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Nikon EDG II 8x42 VS Swarovski SV 8,5x42

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Old Thursday 20th September 2012, 11:32   #1
kwikstaart
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Nikon EDG II 8x42 VS Swarovski SV 8,5x42

And suddenly I have both the EDG II 8x42 AND the SW SV 8,5x42. I bought the latter brand new but below for what the reseller pays to SW! The shop I bought it from needed money and it is/was my intention to sell it and make a profit. But now I have the two of them I feel so blessed that I really think to keep it

Okay, the comparison:

Looks/design/Ergonomics:
I don't feel a big difference in use between open bridge and normal design. The focusser is in place at both units but the tripodscrew feels awkward out of place with the Nikon. The SW looks flashier and more stylish (just my opinion). I haven't felt the SW strap (to keep it as new as new possibly van be) but form experience it't too long but feels very good. The EDG strap also feels excellent and is a bit more elastic/flexible. With both bins I can see the full FOV with glasses on, no glare or flare or black spots, also without glasses. The click-stop system at the eyepieces is better locked and more precise on the EDG and it also has 4 instead of 3 stops. The objective covers on the EDG are better secured with the bins but.... they come out of the objective unintentionally very easy. With the SW they they don't come of the objective but I will not be the first to loose the complete cover.

Focusser:
Nothing beats the Nikon!!! Although my example of SW focusses very good and I don't feel any resistance or grittyness either way it just doesn't feel as smooth as the EDG. The Nikon focusses quicker and you are absolute sure it's the right kind of sharpness. You don't hesitate wth the SW as well but it's absolutely slower. But... thw SW wins it ons close up focus by about 50cm.

Optics
The EDG has the wider FOV and for me the SW definitley has the rolling ball effect. It doens't effect me a lot but I do see it and attracks attention while I want to focus on the bird. But.... the image through the SW gives a tat more brighter image. To me it adds a bit more contrast for example with shady colours. Both bins are close but the SW has the EDG Both are sharp until the edges. I haven't noticed CA or distortion in both of them but I that's more amateurism than official judgement.

Now what to do:
They are both excellent bins. I like the EDG for its excellent and quicker focusser and the wide FOV. But I like the SW for it's fabulous optics, for a bit more being IN the picture when looking through. Normally the Nikon is about USD 400 cheaper in The Netherlands than the SW (but my SW was much cheaper...). Both have teir little pro's over each other but... the view, the view is what keeps getting me back to the SW.

Maybe now you understand why I want to keep them both... Maybe the Nikon for everyday use and the SW as backup or for the special trips? Or vice versa?

Anyway: what started as an investment to make a little profit is now just an investment but.... the SW SV will keep it's price much better in Europe than the Nikon so I give myself a longer term to decide (and to enjoy). But still I tend to the Nikon: SW is also a very big huntingbrand, I know I'm on thin ice right now, and that with the focusser and the lower price gives them an advantage. But when you have both.........the view, the view....

If there are any questions I will to try to answer them

Last edited by kwikstaart : Thursday 20th September 2012 at 12:33.
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Old Thursday 20th September 2012, 15:01   #2
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Have you tested them both for resolution/sharpness in low light, which one shows more detail. A good test is tree bark in very low light. This is where my SV 8.5 shines in comparison to other binos (my zeiss FL). Its not just about brightness though it does appear in all the transmission
tests I have read that the EDG is behind the Swarovski and Zeiss in brightness.
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Old Thursday 20th September 2012, 21:46   #3
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Have you tested them both for resolution/sharpness in low light, which one shows more detail. A good test is tree bark in very low light. This is where my SV 8.5 shines in comparison to other binos (my zeiss FL). Its not just about brightness though it does appear in all the transmission
tests I have read that the EDG is behind the Swarovski and Zeiss in brightness.
I have tried it and I find it difficult how to describe the difference, although it's slightly but clear in the advantage of the SW. Sharpness feels the same but to me the SW has just a bit more brightness: the view "shines" where the EDG "just"gives you a perfectly sharp image. The view of the SW is more vivid, it "lives".

