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Owners: How Are Your Leica Noctivids Serving You?! (1 Viewer)

Rathaus

Well-known member
I'm certainly enjoying the Noctivid. As I mentioned in another thread - For my personal tastes, the Noctivid offers one of the finest and most desirable set of compromises I've yet seen in a roof prism binocular. Thank the heavens for Leica who raised its finger at the 'cult of the ruthless field flatteners' and their fiendishly manipulated images.

I have just one teeny issue as a non spectacle wearer - I'm unaccustomed to a binocular with so much eye relief. I like to get cosy with a binocular. Specifications list eye relief to be similar between an SV and Noctivid, but the Noctivid clearly has far far more eye relief. Combine this with 10x and the fact that the eye cup click stops have a massive gap between first and second position, and it can conspire to make eye positioning slightly more fussy without vignetting. Ideally I'd like a setting right between first and second stop. I find myself fiddling with the eye cups a bit depending on viewing conditions. My natural inclination is to get my eyes in as close as I can. Even with the Noctivid I feel the view is simply better with my eyes as close to the Ep as I can get.

Just wondering - Any non spec wearers here with Nictivids? How are you going with the 10x Noctivid? What eye-cup position are you using?

Rathaus
 
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BruceH

Avatar: Harris Hawk
............

Just wondering - Any non spec wearers here with Nictivids? How are you going with the 10x Noctivid? What eye-cup position are you using?

Rathaus

I had the opportunity to use a 10X42 Noctivid in April outdoors for about a half hour. Blackouts were a continuing problem. I could never find a comfortable fit to avoid the blackouts. I suspect a good part of this is because the eye cups did not extend out far enough for the eye relief. The problem was to the point that I would not buy one even if everything else was perfect. I will try one again the next time I have an opportunity just to make sure it was not a fluke.

The optics were superb with a lot of contrast. I did get to side by side them with a black SF 10X42. The Noctivid had boosted colors which I think gave it that noticeable contrast. It did not strike me as natural and I would rather have the more natural view of the SF.

Also I compared the two to see if one had more of a 3-D view by looking at a view with elements of various distances. I thought the 3-D was the same in both.

It is a great binocular and I can see why it is well received by those who it fits and like that type of view.
 

chill6x6

Well-known member
I've had a chance to use the Noctivid 10X42 over the weekend a good bit, both Saturday and Sunday. That is kinda strange this time of year. Usually I'm using a 7X or 8X and that's it. This weekend was a Leica weekend for me with the pairing of a 7X42 and the 10X42 Noctivid. I went to a new spot for me on Saturday so one really has no idea what the birding situation will be. Also yesterday went to a few areas I KNEW would be open so the 10X was a natural.

The more I use the Noctivids the more I like them. Focusing is about perfect. I know there have been some grumblngs concerning handling/design/etc. I am finding no such problems. Going between the UVHD+ to the NV can only be described as second nature. I don't even think about where/how to hold/finger placement/focusing/etc....it just happens, but I'll admit I'm pretty adaptable where binoculars are concerned. A lot has also been said about the weight of the NV. I thought to myself more than once that it felt lighter than the specs indicate. So I AGAIN weighed the NV- 31.5oz(with objective covers) AND the UVHD+ 27.5oz(with objective covers). So four ounces heavier...that's not much. The view...love it. The FOV seems larger than the specs indicate...seriously it does. It's at LEAST as nice as anything else I have. Summer tanagers sure are easy to spot! HAHA! ...but so are yellow breasted chats(you owe it to yourself to LISTEN to this birds SONG if you never have!), orchard orioles, prothonotary warblers, etc, etc.

Overall....I'd certainly re-buy!
 

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adhoc

Well-known member
Chuck, what about the comparison of the image, between them, other than for the magnification? Not all of us get this chance! Thanks.
 

Rathaus

Well-known member
I mentioned some minor vignetting issues perhaps due to the huge eye relief of the Noctivid. Bruce also noted something similar.
A bit more practice with the Noctivid and the vignetting has all but disappeared leaving monstrously lush and effortlessly vivid images. Like many binoculars, the trick was learning to negotiate my facial anatomy and it's accompanying features such as an excessively simian brow bone.

I'ts slightly amusing...after viewing through the Noctivid, I'm finding the images through the SV and SF to be akin to viewing an ultra high definition placard or billboard....until I introduce even slight angular motion and all hell breaks loose with the familiar yet bizarre matrix of distortions one must endure in order to witness a compressed and flat stationary image.

