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7x42 EDG II new purchase & findings in use (1 Viewer)

SeldomPerched

Well-known member
Many of you have been contributing to a thread I started three months ago, called Nikon 7/8 x 42 EDG Experiences Sought:
https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=372738

This started off as an 'armchair' enquiry but things have now moved on and I thought you might be interested in what has transpired since starting that thread in February.

I have to admit I didn't get far through the subsequent discussion as other things intervened and as said at the outset I didn't actually need another 7x or 8x of anything.

However, after sounding out a few members on the message board -- who all turned out to have some very positive things to say about the EDG series -- I decided to go for the 7x42 and buy a new example while it was still available. We are talking here of course about the EDG II version with single hinge. It was expensive and a risky venture because they are not a stock item at my local dealer and I knew Nikon UK would not take them back if I didn't like them. I only had an older, used pair of 8x42 EDG II borrowed from the shop to go on, which had been generously loaned to me for ten days.

As it happens, the purchase turns out to be an unqualified success and for all the usually mentioned reasons: lack of peripheral crescent-shaped flare; lack of veiling glare; easy flat field view; immersive image despite the foregoing; great contrast; Leica-style colour that I like; intuitive handling; good adjustable strap; good clickstops on the eyecups; to my mind excellent perceived sharpness to the edges; and the focus that is so good it feels as fast and smooth as top of the range Nikon professional camera autofocus. (Read F5, F6, D3, etc.) A small feature that made me give an inward cheer for Nikon was finding that the focuser-end wording lined up dead straight horizontally when the binoculars were set to infinity focus.

Aspects that many have not liked, such as objective caps, darkness of image, styling, diopter correction, and the shiny metal Nikon & EDG badges either side of the hinge, have not bothered me despite the old bias or wishful thinking that Teutonic is better than Japanese. Perhaps the years of using Nikon cameras have helped me overcome that bias. Anyone who could build the F2 camera must have some idea what they are doing! And this EDG is certainly an example of solid workmanship. It's early days but despite the many postings about loose objective covers I have found that so far those caps pop in with a bit of care and pressure and then offer decent resistance to being pulled out. Maybe in time they will get loose... The image does not feel dark compared with other 7x42 binos I have used and here I'm thinking Dialyt BGAT*P*, Ultravid HD Plus, Victory T*FL. But then it doesn't matter too much to me, for 7x appeals more for FOV and steadiness reasons than nocturnal useability. I gather from Tobias's recent post on his greatestbinoculars.com site about his purchase of 8x42 EDG II that he reckons either the darkness has been designed out of that model over the years or his own brain has had a software brightness update. The sample he previously reviewed was of much earlier manufacture, if the serial number is a safe indicator. Styling: it is a bit Batman especially if you add the winged eyecups but it is certainly for me a case of form fitting function as these binos are super-comfortable to hold and operate. Balance is easy, not too far forward. There are no thumb rests or indents: a good thing as the hold feels secure without them and from what I have read as many people find they get in the way as find they help. Diopter correction: a bit different but it works fine. Once you realize that the diopter adjustment ring is separate from the focuser it is no harder to operate than the Leica/Zeiss type but still not as positive and assured as Swarovski. So far there is no evidence of dioptre adjustment creep; I believe that fault was addressed and corrected some time ago. I used a tripod to get the best possible adjustment. Shiny badges: a bit of 'bling' but they are at least metal not plastic. Nikon hasn't messed about with its corporate branding/badging. Nikon still looks like the usual Nikon, whereas the divisions at Zeiss don't seem to have settled their branding logic in recent years with their blue and white Zeiss on the body and then the old Z or now a new plain ZEISS on the front of the central shaft.

These are my findings so far. I'm not keen to post a more clinical review as my experience and temperament are not suited to doing so. I seldom notice chromatic aberration unless I look at a photographic print and no doubt certain other optical blemishes escape my notice. But if anyone has questions please post them and I'll try to answer as best I can.

