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Opticron - New MM4 77 Fieldscopes. Smaller, Lighter, Brighter, Sharper
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Nikon Fieldscope ED82A
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100% of reviewers $1,187.25 9.8
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Description: NIKON FIELDSCOPE ED82A

This new Nikon Fieldscope replaces the very well-respected but now discontinued Fieldscope 78. The first thing you notice with this scope is its obvious high build quality - it is a perfectionist’s delight made with jeweller's precision akin to the Nikon photographic lenses.

I eventually decided on buying this scope because, despite its unusually large 82mm objective lens, it is very compact indeed - no longer, amazingly, than my son’s Swarovski 65ED. It’s weight is about average compared to the obvious alternatives such as Leica and Zeiss but the Swarovski 80ED is lighter (but has a smaller objective lens).

I imagine the Nikon would be excellent for digiscoping because of its exceptional light gathering power. Nikon sell adapters to suit their digital and SLR cameras. The 82mm objective will allow usefully higher shutter speeds than smaller scopes and so cut down on blur caused by camera shake.

The scope is waterproof and nitrogen filled; it is made from a tough green coated light aluminium alloy with some rubber armouring to prevent damage. The scope body hcan be turned to any desired angle and - unusually - this can easily be achieved with the stay-on waterproof case in-situ.

The Nikon MCII 25-75x zoom eyepiece was launched along with this scope and complements it well. It has a solid and very smooth action and a modern style click-stopped twist up eye-cup. Unusually for zooms, in my experience, the Nikon allows me to wear my glasses and still easily see the full field of view at 25x magnification. The eyepiece is well made and has a very smooth action.

It provides a super-bright, clear image that is very easy on the eye and satisfyingly wide with no feeling of "tunnel vision". The image is pin sharp and retains this sharpness to the extreme edges. The colour balance is probably the most natural I have seen on any top scope, making the Swarovski, to my eyes, seem rather cold. The Nikon also gives a delightfully contrasty image with no flare or colour fringing whatever the light conditions.

Even in poor late-afternoon December light, the 82mm ED objective lens gives a quite amazingly bright image. Nikon make great claim to their use of ultra-low dispersion eco-glass, multicoating and silver throughout and all this seems to work very well indeed - I feel sure that a brighter image does not exist in any other scope (although the Zeiss 85T* might be a worthy contender for comparison).

Nikon’s optical glass is unusual, too. It’s their own formulation rather than the more usual fluorite. Fluorite is felt by some to produce an image that exaggerates the u/v and blue end of the spectrum - the Nikon scores here with a totally faithfully coloured image.

Focusing is quick and easy to achieve by turning a wide and ridged rubber ring that encircles the scope’s body about a third of the way down its length, similar to the Swarovski scopes. Focusing moves between the very close focusing point of about 12 feet and infinity in a very useful and easy three-quarters of a turn. The gearing is quite high which makes it quick to focus but does mean care is needed at the 75x end when even a tiny movement has a noticeable effect.

The zoom offers a class beating and very useable 75x maximum magnification. At this power, the image darkens as would be expected but is still very useable and still sharp across the very flat field of view. No doubt the large 82mm. objective lens helps out here.

The grey/green stay-on case is rather swish looking and is particularly well made, fitting the scope body well to provide solid protection against rain and knocks. It has a very useful pullover style waterproof hood to cover the eyepiece in the rain. This works well and allows easy and quick viewing with it in place. In the rain, too, the lens hood is long enough to be useful and extends very smoothly.

The 30x wide angle fixed eyepiece is truly a delight to look through - it offers a very bright, sharp, clear and wide view. Nikon can surely be proud of this lovely lens. As good as Nikon’s new zoom is - and it’s up there with the best I’ve looked through - this wide- angle lens must be said to show this scope at its very best.

Altogether this scope does its job very well indeed. It is certainly a very fine piece of well-engineered kit - as it should be for the price, I suppose (~£1050 with zoom and case).

Here is a snippet from the October 2003 Birdwatch magazine review by Simon Papps:

"As with other Nikon products I’ve tested, the optical performance of the ED82 A was faultless and it performed outstandingly in the gloomy conditions around dusk. Nikon says that "all lenses, prisms and dustproof glass are multi-layer coated" and the fluorite ED glass certainly lived up to its claim to help reduce chromatic aberration and give superb colour rendition... Ultimately, for both birders and digiscopers who are searching at the highest-quality end of the market, the Nikon ED82 models should prove to be a hit"

And this from the Web’s "Bird Digest" who reviewed the previous but similar scope, the ED78 (http://www.birdwatchersdigest.com/op...copes03.html):

"When we tested the Fieldscope’s optical resolution... the Fieldscope won the same outstanding score of 19 [/20] at 60x as the Swarovski ATS80 HD and Leica APO Televid 77.

