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NL Pure 'problems'. (1 Viewer)

Ries

Well-known member
You'd expect 3k to get you a fuss-free device. What's optimal optic quality without optimal handling? Just another wanna-have status object?
 
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PeterPS

MEMBER
That is rather disturbing to read...so far no issues with the focuser of my NL 10x, have them for two weeks now. I did read in a dutch review of the NL about a grain of sand being stuck in the focusing mechanism of a NL 8x, causing it to become stiff to turn...(link) I agree about the critical eye placement, it takes some time to fine tune. Sweet spot for me is two clicks down, plus using the Swaro winged eyecups and the FRP.

For some (many?) people, the "sweet spot" may well be between the click stops, in my case it was likely between the 2nd and 3rd stops in. But even with the eyecup length carefully adjusted I could not get rid of all glare/blackouts.
The NLs have bright spots at the edge of the EP at 5, 7 and 11 o'clock (curiously I could not see any at 1 o'clock). By careful eye placement you can reduce the glare at the bottom of the FoV (although not completely, imo) but try panning under the low setting sun, there will then be significant glare on the sides of the FoV (again, in my experience).
 

pm42

Well-known member
I do not get it: everything can break, every new device is known to have an higher probability of problems. If this is a «*piece of survival equipment*», why buying something that just hit the market instead of keeping using the well-known, proven by years of usage and excellent gear already available?

So far we know that one NL Pure had a problem. If it happens to several of them, it is a design issue and Swaro will fix them under warranty. If not, this is simply the proof that everything may fail, whatever the price and this is hardly news.
 

PeterPS

MEMBER
Btw, for many binos with removable eyecups, the length of the eyecups can be adjusted even between stops by placing gaskets/O-rings inside the eyecup tubes. In the case of the NLs those tubes do not have a flat bottom----instead they have a conic shape at the bottom, which makes the use of gaskets rather difficult, if possible at all.
 

Ries

Well-known member
Add to that the glare issue which gives users such eye placing difficulties they are returning it. That's no production problem, that's design. Of course no optical product will fit everyone the same but f.i. I've yet to read of someone not finding Nikon mhg 42s easy handling bins. That higher optical quality comes with less universal handling properties to me is a dissonant to the price.

At the end of the line this proves again every bin design comes with disadvantages and no bins are universal fit, however alpha or expensive they are.

I do expect problems as sand entering focus wheels to be fixed on later batches...
 

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
Wow that is massively disappointing. I do not completely buy the teething problems argument on $3K glass as far as distinguishing between teething and incomplete R&D. R&D should be completed prior to release not after.....

I agree. Customers shouldn't be beta testers on any products (unless that's the specific deal) - especially on $3-$5K instruments (depending on your own pesos exchange rate at the time).

It will be interesting to see if this is a service issue, a manufacturing issue, a design for manufacturing issue, or a design issue.

A story to follow - keep us posted NZBinodude ..... :t:





Chosun :gh:
 

eronald

Well-known member
I agree. Customers shouldn't be beta testers on any products (unless that's the specific deal) - especially on $3-$5K instruments (depending on your own pesos exchange rate at the time).

It will be interesting to see if this is a service issue, a manufacturing issue, a design for manufacturing issue, or a design issue.

A story to follow - keep us posted NZBinodude ..... :t:


Chosun :gh:

Someone pointed out a forum is like a hospital - one should expect to see people with issues.

The question here is whether it’s going to be the invariable sprinkling of defects, or a chorus of reports.

At least Swaro have a rep of solving issues for their customers.

Edmund
 

gcole

Well-known member
I do not get it: everything can break, every new device is known to have an higher probability of problems. If this is a «*piece of survival equipment*», why buying something that just hit the market instead of keeping using the well-known, proven by years of usage and excellent gear already available?

So far we know that one NL Pure had a problem. If it happens to several of them, it is a design issue and Swaro will fix them under warranty. If not, this is simply the proof that everything may fail, whatever the price and this is hardly news.

