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An interesting comparison. (1 Viewer)

SuperDuty

Well-known member
United States
I’m not sure how much I learned with the difference in magnification, but it was fun directly comparing them, wish I still had my 10X42 SF in the mix also. The focus action on the NL is far superior, and the CA control is slightly better, but the EL holds its own and then some. For the overall size and objective size, the huge, ultra bright, razor sharp image of the NL 12X42 is incredible, the only negative I found was a slightly fidgety (eye box) I’m sure due to the exit pupil. The EL has a somewhat cooler tint, but very natural looking to my eyes, and the totally flat field, or at least the appearance of a flat field is much to my liking, I’m fortunate to not be bothered at all by (rolling ball), I would also enjoy comparing the 10X42 NL to the 10X42 SV at some point. A 12X50 NL is something I would be interested in, the exit pupil would make for an (easier view), but with the obvious added weight. DF1D5BAC-5C37-41CF-9E03-A8385B64B47B.jpeg
 
I remember looking at specs, thinking "the 12x42 is the new EL 10x42". In a way, other than 2x difference, they are. For me the use preference is how the shape of NL fits my hand. I use the 8x32 the most, then 12x. I could probably be happy with just the 8x32.
 

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the only negative I found was a slightly fidgety (eye box) I’m sure due to the exit pupil... A 12X50 NL is something I would be interested in, the exit pupil would make for an (easier view)
Don't be too quick to blame the exit pupil. These latest superwide superflat superhigh-ER eyepieces just end up with a more finicky eye box. I don't think NL 32s are worse than 42s, and 50s wouldn't necessarily do better.
 
I’m not sure how much I learned with the difference in magnification, but it was fun directly comparing them, wish I still had my 10X42 SF in the mix also. The focus action on the NL is far superior, and the CA control is slightly better, but the EL holds its own and then some. For the overall size and objective size, the huge, ultra bright, razor sharp image of the NL 12X42 is incredible, the only negative I found was a slightly fidgety (eye box) I’m sure due to the exit pupil. The EL has a somewhat cooler tint, but very natural looking to my eyes, and the totally flat field, or at least the appearance of a flat field is much to my liking, I’m fortunate to not be bothered at all by (rolling ball), I would also enjoy comparing the 10X42 NL to the 10X42 SV at some point. A 12X50 NL is something I would be interested in, the exit pupil would make for an (easier view), but with the obvious added weight. View attachment 1511998
The EL looks a lot smaller than the NL!
 
I didn’t get a chance to try the 12X42 NL in the OP enough in the fifteen day trial to feel like I wanted to spend $3000 on them, but was able yesterday to take a look through the pair I recently bought off of a BF member in some really bright conditions and close to pristine air, the image is absolutely jaw dropping. (For me), I still find the view to be something I have to work at a little, with my glasses on the eyecups need to be out one turn, and I’ve got to pay attention to keeping my eyes really centered, not the easiest view, but I’ve used a lot worse in that regard, at the present time I think the view is superior enough to merit the little bit of effort, I’ll see how I feel about it down the road. I’ve still got the 10X42 FP, they are optically also hard to beat, I’ll spend some time comparing the two looking for differences when time permits. I may keep them both, maybe not, 12X of that kind of optical magic is pretty darned addictive when the conditions are good, I would find it hard to do without.

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We (me to), often get siloed in our thinking. I like to think - that I think - of my small binocular accumulation as a system, a set, each model has a function that is different from and compliment to the others.

I use VP 825s for travel, (on planes, in a backpack) and locally in very tight terrain with more challenging hikes like the Redwood forests provide here above Oakland.

Owning an EL 1042 for several years, it has been my favored tool for birding over very open terrain, involving largish bodies of water, marshes, with waterfowl and shore birds the targets during the winter migration. Still, I knew there was stuff out too far for even those.

