• 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.

Review of Eden XP 8x32 (1 Viewer)

Troubador

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
An unexpected opportunity arose for me and a Birdforum colleague to review binoculars from a company previously unknown to us and on further investigation we discovered that the way they run their business is a little unusual too, so with curiosity aroused it was agreed to proceed with the review.

Eden is one of several brands sold by Knives and Tools (part of the Kato Group) who are based in the Netherlands at Apeldoorn, more or less in the centre of the country, with Zwolle to the north and Arnhem to the south. K&T have web-shops (not domiciled companies) in 6 different countries (Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands and UK) but they encourage customers to visit their Apeldoorn site to try out binos and receive advice. Recognising that this isn’t possible for many customers they welcome questions via phone or email and support this service with a 30-day return period during which undamaged binos may be returned for a full refund. Consumables such as eyecups are kept in stock, and thinking about the long-term, Eden binos come with a 25 year warranty. For more info visit: https://www.knivesandtools.co.uk/en/ct/eden-quality-binoculars.htm .

Knives and Tools is part of the Kato Group which was established in 1999 so the company is already 20 years old which should reassure those who are sceptical about ‘new’ companies arriving in the market.

Since K&T sell direct to the end customer instead of via a network of dealers they claim to be able to offer savings to the customer in a similar way to Vortex. Eden’s XP 8x32, priced at £199/€229 is in a very busy part of the market, so busy in fact with competing models, that I decided it would be invidious to pick just 2 or 3 as competitors and do the usual comparing of specifications, so I present below, solely the figures for the Eden, which are quite competitive.

Field of view at 1,000 metres: 131m / 7.5 deg
Eye Relief: 16mm
Close focus: 1.2m
Length: 109mm
Weight: 465 grams / 16.4 ozs (which I checked and found to be accurate)
IPD 56-76mm

Not only are there a host of competing models at this price level, it is also a fact that at this level, generally speaking, even a modest increase in expenditure will bring useful gains in optical quality. Such gains require ever greater expenditure to achieve at higher price points but down here this is not the case. Nevertheless the Eden gave a creditable account of itself, in line with its price, at a range of viewing distances.

First impressions in the hand are that this is a chunky little bino with optical tubes about 44mm in diameter that give your fingers something to grip, although at only 109mm long it is creditably compact. Checking the eye relief both with and without spectacles I found it entirely satisfactory, but of course this is something you need to check for yourself. I could wish that the IPD range extended down to 54mm rather than 56mm as this would make this compact model accessible to more kids and possibly more ladies.

The neck strap is of good quality and it’s the kind that hangs from the back of the neck rather than being contoured to sit flat on your shoulders but the binos are so light this is no issue at all, and indeed their light weight was something my colleague particularly enjoyed. The case is compact but feels tough enough to do the job. As in many cases the rainguard only attaches at one side. As I have stated many times I prefer rainguards that can attach at both sides thus giving the choice of left, right or both sides attachment.

Checking the view I found that the centre field was satisfactorily sharp and contrasty with the outer 15-20% having a noticeable field curvature that could be sharpened by small tweak of the focuser. This may irritate flat-field enthusiasts but it did not bother me at all in field use. Dark objects against the sky revealed some chromatic aberration at the edge of the field of view but the centre appeared free of it. I made a note to confirm this later.

Out in the wilds of the extreme west coast of Scotland we were favoured by the arrival of summer visitors while some wintering species were still present. One morning as we set off towards the sea we first encountered a small flock of Redwings, a common wintering thrush that the Edens brought to life with a vibrant rendering of its creamy supercilium and that small patch of yellowish at the base of the lower mandible. Add the orange-red patch on the flanks and the thrush-spots on the breast and the image was just lovely. Nearer the sea the newly arrived male and female Wheatears were delightful in their fresh plumage, the males looking cool in their greyish mantles, but the females just as attractive in their warmer plumage colours.

