• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

Nikon ED50, still fragile? (1 Viewer)

The Kowa is out IMO. Too expensive for what it is, no interchangeable eyepieces. I also personally don't like the zoom they used all that much.

BTW, Hensoldt/Zeiss had a nice 25x56 in the late fifties/early sixties. Very light (lighter than the Nikon ED50), AK prism, but of course no phase coatings. Something like that would do nicely, even though the Hensoldt was not an angled scope. But for a travel scope I could live with a straight-through scope.

Agree on both counts.
The Kowa needs interchangeable eye pieces, as the installed zoom is less than world class.
A good straight scope such as the Hensoldt/Zeiss 25x56 with modern coatings could be a contender.
That said, quality really matters with this kind of gear, I remember a Steiner 24x80 rather unfondly, nice hardware but optically a dud.
I got better detail from my Docter 12x50 BGA binoculars than from the Steiner scope.
Yes, that problem was fixed a long while back. The (newer) design of the socket is different and more robust. I've had no trouble with mine, which I frequently carry on tripod.

My first ED50 also suffered from the thread problem. I didn't bother to send it to Nikon, I just epoxied a Manfrotto plate to the scope. Worked well. I also got a second ED50 to have one in reserve. So far no problem with either scope, and I use them a lot when I can't be bothered to take a bigger scope or when hiking in difficult terrain.
hi Hermann, Alexis,
Is it easy to if a second hand ED50 is one of the old models, with the socket flaw, or one of the later models that don’t have that fragile socket thread anymore?
Could you share a picture of the old and/or the new socket thread or a description on how to see the difference (without the need to dismantle it first ;-) )?
Maybe any tip on serial numbdering of old vs new models could also help, but I guess we don’t know exactly when it changed…
I discovered this for myself last autumn; tripod toppled over, on uneven grass, on it the scope that fell on a soft lump of grass and...broke in two along the known fragile halfway connection. Then I discovered that had happened before; screw holder had already been cracked before and glued over.

Maybe disadvantage of buying secondhand but with such proven fragility I'd certainly wouldn't buy it new.
Crowded with twitchers, a smart@&& looked at it "yeah, made in China huh"... Ouch.

Plus of such a cheaply made toy, but with awesome glass; taped it back together, works fine.
I have had two Nikon ED50 scopes with the 27x wide angle lens and love their light weight and image quality. However, both of them have broken in half due to the tripod falling over, faintly slowly, on to grass. In both cases I glued them back to together and covered the joint with lots of duct tape. Optically they both still work fine but the nitrogen purging has gone at least from the back half of the scopes and there are signs of mould growth. If this issue was addressed with a much more robust connection between the two halves of the scope I would recommended them to anyone, at very least as a travel scope… M
The Nikon ED50 I brought during the Covid19 broke in half after less than 2 years even from light use (no falls etc.). Now I duct tape it and it still works.
Warning! This thread is more than 1 year ago old.
It's likely that no further discussion is required, in which case we recommend starting a new thread. If however you feel your response is required you can still do so.

Users who are viewing this thread