Hopefully its easy enough to imagine how these 2 might compliment each other. Having come to the conclusion I needed more than a 10X for the birds that are just too far out, I learned of a shop in Mendocino with a largish selection of scopes and binoculars and set out for a viewing safari last fall. Looking through 4 scopes setup on tripods in a neat row outside the shop, looking up at an old weathered wooden water tank that provided a useful target, I made a choice. Having just made that decision, I went back into the shop and asked to look through an NL 1242. As gorgeous as the view was, I thought, "You just bought a scope knucklehead! What could these do, it cant and more?” The thought a 12X binocular could almost serve in lieu of a good scope disappeared. Not for me. Not for where I bird. Context matters.

Not to mess with SuperDuty's theme too much, I went back to the shop and asked to look through an NL 832. In the same time it took to understand where the 1242 would (or would not), fit in my system of optics, it was clear the 832 was obviously the better compliment.

Thats a story for another day...
 
It surprises me, when I read the scope/tripod section here, how relatively inactive it seems compared with the binocular sub group. In some ways guess I should not be surprised, as I see far fewer scopes than binocs, (especially), or cameras these days among the birders encountered. I put off buying one for a long time as I didn't want to carry the thing around. But as a tool for seeing stuff out of range of mere 8/10X binos, whew! Debating 10 vs 12, looking for just that much more reach and contemplating the cost involved, when you need it, hard to ignore a scope.
 
It surprises me, when I read the scope/tripod section here, how relatively inactive it seems compared with the binocular sub group. In some ways guess I should not be surprised, as I see far fewer scopes than binocs, (especially), or cameras these days among the birders encountered. I put off buying one for a long time as I didn't want to carry the thing around. But as a tool for seeing stuff out of range of mere 8/10X binos, whew! Debating 10 vs 12, looking for just that much more reach and contemplating the cost involved, when you need it, hard to ignore a scope.
Scopes are much less numerous than binoculars, so the difference in forum activity is unsurprising.
Further complicating the situation is that scopes need a tripod with a head to work properly, so the scope discussions get fragmented.
Perhaps there will eventually be a really capably stabilized hand held scope, that might change the situation.
 
Due to their bulk, single eyepiece etc, scopes are just tools, so those who need one find one that works and stick with it. They don't get fascinated by an immersive experience as some do with binoculars, and nitpick or wax lyrical about differences in color cast or 3D or whatever. And scopes don't have the sort of variety and history that attract binocular collectors.

Perhaps a thread on glare in the scope section would liven things up.
 
Due to their bulk, single eyepiece etc, scopes are just tools, so those who need one find one that works and stick with it. They don't get fascinated by an immersive experience as some do with binoculars, and nitpick or wax lyrical about differences in color cast or 3D or whatever. And scopes don't have the sort of variety and history that attract binocular collectors.

Perhaps a thread on glare in the scope section would liven things up.
This is why the Swarovski ATC is a game changer. I don't know I'm carrying it sometimes just like my EL's.
I agree not as immersive as binoculars but an excellent companion to supplement the binoculars to make an hike a lot more enjoyable.
 
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I didn’t get a chance to try the 12X42 NL in the OP enough in the fifteen day trial to feel like I wanted to spend $3000 on them, but was able yesterday to take a look through the pair I recently bought off of a BF member in some really bright conditions and close to pristine air, the image is absolutely jaw dropping. (For me), I still find the view to be something I have to work at a little, with my glasses on the eyecups need to be out one turn, and I’ve got to pay attention to keeping my eyes really centered, not the easiest view, but I’ve used a lot worse in that regard, at the present time I think the view is superior enough to merit the little bit of effort, I’ll see how I feel about it down the road. I’ve still got the 10X42 FP, they are optically also hard to beat, I’ll spend some time comparing the two looking for differences when time permits. I may keep them both, maybe not, 12X of that kind of optical magic is pretty darned addictive when the conditions are good, I would find it hard to do without.

I espcially wonder how they compare in difficult light conditions. Is the EL 10x42 brighter? And what about strong backlight? Do the NL 12x42 show more glare?
I think keeping both the EL 10x42 and the NL 12x42 makes sense. Especially when it is true what I have written above. The 10x42 for dimming light and dark forests. The NL 12x42 for bright days and in open country.
 
