Binoculars reviews

Endurance test of 8x42 binoculars

30 April 2013
Arkadiusz Olech

14. Nikon HG 8x42 DCF

Endurance test of 8x42 binoculars - Nikon HG 8x42 DCF

Before the launch of the EDG series the HG series consisted of the top-of the-range Nikon binoculars and you have to admit that those instruments fared pretty well, being quite popular on the market. The Nikon HG 8Ś42 L DCF got in our optical test 137.9 points and didn’t have any problems with defeating the best products of Leica, Docter or Pentax. Will it repeat that success in the endurance test as well? Let’s find out.

Low temperature

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Eyecups didn’t cause any problems in this category. The central focusing wheel and the gauge of the tubes were more difficult to move but their performance remained still acceptable. The dioptre correction ring worked with a very high resistance for a change.

High temperature

High temperature was problematic for the central wheel which moved with a bigger slack and its performance wasn’t even; also when you tried to change the gauge of the tubes you heard some squelching. There weren’t any problems with the eyecups or the individual focus ring and no grease leakages either. The fact that the rubber padding around the objectives becomes a bit loose might be a slight issue.

Waterproof qualities

No reservations in this category. One hour of submersion the binoculars survived without any problems.


Two falls from different heights didn’t cause any serious problems. The binoculars remained perfectly collimated, the eyecups weren’t damaged and there were no traces on the casing either.

Optics cleaning

Water residue, which got stuck after the exposure to high temperature, is difficult to remove; on the other hand the fingerprints are very easy to clean. The water doesn’t dribble down as well as it should be expected from great hydrophobic coatings, leaving single droplet behind. Grease stains get smudged but still you can remove them with a dry cloth.


No other flaws.


The chart below shows the results the tested pair of binoculars got in particular categories:

Low temperature:
High temperature:
Waterproof quality:
Optics cleaning:

The Nikon HG 8Ś42 L DCF reached the same result as his EDG series brother – that fact alone is already a piece of very good news. The HG series still remains an excellent option for those who need a great pair of binoculars but they don’t want to spend as much as 7,000 – 10,000 PLN on it. The Nikon HG can provide both high quality images and many years of fuss-free operation. The Alpen Rainier HD ED seems to be its most serious rival – it is a bit ahead of the Nikon both in the optical and endurance test. The differences are slight, though, so I suppose individual preferences of any given customer, concerning how well the binoculars fit your hand and how comfortable it is to look through them, might play the key role.

Endurance test of 8x42 binoculars - Nikon HG 8x42 DCF