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Focuser smoothness on NL Pure? (1 Viewer)

jcnguyen09

Well-known member
Actually Swarovski created a very good focus mechanism on the NL lines. They are smooth, very sophisticated and advance (if and only if we get a good sample pair). If we have been in optics for a while we all know that Swarovski greaseless focus mechanism was not the smoothness one, however we talk about quality control issue here and try to get a good pair (without assembly quality control issues) when purchasing them! If you receive a pair and see that the focusser is not working properly then don't hesitate to send it back for exchange while you still can. Few issues could resolve by itself but many can't be corrected and usually getting worse over times. Example is the focusser on my NL 8x42. There is a loose gap on my NL 8x42 when you switch direction. I felt that right out of the box, but after a year using, it seems getting worse, I will send it in sometimes soon! The focussers on my NL 12x42 and 10x32 were perfect right out of the boxes and no issues.
 

Maljunulo

Well-known member
Throwing reviews and specs at each other like lightning bolts from Mt. Olympus does not strike me as the best way to establish which is the better of two choices.

Those things are guidelines at best, and the only sure way is to look through the instrument and see what your eyes and brain show you, and then think about that to make a decision.

Once again ......... just my opinion.
 

ZDHart

Well-known member
Supporter
Honest commentary from actual users is helpful in establishing some kind of pre-purchase expectation. @Canip, thank you for your very candid assessment, based on your ownership of a considerably large number of Swaro bins.

There have been a number of members here giving honest commentary about what the focusers in their Swaro bins are like. The collection of comments have given me a sense to hope for, but not expect, a wonderfully even-feeling focuser in a pair of Swaro that I will order. That's all I can ask for, to learn from my fellow members. The rest will have to be direct personal experience with an individual sample, by ordering a pair for myself.

A smooth, even feeling focuser may not be a requirement for some bin users - which is fine. As long as an individual is satisfied with whatever they buy and choose to use, who can argue with that?

For myself, if I can find bins with alpha optical performance and an alpha performing focuser... that is plenty to keep me happy. I have found just that in a few alpha bins that I recently purchased (Zeiss SF and Leica UVHD+).

I hope to find that with a Swaro 10x32 NL, as well! I am less picky about having sharpness go to the very edge of the view than I am about how smooth and precise the focuser feel is. To me, the focuser is like the steering wheel in a fine automobile - I don't want rough feeling spots, nor null spots in my primary user interface. Some other folks may have different priorities in the bins that they buy. It's all good, as long as the user is satisfied!

I will be thrilled if my choice is for 10x32 SFs. And, I'm hoping I can be at least as thrilled with a pair of 10x32 NLs.

Isn't is possible that if enough Swarovski buyers consistently reject less-than-smooth focusers in their purchases, that Swarovski may ultimately put enough effort into their focuser design to produce more consistent results in focuser quality? I think that's a worthy goal to 'focus' on! 😀
 
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jcnguyen09

Well-known member
I am super happy with my NL 10x32. It became my most used bino since purchased. I compared the SF 10x32 and NL 10x32 and went back and forth between the two. It was hard to make a decision for a while. However, I ended up to go with the NL 10x32. I wear glasses and it's a little bit easier on the eye pieces on NL for me (less sensitive on black beans, eye placement and the available option of the FRP accessory that I happen to really enjoy)
 

Maljunulo

Well-known member
The focuser on my EL SV 10X42 was squeaky, because I think the wheel was touching the rubber armor.

I never got excited enough about it to send it away, or to drive to Rhode island to get them to fix it because the images were very nice.

I also ignored the rolling ball.
 

Canip

Well-known member
ZDHart (post # 43),

If an „innocent bystander“, who knows nothing about the NL, visits this forum and reads what has been criticized about the various NL models, he would necessarily have to assume that dealers will not sell many of the NLs on their shelves.
But while we here seem to be counting Swarovski‘s failures and flaws in their instruments, Swarovski is probably counting the dollars from their sales to happy customers (ask Jan how Swaro sells, vs. Leica and Zeiss).

So I think there is little risk that your suggestion that it is

possible that if enough Swarovski buyers consistently reject less-than-smooth focusers in their purchases, that Swarovski may ultimately put enough effort into their focuser design to produce more consistent results in focuser quality? I think that's a worthy goal to 'focus' on!“

will find many followers.

I am convinced that some people at Swarovski (and, by the way, Zeiss, Leica etc.) do occasionally check into forums such as this one to see what is said about their products as part of their customer feedback work, but I hope that they do not listen too closely to all the advice given here. If they did, they might soon not be in business anymore.

Canip
 

NDhunter

Experienced observer
United States
Canip, I agree with you, Do not buy Swarovski for the focuser, I have owned maybe 25 examples over the years, the EL has
had the roughest focuser, stiction, etc. of all of them. The Habicht, CL and SLC models have been very good in this respect.

