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8x32 Superior E

From Opus

8x32 Superior E
8x32 Superior E

Technical Specification

Objective diameter: 32mm Magnification: 8x Exit pupil: 4mm Field of view: 131 m at 1km Angular field of view: 7.5 degrees Apparent angular field of view: 60 degrees Eye relief: 17.4 mm. Close focus 3m Length: 117mm Width: 183mm Weight: 630g Content and images originally posted by Leif

Contents

[edit] Reviews

[edit] Leif's review

Introduction The following is a review of a pair of Nikon 8x32 SE binoculars that I own.

Design and Mechanics These are traditional porro-prism binoculars with twin dog-leg optical assemblies. They are fairly small and someone with small hands will have no problem using them. I find the shape is very comfoetable to hold. (Note: A recent review in Bird Watching magazine stated that they had to be held in the seagull stance, with elbows stuck out to either side. This is untrue. They can be held as per roof prism binoculars with the elbows beneath the binoculars, and braced against the chest.) They are also light at around 600g. Each optical assembly is covered with a synthetic rubber that is durable and has a pleasant slightly giving feel.

There is a central hinge made from a lightweight alloy with a pleasing gunmetal finish. The hinge allows the spacing between the two eyepieces to be adjusted to suit the user. The hinge is stiff as it should be, and has shown no sign of becoming loose over the six months that I have used it.

The focus wheel is rubber coated and sits between the two eyepieces. It is well placed, easily accessed, rotates smoothly and is responsive. I find that I can focus the binoculars using thumb and index finger, the thumb being placed beneath the wheel and the finger above it. I found that in very cold weather the focus is rather stiff, more so than I would like, and this may well be an issue for users in cold climates.

Dioptre adjustment is achieved by turning the right eyepiece. There is no lock and in practice one is not needed.

The eye tubes are made from thin flexible rubber, and fold back for eyeglass wearers. Although not as convenient as screw-in screw-out eye tubes, they work well.

These binoculars are not by any stretch of the imagination waterproof, but exposure to light rain will not cause any problems. They might even survive a downpour though I would not recommend putting them to the test. They certainly would not survive immersion.

The binoculars are supplied with a plastic leather look pouch. It is functional, but does not have the class of the leather pouches that are usually supplied with top of the range binoculars.

Build Quality The build quality is exemplary, and on a par with the old Nikon manual focus lenses. All parts move smoothly, and the finish is second to none. I have heard that they can survive a drop from several feet onto a hard surface without losing collimation.

Optics The optics are outstanding, producing an image that is � in my opinion - qualitatively superior to that provided by top of the range full sized binoculars such as the Swarovski 8.5x42 EL and the Nikon 8x42 HG. The image quality has that �with your own eyes� feel that only the best binoculars provide.

The field of view is superb (390 ft at 1000 yards). Depth of field is equally impressive, and in practice I tend not to focus, or just make occasional tweaks when I spot something of interest. The image quality is remarkably even across the field of view, with no obvious darkening and only a slight softening of the image at the edges. Chromatic aberration is present but insignificant and only really noticeable if searched for.

Sharpness is first rate and comparable to any full sized binocular. I compared them with my Swarovski 8.5x42 binoculars. At large distance (100m) the Swarovski were sharper by a gnat�s crotchet, helped no doubt by the slightly greater magnification.

Contrast is superb and flare is insignificant. (Note that with some binoculars when viewing a dark area next to a bright area, some of the light from the bright area floods into the dark area, reducing contrast, and making it impossible to see detail in the dark areas.) I have noticed no internal reflections.

These binoculars are bright, far brighter than one would expect from the small objective size. I compared them with my Swarovski 8.5x42 binoculars. At dusk, I could see no difference between the two. Distant Roe Deer and a distant barn were all equally well resolved and bright. Viewing the night sky, the EL was a little brighter, but not significantly so. Detail that was only visible with averted vision through the Nikon, was visible with direct vision through the Swarovski. My budget Nikon Egret 8x42 binoculars were as expected noticeably less bright.

The image has a strong 3-D feel due to the relatively large separation of the objective lenses. However I did find that it was not always easy to focus on nearby objects due to the strong 3-D effect. .

The close focus is roughly 3m.

Eye relief is excellent and I have no problem using the binoculars and seeing the whole field of view while wearing glasses.

The exit pupil at 4mm is fairly small and I found it a little harder to align the binoculars with my eyes than it would otherwise be with an 8x42 instrument.

Summary Optically these binoculars provide an image that overall is second to none providing excellent FOV, DOF, sharpness, contrast and brightness. In my opinion � though I have heard several people state the same � they outperform top of the range full sized 8x roof prism binoculars. Mechanically they are excellent and the finish is second to none. The only blot on their character is the performance in very cold weather: the focus wheel is stiff, and some people might consider it unacceptable. I consider the optics so superior that I am willing to put up with a stiff focus wheel on cold winter days.

To be fair these binoculars will not appeal to everyone, due to their shape, the smallish 4mm exit pupils, the lack of waterproofing, the stiff focus in cold weather and the fold down rubber eye tubes.

What surprises me most is that I have never seen a pair around another birders neck. Quite why beats me. The fact that few optics shops stock them does not help, and I have been told - incorrectly in my opinion - by several shop keepers that they are not as good optically as the best roof prism binoculars.

Conclusion Strongly recommended.

[edit] Pros

  • Superb optics and build quality
  • light weight and compact.

[edit] Cons

  • Not waterproof
  • focus wheel stiff in very cold weather
  • floppy rubber eye tubes.

[edit] fordwillman's review

I give the product a 10 despite not being waterproof simply due to the optics. They cannot be beat in my opinion. You can spend A LOT more and not get a better view of the bird! If you dont need waterproofing (we dont in AZ), these are the best bang for the buck that I have found, and over the years I have tried most of them, if not all of them!

[edit] Pros

  • Outstanding optical quality

[edit] Cons

  • As mentioned
  • not waterproof
  • fold down rubber eye cups

[edit] Blincodave's review

I would endorse everything Leif says in his detailed review. Optically, they outperform or match high end roofs and any negatives are, for me, outweighed by the positives.

Simply, a stunning binocular.

[edit] Pros

  • Superb optics
  • lightweight
  • well made
  • good ergonomics

[edit] Cons

  • Lack of waterproofing
  • rubber eye caps
  • slightly difficult to use very close to birds.

[edit] dipped's review

I bought these in Dec.'98 and they have turned out to be a great buy. They have never leaked/fogged internally though I do protect them from the worst downpours. I would endorse previous reviews over the excellent optical qualities of this binocular and build quality-there is no play in the eyepiece bridge, a quality linked apparently to the stiffish focussing. There is also a minimal build up of dust internally.

On initial use I noticed slightly too much eye relief but I have since got used to this by the way I hold the binoculars. I also tried to obtain stiffer/thicker eyecups to replace the rather thin walled originals but without any success. I don't wear glasses so am not rolling them down and in their defence I still have the originals in use though they are a bit misshapen now after 6 years.

For my fairly close set eyes I found the hanging binoculars would dig the objective lenses into my chest. I had to fashion an eyelet position from cable-ties to the outer extremes of the binocular so that it now hangs more vertically. As with all binoclar shop testing, the strap wasn't attached and I didn't notice this till I got home.

Contrary to some reports there is some flare in very low sunlit conditions but it is no worse than other top rated binoculars.

In conclusion still a great binocular for the money.



[edit] Pros

  • excellent optics

[edit] Cons

  • flimsy eyecups
  • stiff focussing
  • neckstrap eyelet position
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