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The Binocular Advisor

Binoculars of Note

The Nikon EDG
(pronounced "Edge")

High-end Binocular Round-up, 2008,
( plus updated info

Nikon EDG Binocular

by Michael and Diane Porter

New from Nikon

This is a completely new binocular from Nikon. It is Nikon's flagship product, the top of their line, and the culmination of years of design effort. EDG stands for ED Glass or "Extra-low Dispersion Glass," which reduces chromatic aberration and results in sharper, brighter images. This is the same ED glass that Nikon uses in their Nikkor camera lenses.

When we surveyed high-end binoculars for Bird Watcher's Digest (August, 2008, issue), we found that the optical quality of the EDG put it easily in the category of the top binoculars in the survey. (See the Ratings Chart.) This is a stunningly sharp binocular.

Great relief for wearers of glasses!

Diane PorterEye also relief is outstanding. The 10x42 EDG's 18mm eye relief works great even for glasses wearers. That doesn't surprise us, because Nikon has been doing a good job on eye relief for a long time. The 10x42 Nikon Premier LXL (Nikon's previous top binocular) was the first 10x42 binocular that let glasses wearers get the whole picture. That was part of the reason that Diane chose the Nikon Premier LXL several years ago, as her personal binocular.

We're glad that Nikon has continued to make eye relief a priority, especially for birders like Diane, who prefer a 10-power binocular.

But Nikon has gone beyond the LXL. A great improvement here is in field of view. The Nikon EDG maintains exceptional eye relief and it has a phenomenal field of view. In the 8x42 the field of view is a generous 403 feet at 1000 yards. The 10x42 has 341 feet, astounding for a 10-power binocular!

Nikon EDGHollow bridge design

The EDG binocular utilizes the hollow bridge design, which makes it easy to hold with one hand. This binocular is a sensual delight to hold in your hand.

When we reviewed the Nikon EDG for the High-end Binoculars Round-up, (in the September, 2008, issue of Bird Watcher's Digest), the models that we had available for testing were preproduction items. There was a defect in the focus knobs, which Nikon was still addressing. Therefore we did not score the EDG's focus knob in those tests. In the Ratings Chart, you'll see "NA" (not applicable) in the focus knob column of the chart.

Hand-friendly fit and feel

However, since the article went to press, we have finally got our hands on the finished product. And the focus knob is just as nice as the old LXL's. Nikon really knows how to make focus knobs. On the EDG, when you pull out housing over the focus knob you can turn the diopter setting adjustment that is hidden inside. Then snap the knob's sheath back in place, and the knob works as the focus wheel again.

Nikon Edg LugWe like the shape of the binocular and the texture of the armoring. We appreciate the way the barrel curves out to meet the strap lug, avoiding uncomfortable contact of the web of the hand against the strap lug. A nice touch. Nikon has attended to the details.

Nikon's Improved warranty

Nikon has upgraded their warranty promise with this binocular. Now the EDG (and all new Nikon binoculars) carry not only a limited lifetime warranty on manufacturers' defects, but also an additional No-Fault warranty. Nikon promises that any accident that damages the binocular is covered for the life of the product, (not limited to the original owner) even if the damage is the fault of the owner.

Available sizes

The Nikon Edg comes in 10x42, 8x42, and 8x32. The 8x32 was not yet available when we did this review.

See price

Bird Watcher's DigestCopyright 2008 by Michael and Diane Porter.

This article appears as part of the High-end Binoculars Round Up in the September, 2008, issue of Bird Watcher's Digest.

Photo of magazine copyright 2008 Bird Watcher's Digest. Image of Nikon Lug Detail and hand holding Nikon Edg are copyright Michael and Diane Porter 2008.


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