Eden Quality ED 8x42 Binoculars Review

Eden Quality 8 x 42 ED Binoculars
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Buy & Compare Prices for the Eden Quality ED 8x42 Binoculars
Price Range: (3/6) Mid Price Binoculars       

Ideal Uses:

General Use Rating for General Use Binoculars
Birdwatching Rating as Birdwatching Binoculars
Outdoor Sports Rating asOutdoor Sports Binoculars
Safari & Travel Rating as Safari Binoculars
General Wildlife Rating as Wildlife Observation Binoculars
Hunting Rating as Hunting Binoculars
Marine Use Rating as Marine Binoculars

I have used many, many pairs of binoculars over the years and so for me it is always interesting to be given the chance to review a brand of binoculars that I have never seen before. That is why when the guys at Eden Webshops asked if I would be interested in testing their flagship model, the Eden Quality ED 8x42 binocular with it's many quality features that on the face of it should add up to a very good pair of binoculars, I jumped at the chance.

Main Highlights

  • Light Weight Magnesium body
  • 100% water & Fog Proof
  • Extra Low Dispersion Glass (ED)
  • Phase Correction Coatings on the prisms
  • BAK-4 Prisms
  • Very Wide Field of View: 142m @ 1000m (426ft @1000 Yards / 8.1°)

The Body

These roof prism (DCF) Eden binoculars feel well balanced, are comfortable to hold and the focussing wheel was easy to adjust and within easy reach without having to adjust your grip with the binoculars held up to your eyes.

The body of the 8x42 Eden Quality ED is made from Magnesium to keep their weight down without having to compromise on strength or durability. This is then covered in a very hard rubber armoring, which is not as "grippy" as some that you get, but for added grip they do have a texture moulded into the aromour where your hands go when you are holding them.

This armour also protects the optics from small bumps and knocks and is less reflective than bare metal - bright sunlight shining off a metal object could frighten away wildlife. It also helps reduce the sound made from objects, especially metal ones striking against them that once again could frighten away timid birds or other wildlife. An example of this would be something like your watch or a wedding ring striking them as you grab hold of the binoculars.

Their weight of 24.0oz (680g) makes them fairly light for a good quality full sized binocular. I have emphasized good quality because you can find some very light pairs of optics out there, but they also come with poor quality components made from sub-standard (but light) materials.

Their dimensions of 5.5in (14cm) x 4.3in (11cm) is fairly standard for a full sized binocular.

Best Binoculars Rating for Body Stats: 8/10

The Eye Cups
Covered with a very thin rubber coating, the eyecups on the 8x42 Eden Quality ED feel pretty comfortable even when pushed firmly against your face.

The twist-up mechanism on the eyecups works very well and they have one fixed intermediate stop about half way in-between fully extended and fully retracted. This combined with the very good 17.2 mm of eye relief should enable most eye-glass wearers to use these optics without having to remove their glasses. Non-eyeglass wearers will just use the eyecups in the fully extended position.

A point to mention that the 17.2mm of eye-relief means that these optics easily make it onto my list of long eye relief binoculars where anything over 16mm is considered as long.

Diopter adjustment and focusing wheel on the Eden Quality ED BinocularsFocusing
The focussing wheel on the 8x42 Eden ED has a hard rubber coating and a number of indentations in it. It turns very smoothly, is easy to reach without changing your grip and takes about 1 and a quarter turns to go from infinity to it's closest focusing distance of 11.5 feet (3.5m).

This means that focusing from near to far (or vise versa) is reasonably quick, but can make fine tuning your focus a little trickier than binoculars that have less aggressive gearing as on these a small movement of the wheel moves the focusing plane a further distance. I have reviewed binoculars that take less than a full turn and ones that take up to two full turns or more and I feel that Eden Quality have got the balance just about right with these.

Diopter Adjustment
One thing that is fairly unusual on these binoculars is that the diopter adjustment ring is located just behind the focusing wheel. The most common place to find this adjustment is on the right barrel near the eyepiece. It allows you to adjust the lenses separately to allow for differences in each of your eyes and plays an important part in correctly setting up & focusing your binoculars. Where it is located does make adjusting it simpler than if it were located on the barrel, but it does also mean that there is a greater chance of accidentally moving it when you are using the focusing ring.

