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SF 8x32 v NL Pure 8x42

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Old Thursday 30th July 2020, 19:46   #1
starforgedape
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SF 8x32 v NL Pure 8x42

Apples and bowling balls, yes I know. But I'm just curious as August is coming up, these 2 binos will be released around this time, what are you guys getting? Both perhaps?

I'm not sure myself. I just started getting into birding. I have a 10x42 IS, but I've decided that I will only use it for astronomy.

I know they're different binos completely, thus it will probably be all down to 32 vs 42... But if you were just say shopping for a new bino, which would you go for first?
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Old Thursday 30th July 2020, 19:55   #2
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Perhaps not apples and oranges, since size is so close. I'd say a 50% cost delta might be a stronger consideration for many, but curious what people have to say as well.
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Old Thursday 30th July 2020, 20:08   #3
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Apologies for what may seem like a rude question.... but if you're "just started getting into birding", why are you only considering the two newest, most expensive models that haven't even hit the market? You don't even know what you like or need yet.

There are any number of other time tested, outstanding options currently on the market which will cost far less, so if you change your mind on what you prefer you're not in for as much.

Sounds like you have a decent budget and high-end taste, so grab a used or discount alpha or two and get a feel for the 8x32 vs 8x42 formats and figure out what YOU like to use. Or buy a couple of options from a good retailer who allows easy returns.

Binoculars are very much personal taste. Dabble around and figure out what you like, THEN if you feel like you really need the best of the best, you can splurge on a specific model that meets YOUR needs.
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Old Thursday 30th July 2020, 20:22   #4
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Apologies for what may seem like a rude question.... but if you're "just started getting into birding", why are you only considering the two newest, most expensive models that haven't even hit the market? You don't even know what you like or need yet.

There are any number of other time tested, outstanding options currently on the market which will cost far less, so if you change your mind on what you prefer you're not in for as much.

Sounds like you have a decent budget and high-end taste, so grab a used or discount alpha or two and get a feel for the 8x32 vs 8x42 formats and figure out what YOU like to use. Or buy a couple of options from a good retailer who allows easy returns.

Binoculars are very much personal taste. Dabble around and figure out what you like, THEN if you feel like you really need the best of the best, you can splurge on a specific model that meets YOUR needs.
Because usually the newest has the best to offer, and I've decided that if I'm going to spend "x" amount, why not look into the item that has the latest advancement? I want a big FOV, and from what I gather these two offerings have the biggest FOV in their respective segment.

No offense taken, mind you. But I apologies to you however, you're the one who seems offended by the query :)
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Old Thursday 30th July 2020, 20:35   #5
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Because usually the newest has the best to offer, and I've decided that if I'm going to spend "x" amount, why not look into the item that has the latest advancement? I want a big FOV, and from what I gather these two offerings have the biggest FOV in their respective segment.

No offense taken, mind you. But I apologies to you however, you're the one who seems offended by the query :)
Why not keep using the 10x42 IS?

What are you looking to gain?
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Old Thursday 30th July 2020, 20:51   #6
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Apples and bowling balls, yes I know. But I'm just curious as August is coming up, these 2 binos will be released around this time, what are you guys getting? Both perhaps?

I'm not sure myself. I just started getting into birding. I have a 10x42 IS, but I've decided that I will only use it for astronomy.

I know they're different binos completely, thus it will probably be all down to 32 vs 42... But if you were just say shopping for a new bino, which would you go for first?
If you research the many threads you should end up realising that it is such a personal preference and their are many many different facets involved. Some with a decent amount of disposable income may purchase both, some may upgrade and many will wish for either whilst others will stick with what they have. Brand loyalty or smugness even. Therefore an unusual question to be considering right now for me. Perhaps in a couple of years time we may have gained enough experience with both models and perhaps even a 8 x 32 NL. Like you say, you dont even know yet, until you've tested them.

You're probably in a better position being new to birding and looking for your first " alpha " unit.

