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Swarovski NL 8x42 - First Impressions (1 Viewer)

BabyDov

Well-known member
Supporter
United States
......... "NL Pure is a significant step forward from EL, making it the world’s best birding bino’. It’s outstanding in almost every way except resistance to veiling flare. If you’re looking for a birding bino, and you want the very best view and handling, you just found it."
I think the summation of this reviewer says it all. He sees these binoculars for what they are," the very best in view and handling", in spite of their less than perfect glare resistance.

He isn't throwing out the baby with the dirty bath water, like what you seem to have done, when you sold your Nls because of its glare. It's unfortunate you couldn't have enjoyed the view, instead of just having focused on the glare. Perhaps you can in the future, because Swarovski is sure to improve this product down the road. Little stays the same. Yet, the perfect binoculars are not likely to ever be made.
 
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bkdc

Well-known member
My biggest criticism isn't the glare (which I notice) but the ease of view or lack thereof. After being spoiled by the EL SV and its huge forgiving eyebox (eyebox meaning the range of positions in which I get an uncompromised view), the tradeoff of a very finicky eye placement in exchange for the expansive view is a little frustrating. This is doubly so because I can dart my eyes around without blackouts on the EL but not so on the NL. My facial anatomy must not be in the range that the NL was designed for. The engineers really were pushing the limits.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
I think its more simplistic, some people like to have what`s not generally owned by many so they can sing its praises with little contradiction, as these items become more widespread they move to something else less widespread to again hype that item, they like to be seen as leftfield, somehow as pioneers thinking outside the box.

I`ve seen this with nearly all consumer goods which have forums like this one be it cameras or watches etc. Its all harmless if irritating but rarely brings anything genuinely constructive to the conversation.
You're correct. There will always be the explorers and the followers. Exploring "uncharted territories" in binoculars is exciting to me! I love to try new binoculars I haven't tried. But in a way it is good there are explorers, so the more cautious followers have at least a trail to follow even if it might be the wrong one sometimes!
 
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[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
I think the summation of this reviewer says it all. He sees these binoculars for what they are," the very best in view and handling", in spite of their less than perfect glare resistance.

He isn't throwing out the baby with the dirty bath water, like what you seem to have done, when you sold your Nls because of its glare. It's unfortunate you couldn't have enjoyed the view, instead of just having focused on the glare. Perhaps you can in the future, because Swarovski is sure to improve this product down the road. Little stays the same. Yet, the perfect binoculars are not likely to ever be made.
It depends upon what is important to you. I can't tolerate too much glare and the type of glare in the NL was especially bothersome because it was almost always there in bright light at the bottom of the FOV. I knew if I changed the angle of the binocular the glare would appear. I personally would rather have a smaller FOV and have less glare so give me a EL or SLC or anything with less glare.
 

CharleyBird

Well-known member
It depends upon what is important to you. I can't tolerate too much glare and the type of glare in the NL was especially bothersome because it was almost always there in bright light at the bottom of the FOV. I knew if I changed the angle of the binocular the glare would appear. I personally would rather have a smaller FOV and have less glare so give me a EL or SLC or anything with less glare.
:ROFLMAO:
You do make me laugh at times, partially because I guess we may all have or have had a few of your thoughts at some time.
On with the motley.
 

Maljunulo

Well-known member
...... some people like to have what`s not generally owned by many so they can sing its praises with little contradiction, as these items become more widespread they move to something else less widespread to again hype that item, they like to be seen as leftfield, somehow as pioneers thinking outside the box.
That is a very interesting viewpoint, and one I had not thought of.
 

BabyDov

Well-known member
Supporter
United States
It depends upon what is important to you. I can't tolerate too much glare and the type of glare in the NL was especially bothersome because it was almost always there in bright light at the bottom of the FOV. I knew if I changed the angle of the binocular the glare would appear. I personally would rather have a smaller FOV and have less glare so give me a EL or SLC or anything with less glare.
More people with x10 and x12 power Nls have reported glare issues than those with the x8 power, which has the largest FOV. Shouldn't the greater FOV of the x8 make glare less noticeable, not more noticeable, if the glare was present only at the bottom of your scene of interest?

Finally I hope we can, at least, agree that a single prescription for eyeglasses won't work for everyone. Similarly, I think we can agree that there isnt a single binocular design that will work well with everyone, either. (If that were the case, the market would have been already cornered by only one manufacturer making only one model.)

