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First Impressions 10 and 8 x NL (1 Viewer)

ticl2184

Well-known member
Got my hands on a pair of 8 and 10x Swarovski NL's Pure's yesterday and spent about 3 hours with them.
I compared them to my 10x42 2011 and 2014 8x32 Swarovisions.

I will write a full and in depth review shortly.

Just to say I was forensic in my scrutiny of these premium grade Binos. I had an eye test last week and have 30/20 vision, so I tend to spot very subtle flaws.
I divided the optics into 9 areas and the build quality and functionality into 9 also.

In all areas apart from Diopter, price and internal reflection from a bright daylight light source, the NL's did slightly better than the 2nd Gen Swarovisons. AND I MEAN SLIGHTLY.

The major issue for me was the Diopter setting. What a nightmare ! I had to readjust 3 times during my review. The damn thing is located just proximal to the focus wheel and I kept inadvertently knocking it. It has NO lock and NO click stops apart from the 0 setting. At this level and this price range this is a disaster in my opinion.

The price was also a major issue. For me these binoculars are not worth the UK price tag of £2410 for the 10x version.
More like £2000.
Thirdly I kept getting inferior reflection from the sun which was not present in my 2nd Gen Swarovisions..

The case of the Binos was also an issue. In no way did it reflect the price tag. I would imagine it cost close to £10 UK pounds to produce.

Lastly in respect to the 8x42's I found a Absam ring in the horizontal plane about 80% out from the central fov. Most people would miss it, but at this level it shouldn't be there..

An in depth review will follow shortly and it should be noted that this is MY OPINION. I'm am in no way stating my findings are without error.

Cheers Tim
 
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In all areas apart from Diopter, price and internal reflection from a bright daylight light source, the NL's did slightly better than the 2nd Gen Swarovisons. AND I MEAN SLIGHTLY.
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Hmm ... so you are saying, the 133M FOV of the 10x NL is SLIGHTLY better than the 112m FOV of the 10x EL SV? Interesting ... ;)
 
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Hmm ... so you are saying, the 133M FOV of the 10x NL is SLIGHTLY better than the 112m FOV of the 10x EL SV? Interesting ... ;)
Tim said:
"I divided the optics into 9 areas and the build quality and functionality into 9 also".
so I am pretty sure he'll mention the FoV advantage of the NLs.
Tim: I look forward to reading your review.
 
Hmm ... so you are saying, the 133M FOV of the 10x NL is SLIGHTLY better than the 112m FOV of the 10x EL SV? Interesting ... ;)

This is of course my initial response as well! But I also realize that different people will have different priorities or criteria and no "review" will be wholly objective in all categories. I anticipate that increasing AFOV from 60-65-70+ degrees will result in diminishing perceived advantage as you reach the limit of the eye's ability to take in the field of view. Still though, it's hard for me to imagine calling a 40% increase in FOV only slightly better.
 
Just got my NL 8x42 and all I can say is WOW! I agree with Arek from Allbinos. I have had over 100 binoculars and I would say it is the BEST binocular I have ever looked through or used. The ergonomics are really superb on the new NL with the molded tubes conforming to your hands perfectly and in fact the binocular looks small for a 42 mm and coupled with excellent balance it is a wonderful binocular to hold and use. I like the strap and side load case finding them very high quality and it is very easy to get your binoculars in and out of the case when they are on their side. Swarovski must have tightened up the FP attachment screws, so they wouldn't come off unintentionally because I had a heck of a time getting them on because you have to press them down and turn them at the same time and then release the pressure and turn them till they click. I ended up using one of those sticky circular silicone devices used to open stuck jar lids to get them on. There is NO way they will come off! As usual with Swarovski the objective covers and rain guards are perfect. The seams on the armour are no issue at all. It is a small artifact of where they took the armour out of the mold when formed. The armour seems a little different from the EL and almost more SLC like in texture and feel so maybe Swarovski has gone back to a possibly tougher SLC type armour having problems with the longevity of the EL armour. Finally, a Swarovski with a Nikon EDG like smooth focuser. I can't believe it! The focuser on the NL is way better than any other previous Swarovski I have tried. The diopter is IMO better than the old one and has a detent and there is NO way you are going to move it in the location it is in. I compared the NL to my Kowa Genesis 8x33 which isn't exactly too shabby and most consider a very good alpha minus binocular which has an 8 degree FOV. Once you got used to the 9.1 degree FOV of the NL the Kowa's 8 degree FOV felt almost tunnel like in comparison. Even though the Kowa is a very good binocular the Swarovski NL just killed it in contrast and clarity. The NL has AMAZING contrast and resolution and the FOV is sharp to the edge with NO Absam Ring of any kind. Like most Swarovskis it is quite neutral in color. I do see Henry's glare at the bottom of the FOV but it is very slight and only present under certain conditions so it is no big deal. The Kowa Genesis 8x33 had the same type of glare in fact. I tried Canips theory of using 3 to 4 click stops to get rid of the glare but it made no difference. With my shallow eye sockets the most comfortable eye cup setting was position 5 which is where I got the biggest FOV with no blackouts. It is really nice to have 7 different click stops because you can set the eye cups perfect for your eyes. If you are on the fence about the NL don't let the naysayers or the armchair optical engineers talk you out of trying it yourself with their nitpicking. Let your own eyes decide! The NL is probably the most perfect binocular I have ever tried but no binocular is totally perfect. Swarovski says it is the best binocular they have ever made and Allbinos scored the NL 12x42 higher than ANY binocular they have ever tested so it has to be good.
 