I'm salivating at the prospect of a 7x42 Noctivid.


Rathaus
 
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Alexis Powell

Natural history enthusiast
United States
...I'm finding the images through the SV and SF to be akin to viewing an ultra high definition placard or billboard....until I introduce even slight angular motion and all hell breaks loose with the familiar yet bizarre matrix of distortions one must endure in order to witness a compressed and flat stationary image...

More accurate than "one must endure" is "some must endure". I had problems with rolling ball and other more complex gyrations with my Nikon 10x42 LX but I have none with the Swarovski 8.5x42 EL Swarovision, and I'm not alone. A much discussed topic, this. I'm not against binoculars without field flatteners, and I own many, but for some of us who habitually dart our eyes about, the view with flatteners is more natural than without.

--AP
 

Rathaus

Well-known member
More accurate than "one must endure" is "some must endure". I had problems with rolling ball and other more complex gyrations with my Nikon 10x42 LX but I have none with the Swarovski 8.5x42 EL Swarovision, and I'm not alone. A much discussed topic, this. I'm not against binoculars without field flatteners, and I own many, but for some of us who habitually dart our eyes about, the view with flatteners is more natural than without.

--AP

I've never found the natural world to be 'flat'. This is a bizarre notion to me.
If I wanted to browse outstanding 'flat' high resolution images, all I need do is open one of my bird guide books and dart my eyes about at the detailed pictures on each and every page.
 

ceasar

Well-known member
More accurate than "one must endure" is "some must endure". ..................................
......................................... A much discussed topic, this. I'm not against binoculars without field flatteners, and I own many, but for some of us who habitually dart our eyes about, the view with flatteners is more natural than without.

--AP

As a habitual "eye darter" I agree.

We tend to forget that just because the binocular has "flatteners" it does not necessarily have a perfectly flat field. My 8x42 Monarch HG doesn't have quite the sharp edges to its view like my 10x32 EDG, 8x32 LXL and 8x32 SE do but it does have a very wide and expansive view.

Bob
 

Alexis Powell

Natural history enthusiast
United States
I've never found the natural world to be 'flat'. This is a bizarre notion to me.
If I wanted to browse outstanding 'flat' high resolution images, all I need do is open one of my bird guide books and dart my eyes about at the detailed pictures on each and every page.

I don't find the natural world to look flat either. Nor do I find the view through flat field binoculars to be flat. For me, the best flat field designs present a view to my eyes that is well corrected for focus and astigmatism from center to edge. Consequently, when I dart my eyes around in a flat field binocular, I can look on and off axis and have a clear and sharp view, just like when I dart my eyes around when not looking through binoculars. Again, the view doesn't look somehow flat to me, it appears natural but magnified. Other than the difference between stereo and single-eyed vision, and the effect of viewing distance on stereo vision, I don't even understand how a given view can look more flat or dimensional. Maybe that's why I get absolutely no benefit of heightened "realism" from 3-D movies. The view through a binocular (any binocular) does look different than with the naked eye in the sense that distances appear compressed due to the fact that perspective based on the true FOV is not the same as what would obtain with the naked eye equivalent of the apparent FOV, but that is an effect that I am well accustomed to from doing photography using long lenses. In use, I generally don't notice other distortions (pincushion, barrel, differences in magnification center to edge) imposed by binoculars, presumably because my brain adjusts so quickly they don't trigger awareness.

When looking through a binocular without a flat field, darting my eyes off axis yields an unsharp view (esp. if off axis is astigmatic and thus can't be fixed with my eye's ability to correct focus), which I find very unnatural and irritating. Keeping my eyes trained down the center axis of a bin is very also irritating and unnatural for me. Obviously, for some (perhaps even most) people, keeping the eyes relatively fixed straight ahead is not as bothersome as it is for me. As evidence of that, note how popular small eyeglasses lenses (which enforce a rather rigid eye position) have become over the past couple decades in the USA. I can't stand such glasses and prefer an aviator type design that is large enough and that fits close enough for me to move my eyes freely and obtain a sharp view almost to the limits of their range of motion.

--AP
 

Troubador

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
I've never found the natural world to be 'flat'. This is a bizarre notion to me.
If I wanted to browse outstanding 'flat' high resolution images, all I need do is open one of my bird guide books and dart my eyes about at the detailed pictures on each and every page.

