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Swarovski - odd business policy - near point (2 Viewers)

tenex

reality-based
To be entirely fair Dennis, the 8x42 NL has a 4.3% greater AOV (Area of View) than the 8x32 SF .....
The entirely fair comparison to that SF would be an 8x32 NL, if Swaro eventually makes one. If it increased FOV over the 42 in proportion to the Zeiss, it could have 510 ft (170 m)... though one can't be sure of course. (At the moment I'm seeing the NL 8-10-12 as a standalone model, 42 only. I don't expect a Noctivid 32 either.)

And what really impresses me is that Swaro has achieved this FOV without making the NL as big as the next size up, as with the SF.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
Dennis,

To support future sales I could full harted say that I did not see any sign of glare while looking through the NL but maybe the Dutch weather had something to do with thatB :).

Jan
Thanks. I am looking forward to trying out the new Swaro. It will be interesting to see how much the headrest helps steady the binocular. Nice review.
 

jremmons

Wildlife Biologist
I think we'll have to wait for more technical breakdowns to get a true representation of the binocular. Aside from the FoV change, most of the comments are very subjective at best. For instance, the brightness comment still gets to me; Swarovski mentions a change of 90% to 91% transmission between the EL SV and the NL. Most people and transmission graphs already indicated the SV EL series to be incredibly color neutral as well.

I know Gijs mentioned that an old test of the Swarovski found the transmission between 88 and 86 for the EL so that may account for the visible difference, but without actual measurements how are we to know whether the NL actually has a lower transmission than Swarovski reports, since the EL apparently did based on those old reports.

I imagine the NL are great binoculars, but I do wonder how many people will give up the SV EL for them. The ergonomics of the NL are highly touted, but so too were the ergonomics of the EL series considered something of a breakthrough, and I don't regularly recall people complaining about that before. The only complaints compared to other alphas that I regularly saw were focused on the glare/stray light control (which I noticed excessively in the 8x32 SV I owned) and, to a lesser extent, CA control outside the central view.

Justin
 
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PeterPS

MEMBER
I imagine the NL are great binoculars, but I do wonder how many people will give up the SV EL for them. The ergonomics of the NL are highly touted, but so too were the ergonomics of the EL series considered something of a breakthrough, and I don't regularly recall people complaining about that before. The only complaints compared to other alphas that I regularly saw were focused on the glare/stray light control (which I noticed excessively in the 8x32 SV I owned) and, to a lesser extent, CA control outside the central view.

Justin

Justin,

You've made some very good points. Regarding your question as to how many people will give up their SV's for the NL's, I will not (at least for now): I own the SV 10x50 and 12x50, as well as an FL 10x56 and an SF 10x42---I like (almost) everything about these binos and I don't think the NL 10x or 12x can do anything that might make me give up any of them. Yes, the NLs have a wider FoV, but I had binos with a much wider FoV than the NL's (including an 8x with an AFoV=104*) and I am not fully sure that made a lot of difference in practice; and there are a few (small) things about the NL, which they inherited from the FP line, that I don't like: the rainguard (I prefer the rainguard of the SV), the strap lugs, and the integrated objective caps; plus their second-tier diopter adjuster; finally their look is something that you have to get used to, in fact some people on this forum found them ugly.

Peter.
 
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Gijs van Ginkel

Well-known member
Justin, post 186,
I always ask Swarovski if our measurements fit their transmission data and it generally does, so our older measurements can be trusted.
Gijs van Ginkel
 

jremmons

Wildlife Biologist
Justin, post 186,
I always ask Swarovski if our measurements fit their transmission data and it generally does, so our older measurements can be trusted.
Gijs van Ginkel
Hi Gijs,
I did not mean to doubt your older measurements, I meant that without measurements comparing a more recent EL SV model to a NL model, everything is subjective to that point.

Swarovski claimed a 90% transmission on the EL model and you only found 86-88%. They claim a 91% transmission on the NL, so it is entirely possible your findings may determine the transmission to be lower, similar to what your findings showed with the EL SV.

PeterPS: I am with you on the FoV comment. For an 8x, I've not noticed much practical difference when using anywhere from ~390 to 460 (Nikon EII). Not that a wider field of view is a negative as that's certainly not the case and I"ll always take a wider field of view all things the same, I'm just also not sure how big of a difference it will make when actually in the observing nature. Now that being said, the extra wide fields of view on the 10x and 12x may be something more curious and interesting and would likely have a practical effect, particularly if the headrest option truly helps stabilize the higher magnification images.

