The Eden ED 8 X 42 is a quite compact binoculars with a very wide range of use: from spotting animals to exploring the mountain route ahead. Enjoy the review!
- Price: € 379,00/ £ 331,00
- Size: 65 mm X 120 X 137 mm
- Weight: 669,5 grams (Minimum weight)
It is pretty unlikely that you ever heard of the brand Eden. The brand is new to the already very crowded world of binoculars. Eden is a Dutch brand and the binoculars are produced by the webshop knivesandtools.nl. It was the webshop that contacted me with the question if I wanted to review one of their new binoculars. Since I like bringing binoculars on my trips, my attention was drawn.
Materials, Size and weight
The Eden ED 8 x 42 is a binoculars with 8 times magnification and the 42 is the effective objective lens diameter in mm. It has a nitrogen filled body that is made from magnesium. The body is covered with rubber-like material. Magnesium is strong and light, which means that the weight of the binocular is still pretty low for a 8 x 42 binocular. I measured on my calibrated scale a weight of 669,5 grams (23,6 oz) for just the binocular. This is without the lens protection caps. With them attached the weight increases by 45,7 grams (1,61 oz) to 715,2 grams. Add the carrying strap of 79,3 grams (2,8 oz) and the ready-to-go-around-the-neck weight is 794,5 grams (28,0 oz). The weight that Eden claims is 723 grams (25,5 oz).
The binocular has a size of 65 mm X 120 X 137 mm (2,5” x 4,72” x 5,39″) in the most compact position. This is without lens caps. Eden claims a size of 53 mm X 125 X 135 mm which is the size folded open. The binocular is waterproof according to the IPX7* rating. This means it can be submerged in water so yes, waterproof. Eden does not state what the temperature range of the ED 8 x 42 is.
*Ingress Protection IPX7 means the product is waterproof for 30 minutes submersion in 1 meter of water.
Carrying strap and bag
As mentioned above a carrying strap is supplied with the binocular. The carrying strap is comfortable around the neck. The protective cap for the eyepieces is connected to the strap. The objective lens covers are attached with a rubber ring to the tubes that house the optics.
I am not a great fan of carrying straps. That is the reason why you don’t see me using it in the photos and video. The straps always interfere when I put the binocular in the backpack or take it out. And… I like to walk with a camera or binoculars in hand. But this says more about me than about the viewer. The storage bag – with strap – is of good quality (sturdy 700D Cordura material), protects the Eden ED very well and is spacious enough to easily store the binocular. I weighed it at 242,8 grams (8,56 oz).
Eden ED 8 X 42 Adjustment
The two tubes of the Eden ED 8 X 42 can be adjusted over a width of 17 mm, so that the pupils can be spaced from 58 mm to 75 mm. With the viewer tubes at the correct width, you see a nice, large, round image, which proves that the two viewer tubes are nicely aligned.
Between the two barrel chambers and connected to the barrelbridge, a large focus wheel is positioned. Turning this wheel adjusts the focus of the binoculars in order to see everything sharp. Of course this has to do with the distance of the object that you are looking at.
For those of you who – just like me – wear glasses: on the right barrel you will find a diopter ring. So to get a sharp image with both eyes, first focus the binoculars on your right eye using the diopter adjustment. When done use the focus wheel to focus the left eye. The knivesandtools website does not state the diopter range but after asking the claim a range of -4 to +4. The focusing process is easy but…
Major design flaw
Before I start going on about the nice image that the Eden ED 8 X 42 produces, I need to talk about a major design flaw that this binocular has. Something I noticed immediately when I took it out of its carrying bag.
Every binocular has eyecups. In the past these eyecups could be folded back- or forwards. Nowadays these eyecups are mostly twist-in-and-out eyecups. Like on the Eden ED 8 X 42. The function of these eyecups is to prevent light getting in from the side and ruining your viewing experience. This works fine for those who don’t wear glasses. If you wear glasses these eyecups make the distance between your pupils and the ocular too large and that degrades the field of view; one sees a small circle instead of a large one. Next to that… it’s just a bad viewing experience. So when wearing glasses you don’t use these eyecups and you twist them inwards.
