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Dusk light performance relative to weight, NL Pure 10x32 vs 10x42 (1 Viewer)

Hello everybody,

My current setup includes (among an age old spotter) a Nikon Monarch M7 8x30. So the the needs for a light weight bino are covered.
However, I want to include an additional bino into the mix and decided on the NL Pure.
Living in Norther Scandinavia, low light performance is quite important for me, since the dusk period can be fairly long.
Now I am wondering, how much more noticeable is the increase in aperture between the x32 and the x42 variant? While I could try both, it wasn't side by side and not over an extended time frame, and certainly not in low light conditions.

My main usage cases are hiking, frequently over long periods of time and with heavy gear. My plan is to use the Nikon for scenarios where I need to save on weight, and the Swaro for most everything else. But still, I will carry it around in addition to a largish backpack quite frequently.

In you opinion, is it worth to accept the extra weight to get increased low light performance? How crucial is the difference in brightness anyway?

Best wishes and have a wonderful easter holdiday!
 
Hello everybody,

My current setup includes (among an age old spotter) a Nikon Monarch M7 8x30. So the the needs for a light weight bino are covered.
However, I want to include an additional bino into the mix and decided on the NL Pure.
Living in Norther Scandinavia, low light performance is quite important for me, since the dusk period can be fairly long.
Now I am wondering, how much more noticeable is the increase in aperture between the x32 and the x42 variant? While I could try both, it wasn't side by side and not over an extended time frame, and certainly not in low light conditions.

My main usage cases are hiking, frequently over long periods of time and with heavy gear. My plan is to use the Nikon for scenarios where I need to save on weight, and the Swaro for most everything else. But still, I will carry it around in addition to a largish backpack quite frequently.

In you opinion, is it worth to accept the extra weight to get increased low light performance? How crucial is the difference in brightness anyway?

Best wishes and have a wonderful easter holdiday!
Certainty the NL 8x42 will be brighter in low light conditions than the M7, and give you a few more minutes of observing time, but at a cost of substantial weight. You could save a few ounces by going Zeiss SF, but imo the Swaro is slightly brighter, but not by much. Under good lighting there’s really very little difference between 8x42 and 8x32 in comparable quality binoculars.

I currently don’t have an issue with that weight, at least for the time being, but another option that would improve low conditions without giving up much in weight, would be the Zeiss SFL in 8x40.

Happy Easter
 
@Paultricounty That was a bit what I hoped for! Though I now realize that my initial post was a bit unclear in that I am choosing between the 10x32 and 10x42, both as an addition to my current 8x30.
However I think your statement about small differences in low light performance will also apply to 10x32 vs 10x42?

Thank you your answer!
 
@Paultricounty That was a bit what I hoped for! Though I now realize that my initial post was a bit unclear in that I am choosing between the 10x32 and 10x42, both as an addition to my current 8x30.
However I think your statement about small differences in low light performance will also apply to 10x32 vs 10x42?

Thank you your answer!
Absolutely, I’d even say that there’s not much difference in low light capability between like quality 10x42 and 8x32’s. I have 8x32’s that are even brighter than some 10x42’s. It’s a tough balance when having to consider weight. If weight wasn’t an issue I’d go 10x50. Another option would be a 10x42 with Abbe Koenig prisms, but there’s really not that much of a difference in low light benefits when comparing to the top alphas today.
 
Yes, absolutely. On the one hand, I know that if weight was really an issue, I could always take the lighter Nikon. However, weight is only an issue if I am out for several weeks. But then spending so much time outside is exactly when I want to have the good optics as I will be using it continuously.
 
Yes, absolutely. On the one hand, I know that if weight was really an issue, I could always take the lighter Nikon. However, weight is only an issue if I am out for several weeks. But then spending so much time outside is exactly when I want to have the good optics as I will be using it continuously.
8x32 NL, SF, EL is as good as it gets as all around do everything binoculars. The best bright and sharp optics, still light and compact and still effective in low light. Used my 8x32 SF all day yesterday in cloudy overcast conditions, no problems. When it comes to more reach in a 10x , I sacrifice and go 42. For me the 10x32 is to limiting, exit pupal, eye box, not the best in low light, too many compromises for me, I’ll take the weight of the 42 when I go 10x.
 

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8x32 NL, SF, EL is as good as it gets as all around do everything binoculars. The best bright and sharp optics, still light and compact and still effective in low light. Used my 8x32 SF all day yesterday in cloudy overcast conditions, no problems. When it comes to more reach in a 10x , I sacrifice and go 42. For me the 10x32 is to limiting, exit pupal, eye box, not the best in low light, too many compromises for me, I’ll take the weight of the 42 when I go 10x.
Interesting! I hadn't directly considered the interaction of magnification and factors such as the eye box before.
 
how much more noticeable is the increase in aperture between the x32 and the x42 variant?
In general this is not a dramatic difference in light gathering, but the extended periods of low light at your latitude may put a premium on any improvement at all. Still, since you tolerate a heavy pack anyway, I think you should consider EL 10x50, or possibly even SLC 10x56. One of these would be my choice for your conditions, and either would also offer greater ease of viewing than any NL. I have the SLC which is such joy to use at dusk that I wish it lasted longer here.
 
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When it comes a sunny day I enjoy bird watching MUCH more. All colors pop and it is a treat to use the binos. That said, at sunny days I prefer to use 10x32 but If I see that there is a chance that the sunny day will become cloudy I rather take 10x42 binos. I believe the light gathering in x42 binos is substantial higher in my opinion.

For me 8x binos fall just a bit short. I have the feeling that I miss magnification thus details. 10X binos are my preferred ones, I use them maybe form 20 meters till 100/130 meters with no problem. To spot a bird quickly might be better a 8power bino but to observe and locate details will definitely go to a 10power.
 
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I know it's not on your shortlist but the best binoculars I've used when backpacking is the Swarovski habicht 7x42 ga.

It's lighter than the NL 8x42 and only 100g heavier than the NL 8x32.

The rubber armour is much thicker then the nl's and more durable.

It's overall construction is much tougher with less to go wrong.

It's brighter and more stable thanks to the slightly lower magnification which helps when your trying to stabilize an image after trekking to the top of a fell.

Just overall a tried, tested, refined tool built for just the task your asking of it. Oh, and it's £1300 cheaper.
 
I have the NL 10x32 and love it. Very stable in the hands and not too lightweight or small for 10 power. I compared it with a SLC 10x42 on an evening and the difference wasn't big. The EL 10x50 was brighter as it should be. However, the brightest was my SLC 8x42. Probably because of the slightly higher transmission and bigger exit pupil.

So for me, 10x32 for on sunny days. 8x42 in dark forests and in dim light.
 
Now the knowledge is allready on the market, I would wait for the 10x52NLPure.
Have you been able to try one yet, Jan? The 12x52 actually sounds more interesting. (Is it also true then that EL 50 will be discontinued?)

I really didn't expect NL 50s. Where is the market for them today?
 
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Mine too but at what cost. If we look at the price gap between EL 42’s to the 50’s , we may be able to get an idea what a 50NL could cost.
If the FOV is wide enough and the axial aberrations in daylight are improved enough over the 8x42 NL I'd happily dump my 8x42 NL for an 8x52 without even checking the price.
 
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