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Talk me out of Noctivids (1 Viewer)

TXdefender

Well-known member
Am considering getting Leica Noctivid 8x42's. I don't NEED them. I have Swaro SV EL 8.5x42's, SV 10x42's (Both 2010 made). I have always liked Swaro but decided on the Leica UVHD's for a 8x32 due to size, significantly smaller than EL 8x32. I have really enjoyed the Leica views. So much I went with UVHD+ 7x42's too. Now when I switch back to the SV 8.5 I feel like something is missing (though I don't know what). Lord knows I don't need to spend any more $ on optics.

Switching makes me notice the "rolling ball" effect at least for a while, the focus is not as nice, and I FEEL like resolution (or something) isn't quite as good. But reading it seems resolution is equal. Don't get me wrong, they resolve quite well and the views are still pleasing just different. Should I send my 9yr old SV 8.5's to Swaro for a check up? Would the Noctivid fill what I'm looking for or am I just chasing a ghost!?
 
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cycleguy

Well-known member
Hi TXdefender,

I HIGHLY encourage you to get the Noctivid 8x42 ... and report here your side by side comparisons, in-depth of course!!! B :)

My .02,

CG
 

Pileatus

"Experientia Docet”
United States
Am considering getting Leica Noctivid 8x42's. I don't NEED them. I have Swaro SV EL 8.5x42's, SV 10x42's (Both 2010 made). I have always liked Swaro but decided on the Leica UVHD's for a 8x32 due to size, significantly smaller than EL 8x32. I have really enjoyed the Leica views. So much I went with UVHD+ 7x42's too. Now when I switch back to the SV 8.5 I feel like something is missing (though I don't know what). Lord knows I don't need to spend any more $ on optics.

Switching makes me notice the "rolling ball" effect at least for a while, the focus is not as nice, and I FEEL like resolution (or something) isn't quite as good. But reading it seems resolution is equal. Don't get me wrong, they resolve quite well and the views are still pleasing just different. Should I send my 9yr old SV 8.5's to Swaro for a check up? Would the Noctivid fill what I'm looking for or am I just chasing a ghost!?
Yes and probably yes.
My 8.5X42 came back from service with a dead-perfect view.

The 8X42 Noctivid is a stellar view and I'm guessing you should be counted among those who appreciate the "Leica view". I have a completely refurbished and upgraded 2004 7X42 Ultravid BR so I know what you're seeing in your 7X42. I prefer my 8.5/10X Swarovskis, including a 7X42 SLC, but to each his or her own.

Enjoy.
 

Gilmore Girl

Beth
Supporter
United States
"You should just buy it. It'll make you happy. Life is too short...go for it ..."
 

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coopershawk

Well-known member
I think you've got a really nice lineup already. A full size 7x and 10x, with an 8.5x right in the middle, and an 8x32 for easy carry. Plus it's balanced with 2 leicas and 2 swaros.
 

chill6x6

Well-known member
Am considering getting Leica Noctivid 8x42's. I don't NEED them. I have Swaro SV EL 8.5x42's, SV 10x42's (Both 2010 made). I have always liked Swaro but decided on the Leica UVHD's for a 8x32 due to size, significantly smaller than EL 8x32. I have really enjoyed the Leica views. So much I went with UVHD+ 7x42's too. Now when I switch back to the SV 8.5 I feel like something is missing (though I don't know what). Lord knows I don't need to spend any more $ on optics.

Switching makes me notice the "rolling ball" effect at least for a while, the focus is not as nice, and I FEEL like resolution (or something) isn't quite as good. But reading it seems resolution is equal. Don't get me wrong, they resolve quite well and the views are still pleasing just different. Should I send my 9yr old SV 8.5's to Swaro for a check up? Would the Noctivid fill what I'm looking for or am I just chasing a ghost!?

So you have RIGHT NOW a SV 8.5X42, SV 10X42, UVHD+ 7X42, and UVHD+ 8X32? Personally, I think a Noctivid 8X42 would be waste of money. I'd rather have the Leica 7X42 than the Noctivid 8X42 and I have both. Of course it depends on what kind of birding one does. If you need a slight step up in magnification you've got it with the SV 8.5 or the Leica 8X32. Need another step up in magnification you've got it with the SV 10X. The Noctivid is gonna overlap the duties of the 7X42 and 8X32. The Noctivid is NOT that much earthshakingly better than the UVHD+. It's just NOT. IF you were in the market for a Leica 8X or 10X and didn't all ready own some nice ones then SURE, pick the Noctivid. It's a little brighter, a little more FOV and a slightly smoother focus than it's UVHD+ counterpart. I don't feel the Noctivid 8X42 is going to give you one thing that you aren't all ready getting.

