• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
Feel the intensity, not your equipment. Maximum image quality. Minimum weight. The new ZEISS SFL, up to 30% less weight than comparable competitors.

Leica Noctivid 10x42, Swaro NL Pure 12x42, or Zeiss Victory SF 10x42 (1 Viewer)

CharleyBird

Well-known member
England
I am in the hunt for the best. Buy once, cry once bino purchase. I have narrowed the search field down to Leica Noctivid 10x42, Swarovski NL Pure 10x42 or 12x42, or the Zeiss Victory SF 10x42.

Anyone else been down this path? Surely I'm not the only one. Thoughts?
Yes; they are all excellent, I've also tried all four, and briefly compared the NL 12x and the SF 10x side by side in the field; and the 10/12x NL and the 8/10x NV side by side in shops/outside.
My preference for what its worth: NL then NV then SF.

The NL shaped design does seem easier to hold for me than the traditional. The wider FOV is always good. And I'd simply say get the highest magnification you can hold steady enough (and carry in your terrain).
I also found I could put both Leica and Zeiss up to my eyes and they work. The Swaro I had to spend a short time getting the oculars adjusted just right, then they work.

No regrets spending on the 12x42NL which I use consistently for birding.
The NL armour surface scuffs though I guess underneath it is essentially as robust as the others. And the objective/ocular covers were very tight, but are fine once carefully trimmed. My two nitpicks on the NL.
 

A2GG

Beth
United States
Interesting the 10s aren't getting nearly as good reviews as the 8s. I'd be happy to look through them, but Sportsmans locally doesn't have any of them in stock. Options are limited in small town USA.
if you have a Walmart near by you could have it shipped to store and just bring it back to Wally World if you don’t like it. They have it available online. That’s just another option.
 

Paultricounty

Well-known member
United States
if you have a Walmart near by you could have it shipped to store and just bring it back to Wally World if you don’t like it. They have it available online. That’s just another option.
Have to be very, very careful ordering binoculars from Walmart. All if not most are third party sellers. They had three chances with me and struck out. There’s never a problem with a return , but the binoculars which were supposed to be new, were not. One seller was 6th ave photo, I even spoke with them on the phone after I returned a GPO and was going back for more, with an SLC. This used to be a brick and mortar store all around the country, now they’re only internet sales. They assured me if it says new in the box, they’re new, they weren’t.

Paul
 

kimmik

Well-known member
United Kingdom
Have to be very, very careful ordering binoculars from Walmart. All if not most are third party sellers. They had three chances with me and struck out. There’s never a problem with a return , but the binoculars which were supposed to be new, were not. One seller was 6th ave photo, I even spoke with them on the phone after I returned a GPO and was going back for more, with an SLC. This used to be a brick and mortar store all around the country, now they’re only internet sales. They assured me if it says new in the box, they’re new, they weren’t.

Paul
I bought from 6th ave once, a swaro. Checked serial number with swaro because it looked dodgy, and I was told it was grey import destined for another country. Refunded.
 

A2GG

Beth
United States
Thanks for the heads up Paul and Kimmik about Walmart. Yes, 6th ave seems sketchy. I've come across them online. They sell on ebay as well.

Target has Focus Camera as a partner for optics. Focus is reputable as far as I know.

I wish Target had a wider selection of high end binoculars online. There's a Target close by. They don't have Leica. They do have some nice binos listed, but often missing the ones I'm looking for.
 

Paultricounty

Well-known member
United States
Thanks for the heads up Paul and Kimmik about Walmart. Yes, 6th ave seems sketchy. I've come across them online. They sell on ebay as well.

Target has Focus Camera as a partner for optics. Focus is reputable as far as I know.

I wish Target had a wider selection of high end binoculars online. There's a Target close by. They don't have Leica. They do have some nice binos listed, but often missing the ones I'm looking for.
You can order direct from Focus camera. They’re from Brooklyn NY. I never ordered anything on line from them but a few years back I use to visit the store and purchased a lot astronomy equipment. They knowledgeable and have been very easy to return or replace items I had purchased. I would give them a call I’m sure they would have more in store or in stock them with the selling on other company websites. Good luck.

Paul
 

Scott98

Well-known member
Jamaica
I've just gone through & upgraded my binoculars stable and all I can say is TRY before you buy. These 3 binoculars all have incredible glass. It would come down to ergonomics and ease of viewing for me. And it doesn't take long for me to decide - usually just a minute or two and I know which bino I'd rather be using. (FWIW for me it was Zeiss Victory SF)
 

Paultricounty

Well-known member
United States
I've just gone through & upgraded my binoculars stable and all I can say is TRY before you buy. These 3 binoculars all have incredible glass. It would come down to ergonomics and ease of viewing for me. And it doesn't take long for me to decide - usually just a minute or two and I know which bino I'd rather be using. (FWIW for me it was Zeiss Victory SF)
Wow that’s impressive, you can decide on which binoculars to buy in a few minutes. Sometimes It takes me over a week 🤣

Paul
 

mark b

Well-known member
I am in the hunt for the best. Buy once, cry once bino purchase. I have narrowed the search field down to Leica Noctivid 10x42, Swarovski NL Pure 10x42 or 12x42, or the Zeiss Victory SF 10x42.

I went to Sportsman's Warehouse and found the Leica Noctivid 10x42 and the NL Pure 10x42. The staff member was helpful and we went outside the store with both pairs to do some comparison.