So, if the Els or SLC works better for you, great! (It doesn't matter a nit, if the reviewer you quoted thinks the NL is a significant step above the Els, even with the glare.) What matters most is what works best for you. I sorry the Nl didn't work out as well for you as they have for me. At least you gave them a try.
 

BabyDov

Well-known member
Supporter
United States
My biggest criticism isn't the glare (which I notice) but the ease of view or lack thereof. After being spoiled by the EL SV and its huge forgiving eyebox (eyebox meaning the range of positions in which I get an uncompromised view), the tradeoff of a very finicky eye placement in exchange for the expansive view is a little frustrating. This is doubly so because I can dart my eyes around without blackouts on the EL but not so on the NL. My facial anatomy must not be in the range that the NL was designed for. The engineers really were pushing the limits.
I am trying to understand your difficulty with correct eye placement. Are you saying you can't find the correct eye cup adjustment in order to avoid blackouts?
Or do you think the eyecup position has little to do with fixing your problem?

For me, finding the correct position was relatively easy with the 6 position cups. I now have equal ease and no blackouts, both with and without glasses. I own the x8 Nl where the EP is larger and may make it less finicky. Perhaps, if you own the x10 or x12 Nl, finding your sweet spot with the eyecup adjustments may be more difficult. I would play with their adjustments along with ther IP position. You may experience blackouts with an IP that is too wide. I did.
 

Loud Green Man

Well-known member
The one positive from 51 pages is that Disciples of ethical optics need not concern themselves with these subtle and subjective failings as they are condemned to a birding life of sub-optimal viewing. Or to be more precise they will never delight in the crystal-clear view provided by the Swarovski, Zeiss or Leica ‘experience’.

LGM
 

Maljunulo

Well-known member
Or to be more precise they will never delight in the crystal-clear view provided by the Swarovski, Zeiss or Leica ‘experience’.

LGM
I'm not really sure if this is said in jest or not, but I think there is some truth in it, no matter how unfashionable such a view may be currently.
 

SeldomPerched

Well-known member
I suggest you try a Zeiss Victory FL 10x56----I could not notice any glare when using them even in the most difficult situations (and that without making use of the great suggestions in the previous posts like covering both the objective lenses and the oculars....). I have never tried an FL 8x56 but I would expect they are very glare resistant too.
Hi, PeterPS, I have just been trying out my FL 8x56 a day or two ago, thinking I might sell it because of the slightly awkward size and weight for holding still after the first few minutes, but no, it's so good I know I'd regret doing that despite the 'sensible reasoning'. It's due to be sunny tomorrow so I will have a go at the glare inducement game and report back. Even if it does glare, I don't care as it's just so good and has such an easy view. All my few Zeiss are pre-owned and still absolutely fabulous (as well as now discontinued).

Is the FL 10x56 a wonderglass as well? From your post it sounds as if it could be.

Tom
 

Vespobuteo

Well-known member
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.

Considering "effective" eye relief (when using glasses with eye cups down) I would say that the NL
have about the same or slightly more effective ER than the EL/SV.

The eye cup rims on the NL:s are shallower than on the EL/SV (when in the lowest position) but on the other hand the apparent FOV is larger on the NL and can make it harder to see the whole FOV on the NL:s.

IMO the Noctivids have clearly more effective ER than both EL/SV and NL. The SF:s are somewhere in between.

Roger Vine (who uses glasses) seems to rate eye relief for NL, EL/SV and SF about the same way.

"Eye relief: it says 18mm in the brochure and 18mm is what I measured, from the rim of the eye cup. That’s actually more than the ELs I tested (though they claim 20mm)! It’s plenty. I can comfortably enjoy that whole big field. But note that it's a millimetre or two less than I measured for Zeiss' 8x42 SFs and so perhaps a touch less comfortable as the result."


But what works for you, you really must try for yourself.
 
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Gijs van Ginkel

Well-known member
Using a Ramsden dynameter I found an eyerelief of 18 mm for the NL pure 8x42 and 19 mm for the EL-SV 8,5x42 . The distances are measured from the surfaces of the eyepiece lens.
Gijs van Ginkel
 

Canip

Well-known member
For what it's worth, here my measurements with the Trioptics Dynameter of the usable eye relief, i.e measured from the rim of the fully retracted eyecups (not form the surface of the eyelens):

  • NV 8x42: 17 mm
  • EL SV 8.5x42: 17 mm
  • NL 8x42: 16.5 mm
  • SF 8x42: 16 mm
  • SF 8x32: 16 mm

Canip
 

elkcub

Silicon Valley, California
United States
Using eyeglasses, neither the ER measured from the eye lens nor the so-called "usable" ER from the eyecup rim is sufficient information. Two other physical variables come into play: (1) inner eyecup diameter, and (2) eyeglass lens curvature.

