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Swarovski - odd business policy - near point

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Old Saturday 4th July 2020, 23:55   #51
NDhunter
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I have a take on the decision about the current EL series. The new NL took a much different approach
in order to distinguish it from the EL. The EL introduced the open frame style and many others copied
the design. Now that Zeiss and Leica copied that, Swaro. then did a completely different decision to go
back to a traditional hinge design. I am wondering if the prism move change and styling excercise is simply
a way for it to distinguish it.

I have a feeling the new NL will be very EL like in its optics, and if they had left the design so similar, it would
have been hard to raise prices to this new level. I have owned EL models for over 15 years, and I really like
the open frame, it makes the handling and ergos very good. The NL, who knows how it will handle, but I like
the fact the focus knob is lower, should be more friendly for position.

The Zeiss Victory SF has done things so very well with balance and ergos. those interested in a binocular at
this level should be sure to check the SF out before purchasing a new binocular.

Jerry
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Old Sunday 5th July 2020, 07:30   #52
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Originally Posted by jgraider View Post
They may be negative changes to some people, and to some people they will be positive changes, and I'd guess to 90% of the buying public it is a non issue, doesn't matter whatsoever. I guaranatee the average binocular buyer doesn't know what the close focus specs are on the binoculars they own. In fact they probably don't know most of the specs on the binos they own.


If it matters so much to some here, I'd offer up to sell my pre FP 10x50SV's that are in excellent shape, so you won't have to deal with it if you don't want to.
JG if it wasn't important in the market Swaro wouldn't have bothered making sure that its best close focus is only available on its top, most expensive , model.

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Old Sunday 5th July 2020, 08:19   #53
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Originally Posted by Canip View Post
I rarely use a binocular for things nearby, and when I do, I use a Pentax Papilio which lets me go as close as 50cm.

But I appreciate that some members here are using binoculars to observe insects and the like, and maybe they can give me an answer to my question:

If I am not mistaken, when observing with the EL 10x42 at a close focus of 1.5m I see the observed object as if it was only 1/10 of that distance away, i.e. at 15 cm. With the close focus of the EL changing to 3.3m, the apparent distance of the observed object is now 33 cm, i.e. 18 cm more than before.

How much detail recognition do I really lose if my insect is 18 cm further away?

Or what am I missing here?

Canip
Thank you for asking a good question. I can only answer for myself and don't claim to speak for others.

For me close focus isn't just about insects. I use binos to examine so many different things, here are some: yes butterflies and dragonflies are on my list as are bush crickets, moths and many others. But I also use them to observe snakes, lizards, newts, fish, crayfish, sea anemones, sea slugs, marine worms, and small mammals. Plus flowers especially those growing in bogs, on crags or on cliffs, as well as fungi and lichens.

For those subjects that might flee such as snakes, lizards, newts, fish and many insects, for much of the time the close focus is important because when you find yourself unexpectedly close to one of them, you don't want to have to step back to focus your binos on them because your movement may scare them off into the undergrowth. This happens so many times. We often move through habitats slowly and carefully, on the look out for something specific like otters in Scotland or dragonflies in France, and when easing your way around a bush or a rock you may find a Field Vole eating some grass or a snake eating a fish, very, very close (see pic below of the snake eating the fish) or a lizard basking in the sun (see second pic below, I hardly dared to move but I got the pic and it looked fabulous through the binos). At this point, there is usually a moment or two when the animal or whatever either flees or stays still, trusting in lack of movement to escape being seen. Getting a close look at stuff through binos at this moment is a fantastic experience and is almost always ruined if you need to step back to use your binos because they don't focus close enough. Your movement scares the animal away.

You ask if it makes much difference whether you lose some detail if you are 18cm further away. As explained above, the distance isn't always your choice and if you need to move to focus the result is no detail at all because the subject flees. But as with birds, the detail you need to identify some subjects can vary. Some butterflies need examination of their markings and some dragonflies might need examination of the wing venation or other clues. And much depends on the size of the insect, some dragonflies are large while some damselflies are very small indeed.

And discussing the difference between a close focus of 1.5m and 3.3m is a bit like discussing why people like 10x magnification vs 8x. The bigger the image, the more pleasurable the experience.

Birds are fascinating and are what got me interested in nature in the first place and to go birding 3.3m close focus is adequate, but if you have any interest in the other 90% of nature and want to make the most of every observing opportunity that nature puts in front of your binos (and the ones we have been talking about are very very expensive) then I for one want those binos to be as versatile as possible and a 3.3m close focus would have made impossible hundreds of wonderful wildlife observations that I have been privileged to have experienced.

Many binos focus as close as 2.0m or even closer today, 1,5m is common and some like Leica's Trinovid HD 8x32 focus to around 1.0m. Bino brands are not doing this because close focus is unimportant in the market, and Swarovski isn't making sure their best close focus is only available on their top, most expensive model because it makes no difference which model has this capability.