The ring is notched which makes it easier to keep at the desired location, but there are no markings on it apart from the central (neutral) point, so if the setting for your eyesight is not neutral, I would suggest making your own mark incase it accidentally moves or if you need to share your binoculars with someone else. Just a little etch with a knife would do or you could remember the number of clicks left or right.

Waterproof & Fogproof
These 8x42 Eden Quality binoculars are 100% waterproof which not only protects them from moisture, but also prevents any dust and other small debris from entering them that could result in spoiling your view.

The air inside of the binocular has also been replaced with argon gas during the manufacturing process which makes it possible to use the binoculars in places where there are very low temperatures, high humidity levels or rapid temperature changes without the risk of any condensation forming on the inside the binocular. A side benefit of this is that it will protect their inner workings from corrosion.

Best Binoculars Rating for Body Construction Quality: 7/10

Eden Quality ED Optics

These binoculars actually come with quite a few high quality optical elements that are often only found on far more expensive optics and the stand out feature for me is the fact that they use extra-low dispersion glass (ED) in the lenses. By giving the designers of the multi-element objective lens a wider range of options to better direct and concentrate the wavelength of light, ED glass improves the quality of the image by helping to minimise chromatic aberration (color fringing). Generally speaking, the better the aberrations are controlled the cleaner and brighter the image will appear. Because of the costs involved and precision needed to make them, they are only found on high end cameras, telescopes, microscopes and binoculars.

ED Glass (Extra Low Dispersion) vs Standard Glass

Lens & Prism Coatings
As you would expect to find on any good quality roof prism binocular, Eden Optics use higher spec BaK-4 prisms as opposed to the cheaper and inferior BK-7 prisms. On these prisms they have also used a number of coatings to improve the image and reduce unwanted reflection of light. These include a Phase Correction Coating, Silver Coating and a Super Wideband Coating:

The Phase Correction Coating helps to keep the light in correct color phases and produces images that have better contrast, a higher resolution and have a better color reproduction.

Silver Coating - Roof prisms have the advantage being aligned (as opposed to the off-set in Porro prisms) this enables manufacturers to make thinner more compact binoculars. But the problem with this design is that the prisms have one surface that does not have total internal reflection. It is therefore very important for the binoculars optical performance to raise the reflectivity of this surface. To do this many lower quality binoculars will use an aluminum mirror coating that has a reflectivity of between 87% to 93% . A silver mirror coating on the other hand has a reflectivity of between 95% to 98%, which is much better. I think it is important to point tout that whilst a silver coating is good, there is a better coating that that some higher end (an much more expensive) optics sometimes use called dielectric coatings that can provide a reflectivity of more than 99%.

Super Wideband Coating - As yet I have been unable to find out exactly what this is and what it does.

The lenses on the Eden Quality 8x42 ED binoculars are also fully multi-coated with anti-reflection coatings and they also have a water-repellent coating, that ensures that water just runs off them, making sure you can still use them in rainy weather, but this also makes them easier to clean.

Best Binoculars Rating for Optical Components Quality: 8/10

Optical Stats

The 8x42 Configuration
Binoculars with an 8x magnification and 42mm objective lenses are a common choice for most types of bird watching, wildlife observation and make good general use binoculars. This is because they strike a good balance between magnification and field of view, light gathering potential and size.

Good light gathering ability is important because quite often you will find yourself in situations where the lighting is sub-optimal, especially when birding or observing larger wildlife - like thickly wooded or forested areas, early in the morning just before or at sunrise or late afternoon when most birds and other animals are at their most active.

42mm objective lenses are big enough to let in plenty of light, but not so big that they make the binoculars difficult to easily carry about in the field. To explain how this configuration works, all 8x42 binoculars, these have an Exit Pupil of 5.25 and a Twilight Factor of 18.3, which if you compare them to an 8x32 setup, which has an exit pupil of 4 and a twilight factor of 16, it shows that the increased objective lens diameter will gather more light and make it possible for the binoculars to transmit more light.

For most uses, but especially birding, a wide field of view is also important, or at the very least is "desired". This is because it really helps you to quickly locate small, erratic and fast moving objects like birds and keep them within your "field of view".

If we compare them to a 10x42 binocular, that has a smaller exit pupil of 4.2mm, but do have a better twilight factor of 20.5 and therefore should show better detail in dim light. They will however most probably have a narrower field of view than an 8x42 and that is why, especially for birding an 8x magnification is often (not always) preferred to a 10x. There is also the point to remember that to make more powerful magnifications, thicker glass is needed and the thicker the glass, the less light that is transmitted through it.