I have traded my Zeiss for the Nikon as to me the Zeiss was just too white, the focusser was too quick and loose and the edge-sharpness was less than the Nikon.

But, I have to state: there is more than only the perfect view and in that regard the Nikon has its advantages as well. Still a very, very close call.

Hope this answer helps,

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Old Friday 21st September 2012, 03:26   #4
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I have tried it and I find it difficult how to describe the difference, although it's slightly but clear in the advantage of the SW. Sharpness feels the same but to me the SW has just a bit more brightness: the view "shines" where the EDG "just"gives you a perfectly sharp image. The view of the SW is more vivid, it "lives".

I have traded my Zeiss for the Nikon as to me the Zeiss was just too white, the focusser was too quick and loose and the edge-sharpness was less than the Nikon.

But, I have to state: there is more than only the perfect view and in that regard the Nikon has its advantages as well. Still a very, very close call.

Hope this answer helps,

Regards,
marijn
marijin,

The Zeiss was too "white"? Too bright? Or did you mean its color balance was too neutral (that is, not "warm" - red biased - like the Nikon?).

Could you explain what you meant by that.

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Old Friday 21st September 2012, 09:12   #5
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marijin,

The Zeiss was too "white"? Too bright? Or did you mean its color balance was too neutral (that is, not "warm" - red biased - like the Nikon?).

Could you explain what you meant by that.

brock
Hello Brock,

Thanks for the possible explanations, I try again:

With "too white" I mean (maybe a combination, it's hard to explain):
- too bright, for example when looking at the sky/or sun you sometimes have to close your eyelids a bit otherwise it hurts. The starting of that feeling I had with the Zeiss
- I also like the warmer colors of the Nikon better but the Swaro is just a bit more vivid, lively and I like that better

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Old Friday 21st September 2012, 17:19   #6
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Hello Brock,

Thanks for the possible explanations, I try again:

With "too white" I mean (maybe a combination, it's hard to explain):
- too bright, for example when looking at the sky/or sun you sometimes have to close your eyelids a bit otherwise it hurts. The starting of that feeling I had with the Zeiss
- I also like the warmer colors of the Nikon better but the Swaro is just a bit more vivid, lively and I like that better

Marijn
Thanks for that clarification. Reminds me of Holger Merlitz's comments. He said that with the growing light transmission and flat transmission curves, manufacturers should be providing threaded objective housings so filters could be used so you won't have to wear sunglasses on a bright day. Skylight filters would also be useful in cutting the haze in the summer or in urban areas where air pollution is noticeable.

But I've also read reports of the FL's views being "washed out" in certain lighting situations due to the bin's flat light curve. The bright image overwhelms contrast and detail is lost. I saw this occur with the Nikon LXL, and it's curve is not as flat, nor is the transmission as high. The more subdued colors of the original LX were easier on the eye and the colors were no less saturated.

I like the "warmer" color balance of Nikons, and also find it useful for picking out birds against dense brush or in trees. Our eyes are already sensitive to the yellow-green part of the spectrum, where we need the boost in is the red, which are eyes are less sensitive to, so Nikon's choice of color balance makes sense to me. Purists prefer it "flat".

OTOH, I would imagine that on overcast days and the "dog days" of winter, when sunlight is scattered or at low levels, the flat transmission of the FL would be helpful.

Brock

Last edited by brocknroller : Friday 21st September 2012 at 17:28.
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Old Saturday 22nd September 2012, 01:21   #7
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And suddenly I have both the EDG II 8x42 AND the SW SV 8,5x42. I bought the latter brand new but below for what the reseller pays to SW! The shop I bought it from needed money and it is/was my intention to sell it and make a profit. But now I have the two of them I feel so blessed that I really think to keep it

Okay, the comparison:

Looks/design/Ergonomics:
I don't feel a big difference in use between open bridge and normal design. The focusser is in place at both units but the tripodscrew feels awkward out of place with the Nikon. The SW looks flashier and more stylish (just my opinion). I haven't felt the SW strap (to keep it as new as new possibly van be) but form experience it't too long but feels very good. The EDG strap also feels excellent and is a bit more elastic/flexible. With both bins I can see the full FOV with glasses on, no glare or flare or black spots, also without glasses. The click-stop system at the eyepieces is better locked and more precise on the EDG and it also has 4 instead of 3 stops. The objective covers on the EDG are better secured with the bins but.... they come out of the objective unintentionally very easy. With the SW they they don't come of the objective but I will not be the first to loose the complete cover.

