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.

Review: 8x30 EII, 8x30 E, 8x32 SE

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rating: Thread Rating: 71 votes, 5.00 average.
Old Tuesday 26th July 2005, 03:38   #26
RobConnel
Guest

 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Posts: 94
John, how did the pincushion compare between the two of them?
RobConnel is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 26th July 2005, 11:34   #27
Pileatus
Registered User

 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 2,499
Quote:
Originally Posted by RobConnel
John, how did the pincushion compare between the two of them?
Rob,

I do not recall any disturbing pincushion in the Swift. My SE, which has logged innumerable hours of use in all type of lighting conditions, shows almost none. The SE offers one of the more exceptional "flat" field views and I find this to be one of its most attractive features. The Nikon LX/HG models show more pincushion but, again, it's not a problem because they are so sharp edge to edge. People can disagree, but I argue that edge-to-edge sharpness contributes more to the overall view than anything else, especially to aging eyes.

Edge softness was the FIRST thing I noticed in the Swift and it is an exceptionally sharp glass. If Swift masked out the outer edge I bet people would "see" things differently. The Zeiss zoom eyepiece, though heralded as a superb zoom, is often criticized for edge softness at the lower end of the magnification scale. The FL was criticized for it and so too the Trinovid's and Ultravid's. I like my Ultravid, but I would like it more if it was as sharp across the entire field as it is in the "sweet spot". After all, who would argue for dullness?

Look and you will see plenty of pincushion in the EL, FL, Ultravid, Trinovid, LX/HG, etc. SE's show very little. Anyone who wears eyeglasses knows that, eventually, the brain filters out most optical distortions and you see the world in a pleasing manner. Good binoculars, in spite of their inevitable imperfections, behave the same way. When used in a normal fashion, a high quality binocular should be nearly transparent. If it isn't, choose another model.

Finally, it's easy to succumb to "paralysis by analysis" when evaluating binoculars. All of them have shortcomings and each person sees the world though their own set of filters. If you take the Swift out in the field for a few days, you should have no trouble determining its worth...to you. The same goes for the EII and the SE. Optically, those three bins are second to none.

Good luck...

John
Pileatus is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 27th July 2005, 01:27   #28
Bryant
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Central United States
Posts: 26
New to the forum here, and have found an abundance of good information. "Thank You" to all participants.

I was lucky enough to take a couple of hours this afternoon to play at the "binocular buffet" at one of the area camera (and binocular...etc) shops, trying out most of their inventory samples. Most of their line consists of Nikon, with a few Cannon and other misc. pairs interspersed here and there, and I was anxious to do some relaxed daylight comparisons between a few that I had never paid much mind to in the past.

Their display samples consisted of Action and Sporter series glasses, as well as Travelites and similar models, on up the line to the Premier SE, and LX binos, a pretty much complete mix of the current Nikon line (with a few exceptions).

Giving them all a cursory look and rundown as to build quality and ergonomics, there was the usual "range" of performance until I reached the 8x42 LX. The brightness and contrast was really very good on this particular glass, something to be expected at the price point involved, and throughout the time I spent with the various models, I kept returning the the LX as my "on-the-spot" standard to really get a feel for all of the others;

.....that was until I got around to a lone pair of lowly left-over 8x30 E2s. This was one of those rare times in looking at binoculars that I put a glass to my face and EVERYTHING literally seemed to "click" as far as view and optical quality, ergonomics that "felt right", general feel of quality in the build and mechanics, and just an overall "wow" effect in comparison to what I was expecting after looking through so many others.

Moving on to a pair of 8x32 SEs (the other pair that I was seriously considering as a general use bino), I had to do many double-take comparisons to really determine which one I ultimately preferred, including the much costlier LX model. The 8x32 SE, while having very similar optics to the E2, gave an occasional vignetting or "kidney-bean" effect (what I assume others have mentioned as "black-out" in that model) that I found all but impossible to duplicate with the E2. I just personally preferred the "care-free" snap-to view of the E2 without even the slightest problem along those lines, something that makes the inherent use of the glass much more natural and pleasurable in my view. That, combined with the preferred wider TFOV of the E2, really cinched the later as my new "general-duty" bino for daytime and REAL wide-field night sky viewing, realizing of course the restrictions of the light gathering ability of the small 30mm objectives. Still, with such small objective glasses, it's often amazing the kind of star counts you can get on a nice clear night of totally relaxed viewing enjoyment, and from all daylight indications, total field sharpness in the E2 appears to be right up there with the best, even considering its 8.8 degree true FOV.

I also had the opportunity to look through and "experience" some of the smaller Canon IS models, and while the stabilization feature on these particular glasses was excellent, comparing the optics themselves to the E2 showed noticeably reduced contrast and less overall image brightness, though field sharpness was very good and beyond that of many mid to upper priced binos on the market.

The Sporter 10x was the only version of that model they had available on display, but first impressions were that it would make a very nice entry-level bino for the money, about $175 here in the states mail-order. But with the much narrower field (~6*) and slightly higher power of the Sporter combined with a somewhat dimmer and less contrasty view overall, the E2 again gave so much better overall views for so little additional money ($299 here in the U.S.) as to be very obvious even at first cursory glance. What I think I found most amazing about the E2 was the performance to price point, and feel it is a real shame that Nikon has decided to discontinue that model. I've had experience with many "top-of-the-line" roof prism glasses, as well as many porros over the years, and the E2 gives up VERY LITTLE (if anything) in comparison to any other comparably sized/magnification glasses on the market IMO.