BTW take a look at the snake and you can see the tail fins of the fish it is eating sticking out of its mouth. The snake 'froze' when I appeared very close by and by good fortune I already had my camera out and was able to grab a couple of shots. The view through the binos was impressive. Then the snake slowly eased itself back underwater and swam off.
Lee
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Old Sunday 5th July 2020, 08:21   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tenex View Post
For those serious about insects etc, the issue could be not so much reduction in magnification, as actually needing to retreat to focus on the target, if possible. (Was it Lee who pointed this out some time ago?)
Thanks for remembering!

Lee
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Old Sunday 5th July 2020, 11:28   #55
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Here's a couple of points I don't think have been covered yet?

Have current close focusing els been devalued due to the recent price slashing, also if for any reason a close focusing gen el42 needed a service which needed parts replacing in the focus mechanism would you recieve your binos back from swarovski service dept with the same close focus capabilities or find you can simply no longer enjoy your insects/butterflies etc?

Out of curiousity I just compared the difference between 1.5m and 3.3m with a tape measure and the difference is shocking!

....I wouldn't be surprised if swaro market the nl32 as the ultimate close focusing/allround naturalists binocular with a close focusing range of 1.2-

Matt

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Old Sunday 5th July 2020, 11:45   #56
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Lee, thanks for the long text #53. This is what I feel, too.

We, my wife and I, are interested in birds (monitoring programs etc.) but in about 60% of the time we use the bins for the other wonders you mentioned.

1.5 to 2 meters means: I can focus at every time without stepping back (because the eyes are already 1,6 meters above the ground).
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Old Sunday 5th July 2020, 11:58   #57
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If there was`nt a demand for a close focus back in 2009 when the SV hit the market why did Swaro invest so much money in producing it ?, or was it simply so they could charge more even though market research suggested there was actually a low demand.
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Old Sunday 5th July 2020, 12:33   #58
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Thank you, Lee / tenex / OhWeh and others.

I thought much like Gijs (post # 44) that we are making quite a lot of fuss about the issue of the close focus change, but the „not having to retreat to focus“ is a valid point and a useful answer to my question (and one more reason for me to use use a Papilio, with which I almost never have to retreat, to observe things nearby).

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Old Sunday 5th July 2020, 12:51   #59
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Canip, serious question: do you always wear two binos? I know, the Papilio is not too heavy.
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Old Sunday 5th July 2020, 13:24   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canip View Post
Thank you, Lee / tenex / OhWeh and others.

I thought much like Gijs (post # 44) that we are making quite a lot of fuss about the issue of the close focus change, but the „not having to retreat to focus“ is a valid point and a useful answer to my question (and one more reason for me to use use a Papilio, with which I almost never have to retreat, to observe things nearby).

Canip
Canip
I can imagine Papilio is very useful but I find it convenient to have just one pair of binos and simply use this for subjects at all distances. I am not convinced by the optical performance of Papilio at 'bird distances', especially longer distances, and prefer a larger exit pupil for serious field work.

It is also worth noting that we are all responding to the fuss Swarovski have made by ensuring that their best close focus distance is only available on their most expensive binoculars. This suggests Swarovski thinks this is an important feature as it would not make any sense at all to make sure your most expensive model is equipped with a feature of no importance.

Lee
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Old Sunday 5th July 2020, 13:32   #61
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Let's face it this introduction of the NL series was like a body slam for the turnout of the SF 8X32, almost a face plant.
They will sell many of them.

Andy W.
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Old Sunday 5th July 2020, 13:50   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OhWeh View Post
Canip, serious question: do you always wear two binos? I know, the Papilio is not too heavy.
I am privileged to live on a hill immediately adjacent to a forest, with a view into the forest on one side and onto other hills on the other, and with a half acre backyard in which zero pestizides are used, there is plenty to observe at all distances, so I frequently have a dozen or more binos, magnifying glasses and and even a microscope on my garden table. But I am fully aware that this may be slightly weird behaviour and I do behave more normally when away from home out in the fields or in the mountains ...
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Old Sunday 5th July 2020, 13:58   #63
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Thumbs up Swaro

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canip View Post
I am privileged to live on a hill immediately adjacent to a forest, with a view into the forest on one side and onto other hills on the other, and with a half acre backyard in which zero pestizides are used, there is plenty to observe at all distances, so I frequently have a dozen or more binos, magnifying glasses and and even a microscope on my garden table. But I am fully aware that this may be slightly weird behaviour and I do behave more normally when away from home out in the fields or in the mountains ...


Andy W.
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Old Sunday 5th July 2020, 14:22   #64
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Originally Posted by Troubador View Post
JG if it wasn't important in the market Swaro wouldn't have bothered making sure that its best close focus is only available on its top, most expensive , model.

Lee

We'l have to agree to disagree then Lee, and that's fine. I could take a poll of the 160+ visitors I had in camps over the years and not one of them would be able to tell me what the close focus distance was on their binoculars. None.
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Old Sunday 5th July 2020, 14:22   #65
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I see that the 3 new Swarovski NL Pure binoculars are now listed with Allbinos along with the rest of the Swarovskis.

