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Old Monday 9th May 2011, 16:32   #1
raptorbfl
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Nikon Premier SE porro, old, update technolgy?

Hi,

I always was intrigued by the old fashion traditional looking Nikon porro Premier
SE 10 x 42 binocular.

There are two one line stores selling them for $699.00, shipped.
I was told by several optics review experts that this binocular is VERY old and
outdated and no longer should be consider what many here call it the best porro
ever made.

So are the Nikon porros really yesterday's news, or are they worth the $699.00
price??
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Old Monday 9th May 2011, 16:57   #2
Andrew Rowlands
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Did you ask these experts what they considered to be the best porro's ever made?
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Old Monday 9th May 2011, 18:11   #3
raptorbfl
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no

No, I didnt.....

What I meant to say is many think this is old, outdated technology, and with the
new ED glass in roofs, they are many roofs in the same price that are now better
optically.
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Old Monday 9th May 2011, 19:20   #4
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I was told by several optics review experts that this binocular is VERY old and outdated and no longer should be consider what many here call it the best porro ever made.
These "experts" don't know what they're talking about. There are few roofs on the market that are optically as good as the Nikon SE's, and even fewer that are (in some ways at least) better than the Nikons. The Swarovisions are better, for instance - but expect to pay at least three times as much for a pair.

No medium-priced roof, least of all any Chinese made roof, gets anywhere near the Nikons. Optically the Nikon still runs circles around most roofs.

Hermann
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Old Monday 9th May 2011, 23:16   #5
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I think you'll find the general consensus here is that optically the Nikon SEs are among the very best you can get, and a great value when compared to "alpha" roofs...but different people will prefer different binoculars for any number of reasons, if you're interested in the Nikons be sure to order from a reputable dealer with a good return policy, and see how they work for you.
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Old Tuesday 10th May 2011, 03:00   #6
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Hi - old does not necessarily mean outdated. The SEs are superb binoculars and for critical use, eg at night for viewing the stars (I know this is a bird watching site!), they are hard to beat - edge sharpness, flatness of field, pinpoint stars. The 10x42s (and the 8x32s and 12x50s) are wonderful binoculars.

Andrew
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Old Tuesday 10th May 2011, 04:52   #7
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Try one out if you can. Some people have a little trouble using them. They get "kidney bean" like partial blackouts in the view. There is a method of using them to defeat this problem that has been written about here before.

If, after you try them and you have no trouble using them then buy them. You won't regret it. Ever!

Bob
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Old Tuesday 10th May 2011, 15:17   #8
LPT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raptorbfl View Post
No, I didnt.....

What I meant to say is many think this is old, outdated technology, and with the
new ED glass in roofs, they are many roofs in the same price that are now better
optically.
He's wrong. Period. My experience with sales people in the few areas in which I have some expertise is that a surprising number of them are not as knowledgeable as you would expect.
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Old Tuesday 10th May 2011, 16:10   #9
John S.
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No, I didnt.....

What I meant to say is many think this is old, outdated technology, and with the
new ED glass in roofs, they are many roofs in the same price that are now better
optically
.
I suspect that if you performed an A/B test you would find that the porro prism binoculars would deliver excellent images that are the equal of virtually any roof prism model. The porro prism bins will also deliver better defined 3D images.

