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'The Big Three': NL Pure, Noctivid, Victory SF - A Brief Comparison (3 Viewers)

Maljunulo

Well-known member
I'm primarily interested in optics for the optics themselves, and the powers of 'supervision' that they provide. I'd imagine that most people here are into binoculars because they like to watch birds, etc., whereas I'm into birds because I like to use optics - I have to use them look at something! I wonder if that is a common experience?
Not only birds, everything in life.

Other tourists carry cameras, I carry binoculars, and while they are busy photographing, I am busy seeing.

I see ever so much more than they even realize is there.
 

Talster

Well-known member
United Kingdom
(Question: Does anyone have a perspective on the grip materials used for these three models? Which is likely to age better, i.e., least likely to perish, over, say, 15+ years?)

I own a pair of Leica DuoVid that I got around 2002-2003. The rubber material on them is still like new. I got a pair if Leica Ultravid at the beginning of 2022 and those look like the same rubber material as the DuoVid, so I have high hopes for the rubber material on those.

I find with the DuoVid, a micro fibre cloth placed in a bowl of warm soapy dishwashing liquid and wrung out quite a bit removes any grease/oils that have accumulated on the rubber. A few seconds of wiping and the grease/oils from my skin are gone. I then just have a dry micro fibre cloth to dry the rubber housing down. They end up like new again.

Hope this helps.
 

jafritten

Well-known member
My latest UV (June 22) has a different rubber material from those produced earlier. It looks the same but has significantly more 'stiction', which I think is an improvement in use. Not sure if the new rubber will be as good as the old rubber in 15+ years.
 

Rg548

Retired Somewhere
United Kingdom
I'm into birds because I like to use optics - I have to use them look at something!
Yep.... I get huge pleasure just using good optics.
Birds, general nature, planes, a nice view..... whatever....it's all enhanced by good optics.
Interestingly, people who aren't into optics, inevitably pick up good binos and are astonished at what they experience.... because it is an experience!!
A friend of ours came to our place recently, and because my Meostars were on the side, where they generally live, she casually picked them up..... and they then stayed glued to her face for some considerable time. She couldn't believe what she was 'seeing'. At the age of 55 it was the first time she had experienced quality optics!
She is now looking to buy a nice pair of bins👍
Life is too short for poor optics😅
 

tehri

Well-known member
France
Yep.... I get huge pleasure just using good optics.
Birds, general nature, planes, a nice view..... whatever....it's all enhanced by good optics.
Interestingly, people who aren't into optics, inevitably pick up good binos and are astonished at what they experience.... because it is an experience!!
A friend of ours came to our place recently, and because my Meostars were on the side, where they generally live, she casually picked them up..... and they then stayed glued to her face for some considerable time. She couldn't believe what she was 'seeing'. At the age of 55 it was the first time she had experienced quality optics!
She is now looking to buy a nice pair of bins👍
Life is too short for poor optics😅
Well Said, Buddy !!!
(°v°)
 
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Will K

Too well-known member
United Kingdom
Yep.... I get huge pleasure just using good optics.
Birds, general nature, planes, a nice view..... whatever....it's all enhanced by good optics.
Interestingly, people who aren't into optics, inevitably pick up good binos and are astonished at what they experience.... because it is an experience!!
A friend of ours came to our place recently, and because my Meostars were on the side, where they generally live, she casually picked them up..... and they then stayed glued to her face for some considerable time. She couldn't believe what she was 'seeing'. At the age of 55 it was the first time she had experienced quality optics!
She is now looking to buy a nice pair of bins👍
Life is too short for poor optics😅
Very true.

Experience certainly does count for a lot. I recently bought a tiny Nikon 8x21 T02 as a gift for a friend - a handy and attractive model, but hardly one that offers a top-quality optical experience - and they were blown away by the view! They also said they'd never used any 'serious' binoculars before.
 

A2GG

Beth
United States
My latest UV (June 22) has a different rubber material from those produced earlier. It looks the same but has significantly more 'stiction', which I think is an improvement in use. Not sure if the new rubber will be as good as the old rubber in 15+ years.
does the armor have a slightly different texture or does it look exactly the same ?
I loved the old armor and wonder if I’d be ok with the feel of the new.
 

jafritten

Well-known member
does the armor have a slightly different texture or does it look exactly the same ?
I loved the old armor and wonder if I’d be ok with the feel of the new.
Beth, I used a magnifying glass to check and I can say that they look exactly the same. The feel of the new rubber is not as silky as the old rubber. It's more like, er, rubber. For your information, I have owned (or still own) 5 other UVs and they are all of the old type. The one with the new rubber (10x42) is labelled "Made in Portugal" while the older ones are all MIG produced between 2013 and 2020.

