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Swarovski NL 8x42 - First Impressions

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Old Friday 10th July 2020, 23:35   #76
dries1
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Canip, Gijs and Jan thank you for providing some relevant info regarding the NLs. Especially the ergomomics. Nice to always gain valuable info from those who have experience with "the glass" and of which is unbiased.


Andy W.
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Old Friday 10th July 2020, 23:58   #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NDhunter View Post
Why in the world would a user want a headrest for a small 8x32 binocular.

Not needed, think about it. It may help with the 10 or 12X, but not the 8X,
IMHO.

Jerry
Not quite, Jerry. According to the SPIE Field Guide the daylight efficiency for hand-held vs. tripod-supported* instruments increases from ~5.8 to 8 at 8x magnification. Of course, the improvement is greater at 10x and 12x, but it's still worth having.

Ed

* The new headrest is probably not as effective as a tripod, but human engineering lab experiments could easily tell the story. They would be so easy to do I'm somewhat surprised that Swaro didn't report any.
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Old Saturday 11th July 2020, 00:08   #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elkcub View Post
Not quite, Jerry. According to the SPIE Field Guide the daylight efficiency for hand-held vs. tripod-supported* instruments increases from ~5.8 to 8 at 8x magnification. Of course, the improvement is greater at 10x and 12x, but it's still worth having.

Ed

* The new headrest is probably not as effective as a tripod, but human engineering lab experiments could easily tell the story. They would be so easy to do I'm somewhat surprised that Swaro didn't report any.
Ed: You are correct, a simple headrest thing is not a tripod. I have lots
of experience with binoculars mounted on a tripod. Usually 15X is the
most common binocular with this use.
I stand by my thought of 8X. Monkeying around with a headrest on that one
leads me to wonder about the health of the user......good grief.

Jerry
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Old Saturday 11th July 2020, 00:13   #79
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The (forehead support) is there for the mature birder, as an option of course.
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Old Saturday 11th July 2020, 00:22   #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dries1 View Post
The (forehead support) is there for the mature birder, as an option of course.
Hi dries, I'm rapidly approaching the 'maturity' level whereupon a forehead support will be required for my actual forehead!
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Old Saturday 11th July 2020, 00:31   #81
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That is a good one Sancho, very funny.
Regarding the support, the footprint on the forehead was likely designed for 800 grams in a lab, so it spreads out the weight distribution without feeling like a re-bar through the forehead.
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Old Saturday 11th July 2020, 00:50   #82
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In terms of future formats for the NL, its understandable that the idea of a x32 version has been raised,
as it would be an obvious competitor for the still as yet undelivered Zeiss SF x32

However, what may be far more significant in terms of ergonomic gains would be a x50 - or even x56 - version of the NL
e.g. while its nowhere near as ergonomically sophisticated as the NL, in his recent review of the Vortex Razor UHD 18x56,
Roger Vine noted the advantage of the tapered shape in terms of handling, compared to that of the SLC 15x56,
at: http://www.scopeviews.co.uk/VortexRazor18x56.htm


John
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Old Saturday 11th July 2020, 00:50   #83
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My Noctivid 8X42 is sold. Patiently waiting for NL release.
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Old Saturday 11th July 2020, 01:09   #84
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I think if you have large hands the SLC is no problem, I find it a nice glass to use, albeit a bit on the heavy side for some, but very good handling glass. Personally I did not like the ergo of the Vortex 18X56, I used it one night for astro. I procured a Nikon Astroluxe 18X70 instead.
John, now look what you did, kidding aside, I really enjoy the SV 10/12X50 glass, so I can't imagine how much better they could get.
My opinion in my last statement is based on how the views are in the 8X42 NL
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Old Saturday 11th July 2020, 01:33   #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John A Roberts View Post
In terms of future formats for the NL, its understandable that the idea of a x32 version has been raised,
as it would be an obvious competitor for the still as yet undelivered Zeiss SF x32

However, what may be far more significant in terms of ergonomic gains would be a x50 - or even x56 - version of the NL
e.g. while its nowhere near as ergonomically sophisticated as the NL, in his recent review of the Vortex Razor UHD 18x56,
Roger Vine noted the advantage of the tapered shape in terms of handling, compared to that of the SLC 15x56,
at: http://www.scopeviews.co.uk/VortexRazor18x56.htm


John
I have not read the Vine review, but it seems the choked down barrel of the
Vortex models would not be good, that means they have a smaller prism and maybe less brightness, due to the constraints and limits of the size.