Another even better bargain waiting to be found would be the E2 series. New ones still appear and they deliver superb images.
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Old Tuesday 10th May 2011, 22:08   #10
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Those "optics review experts" are talking horse.... (feathers?) so deserve horsewhipping, tarring and feathering, for uttering such SE heresy here on Bird Forum. Our SE Fan Club will send round the heavy mob to give them a good SEeing to, unless they aporrogise...
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Old Wednesday 11th May 2011, 19:53   #11
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3 best binos I've ever owned were Nikon EII 8x30, Nikon SE 8x32, and Swarovision 8.5x42. The latter clinches it in terms of "ocular-comfort" wide-angle, sharp view (waterproof and tough to boot), the SE in terms of 3D and contrast (albeit restricted FOV), and the EII in terms of widest-angle plus easy-view. Take yer pick, based on your wallet, and your waterproofing requirements. All are superb instruments that will not disappoint. Swarovski in Europe have superb customer service, whereas Nikon don't. As I understand it, Nikon in the U.S. have superior customer service too.
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Old Thursday 12th May 2011, 00:44   #12
brocknroller
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3 best binos I've ever owned were Nikon EII 8x30, Nikon SE 8x32, and Swarovision 8.5x42. The latter clinches it in terms of "ocular-comfort" wide-angle, sharp view (waterproof and tough to boot), the SE in terms of 3D and contrast (albeit restricted FOV), and the EII in terms of widest-angle plus easy-view. Take yer pick, based on your wallet, and your waterproofing requirements. All are superb instruments that will not disappoint. Swarovski in Europe have superb customer service, whereas Nikon don't. As I understand it, Nikon in the U.S. have superior customer service too.
Sancho,

Glad you mentioned the EII, another "old porrosuarus" that still competes well with roof mammals costing thousands of dollars more and offers a wider FOV than any "alpha male".

While I agree about the SE's phantasmagorical view, I am not plagued too badly by blackouts (unless I dig my eyes into the eyecups to grab that last 2 or 3 degrees of FOV), but I still don't find them as "point and shoot" as the EII.

There's something unique about the SE's eyepiece design that has been described as "finicky" or "tricky" or as "anal aberration of the exit pupil," which makes it necessary to have your eyes aligned "just right" to avoid blackouts, at least for some people.

Same goes with having your eyes at the right distance from the top of the EP lens. Some users lean the eyecups against their upper eyelid to to tilt the bins to avoid this effect. For me, I need to shift the eyecups slightly to the right to accommodate the few mm difference in distance of my right eye from the center of my nose. Of course, then my left eye is not perfectly aligned center, but for some reason, this works for me, but it takes effort and a little pain since the wide eyecups already fit quite snug against the bridge of my nose.

With the EII, I can just pick it up and start birding without regard to IPD, tilt, or eyecup spacing.

So while the SE, or at least later (not "latter") models with updated coatings that have more color saturation may still be competitive with the latest ‹bermensch roofs, they may not be everybody's cup 'o tea.

On the plus side, the rubber armoring and build quality of the SE are superior to the EII. The armor on my gray body EII has become "quite footloose a' man" and need of some heat resistant glue or updated armoring like the black body version. The SE can also take a few lumps and hold collimation better than the EII.

Even if you are one of the Lucky Ones who do not experience image blackouts with the SE, if you dart your eyes quickly to the lateral edges of the SE, the image will probably blackout. That will give you an idea of what others have to deal with while looking straight ahead.

I would probably not "get on" with the SV EL even if I had a big wad of dough stashed under my mattress, because of the "waving mustache effect" (soon to be added to Wikipedia's "Optical Aberrations" Web page).

Now I'm sure there are those who don't experience any of these issues with the SE or SV EL (we will probably hear from them shortly, taking a perverse pride in being feckless :-), but they are deal breakers for enough people that they should be mentioned anytime someone is inquiring about buying an SE or SV EL.

Brock

Last edited by brocknroller : Thursday 12th May 2011 at 00:47.
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Old Thursday 12th May 2011, 12:41   #13
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Geez, Brock. Try the SV before you announce a "deal breaker."

I spent about seven hours with the warblers (et al.) two days ago and all I can say is, forget about it. The 8.5 SV just does it. Sancho called it "ocular comfort," which sounds right. Bring 'em up and there you go--you've got that Hooded Warbler, that Worm-eating Warbler, that Rose-breasted Grosbeak (you live in PA and that's a new bird??). In past years I've used the 8x32 SE for my spring walks, and loved it, but it won't be my first choice ever again. Sorry.

And yes, I'm even willing to put up with the SV's weight.

As for being "feckless": what?? The only thing feckless is to make binocular pronouncements in the absence of any and all experience with the binocular in question.

