• BirdForum is the net's largest birding community dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE!

    Register for an account to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

First time noctovid user (1 Viewer)

matt green

Norfolkman gone walkabout
Thought I’d post a brief account of a recently acquired 8x42 noctovid, rather an unexpected acquisition but the opportunity to acquire a used example at a good price was too much to resist. Prier to the 8x42 I’d only taken a very quick look through the 10x42 version, after having spent a few hours in the field in varying lighting from open farmland to dense woodland and canal toe paths it gave me the chance to appreciate how they differ from my previous Swarovski el 8.5x42 and 8x32.

As soon as the binocular was raised to my eye I could immediately tell these appear to be noticeably sharper then the el’s, the extremely well damped and smooth turning focus just makes everything snap in perfect and effortless focus, i’m unsure if the focus wheel is lubricated or uses naturally self lubricating materials etc but micro adjustments are easily achieved with no hint of play or backlash etc, though I haven’t measured it focus speed in my opinion is spot on making quick adjustments from near (just under 2m) to distant features of the landscape many miles away.

Possibly the biggest difference I could tell from these and my previous el42 was the colour and saturation levels, greens browns and yellows are all noticeably warmer compared to the colder rendition of the el, maybe the el appeared just a tad brighter but this may be due to the colour balance more than anything else..the noctovid still manages to offer stunning resolution when scanning the dark interior of a conifer wood. In brighter more open conditions the Leica coatings on the noctovid yield more surprises in how they behave when scanning over bright reflections over water and low sunlit woodland canopy, I could detect no glare issues or ghosting etc in real world use. One aspect of the noctovid view that I found particularly pleasing is how they react to reflective surfaces, the binoculars could almost have been fitted with a pair of polarising filters to each objective lens allowing colours and textures to bleed through without appearing washed out or suffering with glare..to my eyes this is a characteristic of Leica optics as it reminded me of the trinovid 8x32ba I used a few years ago and I’m quite happy with how they apparently enhance the colours and rendering compared to perhaps a more neutral/colder and less pleasing view, though this must be judged by the individual and not a condition of one binocular/brand being better than the other!

lastly my thoughts on build and ergonomics, the first thing I noticed when I pulled the noctovid out of its bag was the texture of the rubber armouring, it has a beautifully smooth/marble like texture that feels very tactile in the hand..not tacky or sticky compared to the latest generation of els, because the surface is smooth textured cleaning the armouring is a lot easier and the rubber surface does not claw lint from your cleaning cloth or collect dust particles from clothing etc, after use the binoculars are quickly and effortlessly cleaned with a soft brush or cloth without having to remove stubborn dust with a wet finger!

Another plus point is the rain guard, it just works and slips on and off and stays in place without having to press/lock down in place, it moves easily up and down the neck strap and because it’s relatively lightweight it doesnt flap around too much or cause a distraction when glassing, this seems to be made from the same rubber as the eyecups so these are also very easy to clean and brush away dust etc..the eyecup assembly also seems very well designed, the single piece polycarbonate? eyecup is removable and clicks firmly in place when the desired stop is found, correct me by all means but I believe Leica use the metal nodule on springclip that slots into detents at various points in the onepiece eyecup interior that locks it at the desired setting..no chance of the eyecup threading out of the body when setting eyecup position as occasionally happens with the two piece threaded designs found elsewhere!

In short the noctovid is a beautifully designed and engineered piece of work, despite looking I couldn’t find anything to whinge about and nothing about the binocular seemed over designed/over engineered, more so than many other binoculars I have handled I get the impression the noctovid has been designed in the field, rather than in the conference room from ideas that might look good in a glossy catalogue but in reality most users find ‘annoying’

I really hope a 8x32 model is introduced, a smaller and lighter alternative with maybe a touch more field of view and close focus could be a real gem!

Matt
 

Arvaja

New member
Finland
Thought I’d post a brief account of a recently acquired 8x42 noctovid, rather an unexpected acquisition but the opportunity to acquire a used example at a good price was too much to resist. Prier to the 8x42 I’d only taken a very quick look through the 10x42 version, after having spent a few hours in the field in varying lighting from open farmland to dense woodland and canal toe paths it gave me the chance to appreciate how they differ from my previous Swarovski el 8.5x42 and 8x32.

As soon as the binocular was raised to my eye I could immediately tell these appear to be noticeably sharper then the el’s, the extremely well damped and smooth turning focus just makes everything snap in perfect and effortless focus, i’m unsure if the focus wheel is lubricated or uses naturally self lubricating materials etc but micro adjustments are easily achieved with no hint of play or backlash etc, though I haven’t measured it focus speed in my opinion is spot on making quick adjustments from near (just under 2m) to distant features of the landscape many miles away.

