• BirdForum is the net's largest birding community dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE!

    Register for an account to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

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

Sagittarius

Well-known member
Guys, an obsolete binocular is unacceptable.
You know the remedy; do something about it. :)
It's only money and you're a long time dead in the end.
 

Mark Batten

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)
Just had a pair of 8x32 Swaro's back from a repair. As would be expected, Swaro have returned the unit to tip top condition. The 8x32 is a great Binocular and although there is not a NL in production yet. Looked through the new Zeiss 8x32 in the summer. A great binocular also with a slightly wider view than the Swaro. The only gain from the NL is field of view. The glass an coatings are effectively the same. So if field of view is your big thing and you have money to spend the the NL is your perfect purchase. Otherwise stick with what you already have is it still great glass.
 

NZbinodude

Well-known member
I've realized that I don't need a massive FOV or fast focus, and that it makes little difference to the type of glassing I do (static objects/animals). It took $3k USD to come to that conclusion, but I'm glad I did it because it taught me a valuable lesson about buying 'what you need' versus 'what companies want you to have'. It's very easy to confuse the two - especially after reading marketing spiel after marketing spiel and trawling online forums.

I've since returned the NL's and ordered a pair of 10x40 Habichts which are still due to arrive. According to Swarovski, the Habichts are entry-level instruments. According to the market, they're out-dated, uncomfortable, and a 'niche' product, aimed at people who already have something modern.

I tried an older Habicht recently (I suspect the newer units will have updated coatings and present a slightly better image), and I prefer it to the NL's by leaps and bounds because it meets my personal requirements: Robust; simple; high light transmission; 3D image. The cherries on the top are the relatively affordable price and the promise of long-term reparability due to the basic design.

Money is no object for me when it comes to outdoor gear, but I personally do not appreciate the 'improved' features of the NL. Someone else may think the complete opposite and actually benefit from the wide FOV, soft-touch armor, retractable eye cups etc,etc.

There IS a right and wrong choice when it comes to binoculars, and it's entirely based on your personal needs and tastes...not 99% of other users'. We're all individuals.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
I've realized that I don't need a massive FOV or fast focus, and that it makes little difference to the type of glassing I do (static objects/animals). It took $3k USD to come to that conclusion, but I'm glad I did it because it taught me a valuable lesson about buying 'what you need' versus 'what companies want you to have'. It's very easy to confuse the two - especially after reading marketing spiel after marketing spiel and trawling online forums.

I've since returned the NL's and ordered a pair of 10x40 Habichts which are still due to arrive. According to Swarovski, the Habichts are entry-level instruments. According to the market, they're out-dated, uncomfortable, and a 'niche' product, aimed at people who already have something modern.

I tried an older Habicht recently (I suspect the newer units will have updated coatings and present a slightly better image), and I prefer it to the NL's by leaps and bounds because it meets my personal requirements: Robust; simple; high light transmission; 3D image. The cherries on the top are the relatively affordable price and the promise of long-term reparability due to the basic design.

Money is no object for me when it comes to outdoor gear, but I personally do not appreciate the 'improved' features of the NL. Someone else may think the complete opposite and actually benefit from the wide FOV, soft-touch armor, retractable eye cups etc,etc.

There IS a right and wrong choice when it comes to binoculars, and it's entirely based on your personal needs and tastes...not 99% of other users'. We're all individuals.
I just picked up a Habicht 10x40 GA because I always liked the Habicht optically but didn't care for the small eye cups on the 10x40 W model but the GA model solves that problem with its bigger more comfortable eye cups so the only thing you have to deal with is a somewhat tight focuser. I really like the armour on the GA model. It is really tough and robust and feels like it could survive a nuclear holocaust. Every time I return to a Habicht I am amazed how good optically they are and I think the 10x40 is the best of the three. There is just something special about the 3D image and clarity of the porro-prism image that is indescribable even though it doesn't have the sharp edges of the NL it is SHARP on-axis. In fact, I usually never adjust my diopter on most binoculars between my right and left eyes because usually I can't see much difference but with the Habicht I actually made an adjustment because I could see the difference in sharpness between my eyes. Without doing resolution tests with a doubler you couldn't know for sure but the Habicht seems sharper on-axis to my eyes than the NL but it could be because of the 3D image of the Habicht. There is no doubt about it that things are more real with the 3D of the Habicht porro. There was a tree about 100 yards away from me which had multiple trunks coming out of the ground at different distances and with the NL it looked flat like a postcard but with the Habicht you could see it in 3D so the front trunks appeared to be in front and the back trunks appeared in back like they are in reality. The Habicht view is more "real." I actually got my Habicht 10x40 GA pretty quickly from https://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/ which is in Germany. Most dealers don't have the Habicht 10x40 GA in stock and won't be getting them in till 12/21/20 from Swarovski.
 