The Leica blew my mind. Initial impression was out of this world. The details, the colors.. It was great. The NL Pure 10x42, was not impressive initially. I needed to do some adjustments, but once I did those, the view was incredible. I knew the field of view was significantly bigger and looked for it. Once I compared the two, I had a harder time enjoying the view of far off mountains in the Leica when the field of view was so much more in the NL Pure. I compared the details and colors. I thought the colors were a bit better in the Leica, but honestly no significant difference. Both binos provided an unbelievable view, just the Leica was a far narrower view. The NL is hundreds more... Is the wider fov really worth an extra hundreds?

But Swarovski has a NL Pure 12x42... that has the same fov as the Noctivid 10x42.... I haven't seen one yet, but that difference could make the extra little more palatable..

I haven't seen the Zeiss Victory SF 10x42 yet. The fov is not as big as the NL, but is wider than the Noctivid.. It seems to go for a few hundred cheaper than the NL.

I am a hunter more than a birder, looking for moose blending into a forest on a far off ridge, details on Dall sheep horns, antler points through the forest... You birders know your binos better than anyone though, so I look here.

Anyone else been down this path? Surely I'm not the only one. Thoughts?
I have a as new pair of NL 10x42 for sale👍
 

BertL

Active member
I am in the hunt for the best. Buy once, cry once bino purchase. I have narrowed the search field down to Leica Noctivid 10x42, Swarovski NL Pure 10x42 or 12x42, or the Zeiss Victory SF 10x42.

I went to Sportsman's Warehouse and found the Leica Noctivid 10x42 and the NL Pure 10x42. The staff member was helpful and we went outside the store with both pairs to do some comparison.

The Leica blew my mind. Initial impression was out of this world. The details, the colors.. It was great. The NL Pure 10x42, was not impressive initially. I needed to do some adjustments, but once I did those, the view was incredible. I knew the field of view was significantly bigger and looked for it. Once I compared the two, I had a harder time enjoying the view of far off mountains in the Leica when the field of view was so much more in the NL Pure. I compared the details and colors. I thought the colors were a bit better in the Leica, but honestly no significant difference. Both binos provided an unbelievable view, just the Leica was a far narrower view. The NL is hundreds more... Is the wider fov really worth an extra hundreds?

But Swarovski has a NL Pure 12x42... that has the same fov as the Noctivid 10x42.... I haven't seen one yet, but that difference could make the extra little more palatable..

I haven't seen the Zeiss Victory SF 10x42 yet. The fov is not as big as the NL, but is wider than the Noctivid.. It seems to go for a few hundred cheaper than the NL.

I am a hunter more than a birder, looking for moose blending into a forest on a far off ridge, details on Dall sheep horns, antler points through the forest... You birders know your binos better than anyone though, so I look here.

Anyone else been down this path? Surely I'm not the only one. Thoughts?
Try the new EL
 

GrampaTom

Well-known member
United States
Ive had that same experience, comparison shopping new binos in store. For me its beware first impressions. Got a first look through NL 12s this weekend. Gorgeous. You owe it to yourself to find a pair to see what you see. Do you use a scope?
 

moose907

Member
United States
Ive had that same experience, comparison shopping new binos in store. For me its beware first impressions. Got a first look through NL 12s this weekend. Gorgeous. You owe it to yourself to find a pair to see what you see. Do you use a scope?
I have a Kowa spotting scope. The scope works great for a closer look at something, but not the most comfortable for scanning for wildlife. I still can't find a pair of NL 12s in town. I may have to wait until a trip out of town gets me to a bigger store.
 

GrampaTom

Well-known member
United States
I have a Kowa spotting scope. The scope works great for a closer look at something, but not the most comfortable for scanning for wildlife. I still can't find a pair of NL 12s in town. I may have to wait until a trip out of town gets me to a bigger store.
I get it. In spite of where I live, northern end of Silicon Valley and all that brings to it, I had to drive 3 hours north to finally get a look through a pair. Im on a steep learning curve with scopes as well.
 

tenex

reality-based
Ive been asking that for the last three days.
 

Paultricounty

Well-known member
United States
That’s not explaining it. its like he’s making reference that changes were made to the build and the optics. Can’t be less flat unless substantial changes were made. I for one am not buying it. I have inquiries in to the appropriate people in the know 🙏🏼

Paul
 

rodneyAB

Well-known member
United States
I get it. In spite of where I live, northern end of Silicon Valley and all that brings to it, I had to drive 3 hours north to finally get a look through a pair. Im on a steep learning curve with scopes as well.
ok..I had to drive at least two hours north..to a great ocean view location, (maybe the same shop) where I bought my 12's at a time when online sellers did not have. Also looked thru Kowa and Swaro scopes side by side there.
 

tenex

reality-based
That’s not explaining it. its like he’s making reference that changes were made to the build and the optics. Can’t be less flat unless substantial changes were made. I for one am not buying it. I have inquiries in to the appropriate people in the know 🙏🏼
That thread has covered construction details; Swaro seem to have created an extremely confusing resale situation here, not only pre-Classic vs Classic, but SV FP vs pre-FP SV, as opposed to pre-SV, all without any labeling...)

You're right, optically no one has yet followed up on the "less flat" comment, which seems rather unlikely to me also.
 
Last edited:

William Lewis

Wishing birdwatching paid the bills.
United Kingdom
That thread has covered construction details; Swaro seem to have created an extremely confusing resale situation here, not only pre-Classic vs Classic, but early Classic vs late-simplified Classic. (And that's just FP, as opposed to pre-FP SV, as opposed to pre-SV, all without any labeling...) You're right, optically no one has yet followed up on the "less flat" comment, which seems rather unlikely to me also.
And that's without getting into the weeds of coating updates! Latest and greatest, with the el, or the slc 42/ kahles - who knows?!
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top