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NL 10X42 vs NL12X42. What would you choose? (1 Viewer)

kaboku68

Member
United States
First time poster here. I have the opportunity to purchase either a NL 10X42 or a NL12X42 Swarovski binocular. I am a bird watcher and primarily a mountain hunter. I will get the Outdoorsman's stud for the tripod adapter capability and the Swarovski head rest. My question is for those that have had the opportunity to look at both models and it is this: does the artificially adjusted parallax view of the 12s which is more than the 10s outweigh the benefits of the sharper center sweetspot image of the 12s. I wear glasses and eye relief is similar in my view in both units. I do not use the stops on the eye pieces but almost go glass to glass as I prefer the corrected view of my glasses to adjusting the binoculars for my eyes. I do a lot of hiking and watching in the alpine so magnification is a plus. The 10s seem to produce nominally less eye strain. Both have because of the increased sharpness and increased level of hand shake but I am pretty steady with a decent resting heart rate of approximately 54bpm and I am 52 years old. This will probably the one unit to use for the rest of my life and I have many other binoculars: 10X42 SV FPs, 10X42 SLC HDs, 10X42R Leica Geovids, 18X56 Vortex UHDs, 12X50 Vortex UHDs, 10X42 FL*T Victory, 8X30 Swaro CLs, 10X25 Swaro CL Pockets, 8X30 Glantz, and 8X32 Conquest HDs. So what would you folks suggest. The 10s in my opinion are softer on the eyes but the 12s do have a striking image. Softness is a difficult to quantify element that certain binoculars like the SVFPs, the Leupold GRs, the Victory FLs and the old Zeiss 10X40 Dialytl binoculars have. It is kind of a curvature that allows the eyes to relax to a degree that allows them to use the binoculars for hours after hours.
 

Jessie-66

Germany
Higher magnification binoculars have disadvantages, see here post #24 and #31:
In the case of the Swarovski NL 10x42, I too would ponder: the real field of view is about the same as other 8x magnifying binoculars and a large apparent field of view is already very impressive. The biggest, practically effective disadvantage of 10x is holding still for longer observation times. If you can financially afford several binoculars, including 8x, I would (also) buy a Swaro 10x42NL.
But you must be able to hold the 10x binoculars steady at least for shorter observation times, otherwise this higher magnification is useless for you. Maybe the forehead support will help you, especially eyeglass wearers report positively about it. Otherwise, I think it is advisable (especially at the high price) to think about image stabilized binoculars intensively and test them. You'll probably see more detail with it. The difference is highly dependent on your individual tremor. I would also think about the future (age). ;-)
For necessary or desired 12x magnification, only IS binoculars would be an option for me. You might consider a monopod, but you have to carry and mount it. Time factor? Bird has disappeared in the meantime?
Make individual attempts at recognizing details with your many available binoculars, that would be the obvious thing for me to do before asking others who can't know my physical circumstances. I have seen pictures of skilled people building their own forehead supports for binoculars. For experiments and tests, even makeshift devices are sufficient. ;-)

"... does the artificially adjusted parallax view of the 12s which is more than the 10s outweigh the benefits of the sharper center sweetspot image of the 12s."
What do you individually mean by an "parallax view" which is more with 12x bins vs 10x bins and how "artificially adjusted"??? Please describe this in a way that others can understand. Thanks.
Until now, I thought that the parallax was given exclusively by the stereo base, i.e. the distance of the eyes or the objective lenses of binoculars. For roof prism binoculars and Abbe-König prism binoculars, at least with not so large objective lens diameter (NL = 42 mm), this corresponds to the interpupillary distance. Porro prism binoculars are something else and there no one complained, only wounded about the Lilliputian effect. But I like to learn more. Maybe Swarovski can also do some magic? My technical experience says otherwise - but at Swaro's retail prices, you'd expect more. :)
 
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Maljunulo

Well-known member
Would someone explain to me, in simple words, just what "artificially adjusted parallax view" means?
 

dries1

Member

Kabouku68,

You already have four excellent 10X42s, personally if it just between those two with what you already have in your arsenal, I would go to the 12X42 NL. Sell the UHD 12X50 Vortex to help pay for it.