No it is not 'flat' Ratty, but neither is it curved in the way that the image through most bins is curved, and posts at the edge of the field of view might look bent through some binos but they aren't in real life either.

So-called flat fields are rarely totally flat and are just another kind of manipulation in the search for an image that is acceptable to more people.

Lee
 

Rathaus

Well-known member
No it is not 'flat' Ratty, but neither is it curved in the way that the image through most bins is curved, and posts at the edge of the field of view might look bent through some binos but they aren't in real life either.

So-called flat fields are rarely totally flat and are just another kind of manipulation in the search for an image that is acceptable to more people.

Lee

Yes, the 'flat field' nomenclature appears to be something of a spectrum...I've seen this nomenclature etched across eyepieces (Nikon HG) or enshrined into a name (FMTX) both of which have nothing approaching the flat field offered up by the SV.

However, the discussion in this thread (as outlined by its title) pertains specifically to the Noctivid, so this is the binocular I am ultimately referencing when talking flat fields. I've owned the SV for about seven years so I know it well...it is a technical marvel.
I stand by my observations so far - when it comes to the natural rendition of a field of view, the Noctivid offers up a far far better balance of compromises than the SV. These are just my observations. I believe the Noctivid will easily accomodate those who enjoy darting their eyes about. I think most people do. It's difficult not to. For reference, I enjoy darting my eyes about, but not from one periphery of the Fov to the other periphery ...I would be nauseated, in the same way I don't try to look at my own eyebrows. The SV will accomodate this practice somewhat better than the Noctivid or any other binocular I know of.

Rathaus
 

NDhunter

Experienced observer
United States
Yes, the 'flat field' nomenclature appears to be something of a spectrum...I've seen this nomenclature etched across eyepieces (Nikon HG) or enshrined into a name (FMTX) both of which have nothing approaching the flat field offered up by the SV.

However, the discussion in this thread (as outlined by its title) pertains specifically to the Noctivid, so this is the binocular I am ultimately referencing when talking flat fields. I've owned the SV for about seven years so I know it well...it is a technical marvel.
I stand by my observations so far - when it comes to the natural rendition of a field of view, the Noctivid offers up a far far better balance of compromises than the SV. These are just my observations. I believe the Noctivid will easily accomodate those who enjoy darting their eyes about. I think most people do. It's difficult not to. For reference, I enjoy darting my eyes about, but not from one periphery of the Fov to the other periphery ...I would be nauseated, in the same way I don't try to look at my own eyebrows. The SV will accomodate this practice somewhat better than the Noctivid or any other binocular I know of.

Rathaus

I've enjoyed your post of the situation, and so I assume you like the
flat field view of your Swarovision. Otherwise why would you like and
own it.

You mention being nauseated, not sure about that unless you have had
a bad day with the Noctovid.

Flat field optics are very nice and seem to be at the top of the optical
chain for many users who want the very best.

Nikon, Swarovski and Zeiss feel that way, and I agree.

Sorry this was a Leica thread.

Jerry
 

Troubador

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
Rathaus;3584844 I believe the Noctivid will easily accomodate those who enjoy darting their eyes about. The SV will accomodate this practice somewhat better than the Noctivid or any other binocular I know of. Rathaus[/QUOTE said:
Ratty

These two statements seem a little at odds with each other and while I don't want to push you into saying which is best at eye-darting, you do seem to be saying Noctivid isn't as good at it as SV. Can you say why?

Lee
 

Rathaus

Well-known member
Ratty

These two statements seem a little at odds with each other and while I don't want to push you into saying which is best at eye-darting, you do seem to be saying Noctivid isn't as good at it as SV. Can you say why?

Lee

Troubadoris, and other eye swivellers/darters,

The Noctivid is just fine for eye darting. No problems. Better than expected. However, if you wish to swivel your eyes like a gazelle on the Serengeti on the lookout for predators - from one extreme edge of the FOV to the other extreme, I would say the SV is the better choice. I just tried this swivelling now with both binoculars and it really is an extreme form of eye swivelling for myself...nothing I ever do. Others may well enjoy this form of eye swivelling. If you engage in this level of eye swivelling then the SV will be your pick. Also, if you enjoy splitting doubles on the absolute extreme edge of the FOV the SV will be your choice. The Canon 10x is the only bino I have which is at least equal to the SV in this regard.

