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Nikon ED50 Fieldscope

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Jan 26, 2009 | by Adrian Binns

One of the biggest challenges about leading birding trips around the world is the increasingly-restrictive air travel regulations. By contrast, one of the newfound joys of travelling certainly has to be Nikon’s ED (extra low dispersion) 50mm fieldscope. It comes with either a straight or angled body and is the easiest, smallest, lightest and best high end scope on the market to travel with, bar-none. At 11 inches in length including the 13x-30x eyepiece, and weighing less than 20 ounces it packs comfortably into carry-on baggage without adding pounds.

In the field, my trip participants are intrigued by the diminutive size of the scope, and thrilled by its performance. Once they look through at the fine details on the wing of their first breeding plumage Black-bellied Plover they are astounded by its clarity. Rugged and waterproof it has a bright high resolution glass with true color image. I’ve never had so many participants want to carry my scope, though the catch is that I have to carry theirs! The size and lightness sells itself and I certainly recommend that you get to check one out and see for yourself.

photo © adrian binns

3 Comments

  1. Azahari Reyes @ Jason a.k.a horukuru on May 25, 2009 at 9:56 AM

    Yes one of the best compact scope in the market now and good for digiscoping too hahaha

  2. pwh on January 11, 2010 at 4:47 PM

    Do you recommend the straight or angled version? I have the angled ED82 Nikon and want to get the ED50 as a travel scope. The ideal of handholding and/or using it from the car makes me lean to the straight version although when travelling I'll be using a shorter tripod which may be tricky with the straight version.

  3. Kevin Loughlin on January 11, 2010 at 4:56 PM

    Although I typically prefer an angled scope, especially with groups of varying heights or with shorter tripods, with the ED50 I found the angled model to be very difficult to aim and find my subject. I don't have this issue with any other angled scope I own (Leica 77, Swarovski 80–the old style, Celestron 80, Vortex 80). So in this case I would recommend the straight version.

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