• 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.

Nikon EDG 8x42 after one year - review updated (1 Viewer)

Tobias Mennle

Well-known member
Owning and using the Nikon EDG 8x42 for over a year I have updated my review.

http://www.greatestbinoculars.com/allpages/reviews/nikon/nikonedg8x42/nikonedg8x42review.html

Although my first impression of this sample had been that it could be brighter than my review sample a couple of years ago I doubt that. I wonder if Nikon only built one batch, at least the serial numbers of both samples were in the same 1000, first was No.3 if I remember correctly and mine is 987.

Anyway, there is a uniqueness about the EDG: Its global contrast/flare suppression and the neutrality of colour is reference (at least for me). There is no artificially boosted contrast by skewing the transmission curve as Zeiss does in most glasses and Swarovski in the SLC. The feeling that the EDG is a bit darker than the competition may rather be caused by that lack of contrast boost - which is a purely perceptual quality. Plus, great global contrast will never brighten up an image.

It´s a glass for purists. The ergonomy is a dream.

The contrast and smoothness of focuser puts to shame the Swarovskis.

There are serious flaws though and I dread the idea of ever needing a service again (had already had one for hinge friction and diopter wheel). The accessories are basically unusable, will have to order lens covers from the Noctivid. I have some doubts the EDG will last as long as an Ultravid, but it´s too late now.

With Nikons serious financial issues (I think it was 95% less revenue the last year) they will probably never update that glass. List price has gone up to Noctivid level in Germany. The marketing for the EDGs was probably a disaster.
 

dries1

Member
Tobias,

Thanks for the review. In my opinion the EDG 8X42 is a superior glass from an optical perspective and in mechanical build, the eye-cups are metal and actually stay in place, my hinges and diopter are flawless. I have both an earlier and later model. I agree with the objective covers and the lack of marketing by Nikon on them, that was a failure for sure, but I do not see any serious flaws. For my eyes I chose the Noctivid and the EDG as my go to 8X42s, I have the SV 8.5X42 and while I like it, I prefer the other two over the SV.
Different strokes for different folks.

Andy W.
 

SeldomPerched

Well-known member
Tobias,

Thanks for the review. In my opinion the EDG 8X42 is a superior glass from an optical perspective and in mechanical build, the eye-cups are metal and actually stay in place, my hinges and diopter are flawless. I have both an earlier and later model. I agree with the objective covers and the lack of marketing by Nikon on them, that was a failure for sure, but I do not see any serious flaws. For my eyes I chose the Noctivid and the EDG as my go to 8X42s, I have the SV 8.5X42 and while I like it, I prefer the other two over the SV.
Different strokes for different folks.

Andy W.

I know the objective covers are notorious for being sub-standard and I've witnessed it on a used 8x42 EDG in the local shop. But my new 7x42 EDG (new a year ago) must have an improved eye-covers version or maybe the 7s' covers always fitted OK. The covers snap into place and need a good tug to snap them back out. And I share Andy and Tobias's liking for the EDG in general. Can't wait to get back to them.

Tom
 

SeldomPerched

Well-known member
Thanks for updating your review, Tobias. As you are so impressed by the EDG (I love mine too) I hope you can keep it and live with the flat field so you can switch between the EDG and the Leica and get the benefits and enjoyment of the best features of each according to how you feel at the time.

(In the meantime I have really come to like the best features of the FL you sold me; your technicians did a great job on the adjustments. A best purchase from my point of view.)

All the best,

Tom
 

ceasar

Well-known member
An outstanding review of a top notch binocular Tobias.:t:

I have been using a Nikon 10x32 EDG II since 2012.

It is too bad that Nikon has discontinued the EDGs. It doesn't look like they will be replaced but one can never tell with Nikon.