I CAN understand wanting to try something you don't have. One thing you DON'T have is an SV 12X50. It's got to where I take the Leica 7X or SV 8X32 AND the SV 12X50 I really DO have all the bases covered! :t: Just a thought.
 

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jremmons

Wildlife Biologist
I'm going to have to agree with Chuck in that another 8x42 would just cause you to not utilize either the 7x42 or the 8.5x42...
A 12x50 SV is really interesting, or maybe even the 15x56 SLC or 10x50 UV HD+ IF you feel the need to try something else out.

Justin
 

TXdefender

Well-known member
Chill6x6 and jremmons, you're awesome, that's what I needed to hear. Yes, I think/thought my lineup is quite well rounded. Add to that a Swaro CL pocket 8x25 (that doesn't get much use) and a Swaro STS80 HD spotter (admittedly a Swaro fan). My Leica 8x32 UVHD (pre plus) actually gets most usage due to size and performance and I think this is where the rub is. Using the Leica so much my eyes get used to the "Leica view" and then when I switch back to the SV 8.5 it's so different. I'm an amateur birder, having been primarily a hunter/shooter. My love of birding started while hunting when there was no game animals out but plenty of birds. I bought the SV 10x42 for out west mule deer hunting in Wyoming but I mostly hunt here in Texas, specifically east Texas in a lot of brush and found 10x a bit much. So I acquired the SV 8.5. Then wanted something lighter and went with the Leica 8x32. Enjoyed it so much I figured, in this brush country, the 7x42 would be nice with bigger FOV and large exit pupil for hogs, it's become a favorite. They just keep building up and being a bit of a hoarder of nice things I didn't sell off any. I don't know about a 12x, I find 10x about my limit for hand hold, and if I carry a tripod I usually carry my spotter.

That said, I think after this tax season I may participate in Leica's "test drive" program. One can demo a Noctivid for $100 and if I decide to purchase they credit that $100 to the purchase. I figure it seems like a good way to try it out without buying it outright. Anyone familiar with that program?
 
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Foss

Well-known member
I don't know what type of hunting you do, but have you considered the Geovid Range line with rangefinder (and a bullet trajectory calculator that is well beyond my pay grade)?
 

TXdefender

Well-known member
Don't know why but I'm not crazy about the range finding binoculars. I like range finders and I like binoculars, just not together (same with nuts and ice cream). Most of my hunting in Texas is close and distance is known. Last trip to Wyoming I borrowed a Leica rangefinder.
 

Troubador

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
I don't know what type of hunting you do, but have you considered the Geovid Range line with rangefinder (and a bullet trajectory calculator that is well beyond my pay grade)?

Don't know why but I'm not crazy about the range finding binoculars. I like range finders and I like binoculars, just not together (same with nuts and ice cream). Most of my hunting in Texas is close and distance is known. Last trip to Wyoming I borrowed a Leica rangefinder.

Hi Foss and TX

I know you guys were just helping each other out but please note we don't discuss hunting on Birdforum except on the Ruffled Feathers sub-forum.
Thanks guys.

Lee
Moderator
 

dwever

Registered User
Supporter
I don't know what type of €£¥§ you do, but have you considered the Geovid Range line with rangefinder (and a bullet trajectory calculator that is well beyond my pay grade)?

The Geovid Range, even the latest models, are too dark. Instead use or buy the new optically superior Zeiss RF based on the HT. I do NOT use mine for the activity mentioned by the moderator. I use them in Alaska for slope and distance. BTW, Noctivids function at -10F just fine without binding up. [I was in Juneau recently, and bald eagles there are like pigeons in New York, everywhere. Alaskan female bald eagles can be 18 lbs.(12 lbs. is a big girl in the lower 48 although 14 has been recorded)]

“I'd rather have the Leica 7X42 than the Noctivid 8X42”. I had the 7x42 UVHD+, phenomenal, but the NVD sold my others.
 

