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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

NL 8x42 versus 10x42 real world experiences? (1 Viewer)

knowmyname

New member
Hello

My first post here. I don’t think I have seen this specific issue discussed here; my apologies if I have missed it.

I am interested to hear if anyone can provide a description of their experiences comparing the NL Pure 8x42 vs 10x42 in the field. I am aware of what the numbers mean in terms of differences in magnification and FOV, but am curious to know how this translates into actual real world experience. A local birder I have spoken too loves the 8x42 model, and described them as the best he has used, but has not tried the 10x42.

I own the first generation 8.5x42 EL model – purchased in 1999/2000. They have been fabulous, and are still in great condition but I am ready to treat myself to an upgrade. (The old bins will be donated to my nephew who has a casual interest in birds). Up until the last year I would happily have replaced them with the current EL 8.5 x 42. Now though I am intrigued by the NL Pures. I have spent about 15 mins with the 8x42 and really enjoyed the feel and the view. They seemed to fit me, and my eyeglasses, very well. Because of lockdown and lack of serious dealers in my city I would have to travel some considerable distance to find a store where they have both sizes in stock to try out. Even then I’m not convinced that I could make up my mind without trying them out in a real world setting.

Most of my birding is in wooded/vegetated areas, (with spring migration in the woods being my favourite time and place) and so I feel that FOV is likely more important to me than magnification. (I use a scope in other settings when needed). My gut tells me that 8x42 would be my best choice, but there is still the nagging sense that maybe I should not write off the 10x42. (I’m not sure if I would notice the drop from 8.5 to 8 x as I think the optical quality of the NL would surpass my old EL).

So, any advice comments or thoughts would be very much appreciated

Thank you

PF
 

jan van daalen

Well-known member
Since you are owning the first issue of the EL, the step to the NL will be significant in optical quality.
I think you've answered your own question. FOV before magnification. Main use in the woods. You have already a scope if needed.
For me it's easy, I've can use all three + scope if needed and almost use only the 8x (but I'm a 7x person) because of the ease of use and 159m FOV. That's my home town use. But......for travel far away I take a 12x or 15x because I don't want to miss anything of the object I came for and the 99% of the observations are done from a vehicle.
So at the end it is all about personal preference.

Jan
 
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BabyDov

Well-known member
Supporter
United States
If you want that immersive field of view, I would get the 8x42Nl. The 10x42 has exactly the same FOV as your 8.5 x 42 El. I own the 8 x42 NL. So you won't be gaing in FOV with the 10 x NL. I had tried the latest 8.5 x42 EL FP along with them. I saw an amazing difference, not only in FOV, but in clarity, brightness, color rendition, and contrast all in the favor of the Nl. I think you will, too. While I never tried the 10 x 42Nl, now that I have experienced the wide FOV of 8x, anything less looks like a tunnel.

Another thing to consider might be the occasional glare issue reported by some with the Nls. Personally, I have yet to experience even mild glare with the 8x, but complaints seem to be more frequent with the 10x and 12x. I believe the larger FOV with the 8 x, puts any glare, further out at the border of your view, away from your point of interest. So if glare is there at the periphery, it is far enough away not to be as it might be with a smaller FOV.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
I would keep your EL 8.5x42 because I feel overall it shows less glare than the NL 8x42 which for me had glare a great percentage of the time in the lower part of the FOV especially when viewing towards bright light, although others have said they don't see it. Make sure you try the NL towards a bright light before buying. If you are set on the NL and you had an EL 8.5x42 before I would definitely get the NL 8x42 for all the advantages of an 8x like bigger FOV, less shaking, and better DOF. You can see more detail with a 10x IF you can hold them steady, but I find the fact that you can hold an 8x steadier than a 10x compensates for the additional magnification and the detail you can really see is about the same.
 

Gijs van Ginkel

Well-known member
Babydov, post 3,
In the past weeks I have used the 8x42 NL pure very frequently in all kind of light circumstances and in all kind of landscapes: pasture land, river, lakes, forests, city environment, birdss observed against a bright sky and in no occasion have I encountered any glare with the NL pure 8x42.
Gijs van Ginkel
 

BabyDov

Well-known member
Supporter
United States
Don't listen to a glare naysayer
who might seem to suggest you should listen to them and not bother to judge for yourself. Does he think, just because he sees glare, you should, too? If he does, the facts don't support him, because most Nl owners don't have complaints about glare enough to even mention it.

You have the El. So why not take the time to try the Nl and compare them side by side with your El. Then keep what you think is best for you.
 

BabyDov

Well-known member
Supporter
United States
Don't listen to a glare naysayer
who might seem to suggest you should listen to them and not bother to judge for yourself. Does he think, just because he sees glare, you should, too? If he does, the facts don't support him, because most Nl owners don't have complaints about glare enough to even mention it.

