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ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

EDG 7/8/10 x42 still in production? (1 Viewer)

It's complicated - I targeted the 10x42 for sale because I was hoping to use my 10x56 Swaro SLC for 10x and cull the herd a bit. I'm 50/50 birding and astronomy and the 10x56 is a magnificent optic for astro, it's not going anywhere. The views are better than any 10x42 during the day too. However, after a few hours of those amazing views, I had to admit it's too big and heavy for regular birding use. Astronomy is done while reclining in a lounge chair with your elbows braced.

The 8x42 SF is also excellent for astronomy, I prefer it a little bit to EDG at night. The eye placement is not a issue doing astronomy, and I've got 7x42 EDG, so it's a good combination.

With the smaller exit pupil I can see how the 10x42 SF would be a struggle. The 8x42 SF is the biggest exit pupil of the line. I think I'm naturally fidgety or something, eye placement is a big priority with me.

btw I've got an extra 2022 Nikon Japan sport optic catalog here, if anybody wants it let me know, I'll mail it to you.
Very interesting appraisal of your binoculars, all of which I can relate to, I'm familiar with the other binoculars you own.

I confess I hadn't read your previous posts properly and in my head thought your SF's were 10x42's too, which is why I was questioning your decision to sell your EDG rather than your SF's. That's the problem with reading BF when you're still half asleep and without glasses on! 😉😇

What does come out of the discovery that your SF's are 8x42's and which I find interesting, is that despite the larger exit pupil, they are still less forgiving for eye placement, and finicky, not at all what you might immediately anticipate between two pairs of 'alpha' x42's. I think that's quite telling.

I can feel myself edging (no pun intended) ever closer to procuring a pair of 10x42 Nikon EDG...

Thanks again for your help! 🍻
 
That was a tough decision at the time I decided I wanted an EDG. I didn’t really want to go for the 32’s, although I bought a 10x32 on eBay for a few hours, until some very helpful members here informed me what I was buying was not what was being described by the seller, but that’s another story. Im more of a lower power user. For me I like the steadyness , the larger image circle and overall less fatiguing than a 10x. So most of the time I’m using an 8x or 7x. When I go to a 10x I have the NL’s , SE, and a few other upper mid level bins. So for me I would wind up using and enjoying the EDG more often if it was an 8x. And what a great pair of binoculars !

I wouldn’t hesitate a minute getting an EDG 10x if that was the magnification I gravitate to more often. With that being said I’d still like to get the 10x42 sometime in the not to distant future. Right now I’ve been into buying and enjoying some of the old vintage high quality wide field 7x35’s. Not to mention I spent way to much the last year on gear, so I’m taking a breather. Plus I want to stock up on some more ammunition now that prices have come down 🤣.

Paul
Thanks Paul...

All understood, I just felt you were leaning towards the 10x on this occasion and wondered if you had changed your decision on discovering the 8x42 was 'the cherry' of the range. Clearly not!

I have to say that your assessment of your 8x42's elsewhere on the forum sum up pretty much what I look for in a binocular. I would probably have leaned towards the Meopta Meostar 10x42, Kowa Genesis 10.5x44 or Ultravid 10x42, but decided they are all just a little too tight on eye relief with glasses.

Cheers! 🍻
 
It's no coincidence then, that the binoculars I'm enjoying most are my 8x32 UVHD+, my 8.5x44 Kowa Genesis and my 7x42 UVHD+. I've also recently purchased (surprisingly cheaply) a used 8x40 'Retrovid' which fits me like a glove and which I'm itching to use out in the field during the summer months. I'm so excited about that binocular! Meanwhile, the binoculars I've most fallen out of love with are my Victory SF's and my NL's.
so you've got 8x covered well, and have the 7x42 Leicas, 10x42 would be the logical EDG model to try. (everybody should have a pair of 7x42 IMO!) I'd recommend it to anyone with a collection of high-end binos, there are other intangibles - very high build quality overall. I played with some Monarch HG 8x42, 8x30, and 10x42 recently and you can feel the difference w/ EDG in everything, it feels like a luxury vehicle, in overall build quality it is most similar to the Swarovskis IMO. the rubber, the eyecups, neckstrap, etc.

And they're compact binoculars like the Ultravids, I think that helps hold them steady at 10x too.
 
