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HGL and EDG, first impressions

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Old Friday 24th January 2020, 23:47   #1
chris6
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HGL and EDG, first impressions

My HGL 8x42 has been so good that I had to get the EDG which has just arrived.

The HGL just has a plain case for storage. The one for EDG is fancier looking but plain useless. Its strap is comfortable though and has handy special clips to adjust the length, and both HGL and EDG hang flat on the chest.

HGL had simple objective caps, which were replaced with Opticron hinged covers. While the EDG is sitting around its covers seem adequate. They do fall out quite easily but at least they would not get lost. It has comfortable extra rings with wings, to exclude light from the side, which work very well and fit neatly and easily over the eyepieces. The wings have their own inserts too, with tags for attachment, no good with glasses though.

The armour on the back of the HGL's tubes is smooth. The EDG has more coated metal and still looks modern but the rubber is textured all over, and gave more grip. Compared to the HGL the EDG is quite compact, and feels that way in the hand. length: HGL 155mm, EDG 145mm. With strap & caps they weigh the same 785gms.

Wearing glasses with either, eye relief is 3mm more than needed. Eye placement is especially easy, perhaps more so with EDG. My pupils may not react very well so it is peculiar that the HGL and EDG seem equally bright. Even cf. Zeiss T FL, the HGL did not seem at all 'dim' or 'dark' and I thought the T FL looked 'frosty' or 'pale' rather than notably bright, so clearly I am not a good judge. Anyway I don't get out much in the evenings!

Both Nikons provide the same perfect? colours, and views are almost equally relaxed and natural: moisture glistening on moss and hen blackbird's eye and plumage. HGL may even be a tad sharper but EDG's contrast might be stronger. It could just be a handling improvement or additional brightness or something else which I cannot separate, like 'transparency', or simply the extra 0.5 degrees fov, but the EDG's view seems somehow cleaner.

A more obvious advantage of EDG is that any tunnel effect, sometimes noticed with HGL, is absent. Perhaps this also gives an impression of greater magnification, and perhaps the afov: HGL 56.6degrees, EDG 60.7degrees makes the difference. For me it would be hard to justify owning either, but it's nice to have both

Last edited by chris6 : Saturday 25th January 2020 at 08:24.
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Old Saturday 25th January 2020, 13:44   #2
dipped
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Both Nikons provide the same perfect? colours, and views are almost equally relaxed and natural: moisture glistening on moss and hen blackbird's eye and plumage. HGL may even be a tad sharper but EDG's contrast might be stronger. It could just be a handling improvement or additional brightness or something else which I cannot separate, like 'transparency', or simply the extra 0.5 degrees fov, but the EDG's view seems somehow cleaner.

The HGL has silver coated prisms versus the dielectric coating of the edge which could account for the differences you perceive.

Astronomers have speculated that silver prisms produce "sharper" images (Roger Vine), but I'm not sure that cuts any ice in practice.

Last edited by dipped : Saturday 25th January 2020 at 22:46. Reason: grammar
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Old Saturday 25th January 2020, 17:11   #3
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I have a few versions/models from the original HGs to the Premier models, while they do not light up like the Zeiss HT models, they provide some of the best resolution to detail views to my eyes. Many of these go for years without any service if treated well, showing that design and build quality excellence.

Andy W.
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Old Sunday 26th January 2020, 12:03   #4
chris6
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Thanks

Dipped, I forgot also to mention that, eye placement aside, EDG seems even less to show any ghosting at times around the edges than HGL and have read comments about internal reflections, which I suppose might come into it.

Andy, Yes Re. the sound mechanics, neither Nikon has any slack in the focussing action. Have gone as far as returning four other brands because of faults with this but the replacements were the same and one dealer even said 'they are all like that'. HGL and EDG centre hinges were set up fairly soft, the HGL more so but not quite a problem, and very light focus action which makes precise adjustment especially easy. In a couple of years these HGL settings have not changed but EDG is a little firmer in both respects, to which I am not yet accustomed. In contrast the EDG dioptre ring is I think is too lightly damped, but so far no drift.

Briefly at RSPB Pulborough Brooks I had tried out some Swarovski and Zeiss models but most seemed expensive cf. HGL 8x42, that being just as good. Eventually also found HGL 8x32, which I thought marginally less sharp and to give a slightly less quiet view, and 8x42 T FL, as above, but have passsed them on. I liked the few Swaros tried but in the mid range an example of CL had seemed below par. Perhaps EDG is still not really 'out dated'...