Justin
 
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Gijs van Ginkel

Well-known member
jremmons, post 189,
You are abolutely right: a new ELSV must be compared with the new NL, it will come, but to do so the corona limitations in the laboratory have to be over.
Gijs van Ginkel
 

John A Roberts

Well-known member
Australia
Hi Justin (post #186 and #189),

Just to clarify . . .

Gijs’ most recent test of the Swarovski 8.5x42 EL SV and the 8x42 SLC models dates from May 2017,
and the units tested were 2015 production
See ‘Test van de nieuwe 8x42 en 10x42 verrekijkers . . . ’ at: https://www.houseofoutdoor.com/verrekijkers/verrekijkers-testen-en-vergelijken/

In the body of the report, as is usually the case, the performance was recorded at 500 nm and 550 nm
And in this instance it was:
- 88% and 89% for the EL SV, and
- 88.2% and 90.1% for the SLC

However as is also often the case, the peak performance when looking at the graphs was slightly higher:
- at least 90% for the EL SV, and
- at least 91% for the SLC
So exactly what Swarovski claimed at the time, and claims now

More interestingly, across the measured frequencies from 450 nm to 650 nm, there was a narrow range of values
Between:
- 85% to 90% for the EL SV, and
- 84% to 91% for the SLC
Though both then do tail off to 80% beyond 650 nm


John


n.b. the text and graphs also feature data for the 8x42 Zeiss SF and HT along with the Leica Noctivid and UV HD+
 

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[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
A somewhat curious combination as the 8x32 should be good enough in most situations. Why not an NL 8x32 and an NL 10x42?
Lately, I have been liking 8x. Easier to hold and a bigger FOV. I just think 8x is about the best all-around magnification. 10x just shakes a little more and you don't see much more detail with it. I keep going back to 8x.
 
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Gijs van Ginkel

Well-known member
John Roerts, post 192,
The EL-Sv in my test report you show are from the 8,5x42 EL-SV, but we did not see the NL 8x42 but the 10x42 and 12x42 and the data from the EL-SV 10x42 do not necessarily be the same as that of the EL-SV 8,5x42 from 2020. When the virus allows we will investigate that.
Our observation (both Jan's and mine) that the NL 10x42 is brighter than that of the 10x42 EL-SV stands.
Gijs van Ginkel
 

John A Roberts

Well-known member
Australia
Hi Gijs (post #193),

I agree that in relation to the actual transmission values, we need a like-to-like comparison of the corresponding EL SV and NL models

However, since as indicated by your graphs included in my post:
- Swarovski already produces state of the art peak transmission with Schmidt-Pechan prism binoculars
- along with relatively flat transmission curves, and
the EL and NL lines share a similar pattern of optical construction (types of prisms, numbers of lenses)
I’d expect that the listed 1% increase in the NL’s transmission will be reflected in curves similar to those of the EL, though with very slightly increased values


I found this comment of Jan’s in relation to his initial impression of the 10x and 12x NL’s, particularly interesting:

. . .
Compared to the SV, the same view through the NL makes the SV dull.
IMHO the NL is a serious step up in contrast. Black is deep black and looking at tree leaves it seems they pop up in my view
. . .

That ‘Black is deep black . . . ’, would indicate that Swarovski has taken a new approach to contrast control (blackening, baffles, etc) compared to both the EL and SLC series

It seems that the immediately appreciable difference between the image of the EL and the NL, may be be due to significantly different perceived contrast,
rather than significantly different objective brightness


John
 
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Steve O4B

Optics4Birding.com
I don't think the close focus on the SLC stopped anybody from buying them nor will it the EL. I don't think too many people buy a $2K binocular for bug's. If you want a bug binocular just buy a Papilio for $129.00. Hunter's and birder's will still buy the EL's because they are priced considerably lower than the NL and they know they are an excellent binocular and a 10 foot close focus is fine for both sport's. If you want the best then you buy the NL. Swarovski will sell a lot of the NL's in 10x42 and 12x42 for the bigger FOV because you can glass faster with it covering more area and with the head rest you can use it one handed holding your bow or gun in the other hand. Birder's will like the 8x42 NL for the huge FOV, head rest and fast focuser. There are 22.5 million birder's and 12.5 million hunter's so together they are a big market compared to the bug watcher's. Swarovski doesn't care about bug watcher's because they are such a small market segment!