Focusser:
Nothing beats the Nikon!!! Although my example of SW focusses very good and I don't feel any resistance or grittyness either way it just doesn't feel as smooth as the EDG. The Nikon focusses quicker and you are absolute sure it's the right kind of sharpness. You don't hesitate wth the SW as well but it's absolutely slower. But... thw SW wins it ons close up focus by about 50cm.

Optics
The EDG has the wider FOV and for me the SW definitley has the rolling ball effect. It doens't effect me a lot but I do see it and attracks attention while I want to focus on the bird. But.... the image through the SW gives a tat more brighter image. To me it adds a bit more contrast for example with shady colours. Both bins are close but the SW has the EDG Both are sharp until the edges. I haven't noticed CA or distortion in both of them but I that's more amateurism than official judgement.

Now what to do:
They are both excellent bins. I like the EDG for its excellent and quicker focusser and the wide FOV. But I like the SW for it's fabulous optics, for a bit more being IN the picture when looking through. Normally the Nikon is about USD 400 cheaper in The Netherlands than the SW (but my SW was much cheaper...). Both have teir little pro's over each other but... the view, the view is what keeps getting me back to the SW.

Maybe now you understand why I want to keep them both... Maybe the Nikon for everyday use and the SW as backup or for the special trips? Or vice versa?

Anyway: what started as an investment to make a little profit is now just an investment but.... the SW SV will keep it's price much better in Europe than the Nikon so I give myself a longer term to decide (and to enjoy). But still I tend to the Nikon: SW is also a very big huntingbrand, I know I'm on thin ice right now, and that with the focusser and the lower price gives them an advantage. But when you have both.........the view, the view....

If there are any questions I will to try to answer them
Keep the EDG. You will like the SW for awhile and then you will grow tired of the "Circus Mirrors". Take my word for it.
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Old Saturday 22nd September 2012, 01:39   #8
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Why carry all that weight, get a Leica 8x20 Trinovid it just as good as the EDG.

http://www.birdforum.net/showpost.ph...6&postcount=11
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Old Saturday 22nd September 2012, 03:16   #9
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Why carry all that weight, get a Leica 8x20 Trinovid it just as good as the EDG.

http://www.birdforum.net/showpost.ph...6&postcount=11
Close but not quite.
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Old Saturday 22nd September 2012, 11:10   #10
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You said it was a tie! Just saying, why carry the extra wt. I'm sorry you got a bad sample EDG that won't out resolve a little 20mm and is beat by quite a bit by an old school binocular.
Quote:
1) Nikon 8x32 SE(By a long shot)
2) Nikon 8x32 EDG tied with Leica 8x20
Kwikstaart, Don't be in a hurry, try both of these excellent binoculars for a while. Sounds like fun to me.

