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Nikon HG 10x42 L - should I buy? (1 Viewer)

Sollas

Well-known member
I have an opportunity to buy the Nikon 10x42HGL in near mint condition and at a fairly good price. I know this is a fairly old model but looking at Albino's report it was an outstanding 5 star binocular in its day.

Just curious as to whether this model still stands up on its own previous merits. I know the 10X field is often awkward to nail.

My application would be mainly coastal waders and raptors. As always would very much appreciate feedback and opinion.
 

dries1

Member
I would go for it if they are in excellent shape. I have a few of the original HG/LX, HG/L through the Premier models. You will not be disappointed.

Andy W.
 

Canip

Well-known member
I agree with Andy W. (post # 2).

The FOV of the 10x42 is a bit on the narrow side, compared to newer models, but the image and mechanical quality are very good.

Canip
 

Sollas

Well-known member
I agree with Andy W. (post # 2).

The FOV of the 10x42 is a bit on the narrow side, compared to newer models, but the image and mechanical quality are very good.

Canip
Yes, I noticed that... 105mm but probably not a deal breaker.

Am I right that the "L" means light? 790g is not really light though?

From what I can see, design possibly a bit dated but optically not a mile away from the quality of other alpha 10x42's of todays mix?
 

Sollas

Well-known member
I would go for it if they are in excellent shape. I have a few of the original HG/LX, HG/L through the Premier models. You will not be disappointed.

Andy W.
Thanks Andy, I may well go for this one. Hoping to view back end of this week.
cheers
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
How much are you paying for them? If less than $500 USD ok but if more I would be inclined to go for the refurbished Nikon HG 10x42 for $699.99 for it's much bigger FOV of 362 feet and 4 oz. lighter weight.
 
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Sollas

Well-known member
How much are you paying for them? If less than $500 USD ok but if more I would be inclined to go for the refurbished Nikon HG 10x42 for $699.99 for it's much bigger FOV of 362 feet and 4 oz. lighter weight.
Thanks Dennis
Hopefully about £400!
Do you mean a new Monarch HG 10x42? Surely in comparison this is not in the same league as an older HGL? I may be wrong though.
 

chris6

Well-known member
Haven't tried 10x50 HGL, but found my example of 8x42 HGL very sharp, possibly more so than EDG, and easy to use with more than enough eye relief for glasses.

I guess coastal waders and raptors would mostly be at a distance where sharpness could be more valuable than size of field.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
How much are you paying for them? If less than $500 USD Ok but if more I would be inclined to go for the refurbished Nikon HG 10x42 for $699.99 for it's much bigger FOV of 362 feet and 4 oz. lighter weight.

Thanks Dennis
Hopefully about £400!
Do you mean a new Monarch HG 10x42? Surely in comparison this is not in the same league as an older HGL? I may be wrong though.
For that price I would get the Nikon Monarch HG 10x42. IMO it is a better binocular than the older HGL. It is lighter and has a much bigger FOV. It is well worth the difference in price.
 

Sollas

Well-known member
Haven't tried 10x50 HGL, but found my example of 8x42 HGL very sharp, possibly more so than EDG, and easy to use with more than enough eye relief for glasses.

I guess coastal waders and raptors would mostly be at a distance where sharpness could be more valuable than size of field.
Exactly right Chris. Sharpness and brightness matter more than size of field in this instance. I have my 8x HT’s for more general work.
Do you find the colour rendition on the HGL as good as the EDG?
 

chris6

Well-known member
...Do you find the colour rendition on the HGL as good as the EDG?

Not quite:

EDG might have seemed marginally more 'lively-saturated-contrasty' than HGL which, on its own, I had thought very good.

This difference was by no means obvious and could have just been a little extra brightness with EDG.
 
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Sollas

Well-known member
It just goes to show how subtle the variations between models actually are. I dare say that if either of these units were viewed in isolation they would both look quite fantastic.....
The EDG, which incidentally I have never viewed is such a stand out model it probably explains why it very seldom comes up for sale second hand.....
 

NDhunter

Experienced observer
United States
I have models of all of the Nikons mentioned, 8x42 LX, a 8x32 Premier, EDG 10x42 and Monarch HG 10x42.
They all have some differences, and they are all very good, and are good choices.

Of all of these I have felt the LX-LXL models give me the most wow. I think it has to do with the colors presented, they have
silver coated prisms, the others, EDG and Monarch HG dielectric.
I really like that classic, Nikon view. Some consider it a bit warmer, the colors do pop more. Nothing wrong with that, I find it enjoyable.

Jerry
 

Sollas

Well-known member
Nikon, for all the grief they sometimes get here really do make a good binocular when they get it right. They do know a thing or two about optics after all.
I’ll let you know how I get on with the 10x42 HGL when I view them this weekend.
As a bench marker I’ll take along my 8x32 SE’s for comparison sake. I wouldn’t want to bring the Zeiss 8x42 HT’s as they may well eclipse the 10x42 HGL in a comparison that would be unfair.
 

Sollas

Well-known member
Tried the Nikon 10x42 HGL this morning. Very nice binoculars, solid in the hand, great eye cups and a really bright view, albeit narrow. A quality binocular for sure. Crystal clear morning, estuary like a millpond....very beautiful.

However, I found getting the exact focal point quite difficult and unconvincing. Fine if you're just scanning but locking exactly on a bird in the foreground was surprisingly disappointing. Also, the difference in stability between the 10x42 HGL and my 8x42 HT was very marked, not surprising I know. I therefore declined the opportunity.

So moving forwards, If anyone has suggestions on a more appropriate 10x32 or 10x42 with an easy focal point and less shake I'm all ears!
 

chris6

Well-known member
Sollas, see '10x32-still-looking'

"Easy focal point" might require sufficiently sharp focus to be "convincing", as you put it, in fact just like the focus-snap of 8x32 SE.
Of course its transparency, meaning clean colour and contrast, are bound to be part of that, but unfortunately they are expensive...

10x usually means more shake and more tricky eye placement. Personally I preferred SE 8x32 over SE 10x42, and you already have 8x32!

My latest acquisitions were Opticron SR.GA 8x32, currently £119 , and Nikon Action Ex 12x50 £179 for distant viewing.

As before, I found that the 12x (with weight) has been just as easy to hold steady and had even has a decent sweet spot, but colour and contrast were lacking. Now Opticron 8x32, and previously Meopta HD 12x50, were both more enjoyable, even at distance, but mainly for their terrific sharpness and transparency.

If you get an Opticron too I would like to hear how it compares directly with SE 8x32 :)
 
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dries1

Member
Sollas,

Sorry to hear that about the 10X42 HG L but if one is not used to the 10X format, even the best or lightest in weight in 10X will disappoint. My first 10X I could really hold steady enough was the SE 10X42, and with practice I can now use a few 10X50s, so in my case it was practice. YMMV.

Andy W.
 

NDhunter

Experienced observer
United States
Sollas, make sure you have your diopter set properly, and also the best IPD that fits you.

Good luck, I hope you can get better acquainted and happy with the Nikon.

Jery
 

Sollas

Well-known member
Hi Jerry, yes all of that was done and checked during my evaluation. I don't have glasses and 20/20 vision so easy setup for me thankfully.

Anyhow I'm now contemplating Trinovid 10x32 or 10x42. Research just now and field test possibly next weekend? It's kind of stopped mw in my tracks and now I think possible Trinnie might be a compact way out. Reading some of Lee's previous posts makes good reading!
 

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