• 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.

NL Pure 'problems'. (1 Viewer)

NZbinodude

Well-known member
Cold water after using the soap? I wonder if some soap congealed from the cold water and clogged up the focuser.

If the soap is the problem (and I highly doubt it, since Swaro would have likely done tests), then it's not my fault for following the manufacturers instructions.

If soap is enough to clog a focusser, then god forbid you get some mud on there!
 

NZbinodude

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.

Hi Patudo,


I've owned a couple of 8.5x42 Swarovski EL's (1x pre-Field Pro, and 1x Field Pro edition); a Zeiss 8x42 FL and 10x32 FL; and 2x Leica Geovid HDB's.

I kept and used each of them for anywhere between 3-12 months.

One of the Geovids had a 'squeaky' hinge, but it wasn't enough to bother me. The Zeiss 10x32 FL was a demo model that I'd bought online, and upon arrival, the hinge 'badge/cap' had fallen off and it had some rattling inside one of the tubes. Zeiss sent me a brand new pair, and they were fine.

The two 8.5x42 Swarovski EL's I had were absolutely fine. Quality control was great. I do feel that the armor on the pre-field pro version was a little more durable, but that's me nitpicking.

I mainly use binoculars for spotting alpine animals in the South Island wilderness. Conditions can be atrocious (as Mask of Porro can attest to) and binoculars need to be able to handle getting wet and dirty. That said, I take very, very good care of my gear, and I rarely subject them to abuse.

Re: how much I've used the NL's and in what conditions: I've probably spent a total of 5-6 hours behind them, but only in my backyard at home during sunny/warm weather, and on one hiking trip (again in sunny/warm conditions) where they spent the majority of the time in their padded case in my backpack. I haven't got them dirty or wet (aside form rinsing them under the tap that one time), and I've babied them the whole time. They're in such good condition (cleanliness wise) that they could be re-sold as a mint pair.

It's because of the low volume of light use that I was disheartened when one of the eye cups suddenly seized up. It's not like I got them dirty or clogged up.

When I turned the eye cup, the two tubes locked up and the entire eye piece assembly came out of the bino. It did that several times before I just put the NL's aside and got in touch with Swaro NZ, who promptly sent me a pair of new eye cups.

^Shit happens, no big deal. But to now have the focusser play up as well - I'm not sure I'm keen on taking any more chances with the NL platform.

If it wasn't for these issues, I would have been happy with the build quality of the NL's - even though they're a far cry from some of the millitary-grade Porro's out there. I still stand by my earlier comments that the NL's are better made than the SF's.

I'm definitely going to go for a pair of Habichts or something similar. I just need something reliable with good glass. I can understand that some people need an extra wide field of view or butter smooth focusser etc,etc...but I'm not in that camp.

Buying the NL's probably wasn't the smartest thing to do (considering my specific needs) - but I didn't expect a $5k NZD pair of binos, touted as 'the best of the best' to have such elementary problems. A faulty eye cup is forgivable, but for a focusser to slowly degrade over the course of 4 weeks during very light use...yeah, nah. It just makes you ask yourself "what's next"?

Lets hope this is an isolated incident and that everyone else's NL's continue to impress.

Cheers.
 
Last edited:

NZbinodude

Well-known member
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.

Sounds like you made a good choice. B :)
 

nzwild

Active member
Hi Patudo,


I've owned a couple of 8.5x42 Swarovski EL's (1x pre-Field Pro, and 1x Field Pro edition); a Zeiss 8x42 FL and 10x32 FL; and 2x Leica Geovid HDB's.

I kept and used each of them for anywhere between 3-12 months.



Cheers.

You have certainly walked the walk and checked out some nice offerings. Good effort for an armed nature watcher :t:
 

eronald

Well-known member
At some point some chinese company will catch on and make a seriously rugged instrument with decent optics. Wait! The Zeiss Conquest fits the bill according to some testers who couldnt even shoot it dead ...

and the optics there are quite decent.

nature binoculars routinely meet sand, seawater spray, mud, prolonged sun exposure, entire days in drizzle, and drops onto rocks. let’s face it their work environment is exactly the same as that of a pair of hiking boots as opposed to dress shoes.

I’m just about the most sedentary person in the world, but in the summer you will find me walking on beach sand and rocks, and in the spring I’ll be sketching moocows and horses in a muddy field. The binoculars aren’t stowed, they get the benefit of full exposure to the environment, and if I slip they get banged.

my usual shoes usually survive years of this treatment; why should binoculars be any different?
Edmund
 
Last edited:

Gijs van Ginkel

Well-known member
NZbinodude,
Thank you for the description of the circumstances of use of your NL and all precautions taken.
I think you deserve a complete new instrument supplied by Swarovski and send your sample back to the company, so to the benefit of everybody the company can find out what the exact cause of your trouble is. I have done that with all companies from whom I had binoculars to test/investigate and my experience is that all are very keen to investigate the problem, acknowledge it, repair it or supply you with a new instrument. After all it is in their own interest that everything is allright with the binoculars they make.
As far as your intention to buy an Habcht porro is concened: I am curious how you will like that: excellent high transmission values (95% or even more), narrow FOV, close focus limited, waterproof, turning resistance of the focussing wheel very different as compared to EL or NL.
I like them, but that is not the case for everybody.
Gijs van Ginkel
 

pm42

Well-known member
my usual shoes usually survive years of this treatment; why should binoculars be any different?
You can also throw your shoes or use them to hit a football for 90 minutes and they survive too.
You should try with your binoculars and in case of a problem, explain to Swaro (or Leica or Zeiss) what happened 8-P
 

NZbinodude

Well-known member
You can also throw your shoes or use them to hit a football for 90 minutes and they survive too.
You should try with your binoculars and in case of a problem, explain to Swaro (or Leica or Zeiss) what happened 8-P

The list of what binoculars need to endure gets longer!

