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Nikon 7 / 8 x 42 EDG experiences sought

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Old Saturday 2nd February 2019, 14:32   #1
SeldomPerched
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Nikon 7 / 8 x 42 EDG experiences sought

This is an unashamedly 'armchair interest' posting,as I don't actually need any more binoculars and have 7 and 8x examples from European companies that do all I could possibly want.

But it's interesting to learn about other marques and I have used Nikon cameras for years. (They have turned out to be the most consistently reliable too -- the ones I'd take anywhere without fear of their letting me down.)

I see on Nikon UK's site that 7x and 8x 42 EDG closed bridge models are still available (as is 10x but I can't hold tens steady enough) and the prices are certainly well inside the borders of Territory Alpha.

The properties and pros and cons of 7 vs. 8 powers are familiar to me. All I am wondering is how they compare optically, whether they are very similar in their characteristics, how people find the field flattening effect on EDGs, colour saturation, colour balance, etc. Ergonomics I have an idea of having held a pair of 8x EDGs a while back but not having had time to try them out properly. So the picture effect is my primary concern, and then perhaps durability/longevity.

As said, too much of an armchair query but I would love to know more than the manufacturer's blurb, and also how the two mentioned compare with each other. The pair I held seemed very solid and I did like the opportunity to use winged eyecups.

Many thanks,
Tom

Don't make them sound so great I have to buy them after all... ... ;-)
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Old Saturday 2nd February 2019, 18:26   #2
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The 42 EDGs - 7x, 8x or 10x - can safely be called „premium material“ in my view.

Here is a brief „armchair response“ (meaning as lazy as can be) to an armchair query

In 2015, I did a comparative review of the premium market of binoculars:
https://www.juelich-bonn.com/jForum/read.php?9,426194 (sorry, all in German unfortunately)

and concluded by saying very briefly:

„- If you are looking for the widest field of view and excellent ergonomics, choose the SF
- If you want the sharpest possible image, both on and off axis, choose the EL SV
- If you are looking for the best straylight suppression and a compact format, choose the EDG
- The best center-sharpness / brightness and solid handling can be found in the HT
- If you are looking for proven mechanics and nice color saturated image, choose the HD Plus.“

I think choosing a premium bino has often more to do with personal preferences than with real substantial performance differences.

The EDG is the „oldest“ among the current top binoculars, and it doesn’t look as if Nikon is going to do an update anytime soon, but still today, the EDG doesn‘t have to hide from its newer competitors.

Details under the link mentioned above.

Just my 2 ct.

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Old Saturday 2nd February 2019, 19:37   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canip View Post
The 42 EDGs - 7x, 8x or 10x - can safely be called „premium material“ in my view.

Here is a brief „armchair response“ (meaning as lazy as can be) to an armchair query

In 2015, I did a comparative review of the premium market of binoculars:
https://www.juelich-bonn.com/jForum/read.php?9,426194 (sorry, all in German unfortunately)

and concluded by saying very briefly:

„- If you are looking for the widest field of view and excellent ergonomics, choose the SF
- If you want the sharpest possible image, both on and off axis, choose the EL SV
- If you are looking for the best straylight suppression and a compact format, choose the EDG
- The best center-sharpness / brightness and solid handling can be found in the HT
- If you are looking for proven mechanics and nice color saturated image, choose the HD Plus.“

I think choosing a premium bino has often more to do with personal preferences than with real substantial performance differences.

The EDG is the „oldest“ among the current top binoculars, and it doesn’t look as if Nikon is going to do an update anytime soon, but still today, the EDG doesn‘t have to hide from its newer competitors.

Details under the link mentioned above.

Just my 2 ct.

Canip
Dear Pinac/Canip,

Thank you for directing me to your review; luckily I can read German quite well and for the few words that are unfamiliar I still have an excellent Collins dictionary to hand. An enjoyable read and conclusions that sound about right to me from my limited experience.

Did you have a chance at any time to compare the EDG 7x with the 8x?

Best wishes,

Tom
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Old Saturday 2nd February 2019, 20:51   #4
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In my brief usage of the EDG 10X42, I disliked the distinct warm [reddish] colour bias.
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Old Saturday 2nd February 2019, 22:54   #5
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Originally Posted by james holdsworth View Post
In my brief usage of the EDG 10X42, I disliked the distinct warm [reddish] colour bias.
James:

You are just used to the design of the Zeiss, high transmission, that means more use of the blue spectrum.