What does come out of the discovery that your SF's are 8x42's and which I find interesting, is that despite the larger exit pupil, they are still less forgiving for eye placement, and finicky, not at all what you might immediately anticipate between two pairs of 'alpha' x42's. I think that's quite telling.
I don't find that binocular exit pupils get small enough to make eye placement tricky themselves, and suppose that idea is a misunderstanding of the "eye box" that can.
 
Bentley03,

Regarding eye relief, have you tried the Noctivid in 10X42?, there are many who wear glasses like the fit, but as we all know it depends on how it fits the facial structure of the individual.
 
After using 8x42 Premier LXL for years the Zeiss SF was the first of the "big 3" binos I tried that matched the LXL focuser. They could be the same focuser, smoothness and resistance are the same. The new EDG are almost the same, the same smoothness but a wee bit more resistance than SF.

I briefly tried the NL Pure and the focuser seemed much improved over the EL's and SLC's, but I only tried it for about 30 seconds in the store. The SF and NL Pure are superb binoculars, no doubt. The EDG are a nice alternative for those who aren't necessarily seeking a wider-field bino. If you don't want wider field the EDG are at least as good as today's top-dollar models.

Sales figures are important, but certainly not directly proportional to quality. I remember when 90% of personal computer sales were MS-DOS when the Apple Mac operating system was vastly superior - late 80's-early 90s. In time, Microsoft basically copied what Apple was doing. I see a similar phenomenon with EDG. The NL Pure has the same basic EDG body design - single high bridge with the focuser knob in the right place. The flat-field optics and focuser quality of the LXL/HG and EDG is something the other "big 3" have all migrated to in recent years.

PS - also, I can't help but notice that NL Pure feature the smooth, narrow-waisted barrel of the NIkon HG/LXL, instead of thumb undercuts. Like great composers these guys are all borrowing from each others' innovation.
Speaking of borrowing, I think we saw this happen with Swarovski borrowing the low/no distortion of the Nikon 42 LXs for its Swarovski EL SV line (not that I think that was a good thing, but it did cause me to coin the term "rolling ball"). More recently we saw copycatting with the design of inverting the focuser from top to bottom of the bridge in the Zeiss SF and Swarovski NL Pure.

Being that Nikon is strapped due to the precipitous drop in DSLR sales, if they decide to offer another alpha model, it would be a low-cost redesign to take the EDG II and invert the focusers for an EDG III. I think this would help improve the EDG's ergonomics.

The high, oversized focuser and thick bridge on the 8x42 EDG forced me offset my hands such that one hand was positioned near the objectives to support the weight from underneath and the other was on top near the EPs so I could focus, so most of the weight was carried with one hand. Maybe if I had an Arnold Arm that would have worked. But my arms are like Popeye's before the spinach.

The offset grip made my already shaky hands shakier. I loved the image in the 8x42 EDG, it was bright and the images sparkled like no other bin I've owned, but those F-A-T, stubby barrels only allowed me to wrap fingers from one hand around them, which also made it hard to hold steady.

Unlike Tobias Meenie, who loved the 8x42 EDG's "ergonomy," I found it hard to hold steady. With the original EDG I's open bridge design, the 10x42 was easier to hold steady than the 8x42 EDG II. As someone said on these forums, you can't underestimate the importance of how a pair of binoculars fits your hands and face. The face fit was excellent. The large flat, rubber eyecups fit perfectly in between my brow and cheek. That's often an issue with other binoculars but not with the 8x42 EDG II.

After struggling with the shaking images for two years, I decided to sell the EDG since birdwatching with them was limited to being seated with my back supported on park benches or dragging along a chair. I saw a belted Kingfisher diving for fish in the stream at the park, and the ducks and geese that are year-round residents, and dozens of turkey vultures, which circle overhead like in an old western film. But due to the weight and the shaky images, I only took them with me on hikes twice even though they preformed well in the woods.

I almost had them sold to someone who was looking for a pair, but the deal fell through. I noticed that a Nikon 8x32 EDG I had seen a month earlier was still for sale, so I offered the seller a trade for my 8x42, and now I have the 8x32 EDG, which I am very pleased with.

The ergonomics are much more to my liking since I can wrap fingers from both hands around the slimmer barrels, and the lighter weight makes it easier to hold steady. The 8x32 also gives a noticeably better 3-D image than the 8x42. It's not as bright, of course, which I could use now during this dismal winter.

