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Comparison of the 10x42 NL to the 10x42 SF (1 Viewer)

NZbinodude

Well-known member
I've compared the 10x42 NL to the 10x42 SF.

The build quality of the NL is superior to the SF.

As far as optical performance - the NL is more neutral, with better contrast and color accuracy. The image sparkles, whereas the SF seemed quite dull and lifeless in comparison. I also experienced a green tint to the SF's image, which became more pronounced when I switched back and forth between it and the NL.
 

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
I've compared the 10x42 NL to the 10x42 SF.

The build quality of the NL is superior to the SF.

As far as optical performance - the NL is more neutral, with better contrast and color accuracy. The image sparkles, whereas the SF seemed quite dull and lifeless in comparison. I also experienced a green tint to the SF's image, which became more pronounced when I switched back and forth between it and the NL.
Is the increase in Fov from the 120m of the SF to the 133m of the NL directly noticeable to you ? or show up positively in any other intangible way ?

This is the question I perhaps most want answered about comparisons between these two, along with any comments on CA and glare handling. Thanks to anyone who can chime in.






Chosun :gh:
 

Robert Moore

Well-known member
I only compared them in Cabela’s. I took my own 10x42 SF in the store to compare to the 10xNL. I wear glasses and was having a hard time with eye placement. The NL seamed a tad sharper but did not seam as bright to me. I would need more time with them.
 

NZbinodude

Well-known member
Is the increase in Fov from the 120m of the SF to the 133m of the NL directly noticeable to you ? or show up positively in any other intangible way ?

This is the question I perhaps most want answered about comparisons between these two, along with any comments on CA and glare handling. Thanks to anyone who can chime in.






Chosun :gh:

Simple answer: No

The benefits of the extra % of FOV in the NL are grossly over exaggerated (IMO).
 
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PYRTLE

Old Berkshire Boy
Simple answer: No

The benefits of the extra % of FOV in the NL are grossly over exaggerated (IMO).

:t: Straight talking, I too thought that the hype over the NLs panoramic FOV was overkill.

Regarding your post #4 - "NL build quality is superior" but unfortunately you have already experienced an issue with the focusing mechanism on your unit?
 
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Ratal

Well-known member
^^^^

Hahahahahaha all of these posts about field of view being over kill.... when Bird forum is awash with desires to get extra field of view.

Having tested the 10x42 NL for four days I can say these are the finest binocular I've ever placed to my eyes, and that field of view at 10x is immense help both on the shore line and the mountains. Extra reach AND extra field of view? Yes please.
 

Canip

Well-known member
Simple answer: No

The benefits of the extra % of FOV in the NL are grossly over exaggerated (IMO).

Well, I was wondering about that "No", so I tested the NL and the SF side-by-side (literally half a foot apart), since that's the only way I trust my senses when comparing binos (I have always been admiring people who can make reliable statements from memory like "I also once had an xx bino, and it was much less bright than the one I have now").

Side-by-side, the difference in FOV between the NL and the SF appears considerable to me. That should be no surprise, since 133m vs 122m is more than 8% difference, and that should be easily recognizable by anybody.

Of course, out in the field, you don't really "miss" much when you only have the SF with you, since it already has one of the widest FOVs of current 10x42s.

My view therefore is: if you have an SF and are happy with it, you don't have to start looking for a new bino just because there is now a new one out with an even wieder field.

If, however, you are in the process of evaluating a new purchase, I bet the FOV of the NL will impress you when you compare with the SF.

fwiw Canip
 
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[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
Simple answer: No

The benefits of the extra % of FOV in the NL are grossly over exaggerated (IMO).
The huge FOV of my NL 8x42 8x42 has spoiled me for any other binocular. Once you are used to the bigger FOV of the NL you don't really notice it UNTIL you try another binocular with a smaller FOV. I sold my Nikon Monarch HG 8x42 and my Kowa Genesis 8x33 because the FOV felt tunnel like after using the NL. It was almost depressing to go back to them. The NL is much more transparent and has better more neutral colors than either the Nikon HG or the Kowa Genesis also. Don't believe the naysayers. They are just finding excuses not to buy the NL because they don't want to or can't spend the money. There is a BIG difference between the NL and other lesser binoculars. The SF has no chance against the NL because of the big difference in FOV and ergonomics.
 
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SuperDuty

Well-known member
The FOV difference between the two wouldn’t cause me to make a change, the usual checklist of purely optical properties might. I switched to the SF after owning the 8.5, and the 10 X 42 and 50 SV’s.
 

dries1

Member
I still go to my Noctivid or the EDG (8X42) at 7.8/7.7 degrees from the NL, I appreciate less compression in viewing at times. I still believe that Nikon makes the best flat field optics to my eyes. I do enjoy the wide FOV of the 8X42 NL with the colors/contrast/resolution, and would not need to even consider any other available flat field/wide FOV premium 8X42 period.