Link below is of page one of their Binocular Archive pages. Go to page 3 to see the 8x42.

https://www.nikonusa.com/en/nikon-products/binoculars/index.page#archived

https://www.nikonusa.com/en/nikon-products/product-archive/binoculars/edg-8x42-binocular.html

Bob
 
Last edited:

brocknroller

A professed porromaniac
United States
Owning and using the Nikon EDG 8x42 for over a year I have updated my review.

http://www.greatestbinoculars.com/allpages/reviews/nikon/nikonedg8x42/nikonedg8x42review.html

Although my first impression of this sample had been that it could be brighter than my review sample a couple of years ago I doubt that. I wonder if Nikon only built one batch, at least the serial numbers of both samples were in the same 1000, first was No.3 if I remember correctly and mine is 987.

Anyway, there is a uniqueness about the EDG: Its global contrast/flare suppression and the neutrality of colour is reference (at least for me). There is no artificially boosted contrast by skewing the transmission curve as Zeiss does in most glasses and Swarovski in the SLC. The feeling that the EDG is a bit darker than the competition may rather be caused by that lack of contrast boost - which is a purely perceptual quality. Plus, great global contrast will never brighten up an image.

It´s a glass for purists. The ergonomy is a dream.

The contrast and smoothness of focuser puts to shame the Swarovskis.

There are serious flaws though and I dread the idea of ever needing a service again (had already had one for hinge friction and diopter wheel). The accessories are basically unusable, will have to order lens covers from the Noctivid. I have some doubts the EDG will last as long as an Ultravid, but it´s too late now.

With Nikons serious financial issues (I think it was 95% less revenue the last year) they will probably never update that glass. List price has gone up to Noctivid level in Germany. The marketing for the EDGs was probably a disaster.
Tobias,

Thank you for your excellent review of the 8x42 EDG and the year follow-up. Your review helped persuade me into buying a Nikon 8x42 EDG II, which I've had since August 2020. I've compared the EDG to my porros that include a 100th Anniversary Edition Nikon 8x30 E2 (which I also bought based on your review, and I was not disappointed) and roofs (Swarovski 8x32 pre-SV EL and Cabela's 8x32 Guide, made by Kamarkura, which punches way above its price point).

I no longer have the EL, which had excellent ergonomics for my hands and excellent microcontrast (super detail on birds even at a distance), and it was sharp to 90% of the FOV (I'm not sure why Swaro felt the need to add field flatteners in the EL). However, the EL had a wonky focuser and excessive flaring, and though I was able to diminish the flaring with 2-inch long rubber sun shields, it made the already long roof too long since the second bridge prevented me from sliding the rings over the barrels like I do on the 8x32 Guide. You added long light shields to your 8x30 Habicht for the same reason. Also, the 8x32 Guide, which only cost $199, was not far behind the EL in resolution and microcontrast, and it had a smooth focuser, which made the EL seem overpriced by comparison.

At first, I found the weight of the 8x42 EDG burdensome since my other bins except the 804 Audubon and Nikon 8-16x40 XL Zoom weighed less, but I find porros easiery to hold, so the EDG felt heavier. I wanted to buy the lighter and more compact 8x32 EDG, but they are rarer than a 4-leaf clover on the used market. From handling the 8x42 EDG over the months, I think my arms got stronger (like lifting weights), because the EDG no longer feels too heavy. By comparison, it actually weighs less than the other alphas except the 8x42 Ultravid HD, which is about the same weight. But weight can be subjective, depending on how well you are able to hold the binoculars.

The open hinge design of the EDG II is harder for me to hold than the open bridge design of the EDG 1, EL, and the high bar H design of the Cabela's Guide, which is similar to the Swaro CL Companion, with a narrow bridge that's moved closer to the eyepieces. The 8x42 EDG II's bridge is very large, which doesn't leave a lot of room for my fingers to wrap around the barrels, and I can only wrap my fingers around one barrel, otherwise, I wouldn't be able to reach the focuser near the eyecups with my other hand.

If Nikon redesigns the EDG, a simple solution is to do what Zeiss did with its HT and SF and Swaro did with its new NL Pure, which is move the focuser knob from the top to the bottom. That would put the user's index finger in a lower position that would allow him/her to wrap both hands around the barrels. They should also update the coatings to the kind they used on the 100th Anniversary Edition 8x30 E2, which are very low intensity, so much so, you had a hard time imaging the color reflecting off the objectives. I also have a hard time seeing reflections off them.

