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The Inspiration for NL's Shape

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Old Tuesday 15th September 2020, 07:46   #1
Troubador
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The Inspiration for NL's Shape

From the first moment I saw a photo of Swarovski's amazing NL, with its 'pinched', 'waisted' tubes, I knew I had seen that shape before. But where? This has been bugging me ever since.

And then the memories came flooding back. In the deep south of France (and probably all over France) in the beautiful Languedoc, in the early morning, you can see people walking around carrying different loads in their hands, shopping bags, brief cases, sheafs of newspapers and so on, but tucked under their arms, and held in place by arm pressure only, was a baguette.

Baguettes are a gorgeous bread loaf but is shaped long and narrow, much like a person's arm. When buying groceries and bread from the canal boat shop in Le Somail, I too walked back to our gite carrying our daily baguette in this same way (baguettes are best eaten fresh) and, by the time I got back, after juggling with other shopping, unlocking, opening and locking the gite door, then making my way upstairs to our accommodation, and all the time gripping the baguette with my arm so it didn't fall, it was pinched where my arm had squashed it.

On the long, ancient wooden table, where we ate (unless we sat outside on the balcony) there it was: a long, narrow shape with this 'waist' in the middle.

And by golly if you picked the baguette up by this squashed section, your hand fitted around it very comfortably.

So there it is, the inspiration for the shape of NL.
Possibly.

Lee
The pic is of our gite.
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Old Tuesday 15th September 2020, 07:50   #2
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Lee,

If that isn't true, it should be.

...Mike
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Old Tuesday 15th September 2020, 09:08   #3
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Hi Lee,

I’m not sure to what extent the baguette occupies the thoughts of industrial designers, but . . .

At least some of the inspiration for the NL may have come from Werner Hölbl’s design for the 1980 SL Porro prism binocular,
as outlined at: https://www.birdforum.net/showpost.p...94&postcount=5

The SL had markedly sculpted contours to direct hand placement, which as indicated in the first image, was meant to provide ’easy, tireless handling’

However, as the same body and contouring was used on the short x40/42, medium x50 and long x56 models,
the balance point would have moved progressively forward as the objective diameter and length increased


John


The 2nd and 3rd images of a 7x42 unit are from a 2019 listing on eBay by 20abrakadabra12
The 4th image of a 7x50 unit is from a 2014 eBay listing by kilowattcat
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Old Tuesday 15th September 2020, 09:45   #4
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This helped me quite a lot. I've just decided not to jump on the NL bandwagon and wait for the latest and greatest from Austria in a couple of years.

Renze
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Old Tuesday 15th September 2020, 10:48   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Renze de Vries View Post
This helped me quite a lot. I've just decided not to jump on the NL bandwagon and wait for the latest and greatest from Austria in a couple of years.

Renze
You would need a solid tripod for the one in the pic.....
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Old Tuesday 15th September 2020, 11:26   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John A Roberts View Post
Hi Lee,

I’m not sure to what extent the baguette occupies the thoughts of industrial designers, but . . .

At least some of the inspiration for the NL may have come from Werner Hölbl’s design for the 1980 SL Porro prism binocular,
as outlined at: https://www.birdforum.net/showpost.p...94&postcount=5


John


The 2nd and 3rd images of a 7x42 unit are from a 2019 listing on eBay by 20abrakadabra12
The 4th image of a 7x50 unit is from a 2014 eBay listing by kilowattcat
I've never looked through a pair of those, or even recall seeing a pair in the field but have often wandered how modern optics would intergrate into the porro design..porros were once regarded as having superior image quality due to the need for less glass/prisms but the trend for roofs has all but killed off alpha porro bins.

Matt
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Old Tuesday 15th September 2020, 11:30   #7
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You would need a solid tripod for the one in the pic.....
Bitte benutzen Sie immer Eschenholzstative von Berlebach!

R
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Old Tuesday 15th September 2020, 12:15   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John A Roberts View Post
Hi Lee,

I’m not sure to what extent the baguette occupies the thoughts of industrial designers, but . . .