I also have many Leica, Zeiss and Nikon binoculars. and in no special order, no trouble with any of them, and Nikon has the best focusers I've tried.
I am not surprised the NL has similar issues, and that is too bad.

Jerry
 

GrampaTom

Well-known member
United States
I’m feeling lonely…. No, really. I must be the only guy in the universe that got an EL with super smooth, perfect, slippery focuser. I must’ve done something to offend the Swaro Gods. Course now having said that it’ll probably start squeaking.
 

ZDHart

Well-known member
Supporter
Actually Swarovski created a very good focus mechanism on the NL lines. They are smooth, very sophisticated and advance (if and only if we get a good sample pair). If we have been in optics for a while we all know that Swarovski greaseless focus mechanism was not the smoothness one, however we talk about quality control issue here and try to get a good pair (without assembly quality control issues) when purchasing them! If you receive a pair and see that the focusser is not working properly then don't hesitate to send it back for exchange while you still can. Few issues could resolve by itself but many can't be corrected and usually getting worse over times. Example is the focusser on my NL 8x42. There is a loose gap on my NL 8x42 when you switch direction. I felt that right out of the box, but after a year using, it seems getting worse, I will send it in sometimes soon! The focussers on my NL 12x42 and 10x32 were perfect right out of the boxes and no issues.
jcn... thanks for that encouraging post! I'm looking forward to experiencing an NL 10x32! And, I would very much enjoy learning your impressions of your 10x32 NL, and your 8x32 NL.
 
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ZDHart

Well-known member
Supporter
Is a little bit of skin thickening in order? Or am I just imagining the ire?

Some folks here are seemingly a bit defensive on questions about focuser issues. And I've sensed the same when some users have mentioned that QC at Swaro seems to have become a bit lax.

Ruffled feathers regarding thus discussion, in some cases, is quite palpable. No need to be defensive. No binocular models are perfect. Not all samples of binoculars are consistently great. Though perfection is likely more expected when one spends $2500-$3000 for a pair of binoculars. We who spend that kind of money on looking glasses, especially buying multiple alpha bins, are likely not all that common, and are likely a pretty picky bunch.

It is obvious that Swarovski has impressed a great many binocular fans and their sales are, undoubtedly, not suffering noticeably from complaints of focuser issues. It would appear that Swarovski is possibly the most exciting brand to many on this particular forum. Good for Swarovski. They've really been pushing the big two "legendary" makers and have brought the state of optics to wonderful new heights! They've obviously earned their success.

To the extent that my inquiries about Swaro focuser issues have been a source of irritation to some of you - I'm sorry that you may have taken any kind of offense. No offense was ever intended toward any of you. I'm rationally inquiring, questioning, and learning about alpha binoculars.

Being wary of potential shortcomings is what a prudent consumer does when he's about to drop $2550 plus tax on another pair of binoculars. Critical inquiry and analysis is, in part, the purpose of a forum such as this!

Fortunately, my binocular supplier has a very generous return policy, 30 days - return for any reason, if dissatisfied with the product. That takes the worry out of making such a substantial purchase. Very nice!

Through my questions and reading through this forum, I've learned of numerous NL owners who have had no issues with uneven feeling focusers. So, that does inspire confidence to give them a go! Worse that can happen is a return exchange for a second sample. Not the end of the world.
 
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dorubird

Well-known member
Romania
Even if my curiosity goes mainly in other directions such as:
when I look through this binoculars, do I feel relaxed and get a comfortable image through the eyepieces?
how immersive is the image?
how much present is the 3d effect?

When I will try NL Pure for the first time, among other things I will definitely pay attention to the focus wheel too, for sure :) It is due to this kind of discussion, but also due to the fact that the focus wheel it's a very important mechanical aspect in these tools!
 

Canip

Well-known member
Canip, I agree with you, Do not buy Swarovski for the focuser, I have owned maybe 25 examples over the years, the EL has
had the roughest focuser, stiction, etc. of all of them. The Habicht, CL and SLC models have been very good in this respect.

I also have many Leica, Zeiss and Nikon binoculars. and in no special order, no trouble with any of them, and Nikon has the best focusers I've tried.
I am not surprised the NL has similar issues, and that is too bad.

Jerry

Jerry,

just to be sure my earlier posts were not misunderstood (English not being my first language, my choice of words may sometimes be prone to misunderstanding):

I do not think the NL has focuser "issues" - no more than my 8x42 Victory HT has, on which the focus knob turns much more easily counterclockwise than clockwise, and no more than many others of my premium binos.

If ultra-smooth focus operation is the main priority, people should buy a Nikon EDG, or a carefully selected Ultravid.

