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Is Nikon done with Alphas (1 Viewer)

Maljunulo

Well-known member
In the years I have been here, I have come to the conclusion that everything said about binoculars is subjective, and if you want to know about one, you have to actually look through it for at least a day, maybe longer.

It is idle to sit around throwing specifications at each other like the gods of Olympus hurling thunderbolts.
 

tenex

reality-based
That said, I would NOT advise spending that kind of money ($2000ca) on an EDG, even new. It’s a discontinued model with no guarantees for warranty support. Nikon may or may not be able to repair it down the road.
Will not, most likely. I recently came across a several-year-old thread (can't find it now to link unfortunately) describing how Nikon (USA) was unable to repair an EDG even then, and having no comparable replacement, could only honor their warranty by issuing a refund.

The Austrians come mainly from the Celts, Slavs, Romans and Germanic, the Celts and Slavs have less influence in Germany, the Romans only west of the Rhine.
Vielen Dank... also ganz "Mitteleuropäisch"!
But who is still Germanic, Teutonic, Celts, Slavs or Romans nowadays, the Europeans settled America, maybe your and my ancestors fought side by side against the troops of Varus, so you are just as Germanic or Teutonic as me.
Some probably did; one great-grandfather was a farmer from Bielefeld. Then again, other ancestors were probably with Varus. Genetics indicate that on such a timescale everyone in the West is (multiply) related, as on a longer scale yet we all are.
 

Pinewood

New York correspondent
United States
Hello,

If Nikon cannot, or won't compete in Europe, can it afford to make top range binoculars, to sell worldwide? It may be reduced to providing less expensive binoculars contracted to Chinese manufacturers. Zeiss has decided that its brand won't suffer from selling inferior lines but it does seem to invest in new products and innovation, as a leading optical and engineering firm.

Stay safe,
Arthur
 

etudiant

Registered User
Supporter
Hello,

If Nikon cannot, or won't compete in Europe, can it afford to make top range binoculars, to sell worldwide? It may be reduced to providing less expensive binoculars contracted to Chinese manufacturers. Zeiss has decided that its brand won't suffer from selling inferior lines but it does seem to invest in new products and innovation, as a leading optical and engineering firm.

Stay safe,
Arthur
Nikon is currently in difficulties, reflecting the decline of their industrial lithography business along with the slump in digital camera sales. Consequently the firm must husband its resources carefully. necessitating the pruning of some product lines.
The market for high end binoculars and sport optics is small, as John Roberts Swarovski sales data indicates, nor is it strategic for Nikon afaik.
The WX proves that Nikon has the technical capability to make a world beating binocular, but clearly they don't see the return.
 

casscade

Well-known member
It’s sad really, I absolutely loved the views of my old venturer HG’s in both 8 and 10x42, other than the small fov, especially in the 8x. Still,..the fact they were so good back then 20 plus years ago. Maybe they should have just kept the premier’s and increased the fov, they were already at a good price point.
 

mwhogue

Well Known Member
Supporter
Mike, honoured to be asked as I know next to nothing and have no knowledge of the black magic of technicalities, optical physics, etc.— when it comes to the science side with star charts etc I don't understand them. I just posted a reply to Andreas if that is any help. Any questions just ask away and I'll answer if I can. Part of the fun if that isn't too childish a word is the social side of this forum; the other part is seeing how something always unfolds with the animals with a bit of patience from the observer and then the technicalities are forgotten, but I guess there's always an element of boys' toys in the background, so go for it!

Always a pleasure to talk to someone who likes different 7x42s. I will say I almost feel guilty for not always finding Leica a clear winner but it has aspects that I know I'd regret losing.

Tom

Tom,

Great work in your post #40 replying to Andreas, thanks. One thing I didn't mention, while all three are excellent in this regard, the view with the EDG is the most relaxed of the three for me. Maybe a result of the huge ocular lenses.

