Binoculars review

Nikon 10x35E II

Nikon 10x35E II
24 October 2011
Classic Porro prism E series models appeared on the market in 1978. At the beginning this series consisted of two pairs of binoculars with the parameters of 8x30 and 10x35 which, in 1984, were complemented by the 7x35 model. The series, only slightly changed, was produced to 1999 and then it was substituted by EII models. In their case the production of the 8x30 and 10x35 models was continued and the7x35 model was dropped. What’s interesting, although the predecessors featured a wide field of view, the EII series instruments got even a bigger one. Because of that the Nikon 10x35 EII features one of the widest fields of view in the 10x magnification class of binoculars.

The binoculars have a very classic look but the material they were made of are nothing but contemporary and the production process takes place in Japan. The casing is made of magnesium alloys, ecological lead-free glass is used in optics and the antireflection coating, featured here, meet contemporary standards. The only negative change, in comparison to the E series is the case. A small, Japanese masterpiece of leathercraft in the form of a beautiful leather hard case used to be added to these binoculars. Now we deal with a soft case produced in China which doesn’t stand out from others.

Series E (left) and EII (right) binoculars cases.

The buyer gets two caps, a strap, and soft case in the box. The binoculars come with a 10-year guarantee.

  • Lornetka Nikon 10x35E II
  • Lornetka Nikon 10x35E II
  • Lornetka Nikon 10x35E II
  • Lornetka Nikon 10x35E II
Manufacturer data


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Distribution / Sales:

Nikon Polska
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Magnification Lens diameter Angular field of view Prisms Eye relief Weight Price
10 35 122/1000(7o) BaK-4/Porro 13.8 mm 625 g 1899 PLN
Results of the review
Real front lens diameter Left:   35+/- 0.05 mm
Right:  35+/- 0.05 mm
8 / 8.0 pkt
Real magnification 10.04+/- 0.05x 3/3.0
Transmission 86.1+/- 1.5% 14/25.0
Chromatic aberration In the center bordering medium and low level, on the edge a bit lower than medium. 5.9/10.0
Astigmatism Negligible. Almost perfectly point-like star images. 9.5/10.0
Distortion The distance of the first curved line from the field centre compared to the field of view radius: 49% +/- 4% 5/10.0
Coma Appears in the distance of 75% from the field centre and is a bit higher than medium on the very edge. 8/10.0
Blurring at the edge of the FOV The blur occurs in the distance of 69% +/- 5% from the field of vision centre. 3/10.0
Darkening at the edge the FOV Slight. 4/5.0
Whiteness of the image A shallow hole in the centre of the range. The colouring still remains good because the secondary maximum for the blue range makes up for it. 4.3/5.0
Collimation Perfect. 5/5.0
Internal reflections
Left: Right:
Nikon 10x35E II - Internal reflections - Left Nikon 10x35E II - Internal reflections - Right
Housing Porro construction classic to the extreme in a magnesium alloys casing covered by imitation leather. Made in Japan. Very comfortable to hold and to look through – high observation comfort. Rubber eyecups which can be folded. It is neither waterproof nor nitrogen-filled. 7.8/8.0
Focusing Central wheel is ribbed and rubber-covered but narrow. The whole turning range amounts to 450 degrees. A classic ocular bridge moves smoothly, evenly and has no side play. The pressure doesn’t made the binoculars defocus. Individual focusing on the right eyepiece, comfortable but moves the outer element. 4.2/5.0
Tripod A tube in the centre – you can try to attach a tripod adapter to it. 1/3.0
Interpupilary distance from 53.5 to 74mm 5/6.0
Closest focusing distance 3.30 m. 1/2.0
Eyepieces FOV Apparent field of view of 69.2 deg (according to simple formula) and 62.3 deg (according to tangent formula). 15.5/20.0
Field of view Measured by us amounted to 6.89 +/- 0.04 degrees and it was a bit narrower than stated in the specifications. Still such a field is very wide for this class of equipment. 7.5/8.0
Quality of the interior of the barrels Black and matt. White glue (!). Very clean. 4.5/5.0
Left: Right:
Nikon 10x35E II - Vignetting - Left Nikon 10x35E II - Vignetting - Right
OL: 0.27% OR: 0.00%
Prisms quality High quality BaK-4. 8/8.0
Antireflection coatings Yellow-pink on objectives, green-yellow-pink on eyepieces, greenish on prism. Low intensity. 5/5.0
Warranty [years] 10 4.5/6.0
Final result
145.7 / 190 pkt
Econo result 0pkt.


  • classic and solid casing at the same time,
  • good transmission,
  • very good colour rendering,
  • huge field of vision,
  • negligible astigmatism,
  • low coma,
  • slight light fall-off on the edge of the field of vision,
  • good blackening and cleanliness inside the inner tubes,
  • circular exit pupils on a dark background,
  • high class of prisms and coatings.

  • the image on the very edge could have been sharper,
  • not fully waterproof.

On the one hand, brutally speaking, this pair of binoculars is a relict of the previous era. We deal here with a classic Porro construction which is neither waterproof nor nitrogen-filled, doesn’t focus from one meter, has rubberized eyecups without click-stops and eyepieces with too small eye relief distance to meet contemporary standards.

Does buying this pair of binoculars make sense? The answer could be only positive and the excellent result this device got in our test is a very good argument supporting it. If you add a fantastic field of view, a light but solid casing and a very affordable price for such a performance it would be difficult not to recommend these binoculars to anybody who doesn’t plan using it in extreme humidity.

On the other hand, Zeiss instruments from Jena, which have been used for several dozen years now, are not waterproof either and still they manage to work in such conditions which would be too demanding form many contemporary constructions. The Nikon’s 10x35 EII workmanship is even better than that of Jena Zeisses so I think even difficult weather conditions won’t be such a challenge. I guess even after 20 or 30 years from the purchase the owner of this instrument will be able to enjoy its solid build quality and classic looks whereas cheaper but allegedly waterproof binoculars, produced in China, by that time will have been recycled and forgotten.

We don’t intend to split hairs here and weight every single advantage and disadvantage. In fact the summary of this test could have been the same as I wrote in the case of another classic pair of binoculars so the Swarovski Habicht 10x40W. If you like such constructions and if you glance at the final result of the tested Nikon you will know what to do. If you prefer contemporary roof prism devices, however, you won’t be tempted by even the best achievements of a classic Porro construction.