The reviews of the Vortex 50 and 56 models are nowhere near any
of the Swarovski models are.

Jerry
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Old Saturday 11th July 2020, 03:37   #86
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Hi Andy (post #84),

Well yes, I was being slightly mischievous by raising the idea of a x50 NL at this point
And I too find it difficult to imagine how my EL SV 12x50 could be significantly improved optically, though a wider window with the same optical quality would be interesting

In relation to the NL’s ergonomics, at this stage I’m inclined to the view that:
a) while they will be of a benefit for many
b) and the benefit will be most obvious as binocular size increases
c) they may be too restrictive for a minority of users - and I suspect that I may be one of those


Notwithstanding the care that manufacturers take in placing grooves and ridges for ‘correct’ hand placement, I invariable don't use them
When I first pick up a new binocular I’ll start with the ‘official’ hold, but I’ll find without conscious thought that I’ve soon repositioned my hands

I most frequently use an asymmetric hold as shown by Mike F the other day with a Trinovid x42 at: https://www.birdforum.net/showpost.p...6&postcount=36

That is:
- I place my ‘support’ hand significantly further forward, typically as far as possible, and
- I also frequently place my ‘focusing’ hand further rearward than ‘recommended’
A main reason for the latter, is that I brace my thumb against my nose, giving 3 points of contact in conjunction with the top curves of the eye pieces
(an inverted DIY version of the FRP forehead rest)


The point to be made is that there are four ways to address the balance of a binocular:
weight forward of the hands; weight rearward of the hands; weight over the hands, or; weight between the hands

While the NL seems especially (exclusively?) orientated to a weight over the hands balance, my preference is frequently the between the hands balance
I find it especially effective with longer or heavier binoculars - including my EL 12x50
So my concern is that the significantly tapered mid-section of the NL may be uncomfortable or insecure with my preferred rear hand placement


John
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Old Saturday 11th July 2020, 03:53   #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NDhunter View Post
Ed: You are correct, a simple headrest thing is not a tripod. I have lots
of experience with binoculars mounted on a tripod. Usually 15X is the
most common binocular with this use.
I stand by my thought of 8X. Monkeying around with a headrest on that one
leads me to wonder about the health of the user......good grief.

Jerry
Jerry,

When NLs actually become available, it will be possible to evaluate 'binocular efficiency' by doing acuity tests with and without the headrest attached. My bet is that it will show a clear advantage even at 8x.

Ed
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Old Saturday 11th July 2020, 04:00   #88
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Originally Posted by elkcub View Post
Jerry,

When NLs actually become available, it will be possible to evaluate 'binocular efficiency' by doing acuity tests with and without the headrest attached. My bet is that it will show a clear advantage even at 8x.

Ed
No doubt. Your shaking even at 8x. Some people use a tripod even for 8x, especially hunters. Try putting your 8x binocular's on a tripod sometime. You would be surprised how much more detail you can see.
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Old Saturday 11th July 2020, 13:02   #89
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
No doubt. Your shaking even at 8x. Some people use a tripod even for 8x, especially hunters. Try putting your 8x binocular's on a tripod sometime. You would be surprised how much more detail you can see.
Many times I will brace myself against the car, fence post etc...or crouch which allows less movement. Especially true with HT but true with any bin I assume. Go outside with any binocular during the night and hold it up to the stars and see 'the movement' ...you will be surprised.

