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Nikon EDG 8x42 vs. Swarovski EL 8.5x42 (1 Viewer)

gmkirk130

Active member
United States
Does anybody else enjoy the Nikons as much as the Swarovskis? I find them very close in terms of edge-to-edge sharpness, accuracy of color, brightness, lack of CA, and FoV but, in terms of value, especially if purchasing both today, IMHO the Nikon wins out. If only Nikon complemented the binoculars with better accessories, e.g., objective and eyepiece caps, and carrying case.

To be clear, I’m not trying to put down either binoculars - they are both great - but am interested in what others think.
 
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Nikon EDG is in the same class with the best offerings of Swaro, Zeiss and Leica. I cannot speak about the 8x42 but I own/owned the Nikon EDG 8x32, Swaro SV 8x32, Zeiss FL 8x32 and Nikon SE 8x32, and the EDG are my favorite: somehow they have the most relaxing image for me.
 
Nikon EDG is in the same class with the best offerings of Swaro, Zeiss and Leica. I cannot speak about the 8x42 but I own/owned the Nikon EDG 8x32, Swaro SV 8x32, Zeiss FL 8x32 and Nikon SE 8x32, and the EDG are my favorite: somehow they have the most relaxing image for me.
“Relaxing” is a great description. When I got my first pair - a 7x42 - I had one of those “aaah, this is what looking through binoculars is all about” moments. I’ve now had all of the EDG series except the 10x32 and they have all been relaxing and easy to look through. And I’m still not trying to take anything away from the SLCs, ELs, and NL Pures I’ve owned.
 
I actually prefer my old 8x42 Nikon HGL to the Swaro 42mm EL's, by a wide margin. It's the focuser and body. The EL focusers are too stiff - and asymmetric tension - the Nikon focuser is worlds better. The EL focuser is too high, making my arthritic index finger bend at an uncomfortable angle.

The space between the two bridges on the EL is too short for me as well, I can't my whole hand into the space. Also the thumb undercuts are awful for me, I can't stand them. So the Nikon wins by a mile for me. I absolutely love the optics of the 42mm EL, but the only real gain I see over my Nikons is 2% of transmission, and better color correction, that advantage is not there with the higher throughput EDG series.
 
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OK full disclosure: :D I have a new pair of 7x42 EDG on their way here now - arrival Friday - I can barely contain my excitement!
:D
 
They’re excellent! I’ve bought and sold a lot of binoculars in the last few years but I’ll never sell my 7x42 EDG. It would be great to know what you think after you’ve tried them. The eye relief alone is amazing.
 
Another vote for the EDG family. I have tried 7x and 8x and liked them both. I really wanted to keep the sevens, especially because I got a great deal on them but in the end I felt that the whole range was optimized for 10x and 8x and there was something missing from the seven. 7x had a restrictive field of view and I have a feeling that long eye relief made it feel even narrower than it was. Compared to Retrovid 7x35, Nikon felt more tunnel like, probably because of lack of field curvature. They both have the same FoV and I would prefer Leica to be wider as well, but it felt more limiting in the Nikon. I really wanted to keep the EDG, as it's waterproof but my sample had several minor flaws. Aforementioned FoV (subjective), overly light focus that required your finger to be calm as a sniper to use, and the right barrel had bad spikes at night. The left barrel was perfect. Great bins, very relaxing and pleasant view, hard to top that. Not to mention materials and quality of operation (eyecups!). One league above Leica and Swarovski. But as an overall package I chose something different. I sometimes regret it, but I have tried it twice and came to the same conclusions on both occasions.
 
Another vote for the EDG family. I have tried 7x and 8x and liked them both. I really wanted to keep the sevens, especially because I got a great deal on them but in the end I felt that the whole range was optimized for 10x and 8x and there was something missing from the seven. 7x had a restrictive field of view and I have a feeling that long eye relief made it feel even narrower than it was. Compared to Retrovid 7x35, Nikon felt more tunnel like, probably because of lack of field curvature. They both have the same FoV and I would prefer Leica to be wider as well, but it felt more limiting in the Nikon. I really wanted to keep the EDG, as it's waterproof but my sample had several minor flaws. Aforementioned FoV (subjective), overly light focus that required your finger to be calm as a sniper to use, and the right barrel had bad spikes at night. The left barrel was perfect. Great bins, very relaxing and pleasant view, hard to top that. Not to mention materials and quality of operation (eyecups!). One league above Leica and Swarovski. But as an overall package I chose something different. I sometimes regret it, but I have tried it twice and came to the same conclusions on both occasions.
One league above Leica and Swarovski, really and you didn’t even add an , IMO in there.
Materials and eyecups, are we talking about the same EDG’s?
 