I have been following this and never intending to purchase the NL’s. So many good binoculars of the past have been discontinued only to be redesigned, replaced. Why not just update their coatings, glass and maybe their waterproofing/armor ? There’s that old saying ..... if it’s not broke , leave it alone.
 
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Gijs van Ginkel

Well-known member
NZbinodude, post 1,
You mention in your post that you hardly used the NL and that it has developed the problems you report. I have the instrument now for more than a week and nothing of that kind happened, it is working without any problems. Also I have not been able to see any glare with them despite a number of attempts.
Some years ago I investigated an 8x42 from another company, put it in a stream of dust of a sawing machine, immersed it for a week in water, put it in a vibration bank and it showed a small leak of water. From another company I also did this kind of tests and it was immediately filled with water despite the claim that the binocular was fully waterproof. The companies solved the problems without any complaint. So you seem to have bad luck. I find your hypothesis that a porro does not have any problems of this kind based on an old Zeiss binocular is in my opinion not very strong I have seen quite a few old porro binoculars that had focussing problems, had collected dust inside, were out of alignment, leaked water etc. So you are kind of lucky with your 60 year old Zeiss porro 6x30. I once gave my son a 6x30 Westinghouse porro binocular in Bausch and Lomb configuration , because he had to work for some time in the tropics . It worked without any problems also in tropical rain storms. The problem is that nobody wants to work with this kind of binoculars any more, so they end up in the hands of collectors .
Gijs van Ginkel
 

Gijs van Ginkel

Well-known member
NZbinodude post 1,
In my addition to my post 30 I have another question: what did you decide to use a stream of tap water over the NL? I ask it, since if you had a contamination with sand particles you will increase problems if they are trapped in a narrow space as there are some in the focussing mechanism of the NL.
Gijs van Ginkel
 

NZbinodude

Well-known member
No I didn't have the binos at the beach, and no they haven't been dirty, dusty, covered in shit etc,etc.

I just gave the rubber armor a quick rub with the soap Swaro recommends you regularly wash the NL's with. I wanted to see what it was all about. I thin rinsed the binos off under some cold water for a few seconds.

The focusser had some very slight stickiness prior to rinsing them with water - but afterwards, it got much worse.

Swaro NZ have offered to replace them, but I'm not sure I'm going to take them up on the offer. I'm tempted to just get a refund.

@Gijs - binoculars made for outdoor use should be designed to survive the elements. That includes being functional despite being covered in sand, dust, and the blood and guts of your enemies.

I'm not saying ALL porro prism binos are excellent. My 6x30's were made in West Germany and they ooze build quality. Sure, the sealing on them could be better, as could the coatings etc,etc...but I cannot see why optic companies today cannot take that same build quality and simplicity and pair it with brilliant optics (for $5k).
 
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NZbinodude

Well-known member
I have been following this and never intending to purchase the NL’s. So many good binoculars of the past have been discontinued only to be redesigned, replaced. Why not just update their coatings, glass and maybe their waterproofing/armor ? There’s that old saying ..... if it’s not broke , leave it alone.

I agree 100%.

But fashion sells, doesn't it?
 
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[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
I have been following this and never intending to purchase the NL’s. So many good binoculars of the past have been discontinued only to be redesigned, replaced. Why not just update their coatings, glass and maybe their waterproofing/armor ? There’s that old saying ..... if it’s not broke , leave it alone.
There would be no progress then. We would still be driving Model T's.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
No I didn't have the binos at the beach, and no they haven't been dirty, dusty, covered in shit etc,etc.

I just gave the rubber armor a quick rub with the soap Swaro recommends you regularly wash the NL's with. I wanted to see what it was all about. I thin rinsed the binos off under some cold water for a few seconds.

The focusser had some very slight stickiness prior to rinsing them with water - but afterwards, it got much worse.

Swaro NZ have offered to replace them, but I'm not sure I'm going to take them up on the offer. I'm tempted to just get a refund.

@Gijs - binoculars made for outdoor use should be designed to survive the elements. That includes being functional despite being covered in sand, dust, and the blood and guts of your enemies.

