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Is it really worth buying an NL 8x42? (1 Viewer)

John Cantelo

Well-known member
I think you know the answer. Deep down, what do want people to say? "Go for it", or "keep your SLC"?

I bought a 10x42 NL, and while it's an optically brilliant bino, the novelty has already worn off (it's been about 3 weeks). I think it's easy to fall into the trap of thinking that an object will dramatically alter your quality of life, or that minute optical improvements will change the way you go about your birding/hunting/nature watching - whatever.

The NL's are good tools. But they're not magical 'wonder' instruments, either. If you've got the $$ and you feel that the extra features of the NL may contribute to your enjoyment, why not? But I don't think you'd be missing out on much by sticking with your SLC's.

At the end of the day, it's what you view through your binos that counts, isn't it? This forum has been a bit of a negative influence, because instead of enjoying whatever it is I'm looking at, I've been preoccupied with nitpicking the glass instead. And even the NL isn't immune to that. I've been picking holes in it all day long, and it sucks big time.

The grass is always greener. If you think the NL will cure that, then you're wrong.

If you find the SLC to be fantastic, then why change? If your answer to that is "but...." (etc) - then buy the NL's. :0)

I think that this comment just about nails it. If you have the money and a superbly ergonomic pair of bins with an exceptional FoV and edge-to-edge sharpness are very important to you then give them serious consideration. However, except in direct comparison, the improvement in the quality of the image is such a subtle incremental change that you won't notice it in normal field conditions. Existing high-end Swarovski binoculars are such good instruments that it would be fanciful to expect a really significant improvement in the image. For a similar price, you could have a pair of Swarovski EL 10x42 and CL Companion 8x30's which would arguably give you better flexibility. That's the logical argument but - courtesy of a healthy rebate from my energy supplier - I surprised myself and got the 10x42 NLs. When I've recovered from the financial shock I'll almost certainly get the forehead rest which was surprisingly effective so much so that it's surprising they're not 'standard issue' for all bins.
 

nzwild

Active member
Crows and Sparrows are good enough as long as they are seen through an NL.

Just had a breakthrough with my EL 8.5s.
Turned them upside down.
Ergos: Thumb now perfectly placed for focus. Top index finger sinks luxuriously into the indents. Shifts weight balance further rearward.
Nose now rests on dioptre face and nose-rest replaces need for headrest as 3rd point of contact. Utility may depend on nose size.


Sparrows looking good too ;)

On a serious note: If the incremental improvement is significant to the user and you are anticipating a decent amount of use, its not hard to justify the upgrade.
 
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[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
Just had a breakthrough with my EL 8.5s.
Turned them upside down.
Ergos: Thumb now perfectly placed for focus. Top index finger sinks luxuriously into the indents. Shifts weight balance further rearward.
Nose now rests on dioptre face and nose-rest replaces need for headrest as 3rd point of contact.

Sparrows looking good too ;)
Does your nose have to surpass a certain threshold in size to rest on the dioptre face? I wonder how that would affect glare? Would the glare now be on the top of the FOV or not?
 

John A Roberts

Well-known member
Australia
Further to nzwild's observation in post #46 about turning a binocular upside down to use . . .

I find that this works well with individual focus Porro prism binoculars (and especially with the larger prism ones often used for boating or astronomy)
- particularly with an elbows in hold, the prism housings are more comfortably cupped in the palms of the hands, and
- the lack of a central focus mechanism means that the nose is not obstructed


John
 
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dwever

Registered User
Supporter
Worth it. Improves the experience. After 3 days side-by-side with an EL, the long list of improvements together places the NL in another league not just from the SLC but the EL.
 
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Gray C

Newbie birder
I've decided I'll stick with my SLCs. I like them and wouldn't want to buy a NL and then let the SLCs gather dust in the cupboard
 

NZbinodude

Well-known member
I've decided I'll stick with my SLCs. I like them and wouldn't want to buy a NL and then let the SLCs gather dust in the cupboard


Good choice.

You should probably apologize to your faithful SLC. Tell her you were only joking about the NL thing, and that it was nothing more than a sneaky ploy to make her jealous and work twice as hard for your love and attention.

You're one cruel b*stard.

But a genius all the same. :smoke:

:)
 

John Cantelo

Well-known member
I've decided I'll stick with my SLCs. I like them and wouldn't want to buy a NL and then let the SLCs gather dust in the cupboard

If they're in good nick you should get a decent trade-in on those SLCs to subsidise the purchase of the NLs ...
 

Renze de Vries

Well-known member
Gray C.,

Here’s some advice which to my surprise hasn’t been mentioned yet, while it is the most reasonable, logical, sound, cheap and satisfying I can think of.

Keep your SLC (it’s a great instrument) and look out for binoculars that are real additions to what you already have. Don’t look for more of the same or a tiny bit better performance but think of binoculars with different character.

This way you will become the owner of more than one binocular, which can be rather nice. Especially when they complement each other instead of being in competition. Especially when this strategy is so pleasing to your wallet. Note that you won’t chase after the latest and greatest but are able to shop for laid off, used, discounted models. Imagine that after a couple of years you will have three binoculars, all different, all useful, all pleasing to you. My prediction is that together, with all their different strong points, this small collection can easily hold their own against the Swarovski Nl Pure you once lusted for.

Why would you aim for one, great, state-of-the art piece of optical engineering, while we all know that it’s only top-of-the-heap for a couple of years, that it’s not perfect, that it has its strong points as well as its weak points, that it’s a compromise like all others? Why would we search for a binocular that ‘ticks all boxes’?

This is a rather strange idea, full of irony. Take note of the remarkably emotional reports, the great enthusiasm in these quarters for Swarovski’s Pure binocular. Made by members who often own several binoculars already and suddenly have seen the light: there’s only One. Monotheism, a sad perspective.

Renze
 

Gray C

Newbie birder
Hi

I was only thinking about this earlier. I was thinking of adding different types of binocular to my collection. I may consider an 8x56 SLC or a 10x in a different brand possibly if the price is right
 

temmie

Well-known member
If you have enough money to buy the new Swaro, and you don't know if it's worth it, you have too much money and too little knowledge or experience in both birding and watching birds through binoculars.

Because if you had that knowledge, you would know for yourself if you encounter any limits in your current birding / binoculars. It's really not a question to ask to others. Because no answer here will satisfy your need to know. Only going out in the field more, or using tyour current pair of binoculars can give you food for thought.
 

John Cantelo

Well-known member
If you have enough money to buy the new Swaro, and you don't know if it's worth it, you have too much money and too little knowledge or experience in both birding and watching birds through binoculars.

Because if you had that knowledge, you would know for yourself if you encounter any limits in your current birding / binoculars. It's really not a question to ask to others. Because no answer here will satisfy your need to know. Only going out in the field more, or using tyour current pair of binoculars can give you food for thought.

I couldn't disagree more. There's much less difference in performance between to binoculars around the £1,000 - £1,500 mark (and even less) and top models like the NLs than many are prepared to admit. I doubt very much that with a new pair of top Alphas you'll see anymore or have a very significant difference in birding experience than with a good solid instrument at a fraction of the cost. The incremental differences at the top end are very small so buying them is something that needs to be weighed up carefully. In such a situation canvassing the opinion of others who have used the NLs for a while is worthwhile and can help you make a decision. For many, could be new bins vs a new birding experience.
 

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