• BirdForum is the net's largest birding community dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE!

    Register for an account to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Binocular motherload (1 Viewer)

zdr

Active member
United States
I'm currently in Sugar Creek, Ohio for some personal business with my son. Beautiful country, Amish farms, country stores - everything just amazing and very different than my home state of NM. My son and I were driving around the countryside and stumbled across a little optics store out in the middle of nowhere called Time & Optics. We went in and they had every high end binocular - Zeiss SF, FL, HT, Leica Noctivid & UVHD+, Swaro ELs, Nikon HG and also a few pairs of used Nikon Premiers 8x32 and EDG 8x42. It was crazy how much inventory they carry.
I've been wanting to get a pair of 8x32 high end binos and now was able to try out every pair I have been researching. We tried out every 8x32 from Zeiss (FL and SF), Leica UVHD+, and Swaro EL. After a couple of hours of trying them out, I liked the ELs the best. It was simply amazing to be able to try all of them out at the same time outside of the store, but the best part was my son surprised me by buying the ELs for me as a retirement gift (retired last week). WOW...what a day.

z
 

zdr

Active member
United States
Thank you! I have to say the man that ran (owned?) the store was incredibly gracious and helpful, allowing us to take $4-6k worth of binoculars outside at a time and very knowledgeable.
But still the best part is my son surprising me by buying them. Such an amazing gift from an amazing young man😊.
 

lmans66

Out Birding....
Supporter
United States
Nice store....I like ones that allow you to view outside in the real world. I have a nature store around me in south Jersey 'Feather Edge' that is the same. Support them....they are unique. Glad your son gifted you one and happy retirement.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
I'm currently in Sugar Creek, Ohio for some personal business with my son. Beautiful country, Amish farms, country stores - everything just amazing and very different than my home state of NM. My son and I were driving around the countryside and stumbled across a little optics store out in the middle of nowhere called Time & Optics. We went in and they had every high end binocular - Zeiss SF, FL, HT, Leica Noctivid & UVHD+, Swaro ELs, Nikon HG and also a few pairs of used Nikon Premiers 8x32 and EDG 8x42. It was crazy how much inventory they carry.
I've been wanting to get a pair of 8x32 high end binos and now was able to try out every pair I have been researching. We tried out every 8x32 from Zeiss (FL and SF), Leica UVHD+, and Swaro EL. After a couple of hours of trying them out, I liked the ELs the best. It was simply amazing to be able to try all of them out at the same time outside of the store, but the best part was my son surprised me by buying the ELs for me as a retirement gift (retired last week). WOW...what a day.

z
What set the Swarovski EL 8x32 apart from the other binoculars? They are definitely nice binoculars but that was quite a group you had to choose from.
 

zdr

Active member
United States
What set the Swarovski EL 8x32 apart from the other binoculars? They are definitely nice binoculars but that was quite a group you had to choose from.
Please take this as purely an amateurs observations and not someone who knows much about optics. If I knew more, maybe I would have had a different choice but here goes:
The Leica UVHD+ had very finicky eye relief, requiring more manipulation to get a nice clear view.
The Zeiss FL just didnt seem to be constructed as nicely as the others, but the optics were good but a different view than the ELs. The focusing knob was quite sensitive.
The Nikon Premiers were really nice but heavy. The EDG 8x42 were great, but I really wanted an 8x32. Both pair of Nikons were used, but still impressive.
I could have easily went with the Zeiss SF but it seemed like the view was harder to acquire than the EL. Im sure there is a better way to describe this though. The SF was impressive optically once everything was dialed in.
The ELs were extremely clear edge to edge and the view just seemed to pop for me. I also liked the way they feel in hand. The focusing knob is not as smooth as some of the others but its not a problem really.
The area around the store was farms, large barns and farm houses and one long 3 wire fence that went away from us diagonally. The fence was interesting to view as it exposed flaws near the edges of the field of view. For the first time, I was able to really see what chromatic aberration is. The Nikons seemed to have it the most and the SF the least. But all in all the ELs just seemed to work the best for me.
 

lmans66

Out Birding....
Supporter
United States
Why are the EDG bin's considered so good when I read on allbino's (10x42) that the 'build quality' is poor... ? IE, rubber armor peeling, hinge closeness, and even accessories poorly manufactured..... Even if there was a minuscule difference in optics to 'whatever binocular I was comparing it to and whatever level), why would I want poor built quality? Besides, with todays binoculars, any optic benefit (if there truly is one) is taken over by advancements in coatings, glass etc of newer bins....