With the Eden ED 8 X 42 this is possible too, but when twisted in the rubber of the eyecups is on the same level as the metal ring that holds the ocular. Since most glasses have a ‘dome’ like shape, the glasses touch the metal ring. Not good because it might lead to scratches on the lenses of your glasses. And it does not feel comfortable.
Because this is a pretty serious discovery, I went to several camera shops that are also specialized in binoculars and one shop that only does binoculars. I compared the Eden ED 8 X 42 with others that are on the same price level. None had this issue. Also cheaper ones were better. On the picture on the knivesandtools website this is pretty visible too. So this is an issue. Of course I have asked Eden for comment and they state:
“First of all, thank you for the feedback regarding our newest Eden binoculars. For this particular issue please allow us to briefly share the concept of the original design and a solution.
The lenses for the Eden ED binoculars were added as such to ensure maximum eye relief and to provide the user with a comfortable viewing image. This means truly seeing everything without sacrificing the field of view at the edges.
If you wear glasses with convex lenses, there is a great and easy solution! All you have to do is simply twist up the rubber caps approx. 1.5 mm or use the dioptric option to use the pair of binoculars without glasses.”
Of course I did try Eden’s suggestion to twist the rubber cups for 1.5 mm. Regrettably it is not a logical solution since I miss a ‘locking’ point when I twist the eyecups outwards. There is a locking point at 4 mm but at that distance the field of view with glasses is pretty small. In the end I don’t think the Eden is designed correctly for people wearing glasses.
My experiences do not ruin the user experience I have with the Eden ED 8 X 42 completely. I mostly take off my spectacles when I am wildlife- or bird watching just because I don’t want the light coming in from the sides.
The binoculars are nice to hold on to. The rubbery material prevents slipping and the nobby structure helps. The focus ring is big and turning is joy, even with cold hands or when wearing gloves. The rubber caps on the eyepieces twist easily and fit well around my eyes. The weight might feel a bit on the heavy side for a binocular that you bring when you are out with a backpack and that is the case. Until you realize that weight has its benefits; it ensures stability.
One thing I definitely don’t like is the flimsy way the objective covers are ‘attached’ to the barrels. They are a) dangling around or b) not nice to take on and off a lot. The construction downgrades a binocular that has quite a rich look and feel.
The image quality of the Eden ED 8 X 42 is without doubt fine. That has largely got to do with the fact that the Eden uses Extra Low Dispersion glass which should give – together with the BAK-4 prisms – a high percentage of light transmission. Regrettably this is not stated on the website. Since the binocular is made in China I do not know either if the BAK-4 prism is an original or a Chinese interpretation of this high quality prism from the German manufacturer Schott AG.
The field-of-view at 1000 meters is 131 meters giving a nice wide view of the landscape or the subject within its context. The image is pleasant to the eye and the colors are true-to-life. The image is almost everywhere razor sharp; only near edges I see a little distortion. But only when I am focussing on it.
What strikes me in a positive way about the Eden ED 8 X 42 is its performance in low light: twilight performance is sweet and isn’t that the moment when most animals show their face? Incidentally, my findings are also supported by numbers: The Eden ED 8 X 42 has a twilight factor of 18.3 and that is absolutely fine. It is not stated what the light transmission of the lenses are. What is also nice is that the Eden ED 8 X 42 has a close focus of only 2 meters. Watching butterflies on the Buddleja in the garden is wonderful.
Verdict Eden ED 8 X 42
The Eden ED 8 X 42 is a nice binocular to bring on your adventure. With an absolute minimum weight of 669,5 grams and a packsize of 65 mm X 120 X 137 mm it still might be a bit heavy and big for a backpack, but for all other means of transport it is fine. It is comfortable to use even with cold hands or when wearing gloves. Focusing is quick and easy and the eyecups work well. For those who wear spectacles: be careful using the Eden ED 8 X 42 with the eyecups twisted in; I can’t guarantee that your glasses stay scratch free. The price of € 379 is fine for a binocular without flaws. Regrettably this is not that one and therefore I can only rate it at 7.2 points out of 10 total. On the other hand the 25-year warranty is super.
Knivesandtools The Netherlands: Knivesandtools.nl
Knivesantools United Kingdom: Knivesandtools.co.uk
Knivesandtools International: Knivesandtools.com