Nikon has done things very well in the EDG models, neutral color presentation and the quality of the flat field view is without flaw.


I have owned the 10x42 since they were first introduced. I would not
hesitate either the 7 or 8x42.


Jerry
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Old Saturday 2nd February 2019, 23:14   #6
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I agree with Canip above...great explanation.

I'm not sure there is a better binocular that does more things right than the EDG. Field is among the flattest. EXCELLENT ergonomics. Nice relatively compact package. Color is as neutral to me as it can get. Very much a "walk in" image presentation. It's my go to "reference" binocular. I'd use it a lot more if I didn't have others I like as well.
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Old Saturday 2nd February 2019, 23:17   #7
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Compare the Allbinos transmission graph of the Swarovision 8.5x42

https://www.allbinos.com/251-binocul...arovision.html

With Allbinos transmission graph of the EDG 8x42

https://www.allbinos.com/224-binocul..._8x42_EDG.html

Allbinos ranks the 2 binoculars 1st and 2nd among 8x42 binoculars.

Personally I wouldn't complain if I owned either one of them.

Bob
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Old Sunday 3rd February 2019, 00:20   #8
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I've only looked through the 10x model at Birdfair a couple years back. Build quality/mechanicals appeared very good, especially focus feel (for which it has been widely praised). Optically, comparable to the other top alphas in sharpness, ease of view etc., but - to my eyes anyway - not as bright. I'm sure the light transmission figures are in the same ball park as the other top makers, so this may be due to Nikon favouring the red spectrum or (as has been commented upon) Swarovski for instance not baffling their binoculars to the same degree. In any case if you have an 8x42 HT it's unlikely the equivalent EDG will impress you enough to shell out for it, and if you have the 7x42 Dialyt, P model, I think ditto. Nikon does sell binoculars to a worldwide market of course and I think in brighter climes than north-western Europe the highest degree of perceived brightness may likely be less important and the excellent baffling/interior blackening come into its own.
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Old Sunday 3rd February 2019, 12:23   #9
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Tom (post #3),

You are asking about the 7x vs 8x.
Patudo (post #8) mentions an interesting aspect in this respect: brightness.

I have not directly compared the 7x to the 8x, but, as mentioned, I compared the EDG 8x42 to the other premium 8x42s.

Separately, I have several times compared the EDG 7x42 with two other top 7x42s, the Zeiss FL and the Leica HD Plus (no detailed tests, just brief side by side reviews). And there, I got the clear impression that the EDG lacks the brightness of either the Victory or the Ultravid.

Otherwise, the image is everything you could wish for, but in terms of image brightness, the 7x EDG in my eyes is a clear number 3 behind its two competitors. The difference isn‘t huge, but a certain „lack of brilliance“ struck me each time.
I never got a similar impression with the 8x EDG.

In light of Patudo‘s post, it will be interesting to see how the 10x EDG fares against the same size European top brands.

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Old Sunday 3rd February 2019, 13:23   #10
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I have the 8X32, 8X42 and 10X42 EDGs, and when I use them outside they provide me with some great views, I never say boy I wish these were a lot brighter. I would think the 7X42 would also provide some great views also. As previously stated at this level, personal preferences matter most, different folks .....The only way to really answer this question is personal, and to try the glass for oneself.
If one wants a bright glass, get a premium 8X56.

Andy W.
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Old Sunday 3rd February 2019, 17:32   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NDhunter View Post
James:

You are just used to the design of the Zeiss, high transmission, that means more use of the blue spectrum.

Nikon has done things very well in the EDG models, neutral color presentation and the quality of the flat field view is without flaw.


I have owned the 10x42 since they were first introduced. I would not
hesitate either the 7 or 8x42.


Jerry
No, compared to the very neutral HT, warm [reddish] bias was clear. Not to disparage the EDG [which is excellent] but clean whites and completely neutral colours are important to me.
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Old Saturday 23rd March 2019, 14:23   #12
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No, compared to the very neutral HT, warm [reddish] bias was clear. Not to disparage the EDG [which is excellent] but clean whites and completely neutral colours are important to me.
As always thank you all for the variety of feedback on colour, brightness, and everything else. I now have a good idea how the Nikon EDGs fit in with the other makes and don't feel an urge to get a pair -- as said I really don't need them, in any size -- but I loved the focus, build quality, and ergonomics of the EDG 8x42 they had secondhand in the shop.