Last edited by chris6 : Sunday 26th January 2020 at 12:06.
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Old Sunday 26th January 2020, 21:39   #5
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.....
.....
.....
..... Perhaps EDG is still not really 'out dated'...
In my modest opinion: definitely not!
They may look a bit „dated“, but are still up there with the best, mechanically and optically.
They do get overlooked, though (because no updates have ben made for years) and are often undervalued.
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Old Monday 27th January 2020, 21:08   #6
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Andy, Yes Re. the sound mechanics, neither Nikon has any slack in the focussing action. Have gone as far as returning four other brands because of faults with this but the replacements were the same and one dealer even said 'they are all like that'.
The focusers of the HG-L and the EDG are the best I've ever seen. Very impressive indeed.

BTW, what's the focuser of the Monarch HG like? I know the optics are pretty decent, and if the focuser is anything like that of the HG-L and the EDG I may have to get one of those ...

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HGL and EDG centre hinges were set up fairly soft, the HGL more so but not quite a problem, and very light focus action which makes precise adjustment especially easy.
Yep, that's one of the problems with the HG-L and the EDG. I had my HG-L serviced and specifically asked them to tighten the central hinge. Much better now.

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Eventually also found HGL 8x32, which I thought marginally less sharp and to give a slightly less quiet view, and 8x42 T FL, as above, but have passsed them on.
Interesting. I personally prefer the HG-L 8x32 over any of the other models. Very high resolution, no rolling ball, no problems viewing against the light (no veiling glare). I don't know the EDG well enough to comment but the HG-L is still very close to the current alphas. And the focuser is a heck of a lot better.

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Old Monday 27th January 2020, 23:17   #7
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………………..
They do get overlooked, though (because no updates have ben made for years) and are often undervalued.
At least in Switzerland they often do not even show up in stores as dealers are fed-up with the lousy service Nikon provides them.
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Old Monday 27th January 2020, 23:21   #8
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Originally Posted by dries1 View Post
I have a few versions/models from the original HGs to the Premier models, while they do not light up like the Zeiss HT models, they provide some of the best resolution to detail views to my eyes. Many of these go for years without any service if treated well, showing that design and build quality excellence.

Andy W.
This is what I find with my EDG -- a 7x42 bought new less than a year ago -- AND the objective caps pop in and stay, needing a good tug to pull out. Perhaps Nikon listened to all the comments about caps falling out if you so much as looked at them. I was warned not to go for Nikon because of the difficulty of getting service, but touch wood the example I have is so well set up I am very happy and don't mind giving harder work to my old Dialyt Classic (BG/AT*P*), which can still be serviced free (and just has been).
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Old Tuesday 28th January 2020, 01:17   #9
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The hinge on the HG HG L glass can be tightened. First to remove the glued on Nikon logo (plastic cap at base of the metal hinge). Go easy it will come off. One will need a two prong (dual Tip Steel Stainless) spanner/wrench, and set them into the two holes at the base of the hinge, tighten slowly, check to make sure that the hinge is tight enough and dampened to your liking (do not over-tighten). Then clean any old glue residue from the logo-cap/hinge, reinstall with use of an adhesive that will not melt plastic.

The HG / HG L does not have a retaining screw (within the area of the adjustment holes at the base of the hinge) like the EDG which has to be loosened prior to tightening the hinge.

Just to add, the EDG is extremely well made glass, some do not like the looks, but it is pure form and function, additionally none of the binocular exterior has any plastic, it is all metal and rubber.

Andy W.

Last edited by dries1 : Tuesday 28th January 2020 at 01:21.
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Old Tuesday 28th January 2020, 07:39   #10
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I was warned not to go for Nikon because of the difficulty of getting service, but touch wood the example I have is so well set up I am very happy and don't mind giving harder work to my old Dialyt Classic (BG/AT*P*), which can still be serviced free (and just has been).
On a positive note: I got an 8x32 HG-L in as-new condition rather cheaply a few years ago, and the binocular had quite a lot of black specks on the prisms or in the eyepieces. Two of those showed up in the field of view. Sent it to Nikon Germany, and they did an excellent job on it.

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Old Tuesday 28th January 2020, 08:02   #11
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At least in Switzerland they often do not even show up in stores as dealers are fed-up with the lousy service Nikon provides them.
Interesting - of my (so far) 10 times service experience with binoculars (3 Leica, 2 Swaro, 1 each with Pentax / DDoptics / Kowa / Zeiss / Nikon) I had the best binocular service ever from Nikon Switzerland on my Monarch 20x56 a few years ago - from providing me with address labels to letting me know by email several times what was going on, I felt the other manufacturers could bring their service up to that level. But as always, I am sure other forum members have had different experiences.

