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Old Friday 4th November 2016, 20:54   #65
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Finland
Posts: 1,473
I posted this on the SF thread, but will re-post it here as this is the more relevant thread. Also, as the other binocular I was comparing the Noctivid to was the 10x42 Zeiss SF:

"I have only had a brief encounter with a Noctivid as of now, and that was the 10x42 model. Nevertheless, it did display an image that, while not having "better DOF" than competing models, did seem to have a set of virtues that, put together, allows our eyes and brain to have an easier time in perceiving depth of field, or at least a lessened need to twiddle with the focus wheel. These virtues or characteristics were:

- Exceptionally good baffling and internal blackening. Very little stray light to be seen anywhere.

- This leads to exceptional contrast, both blacker blacks and whiter whites as well as better definition of subtle shades of gray in poor light/low contrast subjects.

- Visually (did not use a booster yet) excellent sharpness. An image that looks like it has very, very low overall aberration levels. My hopes went up that here might - finally - be a binocular that is purposely made to come closer to diffraction limit than to ISO standard. More samples need to be seen and properly tested in order to know whether this is the case.

All of the above combine to make the circle of confusion smaller, meaning that you can look a tiny bit closer/farther than the optimum focus point before the perceived defocus becomes large enough to trigger a need to re-focus.

- A very large sweet spot for a non-field-flattener design. Very much like Swaro SLC series.

- Like the SLC's, a very nice small amount of field curvature with very low levels of field edge astigmatism. Together, these mean that for a given centerfield focus, the edges are in best focus closer to the viewer, and typically your foreground is closer to you than the target centered in the view. The younger your eyes and the better your accommodation, the better you are able to utilize these characteristics of the view.

I'll take a better look at these as soon as I have time, but for now let's say that I was suitably impressed. Unfortunately, I don't have the money to collect any more Muggle binoculars, but if I did, these would top my list of what to have on the bookcase and for the occasional retro outing.

Of course we can quibble about the specifics of strap lug placements and space for fingers between the tubes and exact gram weights etc., but I see the Noctivid as a quality instrument in true Leica tradition.

Once I get to subject it to more rigorous tripod-mounted tests and boosted star-test/resolution test tortures, my view of the view it provides may change. But, the first impression this time was certainly quite impressive."

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