Andy W.
 

NZbinodude

Well-known member
Well, I was wondering about that "No", so I tested the NL and the SF side-by-side (literally half a foot apart), since that's the only way I trust my senses when comparing binos (I have always been admiring people who can make reliable statements from memory like "I also once had an xx bino, and it was much less bright than the one I have now").

Side-by-side, the difference in FOV between the NL and the SF appears considerable to me. That should be no surprise, since 133m vs 122m is more than 8% difference, and that should be easily recognizable by anybody.

Of course, out in the field, you don't really "miss" much when you only have the SF with you, since it already has one of the widest FOVs of current 10x42s.

My view therefore is: if you have an SF and are happy with it, you don't have to start looking for a new bino just because there is now a new one out with an even wieder field.

If, however, you are in the process of evaluating a new purchase, I bet the FOV of the NL will impress you when you compare with the SF.

fwiw Canip


I respect your observations.

When I compared the SF and NL I was predominantly looking for differences in color and contrast. I don't remember the extra FOV of the NL 'jumping out at me'. Rather, it was the very neutral color cast of the NL which left the greatest impression, and the slightly heftier build.

Perhaps if I focused specifically on FOV I may have arrived at a different conclusion?


@PRTYLE: I was referring to my experience of comparing a good sample of the NL's to a good pair of SF's (in a store - which also involved testing them outdoors).

By 'build quality', I was talking about the overall feel of the product, and the quality of the materials used. I think the NL edges the SF in those areas (magnesium eye pieces instead of plastic; more positive 'clicks' when adjusting eye cup positions v.s slightly mushier adjustments; and a more refined look and feel v.s slightly crude/utilitarian).

Of course, build quality can mean other things too. Such as durability and mechanical quality. These two are harder to ascertain because it would involve testing the binoculars over a much long period (and perhaps subjecting them to some accidental abuse).

^ I'm not sure the NL's are better than the SF's in those areas (they're probably equal). Although I'm now slightly less confident of that fact following the issues I had with my NL's eye cup and focusser. Assuming it was just an ill-fated event involving a defected pair, then there shouldn't be too much to worry about.
 
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bkdc

Well-known member
NZbinodude, what did you think about the ergonomics as well as the ease in dialing in the “correct” eye relief distance at the eye cups? The SF is known for long term holding comfort with its weight distribution. I only read great reviews about the change in ergonomics from the EL to the NL. Not build quality but LONG TERM COMFORT IN GLASSING.
 

NZbinodude

Well-known member
NZbinodude, what did you think about the ergonomics as well as the ease in dialing in the “correct” eye relief distance at the eye cups? The SF is known for long term holding comfort with its weight distribution. I only read great reviews about the change in ergonomics from the EL to the NL. Not build quality but LONG TERM COMFORT IN GLASSING.

Hi bkdc,

The NL isn't as instantly gratifying as the EL - you need to take some time to set it up properly (fine tune the eye cup settings and the width between the eye pieces) - but once that's done, you're good to go.

The ergo's are definitely a step up over the EL's. The NL's 'feel' much smaller, and the 'squashed hour-glass' shape of the barrels allows for a more positive grip.

I don't think the improvements in ergos are worth the massive premium over the EL's, though. But if you've got the money, you'll appreciate the difference.
 

pm42

Well-known member
NZbinodude, what did you think about the ergonomics as well as the ease in dialing in the “correct” eye relief distance at the eye cups? The SF is known for long term holding comfort with its weight distribution. I only read great reviews about the change in ergonomics from the EL to the NL. Not build quality but LONG TERM COMFORT IN GLASSING.

I find the NL more comfortable even than the SF 8x32. Of course, the Zeiss is lighter and the weight distribution is great. But the Swaro fits my hands better and with the headrest, I'm more comfortable.

I dream of a 8x32 NL, lighter, smaller with the optional headrest.
 

NDhunter

Experienced observer
United States
I have not had a direct comparison with both of these. But, I have owned the Zeiss Victory SF 10x42 for
several years.
I did try the Leica Noctovid one day in a shop when I found one, the handling was just not very good, the open frame design left me wanting, the strap points were poor, Leica did not succeed in trying to copy the EL and the SF.

The SF has a very nice, bright and wide FOV. The Noctovid comes in behind all the way around.

Jerry
 

dries1

Member
"The SF has a very nice, bright and wide FOV. The (Noctovid?) comes in behind all the way around".

Different strokes, I do not have the Noctivid in 10X42, just the 8X42, and it is a pleasure for me to use. I think with the EDG, Noctivid and the NL I am set with the 8X42 format, no need for me to look any further.

Andy W.
 

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