These potential of a binocular is always good to look at, but it is also important to remember though that these figures do not take into account the transmittance or quality of the optical system, which is as important, if not even more so. The performance of a pair of optics in poor light also depends a lot on the quality of the glass and optical coatings and not just the exit pupil and twilight factor formula. Good coatings on the lenses and the prisms can double the amount of light that gets through the binocular, when compared to those that have none or poor quality coatings and as we have already discovered these Eden Quality binoculars use pretty good quality glass as well as coatings.

Field Of View

The field of view for these Eden Quality 8x42 binoculars is 142m at 1000m / 426ft at 1000 yards (8.1°) - which is excellent, and it easily makes it onto my list of wide angle binoculars. What is interesting is they much wider than some of the very best binoculars out there, for example the Leica 8x42 Ultravid HD (389ft at 1,000 yards) and the Swarovski 8.5x42 EL Binoculars (399ft at 1,000 yards).

Close Focusing Distance
The minimum distance that you can focus on an object is 11.5 feet (3.5m) away, which must be said is not great. I consider anything under 6ft to be very good. So if you are looking for a full size binocular that is also good for viewing objects close up, things like butterflies for example then these would not make a great choice.

Best Binoculars Rating for Optical Stats: 8/10

Image Quality

So we have been over all the major optical components, their coatings and the 8x42 configuration but how does this all relate to the quality of the image that they produce? To be as objective and as constant as possible I compared the view through these with that of my control binoculars that I use for all of my reviews:

Brightness
Testing on a dull and overcast day, I just could see slight improvement in terms of brightness of the image produced between these and that of my benchmark 8x42's. I therefore rate them highly and I would say that the brightness of the image produced is very good.

Contrast
I also rate their contrast as being very good and once correctly focussed on an objet the image is very sharp.

Colour Fringing
The amount of color fringing (chromatic aberration) around the edges of objects is very minor and only really noticeable if you look at the edges of a light coloured object sitting in front of a dark background. Even then you have to be really looking for it. I have seen better and I have also seen a lot worse and this is where the ED glass helps.

Softening
This is another area where these excel as the amount of softening of the image on the periphery of the view is almost none and was far less than my control binocular which is good.

So, to sum up, in regards to the overall quality of their image, I rate the Eden Quality ED 8x42 binoculars very highly and they as good as many binoculars that I have reviewed that are far more expensive than these.

Best Binoculars Rating for Image Quality: 8/10

8x42 Eden Quality ED Comparisons

Whilst it may not be completely fair to compare a mid-priced binocular like these Eden ED's with the very top of the range, it can sometimes highlight their strengths and weaknesses. Below is a table comparing it with a range of other full size binoculars with magnifications of 8x. The very top of the range Leica 8x42 Ultravid HD, the Minox 8x43 HG Binoculars, the Kowa 8x42 BD and the Swarovski 8.5x42 EL Binoculars.

  Eden 8x42 ED Swarovski 8.5x42 EL Leica 8x42 Ultravid HD Minox 8x43 HG Kowa 8x42 BD
Price (approx): 250 $2300 (£1600) $2100 (£1500) $1100 (£640) $550 (£590)
Weight: 24.0ozs (680g) 28.9ozs (819g) 27.9ozs (791g) 22.9ozs (649g) 25.7ozs (729g)
Length: 5.5in (14cm) 6.5in (16.5cm) 5.63in (14.3cm) 6.0in (15.2cm) 5.7in (14.5cm)
Width: 4.3in (10.9cm) 4.8in (12.2cm) 4.72in (12cm) 5.1in (13cm) 5.0in (12.7cm)
Eye Relief: 17.2mm 18mm 15.5mm 19.5mm 18.3mm
Close Focusing Distance: 11.5ft 8.0ft 10.2ft 8.2ft 6.5ft
Field of View at 1000yds: 426ft 399ft 389ft 379ft 330ft
ED Glass Yes Yes Yes No No
Phase Correction Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Lens Coatings Fully Multi-Coated Fully Multi-Coated Fully Multi-Coated Fully Multi-Coated Fully Multi-Coated
Waterproof Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Fogproof Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

What this does show is that even though these Eden Quality binoculars are a fraction of the cost compared to some of the very optics that money can buy, they can compete and even beat them in some areas. As you can see strong points for are its very wide field of view and here they really fall down is their rather far minimum focusing distance.