From using the 8x32s on the one sunny day we've had since I got them, the colors don't seem to have the same "sparkle" as the 8x42's. I also took my 8x32 SE to the park to watch the ducks and geese, and I thought the views were more like the SE than the 8x42 EDG. I'll do a more detailed evaluation at when it's brighter and warmer. But so far, so good!

Brock
 
I don't find that binocular exit pupils get small enough to make eye placement tricky themselves, and suppose that idea is a misunderstanding of the "eye box" that can.
So, a misconception on my part. It does feel that in some way there's a degree of logic in what I was thinking, even if I was wrong. Understood, thank you.
 
so you've got 8x covered well, and have the 7x42 Leicas, 10x42 would be the logical EDG model to try. (everybody should have a pair of 7x42 IMO!) I'd recommend it to anyone with a collection of high-end binos, there are other intangibles - very high build quality overall. I played with some Monarch HG 8x42, 8x30, and 10x42 recently and you can feel the difference w/ EDG in everything, it feels like a luxury vehicle, in overall build quality it is most similar to the Swarovskis IMO. the rubber, the eyecups, neckstrap, etc.

And they're compact binoculars like the Ultravids, I think that helps hold them steady at 10x too.
I've been on a bit of a journey in search of 10x binoculars over the past few years. I did finally settle on the NL 10x32's, then discovered there was enough eye relief in the Ultravid equivalent, just, and enjoyed them even more than the NL's. Both have since been moved on though, their 8x32 equivalents seeing far more action. I now own some CL Pocket 10x25's which fit me perfectly and are incredibly easy and comfortable to use, and the SF's, a binocular I was a bit too determined to own and enjoy, because it clearly doesn't fit me, and I can't enjoy it. The SF's will be moved on.

But, I do still want a big comfy 10x (for my trips to the coast in particular).
 
Bentley03,

Regarding eye relief, have you tried the Noctivid in 10X42?, there are many who wear glasses like the fit, but as we all know it depends on how it fits the facial structure of the individual.
I have, I owned some, but although they were far more comfortable than the SF's, I discovered they were far less comfortable than the 10x32 NL's, so I made the switch.

But thank you for the suggestion!
 
Speaking of borrowing, I think we saw this happen with Swarovski borrowing the low/no distortion of the Nikon 42 LXs for its Swarovski EL SV line (not that I think that was a good thing, but it did cause me to coin the term "rolling ball"). More recently we saw copycatting with the design of inverting the focuser from top to bottom of the bridge in the Zeiss SF and Swarovski NL Pure.

Being that Nikon is strapped due to the precipitous drop in DSLR sales, if they decide to offer another alpha model, it would be a low-cost redesign to take the EDG II and invert the focusers for an EDG III. I think this would help improve the EDG's ergonomics.

The high, oversized focuser and thick bridge on the 8x42 EDG forced me offset my hands such that one hand was positioned near the objectives to support the weight from underneath and the other was on top near the EPs so I could focus, so most of the weight was carried with one hand. Maybe if I had an Arnold Arm that would have worked. But my arms are like Popeye's before the spinach.

The offset grip made my already shaky hands shakier. I loved the image in the 8x42 EDG, it was bright and the images sparkled like no other bin I've owned, but those F-A-T, stubby barrels only allowed me to wrap fingers from one hand around them, which also made it hard to hold steady.

Unlike Tobias Meenie, who loved the 8x42 EDG's "ergonomy," I found it hard to hold steady. With the original EDG I's open bridge design, the 10x42 was easier to hold steady than the 8x42 EDG II. As someone said on these forums, you can't underestimate the importance of how a pair of binoculars fits your hands and face. The face fit was excellent. The large flat, rubber eyecups fit perfectly in between my brow and cheek. That's often an issue with other binoculars but not with the 8x42 EDG II.

After struggling with the shaking images for two years, I decided to sell the EDG since birdwatching with them was limited to being seated with my back supported on park benches or dragging along a chair. I saw a belted Kingfisher diving for fish in the stream at the park, and the ducks and geese that are year-round residents, and dozens of turkey vultures, which circle overhead like in an old western film. But due to the weight and the shaky images, I only took them with me on hikes twice even though they preformed well in the woods.

