Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!
Zeiss - Always on the lookout for something special – Shop now

Welcome to BirdForum.
BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE! You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Nikon 8x30 E2 100th anniversary - improved coatings/mini review

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread
Old Monday 9th July 2018, 16:58   #1
Tobias Mennle
Registered User

 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: germany
Posts: 211
Nikon 8x30 E2 100th anniversary - improved coatings/mini review

First impression: This is now a bright glass with neutral colours! I tested the E2 in 2015 and 2017 and came to the conclusion that it was not good enough to keep it. Now with a third sample, this time from the 100th anniversary edition (I played around with it for about two hours over a course of two days) I believe that Nikon has improved this binocular design from 1999 with new coatings again. Something which has happened before over the last 20 years, as the transmission measurements of Gijs van Ginkel suggest. But it seems a bit long since the last time. And I have always been unhappy about the not state-of-the-art brightness of some Nikon glasses (8x30E2, SE 8x32 550xxx, EDG 8x42).

I assume the change is not exclusive to the anniversary edition. But where and when did it happen? Nikon hides this with an inconsistent serial number system. My sample from 2015 was 810057, the anniversary sample is a 081923, so a different system of numbering.

The E2 to my eyes has now a better transmission, is visibly brighter and has a better colour reproduction. Brightness is a bit higher than in the Leica Ultravid 8x32 HD Plus, but a bit lower than in the Habicht 8x30 (with 96% transmission). But no longer dramatically, awkwardly lower. And colours look neutral with just a touch of yellow to me now instead of reddish/magenta biased. This is very good.

My evidence is both from visual observation and direct comparison with my reference glasses (mainly Habicht 8x30) as well as from the results from and memory of my observations with older E2 samples (granted, that is always problematic). But also from photographic comparison of the coatings of the new and the older sample (also not bulletproof).

The new coatings are low intensity, with slight magenta and greenish blue/cyan reflections (don´t believe what you see in the Nikon product shots - a very bright clear blue). A similar amount of magenta and cyan being reflected should mean neutral colour reproduction. The older coatings used to be of higher intensity (reflecting more light, transmitting less).

But I am again not won over by the E2. Sample variation is definitely a problem in this glass.
- sample no.1 and no.3 strained my eyes too much, ease of view was simply not sufficient, probably due to suboptimal collimation.
- sample no.2 was easy enough on my eyes, but belonged to the older, darker generation.
- No sample had the outstanding contrast of my reference glasses. And I would dare to generalize that for the E2 as a type. Nikon could easily change that I am sure. It is probably just a matter of manufacturing accuracy.
This glass started out as a solid middle class bin and prices have since risen to a point that easily lets you forget that origin. To get a good sample will take some effort. Nikon´s margin on this glass must be VERY high. And the Habicht 8x30 is now only EUR 150/23% more expensive and a premium bin (but with strong flaring as the Achilles heel).

E2 users who own both fairly new samples and older samples, can you detect any differences, especially in coating colours and intensities? Also, how is ease of view compared with your reference glasses?

Please check out my images and whole story on my website.

Plus: Favourite bins 2018

Wishlist to Leica, Swaro, Zeiss...
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Nikon8x30_100th_anniversary 15.jpg
Views:	257
Size:	189.4 KB
ID:	667817  
Tobias Mennle is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 8th August 2018, 23:06   #2
Patudo
Registered User

 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: London
Posts: 334
Hi Tobias - thank you for your review of this binocular (including the very nice photos). Very similar to what I thought when I looked through one at the UK Birdfair last year. Did you find the eye relief sufficient for you to see the whole field of view with glasses?

Regards,
patudo
Patudo is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 9th August 2018, 00:51   #3
Pinewood
New York correspondent
 
Pinewood's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: New York, USA
Posts: 3,725
Hello Tobias,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts,
Arthur Pinewood
__________________
Bread is not enough. Give us circuses!
Pinewood is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 9th August 2018, 01:06   #4
dries1
Registered User
 
dries1's Avatar

 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Delaware
Posts: 1,429
Tobias,

I bought one last year, black version from Japan which I thought provided a brighter view than the earlier gray one I moved, that is about the only difference I noticed.