Just asking, not trying to start a war but in some ways perhaps the memory of the EDG is not what it was really like.
 

Conndomat

United States of Europe
Europe
Just asking, not trying to start a war but in some ways perhaps the memory of the EDG is not what it was really like.
Hello Imans,

Of course, you always read the bad reports, bad news is good news, the many users who have used an EDG without problems for years don't report that much about it.
What is really not good with the EDG Imho is the diopter compensation, here the constructors have not thought about it well, with the other things I haven't had any problems.
There are also problems with other manufacturers, so it is not a unique selling point of EDG.

Andreas
 

wllmspd

Well-known member
Best way of doing it, but the model that works best for you.... not easy on these times, but good to hear you’ve found what you were after!
Peter
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
Please take this as purely an amateurs observations and not someone who knows much about optics. If I knew more, maybe I would have had a different choice but here goes:
The Leica UVHD+ had very finicky eye relief, requiring more manipulation to get a nice clear view.
The Zeiss FL just didnt seem to be constructed as nicely as the others, but the optics were good but a different view than the ELs. The focusing knob was quite sensitive.
The Nikon Premiers were really nice but heavy. The EDG 8x42 were great, but I really wanted an 8x32. Both pair of Nikons were used, but still impressive.
I could have easily went with the Zeiss SF but it seemed like the view was harder to acquire than the EL. Im sure there is a better way to describe this though. The SF was impressive optically once everything was dialed in.
The ELs were extremely clear edge to edge and the view just seemed to pop for me. I also liked the way they feel in hand. The focusing knob is not as smooth as some of the others but its not a problem really.
The area around the store was farms, large barns and farm houses and one long 3 wire fence that went away from us diagonally. The fence was interesting to view as it exposed flaws near the edges of the field of view. For the first time, I was able to really see what chromatic aberration is. The Nikons seemed to have it the most and the SF the least. But all in all the ELs just seemed to work the best for me.
Thanks! Very interesting to hear how someone chooses a binocular.
 

Patudo

Well-known member
Thanks for sharing your observations sir! Even though we are all different (or maybe because we are), it's always interesting to read about side by side comparisons between high performance binoculars like you were able to. Ease of view is one of these things that, unlike field of view, say, can be hard to quantify. But the difference it can make - whether scanning for long periods of time, or trying to get on a target initially sighted by eye - is very real.

Congratulations on your new binocular - which you can rest easy on knowing you picked the one that suited you best from a field of quality candidates - and may you have much joy with it.
 

zdr

Active member
United States
Hi Pete, it was Robert who helped us and yes, he definitely was very knowledgeable as well as very gracious and patient. I'm going back there later today for a few accessories and a birding book.
Thanks for posting the link. Hopefully this will drive some business his way.
 

jring

Well-known member
Why are the EDG bin's considered so good when I read on allbino's (10x42) that the 'build quality' is poor... ? IE, rubber armor peeling, hinge closeness, and even accessories poorly manufactured..... Even if there was a minuscule difference in optics to 'whatever binocular I was comparing it to and whatever level), why would I want poor built quality? Besides, with todays binoculars, any optic benefit (if there truly is one) is taken over by advancements in coatings, glass etc of newer bins....

Just asking, not trying to start a war but in some ways perhaps the memory of the EDG is not what it was really like.

Hi,

where on allbinos did you read about quality problems? I only found this review which didn't find any fault with the bins - which was a novelty at the time... and put it on the 1st place for 10x42 back then.