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Old Tuesday 28th January 2020, 09:51   #12
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The focusers of the HG-L and the EDG are the best I've ever seen. Very impressive indeed.

BTW, what's the focuser of the Monarch HG like? I know the optics are pretty decent, and if the focuser is anything like that of the HG-L and the EDG I may have to get one of those ...

Yep, that's one of the problems with the HG-L and the EDG. I had my HG-L serviced and specifically asked them to tighten the central hinge. Much better now.

Interesting. I personally prefer the HG-L 8x32 over any of the other models. Very high resolution, no rolling ball, no problems viewing against the light (no veiling glare). I don't know the EDG well enough to comment but the HG-L is still very close to the current alphas. And the focuser is a heck of a lot better.

Hermann
I haven't seen the Monarch HG but maybe someone can comment on the focuser cf. HGL/EDG. Yes the HG-L 8x32 gives the wider view which I concluded was the main advantage of EDG 8x42 vs. HGL 8x42, but at much lower cost...and I liked the shape and balance of 8x32 HGL just as much as 8x42 HGL. Agree about the absence of glare against the light and see little advantage with EDG in that respect. Not sure what I meant by 'quiet', but think it might be an eye thing and personal. With some binoculars they just seem to be 'working' harder than with others

Last edited by chris6 : Tuesday 28th January 2020 at 10:18.
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Old Tuesday 28th January 2020, 19:02   #13
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The hinge on the HG HG L glass can be tightened. First to remove the glued on Nikon logo (plastic cap at base of the metal hinge). Go easy it will come off. One will need a two prong (dual Tip Steel Stainless) spanner/wrench, and set them into the two holes at the base of the hinge, tighten slowly, check to make sure that the hinge is tight enough and dampened to your liking (do not over-tighten). Then clean any old glue residue from the logo-cap/hinge, reinstall with use of an adhesive that will not melt plastic.

The HG / HG L does not have a retaining screw (within the area of the adjustment holes at the base of the hinge) like the EDG which has to be loosened prior to tightening the hinge.

Just to add, the EDG is extremely well made glass, some do not like the looks, but it is pure form and function, additionally none of the binocular exterior has any plastic, it is all metal and rubber.

Andy W.
This is great information! The topic of loose hinges in the Venturer LX/HG has come up before on BirdForum, and to my recollection, it was said that there was no way for a casual mechanic to tighten the hinge. Maybe I will get out my 10x42 LX/HG and give this a try. Its hinge has always lacked the stiffness that I prefer. On the general topic of these LX/LXL/HGL bins, I'll say that I find the viewing very comfortable and easy, but the "rolling ball" in the 10x42 is substantial, the chromatic aberration in the 8x32 is more than I prefer, and I find them all a bit awkward to manage in the field because they don't "hang" flat against the body, at least at my somewhat narrow IPD setting.

--AP
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Old Tuesday 28th January 2020, 19:21   #14
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I thought the HG/L models had to be tightened at the top of the hinge ie under the focus knob. Least ways that's all mine needed doing in over 10 years of birding, under warranty of Nikon UK.

On the subject of hanging flat on the chest one should try the 8x32 Nikon SE CF's. Now they really are bad for small IPD's.
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Old Tuesday 28th January 2020, 20:42   #15
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On a positive note: I got an 8x32 HG-L in as-new condition rather cheaply a few years ago, and the binocular had quite a lot of black specks on the prisms or in the eyepieces. Two of those showed up in the field of view. Sent it to Nikon Germany, and they did an excellent job on it.

Hermann
Thanks, Hermann - that is reassuring to hear. I am growing to like my EDG more and more every time I use it; not only the great focus wheel but the view is just so relaxed and unstrained all the way across the circle. Which makes up nicely for a lesser FOV than the AK Zeisses.
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Old Friday 31st January 2020, 16:09   #16
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I thought the HG/L models had to be tightened at the top of the hinge ie under the focus knob. Least ways that's all mine needed doing in over 10 years of birding, under warranty of Nikon UK.

On the subject of hanging flat on the chest one should try the 8x32 Nikon SE CF's. Now they really are bad for small IPD's.
There are some threads concerning tightening the hinge on the Hg/L models from a few years ago, so go back and do a search. It is by tightening the hinge by removing the bottom cap, and carefully using the proper tools. This was mentioned above.

The HG/L and EDG models have the smoothest focusers of any binoculars I've tried.
Nikon has also mastered no backlash or play in focusers from the entry level to their highest level.

I detest play in a focuser, it really puts me off from the moment I use it.

Jerry
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Old Friday 31st January 2020, 17:24   #17
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I detest play in a focuser, it really puts me off from the moment I use it.

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