Andy W.
dries1 is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2018 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Thursday 9th August 2018, 17:02   #5
[email protected]
Forum Member

 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Colorado
Posts: 1,498
The E2's are still a great value for the money. The only problem I have with them is contrast. With my last pair I compared them to several top alpha's and it made me realize they are falling behind in contrast. I really like good contrast so it is a deal killer for me.
denco@comcast.n is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 20th August 2018, 12:52   #6
MandoBear
Registered User
 
MandoBear's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Hereford UK
Posts: 73
Tobias,
Many thanks for your write up - enjoyable, considered, and thought-provoking - as usual!

I think any evaluation based on the 100th Anniversary model is going to be weighted down by the Limited Edition price. The standard model is far more reasonably priced - even more so if one is able to obtain a good sample from an East-Asian supplier as I was able to last year. At UK £355 delivered, I think I was very fortunate - they've gone up a bit now.

I have a feeling from your review (and forgive me if I'm mistaken) that this is a binocular that you really want to like, but that for various reasons, just doesn't work for you personally. Despite others' favourable reviews (and some possible hyperbole from some), your own experience of them doesn't quite match up - despite their delightful, traditional design and quality feel in the hands.

I'll confess, I am very happy with my, recent, standard-edition pair. Are they perfect? No. Do I use them all the time? No. However, when I do use them, I do enjoy them greatly - they connect me to my early days of birding in the early '80s, when a modest pair of porro-prism binoculars was the best that I could afford - and these Nikons are way better than what I had back then. Perhaps my vision is clouded with a bit of sentiment, but I can live with that.
MandoBear is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 20th August 2018, 15:14   #7
paddy7
Registered User

 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: suffolk
Posts: 597
This is pretty much my experience, having picked one up from Asia. The porro experience is worth having, and i really enjoy them on a bright, dry day. The FoV, the large sweet spot and the colour reproduction all seem more than fine to me. My one issue is perhaps the low focus gearing, meaning quite a haul from close-focus to infinity (and beyond...). Thus they probably wouldn't be first choice on a trip where the focus wheel is likely to be in constant use.
paddy7 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 30th August 2018, 23:59   #8
downunder
Registered User

 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 46
Warning - forgive me for being long winded in what follows.

I picked up a normal Nikon 8x30 EII a few weeks ago and to say I was impressed was an understatement. Normally EII’s are hard to find online in Australia (no shops within hundreds of kilometres from my home so have to buy online) but I accidentally came across one that was for sale for $260 US. It was said to be in “as new” condition. That always sends off red alarm bells in my mind. If it is in “as new”condition, why is it being sold? After being told it had perfect collimation, I took the plunge and bought it. As it turned out¸”as new” was not correct. From what I could tell it was new. I loved it from the very first view.

I live in the bush in Australia (a rural area) and am very fortunate to have many black wattle trees right next to my back verandah. As well as the obvious Finches, King Parrots (some walk right up to you and are as cheeky as), Magpies, Kookaburras, Rosellas etc. (that are regular visitors to my home and very obvious to view),these wattle trees have little white nodules growing on them that attract a massive number of different species of honeybirds. These little devils are hard to focus in on. Not only are they relatively small in size but they are constantly moving and have been a headache to focus in on with my other binoculars (Nikon action extreme 8x40, Celestron TrailSeeker 8x30, Pentax DCF BC 9x32, a Canon 12x32 IS and 8x25 IS, Leupold Yosemite 6x30). None of my other binoculars compare to the Nikon 8x30 EII for viewing these at home. It is in a class of its own. I used to also own a couple of Swift Audubon 804’s but never really liked them and eventually gave them to my grandkids. After the many rave reviews I had read of these Swift binoculars I think I was expecting too much from them and was disappointed and this probably is an example of how binoculars really are a personal thing; for various reasons what one person loves another may not. I still use and love the Canon 12x32’s for long distance viewing, my Yosemites (but not quite enough power for viewing small birds) and the Pentax 9x32’s that I picked up new in Australia for $120 US (way underpriced for their quality).