That's how it felt to me. We both know that there can be huge sample variation, even in top quality bins. I assume you don't consider Nikon's evecups adjustment to be better than Leica or Swaro, or the rubber covering to be more pleasant? Cause that's what I meant.
 
They’re excellent! I’ve bought and sold a lot of binoculars in the last few years but I’ll never sell my 7x42 EDG. It would be great to know what you think after you’ve tried them. The eye relief alone is amazing.
Does anybody else enjoy the Nikons as much as the Swarovskis? I find them very close in terms of edge-to-edge sharpness, accuracy of color, brightness, lack of CA, and FoV but, in terms of value, especially if purchasing both today, IMHO the Nikon wins out. If only Nikon complemented the binoculars with better accessories, e.g., objective and eyepiece caps, and carrying case.

To be clear, I’m not trying to put down either binoculars - they are both great - but am interested in what others think.
I believe if we’re talking about EL’s and EDG’s , the price is about the same. I have the 8x42, and I think it’s a phenomenal Binocular, one of the most comfortable to observe with. Large forgiving eye box with plenty of eye relief, nice saturated colors, like a Leica. They do everything well by todays standards (Hope Bill doesn’t get mad at me for that statement). The Swaros seem to be brighter and especially in low light, as well as a little better resolution. The Swaros seem to be built a little more elegantly than the heavy , thick military type rubber that the EDG’s are incased in. The focuser on the EDG is second to none.

Paul
 
That's how it felt to me. We both know that there can be huge sample variation, even in top quality bins. I assume you don't consider Nikon's evecups adjustment to be better than Leica or Swaro, or the rubber covering to be more pleasant? Cause that's what I meant.
I find the rubber eyecups about the same on both, it’s the click positions on the EDG that are a bit loose. The only other Swaro that is similar to the EDG is my NL, which to me was a step backwards. My other EL’s all are firmer in the set points. Also depends on which Leica your talking about, as far as firmness of settings, all the Leica’s (except retros) are better, unless of course you like looser eye cup settings. 🙏🏼

Paul
 
“I believe if we’re talking about EL’s and EDG’s , the price is about the same.”

This depends on where you get them. An 8x42 EDG (NOS) is less than $1450 not including shipping direct from Japan (kyoei-osaka.jp and other sites). A new set on eBay costs a couple hundred more, although you’ll pay taxes on these and not the ones from K-O. IMHO this is what makes them a great value.
 
“I believe if we’re talking about EL’s and EDG’s , the price is about the same.”

This depends on where you get them. An 8x42 EDG (NOS) is less than $1450 not including shipping direct from Japan (kyoei-osaka.jp and other sites). A new set on eBay costs a couple hundred more, although you’ll pay taxes on these and not the ones from K-O. IMHO this is what makes them a great value.
Agreed, if we’re buying them from those places. If bought new from a Nikon UK authorized dealers, they’re about the same as the EL , and would be covered by Nikons full warranty.
 
Yes, not sure what the warranty service is like in the UK but many in the US prefer to send their Nikon binoculars back to K-O for warranty service in Japan. Sure, it costs a bit more in shipping but the better service and significantly lower price of the binoculars seem to be worth it.
 
Yes, not sure what the warranty service is like in the UK but many in the US prefer to send their Nikon binoculars back to K-O for warranty service in Japan. Sure, it costs a bit more in shipping but the better service and significantly lower price of the binoculars seem to be worth it.
Interesting, I never used that site. Aren’t they a retailer? If sent back for any repairs, who would do the work and would it be covered?

I’ve seen some of these EDG’s around $1400 and it’s a great deal for a new one regardless of production year, but I was always concerned about what if parts are needed for a repair.

Paul
 
Yes, they are retailers but they take back what they sell and turn it over to Nikon to do the repairs, and then ship it back to the owner. Since Nikon does the work, it is covered. Additionally, in the US at least, there are no import taxes on binoculars, regardless of the value, so it really does become an excellent bargain.
 
Yes, they are retailers but they take back what they sell and turn it over to Nikon to do the repairs, and then ship it back to the owner. Since Nikon does the work, it is covered. Additionally, in the US at least, there are no import taxes on binoculars, regardless of the value, so it really does become an excellent bargain.
Excellent, good info. Maybe a 7x42EDG could be in my future, I did have my eye on Zeiss FL in 7x42.

Thank you .

Paul
 
Nikon EDG is in the same class with the best offerings of Swaro, Zeiss and Leica. I cannot speak about the 8x42 but I own/owned the Nikon EDG 8x32, Swaro SV 8x32, Zeiss FL 8x32 and Nikon SE 8x32, and the EDG are my favorite: somehow they have the most relaxing image for me.
Yes, “Relaxing” is a very good description not only for EDG but also for the Monarch or HGL series
 
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