NB: I am convinced they have all been made in Portugal. Maybe the eyecups were screwed on in Germany.
 

A2GG

Beth
United States
thanks for the info. I really liked the feel of the armor on my 7x42 Ultravid + which was stamped ‘made in Germany’. I wonder if the new rubber is lower quality allowing Leica to cut costs or if they decided to change to a different armor with better grip (of equal quality).
 

Trinovid

mountain and glacier watcher
United States
I really liked the feel of the armor on my 7x42 Ultravid + which was stamped ‘made in Germany’. I wonder if the new rubber is lower quality allowing Leica to cut costs or if they decided to change to a different armor with better grip (of equal quality).
I've got two pairs of the leatherette covered 8x20 Ultravid and the newest pair has a noticeably nicer feel. Don't really imagine Leica going backwards in their other models or the rubber coated ones either.
 

Scott98

Well-known member
Vanuatu
>I'm primarily interested in optics for the optics themselves, and the powers of 'supervision' that they provide. I'd imagine that most people here are into binoculars because they like to watch birds, etc., whereas I'm into birds because I like to use optics - I have to use them look at something! I wonder if that is a common experience?

absolutely yes, and it's nothing to be ashamed of! I love using fine optics and if having more binoculars gets me outside watching birds & wildlife and astronomy more then it's a win all around.
 

sillyak

Well-known member
Threads like these tempt me so badly. I have a Meopta Meostar 10x42HD that has served me so well for 6 years now.

The cost of upgrading is almost the price of a guided week in Ecuador. Tempting, but just not worth it. I took two trips this last year, neither would have happened if gave in to temptation with a new binocular.
 

Will K

Too well-known member
United Kingdom
Threads like these tempt me so badly. I have a Meopta Meostar 10x42HD that has served me so well for 6 years now.

The cost of upgrading is almost the price of a guided week in Ecuador. Tempting, but just not worth it. I took two trips this last year, neither would have happened if gave in to temptation with a new binocular.
No doubt, it’s a very difficult decision.

A week in Ecuador sounds fantastic, too!
 

Rg548

Retired Somewhere
United Kingdom
Threads like these tempt me so badly. I have a Meopta Meostar 10x42HD that has served me so well for 6 years now.

The cost of upgrading is almost the price of a guided week in Ecuador. Tempting, but just not worth it. I took two trips this last year, neither would have happened if gave in to temptation with a new binocular.
You have really got to go some to better those Meostars.... you have the same ones as me.
Sure if you want wide FOV, ar flat field, then you can get an improvement. Neither quality is particularly on my hit list for binos.
I sat checking my Meostars against Pures side by side a while back. It was only the FOV, and the 'Flat' field optics that were noticeably different. And that's where the money goes!!!
I actually preferred the view throught the Meoptas, it was nicer, more saturated, quite 'Leica like'. Sod accuracy🤣🤣.
Looking at some distant trees I could see no difference in centre field regarding resolution, and I'm lucky enough to have what is considered perfect vision on my last eye test.
You could well find yourself disappointed in spending a thousand pounds more, achieving very little gain, and missing a nice trip.
It would probably serve you well to go to an optics shop and put your Meostars directly up against some new stuff.
You may well come away very pleasantly surprised, as I did, or you may find that the £1000 upgrade is worth every penny.... All different aren't we!!
 

Paultricounty

Well-known member
United States
I’m a little confused here. When are we saying the rubber was changed on Ultravids? We tested five Ultravids , two 42 MIG and two 42’s and a 32 MIP. The two German ones were 5-7 years old. All the rubber was identical to the newer ones purchased the last year or two.

Paul
 

sillyak

Well-known member
You have really got to go some to better those Meostars.... you have the same ones as me.
Sure if you want wide FOV, ar flat field, then you can get an improvement. Neither quality is particularly on my hit list for binos.
I sat checking my Meostars against Pures side by side a while back. It was only the FOV, and the 'Flat' field optics that were noticeably different. And that's where the money goes!!!
I actually preferred the view throught the Meoptas, it was nicer, more saturated, quite 'Leica like'. Sod accuracy🤣🤣.
Looking at some distant trees I could see no difference in centre field regarding resolution, and I'm lucky enough to have what is considered perfect vision on my last eye test.
You could well find yourself disappointed in spending a thousand pounds more, achieving very little gain, and missing a nice trip.
It would probably serve you well to go to an optics shop and put your Meostars directly up against some new stuff.
You may well come away very pleasantly surprised, as I did, or you may find that the £1000 upgrade is worth every penny.... All different aren't we!!

