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Non-technical subjective binocular experience (1 Viewer)

Omega42

New member
United Kingdom
Hi folks,

I am in market for a new pair of binoculars. I currently have a pair of trusty Minox BL 8x32 that I have had for 10 years or so. Primary use for bins is general nature/birding observation. I had narrowed my search to Swaro EL 8.5x42, Pure 8x42, Zeiss 8x42 SF and Leica Noctovid 8x42.

I wasn't able to try the EL as they had none in but I did try the others. I was completely open minded and prepared to accept strengths in various areas of each binocular. What I found sort of surprised me.

The NL image was amazing without doubt, though I did try the 10x42 additionally and found these more impressive than the 8x42. However, whilst the eyecups were great quality I could not find the sweet spot for my eyes. No matter what I did I had what could only be described as rings/encroachment in the view. In short it obscured the view.

The Noctovid seemed great. Bright popping colours. When I got my eyes in the correct position the image was amazing, really immersive. However, I got 'blackout' very easily when I changed position - particularly when panning. This occurred irrespective of eye cup position. I loved the feel, look and diopter adjustment though.

When I used the Zeiss the view was amazing as you would expect from an alpha. However it was the ease of use/comfort that worked well for me. What ever way I presented the binoculars to my eyes the view was superb and unimpeded. I suffered none of the issues described above. The eye cups themselves appear less 'premium' and the stops less distinct, but in use they were the best for me. I was wondering if it was the soft rubber which extends further into the lenses that made the difference - yielding to slight pressure from my eye socket area.

So in short, the view in all were A+ but the ease of use and comfort appeared very idiosyncratic to me. My plan is to try the EL before I purchase the SF but as the look broadly similar to the NL I should imagine I might have the same issue.

Interestingly the eyecups on my Minox are very similar to the SF where they come into contact with the eye. Perhaps this familiarity makes me favour the SF ergonomics.

Obviously my experience is subjective and non-scientific, but I wonder if others have had similar experiences?

Take care, Nick
 

dorubird

Active member
Romania
Welcome!
The ergonomics of the binoculars and the ease of looking at the eyepieces is a very subjective thing, related to the physiognomy and anatomy of each one. What is good for me can be bad for others. Even the optical qualities of the image are received differently by each, although less often but it happens. So it is very good that you could try these binoculars before purchasing! You alone are the one who prioritizes certain aspects!
 

PeterPS

MEMBER
Hi folks,

I am in market for a new pair of binoculars. I currently have a pair of trusty Minox BL 8x32 that I have had for 10 years or so. Primary use for bins is general nature/birding observation. I had narrowed my search to Swaro EL 8.5x42, Pure 8x42, Zeiss 8x42 SF and Leica Noctovid 8x42.

I wasn't able to try the EL as they had none in but I did try the others. I was completely open minded and prepared to accept strengths in various areas of each binocular. What I found sort of surprised me.

The NL image was amazing without doubt, though I did try the 10x42 additionally and found these more impressive than the 8x42. However, whilst the eyecups were great quality I could not find the sweet spot for my eyes. No matter what I did I had what could only be described as rings/encroachment in the view. In short it obscured the view.

The Noctovid seemed great. Bright popping colours. When I got my eyes in the correct position the image was amazing, really immersive. However, I got 'blackout' very easily when I changed position - particularly when panning. This occurred irrespective of eye cup position. I loved the feel, look and diopter adjustment though.

When I used the Zeiss the view was amazing as you would expect from an alpha. However it was the ease of use/comfort that worked well for me. What ever way I presented the binoculars to my eyes the view was superb and unimpeded. I suffered none of the issues described above. The eye cups themselves appear less 'premium' and the stops less distinct, but in use they were the best for me. I was wondering if it was the soft rubber which extends further into the lenses that made the difference - yielding to slight pressure from my eye socket area.

So in short, the view in all were A+ but the ease of use and comfort appeared very idiosyncratic to me. My plan is to try the EL before I purchase the SF but as the look broadly similar to the NL I should imagine I might have the same issue.

Interestingly the eyecups on my Minox are very similar to the SF where they come into contact with the eye. Perhaps this familiarity makes me favour the SF ergonomics.

Obviously my experience is subjective and non-scientific, but I wonder if others have had similar experiences?

Take care, Nick
Hi Nick,

I fully agree with your assessment, and like you I prefer the SF to the NL and the NV. But I prefer the 10x42s to 8x42s, and it seems form what you said that you also like the 10x42 more? Then why go for the 8x42? Anyway if you decide to go for the 10x, then I suggest you try the Swaro 10x50 in lieu of the Swaro 10x42---I am pretty sure you'll be impressed.

Peter
 

Omega42

New member
United Kingdom
Hi Nick,

I fully agree with your assessment, and like you I prefer the SF to the NL and the NV. But I prefer the 10x42s to 8x42s, and it seems form what you said that you also like the 10x42 more? Then why go for the 8x42? Anyway if you decide to go for the 10x, then I suggest you try the Swaro 10x50 in lieu of the Swaro 10x42---I am pretty sure you'll be impressed.

Peter
Thanks Peter. It was the 10x42 in the NL I preferred over the 8x. When trying the SF I seemed to like the brightness of the 8x more than 10. What I would love to do is try them all in various light conditions at different times of day in different environments. I guess you only really know how well you gel once you've been using it for a good while. First World problems eh? 🤣
Take care. Nick
 

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