I wonder if Swaro is on to an idea that now all bins will have that as an option.
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Old Saturday 11th July 2020, 14:01   #90
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I wonder how easy it would be to fabricate something such as a headrest for other binoculars? The device itself is rather simple, and is somewhat akin to different methods of bracing binoculars to ones face (think MOLCET method on this forum).
I've never really noticed much 'shake' in binoculars under 10x, but do find 10x to the point where IS makes a distinctive difference. However, I'm younger and relatively fit, so as I age shake may be more problematic...

Justin
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Old Saturday 11th July 2020, 14:16   #91
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Many times I will brace myself against the car, fence post etc...or crouch which allows less movement. Especially true with HT but true with any bin I assume. Go outside with any binocular during the night and hold it up to the stars and see 'the movement' ...you will be surprised.

I wonder if Swaro is on to an idea that now all bins will have that as an option.
Maybe somebody will devise a small aftermarket forehead brace that you can attach to any brand of binoculars. It would not be that hard to make. A light plastic piece with a rubber cushion would be all that is needed.
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Old Saturday 11th July 2020, 16:19   #92
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Exclamation

For anyone who thinks they don't shake 'much' using binoculars - take your young, fit, strong selves outside one night, standing, and line up hand held on the moons of Jupiter with an 8x bin.

Give it your best flex, or meditative biofeedback controlled breathing - or whatever .....

Prepare to watch those little pinpoints dance across the sky like fireflies !

It would be a good test for this forehead rest thingamajig !






Chosun
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Old Saturday 11th July 2020, 17:03   #93
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Without any testing (as I don't have a forehead rest=FR), so this is just a conjecture, I believe that without using a FR the stars will move chaotically in an ellipse that's elongated along the vertical axis, in other words the binos will tend to move up and down more than left and right (assuming you press them in your eye sockets). Now a FR, which is pressed on your forehead, should be able to reduce the vertical component of this movement, and thus the stars will still dance but much less and within a circle the radius of which is approximately equal to the smaller axis of the aforementioned ellipse.
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Old Saturday 11th July 2020, 17:44   #94
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I'm sure there is some amount of shake in an 8x, but I've never noticed it in practical use including stargazing and long-distance, long hour observation of waterfowl and hawks during survey work.

Justin
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Old Saturday 11th July 2020, 18:08   #95
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I'm sure there is some amount of shake in an 8x, but I've never noticed it in practical use including stargazing and long-distance, long hour observation of waterfowl and hawks during survey work.

Justin
That is interesting. I'm with CJ regarding star gazing and the objects dancing about. Last night and again this morning at 03.30 I was trying in vain to locate a comet.

I messed about by using both a Zeiss 8 x 32 FL and then a Zeiss SF 8 x 42, from just above the horizon to directly overhead. The shake I experienced was slight but evident.

Tonight, I'll hopefully find it ( apparently it is easy to find, famous last words ) - we have excellent dark skies ) but I will just use the SF. I will also be using a headrest as well, a pillow combined with a chair......
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Old Saturday 11th July 2020, 18:32   #96
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Hi dries, I'm rapidly approaching the 'maturity' level whereupon a forehead support will be required for my actual forehead!
I need one now -- that made me laugh so much i nearly lost my own head!

Actually I find it really hard to hold little compact 8x20s still -- I need a rest for them more than for my 8x56 FLs!

Tom
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Old Saturday 11th July 2020, 18:35   #97
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Here is a resolution comparison of four different size binoculars handheld, braced, supported, and mounted by Professor Edz over at Cloudy Nights. HUGE difference even at 8x! I think the NL headrest even if it is only equal to supported binoculars will be a game-changer. i think we are going to have rig some kind of headrest on our present binocular's. How about something like what the Night Vision Goggle's use in the picture?