The properties, in priority order, I was looking for before I bought the Nikon 8x30 EII binoculars included:
1. Very good sharp and bright resolution
2. Very fast and accurate focussing. For example, my Celestron TrailSeeker binoculars drive me crazy. Once you get them in focus they are fine but getting there with the stiff and slow focussing wheel drove me crazy and the eventual image was lifeless compared to the EII’s. I have read that EII’s are hard to get in perfect focus. I can say without any reservations, that has not been my experience with the EII.
3. Very wide field of view. I don’t worry about edge sharpness. I use the edge like hunters do with peripheral vision to detect or follow movement and then move to centre focus for the sharp image. Lightweight to allow use for travel. As well as being used for long walks, my family who I visit regularly live all over the place and that sometimes requires plane flights where luggage weight is restricted.
4. Comfortable grip. I read someone criticise the EII’s for have a poor grip. I love their grip but just another example of how personal binoculars can be.
5. Relatively low cost
6. Be able to be used at sporting event. I haven’t used my EII’s for this yet but I suspect that with their quick focusing, large field of view, and large depth of focus these will be ideal. Good depth of focus to my understanding is dependent on magnification so all 8 times binoculars will be similar. I also prefer porro’s like the EII’s and Habicht’s for their better three dimensional viewing.

You will notice being waterproof was not a requirement. We had some rain where I live one day last week. I think it was April before that. We do get rain but only over a few months on average each year and then it tends to bucket down and I don’t have any intention of going out in that with binoculars. I also find the birds aren’t very active on those days. I suspect that unlike many places in Europe, most days here are normally full of very bright sunshine so the 30mm was not a concern and after cataract removal from both eyes recently I now have no need for glasses which opened up a lot of binoculars for potential purchase. I was also considering the Swarovski Habicht 8x30 but they were a lot more expensive. Even though they are waterproof and considered very bright, these were not priorities for me. The Habicht are generally accepted as being slightly better than the EII’s (but not by everyone – I remember reading in these forums in 2016 where they were crucified). From experience, I know what that can mean. Years ago, I used to be in the audiophile scene and what was sometimes described as a massive difference in sound was for me negligible. Maybe that was a factor of my age but as it turned out, that was a positive thing. As I got older I could not distinguish these supposed sound differences which meant I could be happy with less pricey options.

Anyhow, I was so impressed with these Nikon 8x30 EII’s that I started looking at buying another. After all, I found that if I relaxed my viewing I could look through these all day and they have proven to be my dream binocular. During my earlier search for the “perfect” binoculars I had seen the 100th Anniversary EII’s for sale. Reportedly, only five of these were sent to Australia. When I looked this week only one of the five was left. Its price was $550 US. I was sorely still tempted to pay a significantly more dollars for a Habicht but then reasoned that I loved the EII’s I had. They suited me and if I never buy a Habicht I won’t ever miss the difference. So I bought the Anniversary model as a backup and for long term keeping. They should arrive sometime next week.
downunder is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 31st August 2018, 07:12   #9
jring
Registered User

 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Germany
Posts: 1,804
Hi,

congratulations to the deal of the month with your first pair... so you seem to have contracted a mild case of porromania - no fear, the condition is not deadly but also not curable...

Enjoy your bins!

Joachim
jring is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 31st August 2018, 07:32   #10
Troubador
Moderator
 
Troubador's Avatar

 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Sheffield
Posts: 8,715
A really nice account Downunder. Enjoy 'em.

Lee
Troubador is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 31st August 2018, 12:32   #11
dries1
Registered User
 
dries1's Avatar

 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Delaware
Posts: 1,429
I'll confess, I am very happy with my, recent, standard-edition pair. Are they perfect? No. Do I use them all the time? No. However, when I do use them, I do enjoy them greatly - they connect me to my early days of birding in the early '80s, when a modest pair of porro-prism binoculars was the best that I could afford - and these Nikons are way better than what I had back then. Perhaps my vision is clouded with a bit of sentiment, but I can live with that.

+1
Andy W.
dries1 is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2018 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Friday 31st August 2018, 12:38   #12
dries1
Registered User
 
dries1's Avatar

 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Delaware
Posts: 1,429
Downunder,

Thanks for a humble and sincere account of your thoughts on the EII.