Just enjoy whatever you choose.
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Old Thursday 30th July 2020, 21:08   #7
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But I apologies to you however, you're the one who seems offended by the query :)
I'm not "offended by the query", I'm simply asking a probative question in return to make sure you've thought through your needs and priorities to try and help you make a better decision.

Sometimes when people enter a new hobby and decide to splurge on gear, they buy something that isn't a good match for their uses.
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Old Thursday 30th July 2020, 23:06   #8
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"Because usually the newest has the best to offer." That is true ... sometimes. Today's xyz binocular may very well be 1952's abc binocular with changes is cosmetics, AR coatings and price. This is especially true in Porros. Broad statements gather validity with experience. There are many more things to know than can be gathered in less than a month on a bino forum.

Pat had it right; Just enjoy whatever you choose. And Eitan is steering you correctly.

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Old Thursday 30th July 2020, 23:19   #9
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I had to choose between the Zeiss 8x32 SF and the Swarovski NL 8x42 for my new binocular. I pre-ordered the Swarovski NL 8x42 because of the much larger FOV and I know it will have sharper edges than the Zeiss SF because Swarovski's usually do, and I am trusting the initial reviews. I also like the positive comments on micro-contrast, on -axis resolution, glare control and CA control. I feel the NL will have superior ergonomics with the tapered molded optical tubes and I like the position of the focuser. The focuser sounds like it has been upgraded also with all the comments about how smooth it is. It also sounds like the head rest will help significantly with steadying the binocular. In my experience Swarovski has better resale and better service in the long run than Zeiss. In my opinion I think the NL could be one of the best binoculars ever made but time will tell once more people have used it. It will be interesting to see how long the waiting list will be on the NL's if you don't pre-order. Maybe a year?

Last edited by [email protected] : Friday 31st July 2020 at 03:23.
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Old Friday 31st July 2020, 01:48   #10
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There seems to be no reason to decide on which binocular at this time. Early on these often have problems
and changes are made. Both Swaro. and Zeiss are famous for that.
Also, how would you know how they perform ?
Have patience.

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Old Friday 31st July 2020, 07:06   #11
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I pre-ordered the Swarovski NL 8x42 because of the much larger FO




I like the position of the focuser.
159m vs 155m "much larger" ?, If I were choosing it would be the 240g weight increase that was a factor here.

Then one must like the position of the SF focuser.

I don`t see how anybody could proclaim either one as superior to the other without ever having handled or looked through either.

And I may have missed it but have Jan or any others posting about the NL compared the two side by side ?
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Old Friday 31st July 2020, 07:37   #12
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159m vs 155m "much larger" ?, If I were choosing it would be the 240g weight increase that was a factor here.

Then one must like the position of the SF focuser.

I don`t see how anybody could proclaim either one as superior to the other without ever having handled or looked through either.

And I may have missed it but have Jan or any others posting about the NL compared the two side by side ?
In my experience 10 feet (3.05 m) bigger is noticeable in the FOV and I know from reading the initial reviews and having considerable experience with Zeiss and Swarovski that the NL will have sharper edges than the SF and that is all I need to know because I much prefer sharp edges. I like the Swarovski SV's better than the Zeiss SF's, so I know I am going to like the new NL better than the new SF without even trying them. I don't need a side to side. That is why I preordered the Swarovski NL instead of the Zeiss SF. I am NOT saying the NL is superior to the SF for everybody. I am saying I prefer it based on experience and specifications. As far as the weight advantage of the 8x32 SF I will wait until Swarovski comes out with the NL 8x32 if I decide I want a 32 mm. It will probably have a 520 foot FOV WITH sharp edges.

