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High and Over with NL Pure (1 Viewer)

Will K

Too well-known member
United Kingdom
I found the most lovely viewpoint today, and it proved a great opportunity to try some long distance birding with the NL Pure 12x42s that I seem to be in the habit of taking everywhere with me these days.

There's a hill just to the north of Seaford in Sussex with the somewhat prosaic (but pretty accurate) name 'High and Over', providing wonderful views of the valleys and hills around Cuckmere Haven. The 12x is the perfect tool for this kind of job, I think, and seems ideally suited to enhancing panoramic views, in addition to being a very efficient high power close range birding bino. There were plenty of lagoon-like pools and flooded fields in view after the recent rains, which attracted dozens of big water birds. Earlier in the afternoon I was down by the coast, getting a closer look at the egrets, herons, geese, swans etc. from the riverbank, but there was plenty to see on High and Over. Whenever I wanted to look a bit closer at something, I had my trusty Vortex Razor.

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The images below were taken (1) through the NLs and (2) through the Razor, and you can see how the FOV on the NLs is so wide that it makes cropping on the iPhone almost unnecessary! The dark patches around the lower edges are due to my poor phone holding skills. I tried to get the image as focussed as possible, but it might be a little off. Without the camera, at least, the image is crystal clear, very sharp and as bright as anyone could want. Perhaps there is a little of that two-dimensional 'flattened' quality some people have been noting recently, but I can't say that it bothered me today. The infamous glare issue doesn't seem to worry me either, but I'm still exploring their capabilities, so, who knows how I'll feel later? When testing other binos, I'm usually turned-off by narrow FOV, muddy edge clarity and dark images, so the NL glass ticks all the major boxes for me.

At 27x the Razor is very bright and crisp, too. When zoomed in to 60x the Razor provides a wonderfully wide image, rivalling the NLs in subjective size, although today I was noticing quite a bit of brightness falloff at higher magnification; moving from 27x to 60x and back again, it was a bit like a cloud had passed over the sky. If image 3 loads correctly as a video, it should show a super-zoomed image of some geese taken through the Razor, boosted by the iPhone camera zoom. Looking at this again, the video seems brighter than the view provided through the scope itself, surprisingly. CA never bothered me much until I started using higher quality glass, and now I see it here and there in the Razor. I think its most apparent in the green and purple tints around the white plumage of birds. But it is not too bad. The NLs show far less CA, if any, to my eyes.

1. NL (12x)
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2. Razor (27x)
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3. Razor (something over 60x, maybe 150x; not sure)
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High and Over is a beautiful place, and if anyone is planning a trip to Sussex, and the weather is nice, I'd suggest that they make a little detour to enjoy the view. Bring a 12x or above to get the most out of it!

IMG_0238.jpg

Thanks for reading! This post will basically help me remember a lovely day :)
 

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Might as well pin this pic too.

Its a pretty nice picture of one of the egrets taken by the river (iPhone through Razor), but the purple CA is pretty apparent down the bird's back. Anyone else notice it, or am I seeing things?

I never noticed this kind of thing before I got an alpha :rolleyes:

IMG-0169.jpg
 
I'm still thinking about the headrest, actually. If any NL user will buy one, it'll be someone like me who owns a 12x, so it maybe seems as though my little kit is incomplete without one. I was able to convince myself that these madly expensive optics were worth it because of the quality involved, but for some reason I am balking at the prospect of paying an extra hard-earned £110 for a tiny piece of wobbly plastic (I saw one in a shop and was not very impressed with the build quality). Yes the 12x42s could stand to be steadier (pretty much any binos could), so its only a matter of time before I get one, I'm sure. I just need to save up some funds again. Although it seems as though every spare penny I can put aside for optics is going into the scope upgrade pot. I'm still looking to try those 'alpha' scopes (ATX, Harpia, Televid, Meopta S2).
 
I bought the headrest and while it works it's quality is certainly nowhere near £100 plus, I also feel the design could have been better allowing for more adjustment and finer positions. It would have been nice if these were included with the binoculars.
Having said that if you wear a cap then the old method of stabilizing the binoculars with the peak works as well or better for some.
 
I bought one for my NL 10x32, but do not really like it. I think it does not really fit my face. My eyes are placed too deep or my forehead is too large, I don’t know. I want to screw it in more, but it is already the end. So I miss a part of the fov when I use it. It makes the view a bit more steady though, when it is windy. Without wind it does not do much for me. I don't want to sell it, for just in case. Or maybe I will buy the 12x42 in the future... but I dont know if I would like it for the 12x42 either.
 
It really could work for you, aspecially for 12 power. It has the label Swarovski on it. That's the only reason why it's that expensive. However, I already spent 2300 euros for the nl pure, so the 130 didn't hurt that much anymore...
 
I'm going to keep my eyes open in the 'for sale' section, and on eBay. If its in good condition, I'll try and buy one second hand.
 
