Hello everyone, I'm new here so please be forgiving!
I've actually been lurking here for 8 months or so, so I feel I've got to know some of you already.
Before I answer dwever I feel a little background is in order. First, I'm not a birder (yet!) but I very much appreciate and enjoy looking at nature, good scenery etc through binoculars. My, Dad had a pair which I would pick up from time to time, but I actually purchased my first binoculars 20 years ago; a pair of Leica Trinovid BCA 10x25's. I bought them as I wanted a very compact binocular for using mainly at concert venues. At the time (and until very recently) I knew nothing about FOV or exit pupil etc and they were my only binocular until a few years ago when I bought some Nikon ‘Ocean Pro’ 7x50 marine bins for my boat. In all of that time, and even after I’d bought the 7x50’s, I thought nothing of any difficultly with eye placement due to the small exit pupil, or with hand holding a small 10x bin or the narrow FOV. Yes, I noticed that the 7x50 was noticeably better in low light, but even in my relative ignorance I expected that to be the case given that the objective lens was twice as big(!) but I didn’t experience that they were easier to use in any way (eye placement etc), nor did I even notice the different FOV (which of course is bigger, but I only notice that it’s different when I think about it, and I certainly didn’t experience it as ‘better’). What I DID experience was the fact that the image from the Leica 10x25’s was just better in every way than the image from the Nikon 7x50’s. Noticeably sharper with better colours and contrast etc.
Now to the point! I had always promised myself a ‘full size’ pair of Leica’s one day when funds permitted. I had hoped that the Nikons would satisfy my desire for full size bins, but, as explained above, that wasn’t to be the case, and in fact that experience only convinced me that some more Leica’s were what I really wanted. Happily for me my ability to purchase such a bin coincided with the release of the Noctivid, so after some deliberation and much reading on this forum I bought some 10X42’s.
For me the decision to get the 10x42’s was relatively easy. It seems (for reasons I totally understand) the consensus on here is that 8x42 bins are considered as the better alternative, and perhaps have the best overall qualities for a 'one size fits all’ bin. However, having been used to the 10x25’s for the last 20 years I was concerned that I would miss the pulling power of those, and I could imagine putting down the 8x42 NTV’s and reaching for them to get the detail that I was used to, which frankly would be silly! But the main reason I went for the 10x42’s is that I use them mainly for looking from a fixed position over long distances, very often over water, at distant shore lines, boats, and (dare I say) the occasional eagle!
I have to say that I’m absolutely thrilled with them. I know that they aren’t the only bin in their class on the market, and I’m sure that there will always be those who prefer Swaro’s or Ziess, but having been used to Leica’s, and living in a fairly remote part of Finland where it’s impossible to go and try different models, the Noctivids seemed to be an obvious choice. I know that makes my opinion rather less than well informed(!), but I thought I’d give it anyway! The only meaning full comparison I can make is that the Noctivids are not noticeably darker in very low light than the 7x50 Nikons. That, I’m sure, is a function of better optics and coatings and possibly the better twilight factor. It’s certainly easier to see detail with them in very low light.
My only problem now, having been bitten by the ‘buy another pair of bins bug’ is to try to persuade myself that I don’t want to buy the new Trinovid 8x32’s to complete the collection!
Sorry for the long rambling post! I’ll try to make any future contributions more concise!