Attachments

  • PB280001.JPG
    PB280001.JPG
    907.2 KB · Views: 28
Last edited:

NZbinodude

Well-known member
I just picked up a Habicht 10x40 GA because I always liked the Habicht optically but didn't care for the small eye cups on the 10x40 W model but the GA model solves that problem with its bigger more comfortable eye cups so the only thing you have to deal with is a somewhat tight focuser. I really like the armour on the GA model. It is really tough and robust and feels like it could survive a nuclear holocaust. Every time I return to a Habicht I am amazed how good optically they are and I think the 10x40 is the best of the three. There is just something special about the 3D image and clarity of the porro-prism image that is indescribable even though it doesn't have the sharp edges of the NL it is SHARP on-axis. In fact, I usually never adjust my diopter on most binoculars between my right and left eyes because usually I can't see much difference but with the Habicht I actually made an adjustment because I could see the difference in sharpness between my eyes. I actually got my Habicht 10x40 GA pretty quickly from https://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/ which is in Germany. Most dealers don't have the Habicht 10x40 GA in stock and won't be getting them in till 12/21/20 from Swarovski.
Nice.

They look large and chunky in photographs (even a bit 'ugly'), but in person, they're svelte and light in weight, and they have a charm about them that transports you to a bygone era...when men prowled the streets wearing codpieces and dinosaurs roamed the plains.
 
Last edited:

dries1

Member
Dennis,

Are you aware that these would have to go to Austria for service. Additionally, I do not think the BGA Habichts are serviced by Swarovski USA anymore, the work is subcontracted out to another repair facility.

Andy W.
 

fazalmajid

Well-known member
Supporter
United States
There is such a thing as hedonic adaptation. Past the initial “wow!”, you quickly get used to the new, better views and ergonomics. It’s only when you go back to the old one you remember how good you have it.
 

Sollas

Well-known member
Nice.

They look large and chunky in photographs (even a bit 'ugly'), but in person, they're svelte and light in weight, and they have a charm about them that transports you to a bygone era...when men prowled the streets wearing codpieces and dinosaurs roamed the plains.
Like it. Couldn’t agree more. It’s what you want and need that matters...... not what some marketing bod thinks who more likely than not doesn’t live in the real world. Marketing wants your money.... they don’t really care what you buy so long as it’s expensive!!
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
I just picked up a Habicht 10x40 GA because I always liked the Habicht optically but didn't care for the small eye cups on the 10x40 W model but the GA model solves that problem with its bigger more comfortable eye cups so the only thing you have to deal with is a somewhat tight focuser. I really like the armour on the GA model. It is really tough and robust and feels like it could survive a nuclear holocaust. Every time I return to a Habicht I am amazed how good optically they are and I think the 10x40 is the best of the three. There is just something special about the 3D image and clarity of the porro-prism image that is indescribable even though it doesn't have the sharp edges of the NL it is SHARP on-axis. In fact, I usually never adjust my diopter on most binoculars between my right and left eyes because usually I can't see much difference but with the Habicht I actually made an adjustment because I could see the difference in sharpness between my eyes. I actually got my Habicht 10x40 GA pretty quickly from https://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/ which is in Germany. Most dealers don't have the Habicht 10x40 GA in stock and won't be getting them in till 12/21/20 from Swarovski.
Nice.

They look large and chunky in photographs (even a bit 'ugly'), but in person, they're svelte and light in weight, and they have a charm about them that transports you to a bygone era...when men prowled the streets wearing codpieces and dinosaurs roamed the plains.
Dinosaurs! Really! I didn't know they were that OLD! Your right about even the GA's being light. I weighed them with the eye piece covers and strap, and they were still just 28 oz. The GA's are really built to take abuse! The eye cups actually work very well on the GA versus the W model. I asked Swarovski to send me some green objective covers for them, so we will see if I get them. I ordered some from Opticron in the meantime. They take a 59 mm O.D.
 
Last edited:

Patudo

Well-known member
Don't really need the NL since my HTs are just fine but can't stand not owning the latest and greatest.

I never once thought the Zeiss SF was worth buying over my HT but the NL is.
I do believe Zeiss will top the NL in the future and I will have to lay down the NL and go Zeiss again when they do.
If it's the best and it's there, I have to have it!
It's the American way and always will be. :)

My god ... there are two of them!!!

I must definitely be the lone eccentric here as I am perfectly satisfied with my "obsolete" binoculars.