Andy W.
 

kaboku68

Member
United States
So.... I don't think that there is a layman's term for what I am going to try to explain. There is quite probably a German Term for the effect that I am thinking of with English being more limited when describing scientific nuances. It might also be a subjective element of my viewing experience and I am nit picking or that my particular example of a NL12X42 is just prone to this but it is this. While there is less range in the diopter adjustment of the focus of the NL12X42s they get an extreme level of focus for each eye when you are specifically looking at a very neutral index point. It is something different but related to the "rolling ball effect" of the field flatteners of the EL SV10X42s that doesn't seem to bother me. It is also something that you eventually correct by your mind eventually re-mapping the images in reconciliation. But there is what seems to be almost overcorrection when you tune each image on the focus of the NL12X42s. This creates a super sharp image but it almost seems to be too sharp and gives a slight effect of what happens when a binocular has been knocked out of alignment. This feeling passes as your brain re-maps and does reconciliation but it is a noticeable effect more so in the NL12X42s in my particular experience with the pair that I have been able to use than the NL10X42s. You do notice this for instance if you take a pair of Zeiss SF10X42s( they have it to a lesser degree than the 8s,10s, or 12s) or a pair of EL12X50 SV FPs and compare them to a pair of NL12X42s. You can easily overcome this by not focusing the individual tubes of the binocular and instead just focus from the center position, but then the image is not quite as specifically sharp as it is when you do sharpen the image to each eye. I have not had the opportunity to see if this effect (maybe it is just me) is visible if you use the adjustable face focus plate
 

kaboku68

Member
United States

Kabouku68,

You already have four excellent 10X42s, personally if it just between those two with what you already have in your arsenal, I would go to the 12X42 NL. Sell the UHD 12X50 Vortex to help pay for it.

Andy W.
I am a bit of a special child of mediocre means by which of a side hustle gets a "birthday" about two times per year. My specialness may soon wear off with the insistence of Johnny Morris owning "all" of the BBS Sporting Goods stores in North America. ("All" in the big, box stores.)
 

Jessie-66

Germany
I also don't understand the explanation in post #5, seems like an experience report of decollimated binoculars, a situation where the brain strains to unify 2 images. Or an very individual problem with eyes? I don't read a concrete and understandable question either. Maybe my English and my translators are too bad, someone else understands better and asks specifically. Good night.
 
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kaboku68

Member
United States
So... they are not decollimated. its just that the sharpness of the individual tubes creates a strange effect- it is like getting your eyes pulled through the tubes until they have time to adjust and remap. You don't notice it unless you look between the NL12s so focused and maybe the EL12s. Maybe it is just that individual pair of NL12X42s and it is much ado about nothing. But I have heard other people mention this as well. Many people do not like the image reconciliation that happens with the sharpness of the NL12X42s but do like the NL10X42s. So basically, I am giving you my subjective view that there is something to the precise focusing on the NL12s that is not as visible in the NL10s. I am sorry if perhaps I do not understand specifically what it might be.
 

Maljunulo

Well-known member
I'm sorry, but I still have no clue what is bothering the OP.

"artificially adjusted parallax view"? (Is this the diopter adjustment?)

"image reconciliation"? (Setting up the diopter?)
 
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kaboku68

Member
United States
I think I am going with the NL12s. I guess that I am saying that in my subjective universe I have noticed that the NL12s do some overcorrection of the image until you get used to them in view. It might just be a bad example of one so I will be hopeful.
 

kaboku68

Member
United States
So they have at least a 6-8 month backorder on the 10s and 12s so I went with the NL8X42s that they have in stock. I haven't looked at the 8Xs but field of view is never a bad thing.
 

Patudo

Well-known member
While there is less range in the diopter adjustment of the focus of the NL12X42s they get an extreme level of focus for each eye when you are specifically looking at a very neutral index point... This creates a super sharp image but it almost seems to be too sharp...