The EDG's eyecups are very comfortable, which for me is a big deal, since I have a high-bridged nose, and I often have issues with eyecup comfort, particularly with the Nikon 8x32 SE's long and wide eyecups and the Audubon 820's wide, hard plastic rings. The EL's eyecups fit me perfectly since they were small in diameter, and they enabled me to see the full FOV. With the 8x30 E2 and 8x32 SE, I have to dig the eyecups into my eye sockets to see the full FOV. So, the EDG's eyecup design for me is a big plus and an improvement over the LX's chunky eyecups.

The most amazing feature of the 8x42 EDG is its 12x apparent image scale. The "roof illusion" is something you don't hear talked about much, but for me, roofs show a noticelably larger apparent image size than porros. When I compared the EDG's image size to the Nikon XL Zoom, I had to turn the Zoom dial to 12x to match it. Birds look huge. That's a really nice feature. This is caused by the close set objectives, which in the case of the EDG are a couple millimeters closer than the competitors.

The Apparent FOV also seems larger than the 7.7 Actual FOV would suggest. Part of this might be due to the 4-stop eyecups, which allow me to lower the eyecups to the minimum distance before experiencing image blackouts, whereas in the 8x32 SE, which has fixed height rubber eyecups, I can't make adjustments, so the Apparent FOV seems less than spec. According to the reviewers at Allbinos, the Actual FOV of the 8x42 EDG is 7.75 degrees and the 8x32 SE is 7.3* (listed as 7.5), so this might also contribute to the more open view I see with the EDG.

One aspect of the EDG that I find a dubious is the use of field flatteners. I've been buying Nikon binoculars for almost 30 years. Their early 8x35 Actions, 12x40 WFs, and 7x35 Es had sharp edges. Even the 8.8* FOV 8x30 E2 has a very wide sweet spot and gradual fall off at the edges. Like the pre-SV EL, I don't think Nikon needed to use FFs in the EDG and could probably made lenses with well corrected edges without them.

Roofs give a more flattened spatial perspective compared to porros, but when you add field flatteners, that spatial compression is even more noticeable, which you mentioned in your review. The EL showed more 3-D depth than the EDG and the Guide, which is another thing I liked about that roof.

The field flatteners may bring out the astigmatism in my eyes. I first noticed this with the 8x32 LX. The top of the field from about 50% to the edge was blurry and couldn't be refocused. I had two samples, so it wasn't due to a bad sample.

I also saw this on the 42mm LXs, but it was less severe. Even less severe on the 10x42 SE, though with that bin, the blurred area appeared in a ring like the SV EL. Btw, I got a kick out of you using my term "Absam Ring" in your review. It was similar to that.

I also experience this with the EDG, but not as a ring but as arcs on the top of the field and to a lesser extent on the bottom. The lateral edges don't blur but other abberations build up toward the edge. About half way to the top as I move the eyes or the target, the image blurs and can't be refocused. The image sharpens again at the edge. Henry Link suggested that this could be due to astigmatism in my eyes. I do have astigmatism, and I used to wear glasses to correct for it along with nearsightedness, but since getting presbyopia (age-related farsightedness), I no longer wear glasses, so the astigmatism, which is mild, is uncorrected. I only see this in binoculars with field flatteners including the Fuji 6x30 FMTR-SX, Nikon 8x32 SE, 30 and 42mm LXs, and the EDG.

While it might seem like I'm criticizing the EDG, it puts up one of the best views I've seen through binoculars. I particularly find it useful on cloudy days in the winter when light levels are low. I don't see the darkening at low light like I saw with the SE, early E2, and LX, which might be due to their light curves being lower in the yellow-green and higher in the red.

I agree that the global contrast (edge contrast) is outstanding. My only disappointment is that for me, the EDG doesn't show the same level of microcontrast (fine detail) that the 2010 8x32 EL and 2017 100th Anniversary Edition 8x30 E2 do. Even the Cabela's 8x32 Guide is a bit better in this regard. Whether this is due to the interaction of astigmatism with the field flatteners I don't know.