I struggle with the idea that Night Owls and late model SLCs are obsolete! Obsolete would be something like a single-coated or uncoated binocular - and even those would probably be satisfactory in some situations (blazing ZA sun)...

They look large and chunky in photographs (even a bit 'ugly'), but in person, they're svelte and light in weight, and they have a charm about them that transports you to a bygone era...when men prowled the streets wearing codpieces and dinosaurs roamed the plains.

That impression of size and bulk in photos (which I agree with) most likely derives from the fact that they closely resemble (in photos) binoculars that are indeed big and heavy - Zeiss 7x50 Marines and the like. But who cares what they look like in photos compared to how they are in the hand?

I've often thought it pretty interesting that Swarovski went for the 10x40 format back in the day rather than 10x50 which was more common then. Maybe they were willing to accept a less bright image (as it would have been in the single-coated era) for a smaller and lighter device.
Leitz also did a 10x40 but their version, alas, never made it to the multi-coated era like the 10x40 Habicht did. Maybe one day Leica will take up Tobias's suggestion (re the 8x30 version) that "Leica could build this with modern glass and coatings and have a real stunner in their portfolio"...

As far as I understand the NL is field flattened, that's a turn off for bird watching. I bet with the NL you lose the real deep space in your images, no matter how sharp, saturated, contrasty etc etc the image is. You surely do with Swarovision, and EDG.

I realize this is all pretty subjective, but I'm not sure that impression of "deep space" is necessarily all that important for the task of finding and identifying birds. I wonder if guys like Tobias, with that photography/film or art background, look for and prize certain things like bokeh and the general "beauty of the image" more than other observers do? Speaking only for myself, I've mostly used binoculars without the so-called field flatteners, and the best of these (eg. 8x56 SLC) were unquestionably superb, but the ones with field flatteners I've tried I've really liked, too - I like the excellent edge sharpness in particular and it seemed that eye fatigue over long periods of scanning was somewhat reduced. Maybe I'm just easily satisfied?
 
Last edited:

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
My god ... there are two of them!!!



I struggle with the idea that Night Owls and late model SLCs are obsolete! Obsolete would be something like a single-coated or uncoated binocular - and even those would probably be satisfactory in some situations (blazing ZA sun)...



That impression of size and bulk in photos (which I agree with) most likely derives from the fact that they closely resemble (in photos) binoculars that are indeed big and heavy - Zeiss 7x50 Marines and the like. But who cares what they look like in photos compared to how they are in the hand?

I've often thought it pretty interesting that Swarovski went for the 10x40 format back in the day rather than 10x50 which was more common then. Maybe they were willing to accept a less bright image (as it would have been in the single-coated era) for a smaller and lighter device.
Leitz also did a 10x40 but their version, alas, never made it to the multi-coated era like the 10x40 Habicht did. Maybe one day Leica will take up Tobias's suggestion (re the 8x30 version) that "Leica could build this with modern glass and coatings and have a real stunner in their portfolio"...



I realize this is all pretty subjective, but I'm not sure that impression of "deep space" is necessarily all that important for the task of finding and identifying birds. I wonder if guys like Tobias, with that photography/film or art background, look for and prize certain things like bokeh and the general "beauty of the image" more than other observers do? Speaking only for myself, I've mostly used binoculars without the so-called field flatteners, and the best of these (eg. 8x56 SLC) were unquestionably superb, but the ones with field flatteners I've tried I've really liked, too - I like the excellent edge sharpness in particular and it seemed that eye fatigue over long periods of scanning was somewhat reduced. Maybe I'm just easily satisfied?
"I've often thought it pretty interesting that Swarovski went for the 10x40 format back in the day rather than 10x50 which was more common then. Maybe they were willing to accept a less bright image (as it would have been in the single-coated era) for a smaller and lighter device."

I was reading about the history of the Habicht and that is exactly why Swarovski stayed with a 7x42 and 10x40 format. They wanted a smaller and lighter device which was designed to be carried hunting in the high mountains. That is still a big advantage they have over bigger aperture binoculars with the W versions weighing less than 24 oz. and the GA version still only weighing 28 oz. When they modernized them they used the same glass and coatings as their EL line so that combined with the advantage of the light efficient porro-prism design their light transmission is higher than almost any other binocular at over 95%+.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
My god ... there are two of them!!!



I struggle with the idea that Night Owls and late model SLCs are obsolete! Obsolete would be something like a single-coated or uncoated binocular - and even those would probably be satisfactory in some situations (blazing ZA sun)...