At least some of the inspiration for the NL may have come from Werner Hölbl’s design for the 1980 SL Porro prism binocular,
as outlined at: https://www.birdforum.net/showpost.p...94&postcount=5

The SL had markedly sculpted contours to direct hand placement, which as indicated in the first image, was meant to provide ’easy, tireless handling’

However, as the same body and contouring was used on the short x40/42, medium x50 and long x56 models,
the balance point would have moved progressively forward as the objective diameter and length increased


John


The 2nd and 3rd images of a 7x42 unit are from a 2019 listing on eBay by 20abrakadabra12
The 4th image of a 7x50 unit is from a 2014 eBay listing by kilowattcat

Thanks John that looks like the porro from space!

Lee
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Old Tuesday 15th September 2020, 12:18   #9
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Lee,

If that isn't true, it should be.

...Mike
My feelings exactly.

Depending on the source of the grain it might even be called an 'organic design' or if you were unkind, 'half-baked'. No insult to NL intended, just having a bit of fun with words.

Lee
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Old Tuesday 15th September 2020, 12:22   #10
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Hello Lee,

Yes, twice a day, a trip to the bakery for a baguette was in order in France. Returning home with one tucked under the arm was customary. Something may have been lost when the baguette was purchased in a paper bag.

Stay safe,
Arthur
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Old Tuesday 15th September 2020, 12:24   #11
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Troubsey,
Next time just balance the loaf of bread on top of your head so it doesn't get pinched...
or put it behind your ear :)

Kowa SV has a similar shape to a degree
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Old Tuesday 15th September 2020, 17:01   #12
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Hello Lee,

Yes, twice a day, a trip to the bakery for a baguette was in order in France. Returning home with one tucked under the arm was customary. Something may have been lost when the baguette was purchased in a paper bag.

Stay safe,
Arthur
The canal boat bread shop (could only be in France) on the canal du midi in Le Somail thoughtfully taped a square of tissue paper around the middle of the baguette to protect it from the emissions from one's armpit, but as you suggest, I think this diminished the subsequent eating experience.

Joking apart, a good fresh French baguette is a terrific delicacy.

Lee
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Old Tuesday 15th September 2020, 23:25   #13
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Swarovski Optik has indicated that the development of the NL took 5 years
As an indication of their awareness of the design of the SL during that time, see the screen grab from a 2019 video
It features Franz Erler who is Head of Quality Assurance, and Daniel Rotter who is Head of Test and Measurement

The video starts with Franz noting that the innovative shape and handling of the SL design opened international markets for SO
(the majority of the video concerns the development of the EL - including the primary intention that it should meet the needs of the birding market)

The video ‘An original is an original is an original’, marks 70 years of Swarovski Optik and can be found at: https://aa.swarovskioptik.com/outdoo...iginal_Outdoor
While the 2 minute video is in German, activating the Closed Caption option shows English subtitles


John
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Old Tuesday 15th September 2020, 23:36   #14
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Originally Posted by Troubador View Post
From the first moment I saw a photo of Swarovski's amazing NL, with its 'pinched', 'waisted' tubes, I knew I had seen that shape before. But where? This has been bugging me ever since.

And then the memories came flooding back. In the deep south of France (and probably all over France) in the beautiful Languedoc, in the early morning, you can see people walking around carrying different loads in their hands, shopping bags, brief cases, sheafs of newspapers and so on, but tucked under their arms, and held in place by arm pressure only, was a baguette.

Baguettes are a gorgeous bread loaf but is shaped long and narrow, much like a person's arm. When buying groceries and bread from the canal boat shop in Le Somail, I too walked back to our gite carrying our daily baguette in this same way (baguettes are best eaten fresh) and, by the time I got back, after juggling with other shopping, unlocking, opening and locking the gite door, then making my way upstairs to our accommodation, and all the time gripping the baguette with my arm so it didn't fall, it was pinched where my arm had squashed it.

On the long, ancient wooden table, where we ate (unless we sat outside on the balcony) there it was: a long, narrow shape with this 'waist' in the middle.

And by golly if you picked the baguette up by this squashed section, your hand fitted around it very comfortably.

