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The talk and the facts, NL vs Retrovid with pictures. (1 Viewer)

GLOBETROTTER

Well-known member
Talking about LEICA.

This 2 photos shows the different color philosophy between Swarovski and Leica, the more pronounced 3D of classic binoculars vs Flat look of flat field design.

1400 Euro binocular vs 2900, I didn't have a sample of 10x42 Retrovid but anyway talking about color the difference is clear.

I do not want to be controversial, nor tell anyone what to do or what to buy.

Simply make it clear that each brand has its own philosophy, learn about optics and really appreciate it, learn about and how difficult color, micro contrast, sharpness can be combined together keeping good 3D, Thats why many cinematographers and photographers use this kind of traditional design lenses and refuse the corner to corner flat looking of new cinematography lenses, good to show up landscapes but bad to show up plane separation and three-dimensional effect.

It seems that Leica is the ugly duck among the 3 big ones but it is not like that, His know-how and his photographic tradition is present on their binoculars,For example the delicate color palette, contrast and transparency of the Retrovid is a good sample of it, close in performance to the Noctivid, And the Noctivid still better on 3D, color than the NL, and way better on Glare.

Talking about SWAROVSKI NL.

The NL is a clear step forward from the EL,(Samples tested 10x42NL vs 10x42FP ), that's something clearly shown on the first look side by side.
The NL has way better contrast and better color than the EL, better tonal gradation of delicate colours, fidelity, clarity, focus snap, definition of signals text, tree leaves......etc etc
Less veiling glare makes contrast pop up.
Was a cloudy day so i can not say anything about peripheral crescent flares, flashes of light and all of those artefacts who shows up looking near of the sun.

The binoculars shows in some cases (Bright light from cloudy sky and looking at backlight buildings )glare covering the 30% of the lower part of FOV, maybe more pronounced or at least on par with the EL 10x42 FP.

This is the greatest weakness of this binocular, perhaps a compromise of the design itself to show that ease of view but there is more....the biggest FOV are not so easy to see than the EL view...the eyes are looking around and the feeling of perfect circle and defined FOV is not there, but since everything is getting used to it, it will be something that is solved with practice.

To summarize and for those SWAROSVKI enthusiasts I have to confirm that the NL worth it, apart from FOV the most important thing is transparency and optical purity, to be able to observe with more quality what we love and respect as nature observers to see it with less glass influence and limitation of FOV just like be there 8,10 or 12 times closer with naked eyes.

A customized lens Shades easy to put and remove from Swarovski can be a good idea, increasing the contrast and performance of view a lot.

Scopes, telescopes, rifle scopes, camera lenses, cinema lenses use it.....why not for binoculars ? they don't have to be all time on, just on those difficult light conditions......just an idea.

Good Day.
 

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PeterPS

MEMBER
Interesting and useful comments, thank you GT. I am pretty sure that the glare issue indeed is a downside of the Swaro design, and for that matter of many other designs as well.
The EDG, in particular the 7x42, is often mentioned as one of the binos that control glare very well. And so is the Noctivid. But for me the best by a large margin is the FL 10x56: no glare at all even in the most difficult situations.
 

PYRTLE

Old Berkshire Boy
For clarification of your post and accompanying images should I assume that the first ( left ) picture is Leica Retrovid, whilst the second ( right ) image represents Swarovski NL? Perhaps they could be captioned so please.

I have found through reading many many posts on here how some binocular users easily experience and are susceptible to "glare", whilst many others do not seem to be as affected. This must also be down to an individual's ability to compute the information travelling to and from the brain, as well as the design and physics of the different instruments.

What I cannot find or understand is the correlation between this much commented upon Swarovski design flaw against the fact that the EL range is (and has been for at least a decade) the most widely used alpha roof prism worldwide.

Thank you.
 
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PeterPS

MEMBER
For clarification of your post and accompanying images should I assume that the first ( left ) picture is Leica Retrovid, whilst the second ( right ) image represents Swarovski NL?

Thank you.

I am pretty sure that's the case and I dare to say I like NL's image more, unlike GT---we are all different.....
 

dries1

Member
Swaro

Interesting and useful comments, thank you GT. I am pretty sure that the glare issue indeed is a downside of the Swaro design, and for that matter of many other designs as well.
The EDG, in particular the 7x42, is often mentioned as one of the binos that control glare very well. And so is the Noctivid. But for me the best by a large margin is the FL 10x56: no glare at all even in the most difficult situations.

I will second this and I have many of the premier 10X50s. The other 10X50 that does extremely well with glare and suppressing ghost images at night is the Leica 10X50 UVHD+. The FL 8X56 IMO, is the best in that format for dealing with glare.

Andy W.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
I like the NL "Mona Lisa" better also. Bigger FOV, more contrast and richer colors. I don't think the old argument that Leicas have better color, contrast and control glare better is valid now with the new NL. Swarovski has improved the performance of the EL in all of those areas with the NL. I do know one thing once are you used to a perfectly corrected 9.1 degree FOV with sharp edges it is very hard to go back to the 7.7 degree FOV that the Noctivid offers. You get so spoiled by 9.1 degrees even an 8 degree FOV feels tunnel like. Your eyes become accustomed to the bigger FOV and you try a smaller FOV and your eyes are saying what is this? I have a Kowa Genesis 8x33 with an 8 degree FOV and I have always thought it had very wide FOV being the same as the SV 8x32 until the NL came to town. Now after using the NL 8x42 for a while when I switch back to the Kowa it feels like tunnel vision! It is amazing how your eyes adjust to a bigger FOV like the NL and then when you switch to a smaller FOV like the Kowa it seems smaller than you remembered it being before experiencing the NL. The NL spoils you for any other binocular with it's huge FOV.
 