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Thanks, Tim.
Your finding of glare is very concerning in terms of piquing my interest in the NL series. Glare is to me the one major improvement on the formula of the SV EL, and if that is not rectified I would see little/no reason to upgrade. The extra FoV and altered (improved?) ergonomics would not be enough to sway me to open my wallet as am EL SV owner.

Justin
 
I found a couple of comparative photos that may be of interest to some
They’re from Steve Rogers of South West Optics, and are in Twitter posts at: https://twitter.com/swoptics
The first is from the 13th of August and the second from the 12th of August


A) Eye Lens Comparison
From the top:
• NL 10x42
• EL Swarovision/ FieldPro 10x42
• EL Swarovison 10x42 (same eye lens as the FieldPro), and
• EL (pre-Swarovision) 8.5x42


B) Side View/ Ergonomics
The above four units, from the right
(the camera lens has exaggerated the perspective of the two outer units)


John


For some additional context, another image of the three x42’s, from: https://hayko.tv/marsupialgear/CDAh_FPpnUA
From the left: the original EL (pre-Swarovision); the current EL Swarovision/ FieldPro version, and; the new NL
 

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The major issue for me was the Diopter setting. What a nightmare ! I had to readjust 3 times during my review. The damn thing is located just proximal to the focus wheel and I kept inadvertently knocking it. It has NO lock and NO click stops apart from the 0 setting. At this level and this price range this is a disaster in my opinion.

Cheers Tim

Thank you for your first impressions / preface to your forthcoming review, Tim.

I as interested to know how you managed to knock the dioptre setting a few times. I ask as although it looks as if it would easily get in the way, a review or two has already said this doesn't easily happen and that if it does happen the setting is too stiff to make for chance movement.

Now obviously you did manage to knock it off adjustment but I am curious to know if you think this was just through initial unfamiliarity with the bins (a bit like spraying and wiping the windscreen when trying to use the turn indicators in an unfamiliar car). The 8x42 NL unit that a dealer showed me the other day and let me take outside - very kind - I found I could set for my eyes with minimum fuss and I never got the feeling that it would be a problem waiting to happen. Did you feel you would get used to it and things would settle down?

Looking forward to seeing your nine-part review. I was so taken by the colours from the ten minute outdoor viewing I had that I would love to have one, sooner or later, but your glare and other findings will be very useful to read, even though I am not generally too fazed by glare. I.e. I still like my 8x32 EL FP!

Tom
 
Thank you for your first impressions / preface to your forthcoming review, Tim.

I as interested to know how you managed to knock the dioptre setting a few times. I ask as although it looks as if it would easily get in the way, a review or two has already said this doesn't easily happen and that if it does happen the setting is too stiff to make for chance movement.

Now obviously you did manage to knock it off adjustment but I am curious to know if you think this was just through initial unfamiliarity with the bins (a bit like spraying and wiping the windscreen when trying to use the turn indicators in an unfamiliar car). The 8x42 NL unit that a dealer showed me the other day and let me take outside - very kind - I found I could set for my eyes with minimum fuss and I never got the feeling that it would be a problem waiting to happen. Did you feel you would get used to it and things would settle down?