I almost had them sold to someone who was looking for a pair, but the deal fell through. I noticed that a Nikon 8x32 EDG I had seen a month earlier was still for sale, so I offered the seller a trade for my 8x42, and now I have the 8x32 EDG, which I am very pleased with.

The ergonomics are much more to my liking since I can wrap fingers from both hands around the slimmer barrels, and the lighter weight makes it easier to hold steady. The 8x32 also gives a noticeably better 3-D image than the 8x42. It's not as bright, of course, which I could use now during this dismal winter.

From using the 8x32s on the one sunny day we've had since I got them, the colors don't seem to have the same "sparkle" as the 8x42's. I also took my 8x32 SE to the park to watch the ducks and geese, and I thought the views were more like the SE than the 8x42 EDG. I'll do a more detailed evaluation at when it's brighter and warmer. But so far, so good!

Brock
I really enjoyed reading your post, very interesting. It is amazing how our physical individuality embraces or rejects the ergonomics of a binocular to such extremes. I once joked to Lee that I must be 'binocular ugly' because of my struggles to get comfortable with the Victory SF range.

Your experience with the EDG ii reflects my feelings about the ergonomics of the NL's and SF's, but in reverse. I simply can't hold them as steady as I can a binocular with the focus wheel in the more traditional(?) location. I get a lot of shake with my NL's in particular. My Ultravid 8x32 and my Kowa Genesis 8.5x44 (even my pocket 8x25's) I can hold absolutely rock steady for long periods, because of how I naturally hold them. I find the Kowa's in particular to be a revelation, in terms of comfort, despite their hefty weight.
 
Stability comes from putting weight far forwards, making a long moment arm.

The NL32 and SF are the opposite, having a far rearward balance.

Ergobalance concept makes the bino easy to pan around, but less image stable.
 
I've been on a bit of a journey in search of 10x binoculars over the past few years. I did finally settle on the NL 10x32's, then discovered there was enough eye relief in the Ultravid equivalent, just, and enjoyed them even more than the NL's. Both have since been moved on though, their 8x32 equivalents seeing far more action. I now own some CL Pocket 10x25's which fit me perfectly and are incredibly easy and comfortable to use, and the SF's, a binocular I was a bit too determined to own and enjoy, because it clearly doesn't fit me, and I can't enjoy it. The SF's will be moved on.

But, I do still want a big comfy 10x (for my trips to the coast in particular).
Just a thought, 10x42 are a size of binocular that has always been at the back of my mind despite the ageing problems of shake and the remembrances of past owned bins' like Zeiss 10x40s BGAT. It is a size that just pushes that 8x32 when needed as a birder.
I knew that if I got a pair it would be used but only when the need was right and much less then my 8x32 El so the investment could not be justified. I tried an EL 10x32 but there was little noticeable gain from my EL 8x32 and light loss too. (also they had a scratch and returned).
I bought a Kowa 6.5x32 BDii for my partner and she loves it especially as it needs little focus 'driving" a great DOF, well built, easy on her hands and great views with no eye problems.
This got me thinking as they too impressed me and so I tried the 10x42 BDii and after two copies found a perfect pair. They would push my ELs in build, view and operation. they are the same height, not too large, great FOV for 10x but not as easy on the hands and eyes as the ELs but very close. They need more focus "driving" but it is a 10x and they only cost £369 in the sale.
I own a Kite 12x42 IS for sea, large lakes, Raptors and Geese flocks and the narrower FOV is no problem at distance viewing. So these are a good winter walk around open space, high tree kind of binocular that can hold its own when needed.
So, if it is a 10x42 for occasional use when needed and your binoculars are a "tool not a jewel" give these a thought.
 
