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Swarovski NL 8x42 - First Impressions (1 Viewer)

b-lilja

Well-known member
I finally had a chance to look through these. They reminded me of even better ELs, however, along with the veiling glare. It was sunset and I was really surprised by glare both facing toward and away from the sun, in the lower half esp of the view. Not for me. Going through 43 pages to see if others found this is a little daunting. I will add this was just a five minute look through the bins.
 

PeterPS

MEMBER
I finally had a chance to look through these. They reminded me of even better ELs, however, along with the veiling glare. It was sunset and I was really surprised by glare both facing toward and away from the sun, in the lower half esp of the view. Not for me. Going through 43 pages to see if others found this is a little daunting. I will add this was just a five minute look through the bins.
I had exactly the same experience: the glare (along with finicky eye placement) was a dealbreaker for me.
 

SeldomPerched

Well-known member
Hi Tom,

Most of the time I don't write up comparisons done just for my information, but these three threads might contain some relevant stuff about the 8x56 FL's performance compared to Zeiss 8x42 HT (general impressions), Swarovski 8x32 SV (glare) and Zeiss 8x54 HT (star-test and lateral color photos).

https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=313034

https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=308250

https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=285414

Henry
Hi Henry,

Not sure if I replied to your links post above as have been distracted by lots of other things in the intervening time. Thank you for posting them and I will take another look to refresh my memory. I don't have an 8x54 HT and see no likelihood of changing that, but do have an 8x42 HT as well as 'your' 8x56 FL and have the use of an 8x32 EL Field Pro so the information you have sent will be of great interest.

Tom
 
I have been using my NL Pure 8x42 about a month now, and I'm still pretty impressed. I have not noticed any issues with glare (I'm wearing glasses while using the binos) or have faced any downsides on the optics whatsoever. So, I'm super happy with the NL Pure 8x42 and not looking back.
 

Lightbender

Active member
Yes, they are lovely bins in many ways. Unfortunately I need a bit more eye relief than they can offer.
May I ask - how would you describe "real life" eye relief of the NL compared to EL, SF or Noctivid? Wearing glasses, eye relief of EL 8.5x42 is not enough for me, SF 8x42 is just OK, Noctivid 8x42 has a little more than I need (and feels perfect). Where does the NL fit in? Thanks.
 
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John A Roberts

Well-known member
Australia
Hi Lightbender,

There are a couple of comprehensive sources of information on effective eye relief:
a) Roger Vine of ScopeViews, who wears spectacles, always comments on this in his reviews. See at: http://www.scopeviews.co.uk/BinoReviews.htm

b) Pinac (aka Canip here on BF) of Binoculars Today, also includes effective ER data. See at: https://binocular.ch/the-pinac-collection/#collection
And for the interesting tool that he uses, see posts #7, 80 and 83 at: https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/715099-a-new-swarovski-nl-pure/page-4


John
 
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etc

Well-known member
I am puzzled by the NL line: It lacks a 50mm objective, such as 10x50.
Diopter correction at infinity is only 5Diopters vs 6 that EL 8.5x42 has.

I think my next optic will be SLC 10x56mm.
 

Patudo

Well-known member
10x50, and 50mm binoculars generally, definitely aren't as common as they used to be. Presumably with better coatings there is less need for larger objectives to help achieve brightness, and the majority of users have gone for the more handy x42 or even x32 sizes. I can still remember when the 10x50 porro was considered one of the standard formats, but nowadays the 10x50 is hardly used as a general purpose binocular - the impression I get is that it's most used for astro, or in some cases for hunting. Swarovski's 10x50 SV is excellent, though expensive.

Some users have commented that the NL x42 handles like a long x32 thanks to its "wasp waist". If so maybe there is the possibility of upsizing it - a x50 with rearward balance that handles like a x42 would certainly raise plenty of excitement here, though I suppose that might not necessarily result in many units actually being sold. I wouldn't be surprised if ten 10x42 SVs are sold for every 10x50.

You've mentioned you do a lot of astro - if so have you considered a Fujinon 10x50 or similar?