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[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
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pbjosh

missing the neotropics
Switzerland
GLOBETROTTER - Did you use manual camera control including manual control of white balance to ensure equal exposure of the two images?
 

Swissboy

Sempach, Switzerland
Supporter
Switzerland
I like the NL "Mona Lisa" better also. Bigger FOV, more contrast and richer colors………....

I hope all the Svaro NL aficionados realise just how terribly distorted that face looks. :eek!:

Assuming this is not an artefact from taking the photo, everything one looks at must suffer from similar distortions. Can that really be?
 

tenex

reality-based
What I cannot find or understand is the correlation between this much commented upon Swarovski design flaw against the fact that the EL range is (and has been for at least a decade) the most widely used alpha roof prism worldwide.
Nor can I. It's easy to understand how (for example) some are less bothered by CA than others, but I'd think anyone would be by glare. The only thing I can think of is that many people live/bird in cloudy or shady areas, and most don't use binos at night. I've never used an EL myself.
 

GLOBETROTTER

Well-known member
GLOBETROTTER - Did you use manual camera control including manual control of white balance to ensure equal exposure of the two images?

A profesional sekonic c 800 colorimeter was used to adjust the perfect color temperature for fine tuning color in photoshop.

The Leica shows the absolute perfect color, like the original old canvas, contrast of both binoculars ( Retrovid and NL ) are almost the same, true to life, i can say that Noctivid has highest contrast, more than real life.

The retrovid and swarovski Habicht 8x30 ( Latest ) are the most neutral bins i ever used, follow close by Noctivid and NL.
 

wdc

Well-known member
Golobetrotter,

I am curious about the photos. Were they done on a tripod, or are they handheld? And was the art in any case in a fixed position? I studied the distortion in photoshop, trying to scale them, and it looks like a combination of skew, stretch, and rotation, as if the plane of the artwork was actually tilted differently with respect to the optics on more than one axis. Very strange distortion. Are you saying that it is entirely just the result of the binocular(s)?

-Bill
 
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[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
A profesional sekonic c 800 colorimeter was used to adjust the perfect color temperature for fine tuning color in photoshop.

The Leica shows the absolute perfect color, like the original old canvas, contrast of both binoculars ( Retrovid and NL ) are almost the same, true to life, i can say that Noctivid has highest contrast, more than real life.

The retrovid and swarovski Habicht 8x30 ( Latest ) are the most neutral bins i ever used, follow close by Noctivid and NL.
"The Leica shows the absolute perfect color, like the original old canvas, contrast of both binoculars ( Retrovid and NL ) are almost the same, true to life, I can say that Noctivid has the highest contrast, more than real life."

That is just your subjective opinion. You have no objective proof that the Noctivid shows the absolute perfect color or that the Noctivid has the highest contrast. You are just throwing opinions out there and as we know everybody has one. To know for sure which binocular has the most accurate color reproduction you would have to measure the picture of the original Mona Lisa with a spectrophotometer and then measure each image reproduced through the binocular. Each binocular is going to have individual color biases also meaning it will accentuate certain areas of the color spectrum more than others depending on what part of the light spectrum it transmits highest at. In my experience Leicas have a warmer bias than Swarovski which are more neutral so the Swarovski would have a more accurate color rendering than the Leica.
 
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dries1

Member
Is the Retrovid a 7X35, or 8X40 sorry for the question, but the post intro was confusing, as well as the photos.

Andy W.
 

henry link

Well-known member
I can't tell anything about the distortion of the binoculars from these images. As has already been said there is an unknown amount and type of added distortion coming from the camera, which doesn't apply equally to both images because the larger head in the right image is so much closer to the edges of the camera field. The camera distortion, whatever it is, may be amplifying the distortion of one binocular and reducing the distortion of the other. There is no way to know from just looking at the images.
 
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Patudo

Well-known member
I think that the $79.95 Nikon 7x35 Aculon has a 9.3 degree FOV.

Very wide FOV's can't can't be that hard to do.

Bob

That may be so in that format, but to achieve a large field of view in 8x, 10x or 12x, combine it with excellent edge performance and long eye relief, and package it up into a reasonably sized binocular, is quite an achievement in my book - and I wholeheartedly take my hat off to the folks behind the NL, and also Zeiss's 8x32 SF, for achieving it.
 

Whiterain

Well-known member
The photo on the right seems more pleasing initially, has an obviously larger FOV, and obviously clearer edges, but I'm thinking the camera is doing more work than we think, since the blacks are completely crushed in this image (see hair on right side of photo). You can see the paint and bristle scratches and depth and sheen in the hair on the first photo that is nearly lost on the second. The camera is doing this, else there would be all sorts of other nasty effects, no?
 

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