I bought one for my NL 10x32, but do not really like it. I think it does not really fit my face. My eyes are placed too deep or my forehead is too large, I don’t know. I want to screw it in more, but it is already the end. So I miss a part of the fov when I use it. It makes the view a bit more steady though, when it is windy. Without wind it does not do much for me. I don't want to sell it, for just in case. Or maybe I will buy the 12x42 in the future... but I dont know if I would like it for the 12x42 either.
Same here. I wish it would have more length. It provides more stability even with NL 8x42 for long observations and provides bit support when I observe birds in higher branches. However, I think the forehead rest is a must-have addition to the 12x42 NL for handheld observations. As you said 'if you already spent 2300 euros for the NL pure, the 130 didn't hurt that much anymore...' 😃😃
 
Same here. I wish it would have more length. It provides more stability even with NL 8x42 for long observations and provides bit support when I observe birds in higher branches. However, I think the forehead rest is a must-have addition to the 12x42 NL for handheld observations. As you said 'if you already spent 2300 euros for the NL pure, the 130 didn't hurt that much anymore...' 😃😃
agree that the forehead rest is a must-have/must-use addition on NL. mounted on NL8x32, with ocular eyepiece twisted in all the way, I can roll my eyes around the view without the tunnelized darkness I used to get with the ocular eyepiece fully twisted out. I do not need more length on the FRP, and the accessory should have been included, but it makes a functional difference for my use, and I'll gladly pay more for it. and...it is required for the 12x.
 
Have all other manufacturers to date been negligent in failing to provide forehead rests? I use the 15x56 myself with complete satisfaction for as long as I care to hold up any binocular. The ergonomics of NL 42 are a bit different so I won't get into details of grip, but many principles are the same: keep the elbows underneath, support with palms not thumbs, and practice. I would not need or think of a headrest for the 12x42, unless its eyepiece is more finicky than I realize in which case I probably wouldn't want it at all.
 
Have all other manufacturers to date been negligent in failing to provide forehead rests? I use the 15x56 myself with complete satisfaction for as long as I care to hold up any binocular. The ergonomics of NL 42 are a bit different so I won't get into details of grip, but many principles are the same: keep the elbows underneath, support with palms not thumbs, and practice. I would not need or think of a headrest for the 12x42, unless its eyepiece is more finicky than I realize in which case I probably wouldn't want it at all.

I don't own the 12x42 but have tried them and didn't see the need for a headrest - stability seemed on a par with 10x42s due to their balance.
 
Would anyone care to comment on the CA issue? I'm sure this has been covered in other threads, but does anyone have fresh perspective to share here regarding the NLs and how they generally compare to other binos?

I'd also be interested to hear some additional perspectives on the Razor glass comparison. The images through the Razor have sometimes been described as a little 'milky' or pale, but the pics I took earlier seem to have an unnatural warmth to them, strangely. Perhaps natural lighting conditions have a range of effects on false colour?
 
Might as well pin this pic too.

Its a pretty nice picture of one of the egrets taken by the river (iPhone through Razor), but the purple CA is pretty apparent down the bird's back. Anyone else notice it, or am I seeing things?

I never noticed this kind of thing before I got an alpha :rolleyes:

View attachment 1488875


It's not just you - that CA is extremely intrusive. Whether it's slightly enhanced due to the Egret being slightly out of focus, and whether some of it is from the camera is a harder question.
 
Would anyone care to comment on the CA issue? I'm sure this has been covered in other threads, but does anyone have fresh perspective to share here regarding the NLs and how they generally compare to other binos?

I'd also be interested to hear some additional perspectives on the Razor glass comparison. The images through the Razor have sometimes been described as a little 'milky' or pale, but the pics I took earlier seem to have an unnatural warmth to them, strangely. Perhaps natural lighting conditions have a range of effects on false colour?

I don't own NLs but have used the 10's and 12's and found CA to be practically non-existent. ELs and Zeiss SF are very good in this respect, as are the 56mm SLCs (even the 15's barely show any). I've not tried the Noctvid but Leica Ultravid show more than the above but not to a terrible level. Meostars are supposedly excellent, but don't have any experience with them.
 
It's not just you - that CA is extremely intrusive. Whether it's slightly enhanced due to the Egret being slightly out of focus, and whether some of it is from the camera is a harder question.
Thanks. I'm certainly not doing myself any favours by using an iPhone.

When I allocated resources for my new hobby, my priority was optics - seeing unique things in the moment - so cameras didn't really enter the equation. Increasingly, however, I'm becoming someone who likes sharing what I see with friends and family, so maybe I need to expand my kit... oh dear :rolleyes: more money needed.

I tested the SFs, Noctivids and NLs prior to purchase last year, but I don't think my eyes were sufficiently attuned to recognise CA at the time. I know that for some people, it takes a while for vision to adjust, acclimatise, and understand what a new bino is really offering. I'm glad to hear that the NLs have a good reputation, and that my own experience so far seems to be reliable in this regard.
 
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