A few days later the chance to double check the chromatic aberration arose when a Buzzard floated overhead against a white cloud and with it centred in the field there was no noticeable CA. Down on the shoreline, in between watching pairs of Oystercatchers criss-crossing the bay while uttering piercing piping calls, we were fortunate that a pair of Red-billed Mergansers landed in the shallows and began to forage. The female stuck her head under the water and accelerated forward for about 5 metres while the male floated nearby. After doing this a couple of times they both submerged and then surfaced with the silvery glint of fish in their finely curved, forceps-like beaks. We guessed the female torpedoing was done to startle the brilliantly camouflaged flat-fish on the sandy sea bed into movement and having achieved this both of the Mergansers pounced.

On another day we trekked across moor and hill to reach a large, remote bay and were rewarded by the sight of at least 12 Great Northern Divers / Common Loons, which are among our most favourite birds. Although they came together from time to time we got the impression that they were 3 family groups and one of these came together for several minutes and allowed inspection with the Edens. Two were in adult plumage and the other two had the makings of indistinct but still detectable adult patterns in a warm brown colouration. We called them the Cappuccino Twins. Despite the distance the Edens were able to reproduce the plumage details and the divers’ characteristic stance on the water, so different from Red-throated Diver. They made an occasional brief call but didn’t move up into full voice.

On the way back to our cottage we again marvelled at the number of Skylarks singing overhead. A common bird many years ago it has been drastically reduced in most parts of the UK but on coastal heaths and pastures in the west of Scotland their trilling song still fills the air. And down on the ground their plumage has a fascinating complexity which the Edens rendered nicely.

My colleague in central England encountered a different suite of bird species with his Edens and enjoyed Great Spotted Woodpecker, Grey Heron and Red Kite, a very nice selection, and commented favourably on the bright, clear view. Moreover he was sufficiently impressed to suggest they would be good to take sailing or horse-racing or simply to always have to hand in the car.

Can these Edens compete with the likes of Zeiss’s Conquest HD or Meopta’s MeoStar B1? Of course not, those binos cost over £500 more than the Eden and deliver an optical performance in line with their price. Nevertheless the Eden XP 8x32 proved to be enjoyable birding companions in a challenging environment presenting birds at a variety of distances and in a variety of lighting conditions.

Lee
 

Attachments

  • IMG_3643Red.jpg
    IMG_3643Red.jpg
    149.6 KB · Views: 227
Last edited:

chill6x6

Well-known member
Nice review Lee! Appreciate hearing about some of the species of birds you get to see across the pond!

You are quite a polished writer and always do a nice job.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
Nice review. It is interesting to hear how the bird actually looks through the binocular instead of a lot of technical jargon. Although I like the technical jargon too! These are nice for their small, compact size and light weight. They look like they have some DNA from Opticron's in them. Possibly the Discovery because the specification's are very close? I wonder how they compare to something in their price range like a Sightron Blue Sky II 8x32?

https://www.bestbinocularsreviews.com/Opticron8x32DiscoveryWPPC-159.htm
 

Attachments

  • eqa103$01-eden-quality-hd-8x32-eqa103-d1.jpg
    eqa103$01-eden-quality-hd-8x32-eqa103-d1.jpg
    132.5 KB · Views: 36
  • opticron-discovery-wp-pc-8x32-binoculars-600sqr-1.jpg
    opticron-discovery-wp-pc-8x32-binoculars-600sqr-1.jpg
    36.4 KB · Views: 37
Last edited:

Troubador

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
Nice review. It is interesting to hear how the bird actually looks through the binocular instead of a lot of technical jargon. Although I like the technical jargon too! These are nice for their small, compact size and light weight. They look like they have some DNA from Opticron's in them. Possibly the Discovery because the specification's are very close? I wonder how they compare to something in their price range like a Sightron Blue Sky II 8x32?

https://www.bestbinocularsreviews.com/Opticron8x32DiscoveryWPPC-159.htm

You are right or rather you are wrong. I also saw a similarity with Opticron's Discovery but on further investigation this proved to be incorrect.

