I didn’t think I would find a reasonably priced, light weight bino that I like better than my Nikon-SHE Safari binocular for bowhunting. Don’t get me wrong, I still love the SHE Safari binos because they are so small, made for a woman, super light weight and they are available in cool colors with a beautiful carrying bag. My SHE binos took a beating last year as I wore them on all my Midwestern hunts and they stood up to the abuse very well.
But the new Nikon Pro Staff 7 Binocular has a great feel and fit. If you want me to get all technical and discuss things like angular field of view (whether it’s apparent/degrees versus real/degrees) or objective diameter, well, I’m not. You can go online and check out all the techy stuff. I am just impressed with hands on performance and practical use. But here are a few facts – the phase correction coated roof prisms result in higher resolution. They also have a high eye point design which I really like and the rubber armouring provides a comfortable grip and shock resistance. They are also light weight which I appreciate even more.
Left to right Pro Staff 7, EDG 10×42, EDG 8×32, SHE Safari 10×36
Of course the EDG are still the top of the line bino from Nikon. They are great for every type of hunt but I used them mostly on my western hunts where lots of long range glassing was required. I have to admit it is so funny to see warnings and cautions in the instructions in several languages that tell the user to “never look at the sun directly while using binoculars,” or “do not look through the binoculars while walking, you may walk into something and get hurt” or “do not swing the binoculars by their straps, they may hit someone and cause injury.” Well duh!It is good to read the instructions. If I had done so when I first got my EDG binos I would have realized the reason I could not get them to focus precisely was because the diopter had not yet been adjusted to my eye. The diopter adjustment ring is covered by the focus ring and made apparent by pulling out the focusing ring, so it is not apparent at first glance. It is a simple adjustment once you read the instructions. Once again, well duh!
The EDG binos have very bright, clear fields of view with sharper, clearer images all the way to the lens periphery. I noticed this was a huge help in long range glassing over lots of wide open terrain. And their ability to let you see well into the late hours of the day as light quickly fades are another big advantage. Plus they are waterproof.
I also like the design of the protective eyecap with a neck strap eyelet so it will not get separated from the binocular (I am notorious for losing those things if they are not attached in some way). You may use optional horn-shaped rubber eyecups that come with the binocular. These are easy to slip on and off as needed but cannot be used with eyeglasses. The objective lens caps attach to the body of the binos and are easy to slip on and off quietly. I noticed they sometimes pop open if you lay the binos down horizontally on a flat hard surface. They can be removed if you prefer not to use them at all. The focusing ring is large, smooth and easy to adjust with either hand.
I recommend the Nikon lens cleaning kit that is compact and easy to carry with you in a pocket or pack.
For the past couple weeks we have been watching big bucks in the bean fields in the evenings and have been able to use the new Nikon EDG and Pro Staff 7. So far, both are impressive. The true test will begin in a couple weeks. We will let you know how both binos make it through the season.