"Aug 27, 2005,

This is a resolution comparison of four binoculars; a 15x70, a 12x50, a 10x50, and an 8x42. I already know what resolution (mounted) can be achieved with each and that was retested here and confirmed to previous tests. I wanted to find out how that resolution changes for mounted binocular versus a braced supported binocular, braced elbows, and un-braced handheld. It was expected that resolution would get progressively less and that was found to be true. But by how much, and what effect does each binocular size have on the outcome? Here are the results.

These values were recorded for resolution. I have multiplied by magnification to convert resolution values into angular arcseconds apparent size, so any one binocular can be compared to any other:

15x70 Oberwerk
binocular mounted, clearly see 102", see both 91", suspect both 81"
binocular supported, clearly see 129", suspect only 115”, not seen 102"
elbows braced, clearly see 162", see sometimes 145", suspect only 129"
un-braced handheld, clearly see 204", usually 182", seldom 162", no see 145”

12x50 Nikon AE
binocular mounted, clearly see 103", suspect both 92", not seen 82”
binocular supported, clearly see 116", see sometimes 103”, not seen 92"
elbows braced, clearly see 145", see sometimes 130", not seen 116"
un-braced handheld, clearly see 145", suspected 130", not seen 116”

10x50 Nikon AE
binocular mounted, clearly see 97", suspect both 86", not seen 77”
binocular supported, clearly see 108", see sometimes 97”, not seen 86"
elbows braced, clearly see 121", see sometimes 108", not seen 97"
un-braced hand held, clearly see 153", sometimes 136”, suspect 121", no see 108”

8x42 Swift
binocular mounted, clearly see 97", suspect both 87", not seen 77”
binocular supported, clearly see 109", see sometimes 97”, not seen 87"
elbows braced, clearly see 122", see sometimes 109", not seen 97"
un-braced handheld, clearly see 154", sometimes 137”, suspect 122", no see 109”

As expected, lesser forms of steadiness in the support results in poorer resolution. What you can also see from these results is how much the larger binoculars are affected by a lack of support. There was essentially no difference between the 10x50 and the 8x42. And there was not much difference even with the 12x50, but with the 12x50 the differences grew wider with braced elbows or handheld. There was even a further slight drop in resolution when attempting to use the 15x70s with solidly braced elbows. I could not see as well as with the smaller binoculars.

The real significant difference was seen when attempting to handhold the 15x70s. In this case, the resolution plummeted.

None of this was surprising to me. But it does illustrate what the lack of support does to your view. And it very clearly illustrated for me just how poorly the performance of a handheld 15x70 matched up to any smaller binocular I choose to use handheld.

These handheld results would vary for other individuals, especially those who have practice at such sports as target shooting. But for most people, this might give you some indication of how much you really lose when attempting to view handheld through a large binocular. This unsteadiness of the view goes a long way towards supporting what I and many others have said, that regardless of what size some users might claim to be a handheld choice, a 10x50 or maybe a 12x50 might be a much better choice for most people.

I think another important piece of information this gives us is just how much resolution is achievable when using binoculars handheld for daylight viewing. Excluding the 15x70s, in all other cases handheld resolution was approx. 40% less than mounted. I think this goes somewhat further towards supporting that the resolution you see handheld in a binocular in daylight or at night is far more dependant on the power of the binocular than anything else.

edz"
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Old Saturday 11th July 2020, 22:57   #98
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No doubt. Your shaking even at 8x. Some people use a tripod even for 8x, especially hunters. Try putting your 8x binocular's on a tripod sometime. You would be surprised how much more detail you can see.
Here are the equations from the SPIE Field Guide to Binoculars and Scopes.
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Old Saturday 11th July 2020, 23:34   #99
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Last night and again this morning at 03.30 I was trying in vain to locate a comet.
Look in the evening. I saw it in my HT 10x42 from 22:45 CET. By 23:30 it was a naked-eye object.
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Old Sunday 12th July 2020, 00:31   #100
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Here are the equations from the SPIE Field Guide to Binoculars and Scopes.
Interesting! Even 6x is more efficient supported than handheld. The difference in efficiency between 8x supported and handheld is quite a bit.

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