It makes it easier to compare them.

https://www.allbinos.com/1-Swarovski-binoculars.html

Bob

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Old Sunday 5th July 2020, 15:31   #66
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We'l have to agree to disagree then Lee, and that's fine. I could take a poll of the 160+ visitors I had in camps over the years and not one of them would be able to tell me what the close focus distance was on their binoculars. None.
JG

Do you mean that none of your 160+ visitors was interested in anything that they would use close-focus for?

Lee
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Old Sunday 5th July 2020, 16:14   #67
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.... and as to close focus:

She (pic) has been a regular visitor at my backyard, but she would not let me get closer than perhaps 4m before flying away, so the close focus distance of any of my binos was unimportant (the zoom of the Nikon camera did the job) ...
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Old Sunday 5th July 2020, 17:14   #68
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JG

Do you mean that none of your 160+ visitors was interested in anything that they would use close-focus for?

Lee

Absolutely, definitely not anything a yard or three away. My contention is that the vast majority of binocular owners see it the same way. I bet you they couldn't tell you what the FOV is of the binocular they're wearing either. This is not to be taken offensively by anyone, but only the really OCD personality types get all gloomy and depressed, or even excited over binocular specs. You pick one up, assess it as to what's important to you....ergos, sharpness, etc ( may or may not include FOV, etc) and compare it to another one or three until you find one that just works.

I've been in Cabelas, Bass Pro, Scheels, etc thousands of times and visited the binocular counter, and never heard the first guy, or seen the first guy (or gal) going over binocular specs with the salesman. I've also been to the massive SCI show, NRA show, DSC show, and SHOT once as a guest. I can't remember ever going over specs, even when new products were being introduced to the public. Once again, your eyeballs and brain love 'em, or not and it's not hard to determine. People's preconceived notions and biases very evident, and real.

That's the way I see it, and as I said before you and others may not, and that's fine by me.
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Old Sunday 5th July 2020, 17:47   #69
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I haven't seen anything definitive - or more likely missed it but is the closest focus the only change on the El or any coating changes etc in addition to keep the NL as brand leader

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Old Sunday 5th July 2020, 18:06   #70
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I think most of the birders who bought a binocular for 1500, 2000€ or more know the closest distance.
I have the Retrovid 7*35 and there is the closest focus distance 4m. In reality ist is about 3,5m.
This is the biggest disadvantage for me. I like to visit lizards in bushes and have to go often some steps back.
Then is the e.g.lizard gone or i wont be able to spot the lizard in the bushes.
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Old Sunday 5th July 2020, 18:11   #71
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If I want to observe butterflies and other insect I ususally carry a Zeiss 6x18 monocular, very fast and easy focus, and that works very well next to an 8x32 or 8x42. Moreover it has a very close focus range.
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Old Sunday 5th July 2020, 18:31   #72
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.... and as to close focus:

She (pic) has been a regular visitor at my backyard, but she would not let me get closer than perhaps 4m before flying away, so the close focus distance of any of my binos was unimportant (the zoom of the Nikon camera did the job) ...

As mentioned before, the problem is not those animals that don't allow closer approach.

The problem is when you are somewhere and a certain animal (butterfly, dragonfly, or even a hummer) approaches you this close that you cannot focus anymore, and you know that stepping back will result in said animal to fly off.
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Old Sunday 5th July 2020, 18:38   #73
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Is not the issue more fundamentally that the EL is being cheapened without a corresponding name change.
Call it the FL and no one could object.
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Old Sunday 5th July 2020, 18:48   #74
Loddar
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If I want to observe butterflies and other insect I ususally carry a Zeiss 6x18 monocular, very fast and easy focus, and that works very well next to an 8x32 or 8x42. Moreover it has a very close focus range.
Gijs van Ginkel
I have a Nikon 5*15 Monocular and a Papillo as well. But i do not carry them always togeteher or put them out of a bag.
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Old Sunday 5th July 2020, 19:35   #75
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Hello,

I am late to this discussion but I would point out that close focussing became practical with roof prims glasses, as the spatial displacement of most Porro glasses made close focussing more practical but only with internal focussing. At close distances the a moving bridge might be wobbly. As I recall Dr. Merlitz thought that focus closer than three or so metres was rather unnecessary, something with which I agree. So if assembling close focussing a closed bridge is a bit difficult, it is an obvious place to cut costs to cheapen a model, without changing the remaining optical train. The alternative would be to drop the model hoping that sales of a newer model, with increased profit per unit, would make up. Actually, that might very well be the next step.

As someone who suffers from myopia, I can always improve close focussing by pushing my specs up, which I do with Porro binoculars, or with a Zeiss 7x42 Dialyt, a roof with an moving bridge, for a closer look.

Lastly, was not the open bridge design an attraction for hunters who thought they could hold their binoculars without letting go of their rifles? It has been more than half a century since I was forced to carry a rifle, so that was never an attraction for me.

Stay safe,
Arthur
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