This scope deserves to be on anyone’s shortlist along with the likes of Zeiss, Leica and Swarovski if you are aiming for the best available. But... if you don’t want to or can’t spend that much, you can save a lot and lose much less than you would imagine by taking a close look at the Opticron ES80 scope - see the review in this section.

Steve Campsall - Revised Jan 2004
Keywords: Nikon Fieldscope ED 82 scope telescope optics ED82A



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scampo

Steve Campsall

Registered: August 2003
Location: Leicestershire, UK
Posts: 6273
Review Date: Fri December 12, 2003 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Compact sharp and bright; easy to use and carry; waterproof; incredibly well crafted feel and appearance. Useful extra zoom ability to a very useable 75x. Wide angle eyepiece an utter delight to use.
Cons: Not as light as a 60x scope but - amazingly - equally almost as compact.



------------------------------
Steve
"...when the cities lie at the monster’s feet there are left the mountains."
Robinson Jeffers, "Shine, Perishing Republic"
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Gaga

Registered User

Registered: January 2004
Location: Montréal, Québec
Posts: 419
Review Date: Fri January 16, 2004 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very bright; incredible sharpness; nice design...
Cons: Not yet...

I'm not an expert in spotting scope, but this one is excellent! I made some very good observations, and nice picture with it. Surprisingly, this scope is not yet on Nikon Canada website...

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Jean-Sébastien Guénette
Montréal, QC
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Richard Warom
Registered User

Registered: September 2004
Location: Hinckley, Leicestershire
Posts: 1
Review Date: Fri September 3, 2004 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: I first brought the nikon 80a spotting scope and wished i had bought the ED82 A. I now have and the difference is worth the price.
Cons: none

The fieldscope is very compact and its resolution is excellant. I have only just received it so have yet to give it a full testing but my intial thoughts are that I am very glad to own it. By the way if you own a Nikon coolpix ( i have a 4500) there is much confusion over the digiscope attatchments they really only are clear about the product used with the field scope. If you own a nikon spotting scope make sure that you are sold the right attatchment SSA and not FSA the one does not fit the other.
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ropaled
Registered User

Registered: February 2005
Location: Leicestershire
Posts: 14
Review Date: Wed March 9, 2005 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: A* view. Easy to use., Great for Spec wearers.
Cons: None so far.

Price includes Nikon stay on case and wide angle eyepiece, inclusive of P&P. Shop around I think price can now be a bit lower.

Excellent piece of kit. Certainly competes (even betters) with anything else currently in the market.
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potvis
dirk dijkstra

Registered: August 2004
Location: Den Haag, Netherlands
Posts: 10
Review Date: Mon May 30, 2005 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: $1,200.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: quality of the optics and the build
Cons: small diameter of eyepiece

Used it for a year and was able to compare it
in the field with the Swaro, Leitz and the
Leica and it stood up to those.
Optical quality excellent, ease of use
somewhat less, however you get used to it.
Very good price-quality relation.
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PCC
Registered User

Registered: November 2005
Location: USA, CA
Posts: 35
Review Date: Thu December 22, 2005 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons: No Eco Glass in scopes

I called Nikon today and checked their website, they told me they do not use Eco-Glass in their spotting scopes. They do use it in some of their binoculars.
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Pileatus
Registered User

Registered: May 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 2570
Review Date: Sun February 12, 2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: $950.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Ultra sharp images with the fixed eyepieces.
Cons: Nikon should design an eyeglass friendly zoom for this scope.

I have the Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED angled version (Nikon 7555) with two fixed DS eyepieces: 30X (Nikon 6954) FOV 126 and 50X (Nikon 6950) FOV 79. Both eyepieces have a 72-degree Apparent Field of View.

The scope body is rugged and dependable and the included case is elegantly functional. In a matter of seconds, I remove the scope from my shoulder, mount it on the tripod, and start viewing. I generally leave the plastic objective cover in the car and just use the case to protect the objective when moving locations.

The DS eyepieces offer exceptional fields of view and crisp images. Lifelike color transmission is a characteristic of both lenses and the 82mm objective keeps delivering strong coloration as darkness falls. The DS lenses were designed for digiscoping and, therefore, utilize a non-folding rubber eyecup when used as a traditional eyepiece. The MC versions have retractable eyecups.

The magnificent image in the 30X DS eyepiece is a dead ringer for the incomparable image I enjoy in my Nikon SE 8X32. Need I say more?