Unfortunately, the lone E2 at the camera shop was their display model, and had seen some significant "handling", though the price was still "full retail - take it or leave it" of $459, plus the $40 or so sales taxes involved locally. Knowing various online dealers had them available for what amounted to close to $200 less, I decided to wait and order one when I got back home.

This one will be interesting to compare side-by-side to my old favorite Zeiss 8x56 BGAT Classic, though as stated, it will likely not be a glass that is a preferred choice for astronomical use alone.

BUT......Oh what beautiful terrestrial views it can produce ! I now see the wisdom of the many who have shared their excitement in and recommendation of the Nikon 8x30 E2 these many years. Get one while you can !

Bryant
Bryant is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 27th July 2005, 02:21   #29
KC Foggin
Super Moderator
BF Supporter 2018
 
KC Foggin's Avatar

 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Myrtle Beach SC "Smiling Faces, Beautiful Places"
Posts: 241,402
Hi Bryant! On behalf of the staff here at BirdForum, a warm welcome to you. Glad you were able to find some useful information and we look forward to your future postings.
__________________
KC a/k/a common KC

Karma - What you send out
Comes right back at ya
KC Foggin is online now  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Tuesday 2nd August 2005, 02:55   #30
Robert Ellis
Larus marinus

 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: St. Paul/Milwaukee
Posts: 543
Henry, could you give an evaluation of how much more durable the SE design is?
Robert Ellis is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 11th August 2005, 18:52   #31
redshift
Toad Popper
 
redshift's Avatar

 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: England
Posts: 239
I'm now the happy owner of a pair of 8x30 E2s as well as a pair of 8x32 SE. (I had to grab a pair of the E2s before they disappear.)

My non-expert comparison is:

* the SEs have better edge-to-edge sharpness across the field

* the SEs have less chromatic aberation

* the SEs focus with more of a "snap"

I cannot discern any difference in brightness, contrast, or centre of field sharpness.

However the above advantages of the SEs are not immediately obvious and have to be looked for carefully. The E2s certainly give the SE a close run for the money. The odd thing about the E2s is, that despite (or is it because of?) their slightly wider field, I feel I am "drawn in" more to the object being viewed. The target somehow seems subjectively a bit bigger, which given that the field of view is larger seems odd to me. I can see how some people could prefer the E2 to the SEs.

Conclusion: an excellent second pair of bins for the family.
__________________
Redshift
redshift is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 11th August 2005, 22:06   #32
Pinewood
New York correspondent
 
Pinewood's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: New York, USA
Posts: 3,620
Dear Redshift,

Is using the EII like going to a CinemaScope movie? You become drawn into the panorama and feel part of the landscape.
I respectfully differ with your conclusion in that it may be an excellent first pair of binoculars.

Happy bird watching,
Arthur Pinewood
Pinewood is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 11th August 2005, 22:50   #33
redshift
Toad Popper
 
redshift's Avatar

 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: England
Posts: 239
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinewood
I respectfully differ with your conclusion in that it may be an excellent first pair of binoculars.
Oh, no question about that. I was being specific about my circumstances.
__________________
Redshift
redshift is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 13th March 2014, 09:52   #34
mooreorless
Registered User
 
mooreorless's Avatar

 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Huntingdon,Pa.
Posts: 3,460
I thought no one would object if I brought this excellent thread back up after reading about the Nikon SE line being discontinued.
mooreorless is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 13th March 2014, 12:33   #35
FrankD
Registered User
 
FrankD's Avatar

 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Eastern Pennsylvania
Posts: 8,412
Henry's thorough reviews are some of the very best on the net. He has a nice way of relating technical information to a layman.

In retrospect I now wish he would have had access to the 8x35 wide field as well. Thoughts on that comparison Henry?
__________________
Visit our Optics Review site......
http://opticstheviewfromhere.com/
Digiscoped videos .....
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAf...1LMvsLF0DExoog
FrankD is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 13th March 2014, 13:28   #36
Pileatus
Registered User

 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 2,499
Everyone should read this thread...from the beginning. The tenor of the conversation is informative, respectful and pleasant. I'll leave it at that.
Pileatus is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 13th March 2014, 13:34   #37
Troubador
Moderator
 
Troubador's Avatar

 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Sheffield
Posts: 8,231
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pileatus View Post
Everyone should read this thread...from the beginning. The tenor of the conversation is informative, respectful and pleasant. I'll leave it at that.
I'll second that

Lee
Troubador is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 13th March 2014, 13:41   #38
FrankD
Registered User
 
FrankD's Avatar

 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Eastern Pennsylvania
Posts: 8,412
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pileatus View Post
Everyone should read this thread...from the beginning. The tenor of the conversation is informative, respectful and pleasant. I'll leave it at that.
Yeah well, I think it was a bit of a different forum back then. :-)
__________________
Visit our Optics Review site......
http://opticstheviewfromhere.com/
Digiscoped videos .....
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAf...1LMvsLF0DExoog
FrankD 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
Zeiss FL 8X32 and 8X42 user feedback sean davis Zeiss 89 Wednesday 9th November 2005 19:56
Optically speaking, HG 8x32 v BGAT 8x30 Robert Ellis Binoculars 0 Tuesday 19th July 2005 00:47
SE 8x32's - a well kept secret? Quacker Nikon 59 Monday 13th June 2005 22:46
Best 8x30 Liliput Binoculars 2 Sunday 22nd May 2005 17:31
Nikon 8x30 E2 - Good Value Blackstart Nikon 0 Thursday 12th February 2004 18:10

{googleads}

Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Help support BirdForum

Page generated in 0.17451191 seconds with 25 queries
All times are GMT. The time now is 17:45.