Included Extras & Attention to Detail:

The black soft nylon carry case is very lightly padded comes with a short carry strap. I like the fact that it has an internal zipped mesh pocket, that always come in useful for storing thinks like lens cleaning cloths and sometimes even your car keys. It also has a loop on the back enabling you to attach it to a belt.

The black neck strap is very well padded and slightly curved which helps it to sit better on your neck and therefore is very comfortable. Most binoculars come with straight neck straps, so this is a nice touch and shows some good attention to detail.

The plastic objective lens caps click into the end of your binoculars. They fit very well, will protect your lenses and should not accidentally fall off. There is however no way of keeping them attached to your binocular once you remove them from your lens and so to prevent you from loosing them, you would probably have to put them into the carry case. This is fine, except it means that unless you keep taking them in and out your bag, you will leave your lenses exposed during the whole course of a walk for example and only cover them again once you put your optics away.

The soft rubber eye-piece covers fit very well and shouldn't accidentally fall off, but not so tight, that taking them off is a pain. They have loops on the ends of the cups that enable you to attach them to your neck strap. It has also been designed with a flexible bridge between the two cups that allow for the different distances between the two eyepieces depending on your inter-pupillary adjustment. This is something that is often overlooked by manufacturers meaning that the eyepiece covers wont fit, unless you store your binoculars fully open, which can be a real pain as you have to adjust them every time you use your optics and every time you put them away.

A lens cleaning cloth is also supplied as well as a basic user manual. It includes details on adjusting the eyecups, the inter-pupillary adjustment, dioptric correction, focusing and cleaning. It also includes the details of the warranty:

These Eden Quality binoculars are guaranteed against defects in materials and workmanship. Should any defect occur resulting from a material or manufacturing fault within a period of 25 years following purchase, then they will either repair the binoculars or replace them free of charge. This warranty does not apply to the carry case and shoulder strap, since these articles are prone to wear and tear.

PDF IconDownload the Manual for Eden Quality ED Binoculars (236kb)

Tripod Adaptable
There is a small cover or cap on the front of the central pivoting point that screws off. This allows you to then screw on a binocular tripod adapter (not included) that uses the standard ¼-inch threading, which you can then attach to your tripod.

Best Binoculars Rating for Extras & Attention to Detail: 6/10

Conclusion

Strong Points: Two features really stand out with these binoculars: Their very wide field of view and they very good quality optical components that they use that produce a very good quality image. Which is even more remarkable when you consider their price.

Weak points? I would have liked to have seen a closer minimum focusing distance and whilst the extras like the carry bag and the neck strap they are not bad, they fall a little short when you compare them to the very best (and far more expensive) binoculars.

Ideal Uses: Like most 8x42 binoculars, they are ideal birding binoculars, but when you take into account their excellent field of view and great optical performance, these do really make an excellent choice for bird watching. The same can be said for general wildlife observation, hunting and in my opinion would also make a good general use binocular.

For specialist uses like taking with you on a camping trip, on safari, or to an outdoor sporting event, they will also work very well when you are there, but some people may prefer a mid-sized or compact binocular that is just that much easier to carry.

So to sum up, if you are looking for a binocular with good high quality optics that translates to a very good view, but don't fancy spending the mega sums of money that the "top end" brand names sell for, then you won't go far wrong with the Eden Quality ED 8x42 Binoculars.

Price & where to buy

Because Eden Quality products is the store brand of KATO Group, you can only buy this brand at the the KATO Group webshops. Because they only sell directly to their customers, their binoculars can be offered at very competitive prices, with this model available for around 250. For UK customers, the Webshop can be reached using the following link: http://www.edenwebshops.co.uk/en/ct/binoculars.htm

Eden Quality 8x42 ED Binoculars

Reviewed by

Best Binocular Reviews Ratings:

Body Construction Quality: 7/10 75%
Excellent
Body Stats: 8/10
Optical Components Quality: 8/10
Optical Stats: 8/10
Image Quality 8/10
Extras & Attention to Detail: 6/10

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Binocular Price Comparison
Where to buy the Eden Quality 8x42 ED Binoculars

General Price Range: (3/6) Mid Price Binoculars

Below is a link that will take you to a page with online retailers in both the US and UK that sell Eden Quality 8x42 ED Binoculars this page makes it easy to compare prices and then to buy from your preferred option: