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Very quick surprise hands-on with NL 8x42 (1 Viewer)

SeldomPerched

Well-known member
Popping into my local optics shop for nothing more than some fourpacks of AA battery cells I was greeted by the owner who put an NL 8x42 in my hands and invited me to take it out of the shop to try it out in the arcade outside. Nice surprise!

As it happens there is a supermarket alongside with storeyed stands of potted flowers of all colours and kinds, so this is a handy target for trying out glass. Now with only five to ten minutes to play, my experience was limited but just maybe a useful addition to include here alongside others' more detailed posts.

Dioptre setting: a piece of cake. Using the EL-style hinged objective covers made this easy one barrel at at time and the innovative lever-tab that you move from the click-stopped zero position has plenty of resistance so it won't move away once set, at least in most imaginable circumstances in the field. That was set up in moments (unusual for me), helped by a definite focus snap to the optics.

Using first the interior of the bincular and camera shop and various objects arrayed front to back - textured bags, flat filter cases, packets of film, lens boxes, etc - gave me less of a flat field feeling than with an EL (which I did not compare at the time). Don't trust me on this; it was only a first and quick impression and I didn't think about it too much as I was just enjoying the view. The overriding impression was of very good definition and contrast, giving good sharpness. Some have worried that it might be oversharp like a digital photo with overzealous post-processing. At the time I didn't get this feeling but once again I wouldn't like anyone to take my word for it before shelling out between £2,000 and £2,500.

The plants outside in the passageway. Good neutral, pleasantly saturated colours. A lot of green of course, as they were plants! Also purples. Nice. Conditions were overcast and the objects were quite well shaded in any case, which conveyed a neutral feel, cool in line with the weather and lighting. I was very impressed and am not ruling out buying one in due course. The binoculars as well as a potted plant! Not in a hurry for the former though.

Handling was a major plus point. To give a comparison to show extremes between larger ELs (i.e. all but the 32s which to me have perfect balance and handling) and the 8x42 NL: after using the NL for ten minutes, I was asked by the owner how they felt. I realized I hadn't really given that a thought; you just pick them up and use them and all falls naturally to hand, and the grasp is supremely well balanced. Crudely speaking, the EL 8.5 feels by comparison like a pair of unopened baked bean tins: in other words awkwardly chunky while the NL 8 feels like a stick of French bread that got a bit squashed in your comfortable hold in the middle... but without the disadvantage of the egg mayo filling coming out of the sides! The balance made the NL feel easy and unstrained to hold. I would be interested to know if the 10x and 12x powers give the same impression of shake-free comfort especially with the headrest. I didn't try the 8x with the headrest but the hold was highly stable.

That's about it. I still like my baked beans but think I will be tempted by the French stick in due course... I shan't be an early adopter and in any case having only got the SLCs just before there was news of their discontinuation I am happy to go on enjoying their good handling and compact size. They would be fermented yoghurt bottles, I suppose - a good comfortable hold.

'Just one more thing', Columbo-style: I was more interested in getting my eye placement right than in exploiting the full width of the field. As said this was just a quick surprise test and so CA, all the regular evaluation points, went by the board. Sorry!


Tom
 
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Troubador

Moderator
Staff member
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Tom

A nice write-up from an unexpected encounter, but can you get NLs without the egg mayo? I think I would prefer some Roquefort cheese.

Lee
 

SeldomPerched

Well-known member
Tom

A nice write-up from an unexpected encounter, but can you get NLs without the egg mayo? I think I would prefer some Roquefort cheese.

Lee

The egg mayo has been lab tested as a production improvement to counter the 'not state of the art' glare issues. Roquefort cheese would only encourage mould in the barrels, as you should know, Lee... I suppose egg mayo would too though!
 

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