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Does the Head Rest help on the NL 8x42? (2 Viewers)

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
While the head rest on the NL will surely be somewhat helpful, it is unlikely to be as effective as a stabilized glass. The joy of the stabilization is that it removes the micro jitters inherent in hand holding.
Those are not removed by an added rest, whether on the forehead or on a finnstick.
At least in my experience, even if resting my Canon 10x42 on my glasses while looking at a bird high above me, engaging the IS greatly improves the ability to discern the details.
I tried the head rest on my NL 8x42 and you are correct. For me anyway It reduced some of the bigger shakes but it didn't get rid on those micro jitterrs that IS removes and those are the ones that are really bothersome. The head rest did not compare to the IS on my Canon 12x36 IS III or Nikon 10x25 IS as far as reducing small shake and movement. At least for 8x I don't think the head rest is worth it.
 
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[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
Following on from posts #35 and 36, some more detail

The first 2 images are from the most comprehensive source of historical flyers, pamphlets and catalogues for binoculars that’s available online,
from Mark at Miniature Binoculars: https://www.miniaturebinoculars.com/part3/Page21529.htm

The images are from a 1960 Ross pamphlet, and show both the 8x40 Spectaross, and the 8x35 Spectacle Solaross (the Solaross being a lower cost line)

- - - -

The British patent for the forehead rest was filed by Owen George Hay in November 1950
See the detail from Terence Wayland’s comprehensive research on Ross of London that can be found on Peter Abrahams classic Europa site,
at: http://home.europa.com/~telscope/Ross/


John
1950. So the head rest is not a new idea at all. Interesting. History repeats itself.
 

Gijs van Ginkel

Well-known member
At the meetings of the Binocilar History Society I have attended there are generally one or more employees present of the binocular companies as Leica, Swarovski and Zeiss. And what I have seen and heard of them they are well aware of the historic novelties applied in binoculars between 1890 and 2020, so that together with their own ideas, plans and modern technical developments leads undoubtedly to new products like here now in the NL models inluding the head rest, which worked very well at the short test period I could use them.
Gijs van Ginkel
 

Stanbo

Well-known member
I tried the head rest on my NL 8x42 and you are correct. For me anyway It reduced some of the bigger shakes but it didn't get rid on those micro jitterrs that IS removes and those are the ones that are really bothersome. The head rest did not compare to the IS on my Canon 12x36 IS III or Nikon 10x25 IS as far as reducing small shake and movement. At least for 8x I don't think the head rest is worth it.

Please can you give some indication of the stability of the view from the NL with and without the headrest against the new Nikon 10x25 that you have just reviewed. Only the stability, nothing else.

Thanks,

Stan
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
Please can you give some indication of the stability of the view from the NL with and without the headrest against the new Nikon 10x25 that you have just reviewed. Only the stability, nothing else.

Thanks,

Stan
There is a slight improvement in the stability of the NL 8x42 with the head rest but for me but I don't feel it is a big enough improvement to use it with the added weight and bulk on the 8x. Even with the head rest the stability of the NL 8x42 is nowhere near as stable as the Nikon 10x25 IS. The Nikon is very close to my Canon 12 x36 IS III binoculars or even a tripod in stability.
 

NDhunter

Experienced observer
United States
If artificial stabilization helps holding binos at 12x, it helps an identical amount with 8x's which are, to the hand, identical. We might not perceive the aid as helpful, or less so, but to dismiss it entirely is at best an attempt to graft your eyes and perceptions into someone else. Best of luck.

On a practical note, everyones hands shake 50-100 microns under ideal circumstances, at roughly 10Hz. Coffee, fatigue, nerve damage, stress, and muscle condition might exaggerate this significantly.

For me, my tremors are in my arms, and seem to be inversely proportional to fitness at any given time. Where these forehead braces best affect stability is probably a longer discussion. Although I dont personally feel the need to slap one on an 8x, it would be naive to think that IF it works at 10x that I would not also see a more stable, and likely crisper image, when snapping the same thing onto an 8x bino.

This is about headrests, and while it may a good thing for higher power binoculars, not so with 8X. I think if you have problems hand holding then
a tripod is in order. If you mount a binocular on a tripod you will see a more stable view.

Jerry
 

nzwild

Active member
a1.jpg
This is about headrests, and while it may a good thing for higher power binoculars, not so with 8X. I think if you have problems hand holding then
a tripod is in order. If you mount a binocular on a tripod you will see a more stable view.

Jerry

37gm adapter, probably weighs less than a headrest (don't count the tripod). I have handheld 10x lots and it felt OK, but still can't believe the extra detail and ability to use the full FOV, when I have an 8.5 on a tripod. My 8.5 on a tripod seems to resolve much more than 10x handheld. If the NL headrest could give 50% of a tripod effect it would be invaluable in an 8x as well as 10x if glassing some distance.
 

