Bird watching really becomes a party with good binoculars. I have been hearing this for years from two good friends, both avid bird watchers. And then my six-year-old son Mika also asked “Daddy, why do we never take binoculars with us on a trip?” I decided to buy binoculars. Our choice fell on the Eden XP 8×42. Read our extensive review of the Eden XP 8 × 42 binoculars in this article.
Binoculars for traveling
To say it right away, I am absolutely not a binoculars specialist. On the contrary, if I already brought a ‘spyglass’ it was as cheap and light as possible. But because every gram counts when traveling, I almost always decided not to bring binoculars at all. And that is – certainly in hindsight – a shame and a shame. Nowadays there are binoculars – and even telescopes – that are compact, of good quality and relatively competitively priced.
I came to my senses during our tour of Sri Lanka. We have done some very nice safaris with our children here. And our two good friends were there too, both equipped with one professional binoculars. Every now and then we were allowed to peek along, if something came into the crosshairs of their lens. Crocodiles on the other side of the bank, flocks of bats, white-banded sea eagles and the little green bee-eater, we couldn’t believe our eyes! I was over, and my son especially, on the next trip we bring our own binoculars!
Points to consider when purchasing binoculars
As mentioned, I have little experience with binoculars myself. Fortunately, we have a number of editors at Reishonger who have years of experience in the use of binoculars. In addition, I could ask my bird friends for advice and I could find a lot of information on the internet. Below I have collected some useful tips that helped me with the purchase of binoculars.
- Ask friends about them experiences with binoculars and borrow a good viewer from someone else. What did they consider when purchasing?
- Preferably choose a model with a maximum magnification of 8x or 10x. They are suitable for almost everyone because they can be kept ‘still’ more easily. When in doubt, choose an 8x magnification, which looks calmer.
- An all-round viewer has one higher light output; models with a lens diameter of 40mm or more (for example an 8 × 42) are ideal for bird and wildlife viewing, even in darker conditions.
- The lenses of the binoculars should not reflect light. Much cheaper binoculars do, which gives a less sharp image. Make sure your binoculars have a good coating so that light does not reflect.
- With more intensive use in various climates, the purchase of one pays off pressure waterproof binoculars with a special (nitrogen) gas filling. This prevents condensation inside the viewer.
- When purchasing binoculars, pay attention not only to the lens, but also to the implementation of the binoculars. As mentioned, it is useful as an outdoor enthusiast to opt for waterproof binoculars. Furthermore, the binoculars comfortable in your hand lie down and easy to operate to be. Pay particular attention to whether you can easily focus the image.
- Finally: a good manufacturer stands behind its products and will offer a longer and better warranty. A guarantee of at least 5 years is common, but 10 years is also common. Nowadays there is hardly a lifetime warranty anymore. (teaser: Knivesandtools gives a 25 (!) Year warranty on the Eden XP 8 × 42)
First impression Eden XP 8 × 42
I should also mention that my expectations were high regarding the Eden XP 8 × 42. During one of my ‘advice talks’ with the ardent birders, I was told that the quality of the Eden XP series matched its much more expensive cousins from other, more famous brands.
Finally the time had come, my first ‘real’ binoculars were delivered. The Eden XP 8 × 42 binoculars were neatly packed with all the accessories you’d expect: a strong bag, strap and lens caps. Once out of the box, the first surprise is the tough, sleek appearance. The Eden XP 8 × 42 looks sturdy and well built. They are a bit smaller and slightly lighter (653 grams) than the binoculars that my bird friends use, but they feel great in the hand and because of the weight they ‘carry’ them nicely. And that is also true with a length of 14.5 cm by 12 cm wide and 5.5 cm high. For that size, the Eden XP 8 × 42 with 653 grams weighs quite a bit, but in practice it turns out to be no problem. In fact, the binoculars feel great, just enough weight to give a stable feeling and not too heavy to handle for a longer period of time.
The housing material is carbon fiber reinforced PPS (Polyphenylene sulfide). A strong and light material that can withstand very high and low temperatures.
Short ‘technical’ explanation about the type of binoculars
The 8 × 42 type actually means that the binoculars have a magnification of 8 times and a front lens diameter of 42 mm. In short, you could say that the higher the numbers, the bigger and heavier the binoculars become. That is why it is important to always look for the viewer that is suitable for your purpose. And if you travel a lot – or simply do not want to carry too much weight when you are in nature – that is a viewer that is not too big, not too heavy, but multifunctional.
The diameter of the front lens is important for the width of the field of view. The wider your view, the faster you have an object in view and can focus. This can make all the difference with motile species. Another important point is that the width of your front lens determines the amount of light that your viewer receives. A viewer with a larger diameter front lens can be used longer at dusk than a viewer with a smaller diameter. Simply because more light is collected. The field of view of the Eden XP 8 × 42 is no less than 129 meters at 1000 meters, which is very good for an 8 × 42 viewer! Together with the fast focus, this ensures that you can easily and quickly find your target.
Eden XP 8 × 42 in practice
Together with the fast focus and the width of the field of view, the XP 8 × 42 is one of a kind. The binoculars can be focused on very close objects, up to about 1.2 meters! Very useful for zooming in on butterflies, dragonflies and other insects.
The Eden XP 8 × 42 has – like most binoculars – two numbers. The first number is the magnification, and the second number is the objective. This concerns the diameter of the two lenses on the front of the binoculars. The 8 × 42 on the Eden binoculars means that the image is magnified 8 times and the diameter is 42 millimeters (4.2 centimeters).
Along with the magnification, the lens is one of the most important things you should pay attention to when buying your own binoculars. The larger the diameter, the more (day) light that enters. So the image will be brighter and you will see more details. This is especially useful if you want to see wildlife in low light, for example if you are on a safari at dusk or go birding in the semi-darkness. The 90% light transmission gives you better vision in dark conditions and a special coating of the lenses makes the colors extremely bright
The 18mm eye relief and the ‘twist-up’ eye cups make these binoculars very suitable for spectacle wearers. The image of the Eden XP is really extremely clear, colourfast and sharp. The edge sharpness is excellent. The image distortion at the edge (so-called ‘barrel distortion’) is minimal.
Final verdict Eden XP 8 × 42
The Eden 8 x 42 XP are top binoculars. The image is very clear and is not discolored by the lenses. It therefore comes across as very natural. Focusing is quick and easy and our spectacle-wearing bird watchers could easily adjust the eye cups to make it suitable for use with spectacles.
The binoculars lie comfortably in the hand and are easy to hold still.The diopter adjustment (correction of the deviation between one and the other eye) works fine.
Another advantage of the Eden XP 8 × 42 binoculars is that it is filled with nitrogen during manufacture. This is to ensure that the viewer can be used down to temperatures of -20 ° C without condensation forming. We have extensively tested the binoculars, but not yet with these temperatures. Time will tell.
Both optically and mechanically a very fine viewer. The knobs and hinges move smoothly. The Eden XP 8 × 42 are versatile binoculars that can be used for many purposes. For observing birds, nature, astronomy (excellent light transmission), but also for everyday use. For the price of € 299, – (and quite a bit above that) there is currently no better binoculars. In the Netherlands, the viewer is only sold by Knivesandtools and the company provides a 25-year warranty on the viewer. This allows the company to join the ranks of Zeiss, Leica and Swarovski.
Purchase an Eden XP 8 × 42