Just a thought, 10x42 are a size of binocular that has always been at the back of my mind despite the ageing problems of shake and the remembrances of past owned bins' like Zeiss 10x40s BGAT. It is a size that just pushes that 8x32 when needed as a birder.
I knew that if I got a pair it would be used but only when the need was right and much less then my 8x32 El so the investment could not be justified. I tried an EL 10x32 but there was little noticeable gain from my EL 8x32 and light loss too. (also they had a scratch and returned).
I bought a Kowa 6.5x32 BDii for my partner and she loves it especially as it needs little focus 'driving" a great DOF, well built, easy on her hands and great views with no eye problems.
This got me thinking as they too impressed me and so I tried the 10x42 BDii and after two copies found a perfect pair. They would push my ELs in build, view and operation. they are the same height, not too large, great FOV for 10x but not as easy on the hands and eyes as the ELs but very close. They need more focus "driving" but it is a 10x and they only cost £369 in the sale.
I own a Kite 12x42 IS for sea, large lakes, Raptors and Geese flocks and the narrower FOV is no problem at distance viewing. So these are a good winter walk around open space, high tree kind of binocular that can hold its own when needed.
So, if it is a 10x42 for occasional use when needed and your binoculars are a "tool not a jewel" give these a thought.
Just a thought, 10x42 are a size of binocular that has always been at the back of my mind despite the ageing problems of shake and the remembrances of past owned bins' like Zeiss 10x40s BGAT. It is a size that just pushes that 8x32 when needed as a birder.
I knew that if I got a pair it would be used but only when the need was right and much less then my 8x32 El so the investment could not be justified. I tried an EL 10x32 but there was little noticeable gain from my EL 8x32 and light loss too. (also they had a scratch and returned).
I bought a Kowa 6.5x32 BDii for my partner and she loves it especially as it needs little focus 'driving" a great DOF, well built, easy on her hands and great views with no eye problems.
This got me thinking as they too impressed me and so I tried the 10x42 BDii and after two copies found a perfect pair. They would push my ELs in build, view and operation. they are the same height, not too large, great FOV for 10x but not as easy on the hands and eyes as the ELs but very close. They need more focus "driving" but it is a 10x and they only cost £369 in the sale.
I own a Kite 12x42 IS for sea, large lakes, Raptors and Geese flocks and the narrower FOV is no problem at distance viewing. So these are a good winter walk around open space, high tree kind of binocular that can hold its own when needed.
So, if it is a 10x42 for occasional use when needed and your binoculars are a "tool not a jewel" give these a thought.

Just a thought, 10x42 are a size of binocular that has always been at the back of my mind despite the ageing problems of shake and the remembrances of past owned bins' like Zeiss 10x40s BGAT. It is a size that just pushes that 8x32 when needed as a birder.
I knew that if I got a pair it would be used but only when the need was right and much less then my 8x32 El so the investment could not be justified. I tried an EL 10x32 but there was little noticeable gain from my EL 8x32 and light loss too. (also they had a scratch and returned).
I bought a Kowa 6.5x32 BDii for my partner and she loves it especially as it needs little focus 'driving" a great DOF, well built, easy on her hands and great views with no eye problems.
This got me thinking as they too impressed me and so I tried the 10x42 BDii and after two copies found a perfect pair. They would push my ELs in build, view and operation. they are the same height, not too large, great FOV for 10x but not as easy on the hands and eyes as the ELs but very close. They need more focus "driving" but it is a 10x and they only cost £369 in the sale.
I own a Kite 12x42 IS for sea, large lakes, Raptors and Geese flocks and the narrower FOV is no problem at distance viewing. So these are a good winter walk around open space, high tree kind of binocular that can hold its own when needed.
So, if it is a 10x42 for occasional use when needed and your binoculars are a "tool not a jewel" give these a thought.
What a lovely 4 word quote in your last paragraph - binoculars are a "tool not a jewel". It encapsulates what binoculars should be; for looking through not looking at. As someone who has used many different types of optics throughout a long working career, any instrument l used was judged on its capabilities, not its looks.
You can describe a car in the same way as "the best car in the drive syndrome"
Stan
 
I really enjoyed reading your post, very interesting. It is amazing how our physical individuality embraces or rejects the ergonomics of a binocular to such extremes. I once joked to Lee that I must be 'binocular ugly' because of my struggles to get comfortable with the Victory SF range.

Your experience with the EDG ii reflects my feelings about the ergonomics of the NL's and SF's, but in reverse. I simply can't hold them as steady as I can a binocular with the focus wheel in the more traditional(?) location. I get a lot of shake with my NL's in particular. My Ultravid 8x32 and my Kowa Genesis 8.5x44 (even my pocket 8x25's) I can hold absolutely rock steady for long periods, because of how I naturally hold them. I find the Kowa's in particular to be a revelation, in terms of comfort, despite their hefty weight.
Lee once said that holding porros in his hands was like "shaking hands with an alien." For me, it's the opposite. Most porros feel quite comfortable in my hands and allow me to grip them like a baseball rather than from pushing my hands against each other at the sides and supporting the bins underneath with my thumbs like roof prism bins.