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John A Roberts

Well-known member
Australia
Hi NZWild (post #87),

Well that’s an excellent low cost - and much more adaptable - alternative, to this beautifully machined $130 US model specific version

It’s 1.8 ozs/ 50 grams without a mounting plate, available for various Swarovski’s along with the Leica 2nd generation Geovids,
from Dead On Industries; see at: https://1shotgear.com/products/binocular-tripod-adapter

- - - -

Hi Henning (post #88),

Thanks for the link. I’d not seen that thread before, and some of the interesting alternatives

- - - -

And more generally . . .

As I indicated posts #2 and 23:
- the obvious limitation of the FRP forehead rest is that it only improves the ‘weld’ between the NL and a user’s face, and
- the visible gain in image steadiness will vary markedly between individuals

And between the two extremes of the FRP and a solid independent support such as a heavy tripod (or an Image Stabilisation binocular),
there’s a wealth of intermediate options that will much more solidly support a binocular against the body - compared to the FRP -
such as those I've shown in posts #960 to 962 at: https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?p=4045504


John
 

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[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
Hi NZWild (post #87),

Well that’s an excellent low cost - and much more adaptable - alternative, to this beautifully machined $130 US model specific version

It’s 1.8 ozs/ 50 grams without a mounting plate, available for various Swarovski’s along with the Leica 2nd generation Geovids,
from Dead On Industries; see at: https://1shotgear.com/products/binocular-tripod-adapter

- - - -

Hi Henning (post #88),

Thanks for the link. I’d not seen that thread before, and some of the interesting alternatives

- - - -

And more generally . . .

As I indicated posts #2 and 23:
- the obvious limitation of the FRP forehead rest is that it only improves the ‘weld’ between the NL and a user’s face, and
- the visible gain in image steadiness will vary markedly between individuals

And between the two extremes of the FRP and a solid independent support such as a heavy tripod (or an Image Stabilisation binocular),
there’s a wealth of intermediate options that will much more solidly support a binocular against the body - compared to the FRP -
such as those I've shown in posts #960 to 962 at: https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?p=4045504


John
The FRP head rest is easily the most practical of those other stabilization devices even though it might not be the most effective it is probably the only one I would personally use in the field birding.
 
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[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
On my new Nikon 10x25 IS binocular When you shut it off only the right optical tube works so you essentially have a 10x25 monocular on the right side without stabilization. I was comparing the view with the stabilization on and off and I couldn't believe the difference! Without the stabilization on in those small 10x25 binoculars there is an amazing amount of shake and micro-vibration going on. You hit the IS button and it all goes away. Sweet!
 
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sfphoto

New member
United States
This is about headrests, and while it may a good thing for higher power binoculars, not so with 8X. I think if you have problems hand holding then
a tripod is in order. If you mount a binocular on a tripod you will see a more stable view.

Jerry

I just go the headrest for my NL 10x42 and I must say that I am very excited and grateful that I gave it a try.

As many have already reported, the NL is quite sensitive to the accurate position in front of your eye. This is also why the eyecups have more and smaller steps. In my experience the flare issues that some report has mostly to do with improper positioning of the binocular / eyecups. The headrest helps me tremendously in positioning the binoculars at the correct angle and distance from my eyes. Especially for people wearing glasses, it is very helpful to have this extra point of contact and you are not just pressing the bino against your glasses. So for someone with glasses the headrest is very helpful and I guess this is also true for the 8x42.

And yes, on the NL 10x42 I also see a reduction of vibrations by about 30-50% if that makes sense.
 

PeterPS

MEMBER
As many have already reported, the NL is quite sensitive to the accurate position in front of your eye. This is also why the eyecups have more and smaller steps.

I agree, and have wondered why the eye placement is so critical for the NLs. In the case of my 10x42, with the eyecups one step down from fully extended I cannot see the full fov, with them two steps down I get slight blackouts.
Why the NLs don't have the "eye box" which some other Swaro binos have?
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
I just go the headrest for my NL 10x42 and I must say that I am very excited and grateful that I gave it a try.

As many have already reported, the NL is quite sensitive to the accurate position in front of your eye. This is also why the eyecups have more and smaller steps. In my experience the flare issues that some report has mostly to do with improper positioning of the binocular / eyecups. The headrest helps me tremendously in positioning the binoculars at the correct angle and distance from my eyes. Especially for people wearing glasses, it is very helpful to have this extra point of contact and you are not just pressing the bino against your glasses. So for someone with glasses the headrest is very helpful and I guess this is also true for the 8x42.