Mark
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Old Friday 13th May 2011, 01:57   #14
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Geez, Brock. Try the SV before you announce a "deal breaker."

I spent about seven hours with the warblers (et al.) two days ago and all I can say is, forget about it. The 8.5 SV just does it. Sancho called it "ocular comfort," which sounds right. Bring 'em up and there you go--you've got that Hooded Warbler, that Worm-eating Warbler, that Rose-breasted Grosbeak (you live in PA and that's a new bird??). In past years I've used the 8x32 SE for my spring walks, and loved it, but it won't be my first choice ever again. Sorry.

And yes, I'm even willing to put up with the SV's weight.

As for being "feckless": what?? The only thing feckless is to make binocular pronouncements in the absence of any and all experience with the binocular in question.

Mark
Mark,

"Rolling ball" issues aside, the SE cost $499, the SV EL costs $2,349. I don't think I need to look through the SV EL to realize the views will not look $1,850 better than the SE. Neither do I believe that an 8x32 EDG II is worth $1,000 more because they fixed the focuser knob.

Premium roof prices have gotten way out of hand, but as long as there are people with deep pockets willing to buy them, they will find a niche market. But I predict (and you heard it here first, folks) that the sales of alpha bins will decrease in direct proportion to their price unless another boom comes along (which I don't see happening any time soon in my Swarovski crystal ball :-)

As far as the "feckless" remark, don't be offended, that was an inside joke about my friend Steve, who nearly every time after I remark about any problem that I've experienced with a binocular that we both have tried will chime in after me and say, "I don't have any problems with this binocular" or something to that effect.

I'm glad you like your SV EL. As I always say (though strictly metaphorically), if you got 'em, smoke 'em.

Brock
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Old Friday 13th May 2011, 02:17   #15
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Better to be feckless and buy a porro,
Than to be reckless and buy a swaro!



Big Bob, The Poet.
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Old Friday 13th May 2011, 03:46   #16
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Mark,

"Rolling ball" issues aside, the SE cost $499, the SV EL costs $2,349. I don't think I need to look through the SV EL to realize the views will not look $1,850 better than the SE. Neither do I believe that an 8x32 EDG II is worth $1,000 more because they fixed the focuser knob.

Brock
Yes, indeed, cost is a consideration. But when we're talking about state of the art, that's not the first consideration. As I said, the SV just does it. It's a lifer. The SE is still number two for me, but in the field the SV rocks. Bird after bird, it just does it. You forget you're using binoculars. It's incredibly forgiving: just slap it to your face and have a look. Wonderful when you're chasing warblers around.

And yes, you do need to look through it before you call it overpriced. Swaro nails it with these things, and that's worth quite a bit. Amortized over the rest of my life, I'd call it a bargain.

Mark
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Old Friday 13th May 2011, 08:56   #17
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Better to be feckless and buy a porro,
Than to be reckless and buy a swaro!



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Old Friday 13th May 2011, 09:40   #18
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"As far as the "feckless" remark, don't be offended, that was an inside joke about my friend Steve, who nearly every time after I remark about any problem that I've experienced with a binocular that we both have tried will chime in after me and say, "I don't have any problems with this binocular" or something to that effect."

I have no problem with what Mark paid for his Swarovision. He got an excellent deal. I am glad he loves it.
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Old Friday 13th May 2011, 16:29   #19
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"As far as the "feckless" remark, don't be offended, that was an inside joke about my friend Steve, who nearly every time after I remark about any problem that I've experienced with a binocular that we both have tried will chime in after me and say, "I don't have any problems with this binocular" or something to that effect."

I have no problem with what Mark paid for his Swarovision. He got an excellent deal. I am glad he loves it.
You never disappoint! :-)
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Old Friday 13th May 2011, 16:37   #20
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Yes, indeed, cost is a consideration. But when we're talking about state of the art, that's not the first consideration. As I said, the SV just does it. It's a lifer. The SE is still number two for me, but in the field the SV rocks. Bird after bird, it just does it. You forget you're using binoculars. It's incredibly forgiving: just slap it to your face and have a look. Wonderful when you're chasing warblers around.