Most roofs feel alien to me, perhaps because I grew up using porros before the Great Roof Prism Revolution in 1988 when Zeiss invented p-coatings, but also because I have shaky hands (genetically inherited). My mom had it and my grandfather's shakes were so bad as he got older, he had to slurp his tripe soup from the bowl (he was Italian) because if he used a spoon, he'd spill it. Unfortunately, as you get older, familial essential tremors gets worse.

I think I have achieved roof prism nirvana with the 8x32 EDG II. Finally, roof prism binoculars that don't feel "alien" in my hands and that fit my eyes /face well, and to boot have amazing optics. For a bino aficionado, it doesn't get better than that!
 
I've been on a bit of a journey in search of 10x binoculars over the past few years. I did finally settle on the NL 10x32's, then discovered there was enough eye relief in the Ultravid equivalent, just, and enjoyed them even more than the NL's. Both have since been moved on though, their 8x32 equivalents seeing far more action. I now own some CL Pocket 10x25's which fit me perfectly and are incredibly easy and comfortable to use, and the SF's, a binocular I was a bit too determined to own and enjoy, because it clearly doesn't fit me, and I can't enjoy it. The SF's will be moved on.

But, I do still want a big comfy 10x (for my trips to the coast in particular).
If they fit your hands, I would highly recommend the Nikon 10x42 EDG II. I preferred the EDG I since its open bridge design was much easier for me to hold, but the EDG's image is amazing to behold, and it's sharp nearly to the very edge without "rolling ball." I had the Nikon 10x42 LX (and LX L), but the LX was quite heavy, and with both the 10x42 LX and LX L, the ultra-low distortion made panning distracting due to "rolling ball," but you might not to experience that. There's a 10x42 EDG in near mint condition for sale on Cloudy Nights and Astromart for $1200!

The other 10x42 I liked a lot was the Swarovski 10x42 SLC HD. The eyecups are similar to the EDG's. The view is a bit warmer, but still very nice. It doesn't have field flatteners like the EDG but the fall off at the edges is gradual and not distracting. Panning is smooth with no rolling ball. I liked the SLC's ergonomics better than the 10x EDG II. But as with every Swaro I've used, the focuser turned fast/easy in one direction and hard/slow in the other due to the greaseless focuser.

My ideal 10x42 would be a 10x42 SLC HD (first gen with the closer focus) with a buttery smooth EDG focuser.

Brock
 
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. There's a 10x42 EDG in near mint condition for sale on Cloudy Nights and Astromart for $1200!
uhhh...that was me, and the ads are gone now, sorry! I agree with you about the different bridge/focus knob designs, the SF is my favorite one, and I liked the NL's build better than the EL's. From looking at pictures of the EDG II, I was afraid the shorter and stubby body wouldn't work for me. But when I got one, it worked out OK, it's more comfortable than the LXL was for me, and my finger seems to rest naturally over the focus knob.

It's interesting that Bentley was able to find comfort with a 10x32 but not the 10x42 SF. It does seem that "eyebox comfort" is more than just the size of the exit pupil. I haven't tried that many different sizes of binoculars.

With the EDG there's no question that the "eye box" is far more tolerant of placement and moving your eye around in the 7x than the 10x. But there's more to it than that if some people find a 3mm exit pupil comfortable in one design but not a 4mm exit pupil in another.
 
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Stability comes from putting weight far forwards, making a long moment arm.

The NL32 and SF are the opposite, having a far rearward balance.

Ergobalance concept makes the bino easy to pan around, but less image stable.
I don't think I'm an ergobalancer, panning behaviour in the SF's (for me) is actually very much worse than in my Leica’s and Kowa's, even my CL Pocket's. The NL's too, really not great, but I can pan far more comfortably with them than with my SF's.
 