Thanks again for the review.

Brock
 

jan van daalen

Well-known member
Brock,

Did the option ever occurred to you that your Nikon zoom ends at 10x magnification in stead of 12x?

Jan

And welcome back bro
 

brocknroller

A professed porromaniac
United States
Brock,

Did the option ever occurred to you that your Nikon zoom ends at 10x magnification in stead of 12x?

Jan

And welcome back bro

The Nikon XL Zoom (which are high end zoom binoculars, not cheapies) go from 8x to 16x, although I find that the 16x is too dim to be of practical use for daytime observing, so 15x is the limit for me. As I said, it's a perceptual thing. Not everybody will see a 12x apparent image size with the Nikon 8x42 EDG, but a lot of people do see a larger apparent image in roofs vs. porros of the same magnification. You may not. Fortunately, I do, and it's great. It doesn't increase resolution, it's still 8x, but the larger image scale is more satisfying to look at.

Thanks for the welcome back. I've been reading forum posts for a while now, and I posted a review of the Cabela's 8x32 Guide a few months ago, but I've been too busy to post since I was writing a book. I finished editing the last chapter yesterday, now if I can convince my my publishing agent to accept my edits, it will be published this month on Amazon as an ebook and paperback.
 
Last edited:

elkcub

Silicon Valley, California
United States
The Nikon XL Zoom (which are high end zoom binoculars, not cheapies) go from 8x to 16x, although I find that the 16x is too dim to be of practical use for daytime observing, so 15x is the limit for me. As I said, it's a perceptual thing. Not everybody will see a 12x apparent image size with the Nikon 8x42 EDG, but a lot of people do see a larger apparent image in roofs vs. porros of the same magnification. You may not. Fortunately, I do, and it's great. It doesn't increase resolution, it's still 8x, but the larger image scale is more satisfying to look at.

Thanks for the welcome back. I've been reading forum posts for a while now, and I posted a review of the Cabela's 8x32 Guide a few months ago, but I've been too busy to post since I was writing a book. I finished editing the last chapter yesterday, now if I can convince my my publishing agent to accept my edits, it will be published this month on Amazon as an ebook and paperback.
Hello Brock,

It's good to see you back on BF!! What's the name of the book?

Ed
 

brocknroller

A professed porromaniac
United States
Hello Brock,

It's good to see you back on BF!! What's the name of the book?

Ed
Hi Ed,

It's titled "The Last Prophecy of Baba Vanga: Visitors from Vamfim," which is the first book in the series. Vanga was a blind Bulgarian prophet who allegedly foretold many events such as 9/11 and the sinking of the Russian submarine Kursk. She also predicted that in the future humans would encounter an alien race from the planet Vamfim (which is what we call Promixa b, an Earth-sized planet orbiting Promixa Centauri, the closest star to the Sun).

The novel takes place in 2029 when Maya, commander of the NAUTILUS, the successor to the ISS, encounters the aliens (who are 7-ft-tall reptilians) and has to save her daughter (who is a hybrid) and other hybrid children from being kidnapped by the reptilians. A stork (or what appears to be a stork) is one of the main characters, and Marco, Maya's husband, takes a Canon 10x30 IS with him to Cuba to look for two birds thought to be extinct but which were spotted on a small island off Cuba, one being an ivory-billed woodpecker.

The paperback edition will cost less than what's listed ($12.99). I also decided to use my full name not just my first and middle name, and the cover art has changed, but otherwise, it will basically the same as what's listed in the preview:

The dream is to sell the movie rights, become rich, and buy all the binoculars I've always wanted and then move to the tropics so I can watch birds all year round. :)
 

brocknroller

A professed porromaniac
United States
Hi Brock,

welcome back!

