Eden XP 10x56 binoculars | Expert Review by Erik Peeters
As a nature guide at the Hoge Veluwe I like to study wildlife, especially their senses. Since wildlife is mostly visible in the early morning hours or around sunset, you'll need a pair of binoculars that allow as much light as possible. The binoculars I have chosen for this are the Eden XP 10x56. This is a slightly heavier pair of binoculars due to the 56 mm glass. As such, I don't really hang it around my neck, instead I hang it off my shoulder or attach it to the shoulder strap of my backpack.
When I'm headed to the game hut, I'll often bring a monopod to place the binoculars on, so my view is clear - no vibrations. For longer treks across the Hoge Veluwe, it is not practical to carry a monopod. When I'm using the binoculars in that situation, I will lean them against a tree to keep them steady.
Take the Eden XP everywhere
I'm always taking the Eden XP 10x56 binoculars with me wherever I go. I regularly accompany groups and tell them about the local wildlife. After I quit my psychologist job, I started researching animal psychology and I usually direct people's attention to the animals' senses, as there's a lot to say about that. You'll get to know the animals better that way. Most animals don't see us as clearly as we see them. In contrast to how we inhale the smell of our dinner when we're in the kitchen, animals actually exhale in order to smell the surrounding air. You can't really see them exhale from a distance, but if you have a higher magnification you can make this visible. The Eden XP 10x56 has a 10x magnification which brings the animals and their senses closer than most binoculars with 8x42.
Perfect for studying wildlife
Many people come to the Hoge Veluwe during breeding season to watch the bellowing of the deer. During breeding season, the deer's Adam's apple lowers to their sternum, allowing them to make their signature bellowing sound. During the day, you can see the males chasing the females. If you look closely, you can tell whether the females accept their invitation, even though they won't take immediate action. Two-thirds of the females go out to find another male during the night. As I'm explaining about the senses and behaviours of the wildlife, I scan the group using my binoculars. That way, they can also see what I'm talking about. In this way, a whole new world opens up to them. The Eden XP 10x56 is a great pair of binoculars to take with you in search of wildlife. If you intend to use your binoculars for birdwatching, I would recommend the Eden XP 8x42.
I am very satisfied with the binoculars, and I take them with me on every hiking trip, despite their weight. After I went out a few times with the Eden XP 10x56, the protective caps fell off a few times. I secured the caps using tie-wraps, as advised by Knivesandtools. Not very innovative, but very effective.
About four hundred euros is a lot of money, of course. However, considering everything you get in return, you really can't complain. These binoculars are therefore not something you buy for occasional visits to the forest, but rather, they are an investment to make the experience of your hikes and wildlife searches even more beautiful. At Knivesandtools they give good advice about which binoculars are right for you, depending on what you intend to use them for.
As a biologist and nature guide, Erik Peeters guides nature tours on the Hoge Veluwe. He always takes his binoculars with him. He has studied animal psychology and enjoys talking about the senses of animals.