I have put the Meostars up against the current top of the crop. A little more FOV and a little less weight would be nice, but I am overall extremely satisfied with them and can't see myself upgrading.

I am very tempted by something with lower mag and more TFOV as a second bino. I almost bought a Zeiss 7x42 FL that was listed on this forum awhile back. Think I'll stick with my Meostar, I would use the 10x42 format 90% of the time anyways.

FWIW I also have a Swarovski 8x20BN pocket bino and a Nikon 82ED Fieldscope with both the 25-75x zoom and a 38x MC wide. I think I'm set for optics.
 

Rg548

Retired Somewhere
United Kingdom
I have put the Meostars up against the current top of the crop. A little more FOV and a little less weight would be nice, but I am overall extremely satisfied with them and can't see myself upgrading.

I am very tempted by something with lower mag and more TFOV as a second bino. I almost bought a Zeiss 7x42 FL that was listed on this forum awhile back. Think I'll stick with my Meostar, I would use the 10x42 format 90% of the time anyways.

FWIW I also have a Swarovski 8x20BN pocket bino and a Nikon 82ED Fieldscope with both the 25-75x zoom and a 38x MC wide. I think I'm set for optics.
Sillyak.... you are a man after my own heart
I own the Meostars, I also have pocket Swaros (8x25's), and I've snowboarded in your beautiful Alberta on quite a few occasions.
Nice 👍
I'm gonna have to throw a Habicht in sooner or later, and it will be the 7x42:love:
 

Will K

Too well-known member
United Kingdom
Does anyone have a perspective on the grip materials used for these three models? Which is likely to age better, i.e., least likely to perish, over, say, 15+ years?)
Well, it won't be the NL Pure that's for sure!!
Peter.
I realise its a bit late to follow this up (sorry!), but I've been thinking about this topic again recently, after having bitten the financial bullet and purchased a pair of NLs last November (12x42). I was so impressed with the optics and ergonomics that I pushed aside any nagging doubts about durability when I finally took the plunge.

I'm sure that Swaro will do a fine job replacing the armour if something unfortunate does happen to the binos within the 10 year warranty period (and presumably after, for a price), but I'm curious to know more about your perspective here: have you had any bad experiences with Swaro armour durability?

I'm still in love with these amazing binos, but the one thing which has me still thinking about Noctivids is that sense of bulletproof sturdiness which, so far, has been apparent only in Leicas. The NLs seem much more like 'delicate' instruments, but perhaps that feeling is a good thing - maybe I'll be motivated to take better care of them, and won't get complacent!
 
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Bentley03

Well-known member
United Kingdom
I'm sure that Swaro will do a fine job replacing the armour if something unfortunate does happen to the binos within the 10 year warranty period (and presumably after, for a price), but I'm curious to know more about your perspective here: have you had any bad experiences with Swaro armour durability?
Swarovski changed the 'recipe' for their armour a few years back, all to do with EU laws regarding biodegradability, I believe. Whilst some people, I gather, have had genuine issues with the armour degrading prematurely, I experienced visible wear and degradation after just 7 hours in the field with a pair of brand new NL's. I also sensed collimation may not have been quite perfect in my copy. So, having been a thorough nuisance to my retailer after rejecting various copies of Swarovski binoculars over approximately a 12 month span I decided to deal with my grievances with Swarovski direct. It took months for them to fix them, due to the Absam upgrade last Summer, but they were finally returned with new armour and collimation adjusted late last year. I caused the cosmetic wear on the armour myself, because my habit is to walk with the appalling hard rubber rain guard tucked behind the instrument, between it and my clothing, the rubbing on the underside of the barrels creating white shiny areas of wear.

The issue, for me, was purely cosmetic, but I felt the visible wear devalued the binocular, should I decide to sell it on.
 
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Will K

Too well-known member
United Kingdom
Swarovski changed the 'recipe' for their armour a few years back...
Thanks for sharing your experience. I'm sorry to hear about that annoying problem.

I'll be careful to avoid similar stress on the armour when walking with the rain guard (which, BTW, I agree is far from perfect) detached.
 

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