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Old Saturday 22nd September 2012, 14:20   #11
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Keep the EDG. You will like the SW for awhile and then you will grow tired of the "Circus Mirrors". Take my word for it.
Could you please explain what you mean by "circus mirrors"? Thanks in advance,
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Old Saturday 22nd September 2012, 14:41   #12
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Could you please explain what you mean by "circus mirrors"? Thanks in advance,
After I had my Swarovski 8.5x42 Swarovision's for awhile I got tired of the rolling ball effect and began to notice it more and more. The optics and view of the Swarovision reminded me of circus mirrors or almost an optical type illusion to get the flat field and sharp edges that they have. It made my eyes tired compared to a Zeiss FL which to me seemed more relaxed and NATURAL.I much prefer the natural view through a Zeiss FL. Later on I acquired a pair of Nikon 8x32 EDG II's and they had the sharp edges without having rolling ball like the SV. I think the EDG's are a better compromise and present a more relaxed natural view and they still have pretty sharp edges and a flat field.
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Old Saturday 22nd September 2012, 19:20   #13
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After I had my Swarovski 8.5x42 Swarovision's for awhile I got tired of the rolling ball effect and began to notice it more and more. The optics and view of the Swarovision reminded me of circus mirrors or almost an optical type illusion to get the flat field and sharp edges that they have. It made my eyes tired compared to a Zeiss FL which to me seemed more relaxed and NATURAL.I much prefer the natural view through a Zeiss FL. Later on I acquired a pair of Nikon 8x32 EDG II's and they had the sharp edges without having rolling ball like the SV. I think the EDG's are a better compromise and present a more relaxed natural view and they still have pretty sharp edges and a flat field.
Aha, thanks for the explanation. I'm curious whether I'm perceptive for the rolling ball effect or not and will post it here.
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Old Saturday 22nd September 2012, 19:49   #14
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After I had my Swarovski 8.5x42 Swarovision's for awhile I got tired of the rolling ball effect and began to notice it more and more. The optics and view of the Swarovision reminded me of circus mirrors or almost an optical type illusion to get the flat field and sharp edges that they have. It made my eyes tired compared to a Zeiss FL which to me seemed more relaxed and NATURAL.I much prefer the natural view through a Zeiss FL. Later on I acquired a pair of Nikon 8x32 EDG II's and they had the sharp edges without having rolling ball like the SV. I think the EDG's are a better compromise and present a more relaxed natural view and they still have pretty sharp edges and a flat field.
Hey mate when you had your sv's ,are you sure you held them the right way round ,the rubber eye cups to your eye's ,may be i'm just lucky i don't seem to have any issues or enough money to swap from one pair to another ,buy right buy once
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Old Saturday 22nd September 2012, 20:43   #15
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Take dennis' advice with a grain of salt (and a shot of tequila). When he first bought his SV EL, he's was touting them as the "greatest binoculars ever made" and telling people who were concerned about "rolling ball" not to worry about. I think the exact quote was, "It's a non-issue". Our archivist, Steve, can verify that.

But now it's become such an issue to dennis that he's warning people off the SV ELs and telling them they will eventually flip flop like he did. It's possible, but I've only read one another account of that happening to an SV EL buyer. Others either adjust to the RB or don't. It doesn't "creep up" on most people.

If you've tried bins with low distortion before such as the Kowa Genesis or Nikon HGL and didn't like the "circus mirrors" and couldn't adjust to them after a week or so, chances are you will feel the same way about the SV EL, however, the distortion pattern is different, with pincushion in the centerfield and AMD at the edges, so it's possible you might react differently to it than other bins.

The important thing for people who are thinking about buying an SV EL and who don't know if they are sensitive to RB is to make sure the store they purchase it from has a generous enough return period so they can give themselves time to adjust (up to two weeks, that's the max to adjust, you will probably adjust a lot sooner).

But since you already have the SV ELs and bought them at a low price, it's worth holding on to them to see what happens with the RB. There's no rush.

I do agree that the EDG provides a better compromise, with sharp edges but enough pincushion to make for smooth panning.

Manufacturers do not need to go to extremes with low distortion to get sharp edges that are more than sufficient for most birders and even acceptable to stargazers, who are very fussy about edge performance).

Brock
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Old Saturday 22nd September 2012, 21:04   #16
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But I've also read reports of the FL's views being "washed out" in certain lighting situations due to the bin's flat light curve.
Brock,

Referring to the "Vögel" 10x42 test, the FL's contrast is not the best and it's transmission curve is anything but flat.
It reaches 92% in the green but drops below 80% at 440 nm (blue) and 660 nm (red). The SV stays above 85% throughout this spectrum.

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Old Sunday 23rd September 2012, 00:52   #17
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Brock,

Referring to the "Vögel" 10x42 test, the FL's contrast is not the best and it's transmission curve is anything but flat.
It reaches 92% in the green but drops below 80% at 440 nm (blue) and 660 nm (red). The SV stays above 85% throughout this spectrum.

