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Glass types in NL Pure-series (1 Viewer)

SeldomPerched

Well-known member
Apologies if this has been covered already. With threads sometimes reaching a thousand posts it could just be easier to post this as a new question...

When some bins are released or updated (e.g. Leica, when Ultravid was tweaked from HD to HD-Plus; and Carl Zeiss, when the HT-series came along) the manufacturers mention new types of glass. It could historically be an abbreviation like HD or FL or HT or just a manufacturer's name, such as Schott.

So I was wondering whether the NL Pures feature new glass types and technology, and how far we have been allowed into the secret of the way that, judging from users' comments here and in internet videos, the image is apparently much improved on the already cutting-edge formula of the EL SV/FP-series. Jan van Daalen or Gijs van Ginkel or Henry Link, if you are reading this, my guess is that if you don't know nobody else here is much more likely to either!

Also somewhere along the line I read a negative comment to the effect that the NL image appeared oversharpened (as in an overworked digital camera file, I think).

Why I ask is because tomorrow I am trading in some surplus gear, mostly photographic but a couple of larger binos too, and there will possibly be a chance and a temptation to look through an NL Pure. Discipline is needed as the intention is a bit of downsizing not exchange! After spending a couple of hours with an 8.5x42 SV/FP in today's sunny blue sky conditions looking at garden birds, including some fascinating low-level flypasts, I can't believe a clearer view or more detailed plumage observation is possible. So it would be great to hear what to expect in case I am lucky enough to get the chance of a trial.

Also what are the bodywork or other weaknesses to look out for, if any? Loose seams? I appreciate these are almost certainly the exception rather than the rule. Also flare isn't something that has caused me trouble with this brand unless really trying to provoke it.

Tom
 

GrampaTom

Well-known member
United States
No takers? Hmm..

FOV @ 1000 yards? Multiply X .10, (for FOV @100), and the truth is revealed. Thats marketing.
NL body shape looks/feels "new and improved." My Els feel great, too. After a bit of use, 6 of one...
Rear balance? I felt that. NL weight and length equal to EL, but doesn't feel the same. Thats worth something. How much?
Latest and greatest 32s, even the newest announced NL32, are pushing 42 size. Could NL 42s be the modern 32 killers?
https://www.birdforum.net/threads/nl-pure-8x42-pros-cons.407704/ see #10 1:45 in.
Would I spend $3000. for an interesting new body style, a few feet of useable FOV, some rear balance? Ah, no.
Would I spend $3000. for those plus some new, real, glass and coating improvements, that deliver even better optics? Yes.
Swarovski among the missing. Swaro where are you?

John, Henry, Jan, Gils, Chuck, Tenex, Roger, Tobias, please?

Tom
 

jan van daalen

Well-known member
Hi Tom,

What you ask me is far above my pay grade, but thanks for the confidence in me. Being able to visit plants and monitor production does not mean that one shares the same knowledge.
Please keep in mind that so called revolutionary advantages, packed in slogans like HD, ED, FL, Ultra HD, HT, by some manufacturers does not mean other mnfrs don't use the same glass/coatings just because they don't put that sticker on their optics.

What is within my pay grade is to ask Swarovski for an answer on your question but I already know that outcome.
Earlier there was a discussion here about the "limited" FOV of the 32NL compared to the 42NL, so I asked Swarovski what the reason for that fact was. The answer I got was a polite detailled mail in which they explained me that the best efforts were made to get the best end results with the highest performance rates possible etc etc......

Jan
 
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chill6x6

Well-known member
Binoculars are no different than automobiles, stereos, cookware, hotels, etc, etc, ad infinitum. One can purchase an extremely good, functional product for a pretty reasonable price. To get the elite, the very best, which is only a small difference in increased performance in reality, one has to fork out much more cash. That's where the NLs and SFs are in the binocular world. Even today I took the MHG 8X30 and the SF 8X32 out birding. About $1200 difference between the two price wise. Even more difference considering my MHG is a "refurb." In no way is there REALLY $1200 or more worth of optical/ergonomic/whatever difference. For $2500-$3000 one DOES get some improvements. But the previous top of the class binoculars are still no slouch and for many those are still desirable. I'm still not completely convinced any of the current binocular hierarchy are any better than the Zeiss FLs and Swarovski SLCs all things considered.
 

Maljunulo

Well-known member
Since so much of this is completely individual and subjective, it is extremely difficult to comparatively evaluate binoculars.

Until we find a way to quantify the "Wow!" factor, I think it is mostly hand waving.

To say that binocular "B" is significantly "better" than binocular "A" is to invite a flurry of numbers plucked from spec sheets, or suggestions that one is not being "objective" in one's evaluation, as if one can truly be objective about a subjective phenomenon.
 

henry link

Well-known member
Quite a few of the optical characteristics of binoculars can be measured, photographed, evaluated and tested in non-subjective ways.

The OP's original question about glass types in the NLs can't be answered by us consumers, but we can objectively test how well whatever low dispersion glass the NLs use succeeds in correcting longitudinal and lateral chromatic aberrations.

I've tested the 8x42 NL for CA in objective ways using an examination scope behind the eyepiece to observe longitudinal CA at high magnification and a black and white striped CA target designed for observing lateral CA in a controlled and repeatable way. From those tests I can say that, by binocular standards, the 8x42 NL has unusually good correction of both forms of CA. That's especially true for lateral CA, which is not always that well corrected in typical modern binoculars with objective designs using wide air spaces, no matter how expensive the binoculars are.
 