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Old Friday 31st July 2020, 08:23   #13
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In my experience 10 feet (3.05 m) bigger is noticeable in the FOV
not always. The law of diminishing returns:
you won't notice a wider FOV by 10 feet as much in a wide view as in a narrow view.
And ofcourse the 8x42 will be better. It has a better starting point (exit pupil-wise and light-gathering-wise), the apples to bowling balls play a role here.
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Old Friday 31st July 2020, 08:25   #14
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Originally Posted by starforgedape View Post
Apples and bowling balls, yes I know. But I'm just curious as August is coming up, these 2 binos will be released around this time, what are you guys getting? Both perhaps?

I'm not sure myself. I just started getting into birding. I have a 10x42 IS, but I've decided that I will only use it for astronomy.

I know they're different binos completely, thus it will probably be all down to 32 vs 42... But if you were just say shopping for a new bino, which would you go for first?
They're both going to be effectively, pretty much the same optically.

Your biggest choice will be 32mm vs 42mm, which should offer a little easier eye placement/ alignment for the larger bin - but you won't know for sure without actually trying the units for yourself, to see how they work with your eyes/noggin. You also need to consider whether you want 8x, or 10x - or both ! - or all four !! Ultimately how easy they are for you to look through, and how much you like the view, will sway you more than most other aspects.

What may make a difference is the weight of the 32mm at ~600grams vs the 42mm at ~850 grams.

I would suggest getting a look through/trial/rent of both sizes to see which one gels with you.

In 32mm try the Swarovski SV in 8 or 10x, preferably both.

In 42mm try the Zeiss SF in 8 or 10x, preferably both.

The ergonomics of both the 32SF and the 42NL will be similar enough to the 42SF that you could pretty much go by how that feels for balance. Obviously the sizes are going to feel quite different. You might also want to get your hands on some Swarovski x42mm SV's and/or Leica x42mm NoctiVids, to see how carrying ~850grams around grabs you.

This should tell you if you have a clear preference for one size and/or format, or whether you need to contemplate multiple bins in your future.

I think that's the guts of what you need to consider/ try, before buying - most everything else written about bins not here yet (and a fair chunk of what is written after they get here ! :) will be BB stacking .......









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Old Friday 31st July 2020, 11:18   #15
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In my experience 10 feet (3.05 m) bigger is noticeable in the FOV and I know from reading the initial reviews and having considerable experience with Zeiss and Swarovski that the NL will have sharper edges than the SF and that is all I need to know because I much prefer sharp edges. I like the Swarovski SV's better than the Zeiss SF's, so I know I am going to like the new NL better than the new SF without even trying them. I don't need a side to side. That is why I preordered the Swarovski NL instead of the Zeiss SF. I am NOT saying the NL is superior to the SF for everybody. I am saying I prefer it based on experience and specifications. As far as the weight advantage of the 8x32 SF I will wait until Swarovski comes out with the NL 8x32 if I decide I want a 32 mm. It will probably have a 520 foot FOV WITH sharp edges.
I think you should insert "believe" where you have written "know".
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Old Friday 31st July 2020, 14:16   #16
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not always. The law of diminishing returns:
you won't notice a wider FOV by 10 feet as much in a wide view as in a narrow view.
And ofcourse the 8x42 will be better. It has a better starting point (exit pupil-wise and light-gathering-wise), the apples to bowling balls play a role here.
"not always. The law of diminishing returns:
you won't notice a wider FOV by 10 feet as much in a wide view as in a narrow view."

That may be true for you but I ALWAYS notice even a 10 foot difference in FOV and it doesn't matter how wide the FOV is and it is significant especially when you have sharper edges on top of the bigger FOV.
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Old Friday 31st July 2020, 14:24   #17
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I think you should insert "believe" where you have written "know".
I will change it to there is a 99% probability that I will prefer the NL over the SF based on reviews and experience. I might try the Zeiss 8x32 SF in the interim before the new NL 8x32 comes out and then I will let you know for sure. It will be very interesting to see some side by side reviews of the new NL and the SF though once they are both out on the market awhile.

