• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
Feel the intensity, not your equipment. Maximum image quality. Minimum weight. The new ZEISS SFL, up to 30% less weight than comparable competitors.

Focuser smoothness on NL Pure? (1 Viewer)

dwever

Registered User
Supporter
Mine was perfectly smooth at purchase in March of this year. Then I posted on here April 19 that I might be feeling a difference in the focus wheel. Now, there is no question that there is a half inch spot in the rotation in either direction that is markedly different from the rest of the rotation. It compromises the binoculars earlier ability to snap to focus. If it gets any worse I will send it in for warranty work. For the record, the quality of the NL image is so superior to any previous alpha I’ve owned (UVHD+, Noctivid, Zeiss Marines, Victory RF’s), I have no regrets for this purchase.
 

ZDHart

Well-known member
United States
Mine was perfectly smooth at purchase. Then I posted on here that I might be feeling a difference. Now, there is no question that there is a half inch spot in the rotation in either direction that is markedly different from the rest of the rotation. It compromises the binoculars earlier ability to snap to focus. If it gets any worse I will send it in for warranty work. For the record, the quality of the NL image is so superior to any previous alpha I’ve owned (UVHD+, Noctivid, Zeiss Marines, Victory RF’s), I have no regrets for this purchase.
Nice to hear that you love the image provided, but quite discouraging :cautious: to hear yet another focuser problem report.
 

dwever

Registered User
Supporter
Well I would add that my expectations for the NL reasonably or unreasonably approach perfection. But at the end of the day, I can still get an exact focus at any time. And if this problem were in the lesser binoculars that live on the dashboard of my F250, I wouldn’t even notice it let alone want to do anything about it.
 

moshc

Member
Mine was perfectly smooth at purchase in March of this year. Then I posted on here April 19 that I might be feeling a difference in the focus wheel. Now, there is no question that there is a half inch spot in the rotation in either direction that is markedly different from the rest of the rotation. It compromises the binoculars earlier ability to snap to focus. If it gets any worse I will send it in for warranty work. For the record, the quality of the NL image is so superior to any previous alpha I’ve owned (UVHD+, Noctivid, Zeiss Marines, Victory RF’s), I have no regrets for this purchase.
Thanks for sharing, how is it different in that spot? Also, I agree with you on the NL image quality.. just so good.
 

moshc

Member
Nice to hear that you love the image provided, but quite discouraging :cautious: to hear yet another focuser problem report.

I'm not sure it's exactly a 'problem' as for me it doesn't effect function only feel. I guess having paid such a crazy price for bins I want to make sure I don't have a sample out of ordinary. Based on others reports and from trying out two other NLs at the store it seems quite common.

Thankfully mine does seem to be slowly 'bedding in' and is getting smoother. I have an extremely high bar for what a truly exquisite smooth focuser feels like, coming from Feathertouch focusers on premium astro refractors (those focusers cost $500 or more on their own). That was sort of my expectation since Roger Vine mentioned this in his NL reviews (he also has premium astro refractors). Binocular focusers are quite a bit more complex with a lot more moving parts so perhaps you need a sample with quite looser tolerances for it to feel completely smooth. Otherwise hope for some 'bed in'.

That's sort of the conclusion that I sit now, having others continue to chime in would add a larger picture of what we can expect from a random NL sample.
 

ZDHart

Well-known member
United States
I'm not sure it's exactly a 'problem' as for me it doesn't effect function only feel. I guess having paid such a crazy price for bins I want to make sure I don't have a sample out of ordinary. Based on others reports and from trying out two other NLs at the store it seems quite common.

Thankfully mine does seem to be slowly 'bedding in' and is getting smoother. I have an extremely high bar for what a truly exquisite smooth focuser feels like, coming from Feathertouch focusers on premium astro refractors (those focusers cost $500 or more on their own). That was sort of my expectation since Roger Vine mentioned this in his NL reviews (he also has premium astro refractors). Binocular focusers are quite a bit more complex with a lot more moving parts so perhaps you need a sample with quite looser tolerances for it to feel completely smooth. Otherwise hope for some 'bed in'.