Meanwhile, some one-liners to sum up:

Question: What do I like most about the 7x42 EDG image compared with other Alpha 7s?
Answer: The all-round contrasty, sharp, and easy view, free from glare and flare.
Question: What impresses me most about the handling?
Answer: My hands can fall where they feel comfortable, including on the focuser.
Question: Is the colour neutral?
Answer: Reds and browns come up well, doing nature no disfavours as I see it.
Question: Does the flat field view look more poster-like than 3D?
Answer: Really no, though Leica might be the choice if 3D is absolute top priority.
Question: Are there any aspects of the EDG binoculars that mar my enjoyment in use?
Answer: None at all but as for accessories I would prefer Zeiss cordura cases.
Question: Not even the price?
Answer: There's always the price but I am pleased with what I got for it.
Question: How does it compare with other Alphas in my overall view?
Answer: Highly favourably for handling, workmanship, and image quality.
Question: If I had to cull all but one 7x42 roof which would I save?
Answer: The EDG would definitely be on the list for a presidential pardon.
Question: Is there other kit I need or would like to have?
Answer: Yes, a 10x bino but presently I'm very happy to use what I've got.

Tom
 
Last edited:

NDhunter

Experienced observer
United States
Tom:

You have done well with your comparison. Enjoy the EDG, these are very good binoculars.

Jerry
 

SeldomPerched

Well-known member
Tom:

You have done well with your comparison. Enjoy the EDG, these are very good binoculars.

Jerry

Jerry,

Praise indeed! Thank you. They are really growing on me. If I have a criticism it is that the field doesn't feel very wide for a 7x42 but that wasn't on my wish list anyway; what I was looking for was a sensational view within what was provided, and that is what Nikon has given me.
 
Last edited:

SeldomPerched

Well-known member
Nice write-up Tom.

Lee

Thanks, Lee! I was wondering actually if you had ever used an EDG (of any flavour) yourself and if so what you thought. The SF concept would make them redundant for your uses now but you may have tried a double hinge type I or the successor single hinge type II at some time.

Tom
 

Tobias Mennle

Well-known member
Many of you have been contributing to a thread I started three months ago, called Nikon 7/8 x 42 EDG Experiences Sought:
https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=372738

This started off as an 'armchair' enquiry but things have now moved on and I thought you might be interested in what has transpired since starting that thread in February.

I have to admit I didn't get far through the subsequent discussion as other things intervened and as said at the outset I didn't actually need another 7x or 8x of anything.

However, after sounding out a few members on the message board -- who all turned out to have some very positive things to say about the EDG series -- I decided to go for the 7x42 and buy a new example while it was still available. We are talking here of course about the EDG II version with single hinge. It was expensive and a risky venture because they are not a stock item at my local dealer and I knew Nikon UK would not take them back if I didn't like them. I only had an older, used pair of 8x42 EDG II borrowed from the shop to go on, which had been generously loaned to me for ten days.

As it happens, the purchase turns out to be an unqualified success and for all the usually mentioned reasons: lack of peripheral crescent-shaped flare; lack of veiling glare; easy flat field view; immersive image despite the foregoing; great contrast; Leica-style colour that I like; intuitive handling; good adjustable strap; good clickstops on the eyecups; to my mind excellent perceived sharpness to the edges; and the focus that is so good it feels as fast and smooth as top of the range Nikon professional camera autofocus. (Read F5, F6, D3, etc.) A small feature that made me give an inward cheer for Nikon was finding that the focuser-end wording lined up dead straight horizontally when the binoculars were set to infinity focus.

