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Two good Nikon from the past ? (1 Viewer)

pluton

Well-known member
Hello,
I'm looking at some small 8x30-style binocular, a good one optically speaking., Even if they are a bit old.
I have two in mind:
- Nikon 8x30 EII and Nikon 8x32 HG-L
Two Nikons, yes, old, yes ... but are they still worth a look?
I don't wear glasses when observing, and I don't like being black out or kidney bean ...
I would be delighted to hear your opinion
Thank you.
Pluton.
 

ceasar

Well-known member
Hello Pluton,

They are both excellent binoculars. I have them both.

The 8x30 EII is a Porro Prism. It is very likely regarded as THE CLASSIC porro prism -- bar none!

See the 13 reviews of it in Allbinos in the link below! If it isn't the most reviewed binocular in Allbinos it is pretty close to it!

Nikon also named it it's Binocular of the Century during Nikon's 100th year celebration. (I confess that I bought one!o:D). i now have 3 of them!:t:

https://www.allbinos.com/803-Nikon_8x30E_II-binoculars_specifications.html



The Nikon 8x32 HG-L is still ranked high in 7th Place in Allbinos ranking of 8x32 binoculars. It has silver coated prisms unlike the dielectric coatings on the EDG that replaced it. I still use mine often.

It has received 7 individual reviews on Albinos:

https://www.allbinos.com/94-Nikon_HG_L_8x32_DCF-binoculars_specifications.html

Bob
 
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Arthur Red Rod

Well-known member
Bob has offered some great insight on both binoculars and the AllBinos reviews for both are especially good.

I had the same debate with myself and ultimately, it boiled down to the EII being a classic gem with a super wide FOV, and the LX/HG-L sacrificing some FOV for better coatings, weather-sealing and higher overall light transmission throughout the device, if I recall correctly.

I would say go with the EII if you already have a high quality, modern roof for birding and want something that can't be replicated in today's hot-ticket models. The "natural" viewing experience and field of view make the EII more of a pleasure device than strictly an observation tool, in my opinion. Of course, if your stable is lacking that exceptional roof with modern features, then go with the LX.

I chose the Monarch HG (newer brother of LX) for its modern features and warranty, but I will continue bothering my mate with the EII when we are out. One thing to also keep in mind is that Nikon does not do warranty on those binoculars anymore. Use them carefully if you get one, or you might be sent a much less interesting Monarch HG as a replacement!
 
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dries1

Member
I have the original HG/LX in 8X32 and the EII, both are very nice glass. If eye relief is an issue, the HG/LX or the HG L have more than an adequate amount. If you read the review of the HG/LX on ScopeviewsUK, that will give some more insight. I also do not observe any blackouts or kidney bean with either glass, and I do not wear glasses to view also. The newer HG 8X30 (more $$$) could be another option, however I have not viewed one so cannot offer any opinions.

Andy W.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
Those two binoculars are better than a lot of the newer binoculars in their $500.00 price range. The EII is not waterproof but has a huge FOV and more 3D since it is a porro, whereas, the HG-L is waterproof but it has a smaller FOV and sharper edges and better contrast than the EII but it is heavier than the EII. You have to decide what is more important to you based on your own preferences. You can compare them on the Allbinos website but it is best to try them yourself to see which one you like the best.

https://www.allbinos.com/allbinos_ranking-binoculars_ranking-8x32.html
 

dorubird

Well-known member
Romania
I also confirm that Nikon HGL 8x32 it is a gret binoculars from the past. An truly alpha binocular is recognizable even after 100 years!!

What still makes it alpha:
1 very good light transmission between 550nm-650nm 92% -95%
2 FOV with over 95% clarity
3 ease of view given by a 17mm eyerelief
4 good resolution
5 excellent construction. It is compact and heavy, slightly larger than Zeiss FL and Leica Ultravid, but much smaller than the current 8x32 NL and SF. I dropped it, used it intensely, and it still looks great for 20 year old binoculars.

What makes it surpassed by modern alpha binoculars:
1 has some chromatic aberrations towards the edges
2 has a relatively small 7.8 field of view for modern specifications
3 has a lower contrast compared to modern binoculars.

HGL 8x32 It's an alpha because I can't part with it, even with so many good new binoculars around, because I still feel its quality!
 

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brocknroller

A professed porromaniac
United States
Hello,
I'm looking at some small 8x30-style binocular, a good one optically speaking., Even if they are a bit old.
I have two in mind:
- Nikon 8x30 EII and Nikon 8x32 HG-L
Two Nikons, yes, old, yes ... but are they still worth a look?
I don't wear glasses when observing, and I don't like being black out or kidney bean ...
I would be delighted to hear your opinion
Thank you.
Pluton.
Hello Pluton,

I was happy that New Horizons was able to take photos of your home world. Looks cold...brrrr... :)

First, I wanted to clarify that the Nikon 8x30 E2 is not really old (Bob's term "classic" would be a better term) because they are still in production AFAIK , and they were redesigned from the original E, which is old. I own two 8x30 E2s, a 2015 black body and a 2017 grey body 100th Anniversary edition.

While the 8x32 LX's (HG)'s coatings and design were advanced for its time (I owned two, not the "L" in that configuration, but I had a 10x42 LXL), and it would still hold up well except for the amount of CA it shows, but Nikon's latest and greatest coatings would blow it away, particularly the 2017 E2, which has the best coatings I've ever seen. There are no reflections off the objectives, due to the high flat transmission coatings, so it's very bright and the contrast is exceptional like my Nikon EDG, and the coatings also reduce glare.

The field flatteners in the LX work well (better than in its successor, the 8x30 HG, I'm told. I haven't tried the HG only the 8x30 7, which has very fuzzy edges). I did see some astigmatism at the top of the field with both samples I had. Despite this and the more than average chromatic aberration, I'd probably still have them if they had fit my hands better.

The 8x32 LX(L) did not fit my large hands well. The curved housing on top for the strap lugs forced my hands to extend beyond the barrels, making light reflect off my palms and into the binocualrs. There was no place to rest my thumbs. So, I had to hold the LX by pushing from the sides, which gave me cramps in my palms. Somewhere on my computers I have a photo of my hands wrapped around the LX, showing how my index finger overshot the focuser by half a finger. The 8x30 E2 has plenty of real estate to support the binoculars from underneath and around the barrels due to it's open bridge design and enough width such that my index finger falls naturally on the focuser. My friend Steve (mooreorless) has smaller hands, and the LX fit him like a glove.

Even the "L" model is noticeably heavier than the E2. It's also bulkier than the 8x30 HG that replaced it.

As to the focusers, the large focuser on the LX is more comfortable than the tiny wheel on the E2, but it goes from close focus to infinity in half a turn, which is too fast for my taste. It took me a while to master how to keep from overshooting my target. The fast focuser combined with the field flatteners also gave a compressed preception of depth, which I found made it harder to pick our birds from the background. But a lot of birders like fast focusers, so you may actually find this an asset. I prefer the slower focuser of the E2.

If you don't need WP binoculars and look at butterflies, the 8x30 E2 is among the best birding binoculars you can buy. They are no longer sold in the US, so you have to buy them from Japan, and they are more expensive than the used to be plus the $40 to $50 international shipping charge (fortunately, no custom's tax).

If you do want WPing and a good close focus, and you have deep enough pockets to afford an 8x30 HG, it has better ergonomics, better coatings, and ED glass. But if you don't, and CA isn't that bothersome to you, and you find the ergonomics and fast focuer suitable, the LXL/HG-L can still good for birding and can be bought for a decent price on eBay.
 

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