Mike
 

eitanaltman

Well-known member
It’s sad really, I absolutely loved the views of my old venturer HG’s in both 8 and 10x42, other than the small fov, especially in the 8x. Still,..the fact they were so good back then 20 plus years ago. Maybe they should have just kept the premier’s and increased the fov, they were already at a good price point.
That's pretty much what the EDG series is, the modernized ED glass replacement for the HG/LX/Premier models.
 

dries1

Member
As I remember, there was a rather appalling price between the LX and the EDG when the EDG came out.
I am trying to remember when the LX first came out it was near $1,000 US, when the EDG came out with the open bridge in the US - 2010? I cannot recall the asking price.
 

Maljunulo

Well-known member
I am trying to remember when the LX first came out it was near $1,000 US, when the EDG came out with the open bridge in the US - 2010? I cannot recall the asking price.
I can't remember either, but I do remember thinking no way was I going to even think about buying the EDG, which seemed to be seen as an improvement at the time. How significant that improvement was also eludes me.
 

SeldomPerched

Well-known member
We still have my wife's Nikkormat and my Leicaflex... I'll never part with that camera, the one I couldn't afford in high school and finally wound up using nearly 30 years later! Your AI(S) lenses should work fine on any Nikon DSLR today, and via the FTZ adapter, on the mirrorless Zs as well. We used her lenses for a while until more Z lenses came out. I'm much more comfortable with a digital sensor now than I'll ever be with autofocus though... (never had AF in a film camera)


I'm surprised they do quite so well given that most of these manuals came from Japan.
The girl models in the full page photo for each camera model are definitely western though, at least in the period for F2 manufacture.
 

SeldomPerched

Well-known member
Tom,

Great work in your post #40 replying to Andreas, thanks. One thing I didn't mention, while all three are excellent in this regard, the view with the EDG is the most relaxed of the three for me. Maybe a result of the huge ocular lenses.

Mike
It's a pleasure, Mike (post no.40). I think that's the way I feel too about the most relaxed view. I say 'think' because recently some of my viewing experiences have been inconsistent even with the same instrument: whether this is due to driving, tiredness in general, computer use, or something more alarming I don't know - but I suspect (hope?) the first three.

Tom
 

casscade

Well-known member
Some good articles on the making of Nikon glass.




 

AlphaFan

Well-known member
United States
Went back and re-read this entire thread - a lot of great information here. It’s pretty clear that as a company Nikon hasn’t landed on its feet in relation to branding. As many have already pointed out their capability to produce Alpha Class optics is unquestioned. But their lack of effective marketing, branding, and customer support have really hurt their entire line of sport optics. In fact, almost every time I read a thread where someone is considering a Nikon product poor customer support is often discussed.

Years ago, I remember being very interested in the EDG and checked them out. The view was exceptionally sharp, and there were few (if any) optically better roofs available. But to me the ergonomics (outside of the outstanding focus) weren’t good. The housing appeared very “pedestrian” in relation to the class of the optic. The armor didn’t feel good, the highly-reflective badging was a huge turn-off, they really didn’t handle all that well. They just didn’t wow with apparent build quality the way a new Leica or Swarovski does. So, they delivered optically, but lacked the cache or even faux cache of a premium brand.

Then came the Nikon Monarch HGs. To me, as a complete package, they are a better overall birding binocular (in the 42mm configuration). Optically, they are at the top-end of their price point - very crisp, expansive FOV, good depth of field, and neutral colors. In the 42mm configuration they handle much more like a 32mm - very light (23.5oz), and are a very easy all-day carry. The accessories are a bit less than first class, but the overall package is a fantastic daily birding binocular. With my SLCs currently at SONA for focuser work, I’ve been using them as my primary birding glass and they have simply been a joy. At the under $1k street price they appeared to be perfectly targeted. But again, Nikon badly messed up branding/marketing. As the current flagship, Monarch HGs also suffer from endless comparisons to the EDG optics. Admittedly, the EDG are a bit sharper but they also cost over twice as much, and the HGs optics are no slouch. IMO, they can only be surpassed by a true alpha.