Tom
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Old Saturday 23rd March 2019, 14:26   #13
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No, compared to the very neutral HT, warm [reddish] bias was clear. Not to disparage the EDG [which is excellent] but clean whites and completely neutral colours are important to me.
I am happy with a reddish Leica-style bias but know what you mean about the HT, James, having been lucky enough to buy one from Lee last year. It has great handling as well; it's a definite keeper.

Tom
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Old Sunday 21st April 2019, 17:46   #14
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Compare the Allbinos transmission graph of the Swarovision 8.5x42

https://www.allbinos.com/251-binocul...arovision.html

With Allbinos transmission graph of the EDG 8x42

https://www.allbinos.com/224-binocul..._8x42_EDG.html

Allbinos ranks the 2 binoculars 1st and 2nd among 8x42 binoculars.

Personally I wouldn't complain if I owned either one of them.

Bob
Luckily I have the will power not to go and play Russian Roulette with my card for both of those!! Thanks for the links, Bob.

Tom
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Old Thursday 23rd May 2019, 14:46   #15
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My EDG 8 x 42 binoculars

I am late in replying to this post, but since my primary binoculars are EDG
8x42's I figure better late than never.

I really like the view with these binoculars. Compared with the Zeiss or Swarovski top models the Nikons are *not quite as bright*. I agree with the other commentators who have pointed this out. This in itself apparently is enough to put off many potential users. But not me. The upside is that the view with the EDG binocs is very rich and easy on the eyes, with no hint of "glariness." Color rendition is excellent. These binoculars are a pleasure to look through (for me, anyway).

Ergonomically the binocs are mostly good. They fit nicely in my hands and are compact and reasonably lightweight for a premier binocular. In terms of their build, however, I have encountered two issues. First, the finish on the center wheel has a tendency to chip. This is, of course, just an aesthetic matter, but if we are talking alpha binoculars, this should not happen. Second, the shallow rubber eyepiece cushions have a tendency to pop off. I lost one of these and had to get it replaced (more on this below). One can substitute the butterfly-type eyepiece covers that are packaged with the binocs, but I wear glasses sometimes and I found this inconvenient.

Ok. When I lost one of those shallow rubber eyepiece cushion/covers I contacted Nikon for a replacement. This is a small, inexpensive part, and I hoped they would just send me one for free, or at worst, charge me a nominal amount. But no. They demanded that I send the binoculars into them for a "free" repair. I am not kidding. This cost me $12 or so in shipping costs (including insurance), the inconvenience of having to box up the binoculars and take them to the UPS Store, plus not having the binoculars for two weeks. I asked Nikon to include one or two extra rubber eyepiece covers with the returned binoculars in anticipation of the inevitable day when the same piece would again pop off and be lost. No.

So in response, I got smart (sort of) and lightly glued the rubber covers onto the eyepieces. They have stayed put ever since. This would be a pain if I had any inclination to substitute the butterfly-type covers part of the time. But for me, it was a solution of sorts.

But the point remains that Nikon's customer service is quirky and tone-deaf. If I spent my money on alpha Swarovski or Zeiss binoculars I would have gotten superb support. I have had Leicas in the past, and their support is not quite at the level of Swarovski's, but it's pretty good. Even Bushnell sent me complimentary replacement objective covers when one of these fell off in the field. But Nikon apparently has a hard time putting itself in the shoes of the customer, and its post-purchase service is a definite minus as a result.

Were I buying another pair of alpha binoculars today I would choose between Zeiss Victory SF and a Swarovski Field Pro package. Tough choice; first world problem!

