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ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

Feedback wanted on possible choices (1 Viewer)

So I had the chance to test some binoculars and have made the following conclusions:

  • I will stick with 8x magnification
  • My kowa BD ii 8x42 XD binoculars are not as good as the very expensive binos, but the difference is nowhere as big as I expected, they are really very nice binoculars.
  • Of the high level binoculars I prefer the nl pure 8x42 and Zeiss sfl 8x40
  • In my opinion, the nl pures are nicer to look through then to look at. Wish they could be as pretty as the Leica. I also don't love the feel of the rubber. The shape however is really nice to hold when viewing.
  • Besides a new binocular I would like to get a non zoom wide angle 35x eyepiece for my kowa 883, to go with my current 20-60 zoom eyepiece
I was hoping to love the noctivid because I love how it looks. I ended up having a lot of black spots if I didn't hold it just right. It was annoying, that really surprised me.

I did not like the ergonomics of the Zeiss SF. Also the colours did not seem right somehow. Not sure why.

It was a very beautiful day when I tried them and I currently think I will go for the sfl and the kowa eyepiece. I think I like the sfl slightly more than the nl pure, the view seems very similar except for field of view. But the lighter weight and better close focus of the Zeiss are more important for me then the field of view. The lower price is nice, but that really is not the main reason

However I would also like to test them first on a day that is not perfectly bright.
And I really wish I could test them in the forest, I do alot of birding in forests. I don't think a store will lend them to me for a day. That would be amazing.
It sounds to me as if you have made the best choice for you.

If the difference isn’t worth the difference in price to you, then it would be foolish to spend money you could use for something else.

I will add that I buy binoculars to look through, not by how they are to look at.
I think you are right. And unless the view seems very different when I test it with less light I will buy the sfl. Honestly seeing the reviews and it being an expensive size I cannot imagine it will not do well.

I understand your point at not buying it to look at it. But I am a bit vain in this regard. I have the habit of taking my bins almost everywhere and to some point they become an extension of myself. I had my previous bins (bynolyt blackbird 8x42) for almost 20 years and I just loved the look and feel of them. My kowa is a way better binocular, but I have not developed the same love for how it looks and feels in the hand
Get the Zeiss SFL 8x40. It is hard to beat for an all around birding binocular. They have $250 off right now. That is what I use, and I have tried a LOT of binoculars.

The ONLY advantage the NL 8x42 has over the SFL 8x40 is the bigger FOV. The SFL has more accurate colors, It is just as bright, it handles glare WAY better, it is WAY smaller and lighter, It has easier eye placement, it doesn't have those goofy FP strap attachments, it doesn't have that goofy side load case, it doesn't have that goofy overdone adjustable strap, it is better looking, the rain guard come off easier and the focuser is faster and more fluid.

Why would you ever pay 2x the price for an NL?

"The Smart Focus system is also double bridged and very ergonomic for your hand placement on the binoculars. It’s stable, smooth, and consistent. We have yet to find a focus system we like more than the Zeiss Smart Focus system. It’s that good!"

"Eye box forgiveness is something not often talked about in terms of binocular features, but when a binocular’s eye box is not forgiving, you notice. A perfect example of this is the Swarovski NL Pure. These are some of the most impressive binoculars we’ve ever tested at Backwoods Pursuit, and are the top performers in our review. Personally, I’ve been using them for a couple of years now, and they are fantastic. However, their eye box is not very forgiving, which can be frustrating at times when they move slightly out of the “sweet spot” in the eye box, making you fight black spots in the field of view.”

" As expected, the NL Pure were far superior in field of view (360 feet @1000 yards vs. 396ft @1000 yards), but were only slightly better in edge-to-edge clarity. There wasn’t nearly as much difference as I expected, and surprisingly, the Zeiss SFL truly held its own in edge-to-edge clarity."

" However, to my amazement, I found that the Zeiss 10×30 SFL outperformed the Swarovski NL Pure 10×32 in low light. I was utterly blown away by as this was completely unexpected. Pair that with the smaller size and lighter weight (22.8 oz vs. 16.2 oz) and it is an accomplishment. Now, I say this as a HUGE fan of the NL Pure, so I didn’t come to that conclusion lightly."

"I also found that I slightly preferred the color more in the Zeiss SFL which was another huge surprise during our testing."

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The ONLY advantage the NL 8x42 has over the SFL 8x40 is the bigger FOV. The SFL has more accurate colors, It is just as bright
When I compared my NL 8x32 to my SFL 8x40, I sold my SFL the next day. The NL just killed it with a much bigger FOV that is sharp to the edge and better contrast. There is no comparison.
It seems a bit contradictory 😉
So I took the plunge today. I went to a store with my father, who wanted a set of bins to take with him on walks and we made a day out of it.

This was pretty grate. My father gave me my first decent binoculars when I left to college over 20 years ago and I remember that day vividly. I wanted to create this memory with him for what might very well be the last binoculars I ever buy for myself.

Turned out zeiss just started a cashback action as well, giving pretty big discounts! Lucky me!

I learned the following:

I do not like noctivids at all. They fit my face and hands horribly

I dislike the Swarovski way of doing business. How can you sell a 2600 euro set of binoculars and then charge 140 extra for a finicky piece of 50 cents plastic to support the thing on your forehead that could easily be included with the bins as Standard. Gready bunch of @€&#!π§$ they obviously know they are currently on top of the market and it gets to their heads. I really hope others catch up to them and teach them some humility.

There is no 10 power in this universe that I prefer over an 8 power.

I like the styling of Zeiss

With the cashback the sfl would be 1400 euro, What a deal!
The SF 8x32 has a 450 cashback and that is also a very attractive offer.

My wife is awesome, at no point did she give me grief over spending this amount of money on what is basically a toy.

I still believe my kowa bdii 8x42s are very good. I don't really need something better and if money would be tight I could happily bird with them forever. I can recommend them to anyone and really believe it is perfectly possible to get all you really need as a birder from binoculars for less than 500 euro.

That all being said, I never spend money like this before on something not essential. And it doesn't come easy for me. But I believe that is a good quality in me. I really wanted to love the Zeiss sfl 8x40 or the SF 8x32. But if I am honest, even tho I have some reservations about Swarovski as a company, the nl pure seems made for my hands and is just on another level optically. I made Sure to be at the store early and tested in bad lighting. The nl pure seemed noticeably better to me. I did not like the forehead rest, it might however be something you have to get used to.

So I got an nl pure 8x42 and after swiping my credit card just feld happy and relieved to have made a decision. It is simply an astonishing binocular.

my dad got an opticron traveller 8x32 that I am Sure will serve him very well on his walks.
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Great to hear, sounds like a very informative session. Now you know there isn’t something that “might be better” out there as you’ve tested the options and understood how they (don’t) work for you. Great post!


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