Dennis, I think your read on the hunting market is accurate, but your read on the birding market is way off base. The EL 42 is now dead in the birding market or will be when the 1.5m versions run out. Most birders are not only birders, we are naturalists. We look at all of nature and we don't want to carry multiple optics to do our viewing. The Papilios are great for their close-up views, but they are virtually worthless as a birding binocular and their optical quality is light years from being an alpha glass.



Close focus is essential to most naturalists. Here in SoCal, there are 14 Audubon chapters. Most have at least one person teaching beginning birders. At Optics4Birding, we get people from these classes frequently coming in with a list of features their teacher told them to look for in a birding binocular. Every list says close focus under 8 feet. 10' just doesn't cut it for birding these days. Go ask Leica why the current Trinovids and the Noctivids focus down to 6'. Ask them how Ultravid sales are doing in the birding market. They resisted a better close focus for a long time and we hardly sold any Leicas. Market pressure drove that decision at Leica.


IMO Swarovski should have found a different way to reduce the cost of the ELs. Perhaps losing the field flattener lenses or going back to standard strap attachments. There was a huge void in the birding optics market between $1500 and $2700 which the EL was going to fill nicely. Oops.
 

Alexis Powell

Natural history enthusiast
United States
Dennis, I think your read on the hunting market is accurate, but your read on the birding market is way off base. The EL 42 is now dead in the birding market or will be when the 1.5m versions run out. Most birders are not only birders, we are naturalists. We look at all of nature and we don't want to carry multiple optics to do our viewing. The Papilios are great for their close-up views, but they are virtually worthless as a birding binocular and their optical quality is light years from being an alpha glass.



Close focus is essential to most naturalists. Here in SoCal, there are 14 Audubon chapters. Most have at least one person teaching beginning birders. At Optics4Birding, we get people from these classes frequently coming in with a list of features their teacher told them to look for in a birding binocular. Every list says close focus under 8 feet. 10' just doesn't cut it for birding these days. Go ask Leica why the current Trinovids and the Noctivids focus down to 6'. Ask them how Ultravid sales are doing in the birding market. They resisted a better close focus for a long time and we hardly sold any Leicas. Market pressure drove that decision at Leica.


IMO Swarovski should have found a different way to reduce the cost of the ELs. Perhaps losing the field flattener lenses or going back to standard strap attachments. There was a huge void in the birding optics market between $1500 and $2700 which the EL was going to fill nicely. Oops.

Wow, interesting post. I really appreciate you sharing these perspectives. Many interesting points.

If I might ask for an explicit explanation, why doesn't 10' cut it for birding these days? Is it obsession over specs for their own sake, or are these beginning birding instructors concerned that their students get bins that will also serve well for other types of nature appreciation? If the former, we might lament that bino makers are feeling the pressure to spec close focus. If the latter, we might celebrate the increased awareness of how bins can bring us closer to nature in ways that are just as exciting and legitimate as traditional long-range uses (derived from hunting and military purposes). Magnified viewing of very small things at close range is a whole universe (between long-distance surveillance and hand-lens or pocket microscope viewing) that was sadly neglected in the history of optics. I'm glad that the category has finally been "invented". I wish the Papilio had some premium quality competition.

As a birder+butterflyer, I understand the value of close focus. I'm glad more bins are close focus capable, but I wonder why variable-ratio focus hasn't gone hand-in-hand with the close focus revolution. I think it would be revolutionary (in a revolution-reducing way!)!

--AP
 

jgraider

Well-known member
The EL's will continue the success they have established already, regardless of the naysayers. The sales leadership in this segment will continue without much fuss.
 

jremmons

Wildlife Biologist
I found this comment of Jan’s in relation to his initial impression of the 10x and 12x NL’s, particularly interesting:

That ‘Black is deep black . . . ’, would indicate that Swarovski has taken a new approach to contrast control (blackening, baffles, etc) compared to both the EL and SLC series

It seems that the immediately appreciable difference between the image of the EL and the NL, may be be due to significantly different perceived contrast,
rather than significantly different objective brightness


John
This was also of interest to me. I know a lot of people mentioned this in relation to the Noctivid vs. UV HD+ (superior baffling, better contrast).
The EL SV/Field Pro models certainly are worse at controlling stray light than some other binoculars (though few seem exceptional in this regard, sadly enough).
I do always take comments that notice a massive difference between the newest model and the previous model with a grain of salt; there are differences I'm sure, but likely much more minor than the comments here may indicate.

Justin
 

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