Lee
 

Gijs van Ginkel

Well-known member
Lee, the 8x42 Eden binocular I have tested (in 2013 if I remember well, but the report is on the WEB-site of House of Outdoor) was in my opinion of a low quality .
Gijs van Ginkel
 

Gijs van Ginkel

Well-known member
Dennis, post 10,
In april 2013 we have investigated the optical and mechanical quality of the Eden 8x42 EQ.
The roof prisms did not have a high reflective mirror, the body consisted of a low quality plastic, many parts were glued together, so repairs seem impossible, the two parts of the Schmidt-Pechan prisms were badly glued together, lenses were fixed in the body with very thin plastic rings making the instrument vulnerable when exposed to the heat of sunlight, some parts are made of very thin and very vulnarable metal, which are glued to the body, the internal focussing system is made in that way, that there is a real chance in the long term of blocking due to metalparts released by the system or by dust that can invade the binocular, no phase-correction coating on the roof prisms, very fast focussing speed, eyecups can not be removed by the user, turning resistance of the eyecups very low, so they do not stay in position, differences in optical quality between both tubes, optical axis of both tubes not parallel, sharpness insufficient, color reproduction reasonable.
The investigation was done in cooperation with a very well trained binocular repair person in The Netherlands.
Gijs van Ginkel
 

typo

Well-known member
Gijs,

If I recall correctly, back in 2013 Knives and Tools offered Eden Quality HD, ED and XP models but not the EQ. Was that an earlier model,, or perhaps you used EP abbreviation for Eden Quality? If so, do you recall which one?

I think the XP 8x32 is a relatively recent addition to their range.

David
 
Last edited:

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
Dennis, post 10,
In april 2013 we have investigated the optical and mechanical quality of the Eden 8x42 EQ.
The roof prisms did not have a high reflective mirror, the body consisted of a low quality plastic, many parts were glued together, so repairs seem impossible, the two parts of the Schmidt-Pechan prisms were badly glued together, lenses were fixed in the body with very thin plastic rings making the instrument vulnerable when exposed to the heat of sunlight, some parts are made of very thin and very vulnarable metal, which are glued to the body, the internal focussing system is made in that way, that there is a real chance in the long term of blocking due to metalparts released by the system or by dust that can invade the binocular, no phase-correction coating on the roof prisms, very fast focussing speed, eyecups can not be removed by the user, turning resistance of the eyecups very low, so they do not stay in position, differences in optical quality between both tubes, optical axis of both tubes not parallel, sharpness insufficient, color reproduction reasonable.
The investigation was done in cooperation with a very well trained binocular repair person in The Netherlands.
Gijs van Ginkel
Thanks for that! Very interesting. There are quite a few issues there. An in depth mechanical analysis of a binocular like that is invaluable. I wish we could have that on every binocular that is reviewed.
 
Last edited:

Gijs van Ginkel

Well-known member
David, post 12,
The Eden EQ which was given to us to test was brand new and on the basis of our findings we had no intention to waste our time with further tests of Eden binoculars, other matters kept us busy.
Gijs van Ginkel
 

Troubador

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
I don't doubt you but I am curious what the clues were that showed they were not Opticron lineage.

I didn't say they weren't related to an Opticron just that they weren't related to the Opticron Discovery and this diagnosis was made by someone with the knowledge to do so.

Lee
 

Gilmore Girl

Beth
Supporter
United States
Thanks for that! Very interesting. There are quite a few issues there. An in depth mechanical analysis of a binocular like that is invaluable. I wish we could have that on every binocular that is reviewed.

Me too. I may have avoided a few past purchases if we had this
type of info available for most binoculars.
 

Troubador

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
Dive, dive!!!

I forgot to mention that the first significant sighting I had with the Edens in Scotland was as we sailed across the the mouth of the Clyde Estuary on a ferry and it was one of Her Majesty's nuclear submarines on its way from its home base at Faslane to the open Atlantic accompanied by a small flotilla of fast and armed escorts. These boats are BIG and carry no identification markings. Impressive but I prefer a Great Northern Diver / Common Loon any time.

Lee
 

Troubador

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
Lee, the 8x42 Eden binocular I have tested (in 2013 if I remember well, but the report is on the WEB-site of House of Outdoor) was in my opinion of a low quality .
Gijs van Ginkel

Gijs Post 11
Your test unit sounds appalling. No wonder you didn't bother with further models. As you can see from the review, our experience was entirely different.

Lee
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top