Aspects that many have not liked, such as objective caps, darkness of image, styling, diopter correction, and the shiny metal Nikon & EDG badges either side of the hinge, have not bothered me despite the old bias or wishful thinking that Teutonic is better than Japanese. Perhaps the years of using Nikon cameras have helped me overcome that bias. Anyone who could build the F2 camera must have some idea what they are doing! And this EDG is certainly an example of solid workmanship. It's early days but despite the many postings about loose objective covers I have found that so far those caps pop in with a bit of care and pressure and then offer decent resistance to being pulled out. Maybe in time they will get loose... The image does not feel dark compared with other 7x42 binos I have used and here I'm thinking Dialyt BGAT*P*, Ultravid HD Plus, Victory T*FL. But then it doesn't matter too much to me, for 7x appeals more for FOV and steadiness reasons than nocturnal useability. I gather from Tobias's recent post on his greatestbinoculars.com site about his purchase of 8x42 EDG II that he reckons either the darkness has been designed out of that model over the years or his own brain has had a software brightness update. The sample he previously reviewed was of much earlier manufacture, if the serial number is a safe indicator. Styling: it is a bit Batman especially if you add the winged eyecups but it is certainly for me a case of form fitting function as these binos are super-comfortable to hold and operate. Balance is easy, not too far forward. There are no thumb rests or indents: a good thing as the hold feels secure without them and from what I have read as many people find they get in the way as find they help. Diopter correction: a bit different but it works fine. Once you realize that the diopter adjustment ring is separate from the focuser it is no harder to operate than the Leica/Zeiss type but still not as positive and assured as Swarovski. So far there is no evidence of dioptre adjustment creep; I believe that fault was addressed and corrected some time ago. I used a tripod to get the best possible adjustment. Shiny badges: a bit of 'bling' but they are at least metal not plastic. Nikon hasn't messed about with its corporate branding/badging. Nikon still looks like the usual Nikon, whereas the divisions at Zeiss don't seem to have settled their branding logic in recent years with their blue and white Zeiss on the body and then the old Z or now a new plain ZEISS on the front of the central shaft.

These are my findings so far. I'm not keen to post a more clinical review as my experience and temperament are not suited to doing so. I seldom notice chromatic aberration unless I look at a photographic print and no doubt certain other optical blemishes escape my notice. But if anyone has questions please post them and I'll try to answer as best I can.

Meanwhile, some one-liners to sum up:

Question: What do I like most about the 7x42 EDG image compared with other Alpha 7s?
Answer: The all-round contrasty, sharp, and easy view, free from glare and flare.
Question: What impresses me most about the handling?
Answer: My hands can fall where they feel comfortable, including on the focuser.
Question: Is the colour neutral?
Answer: Reds and browns come up well, doing nature no disfavours as I see it.
Question: Does the flat field view look more poster-like than 3D?
Answer: Really no, though Leica might be the choice if 3D is absolute top priority.
Question: Are there any aspects of the EDG binoculars that mar my enjoyment in use?
Answer: None at all but as for accessories I would prefer Zeiss cordura cases.
Question: Not even the price?
Answer: There's always the price but I am pleased with what I got for it.
Question: How does it compare with other Alphas in my overall view?
Answer: Highly favourably for handling, workmanship, and image quality.
Question: If I had to cull all but one 7x42 roof which would I save?
Answer: The EDG would definitely be on the list for a presidential pardon.
Question: Is there other kit I need or would like to have?
Answer: Yes, a 10x bino but presently I'm very happy to use what I've got.

Tom

Great write up, Tom, concise and entertaining. Cannot comment about the 7x but for the 8x42 this is all very true, too. Of course there is always the issue with sample variation. I will compare mine against the Noctivid next but my bet is: EDG 8x42 is the best 8x42 available. Surely the most transparent glass I ever used. Just vanishes between the eyes and the view. It is a bit awkward to think about all the serious issues with all the famous competitors, and this glass just doesn't have any - well yes except it renders a bit flat 3D wise... and of course the catastrophe of Nikon marketing, at least in Europe.

But of course Japanese is best, that is not a bias, that's a fact. I´d humbly kiss some Fujinon lens masters´feet if the occasion ever arises... and those of the unknown EDG designers.
 

SeldomPerched

Well-known member
But of course Japanese is best, that is not a bias, that's a fact. I´d humbly kiss some Fujinon lens masters´feet if the occasion ever arises... and those of the unknown EDG designers.

Hi Tobias, and sorry it's about 3 months since I was last on the forum. Nice to read your comments and I am in agreement about those Fujinon lenses. In my case I'm thinking of the X-series mirrorless cameras like the very clever X100 and X-Pro2 which combine Leica traditional rangefinder portability with some state of the art focusing and image preview (and post-capture feedback) technology in the viewfinder. The lenses are breathtaking with fast apertures into the bargain.

Back to binoculars: have been too busy taking photographs and doing other tasks this summer but I'm looking forward to any more reviews you may have and to getting out in daytime with the EDG 7s fairly soon.

All the best,

Tom
 

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