And yes, you do need to look through it before you call it overpriced. Swaro nails it with these things, and that's worth quite a bit. Amortized over the rest of my life, I'd call it a bargain.

Mark
As my Uncle Toonose used to say: One man's bargain is another man's bankruptcy. :-)

Okay, you finally wore me down. I'm selling my Nikon 8x32 SE, taking out a second mortgage, and buying an 8.5x SV EL.

Brock

Last edited by brocknroller : Friday 13th May 2011 at 16:50. Reason: changed my mind
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Old Saturday 14th May 2011, 00:49   #21
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"As far as the "feckless" remark, don't be offended, that was an inside joke about my friend Steve, who nearly every time after I remark about any problem that I've experienced with a binocular that we both have tried will chime in after me and say, "I don't have any problems with this binocular" or something to that effect."

I have no problem with what Mark paid for his Swarovision. He got an excellent deal. I am glad he loves it.
"You never disappoint! :-) "

Brock you do not understand, you must of never of read many of Mark's posts, he did get a good deal. So did JG on a HD.
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Old Saturday 14th May 2011, 00:57   #22
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You never disappoint! :-)
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Yes, indeed, cost is a consideration. But when we're talking about state of the art, that's not the first consideration. As I said, the SV just does it. It's a lifer. The SE is still number two for me, but in the field the SV rocks. Bird after bird, it just does it. You forget you're using binoculars. It's incredibly forgiving: just slap it to your face and have a look. Wonderful when you're chasing warblers around.

And yes, you do need to look through it before you call it overpriced. Swaro nails it with these things, and that's worth quite a bit. Amortized over the rest of my life, I'd call it a bargain.

Mark
That could be something like $50-$58 a year. Even I could go that.
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Old Saturday 14th May 2011, 02:54   #23
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3 best binos I've ever owned were Nikon EII 8x30, Nikon SE 8x32, and Swarovision 8.5x42. The latter clinches it in terms of "ocular-comfort" wide-angle, sharp view (waterproof and tough to boot), the SE in terms of 3D and contrast (albeit restricted FOV), and the EII in terms of widest-angle plus easy-view. Take yer pick, based on your wallet, and your waterproofing requirements. All are superb instruments that will not disappoint. Swarovski in Europe have superb customer service, whereas Nikon don't. As I understand it, Nikon in the U.S. have superior customer service too.
I pretty much agree with you except I would have to throw the Zeiss 8x32 FL in there above the two Nikon's. I have the Swarovision 8.5x42 and it is the best binocular I have ever seen. Comfortable and just amazing optics. If you don't believe me see how fast they are selling on E-bay.
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Old Saturday 14th May 2011, 04:19   #24
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That could be something like $50-$58 a year. Even I could go that.
So would I if optics stores had 30-year installment plans like mortgages.

Brock
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Old Saturday 14th May 2011, 04:52   #25
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Here's the problem with chasing "state-of-the-art". In two or three years, today's state-of-the-art optics becomes "yesterday's news" when "this year's model" supersedes it. Just ask Dennis in a couple months! :-)

That's what I like about high quality porros - they were state of the art before there were p-coatings, aluminum coatings, sliver coatings, dielectric coatings, and some even had ED glass before ED glass was necessary to control CA even in 7x roofs.

Slap on the latest AR coatings on yesterday's premium porro designs, add ED glass if it's over 8x, and you've got state of the art. That simple.

But hey, how are the CEOs and top execs going to make their seven figure salaries and buy their big yachts and beach homes on the French Riviera or how would German and Austrian workers make the highest wages and have the best benefit packages in Europe if optics companies reverted to making $499-$799 premium porros that were 99.99% as good as the best of the best state of the art roofs and included a free umbrella hat to use them in the rain?

That's the real story, its all about money, the rest is "smoke and mirrors".

Brock the Cynic

Last edited by brocknroller : Saturday 14th May 2011 at 16:55.
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