I get the impression that modern binoculars are simply not designed for those that don't wear eyeglasses as well as they used to be (because of the increasing numbers of us that have to rely on glasses - sadly). Better eyecup designs (for instance incorporating the rubber eye cups that work really well when observing with binoculars straight to the eyes) and being able to specify extra focus beyond infinity at the expense of close focus could really help. The former is relatively simple, the latter would have to be by special request and for an extra cost - but Leica/Leitz did in fact use to do this in the past. I wonder if you approached Swarovski (or indeed Zeiss) with such a request what their response would be?
 

Aquaplas

Active member
Austria
On the 8x42 NL I had not more glare than on other alpha Binos. This instrument is awesome in all Disciplines. The correct eye placement is not as easy then in other bins. You have to play with the cups a lot. For me the 4th position snaps perfekt! This contrast colorings and big FOV who has a I think “illuminated” Charakter is just crazy. The clearity op the view makes for me the different to much other binos. One question I have. Is ther anyone here who uses a NL and can tell me, is the bridge adjustment for eye distance on your NL also lighter than on el or other double bridge binos? It goes very smooth. On my el 10x32 this is much stiffer.
 

BabyDov

Active member
United States
I currently have FP El 8 x32, which I love. I am considering the nl 8x42 because of its image improvements, better low light performance, and wider FOV.

Would the great ergonomics, better balance, and image improvements of the nl, trump its added weight?

(I had tried the 8.5 x42 FP El, but it felt poorly balanced and hard to hold for any length of time. So it was exchanged for the 8 x32 el )
 

tenex

reality-based
The correct eye placement is not as easy then in other bins. You have to play with the cups a lot.
You're lucky if the cups work, especially without eyeglasses. The demand from glasses-wearers for huge eye relief makes a truly wide field eyepiece large, heavy, and complex, and leads to unforgiving eye placement. I've just been looking at astro eyepieces for a spotting scope, and it's the same story there.

Quick poll:
Do you think everything has just gone downhill since...
(a) roof prisms replaced Porros.
(b) open-bridge designs.
(c) field flatteners.
(d) eye relief was pushed to 20mm.
(e) other: _________________
 
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bkdc

Well-known member
Even with playing around with cups, the eye placement is not as easy. What I’ve noticed is that the view when I’m using my eyeglasses is fantastic at the lowest eyecup setting. I can also move my eyes around a bit without blackouts. However, the eyecup setting that allows a full field of view when I’m not wearing my glasses causes kidney bean blackouts when I move my eyes around. If I back off one setting, then I do not get full field of view but also don’t get blackouts and at this point, I might as well be using the EL. The 42mm EL is a rare binocular where I can dart my eyes around without blackouts. This is not possible for me on a 32mm EL. The ability to quickly dart my eyes around without moving the binocular is great when the view is sharp to the edges. :) I have to play around a bit more with the headrest piece and see if I can optimize the NL Pure view.

The NL would be a fine fine binocular even with a FOV of 440 instead of 473 ft at 1000 yards if only the eye placement would give another mm of forgiveness. But I guess this can be had just by placing your eye further out and losing the full FOV.

Right now, my favorite binos with glasses on -> NL
My favorite binos without wearing glasses -> Noctivid
 
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Aquaplas

Active member
Austria
Play with the bridge. I found for me out that when I push the Bridge more narrower the blackouts don’t come. The glass will also be a bit brighter. The big Field of view deceive a little bit bye adjusting the bridge. I tends in the beginning to adjust it to far away because it looks still bigger. Try it out and tell me your Experience please. It would interest me what you say.
i can with that adjusting more scrolling with the eyes without blackouts.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
You're lucky if the cups work, especially without eyeglasses. The demand from glasses-wearers for huge eye relief makes a truly wide field eyepiece large, heavy, and complex, and leads to unforgiving eye placement. I've just been looking at astro eyepieces for a spotting scope, and it's the same story there.