You have the El. So why not take the time to try the Nl and compare them side by side with your El. Then keep what you think is best for you.
You may also wish to look at this review where the reviewer comments on the advantages of the 8x42 Nl FOV and no noticeable disadvantage when comparing the 8.5 x El magnification to the 8x Nl's:
 

Gijs van Ginkel

Well-known member
BabyDov, post 6,
I had the impression that we exchange experiences/explanations on this forum. Quite a few NL users tell us, that they see glare, I honestly did not come across glare when using it under very different circumstances. I am not denying the observations by others, but obviously there are differences in observations/experiences and I think that Henry has explained very well how that can happen. So the best thing you can do as potential buyer is to look for yourself as potential buyer.
Gijs van Ginkel
 

BabyDov

Well-known member
Supporter
United States
BabyDov, post 6,
I had the impression that we exchange experiences/explanations on this forum. Quite a few NL users tell us, that they see glare, I honestly did not come across glare when using it under very different circumstances. I am not denying the observations by others, but obviously there are differences in observations/experiences and I think that Henry has explained very well how that can happen. So the best thing you can do as potential buyer is to look for yourself as potential buyer.
Gijs van Ginkel
That is true that some people report glare, especially on this forum, but few find it so objectionable that they throw out the baby with the bath water. Even Henry, who reports an occasional mild glare issue, otherwise thinks the Nl is the among the best optics out there.

While we do have every right to share our different experiences, I don't think it's right for someone to advise anyone to stick with his El before he has tried the Nl for himself. The OP said he had tried the Nl for only 15 minutes and what he saw he liked. Why tell him to stick with what he has, implying that he is sure to find the glare of the Nl a deal breaker if he were to spend more time with them? Odds are he won't, I think. And if he does, he has at least given them a good try. Either way, it won't be a waste of time.
 

knowmyname

New member
Thanks to all for taking the time to offer your thoughts and opinions; all useful and taken into consideration. Especially helpful was the observation that I had probably answered my own question (but its nice to have that confirmed), and the link to the comparison between the EL and NL.
I will order the 8x42 and try them out. (I found a stockist with a 2 week return policy).

My 20year old ELs wont be passed on until I can fly to Europe again so I will have some time to compare both.
 

rpg51

Well-known member
Supporter
I see no glare. 8x42NL. Personally I think this is a non-issue. I recognize for others it is apparently an issue. I'm no sure how to explain that.

These 8x42 NLs that I have are terrific binos. I love them and I feel fortunate that I am able to own them and use them every day.
 

jcnguyen09

Well-known member
Between 8x and 10x, the shaking is only matter when viewing the long distance subjects. With close subjects like in woodland, the shaking is not much different between 8 or 10x but the FOV is the matter. Personally I think the modern 10x with wide FOV e.g. NL 10x is a good compromise as an all terrains binoculars: woodland or plateau or coastal viewing. In a plateau terrains, 10x is definitely a preference. If you prefer to see the closer details of the viewing subjects, go with 10x. And get a wide FOV binoculars, so it is as good in the woodland or close distance as well. My most used bino is the 10x32 with 396ft/1000yard FOV but my priority is viewing the subject in more vivid details. I also use 12x handheld many times. My 8x spends more time on the shelves than with me but I live in the western region with mountains and flatter landscapes.
 

rpg51

Well-known member
Supporter
It may turn out that the NL's wide FOV is a game changer for a lot of birders, like myself, who swear by 8x binos for general birding and wildlife observation. The 10x42 NL has approximately the same FOV as the 8.5x42 EL. I just purchased an 8x42 NL. I am not returning them. I love them. But, I may end up someday with a 10x42 or 12x42 NL as well.

The one thing about 32 v 42 is the exit pupil. I find the NL 42s feel very light in the hand and they are quite compact. I don't see myself going with a 32 again.
 
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Lightbender

Well-known member
These are my own “real world experiences”:

I thoroughly compared the NL 8x42 to the NL10x42 “back-to-back” for two whole days. I did this because I simply could not decide between the two. I wanted a 10 - but I didn't want to sacrifice anything of that Pure magic.

Apart from the general characteristics of the respective format - and discounting some other interesting findings - here I only mention these main differences between the NL 8 and the NL 10:
  • 8x42 is brighter; even in broad daylight.
  • 8x42 has higher contrast: blacks are blacker, whites are really white.
  • 8x42 has more beautiful colours / a higher colour saturation.
To my eyes, these differences in brightness, colour saturation and contrast are more than subtle and easily perceived. For these three aspects alone, I would call the 8 the better binocular.

Furthermore, in attempt to estimate the degree of colour saturation and contrast in more absolute terms, I compared both to an EL 8x32 SV and a Noctivid 8x42 which I had at hand and know very well:

The NL10, the "duller" of the two NL's, still appeared a little more saturated and contrasty than the EL 8x32. On the other hand the NL 8 was less saturated and contrasty than the Noctivid. So, a ranking (regarding colour and contrast only) would look like this: EL 8x32 < NL 10x42 < NL 8x42 < NVD 8x42.

I hope these observations are useful for some.
 
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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia

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