That's sort of the conclusion that I sit now, having others continue to chime in would add a larger picture of what we can expect from a random NL sample.
Thanks for the details.

My experience is more limited than yours, but I have four pair of Zeiss (two Conquest HD and two SF) binoculars and the focusers on all of them are quite superb. Light, very even action, perfectly smooth. Fresh out of the bod, my 10x42 SF had a slightly rough feel, right at about 12' focus distance, but within one afternoon of use, the focuser became flawless in feel throughout the range. No play, no null spot, perfectly smooth, just wonderful.

Zeiss has spoiled me for focusers, as far as binoculars go. And, I've come to realize how significant a role the quality of a focuser plays on the ultimate usability of a binocular - it is the user interface, constantly being operated, and critical in achieving fast and accurate focus.

To me, it doesn't matter how wonderful the optics are, if the focuser isn't just as awesome, highly responsive with a perfectly even feel. A wonderfully fine feeling focuser is responsible for much of the joy of using a pair of alpha binoculars! An uneven feel somewhere in the range of focus, on a $3000 pair of binoculars, would bug me enough to consider an alternative. Others may find it acceptable. We're all different in what we expect from a product touted as being "the best".

When it comes to binoculars costing in the range of $2000 to $3000+, binoculars touted as being the best in the world, in my view... a truly awesome focuser is expected and considered to be standard fare.
 
Last edited:

ZDHart

Well-known member
United States
Well, it seems that the SF is your glass, no need to try the NL then.
As Roger Vine said in his review, when he reviewed the 8x32 Victory SF, just last year... "There’s no question that the 8x32 SFs are the best binoculars I’ve ever tested at this size. These may be the best 8x32s and the view is the equal of the 8x42 model in some ways, even exceeding it in sheer width."

If the Victory SF 8x32 were the best he's EVER tested, at that size, just last year... they're still incredibly STELLAR binoculars. Period.

I find that my SF 8x32s are stunningly great! They are stellar alpha binoculars. Few would argue with that.

BUT, I'm also ready to buy a pair of NL 10x32s. Apparently, they are not readily available unless you want "caution-'range" colored armor. I'm not big on that color.

SO, why do you say "no need to try NL then"??? You're not a fan boy in defeat... I think not. Surely, you are much wiser than that.

Come on now... be reasonable. If a $2500-$3000 pair of binoculars has a flaw, like a less-than-awesome FOCUSER, please do the world of your fellow alpha-binocular buyers a favor!

Call out the manufacturer! Reject the sample and accept a replacement! Or, have the manufacturer make it right! Are you willing to make excuses for the focuser because you love the optics? Seriously.

Common sense tells us all that retailers really won't call them on the carpet - retailers' allegiance is to SALES. Period!

If people roll-over and accept a less-than-wonderful focuser from a $3000 Swaro NL Pure... then that's what some buyers will get... when they buy one of those! Swaro are certainly capable manufacturers. They can produce great glass. They can do better when it comes to focusers. Can't they? Do you deny that?

I do want to buy a 10x32 NL. And I will, someday. But to accept a less-than-Zeiss focuser won't be something that is OK with me. NL glass is not all THAT different than SF glass. We're talking angels dancing on the head of a pin here. I want alpha grade glass AND an alpha grade focuser. To accept less is the stuff of fan boys.

Yes, I will be perfectly content to have 10x32 SF binoculars with a flawless focuser, rather than a 10x32 NL with a slightly wonky focuser. If Swaro can make a flawless focuser for me... then I'll give the 10x32 NLs a run!

I've spent enough time with my 8x32 Victory SF bins to know that they are an absolutely superb choice. I have no regrets on that $2500 purchase, whatsoever.

As Roger Vine said in his review, when he reviewed the 8x32 Victory SF, just last year... "There’s no question that the 8x32 SFs are the best binoculars I’ve ever tested at this size."

So please tell me, dries... what's wrong with my view on this? You're not just a fan boy, are you?
 