I recently spent several days in northern Ohio to take in the big spring warbler migration at Magee Marsh. The place was completely packed with birders. I saw a lot of binoculars there. There were many Swarovskis and a lot of Zeiss Victories and Conquests. I did not see a single other birder using Nikon EDG 8x42s like mine. I did see a lot of people using Nikon Monarchs, which remain an excellent value. But in terms of alpha binoculars, I think Nikon's lousy customer service has put that company out of the running.
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Old Thursday 23rd May 2019, 17:41   #16
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"But in terms of alpha binoculars, I think Nikon's lousy customer service has put that company out of the running." I agree with everything you have said. Here is my take on the Nikon EDG's. I recently had the 7x42 EDG and the 10x32 EDG and both were purchased new. To make a long story short I returned both of them for similar reasons to yours. Like you said the EDG's are not as bright as the Swarovski SV's nor do they have as sharp of edges or as flat of a field or as big of a FOV. The EDG's are better at glare control than the SV that is one thing I will give them. The focuser on the EDG's is smoother than the SV but on both samples of my new EDG's the focuser had play or backlash so every time I tried to adjust the focus there was lag before it engaged and I hate that WORSE than a tight focuser. The SV focuser is not as smooth as the EDG but at least it has no play or backlash and for that reason I prefer it. Also, I think the Diopter adjustment on the EDG is "cheesy" and prone to drifting if you are not careful. The diopter is not nearly as well designed or as foolproof as the SV. Also, the case, rainguard, FP strap and objective covers are way superior on the SV. The case on the EDG is a an open goofy design that doesn't offer a lot of protection and is typical of something the Japanese would design. Maybe the weather is not that bad in Tokyo but that case won't work in the Colorado mountains. What REALLY irritates me about the EDG is the objective covers! Nikon designed a special bump ON the binoculars to hold the objective covers on which is great and the objective covers are nice and they fit inside the objectives but the only problem is they are too LOOSE! They will not stay in! I tried everything to keep them in to no avail. The funny thing is is Nikon has NEVER made an attempt to fix them. I contacted Nikon about them and they sent me a pair from the EDG I and they didn't work either. What is really frustrating about the objective covers is because of the bump on the end of the binoculars NO aftermarket objective covers will fit correctly. I tried some! So Nikon screwed them up, won't fix them and you CAN'T fix them with an aftermarket cover. Swarovski would NEVER let their binoculars go to market with an objective cover that won't fit! I really don't understand Nikon. They CAN make good optics and high quality binoculars such as the Nikon 8x30 EII porro and the Nikon 7x15 porro and as mentioned above the Monarch are good examples of what they can do and they make nice mid-range and lower end binoculars but there customer service is not near what Swarovski is. Nikon is good for mid-range binoculars but it is best to stick with Swarovski or Zeiss for alpha binoculars. I have the SV 8.5x42, SV 8x32, SV 10x32, Habicht 10x40 W porro, Habicht 8x30 W porro, Nikon 8x30 EII porro, Swarovski CL-P 8x25, Leica Ultravid 8x20 and the Nikon 7x15 porro. 5 roofs and 4 porro's. Not a bad mix.

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Old Thursday 23rd May 2019, 17:56   #17
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Nikon's lousy customer service is putting it nicely. Pathetic would be my description. I was really wanting a Nikon Laserforce bino/rf all in one unit. I was unsure of the warranty so I talked to Nikon CS several times. They convinced me over the phone, and even in personal emails that the Nikon No Fault lifetime USA warranty covered the entire binocular. I went on down to the retail store that carried these and looked them over, and lo and behold there it was, a pink slip of paper, explaining that the Nikon No Fault warranty covered the binocular but not the electronics, which carried a two year warranty. A total contradiction, in writing, to what the Nikon CS idiots told me via phone AND email.

Their pathetic customer service is only exceeded by their more than pathetic marketing department. I know the EDG to be a fantastic bino, and yet I never, ever, even once saw it for sale in a retail store, including Cabelas. Too many great companies to deal with to put up with this nonsense. Nikon and Leica USA are about equal in these two departments. They suck.
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Old Thursday 23rd May 2019, 22:17   #18
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Their (Nikon's) pathetic customer service is only exceeded by their more than pathetic marketing department. I know the EDG to be a fantastic bino, and yet I never, ever, even once saw it for sale in a retail store, including Cabelas.
There should be a business school case study on this. Weak marketing and skimpy customer support are brand killers.
Nikon builds superb optics but because of these deficiencies has been unable to even maintain market parity in sport optics with Leica, a much smaller and less financially robust enterprise.
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Old Friday 24th May 2019, 02:03   #19
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There should be a business school case study on this. Weak marketing and skimpy customer support are brand killers.
Nikon builds superb optics but because of these deficiencies has been unable to even maintain market parity in sport optics with Leica, a much smaller and less financially robust enterprise.