The 50X DS eyepiece is not far behind the 30X. Image quality is virtually identical, limited only by a narrower, but still generous, FOV. Truthfully, after looking at several scopes, I didn’t expect to see such exquisite definition at 50X. The ability to easily track distant birds in flight at this magnification was an unexpected pleasure.

The helical focus is, in a word, sensitive. Actually, it’s ultra-sensitive but I find it easy to manipulate and much prefer it to the alternative one or two knob focus mechanisms. After a few hours practice, I can now track and focus on birds in flight with relative ease.

Visually, I’m often stunned by the quality of the image and anyone familiar with Nikon high-end optics will instantly recognize the “Nikon” view when they look through this scope. I think of it as an SE on steroids and the best I can say is that I forget I’m using a scope and just enjoy the lifelike images captured by the eyepiece. If you’re a fixed magnification fan, I doubt you will find a better scope than this beauty from Nikon.
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Tvc15_2000
Registered User

Registered: December 2003
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 350
Review Date: Sun January 21, 2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: $899.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Image Quality, No compromise performance at a reasonable cost.
Cons: Ocular is not as big as euro scopes.

I am joining the ranks of satisfied users. I purchased my scope in 2004.
I have compared this scope with Leica, Zeiss and Swarovski and many others.

As with all optics, in my comparisons I found one may outperform another on a particular situation.
Overall, I was pleased to see this Fieldscope 82 image quality is still outperforming the others. The high power zoom is sharp even at the full power (trade offs that have to be made for high power).

I recently purchased a fixed 30X eyepiece and it provides a tack sharp bright image. An improvement in image quality over the versatile zoom I may purchase the 38X. If you want to see what the scope is truly capable of I recommend trying the fixed eyepiece.

I seek out the best image I can get. None of the comparisons I have done has proven to me that any of the Euro scopes is a better performer even though they cost twice the price.

The case is tailor made for this scope and well thought out. The front and back attach via Velcro and can be fully removed. Or just flipped open. The focus cover can be rolled back and Velcro it out of the way. Or you can slip your hand under it in foul weather. There are magnetic (snaps) to hold the focus cover in place. I have not seen any scope with a better designed case at any price.

The scope has a generous sun shade that slides out

The only nits I have are minor .
There is a sighting groove on the sun shade that is only useable if the case is removed (I never remove the case).
The focus is a tad resistant or tight. I would prefer a less resistant focus. If I could move it with one finger rather than my hand I would be happier.

I believe this scope provides no compromise performance at a price performance point that would cost you double with any other scope. At double the price - you would only be equaling the performance, not exceeding it.

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>>> ODE TO JOY http://www.youtube.com/v/WdG3iEOsii4
-
Icelanders helping Puffins http://www.youtube.com/v/QJ_TK2c4i2s.
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mark skinner

Grammar Police

Registered: August 2003
Location: northants
Posts: 12
Review Date: Thu November 15, 2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Optics, build quality, price.
Cons: Zoom eyepiece indifferent.

I've got several eyepieces, but the 30XDS is the best of the bunch. Huge light gathering ability.
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kwikstaart
Registered User

Registered: January 2008
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 106
Review Date: Sun January 20, 2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: $1,700.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: optics quality, price, brightness, sharpness
Cons: FOV zoom eyepiece, weatherprotection case too tight

After I started with a cheaper model I switched to a 5 year old secondhand Swaro ATS 65. But in dull weather (and in The NEtherlands it's more often dull than not) looking through an APO, HD, etc -scope, gave such fine extra''s I started looking for one myself. After looking through many scopes and reading many articles I opted for either the Kowa TSN 883 or the Nikon 82 ED A. There was no difference between them, only when I looked against the sun, then the Nikon had no yellow glare and the Kowa just a little. As the Nikon is much cheaper and I like the helical focus ring, the choice was easy. I bought mine with 30x DS wide angle and it's a very nice combination! A con is the very tight look through case. Another point for improvement: the protection caps fit a little loose (why not tether them?). In the Netherlands this Nikon is hard to get and Nikon does not cooperate to provide testing scopes, not even normal binoculars (which also seem to be very good). Apparently other countries are more important to market (UK, USA). Although not heavier than a Leica Televid, a Swarovski weighs less. In the field I love the brightness en it's very sharp view, quick focusing and lovely eyepiece which is very easy to look through. I prefer angled versions. Comparing one on one with the Leica Apo Televid 77, my Nikon was a litthe brighter and I saw no difference with a Swaro ATS 80 HD. In Holland the Swaro is almost twice as expensive as the Nikon and the rest at least € 450.

