Registered: February 2010
Review Date: Sat May 19, 2012
||Would you recommend the product? Yes |
Price you paid?: None indicated
| Rating: 0
I guess not many will know of the Eden binocular brand. Indeed I knew nothing about it until Renze de Vries wrote a review of 8x42HD here in the reviews section and KorHaan reported on the 8x42 XP in the Binocular forum. I've been happy to point quite a number of members asking for binocular recommendations in the direction of such glowing reviews. With the permission of the BirdForum administrators the company contacted me asking if I'd be prepared to look at another in their XP range. The 8x42 had already been reviewed and I suggested they send me their XP 10x56 and the 10x42 (which is the subject of another review).
The XP is one of three models offered which also include the entry level HD and the ED priced just below the XP. The XP range offers 8x and 10x42, and 8x and 10x56 which currently sell for £245 and £325 respectively (€270 and €389).
There is little doubt that the XP 10x56 are big and heavy binoculars, and probably wouldn't be a first choice for many birders. Unfortunately my hand shake is a little high for a light weight 10x and I would normally use a heavy porro when visiting sites that need a bit more magnification. I was rather pleased when Eden agreed to send me this pair to evaluate as well to see how they compared to the 10x42s.
At 180mm tall, 1170g and quite nose heavy I found it best held quite far forward near it's balance point. Though an unfamiliar grip it was still comfortable and easy to reach the focus. For me a steady view, but I'm not the biggest bloke around and for extended viewing it might not be too long before I'd be looking for somewhere to rest my elbows. There is not much room between the barrels for a standard tripod mounting bracket and it might be a problem for those with a narrow IPD though I'm sure there are other solutions. There is a nicely grippy feel to the armour coating. I guess the decorative patterning is a matter of taste that I'll leave others to judge. The rubber inserts on the focus wheel and dioptre adjuster provide a nice non-slip feel. The anticlockwise focus (close to far) is a very nice, comfortably fast pace, right from the close focus of about 2.5m to infinity and surprisingly light for such a large pair. The dioptre ring was fairly stiff and unlikely to be moved accidentally. It seemed to be perfect set on zero which I take a take as an indication of good QC. The firm rubber eyecups extend 10mm in three stages and are nicely profiled and feel comfortable. The eye relief is listed as 18.5mm. It is perfect with my close fitting glasses, but may be a problem for some spectacle wearers. The lens covers are a soft rubber and fit very well with the objective ones being tethered and easily slipped off. The case is nothing special, but perfectly functional with modest padding. The strap is OK, but some might want to look for something wider if they are planning to hang it round their necks for any length of time.
I liked the view enormously.
The 6* field of view is quite respectable for a 10x56, and actually feels wider and much more involving than the 6.5* of it's little brother. The sweet spot is larger as well at about 75% of the field with a very mild field curvature that can be focussed out to sharp edges. Those with younger eyes I'm sure will find the view even wider and flatter. The contrast is very good, holding up better than my other pairs under challenging light conditions. However there is some flare when viewing angles close to the sun, but this can mostly be controlled by repositioning the eyes. There appears to be good transmission throughout the visible spectrum as you might expect with dielectric prism coatings. There seems to be a modest green bias to the overall view. The result is that colours are rich and vibrant. This is somewhat different from my other pairs and took a bit of getting used to but after a few days use I'm rather liking it. The CA or colour fringing is reasonably well controlled, but some narrow fringing is visible in high contrast situation. It is important to centre the view properly to minimise it. The view is very sharp on this binocular, hardly distinguishable from my very best pair when on a stand and using a test chart, but appear really top notch in the hand. I rarely have occasion to use binoculars at very low light levels. Indeed I'm not sure my pupils will dilate to 5.6mm these days but these seems very good. By twilight factor, my 12x50 should be better than a 10x56, but looking into shadows in near darkness this clearly beats it by a margin. I'm not a star watcher and with the light pollution where I live I presumed there wouldn't be much to see. I was wrong. Masses of them, round and sharp across about 75% of the field. All in all it does seem a very versatile pair suited to a variety of activities. I've rarely seen an x56 at any retailer I've visited so have no baseline for comparison, but I can't help but think that it should stack up very well against most competition. I've certainly enjoyed the view much more than many pricier 10x42s I've tried.
I've spent a week comparing them to the XP 10x42 and my other pairs, and I must admit they have really grown on me. The view is really quite addictive, but it's left me with quite a dilemma. Because of the weight they could never be my first choice for longer walks, and they don't quite show the detail of my 12x porro, (though it would make quite a good stand in) why do I need one? Perhaps if I was more dedicated and did more dawn or dusk birding it would be a more obvious choice. I've not managed to spot the Bitterns that winter near here yet, maybe this is the perfect instrument for those dark winter days. There must be a good reason to justify owning one.
I took these along with the XP 10x42 to the local lake and nature reserve and asked a few regulars their opinion. They all thought the 10x42 was pretty good, in many cases better than the ones they owned, but everyone thought the view at least of the 10x56 was better still. Unsurprisingly at least half thought the size and weight totally unacceptable, but some were clearly tempted. One Swarovski binocular and scope owner commented “with one of these I'd leave the scope at home”. Perhaps he wasn't quite ready to swap his 8x Swaros though. A novice with a borrowed pair of Leica's was very reluctant to hand them back and was amazed that the Eden was about 1/4 the price. One guy with big hands that normally uses a big porro would have bought them off me on the spot. The size is certainly not for everyone, but there is little doubt they rated the view very highly and they were a bit of a revelation to some.
For me, I'd really never actually considered owning an 10x56 roof, but I feel I've been seduced. Maybe I can squeeze just one more pair on the shelf. Now where are those owls?!!
The Eden binoculars are only available online through the following websites.
http://www.edenwebshops.co.uk/en/ct/...binoculars.htm For the UK and US.
http://www.knivesandtools.nl/nl/ct/e...rrekijkers.htm Most of Europe.
http://www.edenwebshops.de/de/ct/ede...fernglaser.htm Most of Europe.
http://www.edenwebshops.fr/fr/ct/ede...y-jumelles.htm Mostly France.