SeldomPerched

Well-known member
Hi Tom,

What you ask me is far above my pay grade, but thanks for the confidence in me. Being able to visit plants and monitor production does not mean that one shares the same knowledge.
Please keep in mind that so called revolutionary advantages, packed in slogans like HD, ED, FL, Ultra HD, HT, by some manufacturers does not mean other mnfrs don't use the same glass/coatings just because they don't put that sticker on their optics.

What is within my pay grade is to ask Swarovski for an answer on your question but I already know that outcome.
Earlier there was a discussion here about the "limited" FOV of the 32NL compared to the 42NL, so I asked Swarovski what the reason for that fact was. The answer I got was a polite detailled mail in which they explained me that the best efforts were made to get the best end results with the highest performance rates possible etc etc......

Jan
Hi Jan, ha ha, yes — the polite brush off!

I never did get to go and see the NLs last week or take in the things to sell at the same place, but maybe tomorrow. Today I took a break to go out during the late afternoon and was marvelling at views of several birds from about 30 yd / <30m through the EL 8.5. The thing that impresses me most though is the incredibly clear view from very close up (less than 6 feet / 1.8m at a guess): I didn't see birds at that distance of course but close up detail of plants. So I'm telling myself I'm not yet ready for and certainly not needing squashed barrels, but past experience is making me doubt my willpower!

Thanks for 'forwarding' the polite detailed email ;-)
 
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John A Roberts

Well-known member
Australia
Hi Sagittarius,

For an outline of the huge variety of components that Swarovski obtains from others, see their 2016 Sustainability Report.
The 136 page 8.5 MB report can be found can be found at: https://www.swarovskioptik.com/int/en/birding/about-us/sustainable-business.
Go half way down the page and click on the button 'Dive In'.

In relation to optical glass, on p.71 the report states 'We purchase glass blanks from Germany and Asia'. So Swarovski does use Scott glass, in at least some of its optics. But as to which particular brand of glass - in which products - Swarovski doesn't specify.

One imagines that they're reasonably brand neutral in that they'd use whatever works best, taking into account a variety of issues such as quality, availability and price.


Details about Schott optical glass for sport optics, can be found at: https://www.schott.com/en-us/markets/optics/sport-optics
And similar information can be found for two of the major Asian manufacturers:
• Hoya at: https://hoyaoptics.com/optical-glass/ and
• Hikari (Nikon) at: https://www.nikon.com/products/optical-glass/


John
 

Sagittarius

Well-known member
John,

Thanks for the link on Swarovski.
That's the most interesting info on Swarovski I've ever read. (y)
I added it to my favorites bar. :cool:
Thanks again!
 

Gijs van Ginkel

Well-known member
Maljunulo, post 13,
I expect that no binocular producer will tell you what type of optical gas they use and where they buy it. Something similar with respect to the applied coatings will be the case.
Gijs van Ginkel
 

SeldomPerched

Well-known member
Quite a few of the optical characteristics of binoculars can be measured, photographed, evaluated and tested in non-subjective ways.

The OP's original question about glass types in the NLs can't be answered by us consumers, but we can objectively test how well whatever low dispersion glass the NLs use succeeds in correcting longitudinal and lateral chromatic aberrations.

I've tested the 8x42 NL for CA in objective ways using an examination scope behind the eyepiece to observe longitudinal CA at high magnification and a black and white striped CA target designed for observing lateral CA in a controlled and repeatable way. From those tests I can say that, by binocular standards, the 8x42 NL has unusually good correction of both forms of CA. That's especially true for lateral CA, which is not always that well corrected in typical modern binoculars with objective designs using wide air spaces, no matter how expensive the binoculars are.
Thanks for this, Henry; I was beginning to think the thread gone irretrievably off topic! I'm looking forward to at least having a look through an NL again very soon.
 

Maljunulo

Well-known member
Maljunulo, post 13,
I expect that no binocular producer will tell you what type of optical gas they use and where they buy it. Something similar with respect to the applied coatings will be the case.
Gijs van Ginkel
I don't know how many possibilities there are, but I doubt saying "Our products use Schott glass." is giving anything significant away.

You certainly have the advantage of direct knowledge.
 

jan van daalen

Well-known member
Mal,

Consider Schott as Shell. Your car drives on its fuel but does the same on Texaco, BP etc as long as its product has the same specs.
What kind of dopes they use in that fuel is nice to know for each company but of no concern for the driver. Its how the car drives that matters. Marketing slogans in the fuel industry can be read in the optics industry as HT, HD, Ultra HD, ED etc etc.
Schott, Hoya and all the other glass industry have catalogs which one can order. Read these and you know what's available.

Jan
 

Maljunulo

Well-known member
Mal,

Consider Schott as Shell. Your car drives on its fuel but does the same on Texaco, BP etc as long as its product has the same specs.
What kind of dopes they use in that fuel is nice to know for each company but of no concern for the driver. Its how the car drives that matters. Marketing slogans in the fuel industry can be read in the optics industry as HT, HD, Ultra HD, ED etc etc.
Schott, Hoya and all the other glass industry have catalogs which one can order. Read these and you know what's available.

Jan
Absolutely.
 

jcnguyen09

Active member
Reading this thread reminded me that just very recently the major binoculars manufactures, due to rush in competition started developing the binoculars that is overall optimized on all the critical features: FOV, Eye Relief, sharpness, color renditions, 3-D effect, Waterproof, etc....Step back 10 years, it was hard to find a binoculars that would overall optimized on all features: they were either short eye relief, narrow FOV (Leica, Votex...) or weird 2-D flat view (EL SV, EDGE,..) It's a long way to come up with recent products like NL Pure, SF x32.
 

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