Joachim
Thanks! A lot of new (and expensive) binoculars have rolled out since I was last active on the forums. While others have been trying or buying them, I've been collecting some oldie but goodie porros including a Fujinon 6x30 FMTR-SX (best 3-D view I've seen), Swift FMC 804 Audubon (for a bin made 24 years ago, they are incredibly sharp), and a 100th Anniversary Edition Nikon 8x30 E2 (has better microcontast than my Nikon EDG). I wish BF had a separate forum for porros. While high quality porros are an endangered species, they're still very useful for birding and nature observation and provide a big bang for the buck.
 

jring

Well-known member
Hi Brock,

your choice of porros is great and while I have kind of given up hopes of getting a 6x30 Fujinon, a nice 804 in Europe (which is kinda rare, unfortunately - more so, after Brexit) might certainly get me interested...
In the meantime I enjoy what I have (E2 8x30 and SE 10x42).

Joachim
 
Last edited:

jring

Well-known member
a nice 804 in Europe (which is kinda rare, unfortunately - more so, after Brexit) might certainly get me interested...
Hi Brock,

after I wrote this I found a nice 804 (type 3b as per elkcubs comprehensive list) for a good price on some german classifieds site... should be arriving soon...

Joachim
 

elkcub

Silicon Valley, California
United States
Hi Ed,

It's titled "The Last Prophecy of Baba Vanga: Visitors from Vamfim," which is the first book in the series. Vanga was a blind Bulgarian prophet who allegedly foretold many events such as 9/11 and the sinking of the Russian submarine Kursk. She also predicted that in the future humans would encounter an alien race from the planet Vamfim (which is what we call Promixa b, an Earth-sized planet orbiting Promixa Centauri, the closest star to the Sun).

The novel takes place in 2029 when Maya, commander of the NAUTILUS, the successor to the ISS, encounters the aliens (who are 7-ft-tall reptilians) and has to save her daughter (who is a hybrid) and other hybrid children from being kidnapped by the reptilians. A stork (or what appears to be a stork) is one of the main characters, and Marco, Maya's husband, takes a Canon 10x30 IS with him to Cuba to look for two birds thought to be extinct but which were spotted on a small island off Cuba, one being an ivory-billed woodpecker.

The paperback edition will cost less than what's listed ($12.99). I also decided to use my full name not just my first and middle name, and the cover art has changed, but otherwise, it will basically the same as what's listed in the preview:

The dream is to sell the movie rights, become rich, and buy all the binoculars I've always wanted and then move to the tropics so I can watch birds all year round. :)
To help you towards your dream I have purchased the Kindle version. :coffee:

✊ ☝️
 

chill6x6

Well-known member
Thanks! A lot of new (and expensive) binoculars have rolled out since I was last active on the forums. While others have been trying or buying them, I've been collecting some oldie but goodie porros including a Fujinon 6x30 FMTR-SX (best 3-D view I've seen), Swift FMC 804 Audubon (for a bin made 24 years ago, they are incredibly sharp), and a 100th Anniversary Edition Nikon 8x30 E2 (has better microcontast than my Nikon EDG). I wish BF had a separate forum for porros. While high quality porros are an endangered species, they're still very useful for birding and nature observation and provide a big bang for the buck.
Hey Brock,
Welcome back to BF!

You know, porro's have never really caught on with me....I like them...I've tried a lot of them. IF is simply out of the question. There are THREE that I have and KEEP...those being the Habicht 7X42, E-II 8X30, and the Swift HR/5 8.5X44. I actually like the E-II and the Swift the best. FOV and smooth focus win the day! BTW...book is in my Amazon cart and I'll order once I stick a few more items in it....hopefully NOT another binocular! LOL

Back to the EDG II 8X42...
I'm not sure if it's the BEST binocular I have but it very well could be. There is very little to critique. Hinge tension I fixed myself. The diopter adjustment IS a little fiddly. For sure those nuisances aren't head of the class. I don't really care about the binocular case and objective covers as much as I used to. Really I do think the SLC does about everything just as well except of course the focus adjustment. I have the EDG 8X32 as well. IMO it's just not quite the binocular the 8X42 is. ER is just enough for an eyeglass wearer...FOV no more than the 8X42, and it doesn't weigh that much less either. You are welcome to try it but I think you made the correct decision between the two.
 

brocknroller

A professed porromaniac
United States
Hey Brock,
Welcome back to BF!

