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Are the Swarovski NL 8x32s the best birding binoculars? (1 Viewer)

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
I am thinking the Swarovski NL 8x32 are the best birding binoculars available for the average birder right now. If you bird mostly in the daytime and in the open, and you're not under a lot of canopy where a 42 mm would be advantageous, and you do quite a bit of hiking where the lighter weight of the 32 mm would be appreciated, I don't think you can beat them. The obvious competition is the Zeiss SF 8x32 which does have a slightly bigger FOV, but I prefer the sharper edges of the NL, the ergonomics and I think the NL 8x32 has superior build quality. The NL 8x32 has a slight bit of glare in the bottom of the FOV, but it is not as noticeable as the NL 8x42 and by using them on the 2nd click stop in you can avoid it in most situations. Ok, get your gloves on and let's fight!
 

kimmik

Well-known member
United Kingdom
I’ve never seen bigger eyepieces on smaller objectives than the model mentioned. To me it feels out of proportion. Go down to 25mm and weight drops by 60%.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
I’ve never seen bigger eyepieces on smaller objectives than the model mentioned. To me it feels out of proportion. Go down to 25mm and weight drops by 60%.
Yes, but those big eyepieces are what makes the NL so comfortable to use, and it also eliminates black-outs because they don't go too far into your eye sockets. Swarovski knew what they were doing when they designed the NL 8x32.
 

forent

Well-known member
From Jan 13, 2022:
(...) What is shocking is that the 10x32's are just as good as the 8x32's! In fact, they are better in the case of the NL because the NL 10x32 has a bigger AFOV than the NL 8x32 and I noticed no appreciable difference in ease of eye placement. (...) I selected the NL 10x32 over the NL 8x32 because of the bigger AFOV and more wow factor. (...)
So you are the above-average birder? Just kidding. ;)
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
From Jan 13, 2022:

So you are the above-average birder? Just kidding. ;)
I like to think so. I went back to 8x32 for my all around birding binocular because 10x is too hard for me to hold steady at my advanced age. The NL 10x32 is an exceptional 10x, though. I use a Canon 10x42 IS-L for 10x now.
 

Dr. K

Bad Weather Birder
United States
I suppose at this level there is a lot of personal preference and application at play. Though I have, and like, the NL 8x32, I would only go so far as saying they are "among the best" available today, to acknowledge, for instance, that if I had the endurance I would definitely prefer an 8x42 and if I had the steady hands for it, I would prefer a 10x.
 

tenex

reality-based
Thread title shortened as its length was excessive.

Lee
I presume it was you who turned it into a question... :sneaky:

I know no binocular that outperforms NLs in any respect relevant to birding, except glare control. That said, I've seen a birder who chose the 8x42 instead, and I'd lean toward the 10x42 myself, so preference and application definitely factor in.

I should also mention that this birder works at a local store with an employee discount. I have never yet seen a second pair of NLs in the field here, and just a few SFs. Offhand I'd say the average bins are 10-20 years old and still going strong. The used market also offers some excellent choices no longer available today.
 
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William Lewis

Wishing birdwatching paid the bills.
United Kingdom
I'd say if your content with them, and I believe you've tried most of them then they probably are the best for you. I tried all the alphas and settled on a different one but that's just the best for me.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
I presume it was you who turned it into a question... :sneaky:

I know no binocular that outperforms NLs in any respect relevant to birding, except glare control. That said, I've seen a birder who chose the 8x42 instead, and I'd lean toward the 10x42 myself, so preference and application definitely factor in.

I should also mention that this birder works at a local store with an employee discount. I have never yet seen a second pair of NLs in the field here, and just a few SFs. Offhand I'd say the average bins are 10-20 years old and still going strong. The used market also offers some excellent choices no longer available today.
A good used one is the EL 8x32. I thought it was the best all around birding binocular until the NL 8x32 came out. The NL 8x32 is just a little better with a bigger FOV and better ergonomics, but if you can find a nice EL 8x32 for a good price, you are not giving up much to the NL. The EL 8x32 is still in my mind one of the best birding binoculars around.
 

William Lewis

Wishing birdwatching paid the bills.
United Kingdom
Which one? C'mon, let's argue about it.:)
Well. As I've said before it's not for everyone due to the weight and size but I prefer the 8x56 SLC hd due to its all round performance. It works in all lighting conditions, suppresses glare very well and has exceptional resolution. It's Fov is also adequate for me and a step up in that regard from the habicht 7x42 I was previously using. It also has a nice flat field that I quite like. The only optical flies in the ointment as such is a slightly longer set up time with regard to ipd adjustment and eye cup extension, once sorted though this is not a problem. It also has slightly more off axis c.a than I'd like (worse than a kowa prominar)- centre field though c.a is invisible.

No one binocular is the best for every birder though!
 

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