Quick poll:
Do you think everything has just gone downhill since...
(a) roof prisms replaced Porros.
(b) open-bridge designs.
(c) field flatteners.
(d) eye relief was pushed to 20mm.
(e) other: _________________
Yes, in a lot of ways. With optics, it seems there is a reaction for every action you take. I don't think there is nothing wrong with modern roofs, but I feel they are trying to push the envelope of things like the FOV too much which is resulting in a lot of bad side effects. For example, the huge FOV in the NL has resulted in glare along the bottom of the FOV and finicky eye placement. Give me a 420 to 440 feet FOV and no glare and I would be happy.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
I currently have FP El 8 x32, which I love. I am considering the nl 8x42 because of its image improvements, better low light performance, and wider FOV.

Would the great ergonomics, better balance, and image improvements of the nl, trump its added weight?

(I had tried the 8.5 x42 FP El, but it felt poorly balanced and hard to hold for any length of time. So it was exchanged for the 8 x32 el )
I have had both the EL 8x32 and the NL 8x42 and looking back on it, I wouldn't trade the little EL for the NL. The bigger FOV and low light performance isn't worth the price difference and difference in weight and size. The EL has glare in some situations, but the NL almost always has some glare at the bottom of the FOV. Eye placement is more finicky in the larger NL than the smaller EL also, and it should be the opposite. The eye cups on the NL adjust to all kinds of positions, but you still can't get a position that works. Swarovski knew from the optical design that the NL would be finicky for eye placement that is why they made the eye cups with so many positions.
 
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jgraider

Well-known member
I have had both the EL 8x32 and the NL 8x42 and looking back on it, I wouldn't trade the little EL for the NL. The bigger FOV and low light performance isn't worth the price difference and difference in weight and size. The EL has glare in some situations, but the NL almost always has some glare at the bottom of the FOV. Eye placement is more finicky in the larger NL than the smaller EL also, and it should be the opposite.

The clownshow continues......this is a complete reversal of the many, many ,many accolades you posted about the NL's in the brief time you had them. Al we heard was FOV, no glare, best roof ever made....yada, yada, yada. Just further proof your thoughts cannot be trusted, ever.
 

BabyDov

Active member
United States
Denco, thank you for your remarks. I should receive the 8 x 42 NL within a day or two to try. If what you are seeing regarding glare is true for me, I will then certainly return them, because the 8 x32 El has never given me a problem with glare.

What especially concerns me is that the same person wearing or not wearing glasses, can report differences with ease of eye placement and glare, generally favoring wearing glasses.

Currently I wear glasses, but expect with cataract surgery in a year or two, I will probably not need glasses.
So what worries me a bit about the Nl is that what might work well for me now with glasses, won't, after cataract surgery without glasses.

Given these concerns, unless I am absolutely WOW'd by the Nl and see no glare, I won't be keeping them. Furthermore, I see no reason to own both the 8x32 El and the 8 x42 Nl. One will have to be returned.
 

Gijs van Ginkel

Well-known member
BabyDov, post 878,
I have the NL 8x42 now for some time and in my hands it never showed any glare, handling is very comfortable and the optical quality is excellent. It is of course heavier than the 8x32 EL, but it has a larger FOV. The test report in which I compared this NL with other top quality 8x42 and 8x32"s is published (in English) on the WEB-site of House of Outdoor. Go on that WEB-site to "Verrekijkers"and from there to "Verrekijkers testen en vergelijken"and you will find the test there as well as a number of other ones, some in English some in Dutch.
Gijs van Ginkel
 

ticl2184

Well-known member
I have had both the EL 8x32 and the NL 8x42 and looking back on it, I wouldn't trade the little EL for the NL. The bigger FOV and low light performance isn't worth the price difference and difference in weight and size. The EL has glare in some situations, but the NL almost always has some glare at the bottom of the FOV. Eye placement is more finicky in the larger NL than the smaller EL also, and it should be the opposite.
I spent some more time with the 8 and 12 x42 NL last Saturday.
It was a miserable overcast day with no Sunshine, yet I still saw glare in both models ! I just don't get it ....

This was my second test of the NL's, my last being in September last year.
I'm seriously considering getting a pair of 10x42 NL's but I really need to address the issue of glare head on and find out where the hell it's coming from. Additionally I'm still not comfortable with the placement of the Diopter and the fact it doesn't lock....Plus your not getting the forehead rest included with the binoculars which is one of it's main selling points. I think this is a real liberty when your shelling out £2410.

Cheers
Tim
 

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