Hi - I can't speak for the "artificially adjusted parallax view" you mention in your first post, but I have sometimes noticed when adjusting my diopter (in the textbook manner, left eye and then right) that the very sharpest image for the individual left and right eyes ends up being a little too sharp when I use both eyes. I sometimes have to turn back the focus a tiny amount when this happens.

Regarding the choice between 10x and 12x NLs, you already have 10x and 12x binoculars, so you probably have an idea which mag works better for you, and how much of an issue shake/wobble is with each in the terrain you are operating in. So all you really need to do is go with whichever mag you have already found most effective. But maybe I'm oversimplifying things. You might get more useful answers from a forum where folks have used both NLs for the primary purpose you will be using them for.
 

kaboku68

Member
United States
German has a word Verschlimmbessern. This means that you have made something worse by trying to fix it. Patudo is very close in describing the effect that I have noticed with the 12s that is less apparent in the 10s and hopefully non-existent in the 8s. I am also in a situation where if I kick and scream I probably can trade my 8s with some boot for the 10s or 12s that are the display models at the BBS that I work at.
 

NDhunter

Experienced observer
United States
I would easily recommend any 10x over a 12x binocular, I have examples of both. The 10 power is much easier to hold
without shake, and any advantage of 12x will not be achieved. And a head rest is not practical in most observations.
I think the objective mentioned is to purchase a good all around binocular size. 8x or 10x are the most popular sellers for
very good reasons.
For the OP, I think you have your 10X needs covered very well, but don't spend a big wad on a 12X NL, you will find you will not
use it as much because of the issues mentioned.
Jerry
 

CharleyBird

Well-known member
Not to disagree with the generally accepted limits of hand-holding higher magnifications, but interestingly, Mr Vine says the 12x42 are hand-holdable for him due to their ergonomics

"Again, these are fantastic by day. The extraordinary thing here is that the higher power really comes with no downsides at all. The view, handling and comfort are just the same as the 8x42s, but you’re closer. That’s quietly revolutionary. Almost complete freedom from aberrations means you just revel in that vast, crystalline, immersive view. It doesn’t even seem shaky – thank that snug hold."

 

trstahly

New member
United States
I am currently evaluating theNL 8x42 & 12x42 and latest EL 8x32. I am new to binoculars but a very experienced wildlife photographer as a hobbyist. I have thought of about every way to go about this a EL8x32 and pre owned SLC 15x56 a NL pure 10x42 but after really spending time with these three finally settled on the small but mighty EL 8x32 and the NL Pure 12x42.

Things that surpriesed me are how good the little 8x32's are I frankly would not know whether I had them or the NL 8x32's in my hand without looking so they are not going anywhere and will get a lot of use. I frankly do not notice any and I mean any difference in shake between the 12x42 and either of the 8 powers at near mid or distance and have made dozens of comparisons. It may just be me but they both jump around a little but very acceptable and will only improve with practice. The head rest helps but is not needed.

The field of view with the little 8x32 is very good only beat by its bigger brother which has an enormous field of view but not really a deciding factor for me. It makes no sense to go with eh 10x42 when I have a 8x32 and you pick binolulars up because you want some reach so that is a no brainer. But only because the shake is no worse for me.

If I was only buying and using one pair it would be a toss up I suppose I don't think I would get the 10x42's I would still stay with the 12's or either the EL 8x32 a person would be happy with either one.

I have compared low light at sunrise actaully before and sunset and do not see any difference between any of them. I guess the NL 8x42 is best but you would be hard pressed to tell IMO.

The size and performance of the little EL is the biggest surprise I have had doing this. I hope they come out with a NL and head rest version but only because I am always wanting better. I cannot imagine anyone not being impressed by them.

The NL Pures are also a delight I have nothing to compare them to other than dozens of reviews and youtube reviews but they do not feel as big or heavy as they are and feel very good in my hands. I like everything about them other than I wish there was a real tripod adapter and a strap on the case and the damn straps were already installed they are a real pain I could not even to it myself.
 

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