So, to summarise, I would say for my use, both the SV and the Noctivid accomodate eye darting just fine. To me, however, the Noctivid image appears to be more natural and less manipulated yet will also accomodate all levels of eye darting for myself. An outstanding achievement. If I really swivel my eyeballs out to the last 5deg edge of the FOV, the SV is technically superior to the Noctivid. We are lucky to have such a choice, and most of it will be based on personal taste and image aesthetic preference. I do feel that the Noctivid throws up the finest 'image aesthetic' I've ever seen in a roof binocular.

As usual, the advice is to try them for yourself if possible to check for suitability. I do realise that trying various binoculars can be difficult at times, so we all look to these forums to get some ideas or possibly fill in the gaps.

Cheers,

Rathaus
 

Troubador

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
Troubadoris, and other eye swivellers/darters,

The Noctivid is just fine for eye darting. No problems. Better than expected. However, if you wish to swivel your eyes like a gazelle on the Serengeti on the lookout for predators - from one extreme edge of the FOV to the other extreme, I would say the SV is the better choice. I just tried this swivelling now with both binoculars and it really is an extreme form of eye swivelling for myself...nothing I ever do. Others may well enjoy this form of eye swivelling. If you engage in this level of eye swivelling then the SV will be your pick. Also, if you enjoy splitting doubles on the absolute extreme edge of the FOV the SV will be your choice. The Canon 10x is the only bino I have which is at least equal to the SV in this regard.

So, to summarise, I would say for my use, both the SV and the Noctivid accomodate eye darting just fine. To me, however, the Noctivid image appears to be more natural and less manipulated yet will also accomodate all levels of eye darting for myself. An outstanding achievement. If I really swivel my eyeballs out to the last 5deg edge of the FOV, the SV is technically superior to the Noctivid. We are lucky to have such a choice, and most of it will be based on personal taste and image aesthetic preference. I do feel that the Noctivid throws up the finest 'image aesthetic' I've ever seen in a roof binocular.

As usual, the advice is to try them for yourself if possible to check for suitability. I do realise that trying various binoculars can be difficult at times, so we all look to these forums to get some ideas or possibly fill in the gaps.

Cheers,

Rathaus

Rathaus

OK all is now clear thank you.

And one more thing: may I apologise for presuming to call you 'Ratty' without your permission. It has been pointed out to me that to some folks this could sound derogatory and that was not my intention in any way. On the contrary it was meant as a friendly and informal contraction of Rathaus, such as one friend might use to another. So please accept my apologies if you found this uncomfortable or offensive.

Lee
 

henry link

Well-known member
I agree with Alexis' post #31. The natural collimated light that falls on the eye exhibits neither field curvature nor astigmatism. Why would removing those aberrations from the collimated light that falls on the eye from the binocular eyepiece cause the image to appear unnatural? I don't think anyone would object to those corrections by themselves.

As I've said elsewhere, I think the objections to the "naturalness" of the field in the SV and others are actually objections to a relative lack of pincushion distortion and the resulting large angular magnification distortion toward the edge of the field, something quite unrelated to correcting field curvature and astigmatim.

As for eye darting, we all do it. Otherwise our heads would be in a state of constant jerking and twitching as we make small angular changes in our central gaze. I recall a few years ago Elkcub provided a link to a paper which found that the eyeballs can comfortably swivel over a range of about 35º before head movement is required. That's more than half the AFOV of the binoculars under discussion. Swiveling the eyeballs over 20 or 25º when reading or looking through a binocular probably goes quite unnoticed, which must explain why people can imagine that their eyes never dart around the field at all. My experience with the field correction of the Zeiss 8x42 FL (and the essentially identical HT) is that the "sweet spot" is just barely adequate over 20º of apparent field. I find better correction of field curvature and astigmatism than that to be a noticeable improvement with no down side.

Henry
 

Rathaus

Well-known member
Rathaus

OK all is now clear thank you.

And one more thing: may I apologise for presuming to call you 'Ratty' without your permission. It has been pointed out to me that to some folks this could sound derogatory and that was not my intention in any way. On the contrary it was meant as a friendly and informal contraction of Rathaus, such as one friend might use to another. So please accept my apologies if you found this uncomfortable or offensive.

Lee

Lee,

Your instincts serve you well. 'Ratty' (or most anything else) is absolutely fine by me :t:

Rathaus
 
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