Nikon seems to have a lot other things on their minds when it comes to making money. Camera's are a very big business.

If you check the "Public Profile" in their website you will find (among all the other business they have been doing with Cameras, etc.) that since March 2016 Nikon has introduced 3 new models of binoculars, and 2 of them were almost certainly contracted out to another Japanese firm. That works out to about 1 new model every year (like the Monarch 7s, et al) going back to the Tsunami of 2011 and they are undoubtedly farmed out to China and Kamakura.

In March 2016 the Pro-Staff 3 binoculars-8x/10x42 were released and in July 2016 the Monarch HG 8x/10x42 were released.

In April 2017 the Two 100 Year Anniversary WX binoculars were released.

And on 6/28/18 the Monarch HG line was completed with the release if the 8/10x30 models.

Bob

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Old Friday 24th May 2019, 04:31   #20
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Personally, I like every Nikon binocular I have regardless of idiosyncrasies of each. Every Nikon binocular I have has literally a perfect focus adjustment. That's 2 EDG IIs, an EDG, a Premier, a M7, and a MHG. Some of the acclaimed binocular review sites hold the EDGs in very high regard. Optically I'm pretty sure my EDG II 8X42 is the best I have or have had. Overall in most every condition not much will whip it. The 10X42 is said to be even better.

I agree about the objective covers. I just took them off and put them back in the box. Some of their cases are 30 year old designs. But mechanically and optically they are pretty dang good.
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Old Friday 24th May 2019, 10:32   #21
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Personally, I like every Nikon binocular I have regardless of idiosyncrasies of each. Every Nikon binocular I have has literally a perfect focus adjustment. That's 2 EDG IIs, an EDG, a Premier, a M7, and a MHG. Some of the acclaimed binocular review sites hold the EDGs in very high regard. Optically I'm pretty sure my EDG II 8X42 is the best I have or have had. Overall in most every condition not much will whip it. The 10X42 is said to be even better.

I agree about the objective covers. I just took them off and put them back in the box. Some of their cases are 30 year old designs. But mechanically and optically they are pretty dang good.
I'm with Chuck regarding the EDG, an excellent pair of binoculars.
There's often talk of them appearing dim by comparison but I don't think so. They have excellent colour and contrast perhaps it's other factors rather than being notably more dim? On that note they sit on or below 90% transmission which isn't particularly high or low but with our perception of brightness being logarithmic a few % here or there shouldn't make a notable difference?
Whatever the case I'm guessing that an individual's perception and the balance of colour and contrast levels are more of a contributing factor.
My EDG are 8x32's and I particularly enjoy their view (and handling) and would place them in the number one spot of my collection.
My first pair had the dreaded wandering diopter which Nikon could not replicate in tests apparently (I'm sure Nikon in Australia has a team of poorly trained monkey's in their binocular department and that's assuming they even have a binocular department) but none the less they sent me a replacement pair with a perfectly functioning diopter.
Regardless of customer service or warranty and so on, I think the EDG easily competes with or bests the competition. It would have been nice if they persisted with advancing on the EDG but it seems the MHG holds their current top spot.
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Old Friday 24th May 2019, 14:15   #22
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"The EDG's IMO just seem dim and don't have the high transmission sparkle of other binoculars especially when compared to something like a Habicht Porro. When I would compare them side by side with other alpha's I personally really notice it. To me that is a major downfall of them. Tobias describes why the EDG's are dim and I must say I agree with him after having the 8x32 EDG, 7x42 EDG and the 10x32 EDG.

"Nikon really needs to boost transmission in the EDG, no matter how, by coatings and or better glass. They will then simply have the best 8x42 for general use with a perfect combination of great qualities. Compared to what other companies try to do to reinvent the binocular this should be an easy task. I really hope that Nikon will not withdraw from the high end market and update this wonderful design very soon.
Nikon, I´m waiting for your awesome EDG MKIII.