For me, the focuser needs to fulfill two requirements:

  • it needs to have zero play or slackness,
  • it needs to allow me to focus very precisely, with no "gum feeling".

Both of these properties influence performance - while noises or "scratchy impressions" when turning the focus knob in my view do not. If one of my premium binos does not meet the two requirements any more, it goes into service with the manufacturer.

When I consider these two requirements, many of my binos from Zeiss or other good brands, such as Kowa, and even some Leicas, exhibit more focuser "issues" than my Swarovski binoculars.

All I was trying to say in my earlier posts was: don't buy the NL (or other Swaros) just for the focuser. Buy it for its incredible ergonomics, exceptionally wide and edge-sharp image and it's "immersion effect". The focuser of the NL should - and does - fulfill the two requirements mentioned above very well; if it doesn't, get it serviced.
But if the focuser is your main "focus point" (no pun), buy something else.

Buy the way: the longer I follow discussions in forums like this one, the more I get the impression that people more frequently are buying binoculars which they have not tried out, and then complain when their expectations are not met.
Nobody, not even the best forum experts, can choose a binocular for you. Try, then buy. And not: buy, then complain.

just my 2 cts
Canip
 

Loud Green Man

Well-known member
While this thread has clearly attracted a number of agenda lead observations it’s not unreasonable to expect a circa £3K pair of bins to come with a Rolls Royce grade focusing mechanism, and out-of-the box rather than after X miles on the clock and/or the first service. Surely?

Having been driven to distraction by the over-travel and ‘slop’ in a Leica Duvid I fully sympathise with the Op as the experience has ensured assessing the quality of the focusing mech’ is my number one priority when handling any make & model.

We all desire a set of bins given of glass that might be said to have magic properties but no way should this be at the expense of the aforementioned IMHO.

LGM
 

ZDHart

Well-known member
Supporter
Hello all,

I recently purchased a 10x42 NL Pure. This is my first high end binocular. I noticed the focuser has a few scratchy or rough spots in the range. When focused near infinity it's very smooth and there are no issues but when focusing closer if it hits the spot where it's a tad rough I can feel it (a bit of stiction, etc). Sometimes it's very subtle, other times very noticeable - wondering if this is normal in other samples of the NL.

Have others with the NL found similar behavior or do they find theirs completely smooth end to end? I'm aware Swarovski had issues with smooth focusers in previous models because of the greaseless design but I thought NL focuser fixed these issues. The image on these is incredible but I have a week or so to decide if it's worth exchanging for another sample.

Is your NL focuser silky smooth through the entire range or are there some rough spots in the range? Sharing your experience with the NL focuser would be appreciated.

Thanks.
moshc... I thank you, and I know others here do too... for starting this thread. It's been a very useful discussion indeed, from which I'm sure many viewers have benefitted. The forum is serving its purpose.
 

GrampaTom

Well-known member
United States
Canip, at the risk of creating a new named thing to discuss, could you explain what you mean by this, please?
  • it needs to allow me to focus very precisely, with no "gum feeling".
G'Tom
 

tenex

reality-based
I’m feeling lonely…. No, really. I must be the only guy in the universe that got an EL with super smooth, perfect, slippery focuser.
There must simply be some sample variation. Like many others not complaining here (I'm sure), I have perfectly lovely focusers on both Swaros (10x and 15x56 SLC), as on both recent Leicas also. Fortunate, I suppose, but hopefully not uncommon.

I get the impression that people more frequently are buying binoculars which they have not tried out, and then complain when their expectations are not met.
I'm afraid that stores in which one could try or compare them, or easily select from multiple examples, have been rapidly disappearing... and trying to get a satisfactory result by mail order can be frustrating.
 

ZDHart

Well-known member
Supporter
Trying out NL Pures in your choice of spec (magnification x objective) is not necessarily all that easy, for many potential buyers. Same goes for many other fine alpha binocular choices.

I've found the best way (for me) is to order from B&H. They ship 2nd day air by FedEx - for free. Nice! And they grant a full 30 days to return the product, if you are unsatisfied with the item, for ANY REASON.

If you decide to return the binoculars, all you pay is the pre-arranged return shipping (FedEx label provided) of about $10, and you are refunded your full purchase price when the binoculars are received back at B&H in like-new condition.

All that is required for a return is that the all of the original packaging, product literature, product, and product accessories are in the same new condition as when you received the product.

If you are gentle and careful with your stuff, meeting these requirements is not at all difficult. I don't make any use of strap, case, nor accessories until I'm certain that I wish to keep a pair of binoculars. I simply remove the binoculars from the box and give them a good (and gentle) test period. Then I decide to keep, or not.

How bad is that for being able to "try out" binoculars, before buying for keeps? In my view... not bad at all!
 
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