I espcially wonder how they compare in difficult light conditions. Is the EL 10x42 brighter? And what about strong backlight? Do the NL 12x42 show more glare?
I think keeping both the EL 10x42 and the NL 12x42 makes sense. Especially when it is true what I have written above. The 10x42 for dimming light and dark forests. The NL 12x42 for bright days and in open country.

10x gives 1,44 times the brightness as 12x. That is not very big difference. Have you considered 8x42 as a complement instead? Then you have 2,25 times the brightness. I would either stick with 10x or choose 8 and 12x.
 
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Reinier, post 12,
If you really need to collect as much light ss possibe: try the 7x42 Swarovski Habicht with 96% transmission over a wide wave length range and a large exit pupil. Moreover the risk of trembling is much lower then with 10 or 12x.
Gijs van Ginkel
 
Yes, I will keep that in mind. I actually prefer the SLC 8x42 (which I have) over the EL 10x50 in low light, so I think the Habicht 7x42 will be something special... although the very small afov is something I don't really like.
 
Habicht 7x42 is attractive as it is the brightest existing binocular for my 50+ years eyes, when I understand I have not 7mm eyepupil anymore. Maybe not even 6mm. But it still remain brightest.
I will need to take of my eyeglasses, though.
 
I am older than dirt and twice as dusty and my SLC 8x56 is still brighter than my Habicht 7x42 was in low light, and I can see way more detail. It doesn't have the tunnel like FOV of the Habicht 7x42, and it has tack sharp edges with a MUCH easier, smoother focuser. It is all about Twilight Factor.

An 8x56 is the king of low light, especially if it has AK prisms with 93% transmission. A 56mm takes in 2x the light that a 42mm does. I used to think the Habicht 7x42 was brighter too until I tried an SLC 8x56.
 
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I am older than dirt and twice as dusty and my SLC 8x56 is still brighter than my Habicht 7x42 was in low light, and I can see way more detail. It doesn't have the tunnel like FOV of the Habicht 7x42, and it has tack sharp edges with a MUCH easier smoother focuser. It is all about Twilight Factor. An 8x56 is the king of low light, especially if it has AK prisms with 93% transmission. A 56mm takes in 2x the light that a 42mm does.

But then you can imagine an 11x80! 😉
Gathers twice the light as 56mm.
I have an Oberwerk. With which I experienced the best view of my life on the Andromeda galaxy on a super dark clear night. The galaxy filled up almost the entire field of view. Usually you only see the brighter center but I saw the surroundings in a fainter but noticeable haze. That was awesome.
But that was almost 20 years ago and at that moment I probably had around 7mm dilated pupils.
 
But then you can imagine an 11x80! 😉
Gathers twice the light as 56mm.
I have an Oberwerk. With which I experienced the best view of my life on the Andromeda galaxy on a super dark clear night. The galaxy filled up almost the entire field of view. Usually you only see the brighter center but I saw the surroundings in a fainter but noticeable haze. That was awesome.
But that was almost 20 years ago and at that moment I probably had around 7mm dilated pupils.
This what I use on the Andromeda Galaxy. You don't need dilated pupils. You sit in an easy chair while it stacks the images and you look at it on your cell phone like an observatory.

1730786.jpg20220901-M31-Galaxy-1082-et-807x10s-Vespera-Ian-B.png
 
But then you can imagine an 11x80! 😉
Gathers twice the light as 56mm.
I have an Oberwerk. With which I experienced the best view of my life on the Andromeda galaxy on a super dark clear night. The galaxy filled up almost the entire field of view. Usually you only see the brighter center but I saw the surroundings in a fainter but noticeable haze. That was awesome.
But that was almost 20 years ago and at that moment I probably had around 7mm dilated pupils.

Correction: I actually wrote wrong. I have had a 20x80 and mixed these up. The 11x binocular I still have and described is Oberwerk 11x70.
 

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