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Old Friday 31st July 2020, 14:41   #18
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Love it when opinions are presented as facts, when the person giving the opinions has never seen the product in person. That takes talent.
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Old Friday 31st July 2020, 14:46   #19
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That may be true for you but I ALWAYS notice even a 10 foot difference in FOV and it doesn't matter how wide the FOV is and it is significant especially when you have sharper edges on top of the bigger FOV.
'Always'...? Perhaps it is just me but I am spend my viewing pleasure looking at the bird in the sweet spot as opposed to 'whatever is on the very edges'.
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Old Friday 31st July 2020, 18:43   #20
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'Always'...? Perhaps it is just me but I am spend my viewing pleasure looking at the bird in the sweet spot as opposed to 'whatever is on the very edges'.
Yes, but as many have said the big FOV makes it a lot easier to FIND the bird. If you like a narrow FOV get a Swarovski Habicht 7x42. Nice resolution on-axis but a really narrow FOV.
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Old Friday 31st July 2020, 18:58   #21
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You notice a movement in the periphery of your field of view and then automatically will point the sweet spot towards it, you won't keep looking at movement on the edge too long before moving into center of view to id what is moving. So how sharp does the edge need to be? Mainly for the nice sensation of immersion when viewing at something in the middle...
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Old Friday 31st July 2020, 19:05   #22
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I'm not sure myself. I just started getting into birding. I have a 10x42 IS...
If you like 10x, your first task is to go out and compare some nice brand of 10x32 and 10x42, to see how much you care about the smaller exit pupil. 10x32 isn't very popular, though I've used it for a long time myself; it's all about how tradeoffs work for you. Also for some types of birding at close range (e.g. forest) 8x with larger FOV works better than 10x. So try out some different models and envision your intended use, as best you can. You can't go very wrong with any SF or NL, but some models will end up serving you better than others.
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Old Friday 31st July 2020, 19:37   #23
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You notice a movement in the periphery of your field of view and then automatically will point the sweet spot towards it, you won't keep looking at movement on the edge too long before moving into center of view to id what is moving. So how sharp does the edge need to be? Mainly for the nice sensation of immersion when viewing at something in the middle...
I, as always, disagree. When I am looking at the world without bins and I see something of interest moving outside my central vision, my natural reaction is to quickly rotate my eyes to point them directly at it so that it is at the center of my vision. Afterward, I move my neck etc so my eyes aren't rotated extremely. I like to do the same when looking through bins, so one like the NL with a big flat highly corrected view would be ideal. Bins without a flat view present a blurry view when I quickly rotate my eyes to look at things outside the center of the FOV. They feel unnatural because to get an object in my sharp central vision, I have to keep my eyes fixed down the center of the bin and move the whole bin to center the object. It's as if I can't move my eyes but instead have to keep them locked forward and look around only by moving my neck or rest of my body. Yuck!

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Old Friday 31st July 2020, 20:02   #24
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Apples and bowling balls, yes I know. But I'm just curious as August is coming up, these 2 binos will be released around this time, what are you guys getting? Both perhaps?

I'm not sure myself. I just started getting into birding. I have a 10x42 IS, but I've decided that I will only use it for astronomy.

I know they're different binos completely, thus it will probably be all down to 32 vs 42... But if you were just say shopping for a new bino, which would you go for first?
I'm getting neither.

If I had to choose between these two specifically, sight unseen, I'd choose the 8x42.


See the advice above.
Go try as many binoculars as possible in the shops.
A decade ago I went through at least six shops in and around London that stocked everything from Zen-Ray to Zeiss; ended up surprising myself by purchasing 10x44 Steiner, because at the time, they were right for me as a starter. I still use them often so the time taken was well worth it. They are an all-rounder, like the ubiquitous 8x42.

Until you try, you never truly know whether an instrument will suit you; the weight, the dimensions, your preferred view, and what compromises you will accept for that preferred view.
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Old Friday 31st July 2020, 20:58   #25
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I had the 8x32 SF on order, mostly for the wide FOV, I cancelled and upgraded the preorder to the NL 8x42.
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