That impression of size and bulk in photos (which I agree with) most likely derives from the fact that they closely resemble (in photos) binoculars that are indeed big and heavy - Zeiss 7x50 Marines and the like. But who cares what they look like in photos compared to how they are in the hand?

I've often thought it pretty interesting that Swarovski went for the 10x40 format back in the day rather than 10x50 which was more common then. Maybe they were willing to accept a less bright image (as it would have been in the single-coated era) for a smaller and lighter device.
Leitz also did a 10x40 but their version, alas, never made it to the multi-coated era like the 10x40 Habicht did. Maybe one day Leica will take up Tobias's suggestion (re the 8x30 version) that "Leica could build this with modern glass and coatings and have a real stunner in their portfolio"...



I realize this is all pretty subjective, but I'm not sure that impression of "deep space" is necessarily all that important for the task of finding and identifying birds. I wonder if guys like Tobias, with that photography/film or art background, look for and prize certain things like bokeh and the general "beauty of the image" more than other observers do? Speaking only for myself, I've mostly used binoculars without the so-called field flatteners, and the best of these (eg. 8x56 SLC) were unquestionably superb, but the ones with field flatteners I've tried I've really liked, too - I like the excellent edge sharpness in particular and it seemed that eye fatigue over long periods of scanning was somewhat reduced. Maybe I'm just easily satisfied?
"I realize this is all pretty subjective, but I'm not sure that impression of "deep space" is necessarily all that important for the task of finding and identifying birds. I wonder if guys like Tobias, with that photography/film or art background, look for and prize certain things like bokeh and the general "beauty of the image" more than other observers do? Speaking only for myself, I've mostly used binoculars without the so-called field flatteners, and the best of these (eg. 8x56 SLC) were unquestionably superb, but the ones with field flatteners I've tried I've really liked, too - I like the excellent edge sharpness in particular and it seemed that eye fatigue over long periods of scanning was somewhat reduced. Maybe I'm just easily satisfied?"

It all comes down to if you like to examine the bird or see the bird as they really are in 3D. The flat field binoculars like the NL really give you no less detail than a porro like the Habicht. It is just the Habicht shows you what the bird really looks like and can help you ID it in certain situations because you have a more accurate representation of what the bird looks like in real life. It is kind of like the difference between looking at a picture of the bird or looking at the bird through one of those VR headsets or the older View Masters.
 

NZbinodude

Well-known member
[email protected] Could you please PM me once you get hold of those rubber objective covers? I've flicked Swaro an email re: the rubber covers and I'm waiting for a response. A set of those would last forever, so it's well worth getting hold of a pair (or two). I'm interested to know what they're like.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
[email protected] Could you please PM me once you get hold of those rubber objective covers? I've flicked Swaro an email re: the rubber covers and I'm waiting for a response. A set of those would last forever, so it's well worth getting hold of a pair (or two). I'm interested to know what they're like.
Swarovski just emailed me and said the green objective covers for the Habicht 10x40 GA were on back order but said they would ship as soon as they had some in stock. I will let you know when I get them. When I get the Opticron objective covers I will let you know if the 59 mm fits or not.
 

henry link

Well-known member
I've flicked Swaro an email re: the rubber covers and I'm waiting for a response. A set of those would last forever, so it's well worth getting hold of a pair (or two).
Not likely to last forever. Back when I had a number of Swarovski binoculars that used those objective covers I found that the tethers tended to wear through and fail from flexing after about 1-2 years.

Also, on the subject of the Habichts being "built like tanks", my 10x40 fell about 20" from the edge of a coffee table onto a carpet and jarred a prism loose. One weak point in most of these old Porros is the spring clip used to tighten down the prisms into their seats.
 
Last edited:

NZbinodude

Well-known member
Not likely to last forever. Back when I had a number of Swarovski binoculars that used those objective covers I found that the tethers tended to wear through and fail from flexing after about 1-2 years.

Also, on the subject of the Habichts being "built like tanks", my 10x40 fell about 20" from the edge of a coffee table onto a carpet and jarred a prism loose. The weak point in most of these old Porros is the spring clip used to tighten down the prisms into their seats.
That doesn't sound too promising. So would a roof prism bino fare better in that situation (falls/concussions?)
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
Not likely to last forever. Back when I had a number of Swarovski binoculars that used those objective covers I found that the tethers tended to wear through and fail from flexing after about 1-2 years.

Also, on the subject of the Habichts being "built like tanks", my 10x40 fell about 20" from the edge of a coffee table onto a carpet and jarred a prism loose. The weak point in most of these old Porros is the spring clip used to tighten down the prisms into their seats.
Henry. Was that Habicht 10x40 that fell from the coffee table a GA or a W model? Thanks!
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top