John
John,

Looking at allbino's light curves, calling the FL's light curve "flat" is, indeed, a misnomer. The EDG's light curve is much flatter, as you can see from their respective graphs below.

Graphically, the FL's light transmission curve actually looks more like a lopsided bell-shaped curve. In Arek's measure, however, the blue comes up to about 85%. The FL's curve starts climbing after that, with a "hump" from 500nm to 650nm, then a steep drop off. The peak is btwn about 540nm and 600mm, in the green and yellow.

The EDG's light curve never attains the highs of allbino's FL's light curve, but it is flatter across the spectrum and higher in the blue than the FL. It's near 90% in the blue, dips just a bit in the green and yellow, and then has a baby bump in the 600-700nm range.

So it still has that characteristic Nikon red bias, but is flatter across the spectrum than the FL. The flatness of the EDG's light curve is one of the major reasons why Arek rated the 8x42 EDG and 10x42 EDG #1 in their respective categories.

Given that our eyes are already more sensitive in the yellow range, the FL's bump in the yellow seems to be "overkill" for most days, whereas its precipitous drop in the red, where our eyes do need some help, the FL doesn't provide as good "color contrast" as the Nikon.

So if purists argue they prefer a "flat" light curve, the EDG should be their choice.

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Old Sunday 23rd September 2012, 11:38   #18
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Brock,

Thanks for posting those transmission curves. The 8x42 FL curve is really very similar to to that measured in the Leica labs for "Vögel", with the exception that the overall values are probably a little high.

The overall colour balance of the EDG appears to be quite similar to the Nikon 10x42 SE and the 10x42 HG L (Premier) except that its dielectric prism coatings cause a rapid cut-off of infra-red. The FL with its AbK prisms has a gradual decline in infra-red similar to a Porro or silver/aluminium coated Pechan prism.

John
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Old Sunday 23rd September 2012, 12:50   #19
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Brock,

Thanks for posting those transmission curves. The 8x42 FL curve is really very similar to to that measured in the Leica labs for "Vögel", with the exception that the overall values are probably a little high.

The overall colour balance of the EDG appears to be quite similar to the Nikon 10x42 SE and the 10x42 HG L (Premier) except that its dielectric prism coatings cause a rapid cut-off of infra-red. The FL with its AbK prisms has a gradual decline in infra-red similar to a Porro or silver/aluminium coated Pechan prism.

John
Hi John
Are the Vogel graphs available on-line?
If so please post a link.

Thanks for your interesting contribution.

Lee
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Old Sunday 23rd September 2012, 15:53   #20
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Are the Vogel graphs available on-line?
If so please post a link.
Sorry, Lee but I couldn't find anything on the web.
I did post some figures on this thread http://www.birdforum.net/showthread....ive+test+10x42 if you haven't seen it already, but the transmission figures were mainly from the centre of the spectrum.

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Old Sunday 23rd September 2012, 17:06   #21
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Sorry, Lee but I couldn't find anything on the web.
I did post some figures on this thread http://www.birdforum.net/showthread....ive+test+10x42 if you haven't seen it already, but the transmission figures were mainly from the centre of the spectrum.

John
Great stuff. Thanks John

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Old Sunday 23rd September 2012, 17:58   #22
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Some more transmission figures:
http://www.houseofoutdoor.com/testra...rsMEI-2011.pdf
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Old Sunday 23rd September 2012, 18:46   #23
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Thanks Hoodwink

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Old Sunday 23rd September 2012, 20:52   #24
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Problem with these Dutch tests is that the Nikon EDG is never part of the test.....
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Old Sunday 23rd September 2012, 20:57   #25
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Just a question and I know that Brock has given some insights on this subject before which I can't find now: The serial number of my EDG is 300467. A pre-productionmodel tested had number 300003 but I ca'n't believe Nikon only made 500 pieces in 2 years? How does it work with these numbers? Is there an indication when my EDH has been built?

And how does it work with SW?
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