Andy W.
dries1 is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2018 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Monday 3rd September 2018, 22:09   #13
downunder
Registered User

 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 46
I received my Anniversary EII yesterday. Considering the price difference, I was surprised that there didn't appear to be much difference between the normal one and the Anniversary model. The only time I noticed a difference was when viewing inside the house at night. The Anniversary model appeared to be ever so slightly brighter (unless you had the two side by side you wouldn't notice) but no difference was perceived in normal bright daylight viewing. Other than colour changes, the only other thing different was the Anniversary stamp on the front of the binoculars. I should mention I had none of the strained eye problem mentioned above and have found both to be simply fun binoculars to use. I am convinced more than ever that these are the ideal porro binoculars for viewing the small and fast moving birds in my wattle trees. I am still considering one day trying the Swarvoski Habicht 8x30 W because of their reported brightness, sharpness, and waterproofing but am hesitant because of far too many comments (eg. https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=358232) indicating their slow focusing can be a serious problem for birding.
downunder is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 14th September 2018, 09:12   #14
downunder
Registered User

 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 46
After all the discussions on the forums, I couldn't stand it any longer. I just bought a set of Swarvoski Habicht 8x30W binoculars to compare to my EII's. I only picked the Habichts up today so I haven't given them a lot of use. My initial thoughts are that they could be used for birding but are not at good as the Nikon EII because of the slower focusing. However, the focusing is not as stiff as I had expected. The Habicht do seem to give a cleaner view and to be more in focus across the view but don't appear to be much sharper or brighter than the EII's at the centre, but then again, I was viewing them in bright sunlight. I did find the Habicht's were more sensitive to eye placement than the EII's and for me, the EII's were easier to hold onto (it just shows how much personal perspectives play in the choice of binoculars. I have read others report that they found the Habicht's easier to hold onto). I suspect that on bright sunny days I will use the EII's because they are just so easy to use and on less bright days or in wet weather the Swarovski. However, I'll have to give them both a good workout over the next couple of weeks before I can come to any concrete conclusions.
downunder is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 19th September 2018, 22:43   #15
downunder
Registered User

 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 46
My preliminary and probably controversial conclusion after comparing the EII and the Habicht binoculars for about a week, if the EII was the same price as the Habicht and waterproof, I would buy the EII.

So far I have found my use to directly contradict many opinions that I have read. I have found the focus wheel on the EII not only easier to move (and everyone has noted this) but easier and far faster to find focus (others have reported that it was harder to find focus on the EII's compared to the Habicht). I also find the EII more relaxing to use. Finding just the right eye position on the Habicht is not in the same league as on the easy comfortable positioning of the EII's. I also find the EII's more comfortable to grip than the Habicht's (again others have reported the opposite). In my opinion, for my eyes both provide excellent clarity and brightness and both meet my needs in this area.

The only reason I am keeping the Habicht's at this stage is that they are waterproof (and hence probably dustproof). If I were going to a wet environment or a dusty environment I would take the Habichts. For the other 95% of my birdwatching and general viewing I would take the EIIs. My conclusion probably is in agreement with those who point out how one's ideas on what are the best binoculars really is a personal thing. What one person likes, another may not.
downunder is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 24th September 2018, 15:23   #16
613Orm
Registered User

 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Spain
Posts: 98
Hello Downunder!
I live in central Spain and for over half of the year we have a hot and dry climate, similar to parts of Australia I guess. I have a pair of E2 that I absolutely love. However, when I shine into them with a flashlight through the objective lenses I notice glass surfaces with lots of small dust grains. I would like to ask you if you have noticed any dust entering your E2s, and also take the opportunity to ask anyone with the expertise how much dust there must be to affect the vision to any noticeable degree? And what effects would it have? I can not say I have noticed any optical effect of these dust grains, ..yet. It is just my concern that there will be more and more with time.. [When the binoculars were new there was a large dust grain, I think something from factory as it was big, somewhere on the ocular side that made a black dot when looking against the sky. I had it removed by service. Otherwise they seemed clean, so I believe the plentiful smaller dust particles have entered later on during use]

I also would like to ask those that may know, if the better coatings (i.e. light transmission) of the anniversary edition is unique for that version, or if all later models have improved coatings, and in that case from what approximate serial number (mine begins with 81xxxx). Downunder, what does the serial number begin with on your standard E2 that you experience as just a little bit darker than the anniversary edition?