*Water
*Dirt
*Mud
*Blood
*Balls (footballs that is...)

Birders are a bunch of savages. :eek!:
 

NZbinodude

Well-known member
NZbinodude,
Thank you for the description of the circumstances of use of your NL and all precautions taken.
I think you deserve a complete new instrument supplied by Swarovski and send your sample back to the company, so to the benefit of everybody the company can find out what the exact cause of your trouble is. I have done that with all companies from whom I had binoculars to test/investigate and my experience is that all are very keen to investigate the problem, acknowledge it, repair it or supply you with a new instrument. After all it is in their own interest that everything is allright with the binoculars they make.
As far as your intention to buy an Habcht porro is concened: I am curious how you will like that: excellent high transmission values (95% or even more), narrow FOV, close focus limited, waterproof, turning resistance of the focussing wheel very different as compared to EL or NL.
I like them, but that is not the case for everybody.
Gijs van Ginkel

Some fair comments, Gijs.

I'll be sending the NL's back tomorrow. Hopefully they'll let me know what the problem was.

Re: the Habichts, I'll try a pair out and see what they're like.
 

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
My Zens - have endured bumps, scrapes, knocks, falls, being tossed around, high speed impacts, dangerous animal attacks, rain, hail, snow, salt, sand, dust storms, mud, smoke, oven-like temperatures, and more for nearly a decade - and they are trucking along just fine.

Anyone want to swap me a pair of Swarovski NL for them ?! :cat:
(I will even pay both lots of shipping and insurance !)






Chosun :gh:
 

eronald

Well-known member
You can also throw your shoes or use them to hit a football for 90 minutes and they survive too.
You should try with your binoculars and in case of a problem, explain to Swaro (or Leica or Zeiss) what happened 8-P

Are boats expected to sit in a drydock? Do guns stay in a transport case? Binoculars go where people and animals go: into mud, snow, sea and sand, and forest environments. Few people *need* an NL for their indoor view of a birdfeeder because they probably already have a 7x50 for that use.

Edmund
 

dries1

Member
NZbinodude,

It sounds like you got a bit of a lemon, eyecups, focus issues. I would in your shoes, send them back for a new pair, not service, but a new NL. These things do happen, Swarovski production will have a few of these especially on a new model out of the gate - remember the Zeiss SF in gray?
Now, how was that view through the 10X42 NL again?

Andy W.
 

tenex

reality-based
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.
That's essentially what Leica has done for at least 25 years... and is regularly criticized for on this forum by those looking for more excitement, for example:
There would be no progress then. We would still be driving Model T's.

I do however think that reverting to Porro prisms would be an overreaction. We have six roof prisms now and the only one that's ever been trouble (clunky focusing) is the 30-year-old Zeiss. Leicas and Swaros up to 18 years old are still performing just as nicely as one would expect. The NL focuser design does look unnecessarily complex... we'll just have to see what the actual failure rate is. As for the optics, just out of curiosity, does the WX have similar issues with glare or critical eye placement? SF doesn't seem to...
 

pm42

Well-known member
That's essentially what Leica has done for at least 25 years... and is regularly criticized for on this forum by those looking for more excitement, for example:
You have 2 things to consider here: if you have an Ultravid, it is still quite good and you can still use it for many years indeed.

But if you want to buy something new today, the Zeiss SF and NL Pure offers something Leica cannot. One can still prefer an Ultravid for its size, the slightly warm colors and so but after the SF and even more the NL Pure, I did not kept my UV HD+ 7x42 as good as it was.
So the criticism is partially valid.
 

NZbinodude

Well-known member
You have 2 things to consider here: if you have an Ultravid, it is still quite good and you can still use it for many years indeed.

But if you want to buy something new today, the Zeiss SF and NL Pure offers something Leica cannot. One can still prefer an Ultravid for its size, the slightly warm colors and so but after the SF and even more the NL Pure, I did not kept my UV HD+ 7x42 as good as it was.
So the criticism is partially valid.

I personally hate the SF, but I'm interested to know how the Noctivid compares to the NL. Got any experience with the Noctivid?
 

Hermann

Well-known member
I do however think that reverting to Porro prisms would be an overreaction. We have six roof prisms now and the only one that's ever been trouble (clunky focusing) is the 30-year-old Zeiss.

There can be no doubt porros have got other advantages as well, not least they're far easier to manufacure. And the focuser of a traditional porro is very easy to repair. BTW, I've got a Zeiss 10x50 Porro here that was made in 1963. The focuser works just fine after all those years.

The NL focuser design does look unnecessarily complex... we'll just have to see what the actual failure rate is.

I'm sure Swarovski will sort it out eventually. Remember the problems the early Swarovisions had with their focusers?

As for the optics, just out of curiosity, does the WX have similar issues with glare or critical eye placement? SF doesn't seem to...

I don't see any problems with the WX.

Hermann
 

pm42

Well-known member
I personally hate the SF, but I'm interested to know how the Noctivid compares to the NL. Got any experience with the Noctivid?

No. Everything I read and the opinion of my reseller made me not consider them. I should try them still but we will probably have another lockdown here by the end of the week so it will have to wait.

Can I ask why you hate the SF? Just curious.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top