5 8×42 is the slightly further eye relief. It could be more comfortable for those wearing eyeglasses

Conclusion

As we bring two products that are on such two different levels, we want to emphasize the using familiarity when choosing binoculars. 

If you have specific experience using binoculars, or experts, you should definitely realize even the slightest difference that could create a far better experience. The smoother, easier to use focusing knobs, the crisper image, the better image effect,… from Zeiss Victory HT would desire you if you’re a binoculars professional (perhaps a biologist). And you would consider choosing the Zeiss even if it cost more than 10 times (about $2200 for a Zeiss Victory HT)!

However, Nikon Prostaff 5 8×42 is a good starting point for beginners, cheap yet efficient in almost basic requirements. 

They are just for two different types of users, but each of them works well to please the audience.

Nikon prostaff 5 8×42 – the verdict 

In summary, Nikon Prostaff 5 8×42 is still a good option for outdoor activities. Despite not being the top-quality product, it performs far better than expectation as for a relative cheap product. Good brightness and clear images, lightweight and durable, nice focus experience, those features could be satisfied with this product.

If you look for affordable binoculars that satisfy outdoor hobby purposes, or any other not complicated demand, we would highly recommend this product. After all, Nikon Prostaff 5 8×42 still receives a lot of good recommendations.

However, if you’re planning to look for binoculars that could complete specific strict requirements for work, you should consider other options. You could recheck our comparison with Zeiss Victory HT 8×42 for reference. 

If you have any other suggestion or question about this Nikon Prostaff 5 8×42, please leave a comment. We will answer in a really quick time.

List of nikon binoculars reviews

  1. Nikon monarch 5
  2. Nikon monarch 7
  3. Nikon Prostaff 3s
  4. Nikon Prosatff 5
  5. Nikon Prostaff 7s
  6. Nikon Aculon
  7. Nikon Monarch ATB