Lumping the new HGs in the Monarch line was the first disaster. Overall, the Monarchs are a budget line of mostly MIC binoculars and the HGs really have no place there. Combined with Nikon’s reputation for less than stellar customer service and recent withdrawal from other lines of sport optics (rifle scopes, etc) it certainly does not inspire consumer confidence or brand cache. The good news is I’ve owned a number of Nikon products and outside of a rangefinder that was challenged to cut through mist, all have been solid as a rock. So, I’ll go on loving the Monarch HGs and silently hope that Nikon eventually gets healthy enough to once again produce a true premium sport optic binocular. If/when they do, I’m confident it will once again be something pretty special.
 

dries1

Member
I have both the Monarch HG and very much enjoy the EDG in 8X32, 8X42 and 10X42, so each has their own opinion, and IMHO there has never been binocular with a better focus system, except perhaps the older HG LX. I have an SLC 8X42 and the focus, (how should I say it), is less than pedestrian.
 

AlphaFan

Well-known member
United States
I have both the Monarch HG and very much enjoy the EDG in 8X32, 8X42 and 10X42, so each has their own opinion, and IMHO there has never been binocular with a better focus system, except perhaps the older HG LX. I have an SLC 8X42 and the focus, (how should I say it), is less than pedestrian.
Wasn’t my intent to come across as hating on the EDG. Optically, they are spectacular and their focus mechanism was among the best ever. So there must be some other reason they didn’t sell like premium offerings from the Big 3. Personally didn’t think the ergonomics, housing, marketing/branding matched the superb optics. Also think it is a pity that the Monarch HG is most often directly compared to and forever lives in the shadow of the EDG instead of binoculars in the same price class. IMO, the Monarch HG is a superb everyday birding binocular. It also has some shortcomings - like the too easy to unlock diopter adjustment and low grade accessories. As a complete package the HGs address a number of my preferences and I’m very comfortable using them - albiet I’m finding the sometimes unlocking diopter annoying. After all, an optics choice is often a compromise to some degree. The one a person prefers might not impress others.

And you are dead-on-target regarding the SLC focus mechanism. “Pedestrian“ is very kind description. Overall, the SLC is a wonderful design - super-sharp, easy view with great depth of field, in an easy handling and robustly built housing. But the focus mechanism is many steps behind the performance level of the rest of the binocular. I have an 8x and a 10x and the focus mechanisms on my SLCs is the least refined of all of my Alphas. So, even Swarovski’s extremely successful and venerated SLC has shortcomings, but for a great many the overall package just worked.

So, back to the original point of the thread. Can Nikon make a binocular equal or better in features than the Big 3? Well, they’ve already proven they can. The big question is will they be able to successfully package/market it and capture enough market share to make it worth their while?
 
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dries1

Member
Understood not everyone has the same taste in ergonomics. The EDG mold serves me well, and yes the HG Monarch is an easy glass to use and does many things extremely well.
Nikon is in a flux, rumors of moving their glass making facilities to another country, as well as other operations, so I would assume positioning to get back on some capital. At this point in time I am glad that I own some premium Nikon glass, since I doubt if Nikon makes any more premium sport optics such as binoculars in the near future if at all (the HG could be the last). Their camera/lens division has had cutbacks also, not to mention no more production of rifle scopes.
I Wish them well.
 

etudiant

Registered User
Supporter
Understood not everyone has the same taste in ergonomics. The EDG mold serves me well, and yes the HG Monarch is an easy glass to use and does many things extremely well.
Nikon is in a flux, rumors of moving their glass making facilities to another country, as well as other operations, so I would assume positioning to get back on some capital. At this point in time I am glad that I own some premium Nikon glass, since I doubt if Nikon makes any more premium sport optics such as binoculars in the near future if at all (the HG could be the last). Their camera/lens division has had cutbacks also, not to mention no more production of rifle scopes.
I Wish them well.
I've no knowledge of the economics of this business, but surely volume matters.
Afaik, Zeiss makes a good part (maybe most) of its money on eye glass lenses,
Running a top notch glass melt facility requires a lot of very specialized skills, so if the sales volume drops, the fixed people costs are ruinous.
Nikon has seen volumes drop precipitously in the last few years and they are scrambling. to re-balance the business.
Making their own glass may not be worth Nikon's while any longer, but I'd suspect China would welcome the opportunity to take over a world class glass operation.
 
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

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