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12 Days Birding & Bird Photography Tours In Sabah, Borneo

Review of Swarovski Modular Spotting Scopes

94 species of birds in 1 day at Tabin Wildlife Reserve

Monday, February 13, 2012

Nikon Fieldscope EDG85 VR Review

29th January - 11th February 2012

Nikon Vision Japan introduced the world's first Fieldscopes featuring Nikon's lens-shift type VR (Vibration Reduction) system for EDG 85 both angled and straight scope on the 6th October 2011. From my brief test at the previous Borneo Bird Festival in October 2011, the VR works when there were slight shake or vibration caused by wind and non-stable platform such as wooden walkway. Other methods tested by tapping on the tripod that hold the VR scope.

 Nikon Fieldscope EDG85 VR on Jobu BW Pro Gimbal head and Velbon 830 carbon fibre tripod. Estimated weight around 7.75 kg

Battery compartment under the EDG VR wording

Green LED when VR is ON

I did a test within 2 weeks for Nikon Malaysia and I was shooting mainly with my D300s and other D7000 body coupled with FSA-L2 adapter at my favorite mudflat concentrating on Waterbirds and Kingfishers.

With this EDG VR scope, it was possible to get sharp images while shooting around 1/60s at 500mm F/5.9 using Continuous High (CH) and with Timer modes. Out of 18 shots taken in sequence with CH, I got more than 9 sharp images which is almost impossible with my current EDG scope ! More with cable release on Timer mode.

EXIF : ISO 100, Shutter speed 1/60s, 500mm F/5.9 with FSA-L2 on D300s. Images were cropped 50% and resized only. No sharpening applied

Other usefulness of the VR, while focusing at 500mm up to 1750mm, it helped me in obtaining faster perfect focus while focusing on the helical through the viewfinder without getting back and forth. No shaking on the images and videos even at 1750mm ! This is one of the important aspect by having VR scope when recording videos at high magnification where a slight movement by wind etc could caused shaking and blurring on the recording itself.

The VR scope uses 4 x AA batteries and could last for 17 hours. After 30 minutes of non-active usage, the VR will turn off itself in order to save power consumption. I didn't really feel the weight differences between my EDG85 and EDG85 VR. Plus it looked like the EDG85 VR seems to have better better contrast than my EDG scope ...

Mike Freiberg and Bill Schmoker from Nikon Prostaff USA tested the VR scope on windy day at :

Summary : I like this scope very much ! Is it worth upgrading to EDG85 VR scope ? Yes and for those who wants to take Digiscoping and Videoscoping to another level plus for visual use especially when you do lots of sea watching !

Thanks to Tee at Nikon Malaysia for the loan unit.

Digiscoped with Nikon Fieldscope EDG85 VR via FSA-L2 on D300s and D7000



Happy Digiscoping !


Ron-Nature Adventures said...

Wow a great new toy to consider. From the initial look it could have been an anti-tank cannon or a grenade launcher.

thanks for sharing

Avtoprokat said...

I am so glad i found your site. Fantastic photos - thank you!!

Anonymous said...


Interesting stuff!

Any idea if the EDG 85 VR will work with the Nikon 1 + FT1?


Jason Bugay Reyes a.k.a horukuru said...

Will let you know if once I have the chance to test it with V1 and FT1