Just a thought, 10x42 are a size of binocular that has always been at the back of my mind despite the ageing problems of shake and the remembrances of past owned bins' like Zeiss 10x40s BGAT. It is a size that just pushes that 8x32 when needed as a birder.
I knew that if I got a pair it would be used but only when the need was right and much less then my 8x32 El so the investment could not be justified. I tried an EL 10x32 but there was little noticeable gain from my EL 8x32 and light loss too. (also they had a scratch and returned).
I bought a Kowa 6.5x32 BDii for my partner and she loves it especially as it needs little focus 'driving" a great DOF, well built, easy on her hands and great views with no eye problems.
This got me thinking as they too impressed me and so I tried the 10x42 BDii and after two copies found a perfect pair. They would push my ELs in build, view and operation. they are the same height, not too large, great FOV for 10x but not as easy on the hands and eyes as the ELs but very close. They need more focus "driving" but it is a 10x and they only cost £369 in the sale.
I own a Kite 12x42 IS for sea, large lakes, Raptors and Geese flocks and the narrower FOV is no problem at distance viewing. So these are a good winter walk around open space, high tree kind of binocular that can hold its own when needed.
So, if it is a 10x42 for occasional use when needed and your binoculars are a "tool not a jewel" give these a thought.
Great suggestion, they're a very nice binocular, I own a 6.5x32 too. I haven't tried one in 10x42 format, but will probably have the opportunity on Wednesday. Thank you!
 
If they fit your hands, I would highly recommend the Nikon 10x42 EDG II. I preferred the EDG I since its open bridge design was much easier for me to hold, but the EDG's image is amazing to behold, and it's sharp nearly to the very edge without "rolling ball." I had the Nikon 10x42 LX (and LX L), but the LX was quite heavy, and with both the 10x42 LX and LX L, the ultra-low distortion made panning distracting due to "rolling ball," but you might not to experience that. There's a 10x42 EDG in near mint condition for sale on Cloudy Nights and Astromart for $1200!

The other 10x42 I liked a lot was the Swarovski 10x42 SLC HD. The eyecups are similar to the EDG's. The view is a bit warmer, but still very nice. It doesn't have field flatteners like the EDG but the fall off at the edges is gradual and not distracting. Panning is smooth with no rolling ball. I liked the SLC's ergonomics better than the 10x EDG II. But as with every Swaro I've used, the focuser turned fast/easy in one direction and hard/slow in the other due to the greaseless focuser.

My ideal 10x42 would be a 10x42 SLC HD (first gen with the closer focus) with a buttery smooth EDG focuser.

Brock
Thank you for your thoughts and for the reassurance. I think I'm going to give the 10x42 EDG a whirl. I liked the 8x42 SLC very much, but found the 10x42 format didn't work so well with my glasses.
 
I really enjoyed reading your post, very interesting. It is amazing how our physical individuality embraces or rejects the ergonomics of a binocular to such extremes. I once joked to Lee that I must be 'binocular ugly' because of my struggles to get comfortable with the Victory SF range.

Your experience with the EDG ii reflects my feelings about the ergonomics of the NL's and SF's, but in reverse. I simply can't hold them as steady as I can a binocular with the focus wheel in the more traditional(?) location. I get a lot of shake with my NL's in particular. My Ultravid 8x32 and my Kowa Genesis 8.5x44 (even my pocket 8x25's) I can hold absolutely rock steady for long periods, because of how I naturally hold them. I find the Kowa's in particular to be a revelation, in terms of comfort, despite their hefty weight.

Yes, you can read all the reviews, get wowed by the results, and then pick out a top-rated birding bin based on them, but then disappointingly find out the bin doesn't feel comfortable in your hands or against your eyes/face or you can't get a steady grip so the image shakes too much. If you bought it new, you return the bins to the store and get charged a 10%-20% restocking fee, or you sell them at a loss because your LNIB binoculars are now USED because you touched them (ooh, cooties!). :)

Unfortunately, not all of us live near binoculars dealers, or at least alpha bin dealers. I lived near Dick's Sporting Goods and tried a lot of low-priced hunting binoculars and one or two mid-priced ones, but I would have to take a 4-hour round trip to get to the Amish optics and shoe store to try a variety of mid-tier and alphas, and it better be a sunny day, because the Amish don't use electricity inside the store!

Great to hear that you found two bins that work for you.

I found two bins that work for me: Nikon 8x32 EDG and Nikon 8x32 SE. I went birding for the first time with the EDG yesterday when it was sunny (rare in the winter here) and warm (a balmy 47*F.) The birds-Robins, Bluebirds, Chickadees and Titmice- thought it was spring and were easy to find and delightful to watch.

bRoCk
 

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