Last edited:

dries1

Member
The focus issue on the NL is overblown IMO, either way it will get resolved, mine actually is fine with more use. It is good to try for yourself and see if it works, that is fine.

I tried the SF,
Cresent glare - Three samples.
Eyecups not good quality for a $2,700 glass.
Paint chips easily on the area near the focus wheel.
Diopter failed, one actually came off.

So we all chose other glass for different reasons. I have many to chose from besides the NL.
 

ZDHart

Well-known member
United States
I have no horse in this race. I want stellar optics and stellar mechanics. I don't care what brand I buy them from.

I own Zeiss (4) , Leica (2), and Swarovski (2) binoculars. I don't play "favorite brands". I like great bins, and I reject sub-standard alphas.

I call a spade a spade. Hopefully, all here will do just the same.
 

dries1

Member
Until you use the NL, and try the focus all this is mute, no? I hope they work for you, stellar optics and craftsmanship.
 

ZDHart

Well-known member
United States
The focus issue on the NL is overblown IMO, either way it will get resolved, mine actually is fine with more use. It is good to try for yourself and see if it works, that is fine.

I tried the SF,
Cresent glare - Three samples.
Eyecups not good quality for a $2,700 glass.
Paint chips easily on the area near the focus wheel.
Diopter failed, one actually came off.

So we all chose other glass for different reasons. I have many to chose from besides the NL.
The Swaro focus issue is, of course overblown, if you have no issues with yours.

If you happen to have focuser issues with YOUR binoculars, that you paid upwards of $3000 for, that sucks, on alpha-priced binoculars.
 

ZDHart

Well-known member
United States
Until you use the NL, and try the focus all this is mute, no? I hope they work for you, stellar optics and craftsmanship.
Correct. It is all in the eyes and the experience of the individual buyer!

I'm happy to buy a pair of NL 10x32s (when available in a color I would like) and give them a try. :) I'm not partial to Zeiss, Leica, Swarovski... as long as they hold up their end of the bargain!

My hope is that I'll love the 10x32 NLs, including the focuser - which is a very important element of a binocular to me - and want to keep them. That's all I can ask for.

Alpha grade glass and alpha grade mechanics, baby! That is all that I expect for the BIG BUCKS.

I am cautious, however, given the numerous reports of focuser "irregularities" with NL Pure.

At present, I feel so blessed and fortunate that I am able to have multiple alpha binoculars, Zeiss, Leica, and Swarovski. Those are the alpha brands that I'm focused on. And, I'm very content at present, as long as need be, with my current squad of bins.

I have to agree with Roger Vine... the 8x32 SF bins really are mind-bogglingly wonderful! They could be my ONLY pair of general use bins, and I would have nothing to reasonably want for, really.
 
Last edited:

dwever

Registered User
Supporter
. . . how is it different in that spot?

The resistance to being turned drops noticeably for a quarter inch. At first I thought it was play or slack, but it is still focusing, so it is only a change in resistance. I almost don’t care and won’t care if it stays where it is. If it progresses, which it hasn’t, I’ll send it in.
 

foresttones

Well-known member
I had a pair of 8x42 NLs whose focuser had a noticeable and annoying rough spot. Over the course of a week the issue became worse and worse until it became effectively stuck. I had to use two fingers to get it unstuck from its position. I sent them back and a replacement is currently en route. I found the optics so lovely that I'm willing to try again.
 

dries1

Member
As Roger Vine said in his review, when he reviewed the 8x32 Victory SF, just last year... "There’s no question that the 8x32 SFs are the best binoculars I’ve ever tested at this size."

So please tell me, dries... what's wrong with my view on this? You're not just a fan boy, are you?

First I have been with the glass since porro prisms were the only ones available to provide a suitable view. Roof prisms were dark and dull. While I respect Robert Vine as a reviewer of Binoculars, I don't always agree with his summation on the glass. I do appreciate his reviews related to astronomy, however.