As shown on the left, increasing the inner diameter of the eyecups allows a curved eyeglass to approach the eye lens, the amount also increasing with increased lens curvature. My glasses shown on the right penetrate about 1.5 mm into the Swaro 8x42 SLC's eyecups.

Another consideration is that ER demand is determined by the eyeglass prescription. As a rule, myopes need less and presbyopes need more, but both wear eyeglasses.

Ed
 

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Canip

Well-known member
I fully agree, Ed.
Usable eye relief gives only an indication wether you will be able to use a bino with your glasses, but I think it is generally more useful than the eye relief number given by manufacturers (measured from the eye lens).

Canip
 

Gijs van Ginkel

Well-known member
I do not know whether that plays a role, but if binocular producers make different kinds of eyecups they have to publish new eyerelief values for every type of eyecup. Moreover spectacle users and eyecups is also a matter of concern (different kind of spectacles, ski goggles versus reading glasses for example) as well as the differences in physiology of eyeposition between people, so I can imagine that binocular makers prefer eyerelief values measured from the surface of the eyepiece, but I agree that it can be insufficient for different kinds of users.
Gijs van Ginkel
 

BabyDov

Well-known member
Supporter
United States
I do not know whether that plays a role, but if binocular producers make different kinds of eyecups they have to publish new eyerelief values for every type of eyecup. Moreover spectacle users and eyecups is also a matter of concern (different kind of spectacles, ski goggles versus reading glasses for example) as well as the differences in physiology of eyeposition between people, so I can imagine that binocular makers prefer eyerelief values measured from the surface of the eyepiece, but I agree that it can be insufficient for different kinds of users.
Gijs van Ginkel
I would agree that. by themselves, eye relief numbers don't gurantee everyone with eyeglasses can use a particular binocular. But say you previously knew that you needed a minimum of 15 mm of eye relief, you would have a great chance of a good fit with binos quoting 18 mm of eye relief. For example, I wear glasses with extremely light frames and thin lenses. The fit of my frames places them snug with the top of my noses and close to my eyes. When I use my Nl with glasses, I must have the eye cup out half way to the 3rd click to avoid blackouts and still get a full FOV. From previous experience, I knew that I could use other binos with as little as 14 mm of relief. Therefore, I wasn't concered that I would have a problem from going from my El with 20 mm ER to the Nl with 18 mm. There would still be lot of leeway for me.
On the other hand, the eyecup thickness or any other variable for me (say I just bought new frames) might come into play when thinking 15 mm ER might be enough with a different binocular. It might not be enough, even had the manufacturer been conservative with his numbets taking into account the eyecups retracted thickness. He can't know my variables, when I might not know either.

It's like buying shoes, where one makers size 10 might be just slightly different from another makers size 10. The difference, though small, may be enough to make one pair wearable and the other not. With shoes and binoculars, it is best to try them on for the best fit and not rely on the numbers. Still, the numbers do give you a starting point with which to try.
 

Troubador

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
I do not know whether that plays a role, but if binocular producers make different kinds of eyecups they have to publish new eyerelief values for every type of eyecup. Moreover spectacle users and eyecups is also a matter of concern (different kind of spectacles, ski goggles versus reading glasses for example) as well as the differences in physiology of eyeposition between people, so I can imagine that binocular makers prefer eyerelief values measured from the surface of the eyepiece, but I agree that it can be insufficient for different kinds of users.
Gijs van Ginkel
Gijs you are absolutely right that there are many variables involved beyond the purely optical measurement of eye relief. You have mentioned several and I could add that folks wearing spectacles can differ greatly in where they like the spectacles to rest on their nose. Some have them at the top, close to their eyes and others have them a cm or more down their nose. I had medium thickness spectacle lenses for years and then changed to a thin section lens which required adjusting my bino eyecups. The ER figure given by manufacturers is a good starting point and AFAIK is measured in the same way by all bino brands so it is at least consistent.

Lee
 

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