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Old Friday 15th August 2008, 01:38   #1
karna5
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First Post, First Scope ED82A - Some Thoughts

After lurking around this site for over a year, I finally took the plunge and ordered the Nikon 82EDA around 2 months ago as a birthday present for myself! And boy, am I glad I did.
First of all, EagleEyed and cl5man provided some pretty good information on purchasing from Accuflite. JB at Accuflite was really helpful and patient in getting the order fulfilled since my credit card kept getting declined due to "fraud protection" being triggered. The prices have gone up slightly but nevertheless I ordered the ED82A kit (8337) and the 30xWA (7462) from Accuflite. I paid $1124 for the kit and $225 for the extra eyepiece and ~$30 for S&H. I figured the over $200 savings was worth the risk of the no-return policy.
Everything arrived promptly and was well packaged.
Once the scope arrived, I dragged my wife over to Samy's Cameras to try out some heads and tripods. I had checked out the scope (and the Swarovski 80mm HD) physically at Scope City but had never seen the Manfrotto heads and tripods and so thought it was prudent to physically check them out first. Based on this site I was considering either the Manfrotto 128RC or 701RC2 head and the 055XDB or 055XV legs. Luckily for me, Bogen had a stall set-up outside Samy's and was having a sale. The sale prices weren't dramatically less but the regional manager happened to be there and he claimed he had the perfect birdwatcher's kit for me, in the back of the store. I was of course very skeptical! He came out with the 701RC2,745MF3K carbon fiber kit which also has a carrying bag. He said he would give it to me for $334.78. I figured this was a good deal for a carbon fiber kit but wasn't sure because I hadn't read any reviews on it. And why pay ~$150 bucks more for something only a couple of pounds lighter and some fancy "quick-lock" legs? I was about to get the 128RC/055XDB combo when my wife, who had been mostly quiet, said, "Honey, I think you should get the carbon fiber kit". And so I did.
It turns out the regular price for this tripod kit is around ~$550 and a few pounds do make a difference, in that, even this setup seems heavy when carried around for a couple of hours.
I have taken the setup to several bird walks on the LA river and the wetlands around here. Most of the time I find myself using the 30XWA since the larger but dimmer views of the 25-75x zoom don't seem to give me any more detail. Incidentally, I had waited for the alleged WA zoom to be revealed at the Shot Show, but of course that didn't materialize. I have also shyly and slyly compared the same scene through some Kowas and Swarovskis in the field, and in my limited experience, didn't notice any obvious difference. The ED82A seems just as bright and as sharp as many people here have pointed out. Usually, the limiting factor in the field seems to be the distance and the atmosphere, and I guess that there is not much that any of the other potentially superior scopes and zooms can do about that.
One place the zoom seems marginally useful is when looking at stars and planets and the moon. However, this is a secondary use of the scope. Similarly, one con with the tripod kit is that since the center column cannot be moved up and down, I have to stoop if looking at objects that are up in the sky.
I also noticed a hair/fiber inside the scope when I looked through the objective lens but it doesn't seem to interfere with the view and so I have decided against sending it in to Nikon for now.
Finally, my wife is showing some interest in birds! The scope is usually in the bedroom on the third floor that overlooks the Verdugo Mountains and some roofs, trees and power lines. There are usually mourning doves, mocking birds, house finches and sparrows doing something or the other up there and she gets a kick out of watching them close-up as they go about their business.
In summary, the ED82A is an excellent piece of equipment for the money and it may even help with the perennial birding/marriage impedance mismatch!
And of course, thank you to everyone on the site for their helpful postings.
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Old Friday 15th August 2008, 02:28   #2
Dave B Smith
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Hello karna5,
On behalf of the staff, welcome to the Birdforum. Glad you finally "took the plunge" and joined. Also glad that you found the info you needed. I have the smaller Nikon Fieldscope III 60 ED and love it so can imagine how happy you are with yours. And anything that helps get the wife interested in birds can only be a good thing!
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Old Friday 15th August 2008, 09:56   #3
Sancho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karna5 View Post
.... I was about to get the 128RC/055XDB combo when my wife, who had been mostly quiet, said, "Honey, I think you should get the carbon fiber kit". And so I did.

.................I also noticed a hair/fiber inside the scope when I looked through the objective lens but it doesn't seem to interfere with the view and so I have decided against sending it in to Nikon for now.

............In summary, the ED82A is an excellent piece of equipment for the money and it may even help with the perennial birding/marriage impedance mismatch!

Congratulations on your new scope, Karna, I have the same and it was also (eventually) my choice among the "big" scopes. You have the perfect eyepiece combo, the 30xw works best for me anyway, and the zoom is useful a few times a year for very distant stationary birds in good atmospherics. (Don´t bother lusting after any more eyepieces, like the 38xw, they might be good in some conditions but the 30xw covers everything, and is brighter anyway).

Your wife is worth her weight in gold, encouraging you to get the better tripod. Congratulations there too! (A ´scope you can replace, but a wife like that....)

As regards the hair inside the scope, even though it doesn´t affect the viewing, it shouldn´t be there. I don´t know anything about U.S. Consumer Law, but if it were to happen here to me, I would take the scope back to the retailer and ask politely for an exchange. Let them deal with Nikon, it´s their job, and Nikon depend on them to sell kit. You shouldn´t have to deal with the manufacturers, the retailers were the title-holders of the goods you bought, and the goods weren´t up to standard (even if it is a minor issue).

The birding/marriage mismatch? Sometimes mismatches are nice. They add diversity to the mix. And sometimes, when my wife, my kids, my dog and the canary are all talking at me, I can say..."Listen, guys, I´m going birding, and I´d love to take you all, but as you don´t really enjoy it that much I´ll just have to go on my own......".

Welcome to BF, Best Wishes to you both (you and your wife, that is, not you and your scope....)
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Old Friday 15th August 2008, 11:46   #4
horukuru
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hio karna5,

welcome to the nikon fieldscope club and glad you enjoy your scope hahaha

happy birding
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Old Friday 15th August 2008, 12:22   #5
Tero
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Nikon does good service, so either the dealer or you send it in for repair. It will annoy you every time you use it, even if it shakes loose for a while.

Nikon makes a 50mm scope as well, and your eye pieces should work on that if the other one is at times too heavy.
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Old Sunday 17th August 2008, 21:09   #6
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one eyepiece that you MUST try out after a while is the 50X. Fantastic for waders and shorebirds!
Enjoy the birds,
Lieven, happy user of a Fieldscope 82A, 30x MC and 50x MC (and the ED50A!)
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Old Monday 18th August 2008, 05:34   #7
horukuru
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just curios, is there any news from nikon regarding new zoom eyepiece for our fieldscope to compete with swarovski, zeiss and kowa ?
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