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oldfortyfive

Well-known member
CameralandNY was running a great deal on refurb'd Leica range finding binos and may still be, ask Doug about it. Out hunting I prefer the smaller lighter range finder, but that said the Leica ranging bino's are great bino's. They are actually pretty handy when out bird watching or on vacation. This last summer I forgot to take on vacation and we were over this really deep gorge in Wyoming. I still would like to know how deep it was.
 

TXdefender

Well-known member
Sorry Lee, didn’t realize that. Anyhow, I’m not interested in range finding binos. I’d say 90% of time I’m gonna be using them in my backyard. In fact the other day I was watching some little Carolina Chickadees in my backyard with my Leica’s. I saw some movement in a tree a couple houses down, there was something behind the tree trunk. Got the SV 8.5 for a little more punch than 7x and saw a yellow belly sapsucker. So the view in the Swaro is still nice, I can make the ID and see detail. But switching from the Leica to Swaro is what made me notice that difference.
 

elkcub

Silicon Valley, California
United States
Sorry Lee, didn’t realize that. Anyhow, I’m not interested in range finding binos. I’d say 90% of time I’m gonna be using them in my backyard. In fact the other day I was watching some little Carolina Chickadees in my backyard with my Leica’s. I saw some movement in a tree a couple houses down, there was something behind the tree trunk. Got the SV 8.5 for a little more punch than 7x and saw a yellow belly sapsucker. So the view in the Swaro is still nice, I can make the ID and see detail. But switching from the Leica to Swaro is what made me notice that difference.

Hi,

You nailed it. There is a basic difference between Swaro and Leica's optical design philosophy having to do with controlling the amount of distortion and field curvature. These optical aberrations are responsible for the rolling-ball illusion that can bother some people. Alternating from one design to the other can highlight these different perceptual effects. Sticking with one or the other allows better adaptation to occur, which is what I'd recommend.

Swaro's SLC series uses an optical design that's closer to Leica's, so I don't have that problem.

Ed
 

dwever

Registered User
Supporter
I have both the 8x and 10x and couldn't disagree more on this.

Until they are compared side-by-side with either the Swaro RF’s or especially the Zeiss HT RF’s which I did in doors and out at Sportsman’s Warehouse, Wasilla, AK. Of course I’m not looking at this from the vantage point of an already made $6,000 plus expenditure.:eek!: None of them had the light transmission of the also present NVD’s, although the HT range finders were close.

Leica does provide the best electronics, then Zeiss, then Swaro, although Leica’s use of a memory card is not as slick as Zeiss’ blue tooth solution. I also like Leica’s willingness to display temperature along with other data points whereas Zeiss only displays angle and distance although it is measuring other things like barometric pressure and temp in the background. Finally, Zeiss is the only RF to not severely modify (Swaro) or use a special design (Leica’s) for it’s RF, it is just basically an HT with two buttons added.

Man, as I was tapping this out we just had another after-shock in Wasilla. First one in a while.
 
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Troubador

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
Sorry Lee, didn’t realize that. Anyhow, I’m not interested in range finding binos. I’d say 90% of time I’m gonna be using them in my backyard. In fact the other day I was watching some little Carolina Chickadees in my backyard with my Leica’s. I saw some movement in a tree a couple houses down, there was something behind the tree trunk. Got the SV 8.5 for a little more punch than 7x and saw a yellow belly sapsucker. So the view in the Swaro is still nice, I can make the ID and see detail. But switching from the Leica to Swaro is what made me notice that difference.

Thats OK TX. One of the enjoyable/maddening (choose which applies) things about binos is that they appeal to the emotions as much as the brain. I mean that you define a bino by its specifications but its when you pick it up and use it that you begin to understand whether it appeals to you. I have binos about which I can explain why they are so useful to me and I have others that I simply enjoy using and I would struggle to explain precisely why. I could say its a combination of feel, balance, focus action and view but this really only states the obvious while not explaining much.

In your case it could easily be the Leica view that appeals to your senses and this view consists of several attributes from colour and brightness to control of aberrations but the main point is that it seems to be the view that 'speaks' to you.

If you enjoy the comfort of this familiar quality, stick with Leica. If you like your senses to be shaken up and refreshed now and then, keep the Swaro.

Good luck with your choice.

Lee
 

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