As has been noted, there are two series called EDG - the old double hinged pairs which were only sold stateside (and maybe Japan?) indeed had problems with rubber covers dissolving - these were pulled fairly quickly and I think there was even an offer to exchange them for the newer model in case of problems. These are quite rare to find in the wild and if you buy one, be prepared for rat look sooner or later and make sure it's priced accordingly... the optics was not bad...

What you now can still buy new (if you are lucky) and the majority of used examples are the single hinged second series - I have not heard bad things about those - except for people claiming they can easily see the difference between 88 and 95 percent transmission but don't notice an image which looks blindingly bright by huge amounts of stray light and quite bad contrast.

Joachim
 

NDhunter

Experienced observer
United States
The EDG is a great binocular and I have had both versions over the years, since they came out. There were a few problems with
a diopter shift, the open frame model was discontinued as per rumor Swarovski said they copied the EL.

There was not any difference in transmission in any of the EDG models. they had flat field optics done right, without the distortion profile
of the Swarovski SV. Allbinos did rank them #1 for many years in the 10x42 version.

Jerry
 
Last edited by a moderator:

lmans66

Out Birding....
Supporter
United States
Hi,

where on allbinos did you read about quality problems? I only found this review which didn't find any fault with the bins - which was a novelty at the time... and put it on the 1st place for 10x42 back then.


As has been noted, there are two series called EDG - the old double hinged pairs which were only sold stateside (and maybe Japan?) indeed had problems with rubber covers dissolving - these were pulled fairly quickly and I think there was even an offer to exchange them for the newer model in case of problems. These are quite rare to find in the wild and if you buy one, be prepared for rat look sooner or later and make sure it's priced accordingly... the optics was not bad...

What you now can still buy new (if you are lucky) and the majority of used examples are the single hinged second series - I have not heard bad things about those - except for people claiming they can easily see the difference between 88 and 95 percent transmission but don't notice an image which looks blindingly bright by huge amounts of stray light and quite bad contrast.

Joachim
I heard about the rubber outer covers..... Frankly I haven't paid that much attention to reviews but have run across that several times and not sure where. But ...I look at new glass now and I doubt seriously if the EDG is over and above any of the Alpha glass now, so if I am going to buy the 'best' , why go after yesterday's best?
 

eitanaltman

Well-known member
Optically, the EDG hang with anything. It's hard to improve upon perfection and they were already close to optical perfection. The only thing to really be improved upon would be wider FOV and perhaps higher transmission (although they are still fully competitive in that respect).

Your implication that it's about faulty memory.... well, many folks on here still own and use EDG binoculars, myself included. My 10x32 EDG is the best 10x32 I've tried (and I've tried everything but the new Zeiss SF and the impossible to find Zeiss FL).

Witness Allbinos, which you referenced, still has EDG models in the top tier of the 10x42, 8x42, and 8x32 rankings. Like the Ziess FL, a great binocular doesn't stop being great just because it's older, and technology has not advanced that much in binoculars over the past decade.

The Swaro SV EL came out over a decade ago also, are they now obsolete? The OP of this thread chose the Swaro SV over the brand-spanking-new Zeiss SF, if your theory about "yesterday's best" holds true, how did that happen?
 

jring

Well-known member
Hi lmans66,

you really have to get used to the fact that in any comparison of binoculars of similar price, finding an all-out winner is rare. In the alpha segment, where the differences are minuscule, it is unheard of.

So it really depends on what categories you define and how you value the different categories. Or, if you are actually going to buy a pair and are in the ideal case of having access to a brick and mortar store which carries them all, gut feeling after trying each of them side by side...

The EDG 10x42 will certainly win the competition for best contrast (aka best control of glare and reflections), best field flattening, best CA control and best focus drive. Zeiss SF wins highest transmission, lowest distortion (which is often a design decision and having the lowest might mean it's unusable to some due to rolling ball) and best handling, Swaro NL wins widest field (by a big margin), Swaro EL wins lowest astigmatism and coma (although the levels on all are not visible in normal use) plus it has 2mm more eye relief - which might be crucial when used with some extra bulky glasses, both Swaros win for best service and marketing.

Joachim
 
Last edited:

Users who are viewing this thread

Top