And yes, on the NL 10x42 I also see a reduction of vibrations by about 30-50% if that makes sense.
"And yes, on the NL 10x42 I also see a reduction of vibrations by about 30-50% if that makes sense."

Wow, that is a lot. An IS binocular might give an 80% reduction in vibrations but if you feel it is reducing vibration that much the head rest is well worth it.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
I agree, and have wondered why the eye placement is so critical for the NLs. In the case of my 10x42, with the eyecups one step down from fully extended I cannot see the full fov, with them two steps down I get slight blackouts.
Why the NLs don't have the "eye box" which some other Swaro binos have?
I agree. The NL is critical for eye placement to get the full benefit of the huge FOV. I set mine at the 5th click stop and fortunately it is just about perfect. I can just rest my eyes on the eye cups and I get a full FOV. By adjusting the IPD distance you can increase the FOV but if you increase it too much you start getting blackouts also, so I keep my IPD a little on the conservative side to avoid the blackouts. The view is as good as I have ever seen when adjusted this way.
 

dries1

Member
I would think that the larger EP on the 8X42 would also play into the alignment of the eyes being a bit less of an issue.

Andy W.
 

Albertabirder

Active member
I agree. The NL is critical for eye placement to get the full benefit of the huge FOV. I set mine at the 5th click stop and fortunately it is just about perfect. I can just rest my eyes on the eye cups and I get a full FOV. By adjusting the IPD distance you can increase the FOV but if you increase it too much you start getting blackouts also, so I keep my IPD a little on the conservative side to avoid the blackouts. The view is as good as I have ever seen when adjusted this way.

YES....on my NL's 10x42 this is how I avoid blk outs, I have suffered blk-outs on all Binos I have owned, I am also considering the winged eyecups to further help with accurate eye placement, is anyone else using the winged eyecups? The other benefit to the winged eyecup is they come with an eye cover which looks like it is placed on & off easily compared to the cover the NL comes with as I find I struggle to remove quickly when needed??? As well I recommend not removing the objective covers as they do not come off easily and never go back on as securely as from the factory.
 

nzwild

Active member
I agree, and have wondered why the eye placement is so critical for the NLs. In the case of my 10x42, with the eyecups one step down from fully extended I cannot see the full fov, with them two steps down I get slight blackouts.
Why the NLs don't have the "eye box" which some other Swaro binos have?

? No free lunch ? To get the same result of FOV (399ft) the advantage of an NL 10x is is an extra 1.5 magnification (compared to an 8.5x42). Slightly less eye relief (reported, not tried personally) and smaller exit pupil. Relying on new magical eye piece design to maintain viewing comfort and gain that 'immersive' view.
My ATS65 has the 25-50 wide angle eyepiece, that some people describe as more critical for eye placement (less eye relief and more tenancy to show kidney beaning) but it gives great results and you learn how to use it.
Some users have no issues finding the sweet spot when using the NL (Kabsetz, "whenever I have tried them they have felt immediately excellent").
I felt like I used to get an 'immersive' view with my 10x32EL set with eyecups on the shorter side but obviously not the same longer term viewing comfort of the bigger EP.
Most seem to describe the NL as a net gain when in the hand or stabilised and if you go to 8x then you get that impressive FOV.
Now if I could just get an NL to play with ;).
Apologies for off topic and unqualified ramble.
 
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NZbinodude

Well-known member
I agree that adjusting the eye-cups and IPD is paramount with the NL's. Once you've got that sorted - at least in my experience - glare is virtually a non-issue, unless the conditions are abysmal; and viewing comfort is top notch, with no black-outs.

When I first got my NL's, I was in such a rush to use them, that I didn't spend enough time experimenting with the eye-cup/IPD settings. I quickly slapped them against my face...only to be greeted with excessive glare. I was bloody disappointed. It was only after a few hours of playing around with them that they began to shine.

The eye relief is fantastic. I can use the binos with the eye pieces turned all the way down (completely flush), with the top edges of the eye pieces resting against my forehead. This setting gives me maximum field of view.

If I want more comfort/stability, eye cup position #5 lets me sink the eye pieces into my eye sockets. The FOV is still nice and wide, but I can see a bit more 'black' around the image in my peripheral vision.

If you find yourself down in Southland, you're more than welcome to have a play with my 10x, @nzwild. Although it sounds like you're leaning towards 8x. May I suggest you go to your local H&F store and ask them to order you a demo model to play with? They did that for me.
 

nzwild

Active member
Thanks for that, hopefully get down to the Mataura later in the year. Looking forward to the Christchurch store getting some in.
Enjoy that view.
It sounds like NL have viewing comfort that will allow the user to spend the hours behind them.
 
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