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Old Monday 4th May 2009, 02:55   #1
ksbird/foxranch
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my sister's 10x42 Nikon SE (Premier/LX/??) porros

So I bought the 10x42 Nikon SE something-or-others and decided to test them. The serial number is 0051xx. They have a very large "sharp" center area, with great color correction and excellent contrast. Kevin Purcell bought the other pair and he may add comments about his pair. My sister was tired of her 10x50 Swaro SLC porros and her 10x40 Habichts so we were going to make a deal to do some trading because she really liked the Nikon SEs "somethings".

Overall I would say these Nikon SE S's are better than any of the other 10x bins I have. I decided to try every comparable pair I had before I gave up the Nikons so she could take them to St. Louis and then Hollywood, Fla. The other competitors were the older Nikon 10x35 Es, the KOMZ Baigish IF 10x42 and CF 10x40, the Hensoldt Zeiss 10x50 IF and the Zeiss Jena 1Q 10x50 MC Dekarems. It was all porros all the time.

After all was said and done and there were a few night sessions as well, we decided the Nikon SEs were best overall. But each different category of test had other winners. For sharpness the KOMZ 10x42 and 10x40 models were best in the center of the field. Using stars the Zeiss Dekarems had the best sharpness over a wide field (it may not be fair but I chose one pair of Dekarems out of 25 pairs I checked in a store after I bought another pair at Photokina - and these were likely checked against 25 more pairs to use at a show). For wide field sharpness And brightness the Hensoldt Zeiss military IF model was best. They might have been even better with fully multicoated optics. The bins "most fun" were the older 10x35 Es because they were the lightest by far and pretty good in most ways.

But all things considered including focusing speed, build "feel" and the other categories mentioned so far here's the outcome of 5 people's pairs of eyes/hands/brains etc.

Nikon 10x42 SEs
Zeiss Jena 10x50 Dekarems (super wide field + contrast + sharpness did it)
Nikon 10x35 Es (just too handy and too fun and easy to use)
Swaro 10x40 Habicht (1999 version like today's 7x40) contrasty/sharp
KOMZ Baigish 10x40 lightweight, sharp, wide very good
Swaro 10x50 SLC would have been more preferred but too heavy
Hensoldt/Zeiss 10x50 (surpriisingly good but again very heavy)
KOMZ IF 10x42 the sharpest, but also heavy, IF and too yellow

It was tough competition but every bin was really good. None of us really minded sitting for 15 minutes looking through ANY of these, while we made a few notes. The Nikon SEs, 10x35 Es, KOMZ 10x40s, and Zeiss Jena Dekarems were not waterproof, so the others should get a bit extra for that. My sister is 5ft10 and so the extra hefty SEs aren't Too heavy for her. I would have thrown a pair of the Nikon Astroluxe and Fujinon 10x70 FMTRs in, but that would have been unfair because these 2 are primarily star-gazers. So we had some fun testing over a weekend when it was supposed to rain allot, but didn't.
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Old Monday 4th May 2009, 06:10   #2
ronh
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The 10x42 SE, in my case the one belonging to my brother in law, was the first binocular to rip open my consciousness, and abduct my eye-brain soul to another planet. I mean to say, I was already into binocular viewing and had an old style Celestron Ultima 10x50 which was reputedly "good", still pretty good to this day. But when I looked through the SE, I would first become nonconversant, and they'd take it away from me just before I went into a deep coma. My first words, uttered in a few hours, were always something like " something something redefines reality something something", followed by a return to the trance. It always took me a couple of days to sober up completely. And it took me years to figure out what was happening.

My sickness has stabilized with time and ownership of more binoculars of my own, and I now see the SE in better perspective. For daytime use, the modern top-dog roof prism is easier to work, waterproof, and the optics are very close, but undeniably lacks the strong porro 3-D effect, which helps to discern objects in a scene. For astronomy, the 10x50 Fujinon beats it, by virtue of equalling the SE's quality and exceeding its size, but it is a 3-pound IF clunker with no socially redeeming features. But that SE holds a special place in my heart, perhaps the best all-round Porro ever built.

Thanks for the nice report of your shoot-out among a crowd of interesting instruments. I am happy for your sister!
Ron
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Old Monday 4th May 2009, 09:39   #3
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Which binocular did she trade you?
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Old Monday 4th May 2009, 15:58   #4
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We settled on her trading the 2 Swaros and me giving her the SEs and cash. The 10x40 Habichts are multicoated and waterproof so I can go out in the morning mists with them and the rubber armor will help with dumps, drops and bumps.
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Old Monday 4th May 2009, 23:04   #5
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Thanks for your reply. So that would be the Swaro 10x50 SLC and the Swaro 10x40 porro

Regards,Steve
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Old Tuesday 5th May 2009, 01:48   #6
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2 Swaros for the SE and cash...well, I guess it would depend on how much cash but that was an interesting trade. Some folks might be open-mouthed if they have yet to try the SE.

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Old Tuesday 5th May 2009, 03:15   #7
ceasar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ronh View Post
The 10x42 SE, in my case the one belonging to my brother in law, was the first binocular to rip open my consciousness, and abduct my eye-brain soul to another planet. I mean to say, I was already into binocular viewing and had an old style Celestron Ultima 10x50 which was reputedly "good", still pretty good to this day. But when I looked through the SE, I would first become nonconversant, and they'd take it away from me just before I went into a deep coma. My first words, uttered in a few hours, were always something like " something something redefines reality something something", followed by a return to the trance. It always took me a couple of days to sober up completely. And it took me years to figure out what was happening.

My sickness has stabilized with time and ownership of more binoculars of my own, and I now see the SE in better perspective. For daytime use, the modern top-dog roof prism is easier to work, waterproof, and the optics are very close, but undeniably lacks the strong porro 3-D effect, which helps to discern objects in a scene. For astronomy, the 10x50 Fujinon beats it, by virtue of equalling the SE's quality and exceeding its size, but it is a 3-pound IF clunker with no socially redeeming features. But that SE holds a special place in my heart, perhaps the best all-round Porro ever built.

Thanks for the nice report of your shoot-out among a crowd of interesting instruments. I am happy for your sister!
Ron
Ron,
Did you feel something like this?

"............................................. .
...............................................
Then I felt like some watcher of the skies
When a new planet swims into his ken;
Or like stout Cortez when with eagle eyes
He star'd at the Pacific -- and all his men
Look'd at each other with wild surmise --
Silent, upon a peak in Darien."

John Keats. "ON FIRST LOOKING INTO CHAPMAN'S HOMER."

You have to admit that the SE is the only binocular that can cause one to run out of superlatives while describing it's view!

Get one while you still can!!!

Bob
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Old Tuesday 5th May 2009, 03:48   #8
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Ah, a name for our porro company (when we form it!)

Chapman's Binoculars

and the first product.

The Homer.

Oh wait .... d'oh
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Old Tuesday 5th May 2009, 06:35   #9
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Bob,
It was sort of like that, but I think in this case is was actually a water tank I was looking at.
Ron
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