CORRECTION/ADDENDUM 27-2-2018
The Nikon EDG is really a fine example illustrating a simple truth regarding premium binoculars: All manufacturers put a lot of effort in their top bins, but they have different priorities, and the product of these special qualities becomes the soul of the bin.The EDG 8x42 puzzled me with its reduced brightness. And I do think I am right about that. Today I phoned with the person who services most of my bins and he told me when they did transmission measurements of the EDGs they just reached 90% but most of the spectrum was much below that. It seems strange that Nikon uses somewhat inferior, not state-of-the-art transmissive coating technology (and glass). But that fits with my findings for their porros E2 and even SE which are much darker than the Swarovski porros. A good thing about a not too bright image is that shadows get blacker and perceived contrast increases. Is that part of the Nikon philosophy? Another thing is the visible artificial vignetting I photographed through the objectives (see below), similar to the Zeiss 8x42 HT, but absent in the Ultravid HD Plus and Zeiss SF... seems the Nikon is a bit too strongly baffled maybe."

[/i][/b]

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Old Friday 24th May 2019, 15:20   #23
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Dennis,

The guy who runs the Allbinos review of binoculars has no problems with the EDG's "brightness" which is a factor included in his ratings.

Overall, (which includes the EDG's light transmission) he ranks the following EDG binoculars as follows:

8x32 EDG: #1 among the 8x32s. Total of 32 binoculars reviewed and rated.

8x42 EDG: #2 among the 8x42s. Total of 28 binoculars reviewed and rated.

10x42 EDG: #1 among the 10x42s. Total of 88 binoculars reviewed and rated.

See this link: https://www.allbinos.com/rankings.html

Allbinos reviews are much more thorough and detailed than those of Tobias who is offering his opinion about the Nikon EDGs.

I recall from discussions here in the past that Nikon always had their highest transmission rankings (above 90) in the red end of the spectrum, as the transmission graphs of the EDGs above show.

Swarovski has theirs in the blue end of the spectrum where the Habicht porros have their highest ranking. The Habichts also have a reputation of being very difficult to use, a reputation that Nikon does not have.

Bob

Last edited by ceasar : Friday 24th May 2019 at 15:40.
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Old Friday 24th May 2019, 16:36   #24
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Bob, since the EDG is so good, and as I said before I agree that it is, why didn't Nikon market these as they should have?
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Old Friday 24th May 2019, 18:07   #25
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I know about the good reviews from Allbino's on the EDG's. I think part of the dim feeling of the EDG's comes from the fact that there transmission is high in the red spectrum giving them a warmer color bias, whereas, the Swarovski peak higher in the blue spectrum which I feel gives the Swarovski a brighter impression with cooler colors. I have had three EDG's and compared them many times to my SV's and my Habicht's 10x40 W and 8x30 W and I don't always agree with Tobias on everything although he usually knows what he is talking about but I do agree with him on the EDG's. Everytime I would use the EDG's I felt they lacked the brigthness and pop and sparkle of my SV or Habicht. They are almost dull in comparison. As Tobias said they lack the high transmission sparkle of other binoculars like the Habicht. The Nikon SE and EII porro's were always that way also being less bright than the Swarovski porro's because of lower transmission and favoring a red bias but the newer updated EII's after the anniversary edition are much improved in this regard. I just purchased a new pair of EII's and they are brighter although still not as bright as a Habicht and have less red bias than the older EII's. The EDG's don't have as sharp of edges as the SV either or quite as flat of field but for some who are bothered by RB would consider that an advantage. I prefer personally the brutally sharp edges of the SV since RB doesn't bother me. I accept the Habicht's softer edges for their astounding on-axis sharpness, incredible transmission and 3D view and the 10x40 W has quite good glare control. I have adjusted to the Habicht's idiosyncrasies. I cup my hands around the eyepieces to deal with the smaller eye cups and adjust the eye relief in that way and I have decided I would rather have the tight focuser of the Habicht with no play rather than the EDG focuser with play or backlash in it. I was comparing the new $800.00 Habicht 10x40 W to my $2k Swarovski 10x32 SV today and I think the Habicht is better than the SV. Some people may feel the EDG's are bright but IMO there lack of brightness is their major weakness. That is what my eyes see. Your's could differ.

Last edited by [email protected] : Friday 24th May 2019 at 19:53.
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