Additionally I have used the glass in combat, so far from being a fanboy.
 

moshc

Member
I had a pair of 8x42 NLs whose focuser had a noticeable and annoying rough spot. Over the course of a week the issue became worse and worse until it became effectively stuck. I had to use two fingers to get it unstuck from its position. I sent them back and a replacement is currently en route. I found the optics so lovely that I'm willing to try again.
Definitely let us know how the replacement goes!
 

ZDHart

Well-known member
United States
As Roger Vine said in his review, when he reviewed the 8x32 Victory SF, just last year... "There’s no question that the 8x32 SFs are the best binoculars I’ve ever tested at this size."

So please tell me, dries... what's wrong with my view on this? You're not just a fan boy, are you?

First I have been with the glass since porro prisms were the only ones available to provide a suitable view. Roof prisms were dark and dull. While I respect Robert Vine as a reviewer of Binoculars, I don't always agree with his summation on the glass. I do appreciate his reviews related to astronomy, however.

Additionally I have used the glass in combat, so far from being a fanboy.
dries... I agree, no single reviewer, just as no single "commenter", has the "ultimate" word on ANYTHING.

You seemingly have much more experience with binoculars than I do! I have no quibbles with that.

I do, however, use my binoculars for at least several hours, every day! And, I have excellent vision. Yes, I'm quite particular about optical quality, having been a commercial photographer for most of my life.

My view is this: Leica UVHD+/NV, Zeiss SF/FL, Swaro EL/NL... the optics are all fabulous alpha grade. One may fiddle about this or that minor aspect, but all in all... these are truly stellar optics!

What else do you really need, in addition to stellar optics? Great handling comes to mind. And, especially, alpha grade focuser action!

I'll buy the best of the best alphas... I don't care who makes them. And last year's best of the best is still virtually as good as it gets, no matter how much you have to spend!

But I expect alpha optics to come with alpha mechanics. Any less than that, and it's either back for an exchange "for like", or for an exchange "for alternative". I'll give it one back "for like" before going for "alternative". That's only fair, as individual samples from ANY maker can be slightly "off".

I look forward to receiving a stellar pair of 10x32 NLs, when I can get them in a color other than "caution orange". :) Yes! I do hope for the best, and I'm happy with Leica, Zeiss, and Swarovski... as long as I get alpha grade optics AND alpha grade mechanicals.
 
Last edited:

Canip

Well-known member
ZDHart (post # 27),

you say that „When it comes to binoculars costing in the range of $2000 to $3000+, binoculars touted as being the best in the world, in my view... a truly awesome focuser is expected and considered to be standard fare.“

This is a fair and legitimate statement, no question. And if for you, a very smooth focusser is essential in an expensive binocular, I would recommend you not to buy a Swarovski.

Among my roughly two dozen Swaros, a number of them exhibit roughness, unevenness, noise or all of the above in their focusser and have done so over the years. This does not mean they do not do their job - focussing - perfectly well (and yes, I have had to replace a focuser once in an SLC).

Perhaps you just can’t have ut all. I think absolute focusser smoothness is not Swarovski’s thing. If it‘s important to you, think twice before buying a Swaro.

A Porsche is a wonderfully expensive car, but nobody buys one for its quiet comfortable ride. And nobody buys a Lexus for its racecar properties, although at the price point of these cars, they ought to be excellent in everything, no?

Don‘t buy a Swaro for its focusser.
Swarovski will repair a defective focusser without question, but ultrasmoothness in focussers is probably not their thing.

Similarly, dont buy a Leica for it‘s edge sharp, ultrawide FOV (that‘s Swaro‘ area).

All BMW, Mecedes and Audi owners I know have SOME issues with their cars which they don‘t like. For some reason, you probably just can‘t have it all.

As to quality, esp. quality control:
I have a roughly comparable amount of binos from the „big 4“ producers, and if I count the number of occurrences when binos needed service, all of the European ones perform worse than the Japanese producer. It‘s a fact I have to accept, even if I wish it were different. Those who have worked in manufacturing industry know how difficult and demanding it can be to maintain „perfect“ quality over some period of time without any slips.
That‘s where customer service comes into play, and my experience with all premium manufacturers has been okay so far.

Just my 2 cts.
Canip
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top