So there it is, the inspiration for the shape of NL.
Possibly.

Lee
The pic is of our gite.
Lee:

Nice story, but I cannot find a baguette anywhere in the photo.

Am I trying too hard?

Jerry
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Old Tuesday 15th September 2020, 23:43   #15
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This helped me quite a lot. I've just decided not to jump on the NL bandwagon and wait for the latest and greatest from Austria in a couple of years.

Renze
That guy will need a drink to go with that giant scone ...
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Old Wednesday 16th September 2020, 02:06   #16
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GG:

I think the new NL has a female look. Busty up top with a narrow waist and then wider in the hips.

I like it.

Jerry
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Old Wednesday 16th September 2020, 06:58   #17
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Lee:

Nice story, but I cannot find a baguette anywhere in the photo.

Am I trying too hard?

Jerry
No Jerry you are absolutely not. I thought there was a baguette in the photo but actually it is just out of shot on the left where there was a raised area comprising cooker, sink and work surface plus cupboards. I actually placed the baguette and other shopping on the worktop and I had forgotten that it was not visible in the pic.

Lee
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Old Wednesday 16th September 2020, 10:46   #18
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GG:

I think the new NL has a female look. Busty up top with a narrow waist and then wider in the hips.

I like it.

Jerry
It does have an hourglass shape, but that's what I find unattractive. I guess I prefer a traditional binocular shape. I'm sure it has a great ergonomic fit.
That's not what most women in my State look like; more like that giant scone - big and round ! ironically, I have a mini apple cinnamon scone I'll be eating after breakfast with my tea this morning.
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Old Wednesday 16th September 2020, 11:20   #19
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It does have an hourglass shape, but that's what I find unattractive. I guess I prefer a traditional binocular shape. I'm sure it has a great ergonomic fit.
That's not what most women in my State look like; more like that giant scone - big and round ! ironically, I have a mini apple cinnamon scone I'll be eating after breakfast with my tea this morning.
I'd buy a mini apple cinnamon Swaro any time

R
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Old Wednesday 16th September 2020, 11:46   #20
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I'd buy a mini apple cinnamon Swaro any time

R
Me too ! Probably will take 10 years to make it to market
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Old Wednesday 16th September 2020, 12:19   #21
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Me too ! Probably will take 10 years to make it to market
They will never do it GiGi unless they can figure out how to give it 'invisible edges', which sounds unlikely to be achievable unless there is a breakthrough in quantum physics.

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Old Wednesday 16th September 2020, 12:34   #22
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They will never do it GiGi unless they can figure out how to give it 'invisible edges', which sounds unlikely to be achievable unless there is a breakthrough in quantum physics.

Lee
That's a good point Lee. Plus, the little oatmeal flakes obscuring the view may ruin the experience for some.
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Old Wednesday 16th September 2020, 14:13   #23
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That's a good point Lee. Plus, the little oatmeal flakes obscuring the view may ruin the experience for some.



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Old Wednesday 16th September 2020, 22:25   #24
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I have no idea where Swarovski got the idea to reshape the NL's barrels from, but it's interesting that pretty much everyone who has tried one has commented favourably on their ergonomics. At least one experienced user has said that his 10x42 handles at times like a longish x32. If that's really the case - and I'll need to try it out for myself to see how it works for me (I personally never found the various thumb detents on SLCs and ELs useful) - that is some pretty clever industrial design.

Visually, I can't say the "wasp waist" appeals to me (at least not in binoculars). But if it's an ergonomic improvement, who cares?
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Old Thursday 17th September 2020, 06:04   #25
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It may resemble a squashed baguette, yet inside it promises a delicious sun-dried tomato, olive and feta cheese loaf.

https://fernglas-store.ch/contents/media/l_nlpure_3.jpg
Never held one however the design appears more functional than pretty. Chunky black focuser mechanisms set between juniper-green barrels that won't show the dirt.
Well ok.
But those strap lugs? Put a roof rack on an Aston DB5 why don't you .
The Fieldpro system is quite a contrast to the Steiner Clicloc quick release
https://binocular.ch/wp-content/uplo...a-1030x773.jpg
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