Thanks!
613Orm is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 24th September 2018, 15:38   #17
jring
Registered User

 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Germany
Posts: 1,804
Hi,

a few dust grains far from focus will probably not noticeably worsen the image. Look at the telescope mirrors in the links below for optics that needs cleaning...

http://www.visualastronomy.com/2008/...es-mirror.html

https://robhawley.net/MirrorClean/index.html

Of course with first surface mirrors cleaning is a bit more tricky than with binocular lenses and prisms and the surface will only survive a limited number of cleanings even if it's done right... so it tends to be done only when absolutely necessary.

Joachim, who likes his pair of E2s a lot and hasn't yet noticed dust in there...
jring is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 24th September 2018, 18:45   #18
wllmspd
Registered User

 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Hampton
Posts: 206
Only a visible issue if the dirt is at the focal plane.. a small blob has entered some cheap 5x25 and is bugging me as I can see it like a fixed floater! Small amounts of dust will be impossible to see effect from as they will be out of focus. I know people who have telescope mirrors that look like a dog has slept on them... maybe a bit more scatter and contrast, but Cleaning optics can risk damaging them.. cleaning off individual particles is not worth the risk.

PEter
wllmspd is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 24th September 2018, 21:19   #19
downunder
Registered User

 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 46
I can't see any dust in mine at this stage. The serial number on mine is 811130.
downunder is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 24th September 2018, 23:25   #20
613Orm
Registered User

 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Spain
Posts: 98
I have tried to add a photo showing the dust inside my E2. It is taken through the right objective lens, which is clean. The small white dust specs are evenly distributed all over what seems to be the next glass surface inside the tube just behind a grey colored ring.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/228e52rttl...35850.jpg?dl=0

Last edited by 613Orm : Monday 24th September 2018 at 23:31. Reason: Misspellings
613Orm is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 24th September 2018, 23:35   #21
jring
Registered User

 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Germany
Posts: 1,804
Hi,

it looks like the dust is on the objective facing side of the porro prisms... which seems a bit strange as I would expect dust to be sucked in from the eyepiece side by focus action and be deposited there....

Anyways at the current stage, I would ignore it.

Joachim
jring is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 25th September 2018, 08:43   #22
613Orm
Registered User

 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Spain
Posts: 98
Maybe this is dust that has been in there from factory. I have also problem understanding how dust would enter from the objective side. But I thought that maybe it could suck in and be dust eveywhere that I simply dont see.
Anyway, as said, Ibhave only once noticed a dust grain, which was big and on the ocular side.
Peculiar with the dust grains is that they seem very uniform in size, shape and distribution. Regular "dust" that I have seen in cameras etc have had particles from fabrics etc. So, maybe they werw from factory and I have simply not looked deep inside until now.
As Downunder has not noticed any dust inside his despite usingvhis E2 in dusty environment maybe shows that they are not so prone to collect dust as some have mentioned due to their lack of waterproofness.
Ciao
613Orm is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 25th September 2018, 08:45   #23
613Orm
Registered User

 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Spain
Posts: 98
I will go on using them as always and see if the amount of dust remains the same or if new is accumulated.
613Orm is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 26th October 2018, 11:50   #24
maico
Registered User

 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Somerset UK
Posts: 286
Looking on Amazon.co.uk the standard EII is £380 currently and the Habicht 8x30 around £675-695 gbp, which is + 78% more.

I wish I could buy the Swarovski for only 23% more ! ?

Last edited by maico : Friday 26th October 2018 at 12:17.
maico is offline  
Reply With Quote
Advertisement
Reply


Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Kowa Genesis 8x33 vs Nikon EII 8x30 mini review. black crow Binoculars 65 Sunday 8th April 2018 05:59
Nikon's 100th Anniversary binoculars officially announced fazalmajid Nikon 36 Tuesday 11th July 2017 00:14
NIKON'S new 100th Anniversary Website ceasar Nikon 5 Saturday 14th January 2017 00:56
Nikon ED50 Mini Review Kevin Conville Nikon 209 Sunday 20th March 2011 10:31
Nikon D3S Mini review eneate Nikon 3 Sunday 21st February 2010 23:00

{googleads}

Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Help support BirdForum

Page generated in 0.27316689 seconds with 37 queries
All times are GMT. The time now is 10:25.