Nikon EDG VR 20-60×85 Fieldscope (Ideal for Wildlife Photography)

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edg-vr-20-60x85Viewing Configuration: Straight
Magnification: 20-60X
Power Variability: Variable
Adjustable Eyepieces: Yes
Eyepiece included: Yes
Objective Diameter: 85 mm
Close Focus Distance: 16.5
Length: 14.9 inches
Weight: 84.66 ounces
Field of View: 124.7-62.3 feet/1000 yards
Eye Relief/Exit Pupil: 18.4-16.5 mm/ 4.3-1.4 mm
Optics Coatings: Fully Multi-Coated
Glass: Not Listed
Focus System: Focus Knob
Waterproof/Fog-proof: Yes/Yes
Digiscope adaptable: Yes

Best Uses: Hunting, For the Range, Birdwatching, Wildlife Observation, Photography

Our Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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Update - 2019.04.02The Nikon EDG series of Fieldscopes has been discontinued. For another great option from Nikon, check out the newly redesigned Monarch Fieldscope 82ED-S With MEP-20-60.


Nikon EDG VR 85 Fieldscope Review

This out-of-your-world EDG VR 85 has image stabilization, ED Glass, fully multi-coated optics, and is fully weatherproof.

Like the EDG 65 reviewed here, there’s very few hunters who are willing to spend in the thousands for a fieldscope. But surprisingly, there is one online review about this device, and they gave it a double thumbs up. But, we’ll see how ratings go in the future as more dare to spend in this price range.

As the top-of-the-line fieldscope for Nikon, I had to make some room to feature it here. No Nikon spotting scope review would be complete without it.

So, what makes it the creme de la creme scope of the Nikon line-up? You’ll have to read the Q&A to find the answer to that.

  • Digiscope adaptable
  • Interchangeable eyepieces
  • Vibration Reduction technology
  • Fully weatherproof
  • Price
  • Heavy
  • Impractical for hunters


Nikon EDG VR 85 Q&A:

What does VR stand for?

Vibration Reduction. This is the one outstanding feature of the EDG VR that sets it apart from its EDG counterpart. Apparently, Nikon was the first manufacturer in the world to develop a fieldscope with lens-adjusting image stabilization.

All external movements from user use to weather elements like wind, will cause that annoying image shaking that significantly slows down target acquisition, let alone, making it practically impossible to see, to cease.


How does VR work?

There are two sensors in the scope called Angular Velocity sensors. Their job is to detect any vertical and horizontal movements, and together, they can also detect diagonal movement.

Once movement has been detected, they then signal the Voice Coil Motors to activate the VR system to stop the shaking. When the VR is turned on, it can detect movement every 1/1000 of a second.

The result is a still, shake-free image that’s providing 88 percent more image stability than a conventional spotting scope.


What is the EDG 85 VR’s power source?

For about 17 hours of use, you’re going to go through four AA batteries. On top of the already heifer of a scope, adding in battery weight and spare batteries is going to leave you with a crick in your back.


Is this fieldscope practical for hunting?

This is a flat out “No”. Although the optical precision and quality is something to envy when you’re out in the field just trying to get a clear view, it’s not going to be portable, as much as a spotting scope can be, to take with you on a hunt.

Against it is also the cost. The astronomical cost of about $6000+ is more than most hunters will ever spend on one optic.

So, what would it be suitable for? Wildlife photography. This is an excellent optic if you’re just in it for the hunt of that one moment.


Noteworthy Features:

  • VR technology to reduce shaking by 88% versus conventional fieldscope
  • Easy On/Off VR system powered by 4 AA batteries
  • Fully multi-coated coatings for optimum light transmission
  • Phase-correction coatings to maintain in-phase light-waves and color resolution
  • Dielectric prism coatings for maximum internal reflectivity
  • Fully fog-proof and waterproof to endure all types of weather
  • Lead and arsenic free with Eco-Glass components
  • Extra-Low Dispersion glass for minimized chromatic aberrations in high-contrast environments
  • Seven available EDG eyepieces
  • Backed by Nikon’s Limited Lifetime Warranty/With Electric Components


Our Verdict On The EDG Fieldscope 85

The scoop on the scope is, the Nikon EDG VR Fieldscope 85 is a very luxurious piece of equipment. However, its price and weight makes it almost impossible for the hunter to use. But, if stationary hunting is your kinda style, you’ll just need to justify the cost.

For a Nikon fieldscope that’s a little more practical, the Nikon EDG 16-48X65 spotter would be better. It’s still very pricey, but if you’re loyal to Nikon, the cost won’t bother you a bit. You could always save a serious amount of cash with the Nikon Fieldscope 13-30X50 spotter. We reckon it has the best value out of the lot so check it out.

However, for these very steep prices, you could always go with a mouth-drooling, dream-list brand like Swaro. The Swarovski STR 80 MOA spotter and a separate eyepiece would still be cheaper to buy than the EDG VR 85. If that brings things into perspective for you, you’re welcome!

Nikon seems to have a track record of either hitting it out of the ballpark or bombing it. While the EDG VR 82 would be excellent for the nature observer or the wildlife photographer, it’s not so great for the on-the-go hunter. So, what are you? A shooting hunter or a shooting photographer?

Update - 2019.04.02The Nikon EDG series of Fieldscopes has been discontinued. For another great option from Nikon, check out the newly redesigned Monarch Fieldscope 82ED-S With MEP-20-60.


Simon is an avid outdoor enthusiast who is passionate about bringing you the most up to date, accurate & understandable information on hunting, optics, and the outdoors.