Looking forward to seeing your nine-part review. I was so taken by the colours from the ten minute outdoor viewing I had that I would love to have one, sooner or later, but your glare and other findings will be very useful to read, even though I am not generally too fazed by glare. I.e. I still like my 8x32 EL FP!

Tom
I really don't see how you could inadvertantly move the diopter setting on the new NL. Your two fingers fall naturally on the focuser knob and the diopter setting is almost a 1/2 inch rearward of it and there is a detent at the zero setting so it is not easily moved. You would have to really stretch your fingers to an awkward position to move it. I find the diopter setting preferable to the older EL diopter setting where you have to pull the cap up to set it. I imagine if you had fingers like a Gorilla you could possibly move it but even then it would not be easy.
 

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I really don't see how you could inadvertantly move the diopter setting on the new NL. Your two fingers fall naturally on the focuser knob and the diopter setting is almost a 1/2 inch rearward of it and there is a detent at the zero setting so it is not easily moved. You would have to really stretch your fingers to an awkward position to move it. I find the diopter setting preferable to the older EL diopter setting where you have to pull the cap up to set it. I imagine if you had fingers like a Gorilla you could possibly move it but even then it would not be easy.

Could it be because it has no lock?

Does it have any type of indicator on what the setting is?

Clicks or stepless?
 
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maybe Tim has large hands and a both-hands-over-the-bins grip so when focusing middle- and/or ring finger slides over the diopter as well?
 
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I can't imagine it not taking a bumb or two while in transit and not being slightly
Knocked off the prefered setting..I'd imagine the push in and turn button style adjustment found on early slc's would have worked better?

Matt
 
maybe Tim has large hands and a both-hands-over-the-bins grip so when focusing middle- and/or ring finger slides over the diopter as well?

It may be that Tim's problem isn't happening during focusing. When walking over uneven ground if the binos start swinging around it is natural the take hold of them to stop this and in doing so knock the dioptre which is perched up 'on top' of the binos. I could imagine that if you stuff the binos inside your jacket while you climb over a gate or fence or rocks, to keep them safe, it might be possible to nudge the dioptre out of adjustment during tucking the binos away or getting them out again.

Lee
 
Thank you for your first impressions / preface to your forthcoming review, Tim.

I as interested to know how you managed to knock the dioptre setting a few times. I ask as although it looks as if it would easily get in the way, a review or two has already said this doesn't easily happen and that if it does happen the setting is too stiff to make for chance movement.

Now obviously you did manage to knock it off adjustment but I am curious to know if you think this was just through initial unfamiliarity with the bins (a bit like spraying and wiping the windscreen when trying to use the turn indicators in an unfamiliar car). The 8x42 NL unit that a dealer showed me the other day and let me take outside - very kind - I found I could set for my eyes with minimum fuss and I never got the feeling that it would be a problem waiting to happen. Did you feel you would get used to it and things would settle down?

Looking forward to seeing your nine-part review. I was so taken by the colours from the ten minute outdoor viewing I had that I would love to have one, sooner or later, but your glare and other findings will be very useful to read, even though I am not generally too fazed by glare. I.e. I still like my 8x32 EL FP!

Tom

Hi Tom.

It might because I was unfamilier with the binoculars. I've been useing my current EL's for the last 9 years and the focusser is placed more forward than the NL's. But it should be noted that the NL's Dipoter is silky smooth and doesn't need a lot of pressure for it to be moved inadvertently. It may have also been adjusted as I put it back and forth in the case.

Cheers
Tim
 
It may be that Tim's problem isn't happening during focusing. When walking over uneven ground if the binos start swinging around it is natural the take hold of them to stop this and in doing so knock the dioptre which is perched up 'on top' of the binos. I could imagine that if you stuff the binos inside your jacket while you climb over a gate or fence or rocks, to keep them safe, it might be possible to nudge the dioptre out of adjustment during tucking the binos away or getting them out again.

Lee

Hi Lee.
Doubtful for my friend. I was static most of the time.
It might have been inadvertently moved as I was unfamiliar with the Binos or may it was adjusted as I put them back and forth from the case.. Either way, I personally found, the Diopter on the pair I tested didn't need a huge amount of pressure or effort to move.

It's a real shame because I've been looking forward to these Binos for over 5 years, but I won't be buying a pair until the Dipter issue is resolved..

Cheers Tim
 
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