You know, porro's have never really caught on with me....I like them...I've tried a lot of them. IF is simply out of the question. There are THREE that I have and KEEP...those being the Habicht 7X42, E-II 8X30, and the Swift HR/5 8.5X44. I actually like the E-II and the Swift the best. FOV and smooth focus win the day! BTW...book is in my Amazon cart and I'll order once I stick a few more items in it....hopefully NOT another binocular! LOL

Back to the EDG II 8X42...
I'm not sure if it's the BEST binocular I have but it very well could be. There is very little to critique. Hinge tension I fixed myself. The diopter adjustment IS a little fiddly. For sure those nuisances aren't head of the class. I don't really care about the binocular case and objective covers as much as I used to. Really I do think the SLC does about everything just as well except of course the focus adjustment. I have the EDG 8X32 as well. IMO it's just not quite the binocular the 8X42 is. ER is just enough for an eyeglass wearer...FOV no more than the 8X42, and it doesn't weigh that much less either. You are welcome to try it but I think you made the correct decision between the two.
Thank you, I do want to try the 8x32 EDG. There's used one on eBay right now, but it's close to $2k. I am getting used to the weight of the 8x42, and I can grip it more comfortably now that I removed the bulky objective covers. But those Leica 7x35 Retrovids sound very appealing, and there's one for a nice price on BF Classifieds, but I'm wary of buying a Leica without a warranty since I've read that Leica repairs can be quite expensive. Oddly enough, the bins I use the most are the Cabela's 8x32 Guide., which are my most inexpensive pair. I just bought another Guide on BF Classifieds for a friend.

Hold off on buying the novel. What's for sale is the old version, which is not as polished as the new version coming out within the next two weeks. The editor made 107 mistakes, which I corrected (mostly grammatical). I also revised the book by rewriting some sections, and I changed the order of the chapters based on feedback I got from my reader's group. It's better written and a more compelling story now.

I'll let you know when the revised edition is out, which should be within two weeks. It will be available in both Kindle and paperback. Btw, in case you don't know, you don't need a Kindle Fire to read Kindle books, there's a free app you can download and use on any digital device.

Thanks,
Brock
 

brocknroller

A professed porromaniac
United States
To help you towards your dream I have purchased the Kindle version. :coffee:

✊ ☝️
Thank you. That's the old version. The new version will be out in two weeks. It will be available in Kindle or paperback. I'll let you know when it's out. Just do a return and ask for the new version. It's more polished. My publishing agent jumped the gun and published the first version w/out showing me the final edit. I found 107 mistakes, which I corrected. I also reordered the chapters, and after consulting with an aerospace engineer, I changed some technical information to make it more realistic. I also did some rewrites as I went through the book again, so that it's now more polished.

I'll be in touch. Thanks!
 

brocknroller

A professed porromaniac
United States
Joachim,

Always good to hear from a fellow porromaniac :) I hope it arrives in collimation unlike the first 804 FMC Audubon I bought on eBay last year from a major dealer, lozack-g, which was out of collimation. He did a poor job packing them. It had no case and only a few large plastic bubble packs, which allowed the binoculars to move around in the box. I suspect it got knocked out in transit. I sent it back to be collimated but got a refund instead. Lozack has a lot of nice old porros, but beware that they might not be in collimation and that he isn't able to collimate them only give refunds.

My second FMC 804 from a private dealer was collimated properly and is amazingly sharp. The sweet spot isn't as large as the MC 804 I had a few years ago, which I used for stargazing, because it showed pinpint stars and had a wide sweet spot. However, being only MC, the contrast on my bright suburban skies was not very good. The FMC version shows better contrast but a smaller sweet spot, which is not an issue for birding since the edges are only slightly out of focus and can be refocused (field curvature). The upside of field curvature is that it adds to the 3-D effect, which is very good.

Let us know how you like the Audubon, which at one time was the favorite of many birders.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top