Possibly the biggest difference I could tell from these and my previous el42 was the colour and saturation levels, greens browns and yellows are all noticeably warmer compared to the colder rendition of the el, maybe the el appeared just a tad brighter but this may be due to the colour balance more than anything else..the noctovid still manages to offer stunning resolution when scanning the dark interior of a conifer wood. In brighter more open conditions the Leica coatings on the noctovid yield more surprises in how they behave when scanning over bright reflections over water and low sunlit woodland canopy, I could detect no glare issues or ghosting etc in real world use. One aspect of the noctovid view that I found particularly pleasing is how they react to reflective surfaces, the binoculars could almost have been fitted with a pair of polarising filters to each objective lens allowing colours and textures to bleed through without appearing washed out or suffering with glare..to my eyes this is a characteristic of Leica optics as it reminded me of the trinovid 8x32ba I used a few years ago and I’m quite happy with how they apparently enhance the colours and rendering compared to perhaps a more neutral/colder and less pleasing view, though this must be judged by the individual and not a condition of one binocular/brand being better than the other!

lastly my thoughts on build and ergonomics, the first thing I noticed when I pulled the noctovid out of its bag was the texture of the rubber armouring, it has a beautifully smooth/marble like texture that feels very tactile in the hand..not tacky or sticky compared to the latest generation of els, because the surface is smooth textured cleaning the armouring is a lot easier and the rubber surface does not claw lint from your cleaning cloth or collect dust particles from clothing etc, after use the binoculars are quickly and effortlessly cleaned with a soft brush or cloth without having to remove stubborn dust with a wet finger!

Another plus point is the rain guard, it just works and slips on and off and stays in place without having to press/lock down in place, it moves easily up and down the neck strap and because it’s relatively lightweight it doesnt flap around too much or cause a distraction when glassing, this seems to be made from the same rubber as the eyecups so these are also very easy to clean and brush away dust etc..the eyecup assembly also seems very well designed, the single piece polycarbonate? eyecup is removable and clicks firmly in place when the desired stop is found, correct me by all means but I believe Leica use the metal nodule on springclip that slots into detents at various points in the onepiece eyecup interior that locks it at the desired setting..no chance of the eyecup threading out of the body when setting eyecup position as occasionally happens with the two piece threaded designs found elsewhere!

In short the noctovid is a beautifully designed and engineered piece of work, despite looking I couldn’t find anything to whinge about and nothing about the binocular seemed over designed/over engineered, more so than many other binoculars I have handled I get the impression the noctovid has been designed in the field, rather than in the conference room from ideas that might look good in a glossy catalogue but in reality most users find ‘annoying’

I really hope a 8x32 model is introduced, a smaller and lighter alternative with maybe a touch more field of view and close focus could be a real gem!

Matt
Interesting - thanks! How about eye relief? I'm looking for an alpha with large FOV and long ER. At least on paper Noctivid 8x42 sounds like a competent contender. How does Noctivid + glasses work in practice?
 

Anon2020

Well-known member
Interesting - thanks! How about eye relief? I'm looking for an alpha with large FOV and long ER. At least on paper Noctivid 8x42 sounds like a competent contender. How does Noctivid + glasses work in practice?
As a fellow occasional Noctovid user (I mostly use binoculars on long walks and thus tend to carry 8 x 32s) I can, as a spectacles wearer, confirm that the Noctovids are very comfortable in use with glasses - there’s so much eye relief I have the eye cups 1 - 2 “clicks” out from fully down.
 

matt green

Norfolkman gone walkabout
Yes, the eye relief is immense!

You really get the impression of looking through these bins, like a port hole window rather than looking down into two tubes!

Though as always, one would need to try for ones self as some might find they have too much relief, even with the eyecups fully extended.

Matt
 

casscade

Well-known member
Got a question for you guys, what is the actual FOV of the 8x noctovids. I keep getting different numbers from reviews and Leica’s US and Euro site. Thanks, and great review btw.
 

eitanaltman

Well-known member
Yes, Leica specs can be an adventure, especially when converting the FOV spec in meters to feet. When the Trinovid HD series came out they listed the FOV of the 8x42 model at well over 400' @ 1000 yds when it's actually 372 ft.

For the Noctovid, the differences seem to be minor variances with the feet @ 1000 yds spec:
Everyone appears to agree on the 7.7° part, as well as the 135m @ 1000m. Thus, my suspicion is that these variances with the feet at 1000yds measure are all effectively rounding errors due to slightly different methods of converting from metric.
  • If you take the 135m and multiply by 3, you get 405 feet (which is how I assume Leica's website does it)
  • If you use the 7.7° spec and the "52.5 feet per degree" rule, that's 404.3 feet (which I assume is where the common 404 ft spec comes from)
  • No idea where B&H got their 406.6 feet from
Most egregiously, I found a UK website listing the FOV as 443' which is obviously just the raw conversion of 135m directly to feet (which works out to 442.9 feet). Of course the denominator is also changing from 1000 meters to 1000 yards, so this drastically overstates the FOV.

So, I think it's quite safe to assume that the 7.7° TFOV figure is accurate. I wouldn't worry about the difference between 404' and 406.6', it's totally meaningless (even if it wasn't resulting from rounding errors).
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top