------------------------------
Have a good twitch today,
Marijn
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Vinexfred
Registered User

Registered: January 2008
Location: the Netherlands
Posts: 1
Review Date: Tue June 10, 2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: brightness and sharpness, building quality, eco glass,
Cons: None so far

Together with the 30x Wide Angle you've got an excellent scope for an reasonable price (compared to the other top-range spotting scopes). Every day I go into the field with this scope I'm enjoying it's performance. I also bought the 25x - 75X zoom eyepiece which is very useful when checking for bridrings. In all other occasions I prefer the 30X WA. The only cons I can think of are already mentioned above (protection caps and FOV of the Zoom eyepiece)
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cassowary

Registered User

Registered: December 2005
Location: uk
Posts: 609
Review Date: Tue September 9, 2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: superb optics; high build quality; nice case; waterproof; good for digiscoping; Nikon USA service excellent
Cons: poor zoom; precise focusing doesn't allow easy tracking of birds in flight

I use this scope (angled) as my primary scope with a 30x DS eyepiece - (my 25x - 75X zoom eyepiece is very poor) sometimes with a 50x DS. I also have both the 60mm and 50mm nikon ed scopes both also nice scopes but use the 82mm as it is better for taking pictures of birds (for identification). The focusing is very precise which has its merits, however it makes finding and tracking birds in flight trickier than on other scopes.

Edit 2/25/2011 - Somehow a couple of weeks ago the back end of my 82EDA broke off so I sent it in for service approx 10 days ago (I could only provide the receipt as the warranty is in storage). Anyway Nikon USA sent me back a new scope with kit (zoom eyepiece, cover etc) and new warranty which I received a couple of days ago all free of charge. As the service was superb I have upgraded my rating from a 9 to a 10


------------------------------
Good luck and Good Birding

Mike
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tonyc4793

TC

Registered: March 2009
Location: Manchester, Britain
Posts: 11
Review Date: Sun August 23, 2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Image quality, build quality, price compared to competition.
Cons: Focus wheel very sensitive but you get used to it.

After months of looking at scopes I bought the ED82mm in March this year and have used it often since. At the time I compared it to scopes of a similar price range and was satisfied that it had brighter clearer more brilliant sharp images. Looked at some more expensive ones as well.

Yesterday I visited the British Birdfair 2009 event and spent time playing with the high price range scopes such as Leica HD, Kowa, Swarovski and Carl Zeiss and was pleasently suprised how well my Nikon stood up to these both in terms of optics and build quality. The only significant difference I noticed was the cost. The new Nikon EDG is very good but is heavy and expensive. The experience was very reassuring and I will be keeping the ED82.

Now I have an ED50 which uses the same eyepieces. Having purchase a couple of wide eyepieces I much prefer these to the zoom. My next experiment will be digiscoping.
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Kevin Conville

yardbirder

Registered: February 2008
Location: State of Chaos
Posts: 2091
Review Date: Sat January 16, 2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, bright, great color rendition, excellent EPs
Cons: Helical focus not the best for high power, fine at lower

I use an assortment of fixed (wide field) focal length EPs and all are great. Superb really. I also have the MCII zoom and am less impressed with it. This is my 4th scope and for several reasons, the best. Great for visual and digiscoping. Good build quality as well.

I have both the ED82 straight and an ED50 angled and I think this the best combo in the spotting scope world.

------------------------------
my bird pics

Scott's Miracle Grow KILLING Birds, for Years!
read this: http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=226714
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sherlock

Registered User

Registered: October 2010
Location: Wild & rugged North Devon
Posts: 322
Review Date: Thu November 18, 2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Great value for money, superb image, tried and tested design
Cons: narrow fov with 25 - 75 lens

I went to a field day and had over 4 hours use of 4 tripods and 5 scopes - ES80ED & HR80ED from Opticron, latest 80 Swarovski 20/50, Kowa 883, Nikon ED82

Conditions bright but cold, looking North over the Exeter estuary.

I cant give much if any technical evaluations however -

I focused 4 scopes side by side at a time on one very distant object.

I Came home with the Nikon ED82 25-75 zoom. I was satisfied with the performance & value for money of the Ed82 compared to the others tested.

In use its just great to have that extra magnification when conditions are suitable.

It does have a narrow field of view and I have also noticed the focus wheel rubs on the stay on case but I hope to make a modification to prevent this.

Longer term I want to digiscope with the 25 x 75 lens hence why I am looking for a small old metal working lathe to turn some plastic to make some adaptors up. I know the results of digiscoping through the 25 - 75 will not be good however I only need something for ID purposes
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