I'm not saying ALL porro prism binos are excellent. My 6x30's were made in West Germany and they ooze build quality. Sure, the sealing on them could be better, as could the coatings etc,etc...but I cannot see why optic companies today cannot take that same build quality and simplicity and pair it with brilliant optics (for $5k).
Cold water after using the soap? I wonder if some soap congealed from the cold water and clogged up the focuser.
 

Patudo

Well-known member
Thanks for the interesting (probably much more concerning than interesting if one was a NL owner...) and forthright report, NZbinodude. A lot of folks would have kept very quiet until the binocular they were having those issues with was safely out of their hands.

A few questions, if I may:

- Did you think the other binoculars you've owned (you've mentioned owning the 10x32 FL, 8.5x42 EL and if I remember rightly, one of the Leicas) held up better over the same amount of use than the NL?

- Can you give a rough estimate how many hours you've been out with your NL over the month you've had it, what you were using it for, and the conditions you encountered? I ask this because I'm pretty sure one month's light use by some of the more serious field observers here would work a binocular harder than others (such as myself) might in a year or three. I spent a good many days every week between April and the end of September birding (not by choice...) and pretty much the only cleaning I felt I needed to do was to clear eyelash oil/dust from the eye lenses every now and then. But I didn't go when it was raining, was never in a prone position, etc.

I do agree (for what it's worth) with your assessment that the NL feels better built than Zeiss's SF, I haven't handled a NL myself but if its build quality is similar to the EL I did think the perceived build quality of the EL is ahead of the SF (though I'd note that for my own birding the latter is probably more than adequate). I'd also agree that many birding binoculars now are probably not intended to be regularly covered in sand, dust, and the blood and guts of your enemies. Most of us probably don't, and will never, use them that hard. I know something like a 7x40 Zeiss Jena is complete overkill for my own needs, but, for sure, there are those whose requirements are much more demanding - and for those folks, there are binoculars out there that will handle that kind of work. I don't know if the 10x40 Habicht you're thinking about has the kind of ultimate survivability of the 7x40 DF or comparables, but it does have a really good reputation for durability and mechanical integrity. There's a Birdforum member called PHA who has used his in Patagonia, another beautiful but harsh landscape that seems to resemble your South Island a lot, for decades and really rates them - and I reckon the 10x40 model would be a great choice for the keen-eyed younger outdoorsman. They are one of the very few great classic porros that have in fact been updated (coatings, waterproofing) in the way gcole wishes others were. If you do get one, I'd love to know how you get on with it.

Good luck whichever way you go.
 
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nzwild

Active member
I reckon you should just hang onto your 8.5x42 EL's mate. :) They've been around for yonks, and assuming you've got the Field Pro model, it's the most refined and complete version of the EL there is.

If I could do it again I'd stay away from the NL's. As you say, they just haven't been around long enough for a general consensus to be made of their long-term performance.

And yeah, if this had happened in the middle of a trip, it would have been a real kick in the guts.

Thanks binodude. Because I am a very satisfied (make that VERY satisfied) EL user (yes FP model) I would not make a change until I had extensive time with a better alternative. The 8.5s rock my boat and I bought them as an upgrade to zeiss FL and 10x32 ELSV (compared them to 10x42 Geovid HD-B today).
Because they are so good (versatile, sharp with exceptional viewing comfort) it adds to the curiosity that there be something out there that is even better!!
It was thanks to Chuck (chill 6x6), Tobius Mennie and others detailed evaluations that I was able to get some guidance and I appreciate that. Its harder down this end of the planet to check stuff out. There are yet to be NL's for demo around here and a shop view may not tell the whole story.
I look forward to trying out the NL and seeing how they sit in the design spectrum. As everyone here acknowledges, individual designs will suit some and not others. I don't think you will regret trying them out (despite finance angst etc) because you get to explore design concepts and develop knowledge based on true practical experience which beats theorising any day. I find it most interesting hearing what optics people settle on after their different journeys that often start with a pair of cheapy blurrmeisters.
